Friday, September 29, 2023

Musical interlude

John Summit feat. Echoes - Human

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Chris Hedges discusses how the end of empire-based colonialism has only given way to an even more exploitative corporate version. And Cory Doctorow points out how surveillance capitalism inevitably turns its resources toward defrauding the people being monitored and manipulated. 

- Matthew Rosza interviews Michael Mann about the need to pair accurate information about the threat posed by climate change with discussion of how it's possible to take positive action. 

- Kevin Drum graphs the connection between lead contamination and murder rates in Washington DC. And Mira Rojanasakul reports on the rise of saltwater levels in New Orleans, with the foreseeable results including the salination of drinking water sources and the release of lead and other matter from pipes.  

- Bob Weber reports on new polling showing a strong majority of Albertans opposed to the UCP's attacks on renewable energy. And Gary Mason calls out Danielle Smith's plan to use Albertans' retirement savings as a slush for for the oil industry as a Brexit-style calamity in the making. 

- Finally, Emily Leedham reports on the Manitoba PCs' choice to offer only meaningless guesswork in place of any plan to ensure people have access to health care. 

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Thais Melquiades de Lima et al. study how the tonsils are a major site for COVID-19 persistence in children. And Penny Daflos reports on British Columbia's restoration of mask mandates in health facilities as the ongoing pandemic persistently fails to go away on its own. 

- Ricky Lanusse discusses how Antarctica is warming far faster than predicted, while Al Jazeera reports on the worsening loss of sea ice in particular. And Helena Horton reports on new data showing that Switzerland has lost a tenth of its glaciers in just the last two years, while Planet Snapshots points out the tipping points being reached based on the potential melting of Greenland's ice sheets. 

- Yet Stewart Lee warns that even as our living environment becomes more and more endangered, any discussion of environmental issues is being hijacked by the forces bent on our destruction.  

- Finally, Ricardo Acuna highlights how the UCP's attempt to steal Albertans' pensions to further enrich their oil buddies is based on assumptions that fall far short of passing the laugh test. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Wednesday Night Cat Blogging

Drowsy cats.

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Leonie Thorne reports on new data showing that COVID-19 was Australia's third-leading cause of death in 2022 even as conventional wisdom decreed that the pandemic in progress be ignored. And Christopher Waddell examines (PDF) the lessons Canada should have recognized for future health emergencies from COVID, while Andre Picard asks whether we've learned anything to prepare for another pandemic even while in the midst of a continuing one. 

- Blair Fix takes a look at the mountain of evidence showing that inequality has been worsening over the past few decades as public policy has catered more and more to corporate interests. Cory Doctorow examines how Amazon has enshittified its services to extract more and more from buyers and sellers alike. And Debbie Cenziper et al. expose how Philips Respironics covered up known dangers of tainted breathing machines, putting hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children at avoidable risk in order to avoid answering for defects in their products. 

- Gordon Laxer discusses how any serious conversation about foreign meddling in Canadian governance needs to start by recognizing the grossly outsized influence of the foreign-owned oil sector. Claire O'Manique writes that we can't afford to keep giving carbon polluters a free pass for the damage they're doing to our living environment. And Michael Mann writes that while we've already failed to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees, we can't give up on the work that can still be done to rein in catastrophic climate change. 

- Finally, John Woodside reports on the warning from numerous nuclear safety experts as to the costs and risks of the small modular reactors being pushed by the Trudeau government (along with several right-wing provincial governments).  

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Saima Iqbal discusses new research showing how much of the COVID-19 virus people emit while contagious. And Erica Edwards reports on the development of blood tests to help confirm the biological basis of long COVID. 

- Emile Torres warns that the chaotic and catastrophic summer of 2023 may seem mild compared to the climate effects we'll experience in the years to come. And Katharine Sanderson reports on temperature monitoring which shows that we've likely already exceeded the 1.5 degree barrier which the Paris accord was intended to avoid breaching. 

- Gordon Brown points out the obvious reality that fossil fuel extractors rolling in windfall profits need to be contributing to the cost of fighting the climate crisis. But Valeri Volcovici reports on Antonio Guterres' recognition that their naked greed is what's gotten us into the mess in the first place, while Natasha Bulowski reports on the rare call for Suncor's CEO to answer for his plan to push dirty tar sands developments even as the planet burns.  

- Lucas Powers reports that Doug Ford's promise that deregulation and the elimination of rent controls would somehow make affordable housing more available has predictably proven false. 

- Finally, David Prisciak reports on the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission's finding that actual vulnerable children are being utterly neglected by the Moe government when it comes to providing resources to address reading disabilities. 

Monday, September 25, 2023

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Bruce Arthur discusses how last week's rallies for bigotry are reflective of a broader social illness which is being encouraged by right-wing parties and politicians. And Charlie Angus writes about his experience on the receiving end of violent authoritarian rhetoric and personal threats.  

- John Lorinc points out that the corruption behind Doug Ford's plans to turn Ontario Place into a spa (and ultimately a casino) includes massive public costs for water and wastewater infrastructure to pump money into the pockets of Ford's buddies. And Lulu Ramadan reports on Boeing's attempts to escape any responsibility to clean up the Duwamish River in Seattle after consistently claiming it as a free dumping ground for chemicals. 

- Taylor Noakes discusses CAPP's utterly misleading spin which claims the oil sector will cut emissions while ignoring its plans to release the tar sands carbon bomb. And the Mercator Research Institute studies how solar energy and storage are both plummeting in price, making a clean energy supply more affordable than dirty fossil fuels even if we weren't going to account for the environmental costs of carbon dumping. 

- Cory Doctorow examines how Apple has blocked users from repairing their devices in order to ensure a continued market based on mandated obsolescence. 

- Finally, Kevin Drum highlights the drastic difference in pay and benefits between unionized and non-unionized workforces in the U.S.' private sector.