Saturday, October 30, 2021

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- PressProgress offers a timeline of Saskatchewan's fourth wave of COVID-19 (and the choices by Scott Moe which precipitated it), while Arthur White-Crummey reports that approval of the Sask Party's pandemic response is half what it was four months ago. And Justin Ling highlights how many governments continue to act as if we'd learned nothing about COVID by emphasizing surface hygiene theatre over the ventilation and masking which have actually made a difference.

- Benjamin Franta documents how oil companies knew about climate change long before most of the public - and went far out of their way to deceive people into continuing to rely on their carbon-polluting products. And Brooks DeCillia, Melanee Thomas and Lori Thorlakson discuss how to turn the tide of public opinion to favour climate action in a petro-state like Alberta.

- George Monbiot writes about the need to challenge the structure of a capitalist economy in order to save our natural environment, rather than accepting consumer choices as the limit of our ability to make change. And David Sirota discusses the impossibility of catering to corporations while solving the problems they impose on the public.

- Mitchell Thompson discusses how Loblaws' business model depends on paying workers poverty wages. And Samantha Ponting points out Doug Ford's use of Ontario's workers' compensation system as a giveaway to employers, rather than a dependable source of needed relief income for injured workers.

- Finally, The Breach interviews Harsha Walia about the racism exploitation of immigrants in Canada. And Monia Mazigh sets out the concrete steps Justin Trudeau would take if he were serious about fighting Islamophobia, rather than treating it solely as a photo op.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Musical interlude

Vök - Running Wild

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Sara Birlios examines the grim state of Saskatchewan - including the numerous areas where Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party are consciously choosing social murder over even the slightest concern for the well-being of non-donors. And the Globe and Mail's editorial board calls out Jason Kenney for continually picking the wrong fights (and accruing a lengthy list of failures in the process). 

- Ryan Patrick Jones reports on the escalating pressure on already-overstretched food banks to help people to get by. And Rosa Saba highlights the backlash against the Libs' choice to keep subsidies flowing for businesses while leaving workers to fend for themselves. 

- Luis Feliz Leon and Maximillian Alvarez write about the importance of converting the visible worker militancy reflected in the U.S.' Striketober into substantial results and systemic change. 

- Heather Wetzel writes about the problem with discussing economics without recognizing and accounting for the distortionary effects of land and resource ownership.

- Kyle Bakx and Tony Seskus review Canada's history of underdelivering when it comes to averting the climate crisis. And Thomas Gunton examines how much more action is needed even to meet our current targets.  

- Andre Picard writes that the Libs' choice to identify a minister in charge of mental health means little if it isn't backed by funding and a commitment to action. 

- Finally, Umair Haque discusses why societies may be unable to see their own downfall - and how the U.S. and UK are falling prey to that phenomenon. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Bruce Arthur calls out Doug Ford for choosing (like other conservative premiers) to prioritize the "freedom" of uninformed anti-vaxxers to endanger everybody over the health of the population at large. The Economist charts how vaccinated people have not only been better protected from COVID-19, but also less likely to die of other causes - which, while not subject to a causal analysis, would make sense from the standpoint of a dividing line as to the recognition and calculation of risk. [Update: Yes, this would seem related too.] Pat McKay tells the story of a family facing limited care for prematurely-born twins due to Scott Moe's choice to flood the health care system with COVID patients. And Theresa Kliem reports on the health care workers who no longer see a future in a province which places so little value on them or their patients - exacerbating what was already a shortage of care workers. 

- David Coletto unveils new polling data showing that a large majority of Canadians - including a plurality even among the most recalcitrant provinces and political parties - want to see far more action to protect our climate. 

- But Oliver Milman reports on a new study by Systems Change Lab showing that not a single industry is pulling its weight to pull us back from reaching and exceeding 1.5 degrees of warming. Oil Change International points out how countries are continuing to subsidize carbon pollution by throwing money at oil and gas operators, while Bob Weber reports on Canada's place as the worst offender of the lot in funding the entrenchment of dirty energy rather than a transition to cleaner options. And Geoffrey Morgan reports on the giant windfalls being pocketed by oil companies even as governments go out of their way to avoid having them post security for their environmental damage. 

- Georgia Wright, Liat Olenick and Amy Westervelt point out the U.S.' worst climate villains. Belen Balanya, Lala Hakuma Dadci, and Myriam Douo discuss how dirty energy interests have blocked climate action in Europe. And Tim Gray and Devon Page highlight how the UCP's inquiry attacking environmental activists represented an unconscionable abuse of power - even if its results proved to be a damp squib. 

- Finally, Colleen Silverthorn reports on the grossly inadequate benefit amounts under Saskatchewan's income support system, while Yasmine Ghania reports on yesterday's rally to at least reverse the Sask Party scheme which has pushed dozens of people out of their homes and into tent cities. And PressProgress exposes how the Ford government is not only slashing assistance to people, but ensuring that Republican cronies reap profits as a result. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Yasmine Ghania interviews Nazeem Muhajarine about the Saskatchewan Party's choice to produce misleadingly low COVID-19 case numbers by stifling testing. And Kelly Provost reports on one of the families facing potentially dangerous delays in necessary medical care due to Scott Moe's fourth wave, as a patient awaiting a kidney transplant has been put on hold indefinitely.  

- Andrew Coyne writes that the Cons have failed in their chance to be a responsible party when it comes to vaccines in Canada. And Wyatt Schierman discusses how the failure of Canada and other wealthy countries to ensure equitable vaccine access means that the world's poorest countries could be without vaccines for decades.  

- Fiona Harvey reports on the UN's warnings that current emission targets would produce a calamitous 2.7 degrees of global warming - and the reality that we've already failed to build back better as part of our pandemic recovery. Damian Carrington reports on Nicholas Stern's warning that existing climate plans are based on the devaluation of the lives of young people and future generations. And Emily Atkin and Molly Taft expose how fossil fuel giants are using a new round of deceptive media tactics to try to avoid accountability for their history of climate fraud.  

- Meanwhile, Emily Eaton examines how Saskatchewan can transition to a clean and prosperous future without tying our economy to the development of fossil fuels. 

- Finally, Marc Lee et al. discuss how to build a zero-waste economy by 2040 both by reducing the production of avoidable waste, and by prioritizing repair and maintenance options to ensure that consumer goods are able to last. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Playful cats.


Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- CBC News reports on the public health officers begging Saskatchewan's provincial government to stop the spread of COVID-19 as our health care system collapses, while Guy Quenneville notes that Dr. Saqib Shahab is now publicly calling out some of the areas where the Saskatchewan Party is being particularly negligent. And Jillian Smith reports on Saskatoon's move to apply gathering limits at the municipal level due to Scott Moe's stubborn refusal to lift a finger to protect public health. 

- Lori Lee Oates sets out how we can make a just transition to a clean energy economy generally, while Raidin Blue examines the path for Saskatchewan to do the same. And Emily Chung writes about a focus on net zero by 2050 actually looks like - along with the problems with trying to count carbon removal when there's little certainty that it will have its intended effect. 

- Meanwhile, Matt Simon writes about the potential for the concurrent use of land for solar panels and crops may produce improved outcomes for both energy generation and agricultural output. 

- But Doreen Nicoll points out the problem with spending billions to subsidize sprawl and carbon pollution at a point when we need to be working on decarbonizing. 

- Finally, Emma Kelly calls out the countries who provide tax havens for the wealthy seeking to avoid paying their fair share - with Canada making the list due to both low corporate tax rates and a lack of transparency.  

Monday, October 25, 2021

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Sarath Peiris discusses how Saskatchewan shouldn't be anything but embarrassed by Scott Moe's utter failure to look out for public health in the midst of a pandemic. And Theresa Kliem interviews Steven Lewis about the dire projections - even before the province made clear that rather than taking steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, it's still fully devoted to allowing super-spreader events regardless of the human cost. 

- Meanwhile, Jillian Smith reports on the homelessness crisis which is only being exacerbated by the Sask Party's choice to undercut housing security. 

- Doug Nesbitt discusses the now-expired federal pandemic supports in the context of our stingy employment insurance system as a whole. V.S. Wells says goodbye to the CRB which sustained many Canadians through much of the pandemic, while Taylor Scollon points out how the Libs' decision to cut it off is positively calculated to drive people into desperate poverty. David Lao reports on some of the people - and even businesses - seeing their future put in jeopardy by the choice. Kori Sidaway talks to Jim Stanford about the reality that employers finding workers should be looking at their own wages and working conditions, not trying to cut off social benefits. And Karl Nerenberg notes that income supports remain an area where the NDP is putting in hard work pushing the Libs to take better care of people, while Robin Sears argues that it's long past time for Canada's party leaders to put more time into making minority Parliaments work rather than constantly posturing for an immediate election. 

- Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on the new employment standards being mooted in Ontario, including the possibility of a right-to-disconnect rule. But in case anybody lost track of Doug Ford's disregard for workers, PressProgress reports on the PC's choice to allow health-care employers to limit the protection provided to workers even when a stockpile of PPE is readily available. 

- Meanwhile, Jodi Kantor, Karen Wiese and Grace Ashford expose a new set of worker abuses at Amazon, as systematic refusals to provide leave have left workers scrambling to survive. 

- Finally, Luke Savage writes that multilevel marketing scams represent the epitome of capitalist logic, while serving to highlight the need for an society that isn't designed to enrich a few at the expense of the many. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Ed Yong discusses how the field of public health has been marginalized by the false assumption that the task of keeping people healthy shouldn't play a role in our political choices.

- Nadeem Badshah reports on Greta Thunberg's message to countries participating in COP26 that we can't afford any more climate denial.

- Olamide Olaniyan interviews Naomi Klein about the hope for a breakthrough in applying an ethic of care to our natural and human environments. Alexander Kaufman reports on new research confirming that investments in renewable energy produce several times more jobs than comparable spending on fossil fuels. And Alexander Verbeek reports on the U.S.' recognition that a climate breakdown represents a severe security threat (among other calamitous outcomes).

- But Sandy Garossino writes that we shouldn't let the underwhelming contents of UCP's anti-environmental inquiry override our outrage at an abuse of power. And Andrew MacLeod reports on B.C.'s willingness to allow oil and gas companies to procrastinate (and likely welch) on their obligation to clean up their messes.

- Finally, Alan Freeman discusses how Stephen Harper is cozying up to dictatorships for financial gain even while continuing to operate behind the scenes of Canada's conservative parties. And CBC News reports on the Sask Party's push to hold a fire sale of Crown lands to undermine both public interests and treaty rights - and the work of Betty Nippi-Albright and others in trying to stop them.