Covid virus 3d

Alberto Pepe

and 4 more

We're in a crisis We are in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis. Just weeks since its outbreak, the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has already affected, and will continue to affect, our daily lives, around the globe, for the foreseeable future. The answers and the solutions to this crisis will come from science. But the crisis affects science, too.It affects students, educators, and researchers; not just their day-to-day lives, social ties, and work routines, but also their ability to actively collaborate, convene in face-to-face meetings, attend academic conferences, teach and learn in an open university setting, pay a visit to the library, work overnight at the laboratory, and so on.But the thing is: science cannot stop. Scientific progress must go on. For each one of the challenges that scientists face in this time of crisis, there is, or there will be, a solution. We believe that the solution is not to be found in a single technological tool, product, framework, institution, funding agency, or company. It is the global cyber-infrastructure of scientific collaboration, built on scientific rigor, intellectual curiosity, and cooperation, that will enable science to advance in such difficult times. The power of scientific collaborationAs scientists, publishers, science communicators and technologists, we believe that: a. Science is the solution to the ongoing crisis. Now more than ever, reliance on the scientific method, rigor and clarity of scientific communication, transparency, reproducibility, and seamless sharing of all research data (including negative results), are fundamental to solving this health crisis and advancing human progress.b. Global collaboration and cooperation, beyond and above national and economic interests, is necessary not only at the scientific level, but also at the political and societal level. We're more interconnected and interdependent today than ever. And such interconnectedness extends to the ecological ecosystem in which we live. A crisis of such scale requires global solidarity, bipartisan political action, civic participation, and long-term thinking.
 1. IntroductionAt the summit organized by the New York Panel on Climate Change (NYPCC) in March 2019, during the Q&A, a woman stood from the audience and told to a panel made of predominantly city officers, that she was using the online Flood Hazard Mapper to identify an area in Manhattan where she and her husband could move to from Princeton. She was interested in understanding whether buying a property located within a 100-year floodplain was a good decision and, if so, she asked authorities to add information about where the location of evacuation zones in the Flood Hazard Mapper, so she could be sure that in a flooding event, the evacuation centers were within reach. Whether or not this was a real question or a provocation, I immediately made a connection with the slowly growing literature linking coastal flood risk and environmental justice, specifically the debates around living in a floodplain by choice, which the woman was an example of, or because of historical planning decisions that placed some homes and people in areas more at risk than others.The issue of social justice in relation climate change induced flooding is not new and research on the topic has been growing in many directions where justice dilemmas emerge. In this paper I briefly review the long history of Environmental Justice (EJ) movement in the US, including its meanings, scope and relationship to nature with the aim of contextualizing how, more recently, the movement expanded to concerns related to climate change. Then, I review how questions of distributional and procedural justice are used in EJ literature as well as climate change, specifically in relationship to coastal flooding. I tease out the concepts of procedural justice that can complement a distributional justice understanding of coastal flooding and I apply those in the context of East Harlem, in Northwestern Manhattan, a community district where issues of climate change and gentrification act like a double edge sword towards it’s already burdened share of low-income black and brown communities.1. 1 The Evolving Environmental Justice Movement in the United StatesSince the environmental reforms of the 1970s, according to , the movement in the U.S. has not been effective because it has been dominated by single issue approaches, affecting the quality of environmental laws that have been approved (for instance privileging control of pollution rather than prevention). The authors attribute this crisis largely to, on the one hand, environmental organizations of the time being composed of white, middle-class professionals who were unable to draw linkages between racism, abuse and economic inequality. On the other, in an effort to draft legislation and make environmentally friendly initiatives, the movement had become increasingly detached to those it was supposed to serve. The movement was not oriented towards public participation but established corporate-like organizational models that inhibited citizen involvement. From the mid-eighties, however, a subaltern movement grew emphasizing the need to re-establish a connection with constituents who were predominantly black and brown communities of color victim of toxic pollution in cities, connecting them across a variety of issues and allowing for their own voices to emerge. According to Faber and McCarthy, key moments in the subaltern movement were the African American protests against PCBs in North Carolina in 1982, building on other protests such as the Love Canal Homeowners Association in 1978 who were able to successfully relocate 900 families away from the toxic dump on which their homes were built in Niagara (NY).From the late-nineties, following the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit of 1991, we see the emergence of regional and national campaigning networks striving to create stronger institutional linkages between the local groups that emerged in earlier years. By the late nineties local groups began to connect environmental issues of exposure to and impacts of pollutants, to broader issues (e.g. gun violence, occupational health and safety, immigration rights, human rights, anti-globalization, indigenous rights to land and community empowerment), moving from single-issue reforms to addressing the systemic causes of injustice by bringing together a diverse group of impacted communities (Faber and McCarthy, 2001). A landmark moment was when in 1994 when the networks pressured the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue the Executive Order 12898 titled “Federal Action to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” prohibiting discriminatory practices in federal programs and the creation of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (NEJAC) to provide independent advice to the EPA and integrate EJ within its programs (Bullard, 2001).The crisis of the U.S. environmental movement in the 70s and the emergence of a counter movement in the 1980-1990 is underscored by a fundamentally different ontology of the environment between these two periods. For Di Chirico (1995) the meaning of the environment for the historically white, predominately male, and middle-class movement, imbued with Euro-American colonist thinking, was largely associated with the preservation of an uncontaminated wilderness, outside of society and human culture. On the contrary, the definition of environment by EJ activists relates to where one works, plays and lives. This definition fits the urban dimension of EJ activism, where the victims of industrial pollution reside, but it also accounts for the presence of people which was taken for granted in previous understandings. Since many prominent EJ activists see themselves emerging from the social movements of the sixties, it makes sense to see activists as civil society rights activists pursuing forms of grassroots political organization.The EJ movement is fundamentally urban and it became quickly embedded into struggles over gentrification and affordable housing as American cities were growing increasingly unequal. A 2015 survey of Registered Environmental Justice Organization (REJOs) revealed that organizations have become more diverse in mission and focus, including land use planning, climate and food justice, energy poverty into their priorities, and calling for intersectional approaches between geography, sociology, medicine and health. They are also seeking further connections between environmental health, reproductive health and environmental exposure and linking these with concerns of economic policy (Larsen et al. , 2015).In summary today’s EJ movement in the U.S. may be seen as the result of the organizing of local black and brown communities of color fighting for dignified living conditions in the presence of legacies of environmental racism, at first, linking race to the location of commercial hazard facilities and health outcomes. From the late nineties onwards, as the national presence of localized networks pressured national agencies to prohibit discriminatory actions on the basis of race, the movement expanded their agenda, advocacy and on the ground action to other issues, such as climate change. For decades the environmental justice literature has studied the connection between race/ethnicity and proximity to toxic facilities in cities, and the work is now being leveraged to understand how justice and flood risk combine in coastal areas.1.2 From Traditional Flood Risk Assessments to a Flood Justice FramingAs people across a variety of cities experience the increasing effects of climate change, researchers’ interests in understanding the multi-dimensional nature of coastal areas - simultaneously attractive, biophysically dynamic, while subject to political decision making - has increased. In comparison to research from other environmental hazards, the literature regarding EJ implications of flood hazards is smaller and more recent. A whole issue of Regional Environmental Change was recently dedicated to research that takes inspiration from findings within the EJ literature, extending the field to find applicability to Flood Risk Management (FRM) (Thaler et al. , 2018).The research collected in the volume borrows notions of distributive and procedural justice and applies it to urban flood risk in both the U.S and European cities. Although notions of sensitivity and vulnerability have gained growing consideration in traditional FRM (Cutter et al. , 2009), as well as the notion that vulnerability to flooding may be only one of the issues among many others faced by low-income communities (Lopez-Marrero and Tschakert, 2011), assessments are often only able to convey an abstract snapshot with significant assumptions and uncertainties about risks and possible mitigation measures, simplified into variables easily measurable through cost-benefit analysis (Bos and Zwaneveld, 2017). Flood risk assessments and maps are frequently updated by authorities, as they incorporate new knowledge from modeling, however these alternations tend to take place closed doors and in largely opaque manner so that what was previously considered ‘safe’ under one model, now becomes ‘at risk’ with little opportunity for discussion with those who will be affected by this change (O’Hare and White, 2018).An example of both the opaqueness of maps and models is the ongoing debate between the City of New York, FEMA’s flood zones and their ongoing update. In PLANYC, Bloomberg’s 2007 vision for New York, authorities recognized that FEMA’s flood maps were severely outdated (the last revisions were carried out in 1983) and warned “in areas where insurers feel the risk is too great, or their ability to raise premiums is hampered by political or regulatory limitations, the risk burden will be shifted to the public as well as to banks and investors” (p.139). The stakes are so high that when in 2015, the federal government issued a preliminary draft of its updated 100-year flood maps, which greatly expanded New York City’s flood zones, the city rejected the maps. An additional 35,000 buildings, for a total of 72,000 buildings and 400,000 New York City residents were now in the 100-year floodplain, according to the update, which meant thousands of additional residents now had to purchase flood insurance (The New York Times, 2013). The city appealed by saying that as a result of technical errors, FEMA overestimated the size of the floodplain, with a resulting huge cost burden for homeowners and more so for low-income renters in public housing units built on the waterfront. FEMA agreed there were errors and that the maps should be revised, but for some planners, the fact that FEMA maps are often subject to such dispute is a cause for concern. Citizens are left in a limbo. Even though new maps allow property owners to check their address to determine whether they are in a flood zone, and how severe the flooding could be, there are considerable uncertainties around whether a home falling into a floodplain map will actually be affected by the next big storm.The distributive dimensions of injustice, like costs and benefits of measures to adapt to flooding through insurance, are influenced by broader, often intangible, process-based inequities. Vulnerability research shows that people living in poverty and/or socially marginalized have reduced capacity for self-protection in terms of mitigating flood hazards at home pre-event, evacuating in response to flooding, or returning home or to employment in the aftermath of a flooding event, accessing social protection such as flood insurance, hazard mitigation infrastructure, emergency response information and assistance (Green, Bates and Smyth, 2007; Collins, Grineski and Chakraborty, 2018). The distribution of emergency response may also be unequal. Based on physical damage calculations after superstorm Sandy, populations living in some NYCHA towers suffered disproportionately from delays in emergency response, living with no running water, heat or lack of repair work until long after the storm (Sellers, 2017).In conclusion flood risk researchers realized that the abstract and aggregate information of FRM need richer accounts provided by a justice framing in order “to capture fine-grained differences between affected populations, particularly those that are rooted in more complex societal disadvantage stemming from outside the flood risk arena” (O’Hare and White, 2018:385).
In both Europe and the United States we live at a time of great ideological dogma in the form of years of austerity policies,  largely at the expense of middle and low income people in already debt drowning countries like Italy, Portugal and Spain. Germany, strong of its manufacturing powerhouse and seat of the ever powerful European Commission, has been a stark supporter of the austerity policy in order to maintain the stability of the Euro currency.  In the U.S., recently elected president Donald Trump, did nothing but trying to dismantle – through a slew of executive orders - progressive policies of his predecessor, such us ObamaCare. He then banned immigration from specific countries, tried to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program protecting the rights of 800,000 undocumented Latino youth who came to the U.S. as illegal immigrants; and most recently signed a tax reduction plan that will benefit already very rich people, including his family and businesses. All these radically neoliberal policies in both Europe and the U.S., will undoubtedly have inter-generational transmission effects for many years to come. Why are these policies enacted now? To answer this question, I will briefly reflect on Blyth’s reading of Polanyi's “double movement” \cite{Blyth_2004} and claim that we are in the presence of the desperate attempt of the current elite to stay in power by maintaining their rents, a sort of reversed class war, waged by the very rich and the financial institutions that made them so, against everyone else, especially the middle and working class. Then, based on \cite{Rodrik_2013} I will build the argument that this ‘tightening of the shackles’ by power elites, should not underestimate the implementation of new ideas that lurk under the veil of vested interests of those in power.  Blyth showed how institutional change is always in flux according to the crisis at hand. He claimed that Polanyi’s ‘double movement’ did not happen “just as labor and the state reacted to the collapse of the classical liberal order during the 1930s and 1940s by re-embedding the market”. It also happened in the 1970s and 1980s as “business reacted against this embedded liberal order and sought to 'disembed liberalism' once again” (p.6). The double movement, hence, is more of a constant swing. Since the 1990’s, we had an almost unchallenged rule of neoliberal ideology that led, for instance, to the deregulation of aviation, rail and freight industries in the United States \cite{Eisner}. The policy of deregulation, just like its opposite - government planning - assumes a particular model of how the world works according to Rodrick (2013). Similarly are the following economic restructuring policies that shaped the development path of Latin America and the EU \cite{Haggard}: liberalization of trade, abandonment of fixed rates regime converting capital and labor into tradable goods, privatization of state-owned enterprises and falling rates of public spending due to fiscal constraints and multi-lateral trade agreements. It has been argued that the financial crisis of 2008 was produced by similar policies, guided by the interests of powerful banking and financial sector institutions. A careful analysis however, reveals that vested interests alone would not be able to achieve such tectonic shifts.  Rodrik argues that vested interests make their way into policy by claiming that certain reforms are in the public interest while they are not. Trump’s tax cut plan is apparently for the benefit of families and the business sector, just like financial deregulation was for the benefit of Main Street, and austerity policies in Europe are needed for fiscal responsibility. These arguments are grounded in certain ideas about the value of excessive government intervention (spending in the European case) and the inattentiveness of the market to lower income people. All these policies generate inefficient outcomes that, in turn, protect the economic rents of power elites. Rodrik’s axiom is therefore explained as political interests generate (inefficient) economic outcomes moderated by ‘ideas in the air’.   New ideas supplant vested interests when they are able to exploit a loophole in the structure of ideas, institutions and incentives (Leighton & Lopez in Rodrik, 2013) such as welfare reform, aviation deregulation, housing finance. Inefficiencies, hence, create opportunities for political entrepreneurship. As political leaders seek to increase their rents they shift ‘the political transformation frontier’ and relax political constraints that would prevent them to do so. Ours is a time of crisis, underscored by rampant inequality and nationalistic pathos. Crises are occasions for reconsidering ‘what has gone wrong’ and ‘what is that should be done’ (Blyth in Rodrick); a time of openness to new ideas. This particular crisis is full of ideas, not only those of the power clinging elite. There are other ideas floating in the air. From the narrative of the ‘sharing economy’ (Uber, AirBnb), to distributed markets (via Amazon), the value of your friends’ interests and opinions (Facebook), alternative monetary systems (Bitcoin, Ethereum). Are these the fulfillment of new vested interests? Some argue that the ‘sharing economy’ is largely another incarnation of the P2P market liberalization, embodied in digital peer review via surveillant and punitive ratings systems, and algorithmically mediated, precarious, and ‘entrepreneurial’ contract work. All the while retaining affective associations with community, inclusion, and participation \cite{Cockayne_2016}. What if these ideas may be fueling the political transformation frontier - the set of maximal economic outcomes – (Rodrik, p.14) of other powerful political players, the tech companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook? Internet technology is certainly the vehicle of these new ideas, through the use ubiquitous internet on our mobile phones . As Rodrik claims, though, the returns of shifting the political frontier outwards, can also be large: Bitcoin, the perfect trading asset and a serious threat to mainstream banking, is at a new high (14,000 euros is equal to 1 Bitcoin at December 2017), causing JPMorgan to retaliate. The existing elite born out of the policies of 1990s is clinging to power, and to some extent, there was no greater time to elect Trump as POTUS. A man who knows nothing about economic and social policy but is savvy in manipulating others moved by greed like him, may just save the status quo.  To conclude, just like market neoliberalism flourished under the influence of mercantile ideas of “People are the wealth of nations” coupled with market fundamentalism, Malthusian biological determinism, led to policies that attacked poor relief \cite{Block_2003}. What is unfolding now is a clash of new merchant capitalists ideas with powerful narratives sustaining them: distributed markets and the sharing economy. The ‘ideological embeddedness’ of these moral narratives is recreating new institutional arrangements that obstacle any State interference, and may just succeed in retelling the narrative of a nation in the flow of history \cite{Somers_2005}.  
Screen shot 2018 11 30 at 3 28 45 pm

Veronica Olivotto

and 1 more

New York City’s affordable housing stock is vulnerable to coastal flooding under current and projected climate scenarios. Flood vulnerability in this study, was intended as a factor of the exposure of affordable housing units to current and future floodplains as well as topographical elevation. Variables of socio-economic vulnerability included median household income by census tract, expiring affordability of rent-subsidized housing, and East Harlem’s most recent rezoning . The affordable housing in question is owned by two community-development corporations (CDCs) of the Northern Manhattan Collaborative (NMC), Hope and Ascendant based in East Harlem. Using GIS software and publicly available data from NYC Open Data and Mapluto, large scale mapping was conducted at the Borough-Block-Lot (BBL) scale to understand the exposure to coastal flooding of 101 properties owned by Hope and Ascendant, as well as a Hotspot Analysis of all the remaining units included in the NMC (48 more properties). Results show that Hope properties may flood more than Ascendants', under both current and future floodplain projections. A contributing factor is topographical elevation, where Hope Properties are at lower median elevation (13.2 feet) than Ascendants' (29 feet) and also lower than the median elevation of both Central (22 feet) and East Harlem (15 feet). Results from the hotspot analysis shows that 20 of Hope Properties fall within Hot clusters of socioeconomic vulnerability, as well as 5 of Ascendant Properties. Overall the NMC Properties show a higher socioeconomic vulnerability than all the properties in East Harlem. This result is important considering that New York City’s stock of affordable housing hosts some of the most vulnerable populations in the city, with less ability to move elsewhere before or after a flooding event.
Atsunobu Kohira’s “Seek Hope, Who Enter Here” is a statue for the “dark side of Newtown Creek” in the words of the artist. With dark side Kohira refers to the materiality, the blackness of coal and of its by-products, tar, petroleum and plastics out of which Kohira crafted a 12ft monolith, on view at the Chimney. The plastic waste was collected in the gallery's surronding in Newton Creek, a river part of the Hudson Estuary, flowing west for 3.5 miles between Queens and Brooklyn and emptying into the East River. The monolith is a piece of garbage archeology, exploring the waste habits of the people living and passing through this part of Greenpoint in Brooklyn. In the manner in which it addresses discarded commodities the piece enters the meshwork \cite{Ingold_2002}, or the combination of life threads tying the lines of embodied experience of the New Yorker of the present with the (dark*) ecological and material histories that made and re-make Newtown Creek.Maspet Kills, English Kills, Dutch Kills. The early human history of the creek is carried in the names of its branches. Indians fished the creek and named its overflowing tidal streams, before it was used by both the English and the Dutch for agriculture and industrial commerce in the Seventeenth Century. Later it hosted the first kerosene refinery of the country and the first modern oil refinery. In the 20s and 30s Newtown Creek was a major shipping hub, becoming the home of sugar refineries, tanning plants, canneries and copper wire plants. Thanks to little or no regulation of these industries until the 20th Century, the slowly accumulating impacts of industrial pollution on both citizens' health and the environment were largely ignored.  The polluting history of Newton Creek peaked with a 13 -17 million gallons underground oil spill (known as the Greenpoint oil spill) caused by Standard Oil’s companies, the largest oil spill in the country’s history. The health and environmental impacts have been the subject of court litigations between Standard Oil successor companies, such as Chevron and ExxonMobil, and Greenpoints' inhabitants. Still today millions of gallons of sewage water are dumped at various Combined Sewage Outflows (or CSOs) along the creek. The remediation work to clean up the site, declared a Superfund site in 2010, are expected to take at least another decade.  The kind of remediation has yet to be selected but it is likely to involve techniques such as dredging the toxic sludge accumulated in the river bed to dump it in other "safer" underground facility.  This begs the question: isn't there a need for other kinds of reparations and what may these look like?Kohira’s monolith evokes the extractive landscape of Newtown Creek in the newly found materiality of once decomposing organic matter turned into plastic forks, spoons, bottles and containers held together by shiny tar .  In this way the monolith enters into a relational dialogue with the cultural, politico-economic structures that made Newton Creek. Indeed we are reminded of, and become concerned with, the past as a history of resource extraction, energy and commodities production of the nascent U.S. capitalist economy, together with those of the chemistry of the climate and the life of non-human entities. The audience is asked to reflect on the "multiple spatialities that co-exist" in and of themselves and which are brought to the surface within the gallery space, and how these are "bound to be differentiated across the many subject positions" \cite{Green_2012} of citizens, oil corporations and wildlife inhabiting this stretch of land. At its best the monolith collapses time and space revealing the unstable layers of place asking the audience to care for these histories in the present, as politics. At its worse, it may lull us into a toxic sublime \cite{Peeples_2011}. After all, who recognizes toxicity and in what ways? I took part in the symposium organized to discuss Kohira's work in light of the Anthropocene with an audience of predominantly artists and academics. The symposium highlighted this long history of the creek brilliantly exposed by Willis, an organizer at the Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA). However, this was just an instance. How will other viewers engage with the legacies that this piece conjures upon us? Will they go beyond its aesthetic qualities?
North Dakota has had three oil booms; the most recent one, which started around the end of the last decade, is much larger than those of the 1950s and the 1970s. If you drive around the back roads of northwest North Dakota with a couple of lifelong residents, they can spot some of the older rigs from a half-mile off (The New York Times, 2015). Perhaps the most salient event of the latest oil boom is the siting of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Keystone XL Pipelines and the resistance shown by the Standing Rock Lakota Nation and other Lakota, Nakota, Dakota citizens who founded a spirit camp along the proposed route of the 1,172 mile pipeline. Looking out at the Dakota landscape using the active gaze of the late American geographer Peirce Lewis, one may stop at the contemplation of cues of culture. The gaze would probably linger on the storage tanks, gas flares, towering derricks and jack pumps that dot the plains today and are, simultaneously, active carriers of the previous oil booms (some jack pumps date back to 1957 according to the New York Times). In this piece I will illustrate, following \citet{Mitchell}'s axioms for reading the landscape, how this visual morphology of North Dakota is instead the result of a landscape that is produced, and where under capitalist culture, its primary function is the production of exchange value through through money. Mitchell also proposed to see the landscape as a product of history, of a power struggle over the shape of social life and social control and ultimately as the mirror of the social justice we enact in the world.  North Dakotan landscapes, the Standing Rock Syllabus tells us, have been a battle ground long before oil discovery, dating back to the nineteen century history of contact between Europeans and the Oceti Sakowin, extending to the Louis and Clark expedition of 1803, followed by a series of Treaties signed by the United Sates, the Sioux, and other tribes which would be repeatedly violated by the United States. The syllabus provides a historic timeline key to understand that this landscape is a product of history \citep{Mitchell}, where the landscape is the setting and the witness of numerous indigenous uprisings and bloodshed: the Great Dakota Uprising of 1862; the 1876-77 Great Sioux War; the break up of the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1889, which guaranteed certain territories as both indigenous land and hunting grounds; the famous battle of Wounded Knee in 1890 leading to the massacre of 250 to 300 indigenous Lakota, mostly women and children. The syllabus also delves into more recent events such as the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Plan which led to new violations to the Fort Laramie Treaty as the US Army Corps of Engineers built a massive water infrastructure project along the Missouri River and its tributaries.