Saturday, October 09, 2021

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Adam Hunter points out the stark gap between public health officials emphasizing the need for protections against community transmission of COVID-19, and Scott Moe's stubborn refusal to apply them. Alexander Quon writes about the hundreds of Saskatchewan patients missing out on surgeries every day. And Jacqueline Howard reports on the new research confirming that children face no less risk of infection than adults.

- Rhitu Chatterjee points out the large number of people in the U.S. losing essential caregivers to COVID-19. And Matt Sedensky discusses how nursing homes are losing staff - and the ability to care for residents - as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

- Umair Haque warns that the supply chain breakdowns seen in the course of the pandemic are just the beginning of a state of perma-crisis.

- Bob Weber reports on the UCP's pathetic - if perhaps not surprising - announcement that oil companies won't be contributing a dime of their massive windfall profits to cleaning up their messes. And Isabella Kaminsky highlights how fossil fuel giants have put massive chunks of the legal industry to work in attempting to avoid responsibility for the damage they've done to people and our natural environment.

- Meanwhile, Christian Schimpf et al. find that confidence in the long-term future of fossil fuels (however misplaced) translates into a refusal to accept climate action. 

- Finally, the Guardian's editorial board discusses the connection between the UK Cons' pay-to-play political schemes and the tax loopholes shown to be exploited in the Pandora Papers.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Musical interlude

Raye & Rudimental - Regardless

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Thomas Saunders discusses how COVID-19 transmission through schools is resulting in effectively a separate epidemic among children and parents. Kathy Eagar offers a reminder of the dangers of recklessly discarding public health measures rather than taking care to make sure that reopening is sustainable. Erin Anderssen takes a look at the long-term difficulties facing people who have suffered from long COVID. And Scott Larson reports on the recognition by the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses that shuffling health care workers around is no answer to the demands placed on them by a pandemic that's been allowed to run out of control. 

- Meanwhile, Tosin Thompson writes about new research showing how air filters can remove viral particles from the air. 

- Christine Fernando reports on the likelihood that climate-related disasters will be the norm for today's younger generations. And Andrew Gregory discusses the growing recognition that a degraded natural environment will place young people under a lifetime of avoidable stress and anxiety. 

- Jaela Bernstein offers her take on what Canada needs to do to contribute its fair share to global emission reductions. And Marc Lee chimes in with some necessary lessons from British Columbia's unprecedented wildfire season. 

- But in case anybody thought the industries who have profited off of destroying the climate would be willing to contribute to solutions, Rod Nickel reports on the demands of tar sands operators who want the government to pay 75% of the bill to greenwash their continued extraction of dirty energy. And Frank Duffy writes about the UK auto industry's refusal to consider workers' attempts to transition toward non-emitting vehicles. 

- Finally, Yakov Feigin discusses how the right's obsession with inflation as an excuse for cruelty and austerity neglects the fact that the ultimate source of that inflation is the stagnation of productive capacity due to underinvestment. And Ian Welsh points out our glaring inability or refusal to do anything substantial without some entrenched corporate oligarch taking the resulting profit. 

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Carrie Tait reports on the spate of readmissions of COVID-19 patients to Alberta hospitals, while Zak Vescera points out the large number of Saskatchewan diagnoses happening only in hospital as infected people fail to get tested until their symptoms are severe. And Arthur White-Crummey reports that the Moe government still hasn't gotten around to making a request for federal assistance. 

- Neal Marquez et al. study the greater severity of COVID infections in prisons. And the Center for Health Security discusses the need for higher-quality masks and respirators than are currently in widespread use. 

- Haozhe Yang and Sangowh Suh examine the generational implications of the climate crisis - with younger people standing to benefit substantially from climate change mitigation. And Rebecca Leber highlights how the reconciliation bill currently stalled in Congress represents the U.S.' last and best chance to make a constructive contribution toward averting climate breakdown.

- But in case there was any doubt whether the interests of older and wealthier people are being favoured, Damian Carrington reports on the massive amounts of money being poured into fossil fuel subsidies. And Kim Siever reports on the oil and gas industry's negative contribution to Alberta's corporate tax revenues in 2020. 

- Meanwhile, William Gillies discusses what an actual national energy program could achieve if given a chance to operate. 

- Finally, George Monbiot offers a reminder that trashing the planet and making off with the spoils isn't a distortion of capitalism, but the essence of a system designed to reward individual greed and temporary exploitation. 

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Smriti Mallapaty reports on new research suggesting that vaccines provide only partial protection against the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. Sarath Peiris asks when Scott Moe and his minions will be held accountable for sacrificing hundreds of lives and thousands of people's health to science denial and wishful thinking. And the Maple examines the failure of both Moe and Jason Kenney to take steps to protect public health in the face of record case and hospitalization counts. 

- Jim Stanford writes about the importance of frontline workers in a pandemic - and the economic forces trapping them in precarity and deprivation. 

- Alec Salloum discusses how the Moe government's changes to Saskatchewan social programs are depriving the people who most need housing and income supports of those basic building blocks of a healthy life. And George Eaton points out how cuts to pandemic supports look to increase poverty and inequality in the UK. 

- Cole Hanson highlights how Canada has chosen to legitimize tax evasion rather than making it a priority to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share. And Adam Ramsey similarly writes about the UK's role in the Pandora Papers and the global system of tax avoidance, while Peter Oborne discusses the partisan connections between tax evasion and big-money donations to the UK Cons. 

- Meanwhile, Umair Haque and Doug Saunders each discuss the self-inflicted damage the UK faces as a result of Brexit. 

- Finally, Magdi Semrau explores how the U.S.' media distorted coverage of withdrawal from Afghanistan in favour of a frame of permanent war with no regard for consequences. And David Pugliese exposes how Canada has trained far-right extremists in the Ukraine. 

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Surfaced cats.


Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Nazeem Muhajarine and Kathryn Green call out Scott Moe's Saskatchewan Party government for causing readily-preventable suffering and death - both from COVID-19 directly, and its devastating effects on the broader health care system. And Scott Larson reports on the "grim" situation facing Saskatoon's hospitals (among others). 

- Paul Krugman rightly questions why the self-appointed Very Serious People can't reach agreement on such fundamentals of a civilized society such as preserving a habitable planet and ending child poverty. 

- Sean Holman discusses the need to put human faces on the climate crisis, rather than dealing with it primarily as a matter of abstract policy. And Rachel Sherrington documents how the fossil fuel sector uses manipulative advertising to claim an interest in exactly the type of climate progress it's blocking through the concentrated application of wealth and power.  

- Jason Deign reports on yet another example of carbon capture and storage turning into an expensive flop, as a Chevron CCS setup intended to serve as license for a massive natural gas project is falling far short of its emission control targets. Hilary Beaumont reports on Enbridge's payment and use of Minnesota police to attack demonstrators opposed to the Line 3 pipeline, once again demonstrating the oil industry's use of state violence to override public concerns about health and the environment. 

- PressProgress exposes how Saskatchewan's process to evaluate infrastructure proposals is hopelessly biased in favour of privatization and financialization of public goods. And Randy Richmond reports on Ontario's plans to privatize the monitoring of inmates as an alarming example of the intersection of corporate interests and limitations on individual rights. 

- Finally, the Guardian and Charlotte Grieve offer summaries of the Pandora Papers as just the latest example of the wealthiest few around the globe escaping any obligation to contribute to the common good. 

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. 

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- The Canadian Press reports on the overwhelming public support for vaccine mandates and other public health rules - as well as the supermajorities recognizing that Jason Kenney and Scott Moe have failed their provinces:

Unsurprisingly given their provinces' struggles with the fourth wave of the pandemic, Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe ranked the lowest among provincial first ministers for their handling of the health crisis.

Fully 80 per cent of Alberta respondents said they were very or somewhat dissatisfied with Kenney's performance, and 74 per cent of Saskatchewan respondents felt the same about Moe.

- The Associated Press reports on the widespread shortages caused by the UK's ill-advised fixation on Brexit. And Matt Stoller writes about the U.S.' own supply chain failings, while noting that the issue goes far beyond COVID.

- Jeremy Appel offers a reminder as to how Canada lost its domestic vaccine supply to privatization and acquiescence in the business model of big pharma. 

- John Michael McGrath discusses how to empower municipalities now that the Supreme Court has confirmed that there's no Charter-protected right to meaningful elections at their level. And Henry Grabar writes about Paris' success reclaiming public spaces for people rather than cars. 

- Finally, Jeff Keele reports on how seniors with low incomes are being affected by the Libs' failure to account for their circumstances in designing the CERB.