Saturday, January 14, 2023

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Hannah Davis et al. review what we know so far about long COVID - and how much work remains to be done in making treatments and support available. And Phil Tank discusses some of the myths and distortions which continue to distract people from an ongoing pandemic in Saskatchewan. 

- Meanwhile, Bill Hodgins reports on a staff report from Peterborough Public Health pushing for improved indoor air quality to deal with COVID and other health issues. 

- Anupriya Dasgupta examines how fossil fuel companies are allowed to disseminate blatant disinformation through mainstream media channels. And Dana Drugmand reports on the appointment of an oil CEO to oversee the next round of global climate talks.

- David Schlissel examines the inordinate cost of modular nuclear reactors compared existing clean energy options. Yet as the Moe government insists on pouring money into nuclear vaporware, Carla Shynkaruk reports on a Saskatoon group home which is shutting down and displacing nine residents due to a lack of provincial funding.

- Finally, Andrea Pinochet-Escudero writes about the limitations of organizing solely for an election campaign. 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Musical interlude

Flight Facilities - The Ghost

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Oscar Grenfell discusses how Australia is among the countries which has seen a declining life expectancy due to COVID-19 - with a distinct trend based on when it chose to let the pandemic run rampant. Jonathan Shaw examines the evidence showing greater risks of more severe outcomes arising out of reinfections. And Ollie Williams reports on arbitral decisions out of the Northwest Territories rejecting government arguments to dispense with COVID leave merely because it has chosen to lift any declaration of a public health emergency while the pandemic rages on. 

- Meanwhile, Chandra Philip reports on the continuing crisis at Saskatchewan's children's hospital which is having to warehouse patients in spaces not intended for care. And Parry Winsa reports on research showing that patients who try to address their conditions with virtual "walk-in" clinics - which privateering governments and corporations are pushing instead of funding primary physicians - are twice as likely to end up in the emergency room as those who are able to consult with a family doctor. 

- Colin McKerracher reports on the increase in electric vehicle sales over the past few years, while David Wallace-Wells points out that a fuller picture needs to include an even more substantial movement toward electric bikes. And Emily Pointecorvo discusses how a transition process will require far more electricians - which represents a challenge in meeting the new need, but also an obvious opportunity to create new skilled jobs (where the fossil fuel sector is relentlessly slashing them even while pocketing massive profits). 

- Bill McKibben and Oliver Milman each examine the latest revelations about Exxon's detailed knowledge of the global warming caused by fossil fuel use even as it spent massive amounts of money on lobbying and disinformation to prevent any action to combat it. And Aliaksandr Herasimenka et al. study the public-facing funding and infrastructure behind vaccine misinformation. 

- Ram Singh studies (PDF) the systemic gap between reported income and wealth among the wealthiest few - signaling that documented income inequality far underestimates the real disparity in resources.  

- Finally, Akansha Batra, Kaitlyn Jackson and Rita Hamad find that the U.S.' 2021 child tax credit expansion which put a substantial dent in poverty rates also had a marked positive effect on mental health. And Elaine Power, Jennifer Brady and Dian Day write that while a national school food policy would be a plus, it would cover only a small part of the need for support for lower-income families. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes about the need for a revolution in ventilation practices to limit the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Emmanuel Heilmann et al. study the risks of relying on antiviral drugs rather than preventative measures, as it fuels the evolution of newer and less controllable variants. And Gregg Gonsalves calls out far too many media outlets for making a concerted choice to silence any continued discussion about the COVID-19 pandemic and other avoidable risks to health which are crying out for policy solutions. 

- Stuart Benson talks to David Fisman about the need for any federal health-care funding to Canada's provinces to be paired with accountability measures - particularly based on the provinces' choice to pocket pandemic resources rather than actually using them for their intended purposes. And Isaac Callan and Colin D'Mello report on the Doug Ford PCs' infuriating refusal to even acknowledge how many workers are needed to fill in existing gaps in the province's health care system. 

- Tracy Sherlock and Xavier Richer Vis report on the fossil fuel sector's lucrative lobbying which resulted in it being handed billions of federal dollars. And Robert Ascah discusses how oil and gas companies are pocketing windfall profits while sticking consumers with intolerable prices and demanding that governments clean up their pollution at public expense.  

- Finally, Robert Reich writes about the coalition of oligarchs and violent bigots which dominates the U.S.' Republican Party. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Chinta Sidharthan discusses new research on COVID-19 reinfections, showing that subsequent infections tend to produce similar immediate effects to a first one but with earlier long COVID effects. Ellen Phiddian reports on Brendan Crabb's observation that current immunity levels - through both vaccines and prior infections - are falling far short of managing the ongoing pandemic. And Andre Picard writes that the most virulent force that's been unleashed is glaring indifference toward others' health and well-being. 

- Meanwhile, Linda Silas points out that there are readily-available options to ameliorate Canada's health crisis. And Steven Staples discusses some of the public health care issues we should be watching in 2023. 

- Erin Bartram writes about the deteriorating working conditions for university adjuncts and graduate students - and how even professors with tenure and other formal protections are far worse off due to the precarity facing their colleagues.  

- Suzanne Shoush, Semir Bulle and Naheed Dosani highlight how it's investment in people - not in policing - that makes a community safe. And Jen St. Denis reports on how Vancouver-area police have harassed an individual for having the temerity to film an officer's violent assault on a citizen which had otherwise been covered up. 

- Finally, Rose Abramoff tells her story of being fired from a scientific research position merely for imploring fellow scientists to translate their knowledge into climate activism. And Damian Carrington reports that while authorities crack down on any effort to repair the harm we've done to our climate, the Earth's oceans have again reached a record high temperature in 2022. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Fluffy cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Stephanie Desmon interviews Ziyad Al-Aly about the reality that anybody infected with COVID-19 faces a substantial risk of heart problems as a result. And Moira Wyton examines what British Columbia could be doing to limit the spread of the Kraken sub-variant, while Paul Faulkner reports on Ian Watkinson's call for air cleaning units to reduce the transmission of respiratory infections in schools. 

- Meanwhile, F. Douglas Stephenson offers a reminder that the pharmaceutical industry has every incentive to see people get sick and require treatment, rather than acting responsibility to avoid the spread of disease. 

- Ari Natter reports on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's work examining whether gas stoves should be regulated due to their contribution to asthma and other respiratory ailments. And Oliver Milman notes that many U.S. cities are finally pushing back against the spread of parking lots which encourage vehicle use while disincentivizing any other form of transportation - even as Peter Walker observes that policies aimed at reducing avoidable vehicle traffic are met with a particularly virulent strain of conspiracy theory in response.  

- Finally, Vivian Unger discusses how an electoral system which awards absolute power based on a minority of votes can be expected to break down trust between the public and the politicians who are supposed to be serving it. 

Monday, January 09, 2023

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Erin Durkin writes about the failure of the U.S.' government to deal with the growing impact of long COVID - and the likelihood that matters will only get worse with Republicans able to unilaterally refuse funding. And Lisa Young wishes that Alberta's government could better be classified as a meerkat which is alter to its surroundings, rather than an ostrich determinedly avoiding information which didn't match its ideology. 

- James Galbraith comments on the difficulty of trying to respond to inflation with interest rate hikes under an ologopolistic economic system. And Robert Reich writes that the response to inflation should involve breaking up corporate behemoths which are extracting windfall profits, not attacking workers in their attempts to tread water. 

- Zoe Williams discusses how body image distress (particularly in young people) can be traced almost entirely to corporations looking to turn self-image problems of their own creation into long-term profit centres. And the Economic recognizes that the generation of young adults in the UK is rightly outraged at having its present and future put at risk in order to extract wealth for older generations.  

- Mitchell Thompson writes about the critical state of Canada's health care system. 

- Finally, Cory Doctorow comments on the rise and fall of social media platforms - and how the demise of Facebook and Twitter is a predictable result of their being managed to serve the interests of investors and advertisers rather than users. 

Sunday, January 08, 2023

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Nicholas Frew reports on the wholly-unsurprising news that the XBB.1.5 COVID-19 variant mad its way into Saskatchewan before the holidays with zero timely public notice. And Scott Larson reports that Saskatoon's pediatric hospital is among the many medical institutions swamped with respiratory illnesses even as a new COVID wave forms.

- Umair Haque discusses how we should see the collapse of the UK's National Health Service as a warning to the world. And Shanti Das and Jon Ungoed-Thomas report that the NHS itself is promoting privatized, pay-for-play services to patients to avoid the delays caused by the government's perpetual neglect.

- Jennifer Ackerman writes about the widespread recognition of glaring gaps in Saskatchewan's social safety net which made the news in 2022 - though sadly the only end result has been for callous politicians to go out of their way to make matters worse.

- Bloomberg News points out the severe and avoidable risk from the world's reliance on a dwindling number of crops for food, including three which make up half of humanity's calorie consumption.

- Finally, Sam Levin reports on the U.S.' new record high in civilians killed by police in 2022 - even as the public discourse about law enforcement was hijacked by corporations seeking to paint themselves and the police as victims.