Saturday, April 01, 2023

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Statistics Canada offers some new (if dated) data on the spread of COVID-19 in Canada - with over 40% of those with antibodies from a past infection having no idea they'd ever had COVID. And Carla Johnson examines the inescapable answer to the question as to whether we've allowed COVID-19 to win over humanity.

- Brendan Haley discusses how the U.S.' sudden infusion of investment in a green economy exposes Canada's lack of any meaningful industrial policy. And Brett Dolter points out that we should be far more concerned with getting to balance (or better) in the global carbon budget than in government balance sheets.

- Gordon Laxer notes that any meaningful study of foreign interference in Canadian politics needs to include a strong focus on the control exerted by the fossil fuel sector. And Kristoffer Tigue examines how oil tycoons and their puppet politicians continue to water down any attempt at agreement on the necessary steps to avert climate breakdown.

- Gregory Beatty highlights the case for universal reproductive medicine (which B.C. has since introduced).

- Finally, the Star's editorial board calls out the cruelty motivating Doug Ford's elimination of health care for the people who have the least.

Friday, March 31, 2023

Musical interlude

Stoto - Many Dreams Ago

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- The John Snow Project discusses how government minimization of the ongoing risk of COVID-19 - including the removal of what few policies remained to limit its spread - is pushing people to neglect the continued danger. And Josh Lynn reports on the latest data which shows that COVID remains a threat to Saskatchewanians, with 18 deaths in the last two-week reporting period alone. 

- John Burn-Murdoch examines why life expectancies in the U.S. are falling from their already worrisome levels. And in a couple of prime examples of the risks which have been deemed acceptable to impose on the public, Jake Johnson reports on the leak of a radioactive compound from a nuclear power plant, while Holly Yan et al. report on a train derailment and ethanol spill resulting in a fire and evacuation. 

- All of which makes it particularly damning that the Libs are throwing public money at the nuclear and fossil fuel sectors. Bill McGuire points out the folly of the UK's similar attempt to brand subsidies for increased oil and gas development (and associated carbon pollution) as somehow being part of a net zero emissions plan. And Nils Markusson discusses the utter failure of carbon capture and storage to meet even its selective promises to reduce emissions.  

- Luke Mari writes about the need for middle-density development to make communities walkable and liveable. And John Lorinc reports on the Ford PC's plan to put Ontario Place - including its nominally public areas - fully under corporate control. 

- Finally, Luke LeBrun reports on the Canada Revenue Agency's own recognition that Canadians want to see far more action to confront tax dodging by wealthy people and corporations. 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Hayden Klein reports on new research suggesting a connection between COVID-19 infection and increased cancer rates (particularly in younger people). And the Trade Union Council and Long COVID Support survey how workers with long COVID have been treated by employers - finding that one in seven has lost their job, and two-thirds have faced employment discrimination for having the temerity to suffer from a disability.  

- Greg Jericho offers a reminder that allowing workers' pay to keep up with price increases shouldn't be treated as an affront to the economy. Valerie Tarasuk and Tim Li point out how the Trudeau Libs' short-term "grocery rebate" falls far short of the secure access to essential goods. And Armine Yalnizyan discusses how the Libs' budget falls far short of any self-proclaimed feminism in doing nothing to respond to the immediate needs of women who have been disproportionately hit by both a wave of inflation and stingy monetary policy. 

- Adam Radwanski and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood each point out the problems with Libs' reliance on the corporate sector to dictate the terms of any climate progress. Merran Smith and Trevor Melanson point out the reality that fossil fuel jobs are disappearing based on forces far beyond the control of any Canadian government, making it thoroughly counterproductive to put off a transition to clean energy which will actually provide good long-term employment opportunities. And Alastair Marsh reports on new analysis showing that thanks to plummeting prices, there's effectively no cost to a shift to clean energy alternatives. 

- Finally, John Michael McGrath weighs in on the Ford PCs' callous decision to strip health care away from people without current proof of insurance. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Ritika Goel, Vanessa Redditt and Michaela Beder discuss how the Ford PCs are cruelly taking health care away from the marginalized people who need it most. And CBC News reports on the preferred right-wing model of privatized profit centres threatening patients into paying for upsold services. 

- But on the bright side, Harold Meyerson writes that California is taking steps toward the public production of insulin and other medication to ensure that corporate profit motives don't restrict access to needed medicine. 

- Francis Sedgmore points out how our already-worrisome expectations for an overheating Arctic region may underestimate actual temperature changes. And Moritz Langer et al. examine the threat posed by the thawing of permafrost at sites with industrial contamination. 

- Damian Carrington reports on a new study which concludes that the UK is completely unprepared for the readily foreseeable effects of a climate breakdown. And Kristoffer Tigue reports on the corporate interests (and their puppet governments) who insisted on watering down science-based recommendations in the latest IPCC report. 

- Finally, Adam Minter writes about the growing push to ensure a right to repair consumer electronics. And Michael Woods reports on the preliminary steps toward its implementation in the recent federal budget. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Couched cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Carrie Arnold examines our current state of knowledge about the prevalence and effects of long COVID. Tanya Lewis discusses the particularly acute risks COVID-19 creates in the course of a pregnancy. And Violet Blue writes about the dissonance involved in an ongoing pandemic having been erased from our culture. 

- Shandel Menezes reports on the wholesale corporate buyout of what was previously affordable housing, with the result that a basic human need and right is being priced out of reach. Cory Doctorow discusses how dollar stores and other corporate giants are systematically squeezing out every possible dime (and undermining every possible competitor) from rural and underserved communities. And Marc Fawcett-Atkinson points out how the federal government's current subsidy for groceries in northern communities services primarily to goose profits rather than to make food available. 

- Robert Kuttner discusses what comes next as neoliberalism is exposed as having nothing to offer the vast majority of people other than exploitation and precarity. And Martin Regg Cohn argues that the future of democracy depends on our winning battles for information, truth and equality over well-funded forces pushing the opposite of each.  

- Finally, Scharon Harding reports on the EU's proposed effort to entrench some right of repair for consumer electronics - though its plans are based on keeping control in the hands of manufacturers rather than consumers and independent providers. 

Monday, March 27, 2023

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Nicole Grether writes about the hundreds of thousands of young people orphaned by COVID-19 in the U.S. alone, while Kyodo News reports on research in Japan documenting how acute brain syndrome following infection can be fatal for children. Lisa Riley Roche tells the story of a teacher facing the lasting effects of long COVID, while Heather Stewart discusses the fight for fairness in the workplace for people already suffering from the condition. And Lizz Schumer highlights how the lack of action to help people dealing with long COVID fits into the wider pattern of failing to acknowledge and accommodate invisible disabilities. 

- Selena Simmons-Duffin discusses the U.S.' collapsing life expectancy due to multiple avoidable causes of death. Tom Krisher reports on new research showing that ever-larger SUVs and trucks are causing escalating numbers of pedestrian fatalities. And Bonnie Allen offers a memorial for the 1,200 Saskatchewanians who have died of drug poisonings in just the last three years (as the Moe government has gone out of its way to eliminate any harm reduction options). 

- Kim Willsher writes about the role of women on the front lines of France's pension protests in refusing to be told they'll have to work until they die. And Jason Resnikoff discusses how solidarity - not automation - is the key variable in determining whether workers will have the leverage to protect their interests. 

- Andrew Longhurst, Amit Arya and Lesley Barron point out that Western Canada's experience with for-profit surgery has provided nothing but a cautionary tale - even as Doug Ford is determined to barge ahead with corporatized medicine in Ontario. And Patrick Rucker, Maya Miller and David Armstrong expose how one major U.S. health insurer is simply denying claims as a matter of course, ensuring that patients facing medical difficulties are systematically forced to fight their insurer at the same time. 

- Finally, Saber Chowdhury and Ed Markey comment on the need to phase out fossil fuels now, rather than looking for excuses to keep dumping carbon pollution into our atmosphere. And David Schlissel discusses how nuclear reactors are a thoroughly inadequate alternative, costing more and taking far more time to build than renewable energy sources and storage options.