A early season blizzard in South Dakota has killed between 10,000 and 20,000 cows. Some farmers are reporting a loss of 30% and even 50% of their herds. Al Jazeera has a really well-reported story about how farmers are coping (for now: on their own, since the government is shut). The line that explains the loss: “Those calves were this year’s paycheck. The cows were bred to produce next summer’s paycheck. Producers are really reeling from that.”
The cows were still in their summer pastures. It isn’t supposed to blizzard in October.
More Twitter wisdom from economist Umair Haque. He’s one of the only people in my feed consistently talking about How Not Okay Everything Is, and I find that refreshing. (Elon Green is another one: “Take your time, motherfuckers. RT @politicalwire: White House Continues to Weigh Climate Change Options”)
I love a prepper update, and today Mother Jones’s Tim Murphy takes to the prepper boards to see if they have anything to say about the shutdown and the debt ceiling. They do! (A TIP: “Learn to use a firearm and have ammunition on hand to defend yourself when the masses start fighting for whatever resources remain.”)
Jane Catherine Lotter wrote her own obituary. It’s beautiful. What a cool lady. (“I was given the gift of life, and now I have to give it back. This is hard. But I was a lucky woman, who led a lucky existence, and for this I am grateful. I first got sick in January 2010. When the cancer recurred last year and was terminal, I decided to be joyful about having had a full life, rather than sad about having to die. Amazingly, this outlook worked for me. (Well, you know, most of the time.) Meditation and the study of Buddhist philosophy also helped me accept what I could not change. At any rate, I am at peace. And on that upbeat note, I take my mortal leave of this rollicking, revolving world-this sun, that moon, that walk around Green Lake, that stroll through the Pike Place Market, the memory of a child’s hand in mine.”)
See, It’s Good You Can’t Afford a Beachfront House Because Then It’d Wash Away And Then Where Would You Be
Bill McKibben’s divestment project—which is aiming to get city governments and universities to divest their pension funds from fossil fuel companies—is gaining some traction. They’re now up to 10 cities that have pledged to pursue divestment, plus four institutes of higher ed. The goal is to get the largest pension funds in the country to divest. You can see if there is a campaign in your city or school here. (You can also divest your own investments but that’s basically meaningless unless you have ONE ZILLION DOLLARS. Better to work for a campaign. More here.)
The ten cities: Seattle, Wash. Madison, Wis., Bayfield, Wis, Ithaca, N.Y., Boulder, Co., Rochester, Minn., Eugene, Ore., Richmond, Calif., Berkeley, Calif., and San Francisco, Calif.
The four colleges: Unity, Hampshire, Sterling, and College of the Atlantic