Friday, March 22, 2024

Musical interlude

Texas King - Whatever You Break

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Maximilian Kotz et al. study the foreseeable effect of the climate crisis on the cost of food, and find that increased global warming will result in systemic inflation in food prices. And Matthew Taylor reports on research showing that the carbon pollution from major oil and gas companies alone may cause millions of heat deaths by 2100.

- But in case anybody thought the fossil fuel sector had any scruples about the destruction it plans to wreak on the rest of the world, Oliver Milman reports on a gathering of CEOs insisting that the success of its past denialism and obstructionism means we should abandon any effort to transition to cleaner energy. And Elizabeth May writes that there's no lack of resources preventing Canada from making a just transition as long as we don't consider ourselves bound to serve oil executives more than the rest of the planet. 

- Adam Thorn and Sarah Butson examine the disproportionate harm caused by heavy diesel vehicles. And David Moscrop discusses how cars generally are turning into surveillance devices. 

- Finally, Stephen Magusiak reports that the extremist organization running the UCP is continuing to thumb its nose at the law, this time by both refusing to cooperate with an investigation into Take Back Alberta and warning that "the powerful" (i.e. large secret donors) will punish anybody who dares to try to apply the law to it.  

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett discuss why the world can't afford the rich. And Cory Doctorow points out that class-based advocacy for better material conditions tends to be a political winner even in the U.S. - but that it's not generally presented as an option by Democrats determined to present themselves as compliant to the wishes of the corporate class.  

- Gavin Schmidt discusses how the climate breakdown is happening faster and more severely than previously projected. Matthew Rozsa reports on new research identifying the human "fingerprints" associated with rising sea surface temperatures. And Chloe Lucas et al. highlight how children are immersed in the reality of a climate catastrophe in progress which our political class is devoted to denying or minimizing. 

- Meanwhile, Peter Dietsch calls out the fanatical opposition to even restricting fossil fuel advertising as the truly extreme position on climate policy. And Les Whittington highlights how the constant carbon tax bleating from the Cons and their provincial proxies is based entirely on misinformation - though we shouldn't fall into Whittington's trap of treating a modest, small-c conservative pricing scheme as the essence of progressive policy. 

- Drew Anderson contrasts Danielle Smith's fervent insistence on pushing the extreme environmental harm caused by dirty resource extraction and pollution against her choice to ban renewable energy in the name of "pristine viewscapes". And David Barrett and Kelly Black point out how much of the population of western Canada stands to suffer from the UCP's willingness to destroy watersheds in southern Alberta. 

- Finally, Darren Cotton writes about the development of repair cafes as a means to give effect to the right to repair and the principle of reducing waste. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jess Davis reports on the World Meteorological Organization's conclusion that 2023 saw the worst-ever level of climate breakdown under every key indicator. And Brett Christophers rightly argues that we'll never make progress in combating the climate crisis as long as we're operating under the short-sighted, greed-based capitalist system that precipitated it (and whose main actors are systematically breaching even their own selective promises).  

- Bob Yirka reports on research showing that food packaging is replete with dozens of "forever chemicals" - the vast majority of which are banned from exactly that use. And Dylan Baddour discusses the massive handouts being shoveled into petrochemicals and plastics manufacturing which cause immense environmental harm at both the individual and community levels.  

- Meanwhile, Aki Ito reports on research showing that recessions may actually be producing longer lifespans, as the positive effects of reduced traffic and pollution outweigh any effects of reduced income. 

- Erica Ifill writes that the Libs' attempt to solve a shortage of housing with handouts to rich developers is doing nothing but to strengthen the position of the Cons as they seek to make matters even worse. 

- Finally, Mordecai Kurz discusses how capitalism is directly opposed to the pursuit of democracy.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Folded cat.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The World Meteorological Organization's State of the Climate report highlights how higher temperatures and devastating consequences have become the norm around the globe. Anand Ram reports on a new study showing that the effects included a jarring new development, as air quality in Canadian cities was worse than that in the U.S. for the first time ever. And Liza Gross reports on research into the harm caused by petrochemicals beyond the destruction of our environmental habitat. 

- But Jessica Corbett notes that even in the midst of a year of obvious climate breakdown, the corporate media provided less coverage of the climate crisis. And David Suzuki calls out Danielle Smith and the UCP for being determined to make matters worse even as Alberta faces wildfires, droughts and other calamitous climate effects. 

- Francesca Fionda and Ainslie Cruickshank report on a new study showing that the estimated cleanup costs from Teck's Elk Valley coal mine are three times what the company has set aside - meaning that the public figures to be on the hook for billions of dollars once the fossil fuel profits have been extracted. 

- Joan Westenberg opines that we shouldn't get caught up in the cult of productivity. Cory Doctorow discusses how "wellness surveillance" in fact increases stress for workers subjected to increased control by exploitative employers. Janine Jackson interviews Alfredo Lopez about the U.S. corporate sector's complete devaluation of elders (and anybody else who isn't readily exploited). And Lisa Kwon reports on the multiple Republican states who are slashing child labour protections so kids can be turned into profit centres sooner. 

- Meanwhile, Martin Lukacs, Katia Lo Innes and Xavier Richer Vis expose how the Cons' fund-raising apparatus is based on providing corporate lobbyists with a system of cash for access. 

- Finally, Adam King discusses the effect of British Columbia's card-check certification as a positive example of what happens when governments choose to empower workers rather than catering solely to profiteers.