So apparently the climate crisis is not important enough to host COP26 online. Let’s wait until we can fly again instead!

If you’re new to remote work in these difficult times, Scott Berkun has made his book The Year Without Pants a free download. It’s both an interesting and entertaining look at his time working at Automattic, the fully remote company that makes WordPress.

As a longtime remote worker, I read it years ago and found myself nodding half the time.

Climate grief is something I have been going in and out of. At times I get really sad about the struggles we’re facing and I cry reading the latest news. But then sometimes I’m amazed and encouraged that it’s gone mainstream. Let’s hope for more. Choose life and love over business and money.

A recruiter from Facebook reached out to me once and I made it clear I could not work for a company that I did not respect and that stood against many of my values. In response, she said that’s exactly why they need people like me. I ignored. A lack of corporate morals is not an engineering problem.

Mike Monteiro to Facebook employees on ethical work:

And yet you sell your labor to a company that caters to a psychopath who’s doing everything possible to destroy that planet.

I make career decisions largely based on whether it makes the world a better place. I say it to everybody I talk to. I also ask other developers if they would turn away an opportunity based on values and morals. Too often, I get a quizzical look. But then there’s this:

We’re dying by fire, and the Google Cloud oil and gas sales vertical is pouring on the gasoline.

So I was doing the math this morning. The Government of Canada wants to plant 2b trees in the next 10 years. Assuming continuous planting 365 days/year, that’s a staggering ~547,000 trees to be planted each and every day.

I mean, I want them to plan those trees, I really DO. But how do you procure and plant half a million trees per day?

I’m a big fan of Mike Monteiro’s Dear Designer blog. I enjoy how he calls it the way he sees it. This one is about the shame Facebook employees should feel:

And if they don’t have the sense to feel that shame internally, I am happy to provide it for them. Being Catholic alumni, I am more than qualified to do this.

He’s certainly polarizing but he fully owns it:

I’m not here for a seat at the table; I’m here to use the table for kindling.

I mean, I want shit to hit the climate fan in 2020.

We need politicians to take over who are willing to act.

We need fossil fuel companies to see their demise coming.

We need investors to be forced to divest.

We need capitalism to be challenged.

We need people to take to the streets and declare unequivocally that we will not stand for inaction anymore.

With the unprecedented fires in Australia and statements like this one from US Youth Climate Strike, I’m getting the feeling that 2020 is the year that shit will hit the proverbial fan:

[Politics] serve to protect profits over people, donors over voters. They need to be defeated, not convinced.

I noticed today that I got over meat alternatives like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat really quickly. Now I much prefer food that embraces its plant-baseness and that opens up so many more possibilities. There are a number of restaurants in my area that have great options, and some like Boon Burger that sell their patties made fresh daily and taste fantastic.

I’ve seen a couple stories this week about the declining price of smart TVs and they’re exactly right. Shop around for a dumb TV, and you’ll have to pay much more. It’s not your money they’re after, it’s your data.

On a weekly basis I’m blown away by how much we let companies like Google and Facebook get away with. Two speeches I heard this week highlight my views on this.

The Internet can be a better place than this. It must be.

Good to see The Guardian’s editorial on Friday that made clear they are siding against polluters in the ongoing discussions around the climate crisis. They call it “days of reckoning” and I love this kind of tone. It’s coming up more and more lately. I’m also thinking of Greta Thunberg’s “Right here, right now is where we draw the line.”

My wife is reading Silence, a romance from the 13th century, and this passage seems prescient:

Assets are worth much less than manure:
at least dung enriches the soil,
but the wealth that is locked away
is a disgrace to the man who hoards it.

We should remember that, in the light of a changing Earth, as humanity needs to get away from capitalism and back to the root of what sustains it.

Thoughtful words from Michael Chabon, who is stepping down as Chairman of the Board of the MacDowell Colony, about the place of art in today’s world. Surprise, it’s not to make the world a better place. Click through for the full account.

These feel like such dire times, times of violence and dislocation, schism, paranoia, and the earth-scorching politics of fear. Babies have iPads, the ice caps are melting, and your smart refrigerator is eavesdropping on your lovemaking.

 

Today was an incredible day of action in Canada with Montreal leading the way and Toronto showing a huge energetic crowd.

Now I dare hope that this show of resolve will convince at least some voters to make climate the number one electoral issue, if not the candidates that they cannot get elected without strong climate plans.