Friday, May 03, 2024

Musical interlude

Royksopp - Stay Awhile

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jessica Wildfire comments on the elite panic which has seen information suppression become the norm in order to maintain the status quo for the general public while the wealthiest few try to insulate themselves from obvious dangers. And Larry Elliott writes that if billionaires appear to be afraid of the concept of a global wealth tax, it's because there's no justification for them to escape paying their fair share to sustain the societies which have provided them with obscene riches. 

- The Canadian Labour Congress highlights new polling confirming that Canadians recognize the crucial role of worker organization, and want to remove barriers to unionization. And Jen Kostuchuk and Anelyse Weiler point out the need for improved protections in the midst of a climate breakdown where extreme heat and other threats to health and safety are becoming more common. 

- Stephanie Cooke discusses why nobody should be pretending to take nuclear power seriously as anything but a delay tactic to prevent the deployment of renewable energy. And Brett Forester reports on a toxic sewage discharge at the Chalk River nuclear reactor in February which was never publicly disclosed at the time. 

- Finally, Linda Farthing discusses how Mexico's forests are far healthier than most due to their protection by community and Indigenous stewards. And Drew Anderson reports on the UCP's imposition of politically-driven commands to the Alberta Electric System Operator to back a ban on renewable power despite recognizing that it was ill-advised. 

Thursday, May 02, 2024

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Markham Hislop offers up his apologies for cheerleading for the TransMountain pipeline - both due to its immensely increased price tag, and for its imminent obsolescence if we even remotely approach a workable response to the climate crisis. John Woodside calls out Chrystia Freeland for refusing to take even the baby step of acknowledging that dirty energy development shouldn't be eligible to be treated as clean investments, while Environment Defence responds to the failure of yet another much-ballyhooed carbon capture project which was supposed to counter the emissions from fossil fuel production and use. And Geoffrey Deihl wonders whether the oil industry's insistence on allowing climate change to worsen unchecked will force us to subject the Earth to a reckless experiment in atmosphere manipulation. 

- Meanwhile, Leana Hosea and Rachel Salvidge report on the rapidly-rising levels of "forever chemicals" in human bodies. And Sharon Lerner reports on the EPA's sudden reversal in dealing with acephate - as ProPublica's revelation that it planned to use sketchy data on non-living subjects to allow for increased use seems to have pushed it to instead implement a ban. 

- Pat Van Horne surveys some of the health experts who are pushing for a Canadian pharmacare program that ensures the availability of all essential medicines. 

- Talia Barnes explores how consumer products are increasingly designed to subject people to the control of corporations.  

- Marc Lee and DT Cochrane examine how Canada's tax system has remained regressive over the past two decades - including with decreased contributions by the wealthiest 5%. 

- Finally, Linda McQuaig points out how much of Canada's media has been working overtime to either conceal or normalize Pierre Poilievre's cultivation of ties to the far right. 

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Thom Hartmann discusses how conservative policies and rhetoric both kill people even looking only at  homicides and suicides. Cory Doctorow points out how the conservative impetus to exacerbate inequality has resulted in the housing crisis - including through new means for the wealthy to take homes away from workers. And Jessica Wildfire highlights the inherent unsustainability of any attempt to use wealth or privilege to vanish from a society which is in the midst of breaking down under the logic of extractive capitalism. 

- Meanwhile, Gaye Taylor takes note of the steps Canadian cities are taking to try to reduce the foreseeable number of heat-related deaths which we can expect in the midst of a fossil-fueled climate breakdown. And Annie Nova writes about the immense financial cost of climate change for the people being born today. 

- David Olive writes that there's no valid objection to the Libs' plans to modestly increase the tax inclusion rate on capital gains, while Max Fawcett rightly argues that if anything Canada should be doing far more to ensure the rich pay their fair share. 

- Norm Farrell discusses the propensity of megaprojects to take on a life of their own which results in our missing out on more efficient and effective alternatives. 

- Kim Siever challenges the claim that business owners are entitled to a disproportionate share of profits based on their being the only parties taking on risk. And David Moscrop interviews Alex Hemingway about the far superior results of worker-owned firms by numerous standards - including the job security and resilience which are normally treated as the main reason for serving the interests of capital. 

- Finally, Jared Wesley discusses how the UCP is a threat to democracy - though it's worth noting that every justified criticism represents an element of the playbook of right-wing parties across the continent. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Shadowy cat.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Stan Cox writes about the looming eco-collapse - and its connection to a relentless focus on top-heavy "growth" with no regard for well-being or sustainability.  

- Dharna Noor reports on the U.S. House oversight committee's investigation showing how the oil industry has blocked any climate progress while engaging in performative public greenwashing. Tory Shepherd reports on what it takes for a climate denialist ad to be pulled for being misleading or deceptive. And David Zipper discusses how U.S. policy has encouraged car bloat and increased pollution (based in no small part on lobbying from both the fossil fuel sector and the auto industry).

- Meanwhile, Cloe Logan reports on the growing number of Quebec municipalities working on reducing fossil fuel infrastructure in new buildings.

- Jeffrey Kluger writes about the reality that he - like nearly everybody - is accumulating plastic toxins in his body at an alarming rate. And Benjamin Shingler reports on the halting progress toward a global plastics treaty. 

- Finally, Melvin Backman discusses how U.S. CEOs' pay continues to rise far faster than that of other workers. And Norm Farrell offers a reminder that minimum wage increases tend to produce more as well as better jobs.