Friday, July 19, 2024

Friday, June 28, 2024

Musical interlude

Iris - Appetite

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Matt Stoller writes about the "economic termites" whose barely-noticed individual bites into personal finances are adding up to a fundamentally unsound economic structure. Imogen Tyler discusses how UK demagoguery against the receipt of social benefits has provided cover for an appalling increase in poverty, while Paul Krugman observes that needless austerity is having devastating impacts on the general public. And Owen Schalk points out that Canada is increasing military spending while doing nothing to rein in our own rising poverty rates. 

- Lewis Akenji notes that the wealthiest few people are inflicting the cost of disproportionate climate damage onto everybody else to no benefit in anybody's well-being. And Kim Scipes reviews Jason Hickel's Less Is More - while pointing out the need to start discussing and defining what degrowth means as an alternative to inherently unsustainable increases in exploitation. 

- Steven Greenhouse discusses how the U.S. Supreme Court's Republican majority has been using its power to attack workers without many of the people most affected even noticing. And Amy Howe discusses SCOTUS' decision today which effectively destroys the administrative state (ensuring there's no public mechanism to check corporate power). 

- Finally, Andrew Gregory reports on Carlos Monteiro's call to regulate and tax ultra-processed foods due to their harmful health effects.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Crawford Kilian discusses how avoidable harms to people's health and well-being are inflicted on us as "costs of doing business". Patrick Miner et al. examine the harm cars cause to people and the environment - including a seven-figure death toll every year. Rishabh Chauhan highlights how the cultivation of consumerism is endangering our living environment. JTO writes that the emerging (and appalling) trend toward mask bans in the midst of an ongoing pandemic seems to be based in no small part on business' desire to encourage people to spend recklessly. 

- Meanwhile, the Club of Rome points out the widespread public demand for more fair taxes and stronger climate action across the G20. Jacob Nelson discusses how corporate control has undermined public trust in journalism. And Simon Spichak discusses how disabled people in Canada have been condemned to lives of poverty.

- The Associated Press reports on new research showing that the carbon emissions from Canada's 2023 wildfire season were four times those of every airplane in the world. And Ross Belot writes that the implications of Deloitte's recent report showing that carbon capture is non-viable include the reality that oil and gas development are similarly ill-fated. 

- Cory Doctorow points out that clean energy technology is at risk of falling into the same enshittified practices as every other form of commercial production. 

- Finally, Dougald Lamont warns that governments today are making the same mistakes that led to the rise of fascism in the 1930s - particularly in prioritizing laissez-faire doctrine over the well-being of citizens. And Greg Sargent notes that one of Donald Trump's most important weaknesses for electoral purposes may be his brazenly corrupt pandering to plutocrats. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Christopher Nardi reports on Liam Iliffe's unwitting revelations about how fossil fuel companies regularly thumb their noses at lobbying requirements and other rules while pulling the strings of compliant Canadian governments. Amanda Follett Hosgood discusses the growing push to ban at least blatantly false greenwashing, while John Woodside notes that it's telling that only the oil and gas sector is screaming bloody murder over a standard of accuracy which would apply to all kinds of business.  And Genevieve Guenther examines the new language of climate denial (which will sound painfully familiar in the Canadian political context). 

- Eric Ralls reports on a new study finding that air pollution is responsible for a nine-figure death toll since 1980, while Joao Medeiros laments the reality that such an ubiquitous killer is barely even recognized. And point out that the damage from forest fires includes multiple harms to lakes and waterways.

- Simon Wren-Lewis discusses the importance of highlighting how right-wing attacks on public revenue are the cause of the crisis in public services - and the reality that more and fairer taxes are a must to build the public institutions people want and need. And Kim Siever points out that strong public-sector jobs are good for the economy - meaning that the perpetual right-wing drive to make them privatized or precarious is all about waging class warfare against workers. 

- Finally, Gabriel Zucman offers a proposal (PDF) for a coordinated wealth tax to ensure the global ultra-rich can't evade any responsibility to the social sources of their profits. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Countertop cat. 

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Hazel Sheffield and Larry Elliott report on new research showing that the austerity and low-wage policies of the UK Cons have pushed nearly a million children into poverty.

- Caroline Anders notes that over 1,400 temperature records were broken just in the last week as multiple heat waves hit large swaths of the planet. Damian Carrington reports on a new data analysis showing that the climate crisis is causing an exponential rise in extreme wildfires. Stephanie Sy talks to residents about the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer and the threat to the well-being and livelihoods of a substantial proportion of U.S. domestic food production. And Alexander Bradley and Ian Hewitt study how increasing ocean temperatures may cause even faster melting of Antarctic ice sheets than previously anticipated. 

- Andrew Nikiforuk writes about the numerous and severe harms caused by fossil gas extraction in British Columbia, while Fatima Syed exposes how Enbridge is lobbying and pressuring governments to lock consumers into gas-based infrastructure to avoid any transition to cleaner sources of fuel and energy. And Simon Evans examines how an ideological aversion to green energy has cost UK consumers tens of billions of pounds over the past decade (while also contributing to the climate breakdown). 

- Finally, Andre Picard points out that Canadian governments have been neglecting the value of directing resources toward prevention rather than limiting to reactive responses to health issues for upwards of half a century.  

Monday, June 24, 2024

Musical interlude

UFO X - Shine

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Geoffrey Deihl writes about the polycrisis we're currently facing - and the need to stand up to those determined to inflict it on us. And Laura Paddison discusses the juxtaposition between continually-increasing carbon pollution, and the extreme heat and weather it's causing.  

- Jaela Bernstien points out that the climate damage from Canada's oil and gas exports exceeds that from our entire domestic economy and society - but that our governments are choosing not to count it in setting climate policy. And Mike de Souza weighs in on the sudden disappearance of the Pathways Alliance's greenwashing the moment it was held to a standard of accuracy, while Sarah Krichel interviews Jordan Kinder about his book Petroturfing and the suppression of any message other than fossil fuel chearleading in Canada.  

- Mark Olalde examines how the fossil fuel sector is stifling any plans to ensure the cost of oil contamination is paid by the industry responsible. And Sarah Do Couto reports on a new study finding that the effects from last year's Ohio hazardous chemical spill reached 16 states as well as Canada (contrary to public assurances at the time). 

- Adam King reports on the work being done by unions to fight arbitrary return-to-office mandates and ensure safer work environments for workers generally. Aiyani Bodi discusses the strong desire among young workers to contribute to climate solutions rather than being forced into contributing to a climate breakdown. And Daron Acemoglu writes that the widespread crisis of democracy is based largely on the failure of politicians to represent workers' interests. 

- Finally, Olamide Olaniyan discusses the intersectionality of hate as the general theme of "anti-woke" is used to push - and build alliances between - multiple forms of bigotry and oppression. 

Friday, June 21, 2024

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jennifer Sandlin discusses a new analysis showing how COVID-19 infections lead to numerous other types of infectious diseases, while Devika Rao writes about the medical recognition that they may also increase the risk of cancers. And Sam Wollaston offers Natacha Gray's account of the realities of life with long COVID. 

- Meanwhile, Andre Picard writes about a new report warning that we don't appear to have learned much about public health responses from COVID. And Luke Andrews reports on expert warnings that the CDC is flying blind in failing to work on testing as a dangerous bird flu spreads. 

- Danyaal Raza discusses a new World Health Organization report finding that corporate greed is the direct cause of millions of preventable deaths annually. Jessica Ray takes note of the ubiquity of "forever chemicals" in U.S. drinking water - as well as the lack of any apparent plan to address it other than telling people to filter their own water. And Beatrice Olivastri, Fe de Leon and Laura Bowman question why the Libs are dismantling a planned pesticide monitoring program. 

- David Macdonald and Jon Milton point out that contrary to the contrived outrage of the Cons and their corporate puppeteers, Canada's last increase in capital gains inclusion rates was followed by a doubling of investment. And Macdonald discusses the fundamental unfairness of giving capital returns any preferential treatment over wages. 

- Finally, Robert Reich writes that Joe Biden should welcome the hatred of plutocrats who think they're entitled to have government used as an instrument to further their already-unconscionable wealth and power. And the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce's child labour plans provide just one example of the type of anti-social position people will be happy to reject. 

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Bill Henderson writes that the immense temperature increases we've already seen - and the resulting spread of extreme weather events and other catastrophic consequences - should serve as a wake-up call for anybody still trying to hit the snooze button on climate action. But Maya Goodfellow discusses Tad DeLay's concern that we're in denial of how much damage has already been done. Similarly, Paul Abela warns that we may already be past the point where it's possible to reduce emissions in time to stay within tolerable temperature levels - particularly with so much money and power being applied to try to continue the dirty energy business as usual. And on that front, David Climenhaga discusses Danielle Smith's double bet against the future, as she seeks to confiscate Alberta's savings and divert the funds toward fossil fuel projects that are seen as dead losers even by the corporations currently making their money off of oil and gas.  

- But lest anybody think denialism in any way reflects what the public wants as opposed to the complete capture of power by capital, Damian Carrington reports on a UN poll showing that even in petrostates a strong majority of people want to see a rapid transition to clean energy. Justin Worland discusses how consumers want and expect the corporate sector which limits consumer choices to do far more to fight the climate crisis. And Dhitri Gupta points out that developer reticence is making it difficult to convert Toronto's housing stock to carbon neutrality - though it bears mention that the perceived need to cater to those same developers is itself something which could be changed.  

- Steve Genco examines what it means to talk about (and plan for) civilizational collapse, while Nitish Patwa discusses the multiple effects of the climate breakdown in progress. The Energy Mix reports on the move to establish "chief heat officer" positions at the municipal level to help alleviate the dangers at a local level. And Drew Anderson notes that Calgary (among other Canadian cities) can learn from the experiences of other areas which have seen their water supplies dry up due to the climate crisis. 

- Inayat Singh reports on one of the most stark consequences of the current North American heat wave, as monkeys are falling dead out of trees in Mexico due to unprecedented temperatures. 

- Finally, Fiona Harvey reports on new research showing that thousands of children under five are dying every day due to air pollution, making it the second-largest cause of death for young children around the globe. 

[Edit: fixed wording.]

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Marianne Cooper and Maxim Voronov optimistically suggest that our state of denial surrounding the climate crisis and other collective action problems can't get any deeper. 

- But Julia Steinberger examines the array of wealth and power dedicated to pushing perpetually-increasing extraction regardless of the environmental damage it causes. Jack Marley writes about the manipulative and deceptive nature of fossil fuel advertising (which of course Canada's establishment is determined to push and echo at every turn). Arno Kopecky discusses the risk that the fossil fuel-funded far right will get to set the limits on any climate action. And Michael Harris warns that Canada is far from immune from the rise of violent fascist politics in Europe and the U.S.

- Martin Guttridge-Hewitt writes about the possibility that weather reports could systematically include a mention of climate impacts so people's day-to-day experiences aren't detached from the carbon pollution which is altering our living environment. Meryl Davids Landau points out how the climate crisis is affecting our brains. And Anna Pivovarchuk highlights how climate scientists are increasingly turning to direct action in an effort to avert a readily-foreseeable catastrophe. 

- Meanwhile, Amanda Stephenson reports on Deloitte's conclusion that even applying the self-serving standards set by the oil and gas industry, it's impossible for Canada to meet existing climate commitments without reducing our fossil fuel extraction. And Carl Meyer reports that RBC is starting to face pressure to acknowledge and respond to its role in financing climate destruction. 

- Finally, Andrew Gregory reports on new research showing the absolute declines in well-being for children in the UK who are shorter, sicker and more prone to obesity than earlier cohorts. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Tuckered-out cat.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Thom Hartmann discusses how the selfish preferences of billionaires are almost invariably winning out over the public interest in the U.S. due in part to the treatment of advertising dollars as the most vigorously-protected form of speech. Jim Stanford highlights the obvious flaws in the spin being used by the uber-wealthy to oppose paying a slightly more fair share of taxes off of their capital gains.  And Arthur Nelson reports on the less-than-surprising finding that fossil fuel firms have used corporate trade agreements to impose their wishes on governments. 

- Meanwhile, Steve Ruvakina reports on the finding of the Institut de recherche et d'informations socioéconomiques that deregulation will do nothing to solve a housing crisis caused by the inherent reality that for-profit developers make more money building houses that most people can't afford.

- Jenaye Johnson discusses how extreme temperatures and other climate calamities are harming the mental health of children. And Denise Balkissoon writes that the combination of heat and smoke is making it unsafe for children to be outside for much of any given summer. 

- Stephen Maher examines how the ineffective government response to the Flu Trux Klan was the result of an utter failure to recognize the nature of the threat. And Bill Graveland reports on the testimony from a convoy murder conspiracy trial has revealed the participation of Edmonton police officers in the violent resistance to public health measures. 

- Finally, Aiden Simardone discusses how Pierre Poilievre is threatening the end of guaranteed rights and freedoms in Canada to serve the interests of those with high property values. 

Monday, June 17, 2024

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Monica Curtis offers a reminder that even from the standpoint of a blinkered fixation on limiting costs, we're better off working to avert a climate breakdown rather than suffering its effects. Kenza Bryan reports on Swiss Re's warning that large areas are becoming uninsurable. And Jeff Goodell discusses the impending heat and other extreme conditions which keep climate scientists up at night even as they're blithely disregarded by petropoliticians.  

- Meanwhile, Sam Meredith reports on the IEA's projections showing an imminent decline in fossil fuel demand. And Oliver Vardakoulias and Giulia Nardi highlight how handouts to the oil sector don't produce the intended results for anybody but oil barons.  

- John Michael McGrath discusses how planning processes which don't recognize the importance of meeting the right to housing represent one of the main barriers to any attempt to give effect to that right. And Samantha Beattie reports on the nine-figure liabilities left over from Ontario landlords who turned large investments into personal benefits.  

- Finally, Jess Reia discusses the biases which result when the definition of "disorder" is set by the wealthy and privileged. And Crawford Kilian points out that there are plenty of sources of disinformation and foreign interference in Canadian politics beyond the ones investigated by Parliament's national security committee. 

Friday, June 14, 2024

Musical interlude

Gareth Emery & Emma Hewitt - Take Everything (Standerwick Remix)

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Bill Weir writes a poignant letter of apology to his son about the state of the planet being left to future generations. 

- Cory Doctorow is optimistic that we have the means to avert the worst dangers of the climate crisis - subject to the immense "if" that capitalist avarice can't be allowed to get in the way. And Mitchell Beer and Christopher Bonasia report on the Canadian Climate Institute's warning that expanded fossil gas infrastructure will be stranded under any scenario that involves meeting even our existing emission targets.

- Meanwhile, new research from the University of Bristol shows how the global effort to protect and rebuild the ozone layer has succeeded.

- Jennifer Collins examines how return-to-office mandates drive away employees. And Manuela Vega reports on new Statistics Canada data showing that remote work produces immense benefits for personal well-being.

- Keldon Bester examines how Canada's big banks are using their privileged position to extract billions of dollars out of Canadians every year.

- Finally, Linda McQuaig offers a reminder that Pierre Poilievre's plans for systematic cruelty and austerity bear no relationship to what Canadian voters (including those who are justifiably dissatisfied with the Libs) actually want.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Suman Naishadham offers a look at the latest evidence of a climate breakdown in progress. And Richard Crim examines James Hansen's grim projections of continued warming even from year to year. 

- Max Fawcett weighs in on the need of tar sands operators to lie to Canadians to avoid answering for the implausibility of their emission promises. And Phil Tank writes about the Saskatchewan Party's contempt for both education and the non-dirty energy economy evidenced by Scott Moe's eagerness to hand over curriculum development to his oil and gas donors.  

- Inderjit Dhiman writes about the crucial role of sustainable housing in building climate resilience. And Tom Parkin points out the stark difference between British Columbia's focus on building social housing which is producing substantial results, and Doug Ford's subsidies and giveaways to developers which are producing nothing but windfall profits. 

- Finally, Armine Yalnizyan interviews Isabella Weber about her recognition that recent inflation has mostly been the result of corporate price gouging.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Splayed cat.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Geoffrey Diehl wonders when we'll see a revolution - while noting that even as some of the challenges we already face demand systemic change which is being put off through corporate demurral, some of the plausible sources include people determined to impose even less plausible versions of reality. And Kalena Thomhave points out that corporate profiteering in the pricing of the necessities of life has been paired with similar exploitation by banks in cashing in on the price of credit to enable people to purchase them. 

- Jonathan Watts reports on a new study discussing how big banks are greenwashing their continued funneling of money to climate-destroying projects. Karine Péloffy and Leah Temper write that there's an obvious reason why the fossil fuel sector is demanding the right to lie to Canadians, as its entire business model is built on a foundation of deflection and deception. And John Woodside reminds us that manipulative petropolitics are the main obstacle to a rapid shift to clean, affordable renewable energy. 

- Hamilton Nolan writes that a lack of available and affordable housing is at the root of economic insecurity even when nominal numbers are going up. Jennifer Brown reports on Colorado's success providing homes to unhoused people (with resulting social benefits exceeding the up-front cost). And Leilani Farha and Julieta Perucca lament that Canada's National Housing Council has decided primarily to serve landlords rather than to recognize and give effect to the right to housing. 

- Meanwhile, Paul Willcocks examines the deceptive and overwrought campaign against even a modest step toward tax fairness which would merely reduce the artificial preference granted to rich people's capital gains over workers' wages. 

- Finally, Basema Al-Alami asks whether a few arrests of neo-Nazis are a sign of any meaningful commitment on the part of Canada's law enforcement apparatus to start taking far-right hate and violence seriously. 

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Rohan Best, Fatemeh Nazifi and Han Cheng study the effects of carbon pricing, and find that charges attached to carbon pollution also help to reduce numerous other dangerous pollutants. But Rebecca Hercher reports on new NOAA data showing that we're still experiencing record highs in carbon dioxide concentration as current policies fall far short of the mark in preserving a liveable environment. 

- Oliver Milman reports on the mutually reinforcing threats to the oceans posed by extreme heat, oxygen loss and acidification. And Kat Kerlin discusses new research showing that wildfire smoke is reaching nearly all lakes in the US - but recognizing that its effects aren't yet well known. 

- Micki Olson writes that heat warnings can save lives - but only if people understand them and have the resources to act in response.  

- Lauren Pelley offers a reminder that COVID-19 remains an ongoing threat rather than a seasonal disease. And Matt Gurney points out how Doug Ford's elimination of waste-water monitoring is utterly inexplicable based on the the immense public health returns on minimal costs. 

- Finally, Cory Doctorow notes that other industries are following the lead of airlines in extracting profits from junk fees. 

Thursday, June 06, 2024

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Bryn Nelson offers a call to action against the anti-science, anti-reality industry seeking to blast out propaganda to keep corporate coffers spilling over at the expense of public health and safety. And John Woodside sets out the greenwashing plan being used to try to force through even more dirty energy development in the tar sands, while Nina Lakhani reports that the journalists seeking to offer full and accurate information about climate issues are under constant threats of violence.

- Meanwhile, Yongxiao Liang, Nathan P. Gillett and Adam H. Monahan find that we're already on a path toward more than 2 degrees of global warming once we account for variability in ocean temperatures. Gabriel Rau et al. warn that warming groundwater poses threats to life both above and below the surface. And Dylan Baddour and Alejandra Martinez report on the escalating costs of droughts in Texas (and elsewhere) which are borne by publicly-subsidized insurance programs. 

- Mike Savage offers a reminder that wealth inequality remains a crucial issue for the general public in the UK - even as Keir Starmer has purged anybody who might advocate on the issue from his caucus in the name of bland corporatism.

- Finally, Jared Wesley and Alex Ballos point out how Danielle Smith is following the Republicans' playbook to prevent people from exercising their right to vote. And Jason Foster and Rebecca Graff-McRae write that the seemingly random acts of arbitrary governance from by UCP can generally be traced back to an attempt to dissolve any civic institution or source of information which could possibly check the exercise of partisan power.

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Wednesday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Li Cohen discusses how the Earth has experienced 12 months of record heat in a row - but is on track to see today's extreme heat become a lower baseline for the decades to come. And Peter Crank points out how already-vulnerable people - including those living with mental illness - are particularly endangered as temperatures exceed what our infrastructure is intended to manage. 

- Meanwhile, Richard Heinberg writes about the challenges in trying to address the climate breakdown among other ongoing crises (particularly in the context of the elite assumption that problems have to be solved with markets and technology). And Matt Shipman explains how climate change will exacerbate air pollution. 

- Pam Belluck reports on the recognition of the widespread and devastating effects of long COVID in a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Cate Swannell warns that in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, we're actually backsliding in our public health mechanisms necessary to monitor and contain similar outbreaks. And Mike Crawley reports on Doug Ford's decision to axe all wastewater monitoring in Ontario - depriving the province of the ability to track all kinds of infectious diseases. 

- Finally, Cory Doctorow discusses how one of the main purposes and effects of ubiquitous corporate surveillance is to use the information gathered to extract the highest prices possible from consumers. And Catalina Sanchez rightly argues that auto manufacturers shouldn't be selling off people's driving history to anybody who finds that data useful and profitable. 

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Watchful cat.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Joëlle Gergis asks what it will take for political leaders to acknowledge and act on the science demonstrating that we're on the precipice of climate disaster. And Fiona Harvey discusses Laurence Tibuania's eminently reasonable take that the people who built wealth through an unsustainable and destructive system will have to contribute to remedying the damage. 

- But Charisma Madarang and Andrew Perez report that the Republicans' big money machine is applying all available pressure to have their partisan majority on the U.S. Supreme Court block any attempt to have polluters pay for the harm they've done. Matthew Rosza notes that the financial sector is pairing extensive greenwashing publicity with continued funding for large-scale carbon pollution. And Nina Lakhani reports on new research showing that many of the credits claimed by large corporations as emission reductions are in fact worthless, double-counted or both. 

- Meanwhile, Fatima Syed reports on the new (or newly-acknowledged) contaminants endangering the Great Lakes region. And Leyland Cecco reports on New Brunswick's decision to suppress any awareness or investigation of a mystery neurological illness which appeared to be based on environmental conditions. 

- Cory Doctorow discusses how Ticketmaster's business model - which is finally being addressed by the U.S. federal government - is just one of many prominent corporate structures based on pure corruption. 

- Finally, Kim Siever exposes how the UCP is normalizing hallway medicine, making the use of hallway beds into a standard operating procedure at Calgary hospitals. 

Monday, June 03, 2024

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Robert Reich discusses the growing gap between the well-being of lower-income and higher-income consumers in the U.S. - as well as the reality that the former are being perpetually worse served by the market as businesses chase the larger amounts of money held by the latter. Geoffrey Diehl writes about the U.S.' zombie democracy, where unpopular and destructive policies win out due to a combination of a distorted electoral system and a political class more interested in preserving itself than representing people's interests. And A.R. Moxon calls out the anti-morality of the people who have proclaimed themselves the U.S.' moral authorities. 

- Chris Hatch writes about the need to acknowledge that reversing climate change is beyond our means, such that we need to be focused on harm reduction (even as that concept has been vilified by conservatives). Natasha Bulowski reports on a new climate report card showing how right-wing provincial governments are the main barriers to any progress. And Jordan Pearson reports on new research showing that rivers are among the geographical phenomena which are being turned from carbon sinks into carbon sources, while the Alfred Wegener Institute discusses the effects of melting permafrost. 

- Marc Fawcett-Atkinson reports on the prospect that Canada may end up approving an increase in toxic PFAs in our food supply even as other countries begin to regulate them. 

- Finally, Carolyn Barber discusses the new research finding that COVID-19 may continue to cause health problems for years after infection. And Jianyu Lai et al. find that readily-available duckbill N95 masks are extremely effective in stopping the spread of COVID and other viruses.

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Sunday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Sunday reading.

- Seth Borenstein, Mary Katherine Wildeman and Anita Snow find that the U.S. suffered a record number of heat-related deaths in 2023, while Aryan Dwivedi reports on unprecedented death tolls in India this year. And Julius Choudhury offers some tips on surviving extreme heat at an individual level - though they rely largely on levels of wealth and privilege which are certain to be unavailable to far too many.

- Rachel Donald interviews Naomi Oreskes about the power dynamics - extending beyond fossil fuel companies to capitalist ideology generally - which have given rise to a worsening climate crisis. 

- John Timmer reports on new research showing that investment in renewable energy more than pays for itself in social and health benefits. But Andrew Dessler highlights how fossil giants whose products are grossly inferior in any fair competition are rigging the rules to preserve their profits. And Michael Franco writes about a new study showing that modular nuclear reactors are expensive, slow and risky compared to existing alternatives - meaning that their spectre serves mostly as a delay tactic for oil and gas barons.

- Polly Neate notes that in the UK (as elsewhere), it's entirely possible to meet everybody's right to housing if a government bothers to marshal public resources to ensure homes aren't built only for profit.

- Finally, Andrea Blanco discusses how psychosis can be a symptom of COVID-19 - and how the medical response can be a matter of life and death. Alison Escalante writes about the persistence of COVID in the body long after an initial infection appears to have abated. And Hunter Crowther reports on the new strains which are becoming dominant in Canada.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Musical interlude

PVRIS - Mirrors

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jillian Ambrose reports on a study showing that there's no reason to approve any new fossil fuel development to meet current demand forecasts - and every reason to reject new projects as they push us toward further climate breakdown. 

- Gordon McBean discusses the need to hold the oil and gas sector accountable for decades of lying about climate change. And Max Fawcett writes about the perpetual dishonesty of the dirty energy industry in misrepresenting scientific research - but as Amanda Follett Hosgood reports, the public is being punished for the release of findings of misleading advertising. 

- Meanwhile, Naveena Sadasivam reports on the dangerous quantities of methane being emitted by landfills. 

- Mariana Mazzucato weighs in on the immense waste of resources involved in using massive amounts of energy on AI data centres. And Asaf Tchazor et al. warn that inaccurate information in AI-generated agricultural advice could precipitate food shortages - though it's apparently not yet at the point of recommending Brawndo for irrigation purposes. 

- Dalmeet Singh Chawla reports on Japan's move to make all publicly-funded research subject to open access.

- Finally, Martin Lukacs writes about the class war pantomime which clouds any real discussion of wealth and power inequality in Canada - including the fact that the Cons' corporate backers know better than to take Pierre Poilievre's posturing seriously:

The establishment media, in turn, have either amplified his anti-corporate message, or reinforced it by bemoaning it. In the Toronto Star, Susan Delacourt tut-tutted about the unfortunate “demonization” of “big business” (before admitting she’s close buds with lobbyists).

They’ve thus let Poilievre wear his chosen mantle, despite all the contradictory evidence: nearly half his governing council are lobbyists, every other week he is hobnobbing and fundraising in their presence, and his main advisor owns not one but two lobby firms.

But he’s keeping up the schtick because it’s working. A few weeks ago, he continued the corporate bashing in an op-ed in the National Post, telling business leaders to “cancel your lunch meeting at the Rideau Club,” “fire your lobbyist,” and “go to the people.”

A rare journalist at iPolitics decided to solicit the view of lobbyists themselves.

“The entire public affairs community in Canada smiled knowingly reading that National Post article,” one veteran lobbyist said . “A government led by Pierre Poilievre with his ministers will absolutely continue to engage the way they have with corporate Canada.”

In other words, they got Poilievre’s message: rest assured, the circus is for the rabble.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Lauren Chadwick reports on the WHO's findings that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a multi-year drop in life expectancy and undone a decade of health progress. Eric Topol and Ziyad Al-Aly examine the results of a new study showing that long COVID is linked to a large number of adverse health outcomes 3 years after an initial hospitalization. And Dan Luo et al. identify one possible mechanism by which COVID-19 may cause heart problems. 

- Amy Janzwood discusses the immense financial and environmental costs of the TMX pipeline which the Libs have chosen to prioritize over anything which could actually reduce carbon pollution. And Eric Van Rythoven notes that the spread of carbon tariffs among countries who don't share the Cons' denial of climate science would render Pierre Poilievre's anti-pricing sloganeering completely ineffective. 

- Marissa Alexander and Wade Thorhaug discuss how soaring food prices are the result of corporate control over the our food supply. And David Wainer points out that increased private equity involvement in U.S. health care has resulted in further ballooning costs in what was already a grossly unaffordable medical system.  

- Finally, Susan Jane Wright writes about the importance of taking to the streets in response to Danielle Smith's anti-democratic governance. But David Climenhaga notes that the UCP's contempt for voters includes a plan to dictate who's actually allowed to cast a ballot in order to have a say in how they're governed. And Charles Rusnell warns that the Alberta Legislature appears to be going out of its way to hire disgraced violent former police officers to control one of the most important public spaces in the province. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Wednesday Night Cat Blogging

Blissed cat.

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Kate Raworth discusses the need to orient ourselves toward measures of progress based on well-being rather than growth - both due to its being intrinsically more important, and more sustainable under conditions of dwindling environmental resources. And Sonali Kolhatkar laments the U.S.' choice - largely paralleled in Canada - between a party determined to accelerate the climate breakdown and one which promises little improvement beyond a slower death. 

- Laura Cozzi and Apostolos Petropoulos highlight how larger SUVs are one of the major contributors to increases in carbon pollution. Matthew Taylor reports on a new study showing the racial and class dynamics behind greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, with wealthy white men as by far the worst class of polluters. And Karl Bode discusses how the U.S. has passed legislation to close off one of the few tools available to hold the wealthiest few to account for their environmental destruction in the form of emissions from private jets.   

- Katrina Miller and Ryan Romard respond to a typical round of demands for austerity in the name of productivity by pointing out that it's inequality, not fair taxes, which results in stagnation and economic decay. 

- Finally, Kim Siever writes that we can't treat the ability of a worker to quit a single job as a remedy for a system designed for exploitation. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Novinite surveys the numerous countries facing unprecedented heat warnings as the most extreme effects of the climate crisis hit earlier in the year than ever before. And Matt Simon discusses the release of black carbon from wildfires as yet another dangerous climate feedback loop. 

- Emma Cooper-Smith and Hannah Lindell-Smith highlight how liquified natural gas is a climate menace rather than a solution. But Christopher Bonasia reports on a Con-affiliated lobby group's insistence on running ads which have been found to be misleading as their fossil fuel fanaticism outweighs any interest in accurate information, while Rob Miller calls out the oil and gas industry for its spin and propaganda seeking to expand dirty energy production and consumption alike. 

- Geraint Harvey and James Wallace point out that employers are consistent foisting the costs of neglecting workers' health and welfare on the public purse. And Adam King notes that the Trudeau Libs have rendered the right to strike nugatory for rail workers by using bureaucratic mechanisms to prevent unions from using their bargaining power. 

- Joan Westenberg discusses how trickle-down economics have always been a miserable failure toward their asserted goal of improving general welfare through wealth building - though they've worked wonders in concentrating the wealth that does exist in the hands of a perpetually greedier few. 

- Finally, Elizabeth Smythe examines how the UCP is following a worn and predictable playbook to dismantle democracy. 

Monday, May 27, 2024

Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Leslie Sattler discusses new research showing that carbon concentrations are continuing to increase by record amounts. David King writes about the immediate and large-scale changes needed to avert an imminent climate catastrophe. And Mohammed Muizzi writes about the existential threat facing the Maldives and other low-lying areas as a result of carbon pollution from wealthier countries.

- Cynthia McCormick Hibbert points out a new study suggesting that the environmental harms of microplastics may include reducing the ability of oceans to absorb atmospheric carbon. Zoe Schlanger discusses Maine's attempt to respond to the ubiquitous threat of PFA "forever chemicals" in water. And Sattler also notes that sandwich bags are rife with PFAs. 

- Meanwhile, Carl Meyer reports on the attempt by the tar sands-based Pathways Alliance to both evade any environmental assessments for planned megaprojects, and help itself to massive amounts of public money in the process. 

- Caitlin Owens discusses the mental health crisis which may have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but which continues to hamper wide swaths of people. And Jonathan Ore writes about the "great exhaustion" arising out of a combination of work and social stressors.  

- Aaron Wherry writes about Food Banks Canada's report card indicating that the Libs are barely treading water in ameliorating poverty (while right-wing provincial governments are doing no better and the Cons are bent on making matters even worse). And Thom Hartmann highlights the U.S. Republicans' "mudsill" theory which relies on a trapped underclass of labour to further enrich the already-wealthy. 

- Finally, Timothy Cooke writes about Josh Chernofsky's escape from the alt-right's cult. 

Friday, May 24, 2024

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Simon Torracinta reviews Branko Milanovic's Visions of Inequality in tracing historical conversations in inequality, while pointing out the importance of identifying power dynamics as a root cause. And Natalia Junquera talks to Gary Stevenson about the systematic forces serving to funnel wealth toward the rich at the expense of impoverishing more and more people. 

- Patrick Greenfield examines the problems with relying on the whims of Jeff Bezos and other plutocrats to fund the work of trying to salvage a habitable environment in the face of industrial carbon pollution. Emily Sanders writes that the nomination of one climate scientist to Exxon's board of directors did nothing to noticeably alter its business as usual. And Ian Urquhart discusses how petropolitics in Alberta (and elsewhere) are blocking the deployment of renewable energy which is both more affordable and more sustainable. 

- Crawford Kilian discusses Tim Smedley's The Last Drop, including its recognition that our current usage patterns include wasting and poisoning vital supplies. And Ainslie Cuickshank reports on the constant chemical pollution at Vancouver's Burrard Inlet port. 

- Finally, Sarah Law discusses new research showing that mercury poisoning near the Grassy Narrows First Nation is being exacerbated by ongoing industrial releases. And Marc Fawcett-Atkinson reports on the push by advocates to start having realistic adult conversations about the health risks of glyphosate herbicides and pesticides - and the complete refusal by regulators to do anything but operate in utter denial. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Brian O'Boyle discusses how Ireland's choice to act as a tax haven for the ultra-wealthy has done nothing to help its citizens. And the Center for Working-Class Politics notes that a strong majority of Americans support a jobs guarantee, making it both a desirable means to boost worker interests and a political winner. 

- But then, Martin Lukacs highlights how Canada's media has gone far out of its way to manufacture sympathy for landlords at the expense of tenants. And Katya Schwenk reports on Wall Street's mass takeover of housing.  

- Cecilia Nowell writes about the dangers of ultra-processed foods - both in encouraging overeating, and in causing a variety of health issues. And David Barnett talks to Patrick Grant about the deteriorating quality of clothes (which isn't being matched by any lowering of prices).  

- The Canadian Press reports on new Leger polling finding a majority of Canadians to support the Loblaws boycott against profiteering and monopolization. 

- Cloe Logan writes about the work being done by labour activists to try to protect workers from the effects of extreme heat. 

- Finally, Tom Perkins reports on both new research showing the ubiquity of "forever chemicals" in the Great Lakes basin, and a study finding glyphosate in a majority of sperm samples at an infertility clinic. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Multidirectional cat.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Oliver Milman discusses a new study showing that the costs of a climate breakdown roughly approximate what it would take to fight a domestic war in perpetuity. Sarah Waldrip examines the relationship between climate change and unexplained changes in oceanic tides as yet another example of how the climate crisis is altering our living environment in unanticipated and dangerous ways. And Sanjay Sisodiya and Mark Maslin find that climate change is also exacerbating the symptoms of numerous brain conditions.  

- Jonas Hosp et al. study the long-term effects of COVID-19 on cerebral microstructure as an apparent explanation for the sustained harms of long COVID. But Tamara Schneider writes about new research showing that repeated COVID vaccines also bolster the body's immune defences against a range of other viruses. 

- Torsten Bell points out that the UK (like Canada) has ample means to end child poverty if it's motivated to do so. But Adam Bienkov notes that PM Rishi Sunak is making out like a bandit in his family's personal wealth while standards of living are deteriorating. And Prem Sikka discusses the connection between corporate profiteering and the increase in citizens' cost of living. 

- On a similar note, Jim Stanford examines how the UCP has eliminated any wage advantage in Alberta while opening the province up for complete corporate exploitation. 

- Finally, Joan Westenberg calls out the use of social Darwinism as a basis to reward the rich and selfish at the expense of everybody else. 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your long weekend reading.

- Max Fawcett laments that anti-vaxxers and science denialists have managed to control public policy choices in the midst of a pandemic with many more public health threats looming. And Jessica Wildfire writes about the collective amnesia that's served to eliminate attention to an ongoing threat - while noting that the same steps which still serve as important personal precautions also offer a needed reminder.

- The Star Tribune's editorial board notes that regular air quality warnings are an important alarm signaling the need to rein in the climate crisis. And Drew Anderson and Matt Simmons write that western Canada is once again the site of some of the most severe and widespread wildfires.

- Linda McQuaig calls out Canadian governments for subsidizing both dirty energy and short-sighted shareholder service as much of the country burns. And Ellen Ormesher and Rebecca Jean report on documents showing how the oil industry pays off the establishment media to secure social license to keep polluting.

- points out that the housing sector is just one more area where the affordability crisis can by traced directly to corporate profiteering.

- Finally, Sarah MacMillan reports on a Shoppers Drug Mart owner's attempt to replace paid staff with volunteers in order further goose its profits.