Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- George Monbiot discusses the dangers of treating our natural environment solely as something to be priced and commodified.

- The Mound of Sound comments on Stephen Leahy's work in crunching the numbers on the climate change impact of a Trans Mountain expansion. And Matt Scuffham and Rod Nickel report on Bill Morneau's apparent plan to divert Canada Pension Plan funds into forcing through a pipeline which can't find private investors.

- Nora Loreto writes about Canada's criminalization of dissent on the left. And Nathan Robinson argues that the right's perpetual persecution complex serves mostly to distract from the suppression of anti-establishment speech:
I want to suggest a hypothesis that may sound outlandish: What if the whole narrative is backwards? What if people who think they are voicing suppressed dangerous ideas are actually the ones suppressing the truly dangerous ideas? What if this effort to condemn the irrational excesses of political correctness is in part a way of avoiding having to engage with its arguments and listen carefully to its advocates? What if people who seem to be “challenging” a dissent-stifling power structure are actually defending one? Now, I’m not saying this is the case; I’m just asking some questions. But let’s, for a moment, because we are rational and skeptical, consider the possibility that the conservative narrative is totally upside-down. Let’s picture a topsy-turvy world in which Donald Trump is the president and left ideas are actually marginal. 
...I’m just asking us to imagine a strange world in which the interests of the wealthy mattered far more than the interests of the poor, and in which the good people got left behind while the bad people were honored and celebrated. But let’s stick with the idea, just a moment longer. In this kind of world, what would we make of people like the members of the “Intellectual Dark Web,” who insist that their ideas pose a challenge to the mainstream consensus? Well, first we’d have to look at the ideas themselves. But if those ideas turned out to coincide remarkably well with the interests of those who are already wealthy and powerful, and if those ideas seemed to downplay, deny, and evade all of the contrary evidence, we might begin to suspect that these Dissident Intellectuals should not, in fact, rightfully be considered dissidents. In this kind of world, the real dissidents would be the ones whose names we didn’t know, the ones who were trying to dredge up the truths nobody wanted to listen to, rather than the people whose faces and opinions were constantly in the newspapers. The dangerous ideas would be the ones that weren’t spoken from the White House and on cable news, because they actually indicted those institutions rather than benefiting them.
- And finally, Rinaldo Wolcott and Naomi Klein discuss how Ontarians can prevent Trumpism from spreading into their provincial government by voting for the change they actually want.

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