Friday, June 28, 2024

Musical interlude

Iris - Appetite

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Matt Stoller writes about the "economic termites" whose barely-noticed individual bites into personal finances are adding up to a fundamentally unsound economic structure. Imogen Tyler discusses how UK demagoguery against the receipt of social benefits has provided cover for an appalling increase in poverty, while Paul Krugman observes that needless austerity is having devastating impacts on the general public. And Owen Schalk points out that Canada is increasing military spending while doing nothing to rein in our own rising poverty rates. 

- Lewis Akenji notes that the wealthiest few people are inflicting the cost of disproportionate climate damage onto everybody else to no benefit in anybody's well-being. And Kim Scipes reviews Jason Hickel's Less Is More - while pointing out the need to start discussing and defining what degrowth means as an alternative to inherently unsustainable increases in exploitation. 

- Steven Greenhouse discusses how the U.S. Supreme Court's Republican majority has been using its power to attack workers without many of the people most affected even noticing. And Amy Howe discusses SCOTUS' decision today which effectively destroys the administrative state (ensuring there's no public mechanism to check corporate power). 

- Finally, Andrew Gregory reports on Carlos Monteiro's call to regulate and tax ultra-processed foods due to their harmful health effects.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Crawford Kilian discusses how avoidable harms to people's health and well-being are inflicted on us as "costs of doing business". Patrick Miner et al. examine the harm cars cause to people and the environment - including a seven-figure death toll every year. Rishabh Chauhan highlights how the cultivation of consumerism is endangering our living environment. JTO writes that the emerging (and appalling) trend toward mask bans in the midst of an ongoing pandemic seems to be based in no small part on business' desire to encourage people to spend recklessly. 

- Meanwhile, the Club of Rome points out the widespread public demand for more fair taxes and stronger climate action across the G20. Jacob Nelson discusses how corporate control has undermined public trust in journalism. And Simon Spichak discusses how disabled people in Canada have been condemned to lives of poverty.

- The Associated Press reports on new research showing that the carbon emissions from Canada's 2023 wildfire season were four times those of every airplane in the world. And Ross Belot writes that the implications of Deloitte's recent report showing that carbon capture is non-viable include the reality that oil and gas development are similarly ill-fated. 

- Cory Doctorow points out that clean energy technology is at risk of falling into the same enshittified practices as every other form of commercial production. 

- Finally, Dougald Lamont warns that governments today are making the same mistakes that led to the rise of fascism in the 1930s - particularly in prioritizing laissez-faire doctrine over the well-being of citizens. And Greg Sargent notes that one of Donald Trump's most important weaknesses for electoral purposes may be his brazenly corrupt pandering to plutocrats. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Christopher Nardi reports on Liam Iliffe's unwitting revelations about how fossil fuel companies regularly thumb their noses at lobbying requirements and other rules while pulling the strings of compliant Canadian governments. Amanda Follett Hosgood discusses the growing push to ban at least blatantly false greenwashing, while John Woodside notes that it's telling that only the oil and gas sector is screaming bloody murder over a standard of accuracy which would apply to all kinds of business.  And Genevieve Guenther examines the new language of climate denial (which will sound painfully familiar in the Canadian political context). 

- Eric Ralls reports on a new study finding that air pollution is responsible for a nine-figure death toll since 1980, while Joao Medeiros laments the reality that such an ubiquitous killer is barely even recognized. And point out that the damage from forest fires includes multiple harms to lakes and waterways.

- Simon Wren-Lewis discusses the importance of highlighting how right-wing attacks on public revenue are the cause of the crisis in public services - and the reality that more and fairer taxes are a must to build the public institutions people want and need. And Kim Siever points out that strong public-sector jobs are good for the economy - meaning that the perpetual right-wing drive to make them privatized or precarious is all about waging class warfare against workers. 

- Finally, Gabriel Zucman offers a proposal (PDF) for a coordinated wealth tax to ensure the global ultra-rich can't evade any responsibility to the social sources of their profits. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Countertop cat. 

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Hazel Sheffield and Larry Elliott report on new research showing that the austerity and low-wage policies of the UK Cons have pushed nearly a million children into poverty.

- Caroline Anders notes that over 1,400 temperature records were broken just in the last week as multiple heat waves hit large swaths of the planet. Damian Carrington reports on a new data analysis showing that the climate crisis is causing an exponential rise in extreme wildfires. Stephanie Sy talks to residents about the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer and the threat to the well-being and livelihoods of a substantial proportion of U.S. domestic food production. And Alexander Bradley and Ian Hewitt study how increasing ocean temperatures may cause even faster melting of Antarctic ice sheets than previously anticipated. 

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes about the numerous and severe harms caused by fossil gas extraction in British Columbia, while Fatima Syed exposes how Enbridge is lobbying and pressuring governments to lock consumers into gas-based infrastructure to avoid any transition to cleaner sources of fuel and energy. And Simon Evans examines how an ideological aversion to green energy has cost UK consumers tens of billions of pounds over the past decade (while also contributing to the climate breakdown). 

- Finally, Andre Picard points out that Canadian governments have been neglecting the value of directing resources toward prevention rather than limiting to reactive responses to health issues for upwards of half a century.  

Monday, June 24, 2024

Musical interlude

UFO X - Shine

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Geoffrey Deihl writes about the polycrisis we're currently facing - and the need to stand up to those determined to inflict it on us. And Laura Paddison discusses the juxtaposition between continually-increasing carbon pollution, and the extreme heat and weather it's causing.  

- Jaela Bernstien points out that the climate damage from Canada's oil and gas exports exceeds that from our entire domestic economy and society - but that our governments are choosing not to count it in setting climate policy. And Mike de Souza weighs in on the sudden disappearance of the Pathways Alliance's greenwashing the moment it was held to a standard of accuracy, while Sarah Krichel interviews Jordan Kinder about his book Petroturfing and the suppression of any message other than fossil fuel chearleading in Canada.  

- Mark Olalde examines how the fossil fuel sector is stifling any plans to ensure the cost of oil contamination is paid by the industry responsible. And Sarah Do Couto reports on a new study finding that the effects from last year's Ohio hazardous chemical spill reached 16 states as well as Canada (contrary to public assurances at the time). 

- Adam King reports on the work being done by unions to fight arbitrary return-to-office mandates and ensure safer work environments for workers generally. Aiyani Bodi discusses the strong desire among young workers to contribute to climate solutions rather than being forced into contributing to a climate breakdown. And Daron Acemoglu writes that the widespread crisis of democracy is based largely on the failure of politicians to represent workers' interests. 

- Finally, Olamide Olaniyan discusses the intersectionality of hate as the general theme of "anti-woke" is used to push - and build alliances between - multiple forms of bigotry and oppression. 

Friday, June 21, 2024

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jennifer Sandlin discusses a new analysis showing how COVID-19 infections lead to numerous other types of infectious diseases, while Devika Rao writes about the medical recognition that they may also increase the risk of cancers. And Sam Wollaston offers Natacha Gray's account of the realities of life with long COVID. 

- Meanwhile, Andre Picard writes about a new report warning that we don't appear to have learned much about public health responses from COVID. And Luke Andrews reports on expert warnings that the CDC is flying blind in failing to work on testing as a dangerous bird flu spreads. 

- Danyaal Raza discusses a new World Health Organization report finding that corporate greed is the direct cause of millions of preventable deaths annually. Jessica Ray takes note of the ubiquity of "forever chemicals" in U.S. drinking water - as well as the lack of any apparent plan to address it other than telling people to filter their own water. And Beatrice Olivastri, Fe de Leon and Laura Bowman question why the Libs are dismantling a planned pesticide monitoring program. 

- David Macdonald and Jon Milton point out that contrary to the contrived outrage of the Cons and their corporate puppeteers, Canada's last increase in capital gains inclusion rates was followed by a doubling of investment. And Macdonald discusses the fundamental unfairness of giving capital returns any preferential treatment over wages. 

- Finally, Robert Reich writes that Joe Biden should welcome the hatred of plutocrats who think they're entitled to have government used as an instrument to further their already-unconscionable wealth and power. And the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce's child labour plans provide just one example of the type of anti-social position people will be happy to reject.