Manchin’s “No” on BBB, Climate action, Draws Psaki-bomb Response

UPDATE: The White House: Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances. Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President […]

PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ constantly cycle through ground, air and water, study finds

The Stockholm University study highlights the chemicals’ mobility, which has been found in penguin eggs and polar bears

The unrelenting assault on vaping is taking a toll

Smokers find it harder to get e-cigarettes, which can save lives.

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No License for Disinformation: Doctors Against Bullshit

De Beaumont Foundation: A new report released today urges state medical licensing bodies to investigate doctors who are deliberately spreading misleading or false COVID-19 information. And an overwhelming majority of the public agree: Nine in 10 Americans say doctors who intentionally spread misinformation about COVID-19 should be held accountable, according to new polling conducted by Morning Consult for the […]

How Capitalism Stole Christmas (And Killed the Planet Along the Way)

The holiday season is upon us and with it, a deluge of new tech, trinkets, and advertisements convincing us to indulge. But of course this torrent of consumption is nothing new, especially in the free-market capitalist consumerist nation of the United States. Every year, the holiday shopping season, spanning across November and December, sees massive monthly profits for corporations, employees crushed by inhuman workloads, and environmental destruction. And every year, the connections from consumerism to capitalism to the climate crisis are once again laid bare. Today we dive into the holidays and the manufactured desire for more to understand how capitalism is driving the climate crisis. But it’s not enough to just critique, we will also try to understand what will dismantle our current system and develop an ecologically sound and ethical world in its stead.

Underneath the bright glitz of Christmas lights and shrouded under the cover of wrapped presents, lies the stark reality of the holidays in the imperial core. Starting with the celebration of colonial genocide in Thanksgiving, followed immediately by the capitalist schemes of Black Friday and Cyber Monday that bleed into a month of Christmas celebrations foregrounding extensive gift-giving ceremonies, holidays have been co-opted by corporations and the relentless drive for profit and growth. Gift giving has been present in the ethos of winter holidays for hundreds of years, a tradition which some scholars point towards 19th century New York City aristocrats for starting as a way of shifting December holidays from a season when “poorer people could demand food and drink from the wealthy and celebrate in the streets” to one of cozy celebration in the home encouraging gift giving to children. But the amount of gifts were generally small in the 1800s, and it wasn’t until the rise of advertising around the turn of the 20th century, that retailers, especially toy retailers, saw the potential of the holidays for profit and capital accumulation. By the 2000s, US retail sales during the holiday season reached $416.4 billion and have only gotten bigger. Of the many factors driving the US shopper to spend an average of $1000 on presents every year, advertising is definitely making a mark. Advertisements make us feel good about something we know, deep down, is either unethical, useless, harmful, or all three. They are the rose tinted glasses that make the things in our home seem necessary when they are actually not. So, for a moment, let’s pull off those rose tinted glasses and understand the impact of the capitalist model on ourselves, our planet, and our holidays.

To learn more about the environmental impacts of the holidays, check out the video above!

Our Changing Climate is an environmental YouTube channel that explores the intersections of social, political, climatic, and food-based issues. The channel dives into topics like zero waste and nuclear energy in order to understand how to effectively tackle climate change and environmental destruction.

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The Sunday Read: ‘What Does It Mean to Save a Neighborhood?’

Nine years after Hurricane Sandy, residents of Lower Manhattan are still vulnerable to rising seas. The fight over a plan to protect them reveals why progress on our most critical challenges is so hard.
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Businesses Seek to Delay Tax Rise That Funds Biden Spending Plan

Honeywell, GE, Boeing and other large companies are launching a late lobbying blitz to persuade centrist Democratic senators that implementing a global minimum tax too soon would hurt U.S.-based multinationals.

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Tech-Savvy Kids Defeat Parental-Control Features

Apple and Google, the main smartphone software providers, offer plenty of parental-control features for keeping tabs on children’s digital activities—but they are often no match for kids’ tech skills.

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Supply-Chain Mess Threatens Holiday Sales

Manufacturers face backlogged ports, worker shortages and scarce materials and components.

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The Amazon is the Planet’s Counterweight to Global Warming, a Place of Stupefying Richness Under Relentless Assault – Inside Climate News

Photography by Larry C. Price This article is part of a series produced in partnership with NBC News and Undark Magazine, a non-profit, editorially independent digital magazine exploring the intersection of science and society. TRAIRÃO, Brazil—Jaim Teixeira surveys his property from the back of a motorcycle, wearing jeans and a long-sleeved, sun-proof shirt to shield him […]
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