Here I am writing from the European summer after realizing that the climate emergency is a brutal form of time traveling. That’s the proposal of this article that states that the recent crazy environmental events such as the 30º degrees in Siberia the other day were expected but in many decades in the future. Time as we know it accelerates and we can no longer plan for the long term because in any moment we’ll have to face a pandemic-flooding-fire and our arrangements will be ruined. Clearly, the late 20th century lifestyle expectations are no longer materially possible because our planet is collapsing, we’re not even sure if we’ll reach old age and it is inevitable to think about how unfair and cruel is neoliberalism and its schemes of precarization in which workers barely have free time. I remember when my friend Maya told me that I was like a martian who found everything that happened in the Earth a big nonsense, nonsense as this information about the billions in precious metals that are dumped every year as electronic waste. Precious metals that exist in our computers! The planetary sensorium manifests!
I’m sure you saw this the other day, is a tweet by Bárbara Astudillo, activist from Petorca who works for the right to water, she declares through a selfie that she does not want to commit suicide. Unfortunately, it is becoming very common to see cases of “suicided” environmentalist activists, then those who are afraid of that destiny use social media strategically to share publicly that they do not have any suicidal intention. In regards to that, I’d like to comment Nina Lakhani’s book Who Killed Berta Cáceres?, Lakhani details the story of the murdering of the Honduran environmentalist activist and it’s hard to read because of the levels of cruelty and neocoloniality. In Berta’s crime, the United States emerges as a clear responsible of everything that happened, it’s so infuriating to see the role of this awful country in the Latin American region and the way they promote the destruction of ecosystems to the economical benefit of them and the local elites. The case of Honduras is even tragicomic because in the book the author even mentions a “business” dedicated to narco and solar energy at the same time so the entire holding benefits from the tax reduction that is obtained by “green” companies.
It’s sad that Latin América has these weak democracies, that mega projects that destroy biodiversity are approved without taking into consideration studies of environmental impact. What’s worst is that this neo-imperialism comes with campaigns that claim that anyone who opposes this abuse is an “anti-development” person. What do we do with this sadness? Is Latin América over? I think about Yukio Mishima when he wrote in After the Banquet that humans cannot live inside a tomb and I imagine that restless feeling as the force that moved Berta Cáceres, and I also suppose that is the same force that is going to avert projects such as the monstrous data centers that Google wants to install in the Southern Hemisphere. And well, if everything fails, at least I’m enthusiastic about automated art and the ways it will survive us when the catastrophe gets bigger. In connection to that I leave you with this photo of a nudibranch, a marvelous creature I discovered yesterday at the oracular bots workshop I made with Annika, Nadia Piet proposes that through the forms and colors of a nudibranch we are able to see the future. Could it be possible?
Te mando un beso,
There is a text by Astra Taylor, that we already referenced on Gato for something else, which also talks about the climate crisis as time travel or, I would say, rather, as a superposition of dimensions. This is because the effects of global warming today are emissions from the industrial past. Perhaps that is why it is so difficult to talk about the issue: deep down, challenging the climate crisis is also facing the absurdity of linear time :O
Anyway, I am now on a journey through time, going to the past, returning to things that I missed or want to relive, and I remember you and gatito earth in all.
For other reasons, for example, I stumbled upon a 2017 Ben Hayes’ interview that I found interesting. At that time Hayes was working on refugee issues in Europe and, regarding global warming and forced displacement of people, he says that we must be cautious with the narratives of the climate crisis, because they can act as what the strategists of the security call “threat multiplier”: there are new threats out there, borders must be closed, surveillance must be multiplied.
This made a lot of sense to me with another text, one from 2018 that I just read now, by Douglas Rushkoff, who tells the story when he got paid to talk about the climate crisis with five super-rich, all-male, as it is supposed. In the conversation, he realized that these guys were not interested in knowing about the climate crisis, learning from mistakes, and building sustainable options. On the contrary, they were particularly interested in knowing about the power of technologies to find an escape to the emergency. In other words, in this “threat multiplier” reality, save yourself is what prevails today.
In the text, Rushkoff also put a finger in all that academy that, in privilege, plays along with these rich tech guys and asks investigative questions that, although philosophically entertaining, are a poor palliative to the real bullshit caused by the unbridled technological development in the name of corporate capitalism. This, by the way, reminds me of the dozen sets of ethical principles for Artificial Intelligence created by liberals to put out the fires created by the IMMORALITY of believing that past data of people -processed by a software- are a legitimate source to make decisions about their present and future. I’m so mad about this (sorry, I had to read one more of these documents these days) that I came up with a joke:
Three white liberals from the Global North walk into a bar, order a beer, and produce a set of universal ethical principles #turumpsssst
On my trip to the past, I am also seeing Mad Men again, which I loooove. Watching the show, along with these readings, which in turn are similar to others that we have seen in gatito earth, I wonder: isn’t searching for an “escape plan” -without dealing with shit- also a gesture of modern masculinities? I put locks, and I forget automatically about the displaced, or I get on a rocket to Mars and goodbye Earth: we, the others, will cope with the ruins, and we will take care of the rest. Well, I suppose that here, in the south, we are having a clue of that with our own necropolitics in the pandemic.
I better say goodbye with this wonderful intervention by Donna Haraway that sums it all up.
Sin duda la mejor descripción de la IA que se haya hecho hasta el momento: “White male phallic masturbation”. Donna Haraway apuntando con infinita claridad a la raíz del problema 🙌🙌 vía @_carol_romero pic.twitter.com/qMdNIt3YAF— arnaumonty (@arnauMonty) May 26, 2020
Hugs & kisses
PS: Did you know that Facebook no longer fact-checks information that denies the climate crisis? This, because now, Facebook considers it an “opinion.” Great, now “opinions” that are PAID by the fossil industry continue to win adherents and bring clicks to the Zuckerberg business. Hey, but I’m sure Facebook has already committed to reducing its carbon footprint and even developed a guide to ethical principles, so no problem.