Saturday, March 25, 2023

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Meara Conway examines the absolute frivolousness of the Saskatchewan Party's Ottawa-bashing, while Stephen Magusiak offers a reminder of the oil-backed astroturf project behind Alberta sovereignty messaging (and its Saskatchewan copycats). And Simon Enoch discusses Scott Moe's choice to keep underfunding public services even when the province has more money than it knows what to do with. 

- Meanwhile, Sheila Block, Randy Robinson and Ricardo Tranjan point out that Doug Ford has chosen to "balance" Ontario's budget by starving public services which are already on the brink of collapse. And Helena Pamic discusses how food banks are having to serve a growing share of Ontario's working class as the necessities of life become increasingly unaffordable.

- Adam McKay rightly points out that we're continuing to fail to treat the climate crisis as an emergency even as its direct effects become all the more frequent and stark. And Andrew Nikiforuk writes that by any reasonable measure, the skyrocketing price tag on the climate-busting Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would be treated as a massive scandal.

- Finally, Timothy Noah discusses how the Republicans (who of course set the agenda for Canada's Cons and their right-wing allies) have become unabashed cheerleaders for the exploitation of child labour.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Musical interlude

Reflekt feat. Delline Bass - Need To Feel Loved

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Linda McQuaig discusses how the Biden administration is providing the Trudeau Libs with an example to follow in ensuring that the ultra-wealthy contribute something closer to their fair share of the cost of a functional society. And Alexandria Nassopoulos highlights the realities facing Canadians trying to survive on grossly insufficient social supports, while Steve Paikin writes about the absurdity of the Ford PCs pouring more money into subsidizing electricity use than major public priorities including long-term care. 

- Kelly Crowe exposes how Statistics Canada took funding from big pharma to produce a propaganda piece under the control of industry representatives.  

- Rebecca Solnit discusses the urgent need to start reducing fossil fuel use immediately, rather than kicking the can down the road based on implausible and self-serving claims about geoengineering and carbon capture as an excuse to keep burning oil and gas. Ayesha Tandon reports on new research showing a surge in methane emissions from wetlands as yet another feedback loop which is leading to an even faster breakdown than anticipated. And Paul Abela warns about the disastrous consequences of approaching the climate crisis with an optimism bias.    

- Finally, Andrew Nikiforuk reports on the Alberta's belated recognition - following a previous denial - of the reality that the province's largest earthquake ever was likely caused by tar sands wastewater disposal. And Charles Rusnell reports that Laurie Pushor is giving his previous high-water mark for villainy of "ripping off nuns" a run for its money by covering up a toxic leak into drinking water at the behest of the UCP's fossil fuel paymasters. 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Dave Hansen et al. discuss the attempt in progress by publishers to attack the Internet Archive in order to restrict access to materials. And Walled Culture examines the problem of trying to preserve any "public domain" at all when the profit motive militates toward turning everything into a limited-access profit centre. 

- In a similar vein, Taylor Noakes implores Doug Ford to learn from the success of Montreal's Parc Jean-Drapeau as a model for land use, rather than turning public park land into a developer's plaything. But Elizabeth Payne reports that Ford's determination to monetize his stay in power extends to limiting hospitals' ability to operate in order to divert staff to for-profit surgical businesses.  

- Nicholas Hune-Brown writes that the housing crisis (and the lack of an effective response) can be traced largely to the fact that artificial scarcity represents a windfall for a lucky few. 

- Arielle Samuelsson discusses the IPCC's latest climate report, including its recognition that oil and gas use has to be reduced for us to have any hope of limiting the damage to our planet. Oxford University Press points out new research confirming that tax policy alone can't be expected to get carbon pollution down to a liveable level. And Brian Kahn reports on an emerging academic view that fossil fuel companies can and should be held criminally responsible for knowingly causing deaths. 

- Finally, Scientific Frontline takes note of research into new water treatment to remove "forever chemicals" from the water we drink. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- The John Snow Project calls out the dangers of labeling COVID-19 infection as an immune-boosting mechanism, rather than an unequivocal harm to individual health. Jake Miller discusses new research on the groups at particular risk of long COVID. And Remember Rebuild SK has developed an online memorial to ensure we recognize the lives lost to the preventable spread of disease, rather than focusing only on numbers. 

- UNITE examines how profiteering has been soaring in Britain (as it has elsewhere) as corporations use the excuse of inflation to extract more profits from the public. And David Dayen writes that the bailouts handed out to Silicon Valley Bank and other failed financial institutions are the direct result of deregulation premised on the claim that public oversight wouldn't be needed to prevent exactly that consequence.  

- Timothy Noah writes about Mark Robert Rank and Matthew Desmond's recognition that poverty is the result of policy choices and imbalances of power - including the ability of landlords to wring higher profits out of poorer neighbourhoods. And Brittany Freeman reports on the plight of residents who are blocked from making payments demanded by homeowners' associations, then forced to fund obstructionist litigation against themselves in order to resist foreclosure. 

- Finally, Fiona Harvey reports on the IPCC's latest report - including its "final warning" that we need to act now in order to limit the damage to 1.5 degrees. Laura Thomas-Walters argues that climate activism needs to focus on challenging the power structures which have entrenched the fossil fuel economy, rather than appeals to the general public. Emma Shemko writes about the deep connections between the climate crisis and environmental racism. And June Sekera highlights how carbon capture and storage represents a delay and distraction tactic rather than an antidote to a climate breakdown.