Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Nicole Mortillaro notes that the reduction in pollution due to COVID-19-related shutdowns isn't keeping 2020 from being either the hottest or second-hottest year on record. Nina Chestney reports on new research showing that our current fossil fuel economy is utterly incompatible with any hope of limiting climate change even to 2 degrees. And Mariana Mazzucato discusses what we'll need to do in order to avoid climate lockdowns in the not-so-distant future:

(C)limate change will exacerbate the social and economic problems highlighted by the pandemic. These include governments’ diminishing capacity to address public-health crises, the private sector’s limited ability to withstand sustained economic disruption, and pervasive social inequality. 

These shortcomings reflect the distorted values underlying our priorities. For example, we demand the most from “essential workers” (including nurses, supermarket workers, and delivery drivers) while paying them the least. Without fundamental change, climate change will worsen such problems.

The climate crisis is also a public-health crisis. Global warming will cause drinking water to degrade and enable pollution-linked respiratory diseases to thrive. According to some projections, 3.5 billion people globally will live in unbearable heat by 2070.

Addressing this triple crisis requires reorienting corporate governance, finance, policy, and energy systems toward a green economic transformation. To achieve this, three obstacles must be removed: business that is shareholder-driven instead of stakeholder-driven, finance that is used in inadequate and inappropriate ways, and government that is based on outdated economic thinking and faulty assumptions.

- Caroline Evans points out how Alberta is seeing substantial expansion of wind and solar power despite the recalcitrance of the Kenney UCP. And CBC News reports on new polling showing strong support for a transition to green energy in Regina.

- Elizabeth Renzetti writes that we won't see a full recovery from the coronavirus pandemic until women are able to return to work. And Armine Yalnizyan and Kerry McCuaig take note of the opportunity to finally establish a national child care system.

- Jordan Press reports on the added stress and anxiety lower-income Canadians have faced due to the Libs' perpetual hemming and hawing over the continuation of coronavirus relief. And Alex MacPherson discusses how CERB recipients face the risk of being excluded from Saskatchewan's Legal Aid system due to a temporary shift to a slightly more liveable income level - highlighting just how many people are cut off from basic legal services. 

- But finally, on the bright side, John Paul Tasker reports on the federal government's plan to send out free automatic tax returns in order to ensure people receive the benefits available to them.

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