‘Because the [Non-Profit Industrial Complex] looks for “measureable” outcomes, the people we hope to serve and love become “clients”, “constituents”, “customers” and “contacts” rather than brother and sisters or neighbors. We begin to fetishize people. We pity them. We begin to believe that they need our unique service and that they have nothing of value to share with us. The more of “them” we see or help as a non-profit, the more funding we receive. This dichotomy—between “us” and “them”—is just one such disastrous and unintended consequence of the NPIC.’
There’s been some really excellent critique of the White Savior Industrial Complex around the web these last few months, but not quite as much on how much these assumptions are baked into, and facilitated by, the legal and regulatory regime of civil society and its funding.
There are two places where plastic goes in New Jersey.
Damon Rich takes it to the bottom line and helps launch Newark's recycling campaign at City Hall in style with a lovely infographic poster "Where Newark's Garbage Goes."
Below, Mayor Cory Booker with the chart in action.
“Expenditure cuts carry a significant risk of increasing the frequency of riots, anti-government demonstrations, general strikes, political assassinations, and attempts at revolutionary overthrow of the established order. While these are low- probability events in normal years, they become much more common as austerity measures are implemented.… High levels of instability show a particularly clear connection with fiscal consolidation.… We demonstrate that the general pattern of association between unrest and budget cuts holds in Europe for the period 1919-2009.” (via) (via)
Conversation this weekend about food trucks in New York City working to update 30-year-old laws governing street vending: though Twitter is touted as a way for fans to locate your wandering concession, it turns out that having a large number of Twitter followers doesn’t necessarily lead to more business. But it does get you a meeting at City Hall — Council members want their names Tweeted favorably to all those virtual constituents!
David Biello on the daunting physical logistics of scaling up green energy:
“It’s not just a matter of making the necessary equipment, it’s also a question of finding the space for it. A coal-fired power plant produces 100 to 1,000 watts per square meter, depending on the type of coal it burns and how that coal is mined. A typical photovoltaic system for turning sunlight into electricity produces just 9 watts per square meter, and wind provides only 1.5 watts per square meter.
The challenge is worse for smaller countries: the United Kingdom would have to cover its entire landmass with wind turbines to provide enough electricity for the current Briton’s average consumption — roughly 200 kilowatt-hours per day, according to MacKay, the Cambridge expert.”
On the War of the Poppies:
Myles Ambrose, one of President Nixon’s closest advisers in the War on Drugs, was scathing in his judgement of some of his fellow drug-warriors:
“The basic fact that eluded these great geniuses was that it takes only ten square miles of poppy to feed the entire American heroin market.
And they grow everywhere.”