Saturday, July 24, 2021

Deep thought

It's an absolute mystery where Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party got the impression they're entitled to dictate how they're covered and what questions they'll deign to answer.

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Jillian Horton discusses the lack of any meaningful effort to make education safe at the point when provincial governments should be planning for the start of the school year., while Lynn Giesbrecht reports that the Moe government in particular is taking zero responsibility (and offering nothing more than bare-bones suggestions) toward the health of students. And Ian Sample and Heather Stewart report on the concern of some UK experts that their Con government is encouraging the spread of COVID now based on the misguided belief that it will somehow relieve pressure on the health care system later.

- Meanwhile, Macintosh Ross writes about the especially galling lack of interest in public health reflected in the decision to barge ahead with the Tokyo Olympics over the objections of Japan's residents.

- Christy Ferguson highlights how the UCP's inquiry supposedly aimed at messaging about the Alberta tar sands has instead tried to delegitimize any action to help the climate anywhere in the world. And Chuka Ejeckam laments the fact that we're far beneath any reasonable pace of action in trying to salvage our living environment.

- Max Fawcett writes about the end of any illusion that there's any value in rushing to develop natural gas as a "bridge" to renewable energy which is already more affordable while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions.

- Finally, Lois Ross is justifiably outraged that Health Canada is planning to increase the amount of glyphosate permitted in Canada's food supply.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Musical interlude

Rhye - The Fall

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Graham Thomson writes about Jason Kenney's choice to base his governing strategy on COVID denialism. William Hanage expresses his disappointment at Boris Johnson's continually woeful pandemic response - though it's hard to see why anybody should have expected anything different. And Ed Yong talks to Rhea Boyd about the U.S.' unvaccinated population - including the reality that many people have indeed held off out of hesitancy or lacked an opportunity to access vaccines, rather than being single-minded anti-vaxxers. And Katherine Wu writes about the growing recognition that people who have been vaccinated still need to take precautions to protect themselves and others - including resuming wearing a mask even after right-wing voices have declared it's time to burn them. 

- Meanwhile, Adam Morton reports on the risks facing Australia as it depends on natural gas export revenues which are set to evaporate as its customers shift to renewable energy sources. And Fiona Harvey reports on a growing coalition supporting a "global green deal". 

- David Thurton reports on a new study by the Pembina Institute showing that Canada is falling far short of even its insufficient climate change commitments. Chris McGreal writes about the corporate lobbyists blocking any path toward meaningful climate policy in the U.S. And Alex McMaster highlights how the climate breakdown is only exacerbating inequality in Ireland. 

- The Joseph Rowntree Foundation examines how the UK's system of social supports falls far short of providing people with the resources or security they need to avoid being trapped in poverty. And Derek Dunn talks to Angella MacEwen about the importance of treating housing as a human right rather than a market commodity - as well as the readily-available mans to make that happen. 

- The Star's editorial board calls out the Ford PCs for governing solely in the interests of corporate cronies rather than the public. 

- Finally, Jacques Gallant writes about the Libs' cynicism in setting up a bill banning conversion therapy to stall prior to the election they're bent on calling. And Andrew Coyne highlights how Justin Trudeau has managed to capture activists' values in the service of rank political opportunism. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Cory Coleman reports on the blunt recommendation from public health experts that people not attend Saskatchewan Roughrider games due to the near certainty they'll prove to be points of spread for COVID-19. And residents of Canada's least-vaccinated province should take note of Sharon LaFreniere's report about the devastating effects of the Delta variant in the least-vaccinated regions of the U.S. 

- Ivana Kottasova writes about the wildfires now ravaging areas which were never vulnerable to burning prior to the climate crisis. And Diana Magnay points out how thawing permafrost is both a consequence of past carbon emissions, and an alarming source of future ones.  

- And in case there weren't enough reasons to take offence at the recent spate of billionaire space tourism, Katharine Gammon points out how it results in massive amounts of gratuitous carbon pollution. 

- Finally, Kate Aronoff highlights how it's taken forceful activism from voices typically dismissed as far-left to get climate policy anywhere near the U.S.' governing agenda. The Globe and Mail's editorial board writes about the importance of carbon tariffs in ensuring that climate damage isn't treated as a cost saving in corporate decision-making - though it's worth noting that others have recognized that reality much earlier. And Mitchell Beer writes about the need to ensure resource regulation is aligned with Canada's climate change commitments. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Brian Owens' roundup includes reference to new research showing that excess deaths are the result of COVID-19 itself, not the lockdowns used to combat it. And Renju Jose and Byron Kaye report on Australia's soaring COVID rates, while Yasmine Ghania discusses how Saskatchewan is at risk of a fourth wave. 

- Angus Reid has unveiled new polling on vaccinations and other public health measures - including strong support for at least some form of vaccine requirement in every province/region. Blake Murdoch highlights how there are few rational arguments against vaccine passports. And Andrew Coyne writes that we may soon have little choice but to apply vaccine mandates to ensure we reach herd immunity before the Delta variant runs rampant. 

- Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on the close connection between workplace COVID outbreaks and the use of temporary and precarious labour. 

- PressProgress exposes how Doug Ford's government has actively treated the pandemic as an opportunity for private actors to extract money from the public education system. And Mike Crawley reports on Ford's immediate end to the enforcement of licensing requirements for workers in skilled trades - signaling that for all the talking points conservatives spout about respect for tradespeople, they're the ones who wrongly believe there's no need for tradespeople to have any skills or qualifications. 

- Finally, Gabriel Zucman and others warn (PDF) that a loophole in the current international joint statement on a global minimum corporate tax may not only render the minimum ineffective, but could actually create new incentives for tax havens and the businesses who seek to abuse them.  

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Playtime cats.


Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Sarah Rieger reports on the experts pointing out that Jason Kenney (among other right-wing demagogues) is wrong in bleating incessantly that the pandemic is over. And Yasmine Ghania reports that many Saskatchewan residents are far more responsible than their government (or the media which keeps declaring them unwilling to accept public health measures in the absence of any evidence). 

- Yves Engler lends his voice to the growing chorus calling for Canada to invest in a sustainable future rather than a wasteful fighter jet purchase. And Cloe Logan reports on a push by environmental groups and other organizations to stop throwing public money at costly and ineffective carbon capture and storage which serves mostly to prop up the fossil fuel sector, rather than actual investments in averting climate breakdown. 

- Montana Getty reports on the financial precarity facing Saskatchewan residents. And Grace Blakeley highlights how conservative messaging about freedom is entirely empty when it isn't paired with either concern for civil liberties, or recognition as to how material deprivation undermines any positive freedom to make choices. 

- Gwyn Tophan reports on Philip Alston's findings that the privatization of the UK's bus service went so far as to breach human rights by depriving people of access to basic services.  

- Finally, Joe Roberts offers a needed reminder that what the Liberals promise to try to take a false majority looks very different from what they offer if they happen to secure one. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- John Paul Tasker writes that Canada needs to push hard to increase the number of vaccinated people to prevent a fourth wave of COVID-19. An anonymous COVID ward worker in the UK expresses well-justified anger that health care workers and vulnerable people will bear the brunt of a conservative government's gross negligence in slashing public health protections. Marianne Guenot reports on an outbreak of 964 cases at a single outdoor music festival which required proof of immunity - signalling the massive dangers of eliminating social distancing as a protective measure. And Emma Sandri reports on new research documenting the many debilitating symptoms of long COVID. 

- Amelia Pollard discusses Pfizer's push to encourage third "booster" shots of little medical value in more profitable markets rather than allowing vaccines to be distributed where they're most needed. And Erika Edwards reports that any approval of vaccines for children under 12 may be on hold until winter. 

- Philipp Heimberger and Sebastian Gechert highlight how corporate tax cuts don't contribute to growth, only to exacerbated inequality. And Mark Blyth calls out the conservative obsession with inflation at the expense of human well-being. 

- Saba Dar examines the history of land privatization in Saskatchewan - and the environmental damage associated with selling off public lands. 

- Marion Werner, Annie Shattuck and Ryan Galt ask why glyphosate is still ubiquitous in both commercial agriculture and home gardens after being recognized as a probable human carcinogen. 

- Finally, Doug Cuthand writes that we're far past the point where empty statements of apology or regret are a sufficient response to broader awareness of Canada's legacy of genocide. And Emilie Nicolas points out the level of ignorance about Indigenous peoples - to say nothing of Indigenous languages - that has been treated as a laughing matter by the same people stoking outrage over Mary Simon's ability to speak French. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Kelly Grant writes that the toll from COVID-19 includes driving many workers out of the nursing profession. And Kim Siever notes that while the UCP is driving nurses and doctors out of Alberta by shrieking that they're overpaid and working to starve them of resources in the midst of a pandemic, it's also privatizing care including eye surgery.

- David Byrne discusses how avoiding incarcerating people for minor offences leads to an overall reduction in crime. 

- Zak Vescera reports on both the initial response to the Saskatchewan Party's arbitrary decision to cut off access to methadone as therapy for people addicted to opioids, and the personal experience of an individual whose life was saved by the harm reduction measure which is now being taken away.

- Finally, Bianca Mugyenyi weighs in on the choice between dumping billions upon billions of dollars into fighter jets for show, or instead investing in protecting against climate catastrophe (or at least mitigating its effects). And Sask Dispatch highlights how reconciliation and reparations figure as an important part of our long-term climate strategy.