Thursday, May 23, 2024

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Simon Torracinta reviews Branko Milanovic's Visions of Inequality in tracing historical conversations in inequality, while pointing out the importance of identifying power dynamics as a root cause. And Natalia Junquera talks to Gary Stevenson about the systematic forces serving to funnel wealth toward the rich at the expense of impoverishing more and more people. 

- Patrick Greenfield examines the problems with relying on the whims of Jeff Bezos and other plutocrats to fund the work of trying to salvage a habitable environment in the face of industrial carbon pollution. Emily Sanders writes that the nomination of one climate scientist to Exxon's board of directors did nothing to noticeably alter its business as usual. And Ian Urquhart discusses how petropolitics in Alberta (and elsewhere) are blocking the deployment of renewable energy which is both more affordable and more sustainable. 

- Crawford Kilian discusses Tim Smedley's The Last Drop, including its recognition that our current usage patterns include wasting and poisoning vital supplies. And Ainslie Cuickshank reports on the constant chemical pollution at Vancouver's Burrard Inlet port. 

- Finally, Sarah Law discusses new research showing that mercury poisoning near the Grassy Narrows First Nation is being exacerbated by ongoing industrial releases. And Marc Fawcett-Atkinson reports on the push by advocates to start having realistic adult conversations about the health risks of glyphosate herbicides and pesticides - and the complete refusal by regulators to do anything but operate in utter denial. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Brian O'Boyle discusses how Ireland's choice to act as a tax haven for the ultra-wealthy has done nothing to help its citizens. And the Center for Working-Class Politics notes that a strong majority of Americans support a jobs guarantee, making it both a desirable means to boost worker interests and a political winner. 

- But then, Martin Lukacs highlights how Canada's media has gone far out of its way to manufacture sympathy for landlords at the expense of tenants. And Katya Schwenk reports on Wall Street's mass takeover of housing.  

- Cecilia Nowell writes about the dangers of ultra-processed foods - both in encouraging overeating, and in causing a variety of health issues. And David Barnett talks to Patrick Grant about the deteriorating quality of clothes (which isn't being matched by any lowering of prices).  

- The Canadian Press reports on new Leger polling finding a majority of Canadians to support the Loblaws boycott against profiteering and monopolization. 

- Cloe Logan writes about the work being done by labour activists to try to protect workers from the effects of extreme heat. 

- Finally, Tom Perkins reports on both new research showing the ubiquity of "forever chemicals" in the Great Lakes basin, and a study finding glyphosate in a majority of sperm samples at an infertility clinic. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Multidirectional cat.



Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Oliver Milman discusses a new study showing that the costs of a climate breakdown roughly approximate what it would take to fight a domestic war in perpetuity. Sarah Waldrip examines the relationship between climate change and unexplained changes in oceanic tides as yet another example of how the climate crisis is altering our living environment in unanticipated and dangerous ways. And Sanjay Sisodiya and Mark Maslin find that climate change is also exacerbating the symptoms of numerous brain conditions.  

- Jonas Hosp et al. study the long-term effects of COVID-19 on cerebral microstructure as an apparent explanation for the sustained harms of long COVID. But Tamara Schneider writes about new research showing that repeated COVID vaccines also bolster the body's immune defences against a range of other viruses. 

- Torsten Bell points out that the UK (like Canada) has ample means to end child poverty if it's motivated to do so. But Adam Bienkov notes that PM Rishi Sunak is making out like a bandit in his family's personal wealth while standards of living are deteriorating. And Prem Sikka discusses the connection between corporate profiteering and the increase in citizens' cost of living. 

- On a similar note, Jim Stanford examines how the UCP has eliminated any wage advantage in Alberta while opening the province up for complete corporate exploitation. 

- Finally, Joan Westenberg calls out the use of social Darwinism as a basis to reward the rich and selfish at the expense of everybody else. 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your long weekend reading.

- Max Fawcett laments that anti-vaxxers and science denialists have managed to control public policy choices in the midst of a pandemic with many more public health threats looming. And Jessica Wildfire writes about the collective amnesia that's served to eliminate attention to an ongoing threat - while noting that the same steps which still serve as important personal precautions also offer a needed reminder.

- The Star Tribune's editorial board notes that regular air quality warnings are an important alarm signaling the need to rein in the climate crisis. And Drew Anderson and Matt Simmons write that western Canada is once again the site of some of the most severe and widespread wildfires.

- Linda McQuaig calls out Canadian governments for subsidizing both dirty energy and short-sighted shareholder service as much of the country burns. And Ellen Ormesher and Rebecca Jean report on documents showing how the oil industry pays off the establishment media to secure social license to keep polluting.

- Accountable.us points out that the housing sector is just one more area where the affordability crisis can by traced directly to corporate profiteering.

- Finally, Sarah MacMillan reports on a Shoppers Drug Mart owner's attempt to replace paid staff with volunteers in order further goose its profits.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Damian Carrington offers a glimpse of what would be in store if we continue to spew carbon pollution as projected and end up at 3 degrees of warming or more, rather than quickly reining in greenhouse gas emissions. And Christina Figueres makes the case to adopt an attitude of stubborn optimism even in the midst of a crisis which makes it easy to despair. 

- Aly Hyder Ali writes that part of Canada's contribution needs to include a national cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector. And Mitchell Beer discusses how electrifying and decarbonizing Canada's road transportation system will more than pay for itself. 

- Alex Robinson takes note of the World Bank's road map toward a more sustainable food system - and as with the energy sector, ending subsidies to particularly dirty industries is both the most obvious step, and the one facing the most resistance from entrenched corporate interests. And Marc Fawcett-Atkinson reports on the federal government's refusal to do anything to respond to identified dangers from the ubiquitous use of glyphosate herbicides and pesticides.

- Roger Marolt discusses his experience with long COVID arising from his fifth COVID-19 infection this year. And Rochita Ghosh points out new research showing that the expanding list of COVID symptoms includes damage to vision.

- Finally, Cory Doctorow writes about the problems with treating AI material generation as an issue of intellectual property enforcement (which implies the primacy of existing content owners), rather than one of the well-being of creative workers.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Sueellen Campbell highlights how record-breaking temperatures are being covered around the globe, while Sarah Collins discusses new research showing that the northern hemisphere's summer of 2023 was the hottest in millenia. And Qi Zhao et al. examine the growing death toll from heatwaves around the world even before the unprecedented warming of the last few years. 

- Michael Mann and Katharine Hayhoe make the case that the antidote to doom is doing. But Natalie Alcoba reports on the torrent of threats and abuse directed at Charlie Angus for proposing even the most modest limits on climate-destroying propaganda. And Drew Anderson reports that the UCP's reality denialism extends to an outright refusal to accept direct evidence that their ban on renewables was entirely the result of a political order, while Neel Dhanesha takes a look at the "news mirages" being set up by dirty energy operators to substitute fossil fuel PR for any actual reporting which might expose their pollution or corruption. 

- Hazel Sheffield reports on new research showing that UK corporations hiked their prices far beyond the rate of any cost increases to goose their profits at public expense. 

- Finally, Kate Dubinski discusses a study confirming that the costs of homelessness impose an even greater burden on an already-overwhelmed health care sector.