Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Patricia Cohen discusses how the COVID-19 lockdown has exposed the precarious financial position of most Americans - but in the process highlighted that merely returning to the previous debt-laden stagnation is far from sufficient.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes that there's no getting around the collapse of much of the oil sector - meaning that our choice now is whether to take the opportunity to transition to more sustainable industries, or instead accede to the perpetual demands by Jason Kenney and his oil baron cronies to dump every available nickel into a bottomless pit. David Roberts and Chris Saltmarsh recognize that any bailout aimed at fossil fuels is going to be utterly wasted. Kyle Bakx writes about the day oil became less than worthless, while Neil Irwin discusses what it means in terms of deflationary shocks.

- Meanwhile, Jillian Ambrose points out the potential for a massive return on investment in renewable energy. And Daniel Aldana Cohen and Daniel Kammen note that a Green New Deal can help us repair the effects of the coronavirus and climate change at the same time.

- Ellen Knickmeyer reports on the people facing pollution and disease as a result of Donald Trump's attacks on even basic environmental regulation. And Michael Sainato notes that coal miners and other people whose lungs have been weakened by hazardous work environments will suffer all the more from COVID-19.

- Jonathan Safran Foer and Aaron Gross discuss how factory farms are breeding grounds for pandemics. And Fiona Harvey reports on the growing warnings that COVID-19 may cause severe famines in the developing world.

- Finally, Gregory Beatty writes that the pro-virus protests in the U.S. - however overplayed by the media - reflect years of alt-right, anti-science messaging. But Adam Gabbatt points out that the pro-disease extremism is being funded by the usual cadre of Republican donors who value retaining power and concentrating wealth over human life.

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