Hi, we're the Holobiont Lab. It's our first blog post, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to quickly update the people on our new project.
Starting roughly a year ago, a few of us here in Philly got together to talk about our warming climate. We ended up talking about municipal crisis planning, coming water crises, prisons, autonomous infrastructure, how the grim future of climate change will affect Philly and how to respond. We left with a handful of big question marks. Sometime later, Emily and myself decided to start something. We wanted to draw on our work over the last couple decades focusing on prison abolition and prisoner solidarity and stitch that together with an aspirational project tackling climate change and its effects on communities like the ones we live in.
Some of the areas where we see this happening are in heat and power/fossil fuels. Philly, along with the rest of the world, is getting tangibly hotter every year. But as we often see, crises are distributed unevenly. Mostly Black neighborhoods, like SW Philly, are hotter than more affluent neighborhoods just blocks away. And poorer neighborhoods of course have less resources to deal with this. This of course intertwines with how we see anti-black racism and white supremacy as it affects the neighborhoods we live in. The climate is heating most the neighborhoods where police kill and the state incarcerates.
We're also looking at the inevitable larger transition to renewable resources. As this transition happens, we already see it affecting poorer neighborhoods in Philly differently. Switching to solar on a household level is beyond the means of most and far down on the list of priorities where survival and basic maintenance comes first. Here we see possibilities of us building as an organization to help level out that difference through hiring comrades returning from incarceration and helping poor homeowners and land projects with infrastructure.
So we're looking at a range of different work and we'll see where it leads. We've been learning about and experimenting with recycled EV batteries, have a number of just barely sprouting projects in the pipeline ranging from installing residential solar to PV and battery powered irrigation for community gardens and we're well on our way to establishing ourselves bureaucratically as an organization able to get legitimately funded. But we're still talking about how this will really play out and we have our eyes open to collaborators on a number levels. Reach out to us!