Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Marieke Walsh reports on the new modeling from the Public Health Agency of Canada which shows how COVID's variants will foreseeably result in massive numbers of cases if we don't act to clamp down on viral spread. Andrew Nikiforuk highlights how the emergence of those variants makes it all the more urgent that we pursue a COVID-zero strategy. And Scott Schmidt uses a Jaws analogy to point out how much needless danger is created when governments not only fail to take obvious steps to avoid further spread, but encourage people to put themselves in positions likely to contribute to further transmission.

- Meanwhile, German Lopez discusses how trying to return to a pre-COVID (or pre-Trump) "normal" falls far short of addressing desperate social crises. And Doug Cuthand notes that one of the most devastating of those - the opioid crisis - can best be met with harm reduction and decriminalization.

- Galen Herz writes that the construction of social housing is becoming an increasingly viable policy option in the U.S. But that only makes it all the more pathetic that we've seen only pittances put toward the same goal in Canada - as Nick Falvo notes in his primer on supportive housing. And Mira Miller reports that Toronto is using its resources to take away shelters from people with nowhere else to go, rather than to ensure people actually have the homes they need.

- James Galbraith discusses the role deregulation and laissez-faire economics have played in Texas' collapsing power infrastructure. And Eric Wolff, Debra Kahn and Zack Colman point out that for all the differences between California and Texas, they (like every other jurisdiction on the planet) share an acute vulnerability to the effects of a climate breakdown.

- Finally, Luke Savage notes that even in Texas there's far more appetite for a shift to clean energy than the fossil fuel-funded political establishment is willing to acknowledge. And Rick Smith writes that U.S.'. long-overdue climate policy ambition under the Biden administration offers an opportunity for Canada to stop being a laggard.

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