Monday, October 04, 2021

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Paul Nuki, Jennifer Rigby and Anne Gulland write about the refusal to acknowledge the airborne spread of COVID-19 which led to a continuing failure to put basic precautions in place - though part of the problem is noted to involve the match between droplet spread and conservative governments' ideological preferences:

Policymakers and politicians also have a natural bias against the idea that diseases may be airborne, says Professor Jimenez. 

“Droplets and surfaces are very convenient for people in power - all of the responsibility is on the individual,” he said. “On the other hand, if you admit it is airborne, institutions, governments and companies have to do something.”

- And Zak Vescera reports on Scott Moe's continued insistence on pushing already-failed U.S. fads as a substitute for preventative measures, this time in demanding monoclonal antibodies while his public health half-measures fail to make up for a summer of complete neglect. 

- Heather Mallick challenges the attempt to spin any oil as ethical or friendly in the face of a climate crisis along with the well-document historical impact of extractive industries. And Halena Seiferling argues that the new Parliament needs to put climate considerations at the centre of every issue it addresses. 

- Meanwhile, Henry Paulson highlights how we're in the middle of an extreme extinction event for large numbers of species. And Nathanael Johnson notes that the severe wildfires across much of North America this summer were far from the worst on the planet due to Russia's unprecedented blazes.

- Finally, Kim Siever writes that Alberta saw a huge drop in payday loans in the early stages of the COVID pandemic - confirming once again how even a modicum of social support can alleviate the extreme precarity and stress we've been conditioned to think of as normal. Umair Haque laments the Biden administration's failure to work on improving citizens' lives on the scale obviously necessary. And Phillip Inman reports on Antonio Guterres' warnings about the urgent need to reduce inequalities around the globe. 

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