Saturday, June 03, 2023

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Beth Mole reports on research showing that U.S. children suffered a spike in brain abscesses after COVID protections were removed - and that the levels continue to be elevated long after everybody has been told not to bother doing anything to avoid the spread of COVID-19. And Nicole Ireland reports on a new study finding that brain inflammation in long COVID patients (accompanied by debilitating symptoms) can linger for months after an initial infection. 

- Seth Borensen writes about the Earth Commission's recognition that our planet is operating at dangerous extremes on nearly every measurable front. And IANS reports on the danger extreme heat and drought pose to the global wheat supply. 

- Damian Carrington reports on belated efforts to stem Turkmenistan's methane "super-emitter" releases - though it's well worth noting how much more other countries need to do in reining in methane emissions as well. And Sarah Miller weighs in on the absurdity of treating carbon capture and storage as the primary option to address carbon pollution, rather than actually reducing the use of fossil fuels in favour of zero-emission alternatives. 

- Meanwhile, Matthew Rosza writes about the harm plastic pollution is doing to our living environment - and the reality that recycling programs billed as a solution are of minimal help at best. 

- Finally, Armine Yalnizyan discusses how the escalation of Toronto's housing crisis can be traced directly to the diversion of tens of thousands of homes to AirBNB and other temporary purposes. 

Friday, June 02, 2023

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Kelly MacNamara writes about the slowing of Antarctic ocean circulation as a calamitous consequence of climate change which is happening far sooner than predicted. And Alex Cooke reports on the state of emergency in Nova Scotia reflecting the immediate impact of extreme weather and unprecedented levels of heat. 

- Meanwhile, Timothy Gardner reports that the U.S.' plans for new nuclear power include the use of bomb-grade uranium - meaning that the dangers of fixating on nuclear energy include the readily foreseeable risk of weapon proliferation. 

- Talmon Joseph Smith and Joe Rennison report on the growing recognition that inflation is primarily the product of a profit-price spiral, with corporations all taking advantage of talk of limited supplies to pad their bottom lines at public expense. 

- Pete Evans reports on the CMHC's warning that household debt now exceeds Canada's entire gross domestic product - meaning that Canadians are in a far more precarious position than even their peers in other corporate-dominated countries. 

- Finally, Jessica Hamzelou reports on the plight of patients who benefited from a brain implant to help warn of epileptic incidents - only to lose the benefit of a valuable medical tool to a corporate shutdown and the failure of anybody to support its continued use. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Helpful cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Martin Sandhu writes about the development of degrowth as a viable economic organizing principle. And Kevin Drum offers a reminder that the growth we've been trained to demand has been entirely funneled into corporate coffers for over four decades, rather than creating any improvement in workers' personal incomes. 

- Meanwhile, Justin McCurry reports on the experience of Nagi, Japan showing that investments in child care and support for parents is the key to increasing birth rates for anybody treating population growth as a goal. 

- Alex Lawson reports on the EPA's findings of environmental violations by Amite BioEnergy in its wood pellet operations - reflecting a business based on claiming emissions credit for shipping and burning dirty fuel falling short of even its cynical operating model. 

- Finally, Rebecca Speare-Cole reports on the unsurprising - but still-important - reality that the corporate sector's priorities involve controlling the world first and ensuring it's liveable last. And Simone O'Donovan writes that action is ultimately the only solution both to the climate breakdown and to the anxiety it's provoking in generations who see their futures being burned for short-term profit.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Sunday Evening Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- David Cox talks to Akiko Iwasaki about the reality that we're still far from being done with major harm from COVID-19. Keith Muziguchi discusses the stories of some of the people living with long COVID and finding few receptive listeners for either their experiences or their warnings. And Dylan Lubao points out the connection between the removal of mask mandates in health care facilities, and another fully-preventable COVID surge. 

- Ian Austen discusses the choices facing voters in Alberta's election - though the apparent belief of people who recognize the dangers of the UCP that they can accomplish as much by destroying a ballot as by voting for a viable alternative bodes poorly for the province's prospects. 

- Meanwhile, Jim Stanford highlights how the UCP's corporate tax giveaway (which Danielle Smith is pushing to lock in) was utterly counterproductive, gutting public revenues while showing no evidence of encouraging investment or economic development. And Nojoud Al Mallees reports on new data from Statistics Canada which suggests that any business complaints about a labour shortage are both overblown, and based primarily on their own refusal to provide decent work. 

- Tom Sanzillo writes about a new study showing how what little major oil companies are doing to claim to reduce emissions often involves selling high-emitting assets to others to continue operations.. 

- Finally, John Cartwright and Bianca Mugyenyi make the case for investing our public resources in butter rather than guns - particularly as the greatest threats we face involve social and environmental needs rather than plausible military confrontations. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Gil McGowan highlights how the UCP's intolerable plans for Alberta include another four years of systematic wage suppression in order to further enrich the donor class.

- Cory Doctorow writes about the importance of having "ideas lying around" to respond to an obviously unacceptable status quo - though it's worth noting that the neoliberal exploitation of that principle has been paired with consistent corporate funding to keep ever more extreme ideas front and centre while shouting down any alternatives. And Manuela Fernandez Pinto and Daniel Fernandez Pinto explore how corporate funding distorts scientific research.

- Nikolaos Christidis, Dann Mitchell and Peter Stott study the rapidly increasing risk of extreme heat in Europe and the Middle East due to climate breakdown. And Leslie Scism reports that the combination of escalating wildfire risks and increasing construction costs has led a major insurer to stop offering home insurance in California.

- Bethany Lindsay and Christine Birak report on new research showing that access to free prescription medication more than pays for itself as a public investment. And the Canadian Press reports on the call for free school meals as a similar investment in health and well-being which would be more than worth funding even based on calculable financial returns (to say nothing of the importance of children being fed).

- Finally, Heather Mallick offers her account of life with long COVID (in case anybody was lacking for examples as to why it's to be avoided).

Friday, May 26, 2023

Musical interlude

Manchester Orchestra - The Way

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Beth Mole writes about the work being done to better define, diagnose and treat long COVID - even as different symptoms appear to be the result of different factors arising out of COVID-19 infection. And Markus Eyting et al. study the connection between infectious diseases and the development and dementia - along with the potential that vaccination could help prevent the latter.

- John Vaillant writes about the parallels between the growth of corporations and that of wildfires. Katharina Richter discusses the value of developing our political and economic systems around principles of sustainability and well-being, rather than growth at the expense of those more important measuring sticks. And Pamela Heaven points out how a boom in oil prices and profits has provided virtually no benefit to Alberta as a whole as fossil fuel operators have become ruthlessly efficient at taking any gains (and more) for themselves. 

- Jamie Mortin discusses new research showing that extreme El Nino and La Nina weather patterns have increased as a result of climate change. And Billie Sheridan offers a first-hand account of the experience of fleeing a home and community in the path of a wildfire. 

- Finally, Holly Mathias reports on the plight of rural Albertans dealing with addictions who have effectively been told by the UCP that they can't expect any treatment or support unless they're willing to move to urban, abstinence-based centers.