Thursday, April 08, 2021

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Susan Michie, Chris Bullen, Jeffrey Lazarus, John Lavis, John Thwaites, Liam Smith, Salim Abdool Karim and Yanis Ben Amor highlight the desperate need for maximum suppression of COVID-19, rather than an attempt to present a false balance between lives and economic activity. Steven Lewis, Nazeem Muhajarine and Cory Neudorf call out Scott Moe in particular for harming both health and economic welfare by sticking to talking points about the need to make tradeoffs between them. And Tracey Lindeman discusses the reasons for Canada's underwhelming vaccine rollout.

- Robert Hiltz writes that any public health measures need to be developed based on recognition of the risks borne by workers. And Ken Babstock offers his account of the choices facing people who took up the offer of needed pandemic income through the CERB, only to have been confronted with unexpected demands for repayment now.

- Meanwhile, Julia Rock and Andrew Perez expose how the message to shareholders from McDonalds' and other exploitative employers about the effect of a more reasonable minimum wage bears no resemblance to their public posturing.

- Kate Aronoff points out how the fossil fuel industry is slashing jobs even absent a shift away from dirty energy. Oliver Griffin reports on the Colombian oil workers joining in an anti-fracking campaign and pushing for a move to renewable energy. Emma Graney reports on TD's call for a responsible transition plan to support the workers affected, in contrast to the denialism of right-wing governments. And Zeke Housfather highlights how numerous countries are showing it's possible to combine economic growth with reductions in carbon pollution.

- Finally, George Monbiot discusses the importance of treating our oceans as a vital part of our planetary environment rather than merely a source of food to be exploited.


  1. That Tracy Lindeman article is interesting, in that it makes some fairly solid points and then introduces some major misinformation that's typically American. That is, it discusses the lack of domestic vaccine manufacturing capability in purely private sector terms and basically concludes that we don't have domestic capability because we don't let the multinationals profiteer enough--we don't give good enough deals on patents, the Canadian government uses its leverage as a buyer to keep prices lower and such. This is ridiculous both in that it's not applicable (that would explain whether multinationals were willing to sell things in Canada, not where they felt like locating manufacturing facilities) and in that it ignores the real reason, which is that we had a public sector company that did what we need and we got rid of it due to free market ideology. So of course the article concludes that if only we would bend and spread 'em a bit wider for Big Pharma, they'd have manufacturing in Canada. BS.
    The public sector doing useful things is an elephant American columnists can rarely see in a room.

    1. Definitely a fair point PLG. While Lindeman's identification of the problem doesn't necessarily imply that flawed and limited view of the solution, it's certainly problematic that she doesn't expand on anything other than kissing up to big pharma as an option.

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