Screaming Into the Void

This is a page where I post political links in the vain hope that some people might find them useful. In American politics, I lean left, though not on all issues, as I have a bit of a survivalist streak as well.

Having written science fiction with an emphasis on literal world-building**, I think human-influenced climate change is an issue that will soon dwarf all others. So if you don’t like that, you can click the Back arrow in your browser up there.

(** This would be the Galaxy Map from the Mass Effect series, for which I crammed as much planetary formation science as I could. If I have to write about the oxygen-generating properties of cyanobacteria again, I may inflict some self-harm with a nail clipper.)

Link #1: The Worldwatch Institute.

I was first introduced to Worldwatch’s magazine when I was researching the Filipino environmental movement for Shadowrun. Worldwatch Magazine had a kind of interesting demographic: it is meant to be read by policy makers and educators, meaning it’s environmentalism that is more results-oriented and less crystal-banging hippies who want to balance your root chakra.

Link #2:

This page shows up if you search for “Climate Change Debunkers Debunked.” It’s important not only to have the basics down, but also links with coherent responses to points brought up like common denials (“It’s just natural!” “It goes up and down all the time!”).

The only thing I’d add is a really simple, plain English explanation of why the US is freezing worse in winter when the world is supposed to be getting hotter. (Answer: when you heat the Arctic, the cold air that’s already there has to go somewhere, and it gets pushed south. That’s the “polar vortex” people ranted on about in the news.)

Link #3: Mighty Nest

Products for lowering your trash footprint. Yeah, carbon is killer and all, but don’t forget the massive volume of plastic we throw away without a second thought.

Do you get a plastic straw for your drink at lunch? How many plastic straws have you gone through over your lifetime? No one knows and no one cares, because once they’re tossed in a can, we never see them again, right? Have a reusable one.

Do you go through plastic cling wrap for all your leftovers at home? Ditto. As cheap as it is, washing a reusable sheet is probably cheaper in the long run.

How many fabric softener sheets does your dryer consume? Trick question. It doesn’t consume any, those sheets get used once and go in a landfill. What’s that, 1 to 3 a week every week for the rest of your life? Just say nah.

I’ll stop there. I’m not a salesman.

Link #4:

Of course, the plastic straw debate is several years old as of this writing, and Lordy, there were memes about California’s bans. Some have accused it of being a distraction, making a tiny dent in comparison to going after the real bad actors.

(Note that this meme isn’t 100% accurate, because, well, it’s a meme.)

Anyway, in the spirit of trying to focus on doing some good…. this is a nonprofit volunteer organization I joined for the 2020 election. I detailed my experiences in the post “In Which I Give Worried Introverts Something to Do.”

It’s a letter-writing campaign to get out the vote in American elections. Because handwritten letters are so rare in our modern deluge of junk mail, they stand out and have a good chance of being opened and read by the target audience. In this case, they’re voters in swing states who are registered but didn’t vote in the last election. And I think it’s safe to say that elections have consequences affecting all of us.