Sunday, August 01, 2021

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Lauren Pelley examines the impact of the Delta variant in Canada. And Marieke Walsh notes that we're facing an increasingly tight time frame to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations to avoid it resulting in a fourth wave, while reports on U.S. research showing vaccines alone won't be enough to respond to Delta or other new variants. 

- Paul Krugman discusses how COVID-19 has followed political lines in the U.S. due to the irresponsibility of Republican governments. Blake Murdoch comments on the repugnance of Jason Kenney's decision to let a deadly disease run rampant, while Kelly Cryderman notes that an ideological aversion to acting in the public interest is entirely consistent with the UCP's brand. The CP points out warnings from public health officials as to how the recklessness of Kenney's choices will echo far beyond Alberta's provincial borders. And Kendall Latimer examines the risks arising from Saskatchewan's increasing case counts even as Scott Moe likewise insists on removing any protection for people. 

- Rebecca Casey and others review how the pandemic has highlighted the need for paid sick leave. 

- Oxfam highlights how intellectual property restrictions have already quintupled the cost of distribution COVID vaccines, while Reuters reports that Pfizer and Moderna have gone into full-on shameless profiteering mode by hiking the prices of COVID vaccines in Europe. And Linda McQuaig offers a reminder that Canada has chosen to allow big pharma to engage in price-gouging rather than ensuring that medications and vaccines are both accessible and affordable.

- Noelle Allen discusses the folly of relying on market to fix problems with housing which find their root in the prioritization of profits over people's rights and needs.

- Finally, Jane Gleeson-White writes about the patriarchal bias underlying what's presented as objective and neutral economic thought.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Musical interlude

Glass Animals - It's All So Incredibly Loud

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- The Globe and Mail's editorial board highlights the folly of declaring victory in the race to vaccinate Canadians against COVID-19 when we're far short of anything remotely resembling a conclusion. Sarah Rieger reports that Alberta is seeing unprecedented spread as its fourth wave begins to crash into the general public. And Rob Vanstone rightly questions why the Saskatchewan Roughriders are prepared to let COVID into packed football games. 

- The Angus Reid Institute examines public attitudes toward improving our system of long-term care - and as for so many other issues, there are far more people who believe change is needed than who expect it to actually happen. And Janet French reports on the UCP's moves to turn Alberta's health sector into a profit centre at the expense of workers in both surgical centres and laundry facilities. 

- Camille Bains reports on the damage being inflicted on Canadian agriculture by extreme heat and drought conditions. 

- David Gray-Donald discusses two new books on how the fossil fuel industry has manipulated both public information and political choices to block action to ameliorate climate breakdown. And Emily Eaton, Andrew Stevens and Sean Tucker comment on the Co-Op refinery's attack on workers as an example of how a transition will be entirely unjust if corporate interests dictate its terms. 

- Finally, Gillian Steward rightly argues that a federal election is the last thing Canada needs in the midst of a pandemic and summer of climate chaos. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Stepped-up cats.


Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Apoorva Mandavilli reports on the CDC's return to recommending that people wear masks indoors to try to avoid another COVID wave. Matt Elliott asks why nobody is taking the lead on proof of vaccinations when it represents another necessary step to control spread. Jean-Paul Soucy pieces together a full picture of Saskatchewan's COVID timeline which the Moe government had conspicuously avoided making available. 

- Richard Paddock and Muktita Suhartono report on the growing number of children dying of COVID-19 in Indonesia. Adam Hampshire et al. study (PDF) the effects of long COVID. And Wency Leung reports on how the pandemic has aged people prematurely. 

- Mitchell Thompson discusses how the Trudeau Libs are barging ahead with a plan to put workers back on the path to increasing precarity by slashing or withdrawing supports even as the pandemic continues. And Aaron Wherry notes that the push toward austerity comes even as all major parties seem to have accepted the public's willingness to run deficits to tend to people's well-being. 

- Barry Saxifrage reports that the spread of wildfires in British Columbia is resulting in more carbon pollution than the province's burning of fossil fuels. And Fraser Thomson rightly argues that Canada can't claim to be anything but a climate villain as long as we refuse responsibility for emissions from our oil and gas exports. 

- Finally, Steven Chase reports on the Libs' decision to approve a $74 million sale of explosives to Saudi Arabia, once again prioritizing the military-industrial complex over the lives at risk at the hands of an warmongering regime. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Monday Afternoon Links

 Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- CBC News reports on the research which is just starting to systematically identify and treat the worrisome symptoms of long COVID. Gabriel Scally weighs in on the dangers of the UK's choice to end any public health response to COVID-19 even as the Delta variant is starting to run rampant, while Amanda Holpuch reports that the U.S. is looking at guidance which may include reinstating mask mandates. And Apoorva Mandavilli discusses the broader dangers of the U.S.' environment of vaccine refusal. 

- Doug Gordon writes that a shift toward increasing car traffic represents just one more example of the lack of learning from a pandemic which exposed it as unnecessary. And Emma Arkell points out that young women in particular have borne the brunt of the economic damage from COVID-19. 

- Patrick Brethour highlights the likelihood that the rich in Canada are only getting richer while the Libs do nothing to address income or wealth inequality. And David Moscrop calls out the space race between billionaires as reflecting our complete failure to harness extreme wealth toward any useful end. 

- Meanwhile, Torsten Bell reports on new research showing how public and political corruption spreads into everyday activity. 

- Jonica Newby describes her climate grief - and highlights how it should be an important factor in pushing us to needed action. And Ruth MacLean writes about the oil industry's plan to abandon the mess it's made in Nigeria now that there are no easy profits to be extracted. 

- Finally, Max Fawcett discusses the attempt by the UCP's anti-environment inquiry to throw a report together at the last minute. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- The Globe and Mail's editorial board recognizes that any responsible government would be continuing to apply public health rules to prevent a fourth wave of COVID, rather than hyping partial vaccination as a cure-all. Zeynep Tufecki discusses how the U.S.' political dysfunction is limiting its ability to mount a full public health defence - though it's well worth noting that Canada and other countries are facing similar difficulties without the exact political barriers south of the border. avid Connett reports on the justified backlash against the UK Cons' attempt to portray responsible risk management as cowardice. Shondipon Laha writes that our growing level of experience in responding to COVID-19 doesn't mean it's getting any easier to ask ICU staff to deal with new waves. Rob Stein and Selina Simmons-Duffin report on new modeling showing how the Delta variant is set to cause a new wave of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.

- Blake Murdoch and Lorian Hardcastle point out that there's no reason why a vaccine passport can't be designed to protect privacy while also achieving the public health goals of encouraging vaccination and protecting against community spread.

- Arthur White-Crummey reports that the Saskatchewan Party's attack on the solar industry has achieved its goal of destroying an immediate renewable alternative to fossil fuels - as well as the jobs that went with it. And if we needed to be reminded as to how corporate-friendly regimes have worked to tie the hands of anybody trying to implement effective climate policy, Josephine Moulds reports on a UK oil company's use of ISDS provisions to try to force Italy to approve offshore drilling or hand it hundreds of millions of dollars of free money.

- Meagan Day interviews Carol Burris about the use of "nonprofit" charter schools to transfer education funding into the hands of the corporate sector.

- Finally, Paul Krugman calls out the corporatist politicians in then U.S. who are insisting that tax laws should only be enforced against the working class.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Deep thought

It's an absolute mystery where Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party got the impression they're entitled to dictate how they're covered and what questions they'll deign to answer.

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Jillian Horton discusses the lack of any meaningful effort to make education safe at the point when provincial governments should be planning for the start of the school year., while Lynn Giesbrecht reports that the Moe government in particular is taking zero responsibility (and offering nothing more than bare-bones suggestions) toward the health of students. And Ian Sample and Heather Stewart report on the concern of some UK experts that their Con government is encouraging the spread of COVID now based on the misguided belief that it will somehow relieve pressure on the health care system later.

- Meanwhile, Macintosh Ross writes about the especially galling lack of interest in public health reflected in the decision to barge ahead with the Tokyo Olympics over the objections of Japan's residents.

- Christy Ferguson highlights how the UCP's inquiry supposedly aimed at messaging about the Alberta tar sands has instead tried to delegitimize any action to help the climate anywhere in the world. And Chuka Ejeckam laments the fact that we're far beneath any reasonable pace of action in trying to salvage our living environment.

- Max Fawcett writes about the end of any illusion that there's any value in rushing to develop natural gas as a "bridge" to renewable energy which is already more affordable while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions.

- Finally, Lois Ross is justifiably outraged that Health Canada is planning to increase the amount of glyphosate permitted in Canada's food supply.