there's our catastrophe

Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved.

Aug 22 2014

yesterday I was facebook chatting to a woman I met in the Philippines and she was telling me about a whole bunch of houses that were built recently for poor rural-urban migrants by an international NGO and it was a big photo op

and then the houses all came down in a storm because the load-bearing struts were made of  s t y r o f o a m

Aug 13 2014



Your bottled water habit is sucking California dry

If you’re reading this, chances are very high that your home has at least one — and maybe more! — magic appliance that produces clean water suitable for drinking. That’s one reason to avoid paying for bottled water.

Another reason? There’s a good chance the water you’re buying at the supermarket was bottled in California, a state currently enduring a severe drought.

Turn on the tap instead Follow micdotcom

(Images via MotherJones)

Also related: more facts about bottled water and how much harm it does, and read Marguerite Kaye Huber’s paper "Bottled Water: The Risks To Our Health, Our Environment, and Our Wallets" where she highlights the amount damage these companies do, socially impacting especially (firstly) the poor, as well as the huge environmental damages. And if the reasons listed weren’t enough, there’s also facts on facts about how bottled water is so poorly regulated: the FDA, which “regulated” bottled water has virtually no restrictions or checks— bottled water sold in the same state (60-70% of water sold) does not need to be inspected, bottled water otherwise can submit reports…from the company themselves, as well as not ever having to release info for the public), leading to high contamination levels only found when private investigators, well, investigate. Tap water, on the other hand, especially in urban and suburban areas where they would affect a large population, is very strictly regulated, has a very narrow margin for “contamination” is tested often, and has to publish annual reports accessible by public.

If you’re concerned about clean water anyway? Invest in a filter, which would be significantly cheaper (both short and long term). Invest in a reusable water bottle, consider one that is not made of the same/similar plastic materials that leach chemicals into water like bottled water does. People say not all boycotts are realistic, but for those who do have access to tap water, boycotting water bottle companies isn’t unrealistic, not by a long shot.

It’s weird to me to see all these long articles about how fucked up bottled water is that assume people are actively choosing bottled water over tap water. I’m sure that’s true for some classes in some locations. However, every time I have bought bottled water it was because I was in a public space without accessible drinking water.  I almost always carry a water bottle with me but I can’t carry my water needs for a whole day and most public bathrooms have taps placed in such a way that you can’t fit a decent-sized water bottle under them.  Public water fountains are few and far between and likewise annoying to fill a water bottle from.  Music festivals are notorious for banning outside water, not providing taps, and selling bottled water at exorbitant prices. 

Globally, many cities simply don’t provide potable tap water at all.  When I was in the Philippines, I visited multiple mountain towns, full of natural water sources, green everywhere, that were nevertheless entirely reliant on bottled drinking water.  The reason for this was that foreign-owned gold mines had poisoned the rivers with cyanide.

This isn’t an issue of poor individual choices, it’s an issue of essential needs like heating, a place to sit, and clean water being inaccessible in public spaces unless you can pay.  It’s disappointing that the issue of water accessibility is often — as here — framed in such a way that it centres the consumer choices of the wealthy. 

(via wildbayou)

Aug 12 2014

wings of desire, 1987

Aug 11 2014
“Border violence is part of projecting the invader as outside and other, and functions as a concealment of European invasion. But bringing up the colonial past can also normalise or nativise settler colonisation, and erase Indigenous subjectivity and sovereignty in slogans like ‘we are all boat people’.”

Lia Incognita, ‘Border violence as settler nativism’, The Platform.

This article adapted from my talk at the Beyond borders collective public forum last November has been published in Anarchist Affinity's magazine, you can read it online or in print.

(via terror-incognita)

snfprtch said: Amanda says this is like a slightly gayer version of that moment in Mean Girls when the mom walks in and is like “can I get you guys anything? snack? condom?” etc.

he’s not a regular het, he’s a cool het

it’s 2014 and grown adults are still calling things “problematic”



Jul 29 2014
“In a world with large income differences between countries, the rich countries can use more money to preserve and improve their own ecological capital.  One way of doing this is to import bio-and sink-capacity from poorer countries.  Inhabitants of the rich countries may, therefore, think that their lifestyles are sustainable, since the ecological capacity of their country is not eroding.  They may even think that becoming richer is the central solution to ecological overshooting, and blame the poor countries because they cannot sustain their ecological capital. ”

"The rich-country-illusion effect", from Anderssen, J & Lindroth, M. 2001. "Ecologically unsustainable trade", Ecological Economics, vol 37: 113-122. Abstract here. This is an interesting article which lays out how ecological degradation is inextricably linked to an unequal balance of power between rich and poor nations, where richer nations must maintain a certain level of consumption to protect their own position in global trade and industry, and poorer nations must continually export goods, crops, etc that are produced in less and less efficient ways. Simply looking at the “ecological footprint” of each nation’s industry, then, blurs the  responsibility for ecological degradation in poorer nations.

It’s like how if you’re really broke you’ll sell your vintage records for less than you know they’re worth, even if you’re, say, a DJ and you need them to make a living, and also the person you’re selling them to is grinding them up to make roads, and then you get a lecture on poor financial planning from a social worker. 

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