Friday, May 31, 2024

Musical interlude

PVRIS - Mirrors

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jillian Ambrose reports on a study showing that there's no reason to approve any new fossil fuel development to meet current demand forecasts - and every reason to reject new projects as they push us toward further climate breakdown. 

- Gordon McBean discusses the need to hold the oil and gas sector accountable for decades of lying about climate change. And Max Fawcett writes about the perpetual dishonesty of the dirty energy industry in misrepresenting scientific research - but as Amanda Follett Hosgood reports, the public is being punished for the release of findings of misleading advertising. 

- Meanwhile, Naveena Sadasivam reports on the dangerous quantities of methane being emitted by landfills. 

- Mariana Mazzucato weighs in on the immense waste of resources involved in using massive amounts of energy on AI data centres. And Asaf Tchazor et al. warn that inaccurate information in AI-generated agricultural advice could precipitate food shortages - though it's apparently not yet at the point of recommending Brawndo for irrigation purposes. 

- Dalmeet Singh Chawla reports on Japan's move to make all publicly-funded research subject to open access.

- Finally, Martin Lukacs writes about the class war pantomime which clouds any real discussion of wealth and power inequality in Canada - including the fact that the Cons' corporate backers know better than to take Pierre Poilievre's posturing seriously:

The establishment media, in turn, have either amplified his anti-corporate message, or reinforced it by bemoaning it. In the Toronto Star, Susan Delacourt tut-tutted about the unfortunate “demonization” of “big business” (before admitting she’s close buds with lobbyists).

They’ve thus let Poilievre wear his chosen mantle, despite all the contradictory evidence: nearly half his governing council are lobbyists, every other week he is hobnobbing and fundraising in their presence, and his main advisor owns not one but two lobby firms.

But he’s keeping up the schtick because it’s working. A few weeks ago, he continued the corporate bashing in an op-ed in the National Post, telling business leaders to “cancel your lunch meeting at the Rideau Club,” “fire your lobbyist,” and “go to the people.”

A rare journalist at iPolitics decided to solicit the view of lobbyists themselves.

“The entire public affairs community in Canada smiled knowingly reading that National Post article,” one veteran lobbyist said . “A government led by Pierre Poilievre with his ministers will absolutely continue to engage the way they have with corporate Canada.”

In other words, they got Poilievre’s message: rest assured, the circus is for the rabble.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Lauren Chadwick reports on the WHO's findings that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a multi-year drop in life expectancy and undone a decade of health progress. Eric Topol and Ziyad Al-Aly examine the results of a new study showing that long COVID is linked to a large number of adverse health outcomes 3 years after an initial hospitalization. And Dan Luo et al. identify one possible mechanism by which COVID-19 may cause heart problems. 

- Amy Janzwood discusses the immense financial and environmental costs of the TMX pipeline which the Libs have chosen to prioritize over anything which could actually reduce carbon pollution. And Eric Van Rythoven notes that the spread of carbon tariffs among countries who don't share the Cons' denial of climate science would render Pierre Poilievre's anti-pricing sloganeering completely ineffective. 

- Marissa Alexander and Wade Thorhaug discuss how soaring food prices are the result of corporate control over the our food supply. And David Wainer points out that increased private equity involvement in U.S. health care has resulted in further ballooning costs in what was already a grossly unaffordable medical system.  

- Finally, Susan Jane Wright writes about the importance of taking to the streets in response to Danielle Smith's anti-democratic governance. But David Climenhaga notes that the UCP's contempt for voters includes a plan to dictate who's actually allowed to cast a ballot in order to have a say in how they're governed. And Charles Rusnell warns that the Alberta Legislature appears to be going out of its way to hire disgraced violent former police officers to control one of the most important public spaces in the province. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Wednesday Night Cat Blogging

Blissed cat.

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Kate Raworth discusses the need to orient ourselves toward measures of progress based on well-being rather than growth - both due to its being intrinsically more important, and more sustainable under conditions of dwindling environmental resources. And Sonali Kolhatkar laments the U.S.' choice - largely paralleled in Canada - between a party determined to accelerate the climate breakdown and one which promises little improvement beyond a slower death. 

- Laura Cozzi and Apostolos Petropoulos highlight how larger SUVs are one of the major contributors to increases in carbon pollution. Matthew Taylor reports on a new study showing the racial and class dynamics behind greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, with wealthy white men as by far the worst class of polluters. And Karl Bode discusses how the U.S. has passed legislation to close off one of the few tools available to hold the wealthiest few to account for their environmental destruction in the form of emissions from private jets.   

- Katrina Miller and Ryan Romard respond to a typical round of demands for austerity in the name of productivity by pointing out that it's inequality, not fair taxes, which results in stagnation and economic decay. 

- Finally, Kim Siever writes that we can't treat the ability of a worker to quit a single job as a remedy for a system designed for exploitation. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Novinite surveys the numerous countries facing unprecedented heat warnings as the most extreme effects of the climate crisis hit earlier in the year than ever before. And Matt Simon discusses the release of black carbon from wildfires as yet another dangerous climate feedback loop. 

- Emma Cooper-Smith and Hannah Lindell-Smith highlight how liquified natural gas is a climate menace rather than a solution. But Christopher Bonasia reports on a Con-affiliated lobby group's insistence on running ads which have been found to be misleading as their fossil fuel fanaticism outweighs any interest in accurate information, while Rob Miller calls out the oil and gas industry for its spin and propaganda seeking to expand dirty energy production and consumption alike. 

- Geraint Harvey and James Wallace point out that employers are consistent foisting the costs of neglecting workers' health and welfare on the public purse. And Adam King notes that the Trudeau Libs have rendered the right to strike nugatory for rail workers by using bureaucratic mechanisms to prevent unions from using their bargaining power. 

- Joan Westenberg discusses how trickle-down economics have always been a miserable failure toward their asserted goal of improving general welfare through wealth building - though they've worked wonders in concentrating the wealth that does exist in the hands of a perpetually greedier few. 

- Finally, Elizabeth Smythe examines how the UCP is following a worn and predictable playbook to dismantle democracy. 

Monday, May 27, 2024

Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Leslie Sattler discusses new research showing that carbon concentrations are continuing to increase by record amounts. David King writes about the immediate and large-scale changes needed to avert an imminent climate catastrophe. And Mohammed Muizzi writes about the existential threat facing the Maldives and other low-lying areas as a result of carbon pollution from wealthier countries.

- Cynthia McCormick Hibbert points out a new study suggesting that the environmental harms of microplastics may include reducing the ability of oceans to absorb atmospheric carbon. Zoe Schlanger discusses Maine's attempt to respond to the ubiquitous threat of PFA "forever chemicals" in water. And Sattler also notes that sandwich bags are rife with PFAs. 

- Meanwhile, Carl Meyer reports on the attempt by the tar sands-based Pathways Alliance to both evade any environmental assessments for planned megaprojects, and help itself to massive amounts of public money in the process. 

- Caitlin Owens discusses the mental health crisis which may have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but which continues to hamper wide swaths of people. And Jonathan Ore writes about the "great exhaustion" arising out of a combination of work and social stressors.  

- Aaron Wherry writes about Food Banks Canada's report card indicating that the Libs are barely treading water in ameliorating poverty (while right-wing provincial governments are doing no better and the Cons are bent on making matters even worse). And Thom Hartmann highlights the U.S. Republicans' "mudsill" theory which relies on a trapped underclass of labour to further enrich the already-wealthy. 

- Finally, Timothy Cooke writes about Josh Chernofsky's escape from the alt-right's cult.