Saturday, October 15, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Umair Irfan discusses the importance of getting COVID-19 booster shots - particularly the bivalent versions better targeted toward newer strains - in order to help limit the damage from a pandemic which is otherwise being allowed to wreak havoc with little restraint. And Keeanga Yahmatta-Taylor points out how parents and teachers bear the brunt of politically-oriented refusals to allow schools to close where necessary to protect public health.

- Simon Enoch discusses how the oil industry's propaganda and rage farming birthed the Flu Trux Klan. And Christopher Bonasia notes that while the fertilizer lobby is trying to disavow its connections to the convoy which laid siege to Ottawa, it's still planting its messaging firmly in the realm of denialist disinformation.

- Justin Ling examines some of Danielle Smith's more appalling public positions which were either overlooked or accepted as she ascended to power in Alberta. And Tyler Kingkade, Ben Goggin, Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny report on the roots of the Republicans' talking point about litter boxes in classrooms - though it's especially telling that to the extent there's even a hint of reality to the claim, it flows directly from the Republicans' own fanaticism in pushing a gun culture where the prevalence of school shootings requires classrooms to be provisioned for what should be unthinkable. 

- Finally, Sisonke Mismanga discusses how the combination of tax giveaways to the rich and shrinking opportunities for the working class is exacerbating Australia's class divide. And Katie Verigin points out how Canadian consumers stand to be further squeezed by a settlement which will allow businesses to charge fees for credit card use (without any expectation that they'll lower base prices accordingly).

Friday, October 14, 2022

Musical interlude

Dayseeker - Without Me

Friday Afternoon Links

 Assorted content to end your week.

- Alvin Chang charts some of the grim realities of long COVID which is being allowed to disable people with little to no restraint. And Frances Stead Sellers discusses how COVID-19 can undo a decade of work toward individual health and fitness. 

- The Energy Mix points out that Alberta's oil war room has revealed that the oil sands are increasing their carbon emissions even on a per-barrel basis. Kevin Crowley writes that Exxon is finally running out of people willing to dedicate their lives to polluting the planet for profit. And Brett March notes that the poor stand to suffer the most - and inequality stands to be exacerbated - as our climate breaks down. 

- Meanwhile, Emily Atkin explores how the pushback against ESG (environmental, social and governance) principles can be traced entirely to corporate puppets and the climate denial movement. 

- Jonathan Vigliotti reports that the ecological toll we've taken on the Earth includes the disappearance of a billion snow crabs (and the resulting cancellation of a fishing season). And Umair Haque discusses the developing age of extinction which we're blithely allowing to overtake us.

- Finally, Carlton Reid reports on new research showing that changes from car trips to bicycle or train can make an outsized difference in reducing emissions. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus examines how long COVID is producing disastrous social and economic effects. Helena Perez Valle interviews Deepti Gurdasani about the lessons we should be learning both to address the continued spread of COVID-19 and to prepare for future pandemics, while David Wallace-Wells discusses the need for more compelling stories about the continued toll of COVID in order to make the case for the public health measures needed to keep people safe. And Nergis Fertina explores how COVID itself may be changing people's personalities to be more aggressive and less engaged. 

- Glorie Dickie reports on new research showing that the Earth's wildlife population has dropped by more than two-thirds in just the last half century. Emily Hofstaeder reports on the grossly one-sided relationship between pharmaceutical manufacturers which have been devastating Puerto Rico's environment by dumping pollutants and using limited water resources, and the public which has subsidized that harm. And Camilla Hodgson discusses how "loss and damage" funding for developing countries looms as the next major issue in global climate talks. 

- Meanwhile, the Alberta Federation of Labour has offered a blueprint (PDF) for economic development which accounts for the need to transition to the economy of the future - rather than continuing to operate in denial as the UCP and Saskatchewan Party are both determined to do. 

- Josh O'Kane reports on a new study showing how Microsoft has evaded even more taxes than previously known by shifting profits between jurisdictions. 

- Finally, Mitchell Thompson highlights how inflation is being used as an excuse to suppress real wages in Canada while big business goes unquestioned about its increased profit share. Robert Reich discusses the need for a bottom-up economy rather than the trickle-down model which benefits only those at the top. And Juliana Kaplan and Madison Hoff report on new research showing that union membership can boost a worker's lifetime income by over a million dollars - offering as much of a boost to earnings as a college degree.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- David Axe reports on the spread of a new COVID-19 subvariant which pairs increased transmissibility with resistance to antibody therapies. And Andrew Gregory reports on the World Health Organization's pleas for some recognition of the damage being done by long COVID, while Benjamin Mazer writes about the particular dangers of the post-infection phase in causing long-term damage.  

- Darren Major reports that the disaster relief fund intended to respond to climate change-fuelled disasters until 2031 has run out of money to deal with even the damage done to date.

- Damian Carrington reports on new research showing that the spread of toxic microplastics extends into humans' breast milk.

- Leyland Cecco reports on the AusterityTO public art which is bringing attention to the costs of municipal neglect - even as the establishment looks to lock it in for yet another term. Jennifer Pagliaro points out the gross underinvestment in community supports as money is instead funneled into an already-inflated police budget. And Alec Salloum reports on the continued lack of resources for unhoused people in Regina, as Sandra Masters focuses the city's immediate attention on dismantling any help they might obtain through mutual aid while putting off even a preliminary discussion of funding until the dead of winter. 

- Finally, Katie Hyslop is able to offer a look at the socially conservative school board candidates being advance in order to make bigotry a central element of public education.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Monday, October 10, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Robert Reich rightly questions why trickle-down economics are still being pushed even after decades of consistent failure to accomplish any goal other than increased inequality. And James Galbraith and Mariana Mazzucato each offer an outline as to how to reshape economies to achieve social goals other than further engorging the obscenely-wealthy.

- Carina Marquez et al. study how the length of actual COVID infection has changed over the course of the pandemic, finding an increased length of infection in the Omicron phase even as isolation and leave policies have been weakened. And Kenyon Wallace and Andrew Bailey warn that Ontario is seeking another rise in the number of cases in long-term care homes just in time for increased indoor activity to drive even more transmission.

- Greta Thunberg highlights the need not to accept the word of governments and corporations claiming to be doing their part to avert a climate breakdown while in fact exacerbating the problem. Alastair Marsh reports on new research showing the need for a drastic transition in investment from dirty fossil fuels to clean energy in order to meet existing commitments. And Nina Lakhani reports on TC's cynical use of Black community leaders to create the pretense of community support for pipelines which in fact stand to impose environmental costs on people who can't afford to bear them.

- Oliver Moore discusses how many municipalities have learned valuable lessons about the merits of keeping space open for walking and pedestrian use rather than parking - while Regina stands out as one of the few Canadians cities actively going in the opposite direction.

- Isaac Chotiner examines the longstanding racism and neglect behind Alabama's widespread prison strike.

- Finally, Brodie Thomas reports on the organized ignorance which is on the verge of completely taking over the UCP's party structures. And Cara McKenna reports on the large amounts of money being dumped into municipal campaigns in Squamish, B.C. by the natural gas industry and its puppets to try to bulldoze over popular disapproval for gas projects.

Sunday, October 09, 2022

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Dhruv Khullar writes about the likelihood that a continued lack of public health measures will push the vast majority of people toward multiple COVID-19 reinfections, including ones which may not show up on less-sensitive tests. And Carolyn Barber discusses how decision-making around the continued pandemic is being dumped on individuals who largely aren't aware of the long-term risks of constant exposure. 

- Trevor Dunn tells the story of Lynn Spiegel and other seniors who are facing homelessness due to a broken housing system which is oriented toward capturing profits rather than providing for people's basic needs and rights.

- Tim Di Muzio and Matt Dow write about the need for a fundamental change in our energy system in order to extricate ourselves from both the environmental toll of a climate breakdown and the social harm resulting from our fuel supply being under the control of a cartel of bad actors.

- Finally, Graham Thomson wonders whether Danielle Smith's constant pandering to the alt-right will change at all now that she's set to take power - though the early indications look anything but promising. And Frank Graves and  Jeff Smith examine the spread of authoritarian populism in Canada.