Saturday, October 23, 2021

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Adam Hunter reports on the increasingly public campaign by Saskatchewan doctors to have public health taken seriously in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. And Marshall Ross, Leona Morris and Robert Tanguay write about the trauma front-line healthcare workers are facing - and the need for a system to support them. 

- Meanwhile, Stephanie Nolan highlights how there's no reason why developing countries can't produce their own COVID vaccines other than the refusal by the corporate beneficiaries of massive amounts of public research to share the information needed to do so. 

- Matthew Halliday reports on New Brunswick's alarming decision to suppress research into an unexplained cluster of a severe and unknown neurological disease.

- Braxton Brewington writes that the resonance of Squid Game is based on the debt being systematically placed on the shoulders of the working class. And Steven Greenhouse wonders whether the show of worker strength reflected in the U.S.' Striketober will lead to lasting change.

- Finally, Andrew Kurjata reports on a court's refusal to order the violent destruction of camps of homeless people in Prince George - though the victory in preserving a poor substitute for a human right only highlights the need to make sure people receiving the housing they actually need. And Julia Peterson reports on Regina's Camp Marjorie which is likewise serving a vital stopgap role for people who deserve far more.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Musical interlude

Nothing But Thieves - Futureproof

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- The Canadian Medical Association calls for Scott Moe to finally reinstate public health rules to prevent Saskatchewan's already-catastrophic fourth wave of COVID-19 from completely collapsing our health care system. And Phil Tank reports on Saskatoon's lonely efforts to start applying necessary measures at the municipal level. 

- Yuguo Li et al. discuss how the pandemic represents an air crisis which should lead to fundamental changes in ensuring that our indoor spaces are properly ventilated. Jan Wenzel et al. study the damage COVID-19 does to the brains of its victims. And the Associated Press reports on the positive news that highly-effective children's doses of a vaccine should be available soon, while Nurith Aizenman notes that the World Health Organization has been forced to fund African efforts to replicate Moderna's manufacturing process as the companies with existing vaccines refuse to share their knowledge on the scale needed to actually fight the pandemic. 

- David MacDonald examines who stands to lose out as the Libs needlessly allow federal COVID supports to expire. And Adam King interviews Jim Stanford about the danger of falling into austerity, while noting that there are plenty of opportunities for useful social investment. 

- Danyaal Raza writes about the need to provide more resources in areas that can keep us healthier - including both improved models for medical care, and a greater focus on the social determinants of health. And Jen St. Denis points out how the ongoing drug fatality crisis could be completely averted if we moved to a safe supply model, rather than insisting on a punitive approach to drugs.

- Finally, Dan Milmo reports on Twitter's admission that it systematically amplifies right-wing posts over left-wing ones. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Rod Nickel offers an international view of Saskatchewan's spiraling COVID-19 crisis, even as Scott Moe clings to his delusional minimization of the pandemic (and his personal responsibility for its impact on the province) in the face of objective reality. 

- Meanwhile, Laura Osman reports on the health care workers fighting to ensure sick leave is available across Canada when it's most needed. And Celina Gallardo writes about the frontline health care workers who are pitching in to save our health care system while lacking a path to permanent residency for themselves. 

- Valerie Lapointe and Nessa Gassemi-Bakhtiari write about the need to stop stigmatizing mental illness. And Jaela Bernstien discusses new research on the effects of climate change on our physical and mental health. 

- George Monbiot looks to World War II as an important example of how it's possible to direct our society and economy to response to an imminent threat - as we need to do to avert a climate breakdown. Jocelyn Timperley discusses how wealthy countries have broken their promise of even minimal financing for climate mitigation and adaptation. And Isak Stoddard et al. explore why we've failed so miserably in accomplishing much in previous decades, while Kevin Taft reviews William Carroll's Regime of Obstruction as an important reminder of the entrenched wealth and power that have been deployed to keep carbon pollution spewing, and Matthew Taylor reports that this year's global climate summit will be the first where big oil doesn't wield the power of a formal role. 

- Finally, John Woodside reports on recent research showing that continued fossil fuel production is absolutely contrary to any serious climate policy, while Jenny Uechl reports on Quebec's decision to end fossil fuel exploration. And Tzeporah Berman discusses how we've accepted far too little action from our political leaders as constituting climate leadership, 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Carol Off interviews Andre Picard about the cultural factors and policy choices that have led to an avoidable fourth wave of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan and Alberta. And Yasmine Ghania talks to Alex Wong about the need for immediate gathering size restrictions to prevent calamitous results, while Guy Quenneville highlights the modeling showing how Scott Moe is instead choosing to crash Saskatchewan's health care system.

- Meanwhile, Armine Yalnizyan takes a look at possible economic scenarios as we eventually emerge from the COVID pandemic - though it's hard to share her optimism that we'll see substantial renewal at a point when nearly all attention seems to be focused on entrenching existing wealth and power. And Andrew Jackson discusses how Nobel Prize recipient David Card's research fits into the recognition that living wages result in better outcomes for everybody. 

- The Stockholm Environment Institute examines (PDF) how we're continuing to burn far more fossil fuels than we can afford while maintaining a liveable climate, while the Chalmers University of Technology highlights the concurrent need for a far more rapid transition to clean energy. And Drew Yewchuk points out that Alberta is once again failing to secure the cost of remediation from resource exploiters even as soaring prices set up what may be the last, best opportunity to ensure the public isn't stuck with the bill for environmental disasters. 

- Toby Sanger highlights how Canada's tax system currently foundations and charities to shelter massive amounts of money without either making tax contributions or fulfilling their supposed purposes.  

- Finally, Kristy Kirkup reports on the push by several sections of the Canadian Bar Association to have the federal government stop its campaign of litigation against Indigenous children. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cluttered cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Gary Mason writes that Saskatchewan and Alberta are tragically showing the rest of the country what a COVID-19 disaster looks like. CBC News reports on a predictable spike in COVID-19 following Saskatchewan's Thanksgiving weekend. And Zak Vescera uncovers the Moe government's choice to beg for medical help from their Republican allies even while they demurred on making requests for help which was already on offer from Canada's federal government. 

- Meanwhile, PressProgress reports on the callous efforts of British Columbia's business lobby to prevent workers from having to access to sick leave during the pandemic. 

- Pratyush Dayal reports on how the Moe government's needless undercutting of social programs has led to the buildup of tent cities in the province's cities just in time for winter. 

- Hamilton Nolan sees reason for hope in the U.S.' wave of strikes, while pointing out the importance of people participating rather than merely observing. And Michael Sainato reports on organizing by retail workers at Dollar General and other stores which have refused to recognize the contributions of essential workers. 

- Dave Cullen writes that we shouldn't let self-serving actors turn the urgency of the climate crisis into an excuse to push expensive and dangerous nuclear power when we have more affordable renewable alternatives. 

- Finally, Karl Nerenberg discusses how a first-past-the-post electoral system magnifies and exacerbates regional divides. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Monique Beals reports on Anthony Fauci's recognition that attacks directed against him are based solely on denialists' hostility toward the truth, while Mike Baker and Danielle Ivory discuss the U.S.' public health crisis. And Zak Vescera examines why Saskatchewan's vaccination rate is so low (notwithstanding Scott Moe's failed attempt to make it into the province's only ongoing response to a pandemic in progress). 

- Meanwhile, Marianne Cooper discusses how women have borne the brunt of additional "invisible work" trying to ensure colleagues' well-being during the course of the pandemic. 

- John Woodside reports on polling showing that a strong majority of Canadians want to see our governments invest in a just transition, and not in new fossil fuel infrastructure. Bill McKibben writes that the effort to avert a climate breakdown has two major strengths in its corner in a massive activist base and readily-available technological solutions. And Kim Siever reports on TransAlta's move from fossil fuels to renewables even under a government desperate to stand in the way of any transition. 

- Christopher Lyon et al. examine models showing the dire future which awaits - including centuries of continually increasing temperatures and drastic environmental changes - if we don't rein in the climate crisis. 

- Finally, Justin Fisher reviews Divided (ed. by JoAnn Jaffe, Patricia Elliot, and Cora Sellers) as to the social harm Saskatchewan is suffering as a result of the Sask Party's neoliberal economic and political model. And Susan Ferguson discusses how the violence and devaluation of life inherent in capitalist decision-making have constrained the responses to COVID-19 and other crises. 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Hannah Devlin asks why the UK is accepting a thousand lives a week as the price of incompetence in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Meanwhile, Marlene Leung reports on new research showing that surface contact on high-contact areas of grocery stores isn't a source of COVID spread at all.

- Jim Stanford discusses how Canada has been recovering from the pandemic with far more strength than the U.S. - demonstrating that slashing pandemic supports doesn' t help the economy even as the Libs are set to follow the U.S. down that road. And Eric Levitz writes that after seeming to have been exposed as the cause of our inability to respond to an emergency, neoliberalism seems to have emerged unscathed.

- Marc Jaccard makes the case for a zero-emission vehicle mandate from the federal government, while Rewiring Australia points out that full electrification is well within reach. The UN Climate Change examines the painfully tight carbon budget left to have a reasonable chance of stopping a climate breakdown at 1.5 degrees of warming. And the Canadian Press reports on the IEA's forecasts showing that the fossil fuel sector is in irreversible decline.

- Finally, Aaron Wherry highlights why it would be in everybody's best interest for the Libs to work on a multi-year support agreement with the NDP rather than planning for another game of minority Parliament chicken.