Saturday, June 17, 2023

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Alexander Haro reports on the scientific recognition that 2023 stands to be by far the hottest year in recorded human history (even compared to the elevated temperatures of other recent years). And Kate Aronoff wonders when the general public will start waking up to the glaring climate risks that are rendering massive amounts of land uninsurable. 

- Meanwhile, Nathasha Bulowski discusses how the federal sustainable jobs bill will would give labour some voice in the future of Canadian work - which represents one of the main reasons why the Cons and their provincial allies are determined to block it.

- Katherine Scott and Trish Hennessy examine how the low-barrier income provided through the CERB served not only as a temporary source of income, but also as a means for workers to improve their work circumstances. And Malone Mullin reports on Food First N.L.'s call for people to have the income they need to ensure a reasonable standard of living, rather than being forced to rely on food banks and other charities.

- Finally, Andre Picard discusses how the price of inaction and dithering in Canada's health care system is a deep decay. And the Canadian Health Coalition highlights why the NDP's push for pharmacare legislation is needed to ensure people don't face barriers to access to medicine.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Musical interlude

Flight Facilities feat. Grosvenor - With You

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Scott Dance reports on the scientific recognition that the Earth's oceans are warming far faster than previously feared, while Sid Perkins discusses the particularly large temperature increases in parts of the north Atlantic. And the American Geophysical Union points out that humanity's unanticipated effects on the planet include pumping so much groundwater as to have altered the Earth's rotational axis. 

- Damian Carrington reports on the World Bank's recognition that massive fossil fuel and agricultural subsidies are major contributors to environmental damage. And George Monbiot writes about the connection between fascist politics and climate change denial.

- But lest anybody think the problem lies solely in right-wing parties, Alex Ballingall reports on how the Trudeau Libs have failed to spend billions in promised climate funding. And Markham Hislop laments the state of Alberta's climate politics on all sides, while Martin Lukacs points out how fossil fuel lobbyists are largely dictating the direction of the provincial NDP in multiple provinces. 

- David Moscrop discusses how the Ford government is using glaringly inaccurate budget estimates to justify a failure to fund public services. 

- Lauren Weber, Caitlin Gilbert and Taylor Lorenz report on the systematic development of astroturf groups intended to establish naked reactionary bigotry as the basis for health policy. 

- Finally, Anand Giridharadas' commencement speech to Sidwell Friends School offers a compelling call to young people to work on fixing the institutions which are so profoundly broken. 

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Stephanie Soucheray discusses how many patients whose senses of taste and smell have been affected by COVID-19 never fully recover, while the University of Waterloo finds new evidence of lasting impact on the brain. And Carolyn Bramante et al. study how metformin can reduce the severity of COVID infection.  

- Mike Bebernes wonders whether the combination of COVID and wildfires could prompt advances in indoor air safety. But that will require the current generation of adults to take ownership of responsibility for improving matters, rather than planning to leave a smoking husk of a world to today's children.  

- George Takei interviews Robert Reich about the need to fundamentally change the balance of power which currently lies solely with the robber baron class. And Cory Doctorow points out how the largest corporations are as fervently opposed to competition and market factors as anybody when they have the opportunity to extract profits from monopolies. 

- Meanwhile, Junaid Jahangir discusses the need to rein in inequality, including by recognizing corporate taxes as a valuable tool both to bring in public revenue and to eliminate incentives for profiteering. And Richard Barnthaler and Ian Gough discuss the prospect of an economy based on sufficiency rather than excess. 

- Finally, Michael Kan reports that instead of looking to protect people's privacy from corporate manipulation, the U.S. government is buying up (and re-identifying) personal information for itself. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Fiona Harvey reports on Greta Thunberg's warning that a failure to stop burning fossil fuels amounts to a death sentence for people living in poverty - which would be a much more powerful message if the denial of environmental disaster and devaluation of human life weren't core principles of our corporatist governance model. Andrew Fanning and Jason Hickey model what climate reparations would look like if the wealthiest countries compensated the rest of the world for the cost of their carbon pollution. And Gary Mason discusses how Canada's response to the climate crisis would be different if we had any notion of sacrifice. 

- Geoffrey Lean is hopeful that a new treaty being reached by governments and backed by some business interests will result in an end to plastic pollution. But we should be wary of temporary corporate concessions intended to keep dirty business as usual going as long as possible - with Shell's reversal of plans for even tiny fossil fuel production cuts serving as just the latest example. 

- John Quiggin points out how Australia's grocery store duopoly has used the cover of inflation to goose its profit margins. And Holly McKenzie-Sutter reports on the Bank of Canada's needed recognition that corporate pricing and exploitation are at the root of Canada's inflation as well - though as Jim Stanford notes, it isn't following that to its logical conclusion by using tools less focused on reducing work and wages. 

- Finally, the Center for Working-Class Politics discusses how it's possible to defeat the populist right by making a priority of genuinely challenging corporate power and meeting the needs of the working class. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cats on parade.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Piers Forster reports on new research showing that both greenhouse gas emissions and temperatures continue to push past all recorded records. Andrew Freedman adds sea surface temperatures to the list of indicators setting off alarm bells for anybody bothering to pay attention. And Shannon Osaka, Michael Miller and Beatrice Rios write about the danger that we're sleepwalking into a "fire age" even as our corporate overlords command us to keep burning things. 

- Bryan Owens writes about the causes of what may be an entire season of wildfire in Canada, while  David Ball reports that British Columbia is among the provinces facing the prospect of a devastating drought. Caroline Mimbs Nice connects California's recent spate of fires to the effects of climate change. Justine McDaniel writes about the possibility that direct experience of the consequences of a climate breakdown will make people more eager to push for action - along with the risk that it will be minimized and memory-holed at the first opportunity. 

- Frank Jordan comments on the glaring gap between the corporate sector's empty "net zero" pledges, and its willingness to follow up in any meaningful way. 

- Vanmala Subramaniam discusses how temporary CERB benefits provided workers with a modicum of opportunity to seek out better positions - which explains why it was discontinued so quickly and has been attacked with such vitriol by the Cons and their anti-social base. And Nicholas Hune-Brown discusses how libraries have been turned into the social service provider of last resort and singular cost-free public space (without having been provided with the resources needed to fill those roles). 

- Finally, Chris Pepin-Neff points out how the bigoted right's anti-trans campaign fits into the history of violent moral panics. 

Monday, June 12, 2023

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Katrina vanden Heuvel writes that the same plutocrats who have chosen to value the lives of most of humanity at nil are pouring massive amounts of money into bizarre and expensive longevity treatments for themselves.  

- The Globe and Mail's editorial board deigns to point out that much of Canada is on fire, while Rebecca Falconer reports on warnings that that reality may last all summer. And Carolyn Kury de Castillo discusses how farmers in Alberta are looking at zero production due to the dry and pest-infested spring. 

- Matthew Yglesias points out that the effect of the wildfires has been to reverse hard-won (if apparently-forgotten) progress in reducing air pollution. And Will Bunch wonders whether a continent-wide blanket of smoke will serve as any more of a wakeup call than so many other disastrous effects of a climate breakdown, while John Vaillant isn't optimistic

- Robson Fletcher writes about the dehumanizing experience facing renters trying to find a home in Calgary. 

- Finally, Rachel Tompa discusses new research finding a connection between long COVID and persistent inflammation. 

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- The Canadian Press reports that the Ford PCs' COVID negligence includes shutting down a rapid test program still distributing hundreds of thousands of tests each week.

- Denise Balkissoon writes about the need for Toronto (like other cities) to elect representatives who recognize the severity of the climate crisis, while lamenting that most of its mayoral candidates are barely paying lip service to the great challenge of our time. And Imperial College London warns that we can't meet our climate goals without all current net-zero pledges being met in full - even as 90% appear to be based on little more than wishcasting.

- Irina Ivanova reports on new research showing how a climate breakdown is driving up the cost of food. Michelle Gamage discusses how wildfire smoke is making people sick. And the University of Reading explores how climate change is also causing increased airplane turbulence - in case mild inconvenience for the wealthy is a better driver of motivation to change than loss of the necessities of life for everybody else.

- P.E. Moskovitz discusses how the suburbanization of the U.S. has proven to be a breeding ground for fascism in taking away community venues while encouraging messages about excluding outsiders from isolated communities.

- Finally, Beth Mole reports on new research estimating the death count from just three of the U.S. Supreme Court's more antisocial decisions - with a conservative estimate suggesting that the partisan actions of half a dozen Republican hacks will personally cause 6,000 deaths over the next decade.