S1E94 - This Month in the Apocalypse: October, 2023
This time on This Month in the Apocalypse, Brooke and Inmn talk about revenge, strikes, bad decisions about water, the economy, interesting victories around water, and funny things about tanks.
This show is published by Strangers in A Tangled Wilderness. We can be found at www.tangledwilderness.org, or on Twitter @TangledWild and Instagram @Tangled_Wilderness. You can support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness.
Live Like the World is Dying: This Month in the Apocalypse: October
**Brooke ** 00:14 Hello and welcome to Live Like the World is Dying, your podcast for what feels like the end times. This is your monthly installment of This Month in the Apocalypse, where we talk about the shitty news from around the world.
**Inmn ** 00:28 But also some cool stuff. and some funny stuff.
**Brooke ** 00:32 And some funny stuff. I am one of your hosts today, Brooke, and with me is....
**Inmn ** 00:40 I'm Inmn and my brain is in a horrifying state today, which only comes from researching heavily about, unfortunately, mostly bad things that happened but also some cool things that happened in the last month.
**Brooke ** 00:58 Alright, let's talk about those. But first, let's give a shout out to one of the other podcasts on the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts to which we also belong. But here's some words from some of our friends. Doot doot doo duh doo doo dooo. [Singing the sounds like a simple melody]
**Brooke ** 01:54 And we're back. Welcome back. So many fun things to talk about. I'm sorry you've also had to spend the morning reviewing all sorts of terrible events in the world.
**Inmn ** 02:30 You know, I ran into a friend last night and they made a joke, they were like, "Oh, what have you been up to?" And I was like, "Oh, I dunno, mostly just work, you know, doing podcasts and things." And they're like, "Oh, yeah, you've you've really like professionalized doom scrolling. [Both laughing]
**Brooke ** 02:54 Yeah, that sounds about right. Sounds about right.
**Inmn ** 02:59 Yeah, I don't know if I felt good about that or not, but....
**Brooke ** 03:04 It's complicated, right? Like, I don't want that to be my job. But also, I guess it's nice that somebody does it.
**Inmn ** 03:11 Yeah. And I just want to shout out for like a lot of people who have sent us messages fairly recently about enjoying these segments, which I think we were on the fence about them for a little while, I think, about whether we liked them or whether they felt useful or whether they just like inspired dread and despair and a lot of.... Thanks everyone who's reached out to be like, "No, no, I really like these segments, and they do the opposite of despair." So thank you, everyone.
**Brooke ** 03:46 Yeah, I've got something that's the opposite of despair.
**Inmn ** 03:49 Oh, really? What is the opposite of despair?
**Brooke ** 03:53 Revenge travel.
**Inmn ** 03:55 Oh?
**Brooke ** 03:56 Do you know what this is?
**Inmn ** 03:58 No, I have no idea what you're...
**Brooke ** 04:00 Okay. So if I say the phrase to you, revenge travel, what do you assume? Like what would you guess that I'm talking about?
**Inmn ** 04:08 Um, I think what my assumption is--I feel like it is related to remote work. Is it related to remote work?
**Brooke ** 04:18 No, it's not.
**Inmn ** 04:20 Okay. I have no idea what it is then.
**Brooke ** 04:23 Okay. I saw it in the headline. And then of course, it was wonderful clickbait and I had to click on it. And I assumed it meant traveling to get revenge on somebody. Either like taking a trip to spite them or like, going somewhere to exact revenge. I don't know. Like, I've never heard this phrase before. But apparently, it's travel that people have done since covid because they weren't able to travel during the worst of the pandemic.
**Inmn ** 04:23 Okay, I see.
**Brooke ** 04:27 I know, it's way less exciting. And like the article that I read about it mentioned revenge travel multiple times but it never specifically explains it. I had to like glean that from the rest of the text of the article. So it's not the fun thing that you think it is but maybe we should make it a fun thing. Revenge travel.
**Inmn ** 05:15 Oh, okay, so now that you say that, the thing that it reminds me of is--which I'm totally guilty of--have you heard of bedtime revenge procrastination? I think that's what it's called.
**Brooke ** 05:31 I can guess what you mean, but I have not heard of it.
**Inmn ** 05:36 Bedtime revenge procrastination is when you stay up late even though you have to wake up very early because.... It's due to a sense of lack of control over the autonomy of your time. It's called bedtime revenge, meaning that you're revenging yourself upon time, but the cost is still your time and energy because, you know, you get less sleep.
**Brooke ** 06:08 I psychologically understand that, you know, resting control thing, but at the same time I'm a person who really needs my full night of sleep consistently or else I quickly deteriorate and also become a horrible human being so I also can't imagine doing that to myself. Because that sounds awful.
**Inmn ** 06:27 Yeah, I did it to myself for like the entirety of high school because I had an absolutely unreasonable schedule. Like, I got on average five to four hours of sleep a night for like the entirety of highschool.
**Brooke ** 06:46 Wow, I feel bad for young Inmn.
**Inmn ** 06:49 Me too.
**Brooke ** 06:50 Sorry, you did that to yourself. Okay, well let me finish saying this about revenge travel. It's nothing major, mostly the headline's hilarious and the phrase. But there was a huge boom in travel and 2022 as covid restrictions eased and people were able to travel again. So, they were taking their, I guess, revenge against covid, maybe, is what they were taking revenge on? Or just revenge on not being able to travel. Anyway. And that continued to get into 2023. But the boom seems to have slowed and we're kind of back to more normal pre pandemic levels, especially places that do surveys of consumer demand to figure out, you know, people's intentions to travel and their plans for it. And people are sort of back to normal, i.e. pre pandemic levels of intention to travel, so.
**Inmn ** 07:39 Okay, golly, can I do a little mini rant about that? I'm replacing Margaret's rants today.
**Brooke ** 07:50 Okay, good. What would this episode be without a rant or two?
**Inmn ** 07:57 It's just like the.... I don't know, like I remember after, you know, like the summer in the northern hemisphere after mass vaccination occurred and people feeling like they could move around, travel, and do a lot more in what felt like a safer way to do that. And I don't think--this isn't targeted revenge travel as much as it's targeted at a lot of people's mentalities throughout COVID were like being upset at like things the government or being upset at like society for making them like be cooped up in their houses or whatever, or making them have these like lower modes of travel. And it felt really weird to hear it from a lot of people, like people who were like, really angry about it. And it's like, I get it, it was hard, and it sucked for a lot of people but like, I don't know.... I remember when lock down started that I was like--you know, I'm never thrilled for a government imposed lockdown--but what I was thrilled for, I was like, people just have the chance to like--or, you know, some people--just have the chance to chill a little bit and have some space from their lives. But like, I'm not upset that we were doing the right thing by slowing down. You know?
**Brooke ** 09:39 I feel like in that first couple of weeks too, you know, there was at least a couple of weeks that pretty much everyone stopped doing everything and we all got to slow down for a minute. And there was something special in that time before all of the, you know, rage and conflict and conspiracies and everything blew up. But there was a brief moment, I think, for pretty much everyone. Maybe a little bit horrible but also special.
**Inmn ** 10:00 Yeah. And, you know, obviously it's way more complicated than that, but I'm like, I'm never upset that like, yeah, it was a hard year and a half and it continues to be really hard for so many people and I'm thrilled to have been doing the right thing.
**Brooke ** 10:25 Yeah, for sure. No, I hear you.
**Inmn ** 10:28 Anyways, you know, who doesn't do the right thing?
**Brooke ** 10:32 Oh, boy. Do you want a list? Should I? Or should I just do a whole rant here on? Maybe you should just tell me. There's too many options.
**Inmn ** 10:43 Okay, so, hypothetical situation, you're faced with a problem. So here in Arizona,
**Brooke ** 10:51 Who you gonna call?
**Inmn ** 10:55 Here in Arizona, there are weirdly not that many regulations around groundwater usage and stuff.
**Brooke ** 11:04 That's wild to me.
**Inmn ** 11:05 It really is wild. But, if you lived in a town that had halted new construction, new development, but you really wanted to build a mega city, what would you do?
**Brooke ** 11:24 Oh god, I'm a billionaire, aren't I? Aren't I? I'm a billionaire in this scenario.
**Inmn ** 11:30 In this scenario, no, you are actually not a billionaire. Although, there's a weirdly similar thing happening with a billionaire.
**Brooke ** 11:39 Okay, well, then I would do the right thing if I'm not corrupted by having way too much money.
**Inmn ** 11:45 Okay, would you but would you consider building a 1000 mile pipeline to the Missouri River?
**Brooke ** 11:53 Oh, fuck. No, because? No, no. [Laughing]
**Inmn ** 12:00 Or would you...
**Brooke ** 12:01 Water is sacred. It should not be forced to travel like that. That's wrong.
**Inmn ** 12:08 Okay, so your other alternative is to build a 200 mile pipeline?
**Brooke ** 12:13 Nope.
**Inmn ** 12:14 To the Gulf of California.
**Brooke ** 12:16 Nope. It's also not.... The water's not supposed to travel that far. We go to the water. The water is not supposed to be made to come to us. That's how it works.
**Inmn ** 12:28 I’m waiting for a Qanon person to comment, What about rivers?" [An uncomfortable silence].... Anyways, so the town is...
**Brooke ** 12:31 I'm just going to sigh in anger and sadness for a while. I'm gonna mute myself and just sigh for an hour while you explain. [Audibly sighs]
**Inmn ** 12:50 Okay, so this is where normally a rant about the city of Phoenix would occur. But this is a rant about a city that is literally adjacent to Phoenix, which some would argue is actually a part of Phoenix, but is really hell bent on not being a part of Phoenix because they want to be their own mega city. And this is the city of Buckeye, Arizona. And Buckeye, it's basically a suburb of Phoenix and they hope.... Their population's like, I think it's like 170,000 right now. And they aspire to grow the population to over 1.5 million, which is about what the population of Phoenix is.
**Brooke ** 13:43 I was gonna say, that's a lot of people.
**Inmn ** 13:47 Yeah. Yeah. And it seems to be just because the local politicians and city council, or whatever, want to be like big deals. Like they just want...
**Brooke ** 14:01 I'm sorry, if your city is called Buckeye, I think there's not hope for you. You need to start by rebranding the name of your city if you want just a chance in hell. But Buckeye, Arizona, I think is never going to be No, just the name, just that's it. It falls flat on its face on the name.
**Inmn ** 14:20 Yeah, but they, for some reason, want to grow their city. I think it seems to be wrapped up in like those local politicians wanting to be big deals.
**Brooke ** 14:29 Capitalism and ego.
**Inmn ** 14:31 Yeah, but they can't. They're.... So the state has kind of halted construction, like new construction, or new development, in those areas because the groundwater use has hit a limit. And this comes after some developments in Phoenix were halted because of a lack of water security. So, there's very little regulation about groundwater in Arizona, but there is this thing where water has to be guaranteed for 100 years in order to build a new house, for example. So like if a new housing development is going up then water has to be guaranteed to be at that house for 100 years.
**Brooke ** 15:17 That sounds great, but I have a lot of follow up questions for Phoenix and Arizona and how that actually maths out. But do go on.
**Inmn ** 15:24 Yeah, yeah. I mean, how it maths out is that, you know, Phoenix heavily relies on the Colorado River for water usage. And the city of Phoenix--which to put in proportion to what the city of Buckeye is aspiring to do--is the city of Phoenix uses about 2 billion gallons of water a day. Like a new fun thing--because the more that we talk about water on the show, the more I'm like trying to visualize what water looks like--what do you think 2 billion gallons of water looks like?
**Brooke ** 15:25 I'm trying to imagine some body of water that I am familiar with in order to conceptualize that and I'm wondering how big Crater Lake is because that's maybe.... Wait, wait, well, wait while I inefficiently Google things. Okay, that's way too much water. Okay. Tell me. I can't.
**Inmn ** 16:37 It is one inch on Lake Mead. One inch of water is 2 billion gallons of water.
**Brooke ** 16:43 Okay, I don't have a good reference for how big Lake Mead is but I hear you.
**Inmn ** 16:47 Yeah, you know, that lake that everyone references when we're talking about water scarcity in the West is the constant depletion of Lake Mead. It's weird how that has become the gauge, it's like our gauge for fear and disparity is what the water levels in Lake Mead are. But do you want to know a fun thing about Lake Mead?
**Brooke ** 17:13 I do.
**Inmn ** 17:14 Um, Lake Mead, the water has.... There was like this crazy low point in 2022. And this is actually a fun thing, but the lake has risen 23 feet since that low point in 2022.
**Brooke ** 17:29 I mean that's normal, right, because of the season that we're in?
**Inmn ** 17:33 Yeah, yeah. And after like, you know, a recent pretty dry spell this summer, in August, due to record snowfall, I guess the previous winter, the lake rose 13 inches in seven days. Which, is like, you know, 27 billion gallons of water sounds like a lot.
**Brooke ** 17:58 Yeah, that sounds a lot. Like a lot, a lot.
**Inmn ** 18:03 But to like put that.... 27 billion.
**Brooke ** 18:07 Like a foot and stuff? No, two billion is one inch? Is that right?
**Inmn ** 18:13 Yeah, two billion's one inch.
**Brooke ** 18:14 And 13 inches, a foot. A footish?
**Inmn ** 18:17 Yeah, right. A footish. Which is only like seven days of water for the city of Phoenix.
**Brooke ** 18:24 [Laughing] Okay, I'm like a foot of water in the lake is a lot. And then yeah, you say.... Just kidding! Do go on.
**Inmn ** 18:38 No, yeah. Sorry. The city of Buckeye story is jumping all over the place. But in one of the more weird moves that they're considering is they want to build a pipeline from Puerto Penasco in Mexico to Phoenix, which it's about a 200 mile pipeline that would be built. And it would go right through the Organ Pipe National Cactus Monument.
**Brooke ** 19:12 No big deal. National monuments, no big deal.
**Inmn ** 19:20 But this is being heavily pushed for not just by the city of Buckeye but by a contractor company called IDE, which is an Israeli company, who thinks it's a really great idea to build this 200 mile pipeline between Puerto Penasco and the city of Buckeye. And it's part of this like growing, seemingly growing, trend of instead of like, instead of dealing with water resources on a, you know, a local level, or any kind of resource, on a local level, we're in this age of industrialization of like, "Well, they have this other resource 1000 miles away or whatever, what if we move to that resource so that we can sustain this absolutely unreasonable population growth in...." And not like a natural population growth. Like the city of Buckeye is like, "We want to grow the population." This is not what the city's naturally doing, you know?
**Brooke ** 20:29 So they're bringing in water to support and.... You know, sorry, I want to go off on a whole side tangent because I have many questions about Buckeye, but I'm going to stop and we can talk about it another time. Sorry, I'm just so curious.
**Inmn ** 20:44 But yeah, so some of the bigger problems with the pipeline are that it would.... They don't have a plan for dealing with...the desalination plants, they don't have a plan for dealing with the salty material that they remove from the water, except to dump it back into the Gulf of California.
**Brooke ** 21:09 Oh, my God.
**Inmn ** 21:11 You know, people in Mexico are not stoked about this because it will destroy ecological centers in the Gulf of California. Oh, okay. I remember the other bit. So IDE, the Israeli company that's building...who wants to build the pipeline, they also build desalination plants in Gaza.
**Brooke ** 21:32 And that's where the money is.
**Inmn ** 21:38 And yeah, it's just...it's a very strange idea. They want to put it through the Organ Pipe National Monument, which, like, there's a lot of pushback because that's a national monument. It's this federally protected wildlife area. And there's a lot of pushback from an environmental perspective. Do you know what else is in the Organ Pipe National Monument?
**Brooke ** 22:05 Besides the cacti?
**Inmn ** 22:07 Yeah.
**Brooke ** 22:08 Let's see. Are there birds? Flowers?
**Inmn ** 22:10 What is a great thing to have near a federally protected wildlife area?
**Brooke ** 22:18 Oh, wildlife that needs special protection?
**Inmn ** 22:22 A bombing range.
**Brooke ** 22:23 Oh, shit! I see. You were being sarcastic. Here, silly me. I was trying to guess the real answer.
**Inmn ** 22:35 Yeah, It is a bombing range.
**Brooke ** 22:38 Of course. Of course it is. Yes. That's what Arizona's for is blowing shit up.
**Inmn ** 22:44 Yeah, blowing shit up. And....
**Brooke ** 22:49 I just saw Oppenheimer, sorry.
**Inmn ** 22:51 Okay. It only gets worse because the other thing that goes on in the Organ National Monument is that it's like a heavily trafficked corridor for migration between the US and Mexico for, you know, for animals and for people. And it is also one of the most deadly corridors along the US Mexico border for undocumented migrants coming from Mexico, South America, Central America, like up through Mexico and the US Mexico border. And so it represents this strange thing where the government, or people, or like whoever, they have large problems with things like a pipeline going through somewhere, but they have--and Organ Pipe National Monument as like an agency--has no problem with ramping border militarization or a bombing range that's like right next door. So.
**Brooke ** 24:00 Man, I will never make sense of people's priorities.
**Inmn ** 24:05 Anyways, that is a very long rant on city of Buckeye,
**Brooke ** 24:10 That's more attention than Buckeye deserves, ever. But here we are.
**Inmn ** 24:17 What else is happening in the southwest? There's some stuff that happened in Vegas.
**Brooke ** 24:23 That's right. There's some looming...there's a looming strike in the hospitality industry in Vegas. I don't know how well known this is amongst people but Vegas has a very strong union for various hospitality workers. It might be multiple unions. Forgive me for not knowing exactly. But your housekeeping workers, your bartenders, your food servers, all of those service industries that are so central to the hospitality industry, which is central to the economy of Vegas, and a lot of Nevada, have very strong unions there that do a great job representing them and getting them fair wages and those kinds of things. So one of the major contracts expired in June of this year, 2023, so negotiations for new contracts started back in April. They did not reach an agreement in June. So they extended the contract deadline to September and that has now expired, and they are still negotiating. But the union has voted to authorize a strike if necessary. The union is asking for higher wages, more safety protections, and stronger recall rights, meaning rights to return to their work. So on the issue of safety for the union's, abuse of hospitality workers is on the rise in the US and particularly in Vegas. And I like to think that all of our listeners are the kind of folks who have had a service industry job at some point in their lives and would never ever throw something at a housekeeper.
**Inmn ** 26:10 Oh, God.
**Brooke ** 26:11 But, you know, just in case it needs to be said, If your room is really dirty and you're upset about it, don't throw things at the housekeeper who's just trying to clean. It's not...it's not a great way to go.
**Inmn ** 26:23 Yeah, don't do that.
**Brooke ** 26:27 Yeah, there's increasing reports of housekeepers getting yelled at, having things thrown at them, being threatened with abuse. Because there are--it's a complicated thing--so this also ties into the recall rights that they're asking for. Hotel workers, hospitality workers, saw significant decline in the number of people doing those jobs during the pandemic, partly because there was significantly less travel and then also restrictions on how many people you could book on a floor or in a hotel, or etc, etc, etc. So, hotels, you know, laid off a lot of their workers. And then, like many other places, have had a hard time rehiring. So they're not back up to the staffing levels that they used to be. So there's fewer people spread around, you know, a wider workload. And then part of that, the reason for the lack of rehiring, was because they didn't have recall rights. So, there was no reason for people to assume that they would be able to go back to their jobs or get their jobs back. So they, you know, left...stayed or left the industry or what have you. So, there's fewer workers to do the work, especially cleaning work. And then also, consumers are demanding less frequent cleanings for the most part in their hotel rooms. I don't know about you, when you travel, or the last time you went to a hotel, I am the kind of person that does not want housekeeping at all during my stay, whether it's one day or five days. I put out my Do Not Disturb sign. And I guess that's true of about 40% of hotel guests, they choose not to have housekeeping. The downside of that is that when housekeeping does come in after someone's left, the rooms are usually messier than they would be if they had a daily cleaning so housekeeping asked to do a deeper clean and they don't necessarily have--because they're short staffed, and it's a deeper play than they would plan for--they don't have the time to really turn over the room as thoroughly as they should. That difficult contrast between trying to get all the rooms at least a little bit versus doing a few rooms and doing them well and then not having some rooms. Yeah. So that's the other thing, if you're a person like me out there in the world and and you're staying at a hotel and you don't like to have housekeeping, do try and do them the kindness of whatever bits of cleanup you can on the way out so it's faster for them to turn over the room. Anyway, so they are continuing negotiations, but the union has...the union workers have authorized a strike or intermittent work stoppages if needed, and, you know, we fully support them doing that if that's what they need to do. Yeah, yeah, they would not be the only ones that have done that even in the last year or even super recently. Kaiser Permanente, you may have heard about this, had a three day walkout at all of their locations, appointments canceled. That kind of thing. So the Kaiser Permanente Health care workers went on strike and they've reached a tentative deal. And also somewhat recently, but a little bit longer ago, was the Writer's Union in Hollywood went on strike. And they were on strike for quite a bit. But they are back to work, having gotten a lot of what they wanted. The United Auto Workers Union is in negotiations for contracts with the major....sorry, with the major car manufacturers in the US. They have had some work stoppages throughout the negotiation process and may have a full stoppage or full strike at some point as well. So, yeah, lots of worker strikes going on, or have gone on and have been successful, in recent times and we support those workers, not only in their right to strike, but also in treating them well when we are traveling. And encouraging others to do the same.
**Inmn ** 31:03 This kind of relates to my mini rant earlier about, like, you know, things shutting down or being less available, which is like, one of the really cool things that I saw out of the Writers' Guild strike was people whose like, you know,--whether it was talk show hosts, or like, whoever, who were like, during the strike, and then like, after the strike, are like, "Yeah, it was hard to not do the show for however long, but like, what is far worse and much harder, is that these very simple demands were not met before the strike or on day one of the strike." And like, I don't know, just like...it's like shifting this mentality from like, I'm sad that the new season of Stranger Things is on hiatus with that these strikes are very important and these people's lives matter and them getting the things that make them able to continue doing their work and surviving is like, incredibly important. And that's more important than my desire to see a fucking TV show, you know?
**Brooke ** 32:24 Yeah, and it was really great to see, you know, a lot of actors and so forth, who weren't necessarily striking but were standing in support of, you know, their fellow Hollywood workers going on strike and getting their demands met. It was really cool.
**Inmn ** 32:41 Yeah. Is there some other stuff that got shut down recently?
**Brooke ** 32:46 No, the government talked about it, like they do.
**Inmn ** 32:51 They always talk about it.
**Brooke ** 32:54 Yeah, and we talked about this last month, and we said, hey, if it happens, we will follow up and talk more. At the last minute a continuing resolution was passed right before the deadline of when the government would have shut down. And I'm being overdramatic, because it's fucking every single time, basically, with very few exceptions. The downside of the continuing resolution form of passing a budget is that it's basically like buying them another 30 days, or however long the continuing resolution was for. So they still haven't passed a budget. They've just agreed to continue operating based on the old budget for a limited period of time. And I think their next deadline, I want to say, is mid November or so. The whole situation is complicated a little bit by the fact that they outed...the Republicans outed their speaker of the house. They don't have one. But they did pass this continuing resolution without having a speaker. So it is possible, it's just that they're dealing with the other chaos of trying to elect a new speaker and they have, at least, their fourth person that they put up for a vote, is up for vote. So they're focusing on that a lot rather than dealing with the budget issues they need to deal with. So I still, you know, I continue to say the same thing that I have said about this, which is that the government shutdown is very unlikely. If it does, it's likely very short. And even if it is very short, it probably won't affect very much because they have plans and programs set up to automate a lot of their stuff for at least a short period of time. It's only a major problem if there's a longer term shutdown like we saw back in 2019, which is very unlikely. And if it happens, we'll talk about it.
**Inmn ** 34:48 Yay, talking about stuff.
**Brooke ** 34:52 So that's about them not shutting down. I hear you have some good news, though, that we can talk about.
**Inmn ** 35:00 I do have some good news. But I kind of have like a question about the economy for you while we're like on the subject,
**Brooke ** 35:11 Give it to me, baby, you know I love talking about economics.
**Inmn ** 35:14 I read this article this week about this growing trend, which is not surprising to me because it's like seeing...because it's something that a lot of us are just seeing in the world, but--or experiencing ourselves, depending on where you live. But there seems to be this big growing trend in large cities, especially like, you know, the Bay area where there's been a huge, huge housing crisis for a very long time, which is driven by the tech industry being horrifying. Um, but I read this article recently talking about this thing where it has reached such a crisis that cities like Santa Barbara, and like some cities in Oregon, have opened up parking lots that are there for people who live in their cars. And it's catering to like a very specific like demographic of people, which is like people who make too much money to apply for government assistance, like housing assistance, food assistance, anything like that, or even Medicaid or Medicare--I always forget which is which--but they do not make enough money to afford rent. And it's this growing thing in the economy where like, like.... And these are people who make like $72,000 a year at government or state jobs who can no longer afford to live somewhere. And so they have to live in their car. And that is, yeah.... That's less of a question and more of a what's going on? What's going on?
**Brooke ** 37:20 Yeah, that level of problem where someone is making that much and still can't afford is definitely more specific to larger cities and places where housing costs are significantly higher. And housing is expensive everywhere right now. It's out of control. But you do have some places like the Bay Area, LA, parts of Seattle, where it is just ridiculously inflated. So yeah, making $70,000 a year is definitely way too much money to be getting any kind of assistance. You're well above the poverty line, even in your allegedly high income area, but it's nowhere near enough to afford a housing payment for how much houses cost right now. And I think there's always been some amount of people that live in that strange margin place of above the poverty line, can get little or no assistance but below what it takes to afford where they're living. That's not an entirely new phenomenon. But it's definitely much larger than it used to be. You know, because we've seen this astronomical increase in the house of pricing...in the price of housing. And inflation, overall, has increased the price of a lot of other things as well making it harder to afford all aspects of life and living.
**Inmn ** 38:47 Yeah, and, you know, it's like this.... It's the thing where it's horrible to me that it's something that people are paying attention to now that it's something that is affecting middle class people. Where it's like this, you know, this has been a lot of people's like realities for, you know, decades and decades, is living in this nebulous zone of like, for whatever reasons, not qualifying for government assistance or for qualifying for government assistance but that assistance not being enough to actually change anyone's life or get them housing or things like that. And that's more what interested me about the article, was like less than that this is like a newer growing thing and more that it's something that is starting to shift up the wage scales and stuff, from something that has always affected lower income people and is now starting to affect people who like would have not considered themselves low income before.
**Brooke ** 40:01 Yeah, the poverty line, what the government defines as being, you know, what they call the poverty line and then they use that to measure, you know, how far above or below it you are and then different services say you qualify based on your income relative to that position, that poverty line does not change rapidly. The government does not make big changes to that. They make very small changes to that. But meanwhile, we've seen in the last few years very rapid changes to the cost of living. And it costs so much more for so many basic things right now but that has not been accurately reflected in a higher poverty line, particularly with houses.
**Inmn ** 40:42 And wages. But yeah, I don't know. I feel like my hope for articles like this are more hoping that it like increases the amount of empathy and compassion that like more people have for other houseless populations. Which it sucks that it takes.... It sucks that that's what it takes for people to have empathy, but we live in a hell world.
**Brooke ** 41:18 Yeah, we do.
**Inmn ** 41:19 But you know, sometimes in this hell world that we live in, cool things can happen too.
**Brooke ** 41:27 Are there wins sometimes?
**Inmn ** 41:28 There are wins sometimes.
**Brooke ** 41:31 Like union workers winning and also...other things winning. What are they? Give me hope.
**Inmn ** 41:36 Hope. So this was a fun thing that I came across this month. And this has been less like this month and more like a thing that's been happening for over two years. So in 2021, in O'ahu, in Hawaii, there was a fuel leak from, you know, naval bases.
**Brooke ** 42:02 Wait, I was there in 2021.
**Inmn ** 42:05 Oh, yeah. Well, depending on where you were 93,000 people had jet fuel laced water introduced into their homes and their water drinking supplies.
**Brooke ** 42:22 I feel like I would have known that when I was on my little vacation there, if that was when I was there. But damn.
**Inmn ** 42:28 Yeah, the symptoms for ingesting it were people having migraines and nausea and vomiting. And while for a lot of people, those were short term symptoms, for like huge amounts of the people who were affected by it, a year and a half to two years later people are still experiencing symptoms and complications from having ingested jet fuel laced water. And some of those symptoms include severe anxiety and depression.
**Brooke ** 43:08 Maybe I did ingest some. Wait, I already had those symptoms, but they're worse. Okay, go on.
**Inmn ** 43:14 Yeah. And this sounds like it's grim, but there was recently a victory, which is that this initiative led by, I think it was like the Sierra Club and O'ahu Water Protectors have been waging this battle against the US military to drain these fuel reservoirs, which it's like miles of tunnels underneath O'ahu that are like filled with jet fuel, you know? So it's like the possibility of leaks are just astronomical. Like, it's so easy for it to...for that shit to leak.
**Brooke ** 43:55 I'm gonna guess they were rapidly built in World War II or something like that as well.
**Inmn ** 43:59 Yes, they are World War II era jet fuel tanks. That after like an extreme period of inactivity are finally being drained. And this this was a quotation from someone from the O'ahu Water Protectors, who said, "We got here not because the US Navy woke up one day and said, 'Oh, we're gonna do the right thing,' we got here because of the collective voices of the people who are calling for a shutdown." Which is like, you know, time and time again, the thing that we find in these situations, is like if there's an environmental catastrophe that is also a human catastrophe, it's like...it's not...the government isn't like, "That's bad. We should do something." It takes like it takes thousands of people for two years like screaming and yelling at people and fighting for a change. And this is like...you might think too, that people exposed to jet fuel laced water who are having like pretty severe reactions to those things, that the local government might offer--or the US military--might offer some kind of help with that immediately, you know?
**Brooke ** 45:27 No, come on now.
**Inmn ** 45:29 It took a year and a half for the Navy to set up a clinic to treat people who had been exposed to these chemicals. And, you know, it is 100 million gallons of petroleum.
**Brooke ** 45:47 Holy shit,
**Inmn ** 45:50 That is sitting in these tanks. That wasn't the size of the leak, but like.... And like, yeah, two years later residents are having their water in their houses tested. Because a lot of people's houses weren't flushed, the system wasn't flushed. It was never really dealt with. And so like two years later there's these low but persistent traces of these chemicals in people's water. But hopefully, that is.... At least the larger threat of another leak is hopefully not going to happen because of this victory from indigenous water protectors in O'ahu to like, get the fuel tanks drained. And unfortunately, you know, they're not just like.... I'm happy for O'ahu, but they're just moving the fuel to Singapore, the Philippines, and San Diego. So.
**Brooke ** 46:51 So, yeah, it's just gonna spill somewhere else. I mean, what do you do though? Is there a safe way to dispose of it? Probably not. Use it up, create more carbon emissions? I mean, yeah, lose-lose. Lose, lose, lose. Pour it down a volcano? What could go wrong? Pour jet fuel into a volcano, I'm sure that'll be fine. I do. I just want to say I never trust the federal government when it comes to drinking water and people. I just don't. That's one of those important things that we, you know, as we live like the world is dying here, that we all have to prepare for and plan for on our own and collectively. Do not ever trust the government to keep your water supply safe and consistent. It's just not going to happen.
**Inmn ** 47:47 Nope. Yeah, we protect us. It turns out.
**Brooke ** 47:53 Turns out. Alright, other water things: El Nino. So this is funny to me--I'll tell the shortest version of the story that I possibly can--when I was growing up, there were heavy rains in 1996, in the town that I--well, not just the town but this whole occupied Kalapuya territory that I live in, suffered from extreme rainfall. It's the Pacific Northwest, so we have a lot of rain anyway, so when I tell you there was extreme rainfall, that tells you something about how much rain there was. And lots of flooding, lots of water damage. There was a point when it rained for, I don't know, like, I think it was 16 days straight or something like that. Just...anyway. And it was ascribed to El Nino weather events. And so for most of my life until like the last few years, you say El Nino and I think lots of rain. That's all I understood about the El Nino weather events. But we've been talking a lot about it this year because globally, we have been in one since the springtime. And it actually has to do with water temperatures in the Pacific and airflow and stuff. And actually has very diverse effects on weather patterns around the world, really, especially right now in North America and parts of Europe, too. So we may be heading into a winter that is colder for some and warmer for others. And it was really funny in reading the reports on this that came out from NOAA and then were disseminated by others with input from this or that meteorologists, climatologists, whatever, about what was going on. And it's...you look at the maps and it's like, "Oh, the northern US is going to be much warmer or it's going to be slightly warmer. It's going to be in the Northeast. No, it's going to be the Northwest. The southern US is going to be colder in the southeast. No, in the southwest. No, actually it's going to be close to average. So all that I'm really getting from any of this as I read multiple sources is that we really don't quite know what the winter is gonna be like. No one is being consistent. And we're also in the middle of...we still have a polar vortex that's pushing cold air down from the Arctic. But also average temperatures are on the rise globally because of climate change. And this year, we're higher than average for much of the year. So all of that is to say, who knows what winter weather is going to do? Whatever winter weather prediction you've read, it might come true. But there's another one out there that will say the opposite thing. And, you know, who knows?
**Inmn ** 50:36 Golly, yeah,
**Brooke ** 50:39 Just funny things. So many headlines about it. And then they're all being totally contradictory. Yeah. Except that possibly, the central so-called United States of America--not like what we call the central US but if you literally draw a swath through the middle of the country--that seems to be consistently predicted to have roughly normal winter temperatures. So Kansas...Kansas, everything is probably going to be normal for you and maybe Colorado too. I don't know about the rest of us.
**Inmn ** 51:14 Hell yeah. I'm excited.
**Brooke ** 51:17 Isn't that great?
**Inmn ** 51:18 It is. To kind of get towards the end of the episode, I did remember this other thing that I wanted to tie in, which was we talked a little bit about like border militarization and like how that relates to this water pipeline, and this is in no way a new thing but like just to build this larger linkage. So, I, you know, I live here in Arizona and like border militarization is absolutely ridiculous. It's terrifying. And I was thinking about this thing that I've encountered a lot. And people who live here have encountered a lot, which I realized a lot of other people might not know about, which is that one of the big defense contractors that the US military uses here in Arizona is Elbit Technologies, which is this Israeli defense company. They designed shit for the IDF. And they, you know, a long time ago at this point, they started to build this virtual wall here in Arizona. And it's this...it's this series of fixed towers that build this AI controlled map of the entire border in Arizona. And the development on this is that we used to, in doing humanitarian aid work out in the desert,we used to joke that the towers that monitor infrared and shit would get set off by a cow or a hot rock or something. And since the development of AI technology, that's shifting. So they are now plugging into these monitors a lot of AI technology. And I think the effectiveness of it, which like at different points was laughable, is going to change a lot soon.
**Brooke ** 53:41 Okay, that's a lot.
**Inmn ** 53:43 Yeah, it is. It's just wacky and terrifying. And it's like a thing that's being felt especially by people on the Tohono O'odham Nation who have these towers completely covering the reservation. And, that makes people who.... You know, these are people who also faced large amounts of government repressio, becoming fearful to leave their homes and shit. Because they're like, "Well, I can't go to that place that I normally go to. Because all those towers are there now." All of this is to connect this thing that we aren't.... We're not going to talk a whole lot about it, but as I'm sure everyone knows, Israel recently invaded Gaza and.... Or, you know, their continued invasion of Gaza has reached new and horrifying levels. And, we're not going to talk about it too much, or we didn't cover it too much, because there's so much information. And there are a lot of really great sources to get a lot more information than we can responsibly provide on a segment on this show. I have been reading stuff from Jewish Currents and I've been reading some stuff from the Palestinian Youth Movement. And those have been really awesome places to see more like.... Like if you want updated timelines and things like that of events, or like ways to support people in Palestine through this genocide then highly recommend people like learning more about this and finding any way that they can to support people on the ground in Palestine. But some kind of cool things have happened because of it. Like, in Eugene, over the weekend, there was this big pro-Palestine march.
**Brooke ** 57:04 Eugene, Oregon.
**Inmn ** 57:05 Yeah. Eugene, Oregon. There was this big pro-Palestine March. And this guy and a fucking Guy Fawkes mask gets out of his pickup truck in the middle of it and pulls out a handgun and, you know, starts firing it into a crowd. And then two antifascists come up with their own handguns and to like successfully deescalate and disarm this person.
**Brooke ** 57:33 Awesome.
**Inmn ** 57:34 You know, without shooting him. And,you know, it was later revealed that the gun this person was firing was like a.... it was not a live ammunition gun. It was called a splatter gun or something. But if you see the pictures of it, it looks like a fucking hand gun. So like, hell yeah to the people who intervened in that situation to like, hopefully prevent, to prevent something that's become a horrifying regularity.
**Brooke ** 58:06 Yeah, it could have been a real gun. Yeah, we protect us. Yeah, speaking of war and conflict, can I tell you a funny thing from war?
**Inmn ** 58:19 Yeah, you have another funny thing. O, you know, these previous things weren't funny. But let's end on a funny thing.
**Brooke ** 58:26 Well my first thing was funny. Okay, I hope this will brighten up everyone else's day too. So, of course--this is not happy--there's a war going on against Ukraine right now. We're at, you know, 20 months, 22 months, getting close to two years on it. Ukrainians are continuing to fight and be bad asses and still doing things stealing equipment from the other side, including tanks. I don't know how much that they're still doing that, but we heard about that a lot in the beginning that the Russians would abandon tanks and Ukrainians would take them. So there was a Ukrainian officer, this was earlier this month, early October, who was driving around in his captured tank and started having technical difficulties with it. So he took it to local experts, whatever that means, and they weren't able to fix what's going wrong with it. It had some oil leakage and it was doing some other things. So he called the manufacturer of the tank, which is a Russian manufacturer, and he called them--and they're in Russia where they make them--and they called the Russian people for tech support. And they answered. And the person tried to help him problem solve the problem going on with the tank. He just called up and said, "Hey, I'm driving, you know, I'm involved in the war and I'm driving such-and-such type of tank and I'm having these problems." And he was...he was generally having the problems with a tank but the call to tech support was just to troll them. I mean, he didn't really expect them to answer or get help, but they did. And then they were trying to help problem solve through the issues that he had and let him file a complaint about the issues with the tank. And also passed him along to a manager at the manufacturing plant so he could further discuss the problems that he was having with this stolen Russian tank.
**Inmn ** 1:00:19 Oh my god. Did he get the...did he get the tank operational?
**Brooke ** 1:00:24 It doesn't sound like it because I think that really wasn't his end goal. He was really just, like I said, trolling them. And yeah, so he ended up talking to a manager about it. And then, you know, finally let them know, "Oh, by the way, I'm Ukrainian. I'm fighting against you guys. This is a tank that we captured, you know, earlier this year, that's giving me trouble. Thanks."
**Inmn ** 1:00:48 Oh my god. That is one of the biggest, hilarious, you know, whatever, modern technology society things that I've ever heard.
**Brooke ** 1:01:02 Yeah, and you know, he's speaking Russian. They have no idea. It's just great. It's really.... So there you go, troll the bad guys. When all else fails, just maybe, maybe troll them a little bit for the lols.
**Inmn ** 1:01:19 Okay, well, I think that about wraps it up for This Month in the Apocalypse. Thanks, everyone for tuning in.
**Brooke ** 1:01:32 Yay October! What joys will November bring us?
**Inmn ** 1:01:37 So many more.
**Inmn ** 1:01:44 If you enjoyed this podcast then live like the world is dying. Because it probably might be. Um, but you can also tell people about the podcast. You can support us in a bunch of other sillier ways, but you should really just tell people tell people about the podcast and talk to people about like, you know, if stuff like this happens where you are, if you are affected by any of these things, like figure out ways to deal with it as a small community that can help your larger community. And you can also support the show by supporting the publisher, Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness. Strangers is a media publishing collective. We put out books, and podcasts, and zines, and a bunch of other stuff, and zines [said to rhyme with "dines"], and you can find us at tangledwilderness.org And you can support us on Patreon at patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness. And that money goes to paying our audio editor. It goes to paying our transcriptionist. And it goes towards supporting the publisher so that we can do lots of other cool stuff. And in particular, we would love to thank these folks. Thank you, Patolli, Eric, Perceval, Buck, Julia, Catgut, Marm, Carson, Lord Harken, Trixter, Princess Miranda, BenBen, Funder, Janice & O'dell, Aly, paparouna, Milica, Boise Mutual Aid, theo, Hunter, S.J., Paige, Nicole, David, Dana, Chelsea Staro, Jenipher, Kirk, Chris, Michaiah, and Hoss the Dog. Thank you for growing this list to such an extent that I'm out of breath by the time that I am done saying it. We hope that you're everyone's doing as well as they can with everything that's going on and we will see you next time.