👎 Green Capitalism
The transition to renewables is really fucking us | US government departments use a special Facebook portal to fight disinfo
Hello online friends.
Just a starting note: a woman on Hinge — e.g. someone I’ve exchanged messages with for like two days at the most — said to me yesterday ‘I saw a news article about Elon Musk the other day and thought of you’. I never in a million years want a potential sexual partner to be reminded of me upon seeing Elon Musk’s name. This is getting out of hand. I have to stop writing about him, starting NOW.
This week was something I could have done without 👎. Jeez, things aren’t looking great:
The Department of Homeland Security in the US have their own take on ‘the truth’ and I’d love to tell you about it
Let’s just check in on the old ‘green transition’ and make sure we all understand how terribly it’s going.
Something something Binance were going to buy FTX and then they… didn’t.
🤡 The truth is what I tell you it is
This week in dystopia: the department of homeland security in the US have a disinformation governance board to fight online dis/misinformation — and they are using a special Facebook portal to achieve this.
It’s time to get VAGUE → What even is disinformation, according to the DHS? They say it’s “false information that is deliberately spread with the intent to deceive or mislead”, which is a sentence that, for me, has a lot of problems. What do they mean by ‘false information’? Do they just decide that? How can they tell if something has been spread deliberately?
Anyway, their reason for setting up this stupid board is also vague, and very popular among authoritarians: it’s to “safeguard the United States” — a classic! What a shame that you can’t build a wall around the internet (oh wait you can).
✨ Why and how Facebook are involved (the broad strokes):
First of all, it’s important that we all remember that government departments in The West will routinely use Facebook as a handy resource to conduct activities such as ‘enforcing a law’ or, in this case ‘fighting disinformation’
This is because Facebook — the online garbage dump for information — is the only place which contains the length and breadth of human behaviours, and is willing to bend over backwards to share with anyone who has a government email address.
Yes, a government email is all you need to log in to Facebook’s ‘content request system’, where DHS agents can fill in a simple form to either suppress or even throttle a post of their choosing — all based on the vague parameters mentioned above.
So, this is essentially a great way for the DHS to decide what the truth is, and there has been a huge bipartisan backlash against the disinformation governance board. Someone important had to resign over it, actually. Tbh I just find it hilarious that even right wingers, who usually love obliterating free speech in the name of protecting, hate this initiative, and have been the loudest in criticising it.
My summation is that the DHS and other government departments simply have their comms all wrong. Don’t call this a ‘fight against disinformation’ — call it a ‘fight against complex information’, where the initiative is designed to simplify all information that flows in and out of Facebook, so that it’s more palatable a Middle-American generalist audience. Duh.
⛏️ Extract your way to a greener future
This week I came across this article on Rest Of The World. It talks of how, in Latin America, VC investment in climate change projects is on the rise, and that all these new initiatives are going to solve all our climate problems and allow us to relax into a VC-funded collective cuddle.
To this I say: please shut up. I am honestly sick to death of green capitalism and all of the exploitative, extractive practices that it hides. I’m just going to unpack a few things and leave them here for you to look at so you can roughly see what I mean.
☝️ Firstly, the transition to renewable energy systems needs to be rapid. This is because we are playing catch-up. Adoption of these technologies probably could have been happening over the last couple of decades if only the oil industry wasn’t so good at lobbying. Now what we’re looking at is a scramble for natural resources, which need to be extracted very quickly — which is kind of the opposite thing you’re going for in a climate crisis tbh.
🔋 Those resources are things like copper, lithium, and cobalt — and Latin America are rich in these things. Right now all the conversations seem to be about how we need to transition to electric vehicles and solar power and so on — but nothing about how that’s going to happen. You need a lot of copper for circuit boards, and also for use in wind turbines and solar panels. You need lithium to produce powerful batteries for electric vehicles.
💥 Surprise: extracting these resources is dangerous, exploitative, and leads to further environmental degradation. But we NEED those batteries so we can all feel better about expressing our individuality in our respective electric cars! So what we have is the Global North squeezing as much as they can out of countries like Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, and Argentina. Here a few things:
Chile is the largest exporter of copper in the world. Shockingly, workplace safety is not a priority for mining companies. In 2010, a mine in San Jose collapsed trapping 33 people for 69 days. This happened because the mine was built in 1889 and hadn’t had any modern infrastructure upgrades.
Chile also has a lot of lithium. As such, places like the Atacama are being destroyed by the extraction process. The Atacama is the oldest and driest desert in the world; it’s home to endemic flamingos, and human indigenous communities. Lithium mining entails extracting water from underground, and pumping it to the surface, thus disrupting the natural water system, and taking water away from the people that live around the salt lakes
Foreign debt is also a massive driver of all of this. Argentina has defaulted on loans, and restructured it’s debt to the IMF many times over the years — right now it owes $44bn, which is over half of their GDP. This means that they literally cannot afford to pick and choose what they export; they simply have to let the extraction happen because they are restricted by crippling debt.
Conclusion: the so called ‘green transition’ is fueled by the stuff that everything else is fueled by: colonialism and corporate greed. I’m tired of this, please help me.
🍨 And now for dessert
Free and openly available knowledge should just get in the bin, don’t you think? The US Department of Justice has just seized Z-library, a massive online repo providing free access to books and other publication.
The world is a meme so let’s all laugh about it: Binance was all set to acquire FTX on Tuesday, but walked away from the deal on Wednesday. Binance and FTX are both very large, unregulated, ‘pretend banks’ used mostly by sad soon to be divorced men. They are rivals. One cannot absorb the other — the rivalry must continue otherwise what’s the point? Binance will not acquire FTX, and FTX will remain riddled with government agency investigations. This decision has of course made various coins plummet in value. I hope they’re all happy — I certainly am.
That’s all for this week. I hope you have a great weekend full of lovely autumn outfits, day drinking, and sex. Enjoy!