It’s been a busy month, and a there’s a bunch of stuff to catch up on, so links:
Disaster and Environment
David Roberts, “The Awful Truth about Climate Change No One Wants to Admit.”
Sarah Resnick, “A Note on the Long Tomorrow.”
Phil Plait, “Jovian Armageddon +20.”
Jamie Lauren Keiles, “Millennial Revenge Fantasy.”
“Texas Governor Signs Law to Prohibit Local Fracking Bans.”
Maureen McHugh, David Rieff, Benjamin Kunkel, Joseph McElroy, Srikanth Reddy, and Ted Nelson: “Speculations Archive: Overextending Ourselves.”
To put off grading for a little while longer, here are a handful of links.
Nuclear and Disaster
Sir Martin Rees, “Can We Prevent the End of the World?”
Charlie Savage and James Risen, “Senate Rejects Claim on Hunt for Bin Laden.”
Alexis C. Madrigal, “What It’s Like to Work for Donald Rumsfeld.”
Another great quote from Lee Konstantinou’s Pop Apocalypse:
“Given the strategic interests of the Freedom Coalition, and the total certainty of the Foresight System’s battle scenario analysis and forecast, we have concluded that you, the peoples of the TransArabian Caliphate and the Federation of Imamates, have two objective choices in this geopolitical situation. Please select one of the following two options.
“If you would like the Dome of the Rock to be fully bulldozed and the Third Temple built in its place, please phone: +234343 3432 09232.
“If you would like your civilization destroyed and the radioactive moonscape of your remaining lands occupied by an army of infidel invaders, please phone: +234343 3432 09233” (249).
Perhaps the best part, is how close the phone numbers are. . . .
I’ll probably be writing something up about Lee Konstantinou’s recent Pop Apocalypse (New York: Ecco, 2009), but I cannot pass up posting this fantastic passage, in all of it’s self-conscious Bond-villain glory:
“Stan seems suddenly bored with Eliot. ‘Well, okay, I don’t have a lot of time, but here’s the elevator-talk version. Given the current geopolitical situation, the Apocalypse I just outlined to you will happen, one way or another. This year, next year, whenever. Take that as a given. If it happens by accident or is initiated by people who do not claim their intellectual property rights, then the world will just get nuked and no one will make a cent off the whole thing. Now, if some person or group figures out that there’s money to be made off the destruction of the world, then that person or group will be within reach of an unprecedented business opportunity. Again, given the geopolitics of the matter, this is really low-hanging fruit.
“‘It is, therefore, immoral not to take advantage of this knowledge, because if the end of the world doesn’t come about by accident, then some other, more malicious group will take advantage of this knowledge. On behalf of our investors, we’re obligated to take every step we can to ensure that we corner the Apocalypse market before anyone else does. And we’re prepared to use part of our profit, after dividends are paid out, in a very charitable way. We’re not only going to be the most profitable corporation in history but also the greatest philanthropists the world has ever known. As good corporate citizens, we have an obligation to the whole world community. We’ll help rebuild things, pick up the pieces of our sad and broken world. Make sure these kinds of unstable geopolitical situations can’t happen again'” (180).
Pure, unalloyed, disaster capitalism gold.