Sunday, November 27, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Benjamin Veness writes that the best way to address the dangers of long COVID is to prevent spread of the underlying viruses. And Daniel Bierstone and Monika Dutt write that it's never been important to make sure workers have sick leave available than at a point where health care systems are crumbling under the weight of multiple infectious diseases. 

- Mitchell Thompson points out how the Ford PCs are measuring the results of privatized social programs solely by how many people they force back to work, not by anybody's welfare or escape from poverty. And Simon Woodside observes that the developer-led sprawl being put forward as Ford's excuse for a housing policy will ultimately impose both weaker communities and higher property taxes on the public.

- Emily Baron Cadloff discusses the potential for a retailer code of conduct in response to rising food prices - though the prospect of an unenforceable, industry-led deal among businesses known to have colluded to fix prices for their own benefit hardly inspires confidence.

- Jake Johnson writes about the growing amounts of dark money flooding the American political system.

- Finally, Max Fawcett offers a warning about Pierre Poilievre's simplistic and demonstrably counterproductive "solutions" to problems which deserve to be taken seriously - with his insistence on a drug policy of harm exacerbation once again ranking as a prime example.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Dr. Christopher Applewhaite, Kerri Coombs, Dr. Susan Kuo and Protect Our Province BC respond to the reckless attempt to declare "back to normal" in the midst of an ongoing pandemic (with other severe illnesses also circulating at dangerous levels). And Lori Culbert reports on the difficulty health providers are having in trying to treat patients' long COVID symptoms, while Qiangru Huang et al. find that long COVID symptoms tend to become an ongoing issue after the first month rather than getting better with time.

- Katherine Scott discusses the crisis in a care economy where workers are facing increasing demands, constant illness and government-imposed wage cuts from what was already a starting point of austerity.  And Peter Friedrichsen writes about the ongoing collapse of Saskatchewan's health care system under a government operating in deliberate ignorance of people's suffering.

- Gregory Beatty discusses how Scott Moe and Danielle Smith are insisting on driving their respective provinces off a cliff. And Don Braid notes that Smith in particular has made it alarmingly clear how she intends to abuse power based on the positions she's promoted when given the platform of a radio show. 

- Finally, Clare Watson writes about the difficulty of calling out greenwashing in a country where giveaways and excuses for fossil fuel barons are taken as normal by those in power.

Musical interlude

Emma Hewitt - Collide


Friday, November 25, 2022

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jessica Wildfire sets out the realities of COVID which are apparent to people on top of the flow of scientific news - even if they're not being reflected in public policy or government messaging. Larissa Kruz reports on the strain being placed on Saskatchewan family doctors who lack the capacity to make up for overflowing emergency rooms. And Sonia Aslam reports on British Columbia's alarming rate of student and staff illness in schools, while Janet French reports on Danielle Smith's appalling decision to prohibit Alberta school divisions from taking even the most basic precautionary steps to limit the spread of COVID and other diseases. 

- Marc Lamont Hill talks to David Suzuki about the parties who bear responsibility for the climate crisis. Nicholas Gottlieb calls out the Libs' prioritization of keeping fossil fuels in production to the last possible moment no matter how much harm it does to our living environment. And Terrence McCoy reports that even the Amazon rainforest is seeing droughts and water shortages based on the damage we've done to the climate so far. 

- Meanwhile, Martin Wolf points out that we can't expect corporate decision-making to lead us toward the clean energy transition we need. And Richard Denniss writes that ill-advised power privatization schemes in Australia provided a massive windfall to well-connected businesses while taking control out of the hands of democratically-elected governments.  

- Kim Perrotta and John Atkinson highlight how sprawl and car dependence are harmful for everybody's health. And Fatima Syed reports that the Ford PCs are walking back a few of the elements of their plan to flatten any environmental protection including allowing for green building standards - though the fact they hadn't bothered to consider what rules were necessary should signal how ill-thought-out their legislation is. 

- Finally, Rumneek Johal discusses the dangerous ignorance and deception behind Pierre Poilievre's attacks on harm reduction and safe substance supply. And the Globe and Mail's editorial board cites that same position among other Poilievre talking points as prime examples of a lack of reality-based leadership. 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Anjana Ahuja highlights the risks which result from quackery treating theories about an "immunity debt" as a reason to expose children to avoidable disease. And John Paul Tasker reports on Jean-Yves Duclos' attempt to ensure children get vaccinated, even as far too many provincial governments seem eager to avoid discussing the multiple public health threats facing their populations. 

- Amina Zafar discusses why it's so important for people to stay home when sick at a time when our health care system is being pushed far past its capacity. But Vanmala Subramaniam and Chris Hannay point out that despite the lessons of the COVID pandemic, most provinces haven't done anything to ensure people have sick leave available in order to be able to do so. 

- Meanwhile, Max Fawcett notes that Danielle Smith's plans to actively undermine public health care could be her electoral undoing. 

- The University of Oxford studies how microplastics have made their way to Antarctica's air, water and territory, confirming that a poorly-regulated form of pollution can affect the natural environment far from where it originates. 

- Finally, Zak Vescera and Amanda Follett Hosgood report on the B.C. Federation of Labour's push for alternatives to policing by force, particularly when it comes to recognizing Indigenous rights. And Jeremy Simes reports on the entirely justified concern that the Moe government is headed in exactly the opposite direction by laying the groundwork for a politically-controlled provincial police force. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Tracey Harrington McCoy reports on still more research showing significant brain changes caused by long COVID. Joseph Oliver writes that sick kids need people to mask up to alleviate the intolerable pressure on our health care system. And Anne Sosin, Lakshmi Ganapathi and Martha Lincoln note that the case for masking also includes averting the continued spread of RSV and influenza. 

- David Moscrop discusses how an economic system increasingly designed to extract every possible nickel and moment from the general public - and a political system all too willing to contribute to its development - are at the root of the crisis in public trust. And Ameil Joseph notes that it's impossible for governments or public institutions to bargain in good faith with their employees while engaging in propaganda campaigns against workers' ability to earn a reasonable living. 

- Elizabeth Kolbert tries to frame the story of climate change in a way that will push toward the action we need to avert an avoidable calamity, while Bill McGuire concludes that the COP climate conferences are proving useless to the task. 

- Finally, Lucas Sousa argues that it's long past time to replace first-past-the-post with a more representative electoral system. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Bryan Bushard reports on research showing how football games served as COVID-19 superspreaders even when less transmissible versions were circulating in 2020. And Akshay Kulkarni reports on the dangers of removing what few protections remain (including B.C.'s just-dropped self-isolation requirement for people infected with COVID), while Amina Zafar reminds us of the importance of staying home when sick.  

- Jeff Sparrow writes that extreme wealth is incompatible with effective democratic governance. And Frida Berrigan discusses how the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of hoarders is an intractable obstacle to needed climate action. 

- Meanwhile, Akshat Rathi, Natasha White and Demetrios Bogkas report on the sketchy math behind claims to carbon neutrality that aren't actually based on the reduction of a corporation's own emissions. And Darrin Qualman makes the case for Canada to set up a Canadian Farm Resilience Agency to ensure that agriculture isn't seen as incompatible with a needed transition to a clean economy.  

- Finally, Mitchell Anderson rightly calls out Danielle Smith for governing based on little more than childish fantasies - though the same criticism applies with equal force to Scott Moe and his government of UCP cheerleaders.