Friday, June 30, 2023

Musical interlude

Manuel Riva feat. Misha Miller - Wild Young Heart

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Richard Murphy points out the stark contrast between the UK Cons' attempt to pretend that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, and the tens of thousands of excess deaths still resulting from it. Mary Van Beusekom discusses a new study showing that Ontario's infection levels were likely 19 times higher than reported at the peak of the Omicron wave. And Kai Kupferschmidt interviews new WHO chief scientist Jeremy Farrar about the multiple global public health challenges which demand action (even if governments prefer to ignore and minimize them). 

- Alex Himelfarb warns against prematurely declaring the death of neoliberalism when it still serves as the default ideology underlying our society despite its unpopularity. And Brooke Kruger reports on the Saskatoon Food Bank's observation that people are increasingly reliant on it to ensure a source of food (even as Scott Moe continues to pretend that everyone's doing just fine). 

- Niels-Jakob Hansen, Frederik Toscani and Jing Zhou discuss how corporate profiteering is the main driver of ongoing inflation in Europe. And Isaac Callan and Colin D'Mello report on the flood of corporate lobbying as businesses look to take over health care services in Ontario. 

- Robin McKie discusses Bill McGuire's conclusion that we're past the point of averting some level of climate breakdown - though it's still vital to do what we can to reverse the damage. And Moran Cerf, Sandra Matz and Malcolm MacIver find that people who participate in prediction markets (and thus have a reason to pay close attention to climate issues) are more concerned about the climate. But Carbon Brief reports on the Climate Change Committee's recognition that the UK government is falling ever further behind its climate commitments, while Reuters reports on CDP's research showing the same to be predictably true for fossil fuel giants. And Taylor Noakes offers a reminder that hydrogen fuels and carbon capture and storage serve more as delay tactics for carbon polluters than as remotely useful solutions. 

- Finally, Kelly Kimball discusses how existing wildfire models are being overtaken by the reality of far more severe fires. And reports on the immense tracts of tropical forest being lost both to fire and to deforestation.  

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Jessica Wildfire writes about the desperation to return to some past normal (stoked of course by the people who profit from it) which is leading far too many to take obviously reckless risks with their health in the midst of a pandemic. And Kevin Jiang points out that it isn't only people's lungs being harmed by wildfire smoke, as "smoke brain" is also resulting in devastating health impacts. 

- John Timmer discusses the contradiction between the U.S. public's general desire for action to avert a climate breakdown, and its disapproval of many of the steps needed to get there. And Ryan Cooper points out that the car culture which dominates development patterns in the U.S. and Canada can only be seen as a death cult. 

- Matt Stoller and David Dayen comment on the urgent need to move past neoliberalism as its harm to the bulk of the population becomes inescapable. And Chris capper Liebenthal writes that the destruction of the Titan submersible (and the deaths of its occupants) can be traced entirely to laissez-faire capitalism run amok. 

- Finally, Phil Paine discusses how an educated and active populace is vital to democratic governance. Which should mean it's little surprise that the right is pushing to expand the use of child labour - both to undermine the bargaining power of workers, and to reduce the prospect that citizens will be sufficiently informed and engaged to exercise their franchise effectively. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Michael Marshall discusses the growing body of knowledge about the persistence of long COVID - with people still suffering symptoms after a year tending to suffer from it as a chronic condition thereafter, and no effective treatment available once long COVID sets in. And the UN points out new research indicating that 36 million people in Europe alone may have experienced long COVID, while Erin Durkin writes about the choice of New York (and many other jurisdictions) to effectively abandon the patients suffering from it.  

- Jing-Xin Li et al. find that a nasal vaccine is both safe and effective to boost COVID immunity. And Richa Naidu reports on the potential for air sanitizing spray to offer some defence against airborne pathogens - though as others have pointed out, that shouldn't be taken as an excuse for failing to work on improved ventilation and other air safety improvements. 

- Fabio Falchi and Salvador Bara study how light pollution has been continually worsening over the past dozen years.

- Jillian Ambrose reports on the Energy Institute's analysis showing that carbon pollution from fossil fuels continues to rise. Emily Wilmsen discusses the reality that even if we achieve a "net zero" emissions target, we'd still see temperatures continue to rise for a decade or more due to the damage already done to our planet. 

- Stefan LabbĂ© reports on the grim reality that Canada has already experienced its worst year for wildfires in recorded history before the normal wildfire season even begins, while Drew Anderson examines the multiple causes of the fires. And Natasha White and Zahra Hirji report on the damage the fires have done to one British Columbia carbon offset project, wiping out what's supposed to be work to reverse the damage from carbon emissions and replacing it with further harm. 

- Clive Thompson notes that subsidizing e-bikes has proven to be a popular and effective way to rein in at least one source of greenhouse gas emissions. And Gaurab Basu and Jonathan Jay point out that "greening" efforts for cities also have the benefit of helping to remediate existing inequalities. 

- Finally, John Michael McGrath offers best wishes to Olivia Chow in winning Toronto's mayoralty - but also a warning that she may be pushed off a glass cliff due to the wreckage left behind by JOhn Tory and his Con co-conspirators. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Sociable cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Henrietta Cook reports on new data as to the number of people dying in hospitals as a result of the spread of COVID-19, while Adam Rowe reports on the CDC's recognition that COVID's human toll is paired with serious economic damage. And Sophie Rosenblum and Michael Bailey ask why we haven't even applied the pandemic's obvious lessons about the importance of air filtration in schools. 

- Meanwhile, Emily Baumgaertner explores how noise exposure can cause substantial harm to public health. And Chris Hatch discusses how oil barons have effectively trapped humanity in a hot car - even as they continue to demand ritual shows of fealty to their power to endanger us all. 

- Niigaan Sinclair discusses the high cost of austerity in the PCs' Manitoba. And Michael Marmot points out the outright decline in child height and other measures of public health and development to demonstrate the wide-ranging effects of austerity in the UK. 

- Steve Morgan and Nav Persaud make the case for a publicly-funded essential medicines program to make needed medications both freely available and less expensive. 

- Finally, Joseph Stiglitz and Tommaso Faccio write about the much-needed steps by some countries to take minimum corporate tax levels into their own hands as a compromised global process appears to have stalled. 

Monday, June 26, 2023

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- John Dearing, Gregory Cooper and Simon Willcock discuss the doom loop which is seeing worse-than-predicted effects of the climate breakdown resulting in vicious cycles of ecosystem collapse. J. Besl writes about new research showing that coastal flooding may be faster and more severe than anticipated due to inaccurate measurements of coastlines. And Jan Olsen reports on the warning from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control that mosquito-borne diseases will become more prevalent as the planet warms. 

- Meanwhile, Inayat Singh reports on the Canada Energy Regulator's conclusion that fossil fuel expansion is incompatible with any effort to meet existing climate commitments. 

- Luke LeBrun and Mitchell Thompson expose how the Con-connected Civitas invited well-known bigots to attack trans people at a secret conference session. And Moira Donegan discusses how women in the U.S. are suffering as a result of social conservatives getting their way in stripping away reproductive rights. 

- Finally, Cory Doctorow's York University commencement speech emphasized the need to reject the establishment admonition that there is no alternative, and instead work on building something better than what serves its entrenched interests.