Friday, November 10, 2023

Musical interlude

Lisa Miskovsky - Still Alive

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Adam Bienkov highlights the evidence from the UK's COVID-19 inquiry which has demonstrated the utter neglect for public health from Boris Johnson and the political system around him, while Andrew Nikiforuk offers a reminder that the pandemic is still roiling around us. And Tinker Ready interviews Ziyad Al-Aly about new research showing that multiple infections exacerbate the risk of long COVID. 

- Seth Borenstein and Mary Katherine Wildeman examine how fossil fuel lobbyists (whether or not labeled as such) have derailed any effective international action to avert a climate breakdown. And Mitchell Anderson points out that Alberta's emissions policy involves preferential treatment for the conscience-free polluters who are singlehandedly preventing Canada from having any hope of being anything but a climate laggard. 

- Noah Smith writes about the asymmetric propaganda war which has allowed Russia and China to pollute the U.S.' information ecosystem (and lay the groundwork for the rise of fascist politics). And Karl Nerenberg offers some suggestions as to how the CBC can respond to the Cons' fixation on silencing any distinct and independent Canadian voices. 

- Meanwhile, Jason Garcia exposes how a billionaire-funded "think tank" is behind Florida legislation to facilitate the use of child labor. 

- Finally, Juste Rajaonson discusses the need to develop housing policy based on the social importance of the right to a home, rather than focusing solely on how to generate immediate returns for developers and landlords. 

Thursday, November 09, 2023

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Bryan Harris, Steve Bernard and Chris Campbell discuss the danger that a drying Amazon rain forest will accelerate the climate breakdown. 

- Jordan Omstead reports on Canada's place of shame as one of the countries looking to increas carbon pollution in the face of the climate emergency. And Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood writes that the current state of politics around carbon pricing is undermining support for any climate action at all. 

- Meanwhile, Marc Fawcett-Atkinson points out that a group of corporate-friendly MPs are pushing eliminate any requirement that pesticides or GMO seeds be assessed by regulators for safety or environmental risks before they're used in Canada. 

- Drew Anderson exposes how Danielle Smith and the UCP lied about their explanation for banning renewable energy development. And David Climenhaga examines the PR apparatus being assembled to paper over the plan to sell off public health care - even as Emanuel Maiberg reports on the reality that privatized providers operate only by abusing workers and neglecting patients in the name of squeezing out profits. 

- Finally, Cory Doctorow discusses how the Biden administration is making some effort to root out the most unscrupulous investment advisors - but also notes that the greater problem is an "every man for himself" system of retirement income. 

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Ajit Niranjan reports on the Copernicus Climate Change Service's findings that 2023 is on pace to be the hottest year on record, with October's temperatures at 1.7 degrees above the pre-industrial level. 

- Damian Carrington highlights a UN report warning of the destructive insistence of petrostates on increasing fossil fuel production even in the midst of an ongoing climate breakdown. And while the International Energy Agency's new World Energy Outlook is being spun as good news in projecting a decrease in the share of energy from fossil fuels, it too anticipates that carbon pollution from oil and gas will keep getting worse for the balance of the 2020s. 

- Ecojustice makes the case for Canada to actually live up to its climate commitments, rather than accepting a trajectory toward failure. And John Woodside reports on Quebec's call for the federal government to finally look beyond fossil fuels. 

- Hulya Gilbert and Marco te Brömmelstroet write about the norms of vehicular supremacy that make our communities needlessly dangerous for people in general, and children in particular. 

- Bob Weber reports on an academic assessment which calls out the pseudo-science of the UCP's harm exacerbation approach to drug policy. Which makes it all the more damning that the party is shifting even further away from reality-based policy (as Max Fawcett observes). And Phil Tank notes that the Moe government is going out of its way to impose destructive mandates on Saskatchewan residents. 

- Finally, Dean Bennett reports on the revelation (since confirmed as a matter of policy) that the UCP's plans include the demolition of Alberta's health care system. And Eric Stober reports on a new Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives study which reminds us that health privatization tends to both increase costs and harm service. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Dozing cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Peter Zimonjic reports on the latest audit from the federal environment commissioner showing that Canada is falling far short of meeting its greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments. And Brendan Haley discusses how a focus on a transition to heat pumps could provide a needed push in the right direction, while Max Fawcett points out the flaws in the attempts by petropoliticians to prevent the use of any clean heating options. 

- Dave Cournoyer discusses how Danielle Smith's UCP is more a hard-right call-in show than a political party. And Robson Fletcher writes about Nate Horner's musings about converting Alberta to using heating oil as an indication that there's just as much ill-thought-out blubbering coming from the cabinet as from the membership. 

- Don Mitchell reports on the Ontario Living Wage Network's latest study showing that workers' pay is falling ever further behind a reasonable standard of living. And Charles R. Davis reports on the transformative effects of a basic income in a Baltimore pilot project (among so many other examples). 

- Freddy Brewster examines how U.S. banks are able to trap customers and prevent them from seeking out better options elsewhere. 

- Finally, Samantha Beattie reports on the Ford PCs' practice of copying and pasting from developer wishlists, while Isaac Callan and Colin D'Mello reveal how they rushed through a zoning order which would have allowed a skyscraper in the middle of Pearson International Airport's flight path. Which naturally means it's time for Ford to start complaining that others aren't letting him unilaterally dictate what housing is built and where. 

Monday, November 06, 2023

Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon reports on the less-than-surprising revelation from New Brunswick's departing chief medical officer of health that political preferences were a major factor in COVID-19 decision-making. And Liz highlights how the rich, powerful and well-connected are still insisting on COVID precautions to avoid the ongoing risks that have been deemed acceptable for the plebes. 

- Steve Hanley examines the competing theories as to whether global warming is linear or exponential - though it's worth noting we're far from averting catastrophic climate breakdown on either account. Jody MacPherson points out how Danielle Smith has decided that clean energy is among the types of business she doesn't want to see growing in Alberta, while Jenna Wenkoff rightly challenges the propaganda that there's anything ethical about its oil and gas sector. 

- Meanwhile, Jonathan Levy discusses how the gas industry has been working from the tobacco playbook for half a century to avoid any awareness or action based on the known health risks of gas stoves. 

- Pete Evans notes that central banks are beginning to acknowledge the role of corporate profiteering in inflated prices - though they've stopped short of allocating the costs of inflation control accordingly. And Cory Doctorow examines how Amazon and other tech giants are using their immense power to raise the cost of living for people who use their products. 

- Finally, Luke LeBrun traces the connections between "parental rights" conspiracy theorists and right-wing groups seeking to impose shadow governments.