Climate Activist Dies After Setting Himself on Fire at Supreme Court

A friend described the actions of Wynn Bruce, of Boulder, Colo., as “a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis.”

Climate Activist Dies After Setting Himself on Fire at Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is deliberating a case whose outcome could deal a sharp blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to address climate change.Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — A Colorado man who set himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court on Friday in an apparent Earth Day protest against climate change has died, police said.

The Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., said that Wynn Bruce, 50, of Boulder, Colo., had died on Saturday from his injuries after being airlifted to a hospital following the incident. Members of his family could not be reached immediately for comment.

Kritee Kanko, a climate scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund and a Zen Buddhist priest in Boulder, said that she is a friend of Mr. Bruce and that the self-immolation was a planned act of protest.

“This act is not suicide,” Dr. Kritee wrote on Twitter early Sunday morning. “This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis.”

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Eco-activist and former international fugitive Joseph Dibee pleads guilty in 1997 Oregon arson

Prosecutors say Dibee was a member of the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, which the U.S. Department of Justice has held responsible for acts of domestic terrorism.

An environmental and animal rights activist pleaded guilty Thursday to decades-old federal arson charges, including involvement in a 1997 central Oregon fire that destroyed a slaughterhouse.

Prosecutors say Joseph Mahmoud Dibee, 54, was a member of the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, which the U.S. Department of Justice has held responsible for acts of domestic terrorism.

Dibee pleaded guilty to arson and conspiracy to commit arson for his role in the fire that destroyed Cavel West, a slaughterhouse that processed and sold horse meat in Europe.

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Heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles alarm climate scientists

Antarctic areas reach 40C above normal at same time as north pole regions hit 30C above usual levels

A drop of water falls off an iceberg melting in the Nuup Kangerlua Fjord in south-west Greenland. Earth’s poles are undergoing simultaneous extreme heat. Photograph: David Goldman/AP

Startling heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles are causing alarm among climate scientists, who have warned the “unprecedented” events could signal faster and abrupt climate breakdown.

Temperatures in Antarctica reached record levels at the weekend, an astonishing 40C above normal in places.

At the same time, weather stations near the north pole also showed signs of melting, with some temperatures 30C above normal, hitting levels normally attained far later in the year.

At this time of year, the Antarctic should be rapidly cooling after its summer, and the Arctic only slowly emerging from its winter, as days lengthen. For both poles to show such heating at once is unprecedented.

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Record ‘bomb cyclone’ bringing exceptional warmth to North Pole

Arctic temperatures could approach the melting point as they surge nearly 50 degrees above normal

Temperature differences from normal predicted over the Arctic early Wednesday from the American (GFS) model. The difference is around 50 degrees (28 Celsius) at the North Pole. (ClimateReanalyzer.org)

A record-breaking “bomb cyclone” that began its development over the U.S. East Coast on Friday is bringing an exceptional insurgence of mild air to the Arctic. Temperatures around 50 degrees (28 Celsius) above normal could visit the North Pole on Wednesday, climbing to near the freezing mark.

It’s a highly unusual and extreme bout of circumstances, particularly considering the North Pole is still in a nearly six-month period of darkness known as “polar night.” The sun doesn’t fully rise above the horizon between fall and spring equinoxes, contributing to the bone-chilling temperatures customary to the inhospitable region.

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The Descent of Autofiction … and the Rise of the Literary Thrill-Seeking Industrial Complex

February 4, 2022 • By Jack Skelley

AUTOFICTION IS A fiction. It does not exist. More specifically, defined as a form of literature in which a first-person narrator may or may not represent the author, autofiction excludes next to nothing but genre fiction — e.g., crime stories, fantasy. If it’s everything, it’s nothing.

Just ask Chris Kraus. The co-publisher and editor (with Hedi El Kholti and the late Sylvère Lotringer) of Semiotext(e) has brought decades of character-narrative to light, including the early work of autofiction pioneer Kathy Acker. “I always hated the term,” Kraus tells me. “‘New narrative’ is more accurate.”

When it ignited in the late 1970s, Acker’s work had no specific classification. It did anything and went anywhere. Today, its giddy, free-range, punk-rock, first-person spews and cut-ups (spatula’d together equally from porno and the literary canon) liberate quasi-multitudes. Kraus was also among the first to consciously codify this non-genre when she detonated I Love Dick (Semiotext(e), 1997), her novel that plays with the “I” in supremely unsettling bursts. You could even argue that I Love Dick, which often slips into art criticism and political commentary, also opened the way for “autotheory” — e.g., the bio-based lyric essays of Maggie Nelson.

With the proliferation of indie presses, “now is as good a time as any in writing,” Kraus tells me.

People are inclined to adopt these forms. But Kathy Acker had something no longer possible: a chamber audience. The art and literary world of her day was like the French court of the 18th century: she was writing to a set of known persons. There was a real-life distribution network of bookstores, record stores, coffee shops, and other intimate hangouts. People don’t live in cities in the same way now.

But if intimacy abates, new narrative booms. Its dissociative forms and themes — the anxiety/bliss of romance/sex, psychic roleplay, identity-in-ideology, dream states, trauma, more sex — now serve a community of passion addicts, haunted memoirists, and mental thrill-riders hungering for a higher high, some even using books as panic management, with somatic responses in “triggered” modes or via sub-sub-subgenres. Raise your hand if you’re into “ambient body horror.”

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Black box that could record collapse of civilisation set to be installed on Earth

The black box, which is set to built on the west coast of Tasmania, will be connected to the internet and will record information to help a future civilisation if humanity suffers a major apocalyptic event

Black box that could record collapse of civilisation
The box will be made from 7.5-centimetre-thick steel (Image: Earth’s Black Box)

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Now You Can Rent a Robot Worker—for Less Than Paying a Human

Automation is reaching more companies, imperiling some jobs and changing the nature of others.

POLAR MANUFACTURING has been making ​metal ​hinges, locks, and brackets ​in south Chicago for more than 100 years. Some of the company’s metal presses—hulking great machines that loom over a worker—date from the 1950s. Last year, to meet rising demand amid a shortage of workers, Polar hired its first robot employee.

The robot arm performs a simple, repetitive job: lifting a piece of metal into a press, which then bends the metal into a new shape. And like a person, the robot worker gets paid for the hours it works.

​Jose Figueroa​, who manages Polar’s production line, says the robot, which is leased from a company called Formic, costs the equivalent of $8 per hour, compared with a minimum wage of $15 per hour for a human employee. Deploying the robot allowed a human worker to do different work, increasing output, Figueroa says.

“Smaller companies sometimes suffer because they can’t spend the capital to invest in new technology,” Figueroa says. “We’re just struggling to get by with the minimum wage increase.”

The fact that Polar didn’t need to pay $100,000 upfront to buy the robot, and then spend more money to get it programmed, was crucial. Figueroa says that he’d like to see 25 robots on the line within five years. He doesn’t envisage replacing any of the company’s 70 employees, but says Polar may not need to hire new workers.

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Humans Are Doomed to Go Extinct

Habitat degradation, low genetic variation and declining fertility are setting Homo sapiens up for collapse

AUTHOR

Henry Gee is a paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and editor at Nature. His latest book is A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth (St. Martin’s Press, 2021).

Cast your mind back, if you will, to 1965, when Tom Lehrer recorded his live album That Was the Year That Was. Lehrer prefaced a song called “So Long Mom (A Song for World War III)” by saying that “if there’s going to be any songs coming out of World War III, we’d better start writing them now.” Another preoccupation of the 1960s, apart from nuclear annihilation, was overpopulation. Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb was published in 1968, a year when the rate of world population growth was more than 2 percent—the highest in recorded history.

Half a century on, the threat of nuclear annihilation has lost its imminence. As for overpopulation, more than twice as many people live on the earth now as in 1968, and they do so (in very broad-brush terms) in greater comfort and affluence than anyone suspected. Although the population is still increasing, the rate of increase has halved since 1968. Current population predictions vary. But the general consensus is that it’ll top out sometime midcentury and start to fall sharply. As soon as 2100, the global population size could be less than it is now. In most countries—including poorer ones—the birth rate is now well below the death rate. In some countries, the population will soon be half the current value. People are now becoming worried about underpopulation.

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Ted Kaczynski Book Projects

I’m going to try and get two books by Kaczynski published, one solely written by him and another co-written by him. So, I’m looking for volunteers to help, if you like the idea and have time to help, please let me know.

Ted Kaczynski Book Projects

Critical Platforming 

My contributions are made mainly for myself and researchers similarly fascinated by his life with the goal of wanting to make the writing easier to sort and skim through.

I’d like to include a thorough critique of Kaczynski’s philosophy in any publicity we do for the books and in the forward for the biography I’m writing. I’m pro-technological advancement, and against ever physically hurting people unless in a bunch of rare circumstances like if it was; medically in their own interest, in self-defence, in the case of a justified revolutionary war or a survivor-led vigilante action.

Here are some of my past critiques of anti-technology, anti-industrialist, primitivist, anti-civilisation and misanthropic ideologies: