Friday, April 26, 2024

Musical interlude

Shallou - Fading

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Benji Jones writes that the long-predicted mass death of coral reefs due to climate change is coming to pass even as the climate breakdown continues to escalate. Adam Bailey highlights the obscene amounts of money still being thrown at fossil fuels - and the opportunity cost of spending to lock ourselves into dirty energy rather than building a clean future. And Kevin Jiang asks why Canadian governments are ignoring readily-available plans to make indoor air healthy for children. 

- Matteo Cimellaro reports on the work being done by Indigenous leaders to call out the use of the Arctic region as a dumping ground for plastic waste and other dangerous substances. And Maria Paula Rubiano discusses new research showing that exposure to chemicals in plastics results in an increased risk of cancer (among other dangers to health). 

- Ed Zitron writes about the deliberate process which resulted in Google undermining the usefulness of its search engine in order to extract value from users and advertisers alike. And Stephen Moore is nostalgic for the sense of curiosity and excitement which has been ground down by the corporate takeover of online activity.  

- Luke LeBrun talks to economists about the typical false debate playing out over fair taxation - as overwrought Con attacks on feeble Lib plans ignore the reality that there's room to ensure the rich contribute far more to the sources of their wealth.  

- Finally, Arno Kopecky discusses how Pierre Poilievre is bent on seeing the next election fought over a false portrayal of carbon pricing - to the exclusion of any issues which could actually improve people's lives to any meaningful extent. And Christopher Holcroft writes about the risks of normalizing Poilievre's contempt for truth and democracy. 

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Umair Irfan discusses the possibility that carbon pollution may have reached its peak in 2023 - while recognizing that even if that proves true, there's still a long way to go in reducing the additional climate carnage being inflicted by continued emissions. Justin Nobel notes that the damage done by the fossil fuel sector includes exposing workers to waste which is more radioactive than Chernobyl. And Kathryn Willis et al. recognize that the oil industry's plan to ramp up plastic production will mean a gigantic increase in another harmful byproduct. 

- Meanwhile, Sharon Lerner reports on the EPA's plans to raise the amount of a toxic pesticide permitted on food based on testing limited to isolated cells rather than the people who stand to be affected. 

- Ian Welsh highlights how Canada's housing affordability crisis can be traced back to the expectation by existing property owners that they'll be handed consistent windfall increases in their property values. 

- Becky Robertson reports on Loblaws' continued shrinkflation and price gouging even as they and other oligopolists insist on having free rein to exploit consumers as they see fit. 

- Finally, David Climenhaga discusses Danielle Smith's choice to fund yet another anti-public-health diatribe with public money - this time paying a disgraced COVID denialist physician to launder conspiracy theories through a secret task force. And Joel Dryden reports that the UCP is fully aware of dozens of medical clinics advertising membership fees - but is looking for excuses to avoid bringing them into compliance with the law prohibiting charging for access to medically necessary services. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Sean Boynton reports on new research showing that the deadline 2021 heat dome was significantly exacerbated by the climate crisis. And William Boos discusses modeling showing a strong likelihood that we'll see another record-breaking summer for heat and humidity in the tropics. 

- Meanwhile, Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood notes that even as the Cons shriek about even the slightest policy aimed at alleviating the climate breakdown, the Libs' budget is pushing action down the road (and in some cases even reducing previously-planned funding over the next few years). 

- Amanda Chu and Jamie Smyth report on the predictable role of Exxon and other fossil fuel conglomerates in trying to stall progress on a global plastics treaty. And Craig Hodge, Christina Seidel & Natasha Tucker discuss the need to take a full life-cycle view in managing plastic pollution. 

- Luke Savage takes note of the push to boycott the Loblaws empire, while lamenting the futility of trying to withhold business from an oligopoly. 

- Finally, Martin Lukacs discusses how Pierre Poilievre is parroting big pharma's talking points in seeking to prevent Canadians from having access to needed medications. Luke LeBrun reports on Poilievre's latest meet-and-greet with Diagolon extremists and other rebranded arms of the Flu Trux Klan. And Steve Buist makes a valiant if futile appeal for Poilievre to stop trafficking in cynical fearmogering and general madness. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Primed cat. 

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Robin McKie warns that the next pandemic is likely to develop from a flu virus, while Augie Ray offers a reminder that we're still seeing waves of COVID-19 sweep through the population. And Alexander Quon and Zak Vescera report on warnings of the exponential spread of COVID which the Sask Party chose to deny and minimize with catastrophic results. 

- Samantha Harrington reports on new data showing that the death toll from the climate crisis is at least in the tens of thousands of people per year - and likely much higher. Jamey Keaten reports on the International Labour Organization's plea to recognize and counter the risks to workers from extreme heat and other environmental dangers. And Tim Palmer laments the lack of progress in developing high-resolution climate models to allow us both to better plan for climate changes, and to attribute responsibility. 

- Leah Borts-Kuperman exposes North Bay's collusion with a plastics manufacturer to squelch any discussion about "forever chemicals" in drinking water. 

- Luke LeBrun points out that Pierre Poilievre has a fan and kindred spirit in conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. 

- Finally, David Macdonald highlights how the capital gains tax tweaks which have the corporate lobby streaming about supposed harm to the middle class in fact have no effect on anybody below the wealthiest  0.13 per cent of Canadians. 

Monday, April 22, 2024

Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- The Climate Change Performance Update's latest update shows Canada tumbling to the bottom of the world's development countries in climate performance - even as right-wing petropoliticians demand that we make matters worse. Justin Ling discusses how we've ended up with that painful gap between any reasonable response to the climate crisis and what's seen as politically possible, while Colin Bruce Anthes makes the case for a sharp shift toward direct government intervention as a carbon tax put in place to appease free-market zealots faces imminent execution at the hands of Canada's corporate party. And Bill McKibben rightly opines that the business sector's antipathy toward protecting our living environment can only be seen as suicidal. 

- Meanwhile, Aliénor Rougeot and Anna McIntosh note that beyond their feeble climate policy, the Libs have also failed to address water pollution from the tar sands. And Rachel Uda reports on new research showing that the microplastics shed by the oil industry's backup plan to continue production can produce increased risks of heart attacks and stroke beyond their other harmful environmental effects. 

- George Monbiot laments the reality that we've allowed our politics and societies to be dominated by bullies. And John Harris discusses how a new political movement rooted in nature is beginning to build up strength in the UK. 

- Rosa Marchitelli and Jenn Blair report on the poisoning of multiple teenaged Co-op employees with carbon monoxide - and the Sask Party government's choice not to hold the employer responsible for repeatedly exposing young workers to severe risks.  

- Finally, Jason Markusoff discusses the UCP's plans to subject all university research in Alberta to alt-right ideological screening.