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Oil Painting

22 April 2005
Bill McKibben says more writers and artists should get to grips with climate change.

What will he think of Art Not Oil, which wants to encourage artists to "create work that explores the damage that companies like BP are doing to the planet, and the role art can play in counteracting that damage"?

Bill McKibben writes of the wisfulness at the core of his reaction to global warming, a sense that as a species we’re finally and irrevocably managing to crowd out everything else:

Time rushes on, in ways that humans have never before contemplated. That famous picture of the earth from outer space that Apollo beamed back in the late 1960s – already that’s not the world we inhabit; its poles are melting, its oceans rising. We can register what is happening with satellites and scientific instruments, but can we register it in our imaginations, the most sensitive of all our devices?

It looks like the folks at Art Not Oil would him answer yes - though, anger and satire look to be higher on their list than wistfulness.

Caspar Henderson

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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