Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Damian Carrington reports on new research showing that it's possible to stop climate change in its tracks - but only by beginning to phase out fossil fuel infrastructure immediately. And Ryan Cooper comments on the problems in responding to an immediate crisis with mushy centrism rather than a determination to act:
America can't afford another eight years of a moderate party fiddling while the climate burns, or even making things worse, which is exactly what happened during the Obama years. Democrats in those days failed to pass a climate bill that wasn't even that great, and it took the administration five years after that to put out an executive order that was just as inadequate. In the meantime, the Obama administration ushered in a massive expansion of American oil and gas drilling that has made the U.S. the biggest producer of both oil and natural gas in the world. Part of the motivation was that natural gas is cleaner fuel than coal climate-wise, but methane (the main component of natural gas) itself is much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and it turns out leaks more than cancel out the relative climate benefit. Whoops!

If they are to take the moral responsibilities of governing the United States seriously, moderates can't just hide behind "better than Trump." The scientists say we have about a decade to cut our emissions by 45 percent. If lefty ideas like a Green New Deal are too radical for moderates, then by God they better come up with something that achieves the same objective.
- George Lakoff discusses the need to counter the language of hate which underlies Donald Trump's demand for a wall (along with so much other right-wing political strategy internationally).

- Meanwhile, Tanya Talaga notes that Justin Trudeau's cabinet shuffle is an ominous sign for Indigenous peoples. And Susan Delacourt points out that it will also likely serve as an excuse to delay any national pharmacare program.

- Finally, Natalie Mehra warns Doug Ford against following through on his apparent plans to privatize Ontario health care.

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