Comet Fragments

There are no good choices:

“The burden of decision-making and risk in this pandemic has been fully transitioned from the top down to the individual,” says Dr. Julia Marcus, a Harvard epidemiologist. “It started with [responsibility] being transitioned to the states, which then transitioned it to the local school districts — If we’re talking about schools for the moment — and then down to the individual. You can see it in the way that people talk about personal responsibility, and the way that we see so much shaming about individual-level behavior.”

And not just with the pandemic, imo. This shifting of responsibility has happened all across American life for some time now. I mean, it’s neoliberalism in a nutshell.

California wildfires: why a gender-reveal party got the blame, but shouldn’t have: I figure we can all pretty much agree that gender-reveal parties are just the worst and pyrotechnics are not a thing to do in the middle of fire season but

But blaming one person, one party, one poor decision or one freak accident avoids the necessary reckoning with collective responsibility. It moves the blame to individuals, giving the most powerful perpetrators of global heating – a roomful of chief executives and their corporate empires – a free ride. It also erodes the sense of urgency that’s vital for tackling climate change.

How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled: Speaking of that roomful of people

It may have sounded like an environmentalist’s message, but the ads were paid for by the plastics industry, made up of companies like Exxon, Chevron, Dow, DuPont and their lobbying and trade organizations in Washington.

Industry companies spent tens of millions of dollars on these ads and ran them for years, promoting the benefits of a product that, for the most part, was buried, was burned or, in some cases, wound up in the ocean.

Documents show industry officials knew this reality about recycling plastic as far back as the 1970s.

Life in the Forever Fires: Toward Serenity in an Apocalypse: About those boiling frogs

Here is what they don’t tell you about the frogs: prior to the experiment, each specimen was lobotomized. The parts of their brains that would sense distress, or danger, that would trigger their reflex to jump to the glinting edge of the pot and, if they were lucky, escape to the cool safety of the countertop: these were gone. And so 2020 came to California, and the sky filled with ash, and I was left wondering whether I still had the parts necessary for survival.


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