Saturday, July 03, 2021

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Simon Lewis discusses how Western Canada's heat dome and associated catastrophes offer a warning that nobody is safe from the effects of a climate breakdown. And Jonathan Watts notes that the simultaneous record heat in Canada and Siberia goes far beyond even the most pessimistic models for the acceleration of climate change.

- David Moscrop rightly takes record-setting temperatures and the resulting destruction as a compelling call to action. Max Fawcett discusses how climate change is already killing us (even as it stands to get far worse). And Carolyn Fortuna highlights Bill McKibben's observation that we're at the point of baking the Earth.

- Meanwhile, Rishika Paridkar writes that fossil fuel companies are continuing to greenwash attempts to delay any meaningful transition away from the carbon pollution that's putting our living environment in danger. 

- Aaron Wherry notes that it's the people with the least who are predictably bearing the brunt of the first wave of climate crises. Karen Pederson reports on the rise in deaths among residents of mobile homes in Arizona, while Gordon McIntyre reports on a threefold increase in sudden and unexpected deaths in British Columbia due to the recent heat wave. And Raidin Blue proposes a push toward building retrofitting as a way to both reduce emissions in the future, and mitigate the effects of the climate change which can't be avoided.

- Finally, Nora Loreto writes about Ontario's failure to track and report on COVID-19 outbreaks in homes for disabled adults. The Guardian reports on the British Medical Association's desperate call for the UK's government to maintain public health rules rather than letting the Delta variant run wild.

Friday, July 02, 2021

Musical interlude

Marshmello feat. CHVRCHES - Here With Me

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Roni Caryn Rabin, Apoorva Mandervilli and Shawn Hubler discuss the U.S.' reconsideration of plans to lift COVID-19 recommendations and restrictions in the face of the Delta variant, while Mike Hager points out the expert response to the push by some Canadian premiers to eliminate masking requirements. Nikolaj Skydsgaard and Jacob Gronholt-Pederson report on the WHO's warning of another wave in Europe (driven in substantial part by spread through sports venues and bars), while Derek Hawkins reports on an 85-person outbreak at a single Illinois summer camp. And Emma Tranter reports on the Yukon's COVID crisis which has broken out despite it being Canada's most-vaccinated jurisdiction.

- Joe Roberts highlights how most of the support governments have provided throughout the pandemic has served to prop up corporate interests rather than people's well-being - raising the question of when we'll insist on building something better than an exploitative economy. 

- Matthew Klein argues that we should be looking to err (if it all) on the side of overshooting what's needed to build the economy and society we want, rather than once again falling short. And Diane Francis (!) writes that the U.S.' downfall as a society can be traced to the systemic cultivation of distrust in government which has allowed bad actors to run wild.

- PressProgress discusses new research showing the difference between younger people who want the facts about issues such as climate change and systemic racism, and older ones with a preference for false "neutrality". Crawford Kilian writes about Thomas Piketty's analysis of Canadian politics - confirming that the Cons' base in particular is aging and insular while strong patterns as between the NDP, Greens and Libs are far more difficult to find. And Paul Willcocks notes that Erin O'Toole is only exacerbating his party's weaknesses by playing to ignorance and bigotry.

- Finally, Mumilaaq Qaqqaq discusses her reasons for not celebrating a legacy of colonialism and genocide. And Cindy Blackstock writes that the long-overdue moment of awareness has come about only after years of activists screaming into a void, while Suzanne Shoush wonders whether Canada is finally waking up to the cries of Indigenous peoples for relief and justice.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Wednesday Afternoon Links

 Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Frances Mao discusses how the Delta variant has exposed weaknesses in Australia's COVID response, while Madline Holcombe notes that it's causing the U.S. to revisit the measures needed for people who have been vaccinated. The Royal Society of Canada examines how our already-tragic national death tolls underestimate the lives lost to the pandemic. And Rob Breakenridge writes that no matter how desperately the UCP tries to deflect responsibility, it (like any other government doing the same) will be fully responsible for the consequences of barging ahead with the elimination of public health protections. 

- Nick Estes writes about his relatives' experience at a Catholic residential school. And Jason Warick reports on the Catholic church's pitiful excuse for a contribution to the harm it inflicted on children taken away from their families and placed under its care. 

- Tara Sutton discusses the need for Canada as a whole to take responsibility for our history of genocide. Max Fawcett writes that it's long past time to move past apologies to meaningful action, while Denise Balkissoon discusses how land back and reparations represent an important start to any meaningful attempt at reconciliation with Indigenous people. 

- Finally, Joshua Benson takes a look at the faces of British Columbia's unprecedented heat wave. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Lauren Pelley surveys the latest on COVID-19 - including the reality that viral variants and different affected populations are resulting in it presenting with different symptoms than previously. Natalie Grover discusses how the Delta variant seems to be winning the race against vaccines in the UK. And CBC News' Manitoba update includes news of a girl under 10 who has died of the coronavirus. 

- Pooja Salhotra and Amy Zimmer report on New York City's plan to ensure all classrooms have two air purifiers to limit the spread of COVID-19 among unvaccinated school populations. And BBC News reports on Australia's decisive moves to stop the spread of the Delta variant. 

- Aparna Gopalan discusses how big pharma is using COVID vaccines as a profit centre at the expense of public access in India (just as it's doing elsewhere). 

- Sudipta Saha argues that we can't expect an exploitative capitalist system to respond to either the COVID-19 pandemic or the climate crisis. And Katharine Hayhoe writes that we shouldn't need another IPCC report to recognize that it's vital to start reversing our climate's breakdown as quickly as we can. 

- Michael Byers calls out the Trudeau Libs for abandoning Canada's long-held (and hard-won) resistance to ballistic missile defence systems. 

- Finally, Leyland Cecco reports on Murray Sinclair's call to reveal the "undiscovered truths" of residential schools before it will be possible to begin to heal. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Sunday Morning Links

 This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Patricia Treble discusses how the rise of the Delta COVID-19 variant is making it vital to hit higher vaccine targets than previously set. And the Star's editorial board argues that any responsible government should be laying out a plan to get children back to school safely this fall - rather than offering vague assurances coupled with no planning. 

- Robin Sears makes the case to build back better once the pandemic actually is done with rather than merely settling back into the same conditions that created so much insecurity.   

- Cathy Crowe notes that Toronto's violent eviction of homeless people and their tents from Trinity Bellwoods Park represents little more than history repeating. And Rick Salutin discusses how the goal of the eviction was to place a continuing crisis beyond the perception of most people, rather than to do anything to actually resolve it.  

- Kenny Stancil writes about the growing U.S. support for socialism relative to capitalism - and the supermajority in favour of closing the gap between the rich and the poor. 

- Finally, Tiffany Crawford reports on the scientific confirmation that unprecedented heat waves (including the one now hitting B.C.) are linked to the climate crisis. But while the European Union is set to make emissions reduction targets legally binding, John Woodside writes that Newfoundland and Labrador - like far too many other jurisdictions - has chosen to prioritize a last trickle of oil industry profits over massive public demand to transition to a clean economy to help avert a total breakdown.