#55: Agua Por Favor

The fancy new philosophers out there tell us not to try and sell folks on #thefuture or #progress or #climatechange or other #important news using just numbers, because people (aside from you people) don't care about numbers. Or research studies, or projections. They care about feelings:

"Engaging on the plane of belief...means taking a break from trying to prove what’s factually accurate and talking instead about what feels meaningful in the heart. 

We know enough to know that fact-checks are not going to quell the zombie lies. Coming out of the gate with facts is like bringing a Wikipedia page to a gun fight; people have to be primed and ready if they’re going to question the appealing information that’s fed to them and helps reconfirm their worldview. Truth is not enough. It never has been."

Also, from this:

"Rather than fill the information deficit by building an arsenal of facts, scientists should instead consider how they deploy their knowledge. They may have more luck communicating if, in addition to presenting facts and figures, they appeal to emotions. This could mean not simply explaining the science of how something works but spending time on why it matters to the author and why it ought to matter to the reader."

Does plucking heart strings feel like a cheap shot? Like we're manipulating your basic instincts? I mean...kind of? But honestly people my day job is storytelling, so that specific guilt went out the window a long, long time ago. I've got kids to feed.

In reality, we didn't pick this fight. 

So I'm gonna try something new this week. It's profound, so sit the f*ck down and get ready for it. There's this brand new shit out there, and it's changing the way we communicate, and I'm going to attempt to use this new language - a PARADIGM SHIFT - to help express how each piece of news makes ME feel. And then maybe, maybe it'll help folks relate a little bit more.

Again. I'm not telling you how to feel. I'm just telling you how I feel. Because that's what the theoreticians tell us helps make a difference. And because my wife and children stopped listening to me years ago.

Behold, bitches: EMOJIS.

Here's an fun example:

News that makes me pee a little bit with excitement: Clean energy becoming cheaper than coal, way, way ahead of any rational predicted timeline. ☀️⚡️🍆💦😻

(am I doing this right?)

Who cares! On to the news!

1. Four years ago, almost to the day, Rolling Stone published a truly gnarly piece on Miami going bye bye thanks to sea-level rise. Today, Miami's fighting back. - BBC

"One recent report estimated that Miami has the most to lose in terms of financial assets of any coastal city in the world, just above Guangzhou, China and New York City. This 120-mile (193km) corridor running up the coast from Homestead to Jupiter – taking in major cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach – is the eighth most populous metropolitan area in the US. It’s also booming. In 2015, the US Census Bureau found that the population of all three counties here was growing – along with the rest of Florida – at around 8%, roughly twice the pace of the US average. Recent studies have shown that Florida has more residents at risk from climate change than any other US state.

Look beyond all the glass and steel, though, and – despite the federal government’s sidelining of the issue – there’s another thrum of activity. It’s the wastewater treatment plant constructing new buildings five feet higher than the old ones. The 105 miles (169km) of roads being raised in Miami Beach. The new shopping mall built with flood gates. The 116 tidal valves installed in Fort Lauderdale. The seawalls being raised and repaired. And the worried conversations between more and more residents every year about what the sea-rise models predict – and what to do about it."

+ MY NOTES: #action Sooner rather than later. Because, you know, inevitability. 🏖🇨🇺🇺🇸🎉🌊👷🏼🙏🙏🙏

2. Last week we discussed how NASA's Mars program is in the shitter. Frustrating. Elon's doubling down. - The Guardian

"The paper outlines early designs of the gigantic spacecraft, designed to carry 100 passengers, that he hopes to construct.

“The thrust level is enormous,” the paper states. “We are talking about a lift-off thrust of 13,000 tons, so it will be quite tectonic when it takes off.”

Creating a fully self-sustained civilisation of around one million people – the ultimate goal – would take 40–100 years according to the plans. Before full colonisation takes place, though, Musk needs to entice the first pioneers to pave the way. 

The current situation is summed up in a Venn diagram showing two non-intersecting circles representing, on one side, the kind of people who would be up for getting on the Mars rocket and, on the other, those who could afford this kind of adventure. An optimistic estimate of the current cost is put at $10bn per person.
“What we need to do is to move those circles together,” Musk explains. If the mission cost could be dropped to the cost of an average US house price, he predicts, people would start to sign up in big enough numbers to kick off project multi-planetary civilisation. “Given that Mars would have a labor shortage for a long time, jobs would not be in short supply,” he points out."

+ MY NOTES: Here's the actual plan, published in New Space journal.#getnerdy #jobcreator

Side note: is the plan possibly impossible? Possibly. POSSIBLY. But does that mean we shouldn't try? No fucking way. Does it mean you need to be a sour puss about it?

"In a recent interview, Ellen Stofan, former Nasa chief scientist, dismissed the idea that there would ever be a mass transfer of humans to another planet, adding that trumpeting the idea risked being a distraction from the problems faced on our home planet. “I don’t see a mass transfer of humanity to Mars, ever,” she said. “Job one is to keep this planet habitable ... There isn’t a planet B.”

+ MORE NOTES FROM ME: Last I checked Mr. Musk is one of the few humans working furiously on job one, too. 📜🚀👩🏽‍🚀

3. While we're fighting forest fires and sea level rise and idiots down here, sweet, sweet Kepler is up there among the stars, looking for new homes/life/beaches that aren't underwater yet. - NYTimes

"Setting the stage for the next chapter in the quest to end cosmic loneliness, astronomers released a list on Monday of 4,034 objects they are 90 percent sure are planets orbiting other stars.

The new list is the final and most reliable result of a four-year cosmic census of a tiny region of the Milky Way by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.

“The search for planets is the search for life,” said Natalie Batalha, a Kepler mission scientist from NASA’s Ames Research Center. “These results will form the basis for future searches for life.”

Among other things, Dr. Batalha said, for the first time there is at least one planet, known as KOI 7711 (for Kepler Object of Interest), that almost matches the Earth, at only 30 percent wider and with an orbit of almost exactly one year.

In all, there are 219 new planet candidates in the catalog. Ten of them, moreover, are in the habitable zones of their stars, the so-called Goldilocks realm, where the heat from their stars is neither too cold nor too hot for liquid water."

+ MY NOTES: Your. 👏 Tax. 👏 Dollars. 👏 Will. 👏 One. 👏 Day. 👏 Help. 👏 Find. 👏 A. 👏 New. 👏 Planet. 👏 For. 👏 Us. 👏. To. 👏. Live. 👏 On.

4. Pics from inside India's humungous new solar plant - BBC

+ MY NOTES: Feelings = jealous. 😤

5. India's wells -- after three straight years of weakened monsoon seasons -- are running dry. Not great. Though it makes for a nice precursor to the conversation that's going to dominate for the next 50+ years: #hydropolitics

"In the 21st Century, freshwater supplies are drying up, climate change is raising sea levels and altering borders, explosive population growth is straining world resources, and global hyper-nationalism is testing diplomatic relations. Meanwhile, water demand is expected to go up 55% between 2000 and 2050. In the coming century, in terms of its value as a global resource, it’s been described as “the next oil."

So what can we do to guarantee global access to water – and thus global peace?"

+ MY NOTES: Wars. 💂 Are. 💂 Fought. 💂 Over. 💂 Resources. What's yourcountry got to spare?


Sweden commits to becoming carbon neutral by 2045 

Gisele convinces Brazil's president to save an entire forest and what have you done today

Hawaii considering universal basic income

You get a gigafactory! And you get a gigafactory! Everybody gets a gigafactory!

GE and Mayo Clinic partner on cancer gene therapy


Rick Perry says carbon dioxide is not a primary driver of climate change, sigh

H stands for humanity. In the Anthropocene Equation, the rate of change of the Earth system is a function of humanity.

Norway wants to be a climate leader but oil exports are 12% of their economy, so yeah tough to reconcile

Climate change stops climate change study I mean come on


Coal mines reimagined as power storage systems (WSJ - paywall)

Putting coal miners back to work -- digging for rare earth metals for wind turbines

Modified viruses deliver death to antibiotic-resistant bacteria

US ruining bird flu prep for everybody


An Abandoned US Nuclear Base in Greenland Could Start Leaking Toxic Waste Because of Global Warming

CRISPR pioneer Feng Zhang would use his invention to give himself Wolverine claws (if only) 🙀🙀🙀


An artificial intelligence developed its own non-human language


How Western Civilization Could Collapse