Friday, May 05, 2017

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Clive Hamilton discusses the accelerating calamity of climate change which we're allowing to happen:
Our best scientists tell us insistently that a calamity is unfolding, that the life-support systems of the Earth are being damaged in ways that threaten our survival. Yet in the face of these facts we carry on as usual.

Most citizens ignore or downplay the warnings; many of our intellectuals indulge in wishful thinking; and some influential voices declare that nothing at all is happening, that the scientists are deceiving us. Yet the evidence tells us that so powerful have humans become that we have entered this new and dangerous geological epoch, which is defined by the fact that the human imprint on the global environment has now become so large and active that it rivals some of the great forces of nature in its impact on the functioning of the Earth system.
So today the greatest tragedy is the absence of a sense of the tragedy. The indifference of most to the Earth system’s disturbance may be attributed to a failure of reason or psychological weaknesses; but these seem inadequate to explain why we find ourselves on the edge of the abyss. 
Perhaps the intellectual surrender is so complete because the forces we hoped would make the world a more civilised place – personal freedoms, democracy, material advance, technological power – are in truth paving the way to its destruction. The powers we most trusted have betrayed us; that which we believed would save us now threatens to devour us.
- Meanwhile, Lizzie Flew writes about the UK's growing crisis of child poverty. But with the Con government more interested in creating even deeper divides between children given a fair chance in life and those relegated to second-class citizenship, Chris Horrie offers a reminder of what segregated education has done in the past.

- Dave Chokshi comments on the social factors which cause people to miss out on needed medical care. And in a prime example of how anti-social decision-making can exacerbate the isolation of people who can least afford it, Cathy Crowe discusses the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty's report showing that funding intended for people who most need housing supports is instead being diverted to other purposes.

- Jordan Press reports on Kevin Page's finding that there's no business case to support the Libs' plan for an infrastructure bank when the federal government can borrow money for capital projects more affordably on its own.

- And finally, Ed Broadbent makes the case for any new or revised trade agreements to protect human rights - and particularly labour rights.

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