Saturday, April 15, 2023

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Zak Vescera reports on the CCPA's new research showing how an increasing number of jobs in British Columbia are precarious - with already-disadvantaged workers especially likely to be affected. Don Pittis points out the Bank of Canada's continued attempts to hold wages below the rate of inflation, while offering much-needed space for Kaylie Tiessen to point out how that focus results in its being a soldier for capital in an ongoing class war. And Nick French writes that the essence of socialism is rooted in justice for workers pursuing what's rightfully theirs.

- Andrew Petter and Jim Rutkowski write about the value of progressive populism as a tool to make the case for an egalitarian society.  And Rowan Burdge, Jen Kostuchuk and Ismail Askin point out the importance of ensuring that social justice is embodied in any climate plan in order to ensure people see the benefits of a clean energy transition. 

- Meanwhile, Roberto Burgos discusses how the latest IPCC report is both alarming in its expectations, and unduly optimistic in its assumption that we'll manage a full transition away from carbon pollution.

- Finally, David Beers discusses the need to value journalism as a public good - particularly as the Cons and their provincial cousins attempt to stifle any reporting or commentary other than from their own side's propagandists.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Kendra Pierre-Louis discusses the need for journalists to cover the massive health risks posed by COVID-19 even as (or even because of) the failure of governments to do so.  

- Jed Anderson calls out the increasing privatization of universities in Canada (facilitated by the systemic underfunding and corporate-oriented management of public post-secondary institutions). And David Moscrop writes that any form of enclosure and privatization of public spaces like Ontario Place would be problematic - though the Ford PC's entirely cronyist version is particularly odious. 

- Peter Waldman, Sinduja Rangarajan and Mark Chediak document how institutional farm ownership has been exacerbating the strain on California's water supply. And the Canadian Press reports on a new study forecasting a wave of retirements among Canadian farm and agricultural producers - raising the risk of takeovers by corporate forces. 

- Manuel Lopez Rostrepo notes that Generation Z is particularly pro-union - but that a shift in structural power will require work to convert that preference into organization and action. 

- Finally, Rae Deer offers a reminder that trickle-down economics has never been anything but a scam to direct more money to rich people. And Cory Doctorow writes about new research confirming the seemingly-obvious point that heavily-advertised goods on social media are likely to be overpriced junk. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Alex Fulton discusses the lessons we should be learning from the response to COVID-19 in preparing for the next pandemic. Richard Payerchin highlights how physicians recognize the need to diagnose and treat long COVID as it afflicts an increasing proportion of the population, but largely lack the means to do so.  And Milos Ajcevic et al. find a connection between cognitive impairment associated with long COVID, and dysfunction in cerebral blood flow observable through MRIs.

- Josh Gabbatiss writes about new research which projects that we're entering an age of decline for fossil fuels. Emily Chung points out what Canada can learn from Sweden's success in replacing oil heating with electric heat pumps. Joe Fassler argues that the disproportionate carbon pollution spewed by the ultra-rich can only be seen as a theft from everybody else. And Kevin Timoney writes about the multiple problems with tar sands tailings ponds - including but not limited to the toxic leaks into drinking water sources which have been concealed by the UCP government and operators alike. 

- John Michael McGrath highlights how the Ford PCs' supposed housing strategy figures to do far more to cause sprawl than to make homes available. Helena Horton writes that a road-building spree is utterly incompatible with any responsible climate strategy. And Matt Gurney notes that Ford's complete lack of credibility in funding promised transit infrastructure makes it impossible to take him seriously on transportation matters generally. 

- The Angus Reid Institute examines how Canadians are responding to additional cost pressures piled on what have long been precarious personal finances. Erin Weir points out that the list of windfall profits which should be tapped into to help the working class includes those emanating from grocery inputs. And Wayne Simpson makes the case to make the grocery rebate permanent to provide predictable support for people living on lower incomes. 

- Finally, Gillian Steward writes that Danielle Smith has chosen to present herself as the face of anti-science quackery and violent bigotry. And Stephen Magusiak reports on the Take Back Alberta group (which appears to be in full control of the UCP) which has been based on organizing exactly those malignant forces. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Playful cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Nina Lakhani reports on the latest data showing greenhouse gas emissions rising at an alarming rate. Bill McKibben discusses the math of climate change - including the vanishing budget for continued carbon pollution if we want to avoid catastrophic outcomes, and the plummeting price of actually making a transition to renewable energy. And Matthew Rosza writes about the foreseeable risks of a world with far less fresh water than we've come to count on. 

- Mitchell Beer writes that pipeline megaprojects invariably result in massive cost overruns, while also pointing out how the plan to offload TMX onto an Indigenous buyer seems designed to result in the transfer of a soon-to-be-stranded asset. 

- Meanwhile, Chris Hatch highlights the latest Conservative carbon tax tantrum. 

- Sharon Lerner reports on the EPA's inexplicable approval of a plastic-based fuel which looks to drastically exacerbate cancer rates among people exposed to it. 

- Finally, Victoria Gibson discusses how Toronto's homelessness crisis only stands to get worse as higher levels of government refuse to contribute - though the city's own focus on policing rather than providing services represents another key part of the problem. But on the bright side, Jason McBride reports on the non-profit Neighbourhood Land Trust's work in ensuring that rental housing is made available based on community need rather than a drive for profit. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- The University of Denver examines how prior infection with COVID-19 produces effects comparable to a traumatic brain injury in worsening the effects of long COVID. And Laise Conde reports on the efforts of Protect Out Province BC (among others) to keep people protected even as the motivation to normalize continued spread is used as an excuse to slash any public health measures, while Meg Duff reports that access to Paxlovid is being restricted even as its function in reducing the severity of long COVID becomes better known. 

- Meanwhile, Mariana Mazzucato discusses the need for our system of drug research and manufacturing to be oriented toward keeping people healthy rather than locking in corporate profit streams. 

- Adam King writes about British Columbia's example in showing how reducing employer interference in organizing can help workers to pursue their collective bargaining rights. 

- Luke Savage discusses how Elon Musk has become a test case in demonstrating that amassing money under a capitalist system has nothing to do with merit. And Nik Popli highlights how food companies have made groceries more expensive through blatant profiteering. 

- Finally, Alex Himelfarb writes that there's nothing prudent about budgetary choices which fall far short of meeting the needs of people and the planet.