In Vacaville, CA a man watches his home go up in flames. The headline reads, “Californians are done with 2020, ‘It’s like a Stephen King movie.’” (Photo by Karl Mondon, Bay Area News Group.)
Feeling Solastalgia and PTSR? You’re Not Alone
California is on fire. Nearly a million acres are burning right now, and while I’m lucky enough to be miles from direct danger, the air around me is polluted with smoke and ashes. It’s hard not to feel we’re the canary in the coal mine, living proof the planet is going down in flames. “Psychologists and environmental scholars are creating a whole new vocabulary to describe these feelings of despair,” wrote environmental studies professor Sarah Jaquette Ray, “including solastalgia, climate anxiety, eco-grief, pre-traumatic stress, and psychoterratic illness.”
A recent Harvard youth poll suggests young Americans, already riddled with anxiety before covid, are (finally!) connecting the dots between their fears and the political process: “Self-defense, in 2020, is one of the primary motivations for voting.” They favor Joe Biden over the president 51% to 28%.
Many kids are turning their solastalgia into activism and so can we. Contact your representative to demand better climate leadership, and encourage everyone, especially youngsters, to register and vote
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The Kindness of Strangers
As coronavirus rates go up in the US, the news is full of stories of communities coming together to support local businesses, organize food distribution, donate to GoFundMe accounts for neighbors' health care expenses...
These stories are intended to be heartwarming, but to me they read as horrifying. If my survival depends on convincing other people of my need or worthiness in order to get through a crisis, what will become of my neighbor in similar circumstances?
As Annie Lowrey writes in the Atlantic, no amount of private initiative or donor generosity can or will ever do what the resources of government can. Of course it’s important to give to our communities and step up and support each other; but as citizens and taxpayers we also need to demand that the system work for everyone.
Otherwise, we’re all Blanche DuBois.
It’s All on the Ballot:
Salon: ‘Vote for me, I'm not a sociopath’ by Amanda Marcotte
"Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot," Biden told us, in plain language. "Who we are as a nation. What we stand for. And, most importantly, who we want to be. That's all on the ballot."
Watch the speech; read the transcript.
• Common Dreams: 'Complete Bombshell': Former Top USPS Official Reveals 'Disturbing' New Details of DeJoy Selection and Mnuchin Sabotage of Mail Service by Jake Johnson
• Talking Points Memo: A Rundown Of Election Mail Sabotage Claims DeJoy Will Have To Answer For by Tierney Sneed and Matt Shuham
• Portland Press Herald: Chicks shipped by mail are arriving dead, costing Maine farmers thousands of dollars by Scott Thistle
OK, that's just gross.
Rolling Stone: Nope, President Trump Can’t Send Troops or Law Enforcement to Your Polling Place by David S. Cohen
No troops, no armed federal officials, and no state officials of any sort. Of course, there’s always the possibility that he ignores federal criminal law…
Eve of Destruction:
The Guardian: 'There's nowhere like it': Alaska's wildlife refuge fears death by drilling by Oliver Milman
The US interior department will auction oil and gas leases in the US’s last fully intact ecosystem before the end of the year, making it harder for a new administration to reverse the decision.
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