Friday, November 17, 2023

Musical interlude

Lastlings - Far From Falling

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Crawford Kilian reviews Ryan Meili's A Healthy Future as an important account of the insufficient political response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while David Climenhaga calls out the absurdity of Preston Manning's prescription for disaster in pushing for even to be done to protect public health. And Andrew Nikiforuk discusses what we can learn - and what dangers we face - as COVID continues to circulate in deer and other animal populations. 

- Andrew Dessler writes about the scariest climate plot in the world - though it's all the more alarming for assuming that governments will take enough action to limit warming to a total of 3 degrees Celsius. On that front, A.L. Lee reports on research showing that a majority of the world's largest and richest companies are lobbying against effective climate policy. And Jake Johnson points out how the fossil fuel sector is planning massive expansion which would exacerbate our current course toward destruction.  

- Meanwhile, Martin Olzynski highlights how Danielle Smith and other petropoliticians are using their bully pulpit to goose the profits of the oil sector at public expense. And Oliver Haynes points out that the neoliberal attempt to treat consumer pricing as the only acceptable mechanism to change behaviour has made people vulnerable to that type of message. 

- Maria Farrell examines the tech sector's ideology of "libertarianism for me, feudalism for thee" - though for all of Silicon Valley's claim to innovation, it's hard to see that as representing any distinction from most of the corporate world. 

- Finally, Philip Bump discusses the rise of toxic masculinity and the normalization of political violence. And Amelia Hansford points out how the result of the right-wing project of using a culture of fear and hate to distract from material losses makes for a dangerous environment for trans women and other targeted out-groups. 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Al Jazeera reports on the World Meteorological Organization's analysis showing that greenhouse gas emissions reached yet another new high in 2022. Fiona Harvey reports on the findings in the World Resources Institute's State of Climate Action report, including the reality that transitional steps are several times short of what's needed to avert a climate catastrophe. (On that front, Chuck Squatriglia reports on the promise of acceleration by the US and China - but it's far from sure that will be the subject of either sufficient follow-through by the parties or general acceptance by climate obstructionists.) And Mike Joy highlights how there's no prospect of offsetting continued carbon pollution from fossil fuels with tree-planting or other sequestration schemes.  

- Casey Ross and Bob Herman expose how the U.S.' largest health insurer is using algorithmic decision-making to cut off needed rehabilitation for patients. And Helen Santoro reports on another insurer's lobbying efforts to avoid covering mental health care in Michigan. 

- Katherine Rowland interviews Naomi Klein about how profit-based individual wellness culture has served as a platform for anti-social misinformation. 

- Finally, Amanda Marcotte writes about the suicide of a gender non-conforming Republican mayor after he was outed and made the subject of public abuse by the GOP's anti-LGBTQ+ media. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Francesca Paris examines the cognitive disability facing many younger American adults (among others) as a result of long COVID. 

- Trish Hennessy discusses the need for a focus on social investments and preventative action to improve public health.  

- But both Graham Thomson and Gillian Steward warn that Danielle Smith is instead trashing Alberta's existing health care system to cater to anti-vaxxers and corporate interests alike. And in case there was any doubt as to the damage which will result from ideological anti-socialism, Bryn Levy reports on research showing how important vaccine mandates were in overcoming systemic barriers to basic preventative action.  

- Meanwhile, Gaye Taylor reports on the call for a fossil fuel phaseout from 46 million health professionals - which figures to be another reason why the very concept of health is in the crosshairs of petropoliticians. 

- Finally, Clara Pasieka reports on the continued escalation of food bank reliance in Toronto, as 1 in 10 people are unable to afford food for themselves. And Ximena Gonzalez points out how a punitive "welfare" system produces worse outcomes both for the people trapped in poverty, and the society which allows it to fester.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Possessive cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Cory Doctorow discusses how the concentration of wealth and power in corporate hands represents a threat to individual freedoms and the pursuit of social justice. And Pete Evans reports on new Statistics Canada showing that the gap between the wealthy few and the rest of us continues to grow - due to both escalating incomes at the top of the spectrum, and outright losses at the bottom.  

- Michael Mann discusses how there's still an opportunity to avoid the worst-case climate scenarios - but only by actually reducing the carbon pollution we spew into the atmosphere. Will Greaves and Yvonne Su write that we can't afford to keep treating regular and predictable climate calamities as unanticipated events. And Scott McGrane and Christopher White examine the causes and consequences of the hottest autumn in recorded history. 

- Joseph Winters examines how the costs of excessive plastic consumption are being dumped onto the developing world. 

- Finally, Andre Picard rightly notes that Danielle Smith's plans for Alberta's health system appear to be aimed more at exacting vengeance than at ensuring the provision of care. And Mike Crawley reports on the Ford PCs' choice to shower politically-connected for-profit clinics with far more money than public-sector providers for the performance of the same services.