Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Miquel Oliu-Barton et al. study the effects of different government approaches to COVID-19 - and find that elimination strategies have produced far superior outcomes to attempts to live with uncontrolled community spread. And Andre Picard begs us to stop repeating our mistakes in responding belatedly and insufficiently to the spread of increasingly dangerous mutations. But Bruce Arthur discusses how Ontario looks to be limiting any public health response, while Teri Carter writes about the arrival of Omicron in areas of Kentucky where the population is operating in denial of the pandemic. Katelyn Jetelina examines what we know about the Omicron variant so far. And Alexander Quon and Adam Hunter report on the confirmed arrival of Omicron in Saskatchewan, even as Scott Moe cozies up to anti-vaxxers.

- Meanwhile, a Nature editorial highlights the need for vaccine equity to limit global spread, rather than relying on selective and ineffective travel bans, while Glen Pearson warns against trying to hold to a risky lifestyle behind a wall of pandemic nationalism. And Umair Haque discusses how capitalist ideology has exacerbated the pandemic, while Walker Bragman calls out Joe Biden in particular for prioritizing pharmaceutical profits over the needed distribution of vaccines. 

- Jake Johnson writes about the continued concentration of wealth within a tiny proportion of the world's population, while Michael Read takes note of Australia's impending inheritance tsunami. And Jeff Ernsthausen, Paul Kiel and Jesse Eisinger highlight how some of the most prominent tycoons in the U.S. have avoided paying taxes on their fortunes by selectively booking business losses. 

- Adam Tooze writes that the U.S.' dependence on fossil fuels may drag its entire economy down in the decades to come - a warning which applies with equal force to Canada. John Michael McGrath discusses a new report from Ontario's Financial Accountability Officer on the immense costs of a climate breakdown (and the costs which couldn't yet be modeled), while Gordon Laxer suggests that we should limit the influence of foreign oil companies on our politics. And Nazanin Meshkat reports on a call from Ontario doctors to stop gratuitous highway construction due to its effect on people's health. 

- Finally, Barton Gellman discusses the wealth and privilege of the violent movement which launched a coup to try to keep Donald Trump in power this year regardless of the choices of voters - and will likely do far more toward that end in 2024. 

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