Friday, February 09, 2024

Musical interlude

Timecop1983 - On The Run

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Anthony Leonardi writes about the reality that COVID-19 is intrinsically more harmful than "ordinary" respiratory viruses due to its continuing effect on the immune system. And Chinta Sardathan discusses new research showing that the fallout from COVID infection includes higher rates of dementia in order adults. 

- Greenpeace International offers its reaction to the revelation that we've already seen 1.5 degrees of global warming over a full-year period. And Mitchell Beer discusses Robert Howarth's work finding that liquified natural gas produces even more severe climate damage than burning coal, while Jackie Flynn Mogensen writes about the harm LNG terminals inflict on a community (both in environmental risks and inevitable surveillance and suppression of anybody who dares to stand up for their health). 

- Cal Turner and Sara Van Horn interview Brett Cristophers about the futility of relying on private capital to fund a transition to clean energy when entrenched corporate money and power is firmly lined up behind dirty fossil fuels due to their short-term profitability. And Cory Doctorow discusses how the only real disruption emanating from big tech companies is their systematic elimination of either competitors or regulators who could challenge their unaccountable monopoly control. 

- Justin Ling writes about the Pierre Poilievre media circus - where there's no issue so serious or important as to merit any response other than ignorant trolling which will be predictably amplified by the alt-right echo chamber. And Andrew MacLeod reports on David Eby's rightful criticism of Bell for making matters worse by eliminating local and investigative journalism in favour of further recitation of talking points. 

- Finally, Max Fawcett joins the chorus imploring Justin Trudeau and the Libs to recognize that it's not too late to make good on their promise of a fair electoral system. 

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Mark Poynting reports on the latest data showing that global warming reached the 1.5 C threshold over the past year. And Adrienne Berard discusses new research finding that the climate breakdown's devastating feedback loops include the potential that hotter, drier conditions will make it more difficult for trees to sequester carbon. 

- But Andrew Nikiforuk writes about David Hughes' new report showing that while Canada continues to subsidize carbon pollution, it doesn't even have a plausible path to stop actively exacerbating the climate crisis by 2050. And Katharine Sanderson and Carissa Wong discuss how the EU is relying on vaporware rather than emission cuts in trying to set a slightly more ambitious timeline. 

- Jake Bittle discusses new research into the depletion of groundwater around the globe. And Crawford Kilian interviews Erica Gies about the dangers of taking water for granted. 

- Lise Olsen interviews Jim Morris about his new book about the connection between industrial chemicals and severe health issues for American workers. 

- Finally, Q Hamirani writes that the mandatory return-to-office policies which have stoked the continued spread of COVID-19 and other diseases represent an attempt to conceal poor management. 

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Meghan Bartels interviews Maria Van Kerkhove about the continuing and emerging threats in the fifth year of a pandemic which most of the powers that be have long since disappeared from any discussion. And Andrew Nikiforuk talks to Ziyad Al-Aly about the unconscionable lack of attention to long COVID even as it disables immense swaths of people. 

- Malcolm McCulloch writes about his new research suggesting that we may have blown past the 1.5 degree climate target a decade ago while continuing to see global warming escalate. Environmental Defence and Keepers of the Water call out the failure of provincial and federal governments alike to hold the oil sector responsible for the harm caused by toxic tailings. And David Thurton reports on Charlie Angus' push to at least limit misleading advertising by fossil fuel companies, while Rick Knight points out the gap between (propaganda-based) perception and reality as to the effects of carbon pricing. 

- The Circle Economy Foundation's latest report highlights how we're consuming more and more unsustainable quantities of natural resources - while actually reducing how much secondary material gets repurposed. 

- David Zipper discusses how vehicular bloat is making the infrastructure intended to favour private vehicles obsolete. 

- Finally, Cory Doctorow writes about Apple's practice of thumbing its nose at regulators - along with the prospect that its malicious compliance with new anti-monopoly rules may not go unchallenged. 

[Edit: corrected name.]

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Cool cat.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Cordell Jacks writes about the need for an economic model which evolves beyond the short-term exploitation of people and the planet. And Jessica McKenzie interviews Charlotte Kukowski about the importance of reprioritizing in the context of readily-apparent feedback loops between inequality and the climate crisis. 

- Daria Shapovalova reports on a landmark court decision determining that oil companies won't be able to avoid answering for downstream emissions in environmental assessments in Norway. But sadly, both Canada and the UK are continuing to rush through as much extraction and export as possible before anybody applies that standard to their fossil fuel sectors. 

- Marcus Baram reports on new legislation under consideration in New York which would ensure that large-scale wage thieves lose the privilege of doing business. 

- Adam King writes about the fight of Saskatchewan's teachers for tolerable working and learning conditions - and the Moe government's determination to avoid providing anything of the sort. 

- Aaron Wherry asks whether Justin Trudeau is reaching the point of regretting not keeping his promise of a fair and proportional electoral system. 

- Finally, Luke LeBrun points out that Stephen Harper's International Democrat Union has quietly scrubbed its links to Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party - though the main news appears to be that  there exists a level of authoritarianism that even the IDU will disclaim. 

Monday, February 05, 2024

On harm exacerbation

Ryan Meili offers an important values-based critique of the Sask Party's "do more harm" policy on addictions treatment. But it's worth taking a closer look at who stands to benefit from the pursuit of harm maximization and treatment-for-profit.

A single private business, ROSC Solutions Group, has been trotted out by the Moe government at various points as an adviser and author of a report, an "expert" validator and a source of rebuttals against the people calling to continue work on harm reduction. 

Presumably that combination of consulting and PR work hasn't been carried out for free. And it's telling that the primary party apparently willing to say anything supporting the Sask Party's position is the one which has been hand-selected and paid to support the government's line. 

Meanwhile, it's abundantly clear who stands to receive ongoing public funding as a result of the plan.

As part of the incomplete list of spaces to date, EHN Canada is listed as being funded for both virtual and in-treatment care. (The inclusion of virtual programs as part of the government's promised number of spaces is left as a degradation of health services for another day.)

And in case there's any doubt about its goal of using public funds to build a private care system, EHN's own intake page for online services lists Saskatchewan's funding alongside a general assumption of patient-paid treatment:

Worried About Paying For Treatment? 

We know not everyone has the same financial situation. There are options when it comes to covering the cost of treatment, give us a call to discuss the possibilities. 

We are proud to have partnered with the Saskatchewan Health Authority to provide funded treatment for our online substance use disorder program to residents of Saskatchewan. Click here to learn more.

Not surprisingly, both of those actors seeking to profit from attacking harm reduction and emphasizing unregulated, for-profit "recovery" are tied into similar movements in B.C. and Alberta - as documented by Rumneek Johal last year. (ROSC is listed as having done similar work for Alberta, while EHN has a dubious and controversial history of work in both B.C. and Alberta.)

To be sure, there's also a moralistic "war on some people using some drugs" at play as well. But while the cruelty may be the point for parts of the Sask Party's base, the overarching purpose again looks to be the funneling of public money into connected businesses - no matter how much harm is done as a result.  

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Claude Lavoie examines the problems with the far-too-rarely-questioned assumption that public policy needs to be oriented toward top-end economic growth at the expense of human well-being and environmental sustainability. 

- George Monbiot calls out how the wealthiest few have torqued the law to achieve impunity for themselves while punishing anybody who dares to question their dominance. Steven Staples points out that a Canadian public inquiry into foreign interference is conspicuously refusing to even recognize the control over decision-making exercised by Big Foreign Oil. And Ethan Cox exposes how a private surveillance company is spying on journalists with the apparent support of both the Alberta and federal governments, while Amanda Follett Hosgood points out that the RCMP's unit formed to ignore the rules and force through pipelines is now being turned against other activists (including people protesting for Palestinian human rights). 

- Meanwhile, Sharon Lewis offers a reminder that insurance companies aren't buying the climate denial being pushed on the public at large - with the result that people are increasingly unable to get insurance to cover foreseeable disasters. 

- Benjamin Shingler reports on Canada's lack of effective regulation to weed out false greenwashing. And Andrew Hawkins discusses Ian Walker's research as to how vehicles are designed to filter out awareness of their harmful effects (even as they become perpetually more dangerous for everybody else in the vicinity of the road). 

- Finally, David Climenhaga writes about Danielle Smith's choice to declare war on trans kids, while Amnesty International Canada calls it out as a glaring violation of human rights. And Corinne Mason and Leah Hamilton point out the complete absence of any factual basis for the UCP's campaign of hate.