Soup Season

Ecomodernists, lettuce, tomatoes, and mashed potatoes


I’m in week two of an apparently endless series of colds, but have been otherwise enjoying the crisp autumn days in our nation’s capital. Is this the calm before the coming MAGA storm?

RETROGRADE ECOMODERNISTS: The ecomodernist gang, licking its wounds after failing to push through Joe Manchin’s fossil-fuel fast-tracking bill, continues its push to redefine climate action to mean deregulated industrial capitalism, based on the argument that some people are worth more than others. Hmm.

The reliably dangerously wrong Jonathan Chait published the unhinged “The Climate-Justice Movement Is Helping Neither the Climate Nor Justice” in New York, a Vox Media outlet.

And The Atlantic’s Jerusalem Demsas (formerly Vox) cites fracking booster and Koch cog Eli Dourado1 in a wild screed attacking environmental justice (“Not Everyone Should Have a Say”). Surprise, surprise: both Demsas and Dourado were attendees of the 2022 Breakthrough Institute Ecomodernism conference.

I’m guessing Chait and Demsas are not attending this Thursday’s WE ACT for Environmental Justice gala, which will honor Dr. Beverly L. Wright, Jessica Ottney Mahar, and Mychal Johnson.

On October 14th, young climate activists Anna Holland and Phoebe Plummer with Just Stop Oil threw tomato soup at Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in London’s National Gallery, an act of symbolic vandalism (the painting is behind glass) that evoked performative conservative outrage. On Sunday, another pair of activists threw mashed potatoes on Monet’s Les Meules at the Museum Barberini in Potsdam, Germany. And today, activists smeared cake on the King Charles waxwork at Madame Tussaud’s in London.

The Guardian’s Damien Gayle has a must-read history of Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil’s recent tactical maneuvering, from fuel-distribution blockades to symbolic stunts, as European activists compete with increasingly right-wing governments cracking down on any attempt to prevent planetary meltdown.

This afternoon, Holland and Plummer will be discussing their protest with other activists and artists in a live broadcast.

Unlike the New York Times, Politico, Axios, and Semafor, Hill Heat is never sponsored by climate polluters—only readers like you. Please consider becoming a paid subscriber to support this independent journalism.

FRACKED: Tory British Prime Minister Titanic Liz Truss couldn’t outlast the iceberg (lettuce). Her reign collapsed on October 20th, the day after a crunch Commons vote brought by Labour on Truss’s wildly unpopular plan to open Great Britain up for fracking, which led to a chaotic Tory revolt.

In further lettuce and tomato news: California’s fossil-fueled drought is crippling America’s supply of fresh vegetables.

Alaska’s snow crabs have disappeared. Time’s Aryn Baker has the best headline on this sad story: Crustacean Decimation Due to Climate-Change-Driven Cannibalization.

Lead runs in the water at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

GOVERNMENT IN ACTION: Treasury’s insurance arm, the Federal Insurance Office, is “for the first time exercising its authority to collect data from insurers on climate-related financial risk.”

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is launching a five-year research project to study how super awesome and not dangerous it would be to block out the sun to deal with global warming.

The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization has finally prohibited the catching of Greenland sharks—which live for centuries if unmolested by humans—in international waters.

Naomi Klein writes how the Egyptian government, about to host the COP27 international climate talks, has not only imprisoned political activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah, but also censored his jailhouse letter on climate breakdown. Interfaith Power & Light is hosting a webinar on COP27 this evening.

JERBS: The Blue Sky Funders Forum, a working group of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, is seeking an executive director ($150K-$160K, remote).

Oxfam America is hiring a climate change policy, advocacy, and programming advisor (no salary given, DC or Boston region).

Rainforest Action Network is looking for a strategy and engagement manager for their climate finance campaign ($85K-$95K, remote / SF).

People Over Plastic is hiring a digital media lead ($28/hr, remote).

Public Citizen has a number of openings on David Arkush’s climate team: campaign coordinator ($74K-$88K, DC), junior financial policy advocate ($74K–$123K, DC), senior financial policy advocate ($74K–$123K, DC); also Public Citizen Texas is hiring a Healthy Ports organizer in Houston ($57K-$82K), and environmental justice organizer for East Harris County, Texas ($57K-$82K).

Bernadette Badamo is the new digital membership & advocacy generalist at Friends of the Earth US. Former Greenpeace executive director Phil Radford has launched Champion, a progressive policy and politics shop. Champion is backing a slate of local climate hawks in key races across the country.

Climate Action This Week

Tuesday, October 25

Thursday, October 27

Thanks to the lighter Hill Heat publishing schedule, I’m able to catch up on my backlog of books. Two books I can heartily recommend from some famed authors’ backlists: The Age of Missing Information by Bill McKibben and My Real Children by Jo Walton.

Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word. DMs are open@climatebrad

1 Ph.D. from Koch’s George Mason University econ department, appointments at Koch’s Mercatus Center and Koch’s Center for Opportunity and Growth, et cetera.

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