Friday, July 21, 2023


 Gone trippin'. Back to this space on my return.

Musical interlude

Kungs, The Knocks - People

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Cory Doctorow examines how private equity systematically loots both the pension funds which provide capital for its acquisitions, and the businesses which it purchases in order to extract transaction and management fees. And Nancy Fraser discusses how capitalism in any guise - not only the current neoliberal model - is fundamentally at odds with democracy. 

- David Helvarg writes that a climate crisis is already here, even as any goals to even slow the rate of carbon pollution continue to get pushed into the distant future. And Laura Paddison talks to scientists about the impossibility of proclaiming a "new normal" when we don't yet have any idea how much damage we're doing to our living environment. 

- Phoebe Weston reports on warnings from scientists that we're headed in the direction of losing any pretense of food security. And Augustin Guibaud discusses the immediate dangers of unprecedented levels of wildfire smoke - as well as the downside risk of unanticipated effects. 

- Meanwhile, Ari Pottens and Scott Seymour offer a reminder that uncontrolled and unmonitored methane releases (including those generated by fossil fuel production) are resulting in far worse carbon pollution than what's recognized on government books.  

- Finally, Hamilton Nolan writes that the strike by writers and actors has the potential to reverberate far beyond the entertainment industry as a large-scale test of workers' pushback against attempts to capture the fruits of their labour. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Andrew Dessler writes about the non-linear nature of the environmental effects of carbon pollution - with the result that we're seeing cascading effects with each additional increase in temperature. And Sarah Kaplan discusses how we should be recognizing extreme weather events as alarm bells reflecting a climate breakdown in progress.

- The Guardian's editorial board writes that we can't afford to put our living environment on the back burner while perpetually finding other supposedly more immediate issues to prioritize first. And Margaret Shkimba points out the need for leaders to match rhetoric with action (though I'd argue there's a need to focus far more on policy decisions rather than personal theatre).

- Jonathan Freedland discusses how the oil sector has managed to control the public conversation about climate policy in order to keep lining its pockets at the expense of our planet. And Drew Anderson reports on yet another unconscionable UCP subsidy to dirty energy, this time paying $14 million in public money to make up for rent which oil barons couldn't be bothered to pay to landowners.  

- Lana Payne questions why the Bank of Canada is continuing to punish workers with increased interest rates and suppressed wages when there's little reason to believe that will do anything to limit inflation based on corporate profiteering. 

- Finally, David Macdonald and Ricardo Tranjan chart how much Canadian workers need to earn in order to afford housing - and how consistent a pattern there is of rents far exceeding what people can afford. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Nestled cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Daniel Altmann et al. examine the myriad forms of long COVID even as governments have gone out of their way to pretend there's no longer a problem to be addressed. And the Star's editorial board offers a reminder that we shouldn't take a summer lull (compared to a higher baseline than previous years of the pandemic) as either an excuse for avoidable risk or a declaration that the spread of COVID-19 is over. 

- Jordan Kovacs and Jimmy Thomson warn that British Columbia has failed to learn lessons from past heat waves as extreme weather conditions become commonplace. And W. Larry Kenney points out how the combination of heat and humidity is especially deadly. 

- Cloe Logan discusses the futility of any climate change plan based on looking for excuses to keep extracting and burning fossil fuels. 

- George Monbiot writes that with ecosystems collapsing and supplies of necessities in grave danger, we're facing a stark choice between plutocrats' unfettered wealth accumulation and the future of human life on Earth. And Paul Kiel reports on the the connection between the billionaires who have taken ownership of a majority of the U.S.' Supreme Court, and tax policies which leave the public footing the bill for their extravagant gifts to judges and lawmakers. 

- Finally, Peter Armstrong calls out the problems with addressing inflation solely through interest rate increases aimed at reducing wages. Jim Stanford points out that retail food prices are still surging due to corporate profit-taking even as input costs are leveling off. And Garros Gong discusses how corporate monopolies represent a threat to general prosperity. 

Monday, July 17, 2023

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Neil Shaw reports on the demands by Scottish doctors that their government reinstate COVID -19protections in health care facilities. And Tia Ewing reports on new research showing the devastating and lasting effects of long COVID. 

- AFP reports on what's already a record-breaking year for wildfire damage in Canada even before we reach peak fire season. Dharna Noor writes about the dirty energy sector's repudiation of any climate promises even as their devastating impact on the world manifests itself worse and sooner than ever anticipated. And Caitlyn Clark discusses how workers are having to fight for their health and safety against employers determined to expose them to unmitigated harm from smoke and heat. 

- Yvette D'Entremont writes that Nova Scotia's government is choosing not to collect the data needed to know exactly how bad the province's housing crisis is. 

- Jon Schwarz highlights how the hanger-on class which has thus far supported the accumulation of wealth by the elite few is becoming the new target for exploitation as lower classes are squeezed dry. And Cory Doctorow discusses why it's dangerous to hope for better outcomes when merely replacing one corporate monopoly with another. 

- Finally, Bill Longstaff points out that Norway serves as a compelling, one-word refutation of the most deeply-embedded corporatist assumptions which have been allowed to form the basis for Canadian economy policy.