Thursday, June 05, 2014

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Emmett Macfarlane and Justin Ling both weigh in on the Cons' newly-unveiled prostitution legislation - which seems downright calculated to exacerbate the risks to sex workers' lives and safety that resulted in the previous version being struck down as unconstitutional.

- And on the subject of policy designed entirely out of prejudiced desire to punish and exclude marginalized groups, Christopher Ingraham writes about a study showing that restrictive voter ID laws arise out of discriminatory intent.

- Newsweek takes note of the Harper Cons' gag order against meteorologists informing the public about climate change. And Mike De Souza rounds up the top ten quotes from scientists who have been muzzled.

- The CP reports on a study showing increased mercury levels around the tar sands - which of course wasn't made public after being completed last December. Paul Krugman rightly dismisses the claim that continued (or increased) carbon emissions are necessary for economic growth. And Linda McQuaig identifies the dinosaur in the room when it comes to the oil industry:
Harper now stands poised to ignore massive opposition and stomp on the historic rights of First Nations people by approving the Northern Gateway pipeline, thereby putting in place a key piece of his energy superpower scheme.

What makes all of this so perplexing — almost other-worldly — is that it’s so unnecessary.
Due to the marvels of modern technology, the world now has the technical capacity to move to a post-carbon age. The International Energy Agency is clear about this. In a report last month, the agency — which is the energy equivalent of the OECD or the IMF — pointed out that it is possible for the world to “decarbonise almost all power generation by 2050.”

Sure, but we’d all be back in the Stone Age, right? Employment would be confined to shovel-ready pyramids.

Actually, no. The IEA estimated the global cost of moving to a post-carbon world at $44 trillion — which sounds like a deal-breaker until you read on and discover that this massive cost would be more than offset by $115 trillion in fuel savings, resulting in a net saving of $71 trillion.
- Finally, David Pugliese breaks the news that the Cons' increasingly unaccountable and intrusive surveillance apparatus now has literally every public demonstration in Canada in its sights.

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