Saturday, October 01, 2022

Musical interlude

Bob Moses - Love Brand New

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Emily Henderson discusses new research showing the harm COVID-19 does to the central nervous system. And Stuart Layt reports on a new study suggesting that it damages the DNA in people's hearts (rather than merely causing inflammation as an ordinary flu virus would).

- Andrew Lodge writes that a climate breakdown deserves to be treated as a public health emergency to be met with every resource possible - though of course the precedent of operating in denial of COVID seems aimed at ensuring we don't set a pattern of responding to social crises with appropriate urgency. Michael Mann and Susan Joy Hassol highlight how climate change is exacerbating extreme weather and its effect on our living environment. Aaron Wherry points out how the Lib/Con climate debate is limited (out of the interests of both parties) to performative outrage over grossly insufficient policy when there's a glaring need to do far more. And Phoebe Weston writes that the world can't afford another decade of talk as a means of delaying profound action to curb carbon pollution.

- Meanwhile, Esme Stallard, Owen Pinnell and Jess Kelly report on the immense and undeclared emissions caused by natural gas flaring - even as the fossil fuel sector attempts to claim that gas production is somehow a cleaner alternative to other harmful fuels. And Blair Fix examines how the oil and gas sector would already be bankrupt if it was required to account for its damage to our planet.

- Robert Reich makes the case for price controls to rein in inflation that's based on corporate price gouging rather than any gains for workers. And George Hewison highlights how Canada's response to inflation has been dedicated to locking in corporate gains rather than keeping anything affordable for workers or people on fixed incomes.

- Finally, David Moscrop comments on the need for the NDP to respond to Pierre Poilievre's false populism with consistent class-based action. And Max Fawcett offers a reminder that the electoral reform promised by the Libs to put Justin Trudeau in power would work wonders in ensuring that the Cons can't implement their toxic agenda with a minority of support.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Truth & Reconciliation Day Links

Some material for learning and reflection on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

- The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action can be found here, And Peter Zimonjic reports on the limited progress that's been made in giving effect to them. 

- The reports and calls for justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls are here, while Leah Gazan writes that pursuing that justice is a necessary step before we can approach reconciliation.

- The University of Alberta's free online course on Indigenous Canada is here

- Finally, the Tyee offers its own reading list, including a number of further resources from Indigenous and Metis writers. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes about the growing recognition that COVID-19 may have severe and long-term effects on the brains of people who get infected, while Hannah Devlin reports on research showing it may also have systematic personality effects on younger people. And Nam Kiwanuka discusses the appalling lack of discussion of a shortage of children's pain medication as one obvious symptom (and indicator) of a devastating COVID wave in Ontario, while Adam Toy reports on the soaring hospitalization rates in Alberta in a health care system already in crisis. 

- Jessica Corbett discusses how the UK Cons have crashed their country's economy by handing gigantic tax cuts to business while paying no regard to the well-being of actual people. And Jon Schwarz and Ken Klippenstein report on yet more corporate executives - this time the CEO and CFO of Iron Mountain Inc. - confirming that businesses are using the cover of inflation to extract windfall profits. 

- Ghada Alsharif reports on Canada Post's new offering of personal loans - though it's of course telling that it was only permitted to proceed with a private bank standing to profit. 

- Finally, Kate Wagner interviews Katharine Hayhoe about the effects of climate change in exacerbating extreme weather events like Hurricane Ian. And Max Fawcett reminds us of the oil industry's sociopathic plans to delay any action to reduce or mitigate the damage caused by continued carbon pollution until they can install a Poilievre government which will eliminate any climate policy whatsoever. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tuesday Evening Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Marina Hyde laments Liz Truss' decision to hit the gas pedal on free money for the people who need it least while most of the UK struggles to make ends meet due to her party's mismanagement.

- Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Katie Thomas report on the exploitative turn taken by "not-for-profit" U.S. hospitals which are extracting massive profits and failing to treat patients while being managed with a business mindset.

- Alex McCuaig reports on the fossil fuel companies who are still refusing to pay municipal taxes owing even as they're swimming in windfall profits, while Joel Dryden notes that the oil and gas sector is likewise falling far short of its already-insufficient emission reduction targets despite record cash on hand. Bill McKibben calls out the banks which are continuing to finance a climate breakdown and all kinds of pollution. And Britt Wray writes about the industry-funded defeatism being used as the latest prominent strategy to evade any climate action.

- Finally, CBC News offers competing perspectives on the Moe government's obsession with nuclear reactors - with the inescapable conclusion being that there's no point in insisting on an expensive set of vaporware a decade down the road when cheap and plentiful renewables are an option today. And Jeremy Simes reports on the literal downstream consequences of the Saskatchewan Party's neglect of water management and regulation.

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cats looking up.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Assorted material to start your week.

- Jeremy Faust laments the removal of the few remaining COVID public health recommendations when we've had ample opportunity to learn about the costs of letting the coronavnirus run rampant. Dave Sherwood and Marc Frank report that Cuba has set an example for other countries in reducing the harm of COVID through widespread vaccination and a focus on children, while Nina Notman highlights how we have the means to clear the air around us to reduce the spread of multiple diseases. Ed Yong discusses how widespread long COVID is forcing health care system to reckon with the realities of chronic fatigue syndrome more generally. 

- Danielle Barnsley writes about the grim choices facing people whose existing poverty is being exacerbated by corporate price gouging. And Anna Fazackerley reports on the heartbreaking number of UK children going hungry as underfunded schools and overworked food banks try desperately to keep up with the deprivation being inflicted on them. 

- Meanwhile, Umair Haque writes about the UK's continuing self-destruction under a Conservative government which is undermining any semblance of a functional state in order to hand still more money to the corporate sector. And Pippa Crerar reports on revelations that a large amount of announced public procurement is being promptly sent to offshore tax havens  

- Finally, John Cochrane, Daniel Litvin, Yanis Varoufakis and Isabella Weber discuss the case for windfall taxes to ensure fossil fuel companies don't rake in undeserved profits while shirking any responsibility for the harm they're doing both to consumers and to our living environment.