Saturday, November 13, 2021

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Brian Goldman interviews Raywot Deonandan about the options available to limit the spread of COVID-19 through the coming fall and winter. But while most people are primarily concerned with the coronavirus directly, Adam Miller reports on the growing calls from health care workers to ensure the safety of essential service providers is assured against an increasingly violent and emboldened mob of anti-science quacks.

- Omayra Issa discusses how a climate breakdown in progress is causing anxiety and grief. Marieke Walsh reports on new polling showing overwhelming support for strong climate action in Canada even if it affects existing industries. And the Environmental Society of Saskatchewan offers (PDF) its recommendations to move the province toward a more appropriate level of climate ambition. 

- David Wallace-Wells muses that the strongest climate change rhetoric from political leaders is often coming from those who are trying to avoid doing their part. And Bill McKibben writes that we should be far past the point of expecting governments to fix the climate crisis - meaning that citizen action is the only plausible means of ensuring a habitable environment.

- Hannah Brais, Alex Nelson, Jesse Jenkinson and Kaitlin Schwan examine the connections between homelessness and women's rights. And Michelle Marcus and Katherine Yewell observe that universal free meals in schools produce significantly greater benefits for children from lower-income households than mere access. 

- Finally, Judd Legum weighs in on how corporate concentration and monopolization are the real cause of any current inflation facing consumers.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Musical interlude

LAUREL - Appetite

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Steven Mackay writes about new research showing the different responses to the COVID-19 pandemic by gender - with the men who are disproportionately likely to die of the coronavirus expressing substantially less fear of its effects. 

- Robert Reich discusses how the inflation being used as an excuse to attack public spending and worker demands is in fact a result of profiteering by corporate monopolists. And George Monbiot writes that an end to extreme wealth is a must if we're going to rein in the climate crisis. 

- Mostafa Henaway offers an undercover account of life in an Amazon logistics facility - including the efforts made to winnow out all but the most compliant of employees to avoid unionization or any other worker strength. 

- Katherine Rader writes about new survey data showing that voters are far more likely to be persuaded by a commitment to strong universal programs than by mealy-mouthed bromides about access to for-profit services. 

- Finally, Gary Mason writes about the folly of Scott Moe's attempt to push nationalism as a substitute for even faintly competent government. Russell Wangersky discusses how Saskatchewan's citizens are worse off as a result of Moe's inflated sense of self-importance. And Steve Burgess evaluates the risk of Moe's bluster actually amounting to anything. 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Helen Ward et al. discuss the work that needs to be done to respond to long COVID on a global scale, while CBC News reports on Rachel Notley's needed call for Alberta to begin taking the long-term effects seriously. And Reuters reports on the Netherlands' move toward additional public health measures as another wave sweeps across Europe.

- Meanwhile, Chris Hurl and Leah Barrett Werner point out how private consultants have been put in charge of the COVID response across Canada - and how the public has been ill served by putting people focused on generating profits in charge of public health.

- Umair Haque writes that we're grossly underestimating the dangers of a climate breakdown and the scope of work needed to avert it. Tom Ambrose discusses scientists' warnings that the omission of military entities from emission reduction targets leaves a massive blind spot in any effort to develop and apply carbon budgets. Sarah Johnson reports on WaterAid's call to include the water crisis in global discussions of climate change, while Ivana Kottasova and Amy Cassidy write about the push by youth for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty.

- Finally, Aaron Huertas discusses the need for progressive activists and politicians to be willing to take action (including where it involves some risk of less-than-ideal coverage), rather than hoping for talking points alone to attract attention and persuade the public.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- David Shield reports on the development of a new COVID-19 variant which is becoming dominant in Saskatchewan, while Zak Vescera highlights how public health experts are refuting the Moe government's spin about not being provided reasonable options to limit the catastrophic fourth wave. And Shannon Proudfoot discusses how the pandemic (and the decision to treat it as over for the purposes of people without real family responsibilities) has been breaking parents left to navigate it on their own. 

- Bruce Arthur writes that booster shots will help the effort to contain COVID, but won't represent a panacea any more than the first round of vaccinations. And Vidya Krishnan reminds us of the need to stop prioritizing big pharma's profits over global access to vaccines if we want to get the pandemic under control. 

- Mary Anna├»se Heglar and Amy Westervelt write that climate activists have been waiting politely and playing nice far too long while rapacious fossil fuel barons and their political lackeys set our planet on fire. Kate Aronoff responds to Barack Obama as he tries to put the onus for climate action on the activists he ignored - or even implicitly treated as his adversaries - while in power. Yanis Varoufakis argues that the Glasgow climate summit has failed due to a focus on distant and empty "net zero" targets. 

- Karl Nerenberg reports on Oxfam's push to tax the rich in the interest of both economic and environmental justice. 

- Armine Yalnizyan, Laurell Ritchie, Marjorie Griffin Cohen and Pat Armstrong discuss the work that needs to be done at the federal level to build a functional and effective care economy. And the CCPA's alternative federal budget reminds us again how the federal government could develop a just and equitable society if it wanted to make the effort. 

- Finally, Anastasia French, Craig Pickthorne and Christine Saulnier write that a living wage is an essential element of any genuine economic recovery. 

This is why we can't have even minimally acceptable things

Here we go again. And somehow, the latest round of hysteria includes the Cons learning nothing from the failure of their attacks on coalitions or other forms of inter-party cooperation in the past, while the defence of a principle which has always enjoyed strong public support is getting weaker with time.

So let's once again be clear. We would be better governed if our political parties spent more time figuring out how to accomplish the goals they profess to share (or at least can view as mutually agreeable), rather than engaging in constant efforts to prove the other guys unfit for office (which ultimately succeed only to the extent of proving all parties right in that assertion).  

And for the NDP in particular, the politics and principle couldn't align much more cleanly: keep in mind that it was Jack Layton's defence of cooperation, and work to offer examples in practice, that helped shake voters out of their default allegiances to produce the party's best result ever. So even if it may be worth clarifying the facts on the ground, that needs to be coupled with a statement that a willingness to work across party lines to get results is a far more desirable attribute in both an opposition party and a prospective government than a refusal to consider anything of the sort. 

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Festive cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. 

- Bruce Arthur offers a reminder that we know perfectly well how to limit the damage done by COVID-19 as long as a government is responsible enough to implement basic public health protections. But Geoffrey Stevens writes that we're still seeing numerous provincial governments prioritizing political pandering over COVID control - particularly with an eye toward impending elections.  

- Nili Kaplan-Myrth writes that the price of catering to the anti-science fringe includes regular threats being levied at health care professionals who dare to encourage people to get vaccinated. And Laura Sciarpelletti reports on the patients waiting for Saskatchewan's organ donor program to resume after the Moe government's negligence forced it to be put on hold to deal with a flood of critical COVID cases. 

- Leger surveys Canadians about the climate crisis and finds large majorities demanding more action to avert a climate breakdown. But Josephine Moulds discusses how banks are lobbying to water down any progress even while pretending to be climate-friendly in their public messaging. And Colleen Silverthorn reports on the false promise of CCS and other fossil fuel-based megaprojects as a substitute for a just transition to clean energy.  

- Steven Bernard, Dan Clark and Sam Joiner report on research showing that over 3 billion people could see their current locations become unliveable over the next half-century if we don't stop climate change now. And Jen St. Denis reports on an analysis documenting the people who died as a result of British Columbia's unprecedented heat dome - with older people, isolated people and people living in areas with limited green space facing especially high risks. 

- Finally, David Rider report on a new study showing that Toronto's garbage privatization predictably produced higher costs and less stable employment rather than offering any efficiencies. 

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Adam Miller highlights what we can do to limit the spread of COVID-19 over the winter to come. And Pratyush Dayal reports on the Saskatchewan cancer patients who are rightfully angry at Scott Moe for falsely declaring the pandemic over and endangering their life-saving treatment.

- William Moss, Lawrence Gostin and Jennifer Nuzzo summarize where pediatric vaccines stand as the U.S. rolls them out (and Canada hopefully prepares to do so soon). And Jonathan Howard points out the folly of using "underlying conditions" as an excuse to refuse to vaccination (or mandate vaccination).

- Alex Himelfarb suggests some reading on the big change we need as we work on responding to an ongoing pandemic and worsening climate crisis.

- Mark Hertsgaard discusses the importance of stronger news coverage in portraying what's at stake in a climate breakdown.

- George Monbiot writes that we should be treating climate funding for developing countries as reparations rather than aid. And Stuart Trew et al. point out that the same corporate investment treaties which have locked in the upward flow of wealth are tying the hands of governments trying to implement climate policy, while Manual Perez Rocha notes the complete absence of any effort to remove that barrier to climate action in Glasgow.

- Finally, Shaina Luck reports that the Libs' attempt to substitute inaccesible subsidies for an actual social housing policy is resulting in large amounts of announced money sitting unused while homelessness escalates.