Prepare For The Storm No. 2

Amazon greenwashes, children dying at sawmills, and fish dying. WTF is going on with our world?

Prepare For The Storm No. 2
Photo by Brian Yurasits / Unsplash

Good Sunday morning and welcome to this weekend's newsletter. This weekend we welcome kick-ass writer Y.L. Wolfe to Weathered. She's dropped two great pieces and we look forward to many thought-provoking articles from her in the future.


The Right Wing is on the rise globally

By: Andrew Whitehead | 925 words | November 28, 2023

The fight against climate change and making the world a better place for everyone usually ends up becoming a political issue. I wonder why that is but that's the reality. Environmental and social issues are usually pooh-poohed by the political right and we're seeing this happening all over the world.

The Right Wing Is on the Rise Globally
Across much of the world, voters are turning to populists who are intensely distrustful of the institutions on which liberal democracy is built.
But across much of the world, voters are turning to populists who are intensely distrustful of the institutions on which liberal democracy is built: fair and unfettered elections; an unrestricted media; religious tolerance; and political pluralism. At times, this feels like a rerun of the early 1930s.

Andrew's article dwells on right wing hardliner Geert Wilder's surprise win of 37 seats in a 150 seat Netherland parliament. Hardly a majority but it's a symptom that things are going wrong all over the world.

Look across Europe, and the populist right is on the rise. Italy’s Prime Minister Georgia Melon began her political career in movements which sought to resurrect Italian fascism, and her current party, the Brothers of Italy, is regarded as the most right-wing to govern the country since the collapse of Mussolini’s dictatorship 80 years ago. 

Child labor is on the rise and it's killing them

By   For The Guardian | 1,892 words | November 28, 2023

Tragic news and something I suspect we'll be seeing more in the news. Sixteen year old Michael Schuls died after being trapped in a machine while working at a local sawmill where his father works.

Sawmills are dangerous places if you don't keep your wits about you and not wear the proper safety gear. A close friend of mine used to work at one and we visited his former employer one day. I got to be in the "saw cage" where they loaded massive logs and ran them through the saw to cut into lumber. It was both cool and scary at the same time.

‘It should never have happened’: death of boy, 16, at sawmill highlights rise of child labour in US
Michael Schuls died after getting trapped in dangerous machinery at a mill in Wisconsin. But across the US conservative groups are pushing to loosen laws that protect children in the workplace
According to a Florence County sheriff’s office report, when the conveyor machine became jammed Michael stepped on to it to try to straighten the wood, but he had not pressed a safety button to turn it off. The conveyor started to move and he became caught in the machine. The teenager was trapped for 17 minutes before a supervisor, who had been operating a forklift outside, discovered him unconscious.

This article is heart breaking because laws are being rewritten to allow more child labor to help with the current labor shortage. The "no body wants to work anymore crowd" is now willing to exploit children's lives for the sake of their profits.

This year Wisconsin Republicans introduced bills that would eliminate work permits for 14- and 15-year-olds and allow children as young as 14 to serve alcohol in restaurants, which would be the lowest age limit in the country, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

There are dangerous jobs that should be automated and have humans taken out of the loop, whether their 16 or 60. The decision to automate those jobs is one usually of profit. It's cheaper to pay Workers Compensation that modernize a dangerous jobs.


Our overfished seas have nothing left to give

By Hugo Tagholm, Dr Callum Roberts  | 852 words | November 21, 2023

My family consumes a lot of fish. My partner loves to go the Asian markets and buy fresh fish once a week and cook a good Asian dish for all of us. The healthy of the oceans has always been a big issue for me, especially the health of its fish populations.

Our overfished seas have nothing left to give
As the UK and the EU are setting fishing quotas for 2024, we must end overfishing or risk marine collapse and its devastating consequences for communities and wildlife, Hugo Tagholm and Dr Callum Roberts write.
Today, over a third — 34% — of UK fish populations are overfished, and a quarter have declined to a ‘critical’ condition. 

This is happening all over the world and we're continuing to decimate fish populations by overfishing. What's driving overfishing? Money.

This dire situation for our seas is not driven by illegal fishing or quota fiddling, it is the result of governments — wooed by industry lobbying — disregarding scientific advice and setting catch limits too high to sustain healthy fisheries. In short, this is driven by a dangerous focus on short-term profits compounded by poor leadership.

Amazon's climate pledge was a lie

By Lynn Boylan, Alma Dufour  | 1,280 words | November 2023

Coming from the "That's not a surprise" camp, Amazon's pledge to reduce carbon emissions was a flat out lie. In fact, their emissions rose 40% since Jeff Bezos made the pledge four years ago.

Amazon’s Climate Pledge Was a Lie
Jeff Bezos pledged four years ago that Amazon would lead the way on carbon reduction. Since then, the firm’s emissions have risen by 40 percent — and its use of creative accounting suggests that the real figure is far higher.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the firm’s net-zero target in 2019, under pressure from a walkout by thousands of Amazon employees at its Seattle headquarters. Bezos accompanied this with a “Climate Pledge,” saying: “We want to use our scale and our scope to lead the way.”

This is pure greenwashing.

According to its website, over 424 businesses and organizations across 38 countries have joined the Climate Pledge since 2019. As Amazon itself is failing to live up to its stated ambitions, the pledge risks becoming not much more than greenwashing — and showing other corporations that you can get away with it. Some of the big businesses that have signed up to the Pledge, such as PepsiCoCoca-ColaUnilever, and Iberdrola, have since engaged in greenwashing, or even walked back on their net-zero promises.

The only way to get these companies to comply is to take your money elsewhere. A boycott of Amazon and it's fellow greenwashing corporate friends is key to changing their behavior. The flow of capital (i.e. Capitalism) works both ways, remember that.


Why We Can’t Solve the Climate Crisis Without Addressing the Wealth Gap

By Y.L. Wolfe | 1,395 words | November 30, 2023

Yael Wolfe ponders the questions about the wealth gap and greenhouse gas emissions, and how they're so disproportionate. We've all heard about Bezos's massive yacht Koru, but I never knew it had a companion yacht to service it called Abeona.

Why We Can’t Solve the Climate Crisis Without Addressing the Wealth Gap
Billionaires’ excesses at the expense of our living world
"Koru, Bezos’ 417-foot, $500 million-dollar superyacht generates over 7,000 tons of carbon emissions each year – 447 times the carbon footprint of the average American. "

and,

And just to be clear, those 7,000 tons of carbon emissions that Koru generates don’t include the amount generated by Abeona. At half the size, would we estimate it to be 3,500 tons per year? Or does the helicopter add a few thousand extra tons?

This feels like a "Let them eat cake" moment in our world.


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