Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Greg Iacurci discusses how long COVID is set to cause trillions of dollars of damage to the U.S.' economy (to say nothing of the toll in human suffering and death). Constance Sommer writes about the difficulty in distinguishing between "brain fog" caused by long COVID and that which signals the onset of dementia. And John Daley and Paolo Zialcita offer their recommendations on how to think like an aerosol scientist in reducing the risks of an infectious disease.

- Meanwhile, Alessia Passafiume points out the dangers of Twitter's decision to enable the spread of COVID misinformation. And Robert Mackey and Micah Lee highlight the effects of its decision to put content moderation and account regulation in the hands of the fascist right, while Graham Gallagher writes about the utterly bizarre worldviews that are being normalized in the Republican party. 

- Max Fawcett discusses how the anti-democratic #FluTruxKlan is continuing to organize even as an inquiry highlights why the federal government had to use emergency powers to end its occupation of Ottawa. And Eric Adams and Jason Markusoff both write about Danielle Smith's plan to end accountable government in Alberta in order to speed up the process of picking fights with the feds. 

- Linda Qiu reports on the rise of farmland values as an investment in the U.S. which is pricing actual residents out of the market. And Yasmine Ghania and Sam Samson discuss how the same hollowing out of rural areas is playing out in Saskatchewan. 

- Finally, the Economist discusses new research showing how air pollution can lead to harms including increased suicide rates, while Damian Carrington writes about a study showing pollution to be the cause of almost a million stillbirths around the globe every year. And Crawford Kilian points out why it's foolish to gamble the future of humanity on the remote hope of being able to make another planet habitable, rather than working on keeping the Earth liveable. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Aligned cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Emily Crane reports on a new report commissioned by the U.S.' Department of Health and Human Services finding that masking policies are needed just to deal with the known dangers of long COVID. And Abdullah Shihipar, William Goedel and Abigail Cartus point out that masking is particularly valuable (and necessary) when there are multiple respiratory viruses all causing intolerable stress on health care systems.  

- Meanwhile, Stephanie Murray discusses how the COVID pandemic has exposed glaring inequalities in the resources available to parents (among so many other facets of life). Katherine Scott notes that women are looking to new career paths to attempt to avoid systemic wage discrimination. And Tom Sandborn writes that Canada can't claim to be standing up for workers while allowing (or outright encouraging) exploitative practices in its foreign policy. 

- Oliver Moore and Jill Mahoney expose the connections between the Ford PCs and the wealthy developers who stand to profit by paving over Ontario's Greenbelt. And Matt Gurney writes that Ford's actions both at the time of the #FluTruxKlan and in the recent inquiry demonstrate utter disregard for the interest of his province's citizens. 

- Finally, Lisa Young points out how Danielle Smith's tenure in office has been marked by refusing to take legislative steps which could be subject to debate and review, and instead using direct intimidation to push an anti-vax position on anybody daring to try to keep people healthy in their workplaces and venues. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Cate Swannell discusses how research showing the multitude of harms which can result from COVID-19 infection. Calixto Machado-Curbelo, Joel Gutiérrez-Gil and Alina González-Quevedo study how new variants are entering the brain in different ways than prior versions - easing the respiratory damage associated with the coronavirus initially while also causing different symptoms. And Bryce Covert points out how long COVID is affecting the workforce - resulting in labour shortages for exactly the employers who are demanding that employees be forced back to in-person work.  

- Emily Blake reports on the billions of dollars in remediation costs being dumped on the public as large mine operators have left contaminated sites to be cleaned up on the public dime. And Drew Anderson exposes new information as to how Imperial Oil concealed its knowledge about contamination while claiming innocence when people have observed direct damage from their sites. 

- Annie Lowrey discusses how misogyny in the field of economics results in a distorted set of interests and assumptions behind economic research and decision-making. 

- Finally, John Bell calls out Danielle Smith's smash-and-grab UCP government. And Katha Pollitt writes that democratic socialism offers reason for hope in some alternative to a capitalist system where greed is the primary consideration in all kinds of decision-making. 

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.