Thursday, September 08, 2016

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Naomi Klein writes about the racism and dehumanization behind climate change denialism and inaction. And George Monbiot reminds us of the dangers of overheating oceans, while Michael Wines interviews Todd Halihan about the earthquakes and other harms caused by fracking.

- Meanwhile, Chris Wood and Michael Beer note that due to the obvious industry capture of the National Energy Board, Canada doesn't have a federal regulator fit to evaluate the public interest when it comes to oil and gas projects - and of course a similar problem applies at the provincial level.

- Sarah O'Connor writes about the precarious circumstances of workers trying to make a living off of the gig economy. But lest anybody think that a traditional job necessarily equates to a secure paycheque, Kyle Duggan reports on the costs of fixing the failing Phoenix pay system which has been bleeding public servants ever since it was implemented.

- Ian Welsh proposes that we ensure a secure and affordable supply of needed drugs through public manufacturing and distribution. And Seth Klein and Patrick Leyland point out why privatized surgeries and other medical services only increase the burden on a public health care system.

- Finally, CBC reports on Laura Eggertson and Kirsten Patrick's call for a national suicide prevention strategy. 


  1. Anonymous9:01 a.m.

    I need more information on the history of Phoenix to comment specifically - but do have a general comment about the strategy / situation which probably created this disaster.
    First, large complex projects can and do lose their focus regardless of the decision making processes which initiated them. But I have worked on (and led some) in the I/T field - which were large, complex, yet came in on time and within budget. Simply takes competent project management.
    Trouble is, enough of these disasters have occurred that both Federal and increasingly provincial governments are going for the COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) approach - where they scour the market for systems with an approximate fit (say +> 70% fit) and then pay extra for the gap of say 30% to be built bespoke. I'd hazard a guess Phoenix was such a system - and they 1) misjudged the approximate fit and 2) did not take into account how flexible the base system was to be modified to accomodate the other 30%.

    Wascally Wabbit

    1. CBC has a timeline if you're interested:

      Basically beyond the standard issues you point out, it also featured a heavily politicized choice of locations which constrained the options, as well as an insistence on pushing forward even as glaring problems were being pointed out with partial implementation.