What I’m Reading: A Friday Link Roundup

War On Cash – The Long and Short
Credit card companies and businesses that have an interest in tracking your spending have declared a war on cash. Here’s what it looks like, and here’s why you should be worried.

Thousands of strange blue lakes are appearing in Antarctica, and it’s very bad news – Science Alert
Meltwater lakes are appearing on the East Antarctica ice shelf, which scientists had previously thought was less susceptable to climate change than the peninsula.

Learning from Failure: A Modest Introduction – The Archdruid Report
A brief survey of the US political landscape as of late, plus reasons why the climate change movement has failed. Interestingly enough, I think this is where the zero waste movement might have a chance – it’s focused, partisan, and small battles are easily won. I don’t wholly agree with his sweeping denunciation of the movement, but I think he’s about 90% on-target. Namely that he thinks environmental incrementalism would have ever done the trick in one breath, and then in the next he maintains that industrial civilization is doomed anyway. To me, we would have needed to start making incremental modifications to our consumption and fossil fuel use since WW2 – though the war was probably one of the things that doomed us anyways – in order to have a chance at maintaining some sort of status quo from the 20th century. Winning battles in the 80’s would have, IMO, still been too little too late. Because of this:

Climate urgency: we’ve locked in more global warming than people realize – The Guardian
“So far humans have caused about 1°C warming of global surface temperatures, but if we were to freeze the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide at today’s levels, the planet would continue warming. Over the coming decades, we’d see about another 0.5°C warming, largely due to what’s called the “thermal inertia” of the oceans (think of the long amount of time it takes to boil a kettle of water). The Earth’s surface would keep warming about another 1.5°C over the ensuing centuries as ice continued to melt, decreasing the planet’s reflectivity.”

Beyond Hope – Orion Magazine
Derrick Jensen talks about how “hope” might actually be detrimental to how environmentalists are prepared – or not – to face the future.