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Open Thread: We live in capitalism

"Somehow, though, I've missed the symbolism"


"We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.”Ursula K. LeGuin

Will Charlie Brown Get To Kick The Football?

“You hold the ball, I come running up to kick it and then you pull it away…”

So, President Biden and others are saying they’re willing to give up on the coherent social-infrastructure principles of Build Back Better to get the narrowly defined climate-and-clean-energy pieces passed, after Joe Manchin said repeatedly he was willing to consider that.

And some totally trustworthy Republicans are encouraging Team Charlie Brown that this time, he just might get to kick the football. “Some of it I might be able to support,” said McCain-to-Trump-loyalist Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.). “I think anything is possible as long as you have an attitude of good will and good faith negotiating going here,” said Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

But boo-birds like Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth USA, argue that abandoning solidarity and social justice to woo pretty blatantly terrible people won’t bring clean-tech tax credits closer to passage:

“President Biden’s agenda is alive because of the activists who fought for it over the past year. These same activists are ready to pass all of Build Back Better—not just a piece of it. Climate justice and social justice are inseparable. Any strategy that seeks to separate them is doomed to fail. This is not a plan to pass a climate bill, this is a plan to pass no bill at all.”

Hmm… what does Joe Manchin, who signed a secret commitment with Schumer last summer to support a $1.5 trillion package following specific terms, have to say about all this?

The reports are in: All deals are off.

“We will just be starting from scratch,” Manchin said, emphasizing that he’ll be working with a “clean sheet of paper.”

Auk, Rotch, & Dovekie, when you need your copepods foraged by the best.

Oil-patch Democrat Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), one of those politicians who openly traffics in the legal corruption of cozying up to his corporate donors’ agenda whenever possible, may be involved in not-so-legal corruption as well: His home has been raided by the F.B.I. in association with his dealings with the Azerbaijan government.

Corporate crypto lobbyists are very happy with yesterday’s E&C Committee hearing on the energy footprint of cryptomining: there was the bizarre spin that miners could boost green energy by creating demand for “excess” energy, and the more energy-efficient proof-of-stake blockchains were denigrated. Oh, almost forgot to mention, it was an all-male panel.

From Two Days Ago in Tabs: “Jason M. Barr guessayed that Manhattan should grow an embarrassing pandemic beard by constructing 1,760 new acres of flood-prone landfill in New York harbor. The perfect solution to both the housing crisis and the climate crisis is to build a human seawall, apparently. ‘Two birds with one stone!’ raves Jonathan Swift.”

What economic inequality problem?

The dog’s name is Caviar.

From aerocarcinization we turn to carceration: the United States spent at least $277,153,670,501 on police and prisons last year. “P&G has gone on a crime spree,” says judge. The treeline is out of control. The little auks of Svalbard are hanging on. Law & Order: We’re All The Victims Unit (Now A Podcast).

WE ACT for Environmental Justice is on a hiring spree — open positions include chief of staff, environmental health manager, and state legislative manager in the New York headquarters, and national advocacy manager, communications director, and congressional affairs manager in their Washington, D.C. office—and that’s just a few.

And the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office has done some supercool nerd work! Their new guide, the third edition of “Solar Power in Your Community,” provides best practices, case studies, and links to help local communities deploy solar quickly and equitably.

I have frequently featured Kate Aronoff’s tweets in this newsletter, because they are pithier and funnier than anything I come up with. Today is no exception:

What should I be calling this recurring feature? Aronoff Goes Off? Aronoff The Hook? Why Read This When You Could Just Be Reading Kate Aronoff’s Tweets? Please submit your suggestion, and any suggestions for other recurring features, in the open thread. Thanks so much for subscribing. Alle alle! @climatebrad

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