Friday, February 16, 2024

Musical interlude

Thornley - Come Again

Friday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to end your week.

- Amy Peng et al. examine the profound positive impact of mask mandates in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario. And Sheena Cruickshank warns about the avoidable harm we can expect as so many respond to the political and social signals to abandon all precautions in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. 

- Luis Guanter et al. document an immense methane leak from a single well blowout in Kazakhstan. Michael Barnard offers a reminder that the definition of a carbon capture and storage "success story" is the release of 25 times more carbon pollution than is captured.

- Zoe Yunker reports on the federal government's choice to scrap pipe supply and testing requirements for a particularly treacherous stretch of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Fatima Syed discusses how the Ford government has suppressed a study which shows how the climate crisis endangers numerous facets of life in Ontario. And Raidin Blue and Betsy Again study (PDF) how bottlenecks in labour and material supplies are among the obstacles to making buildings more energy-efficient - making clear that the price of subsidizing dirty energy expansion is to divert the resources needed to transition to a cleaner economy. 

- Matthew Kurtz examines the problems with making educational institutions beholden to capital investments.

- Finally, Erika Shaker writes that trans children deserve far better than to be used as pawns in the right's culture wars. Rob Reiner discusses how hostility toward diversity is behind the willingness of U.S. religious nationalists to support Donald Trump. And Laura Woodward reports on the appalling demand by a Saskatoon church to shut down support services for homeless people - and how it's being echoed in Sask Party policy. 

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Rachael Lyle-Thompson discusses how children are happier in countries with social safety nets which reduce the anxiety level around them. And Eric Galbraith et al. find that satisfaction levels in small-scale Indigenous societies may be just as high as in the wealthiest countries - offering yet another indication as to how substituting GDP for social well-being misses the mark. 

- Evan Halper discusses how the plastics industry is attempting to hijack school systems to avoid answering for the harm it does to the environment. And Taylor Noakes examines how the dirty energy industry is responding to legislation seeking to rein in deceptive advertising with a barrage of exactly the type of dishonesty which demands a public policy response. 

- Arthur Neslen discusses the "litigation terrorism" being used to block even the most minimal of environmental laws and policies. And Billy Briggs examines the systematic abuse of litigation threats against individual climate activists. 

- Max Fawcett writes that Danielle Smith's obsession with the perpetual expansion of fossil fuel production (and resulting carbon pollution) exceeds even that of Saudi Arabia - even as Alberta stands to pay the price for being a laggard in both climate and economic terms. 

- Finally, Catharine Tunney reports on CSIS' warning that anti-trans bigots pose a threat of extreme violence. Gillian Steward discusses how Smith is serving exactly those forces in aiming her government's power against trans teens, while Althia Raj highlights how Pierre Poilievre is twisting the truth to justify his own attacks on trans people. And Jason Vermes reports on the gender-affirming clinics who have no choice but to operate privately as right-wing governments refuse to recognize their work as health care. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Surrounded cat.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Stephanie Bouchoucha et al. offer a reminder that Australia (like other jurisdictions) needs to do far better in reducing the harm caused by an ongoing pandemic. And researchers presenting to the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine have found widespread long COVID among people who were infected while pregnant. 

- Meanwhile, Crawford Kilian warns that the anti-social, anti-science cranks empowered by crass corporate operators wanting to avoid COVID restrictions are stoking a resurgence of measles (as well as increased threats from other diseases). 

- Clyde Hughes reports on a new study showing that 83 million U.S. residents are exposed to unhealthy air every year due to the climate breakdown. And Jennifer Francis discusses the "weather whiplash" which is becoming increasingly common and destructive due to climate change. 

- But Jefim Vogel and Jason Hickel find (PDF) that even the countries who are claiming to have decoupled growth from carbon pollution are still spewing more than we can afford. 

- Andy Stirling reviews Tim Schwab's The Bill Gates Problem as an important exposition as to how billionaire-controlled "charity" results in warped and self-interested priorities.  

- Finally, Shauna MacKinnon writes that there's no excuse for governments deferring to the whims of private-sector developers when the need for housing can only be met by public social investment. 

Monday, February 12, 2024

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Oliver Milman reports on new research showing that shipping, aviation and industry are the three areas where carbon emissions are remaining at their existing levels or growing on a global basis. But Barry Saxifrage notes that Canada is a climate scofflaw as the only G7 country to be spewing more emissions than we were in 1990, while Theresa Beer calls out the provincial governments spending public money trying to demolish the few substantial climate policies which exist to date based on false spin about affordability. 

- Uday Rana discusses how parking mandates are contributing to a lack of affordable housing. But Rachel Cohen notes that many U.S. municipalities are moving past a passive approach, and instead building their own social housing intended to create communities which include all walks of life. 

- Judith Graham writes that the callous decision-making around COVID-19 raises questions about whether the U.S. cares about older adults at all - though it's worth noting the question is probably equally valid if applied more widely to caring about people period. 

- Sean Illing interviews Elizabeth Anderson about the damage wrought by a neoliberal "work ethic" which paints compliant subservience to the interests of capital as the ultimate virtue. And Adam King discusses the need for anti-scab legislation at the provincial level. 

- Finally, Azul Dahlstrom-Eckman reports on the spread of Fixit Clinics as a means of giving effect to the right to repair in California. And Currey McCullough discusses how farmers are being exploited for billions of dollars every year through the greed of equipment providers who exercise monopoly control over repairs and maintenance.