Though firms may worry about profits now that Trump's decision to let the world boil in its own juices rather than offend the hydrocarbon lobby (Coke may run out of water, Disney may run out of themepark-goers), the latest report from UK nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project shows that companies are also privately exulting in the new possibilities opened up by climate catastrophes and the ensuing hidden misery.
Read the rest “Corporate America projects giant profits from climate disasters”
At times this week, wildfires made San Francisco's air the worst in the world, and the city's stores have largely sold out of the N95 filter masks that make the air barely breathable, leading to at least one enterprising Uber driver selling the masks out of his car (at a substantial markup: $5 each, compared with $1.30 each on Amazon in ten-packs); other drivers are giving the masks away for free. (via /.)
Read the rest “San Francisco Uber driver distributing filter masks to passengers”
Hurricanes Irma and Maria left Puerto Rico in tatters, but it would be a mistake to blame the weather for Puerto Rico's suffering; Puerto Rico was put in harm's way by corrupt governments doing the work of a corrupt finance sector, then abandoned by FEMA, and is now being left to rot without any real effort to rebuild its public services so that they can be privatized and used to extract rent from the island's residents.
Read the rest “Puerto Rico didn't suffer a "natural disaster": it was looted and starved long before the hurricanes”
Redditor AbeFroman21 posted that he and his family are without power or internet due to Hurricane Florence, and that Verizon has throttled their internet access to an unusable trickle, offering to unblock them if they pay for a higher tier of service.
Read the rest “North Carolina Verizon customers, trapped by Hurricane Florence, say they're being throttled and upsold”
Naomi Klein's l(ooooo)ongread in The Intercept about the state of play in Puerto Rico is the comprehensive summary of the post-Maria fuckery and hope that has gripped America's colonial laboratory, the place where taxation without representation, austerity, chemical weapons, new drugs, and new agribusiness techniques get trialed before the rest of America are subjected to them.
Read the rest “Seasteading meets the shock doctrine in Puerto Rico, where ethnic cleansing precedes Going Galt”
Whitefish Energy's had quite a week: last week the two-person company from Whitefish, Montana (hometown of Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke) was awarded a $300M contract to help rebuild the power-grid in Puerto Rico, with some very favorable terms including $462/hour for subcontracted supervisors, no penalties for nonperformance, and a guarantee that the government wouldn't audit its expenditures.
Read the rest “Source tells WSJ that the FBI is investigating Whitefish Energy and its $300M Puerto Rico contract”
Whitefish Energy is the 2-person Montana company from Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown of Whitefish, Montana that was awarded a $300M contract to help remediate Puerto Rico's shattered electrical grid, billing its subcontractors at $462/hour for supervisors and $319.04/hour for linesmen in a sweetheart deal that banned Puerto Rico from auditing the company's expense reports, or penalizing it for nonperformance.
Read the rest “The 2-person Montana company Whitefish Energy just lost its $300M contract to fix Puerto Rico's grid”
When mainland US cities like Houston and Miami get hit by hurricanes, they rely on mutual aid deals with out-of-state and Canadian power authorities to rebuild, as hundreds of skilled maintenance workers flood in and work for free to get their grid up and running; but debt-crushed Puerto Rico is paying $300 million to Whitefish Energy, a two-person company from Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown of Whitefish, Montana.
Read the rest “Trump Cabinet Secretary's hometown, 2-person company wins $300m power-rebuilding contract in Puerto Rico”
Though Puerto Rican law prohibits ownership and bearing of most long-guns and especially semiautomatic weapons, the streets of the stricken US colony now throng with mercenaries in tactical gear bearing such arms, their faces masked. They wear no insignia or nametags and won't say who they work for, apart from vague statements in broken Spanish: "We work with the government. It’s a humanitarian mission, we’re helping Puerto Rico." Read the rest “Puerto Rico's streets crawl with heavily armed, masked mercenaries bearing no insignia or nametags”
Equifax dumped dox on 143 million Americans (as well as lucky Britons and Canadians!), sat on the news for five weeks, let its execs sell millions in stock, and then unveiled an unpatched, insecure WordPress site with an abusive license agreement where you could sign up for "free" credit monitoring for a year, in case someone used the immortal, immutable Social Security Number that Equifax lost control over to defraud you. Read the rest “Equifax's dox of America: Sign up for "free" monitoring, get billed forever”
Already sold: most of Greece's airports -- for sale: gas transmission, oil refineries, power company, post office, national highways, water company. Read the rest “Greece's creditors demand casino rights, archaeological sites, selloff of EUR50B of national assets”