Can museums engage with climate realism so that it's not all up to their workers to do so?
If you're reading this and not a subscriber to Museum Human, consider scrolling to the bottom and signing up now—it's free and is the only way to read the site's longer weekly post on the organizational culture of cultural organizations.
For elites, and the museum field is filled with them, it's important to ask who will be doing the sacrificing in the name of reversing the climate collapse, as this Boston Review piece asks. The writer investigates the lack of local, non-elite support for expanding giant rural wind farms:
My search for people willing to endure the costs and forgo the benefits of turbines for the sake of the common, planetary good only partly failed. I did not find anyone willing to undertake that sacrifice, but I also discovered that [the village]’s wind farms do not serve the common good. Occasionally people asked me, “Why, if these turbines are producing clean energy, is the oil refinery in Algeciras still polluting our air?” Though the question conflated different uses of energy, it contained an essential truth. Rather than replacing fossil fuels, wind farms are supplementing them. Spain’s nuclear plants, which also worry the villagers, continue splitting atoms almost at an even clip. At best, renewables hold pollution to a steady stream. This is the global story of wind and solar power. In 2012 every 10 megawatts of renewably generated electricity displaced at most 1 megawatt derived from fossil fuels. Meanwhile, panels and blades illuminate empty rooms, cool half-empty fridges, and otherwise fuel high-energy, wasteful lifestyles. Certainly, electric companies—in just about any jurisdiction—do not want people to buy fewer megawatts.
If you're reading this and not a subscriber to Museum Human, consider signing up for a free subscription below—it's the only way to read the site's longer weekly post on the organizational culture of cultural organizations. Thank you for reading!
cover photo by NOAA / Unsplash [description: a bolt of lightning from a dark purple sky on a road up ahead]