Friday, June 21, 2024

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jennifer Sandlin discusses a new analysis showing how COVID-19 infections lead to numerous other types of infectious diseases, while Devika Rao writes about the medical recognition that they may also increase the risk of cancers. And Sam Wollaston offers Natacha Gray's account of the realities of life with long COVID. 

- Meanwhile, Andre Picard writes about a new report warning that we don't appear to have learned much about public health responses from COVID. And Luke Andrews reports on expert warnings that the CDC is flying blind in failing to work on testing as a dangerous bird flu spreads. 

- Danyaal Raza discusses a new World Health Organization report finding that corporate greed is the direct cause of millions of preventable deaths annually. Jessica Ray takes note of the ubiquity of "forever chemicals" in U.S. drinking water - as well as the lack of any apparent plan to address it other than telling people to filter their own water. And Beatrice Olivastri, Fe de Leon and Laura Bowman question why the Libs are dismantling a planned pesticide monitoring program. 

- David Macdonald and Jon Milton point out that contrary to the contrived outrage of the Cons and their corporate puppeteers, Canada's last increase in capital gains inclusion rates was followed by a doubling of investment. And Macdonald discusses the fundamental unfairness of giving capital returns any preferential treatment over wages. 

- Finally, Robert Reich writes that Joe Biden should welcome the hatred of plutocrats who think they're entitled to have government used as an instrument to further their already-unconscionable wealth and power. And the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce's child labour plans provide just one example of the type of anti-social position people will be happy to reject. 

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Bill Henderson writes that the immense temperature increases we've already seen - and the resulting spread of extreme weather events and other catastrophic consequences - should serve as a wake-up call for anybody still trying to hit the snooze button on climate action. But Maya Goodfellow discusses Tad DeLay's concern that we're in denial of how much damage has already been done. Similarly, Paul Abela warns that we may already be past the point where it's possible to reduce emissions in time to stay within tolerable temperature levels - particularly with so much money and power being applied to try to continue the dirty energy business as usual. And on that front, David Climenhaga discusses Danielle Smith's double bet against the future, as she seeks to confiscate Alberta's savings and divert the funds toward fossil fuel projects that are seen as dead losers even by the corporations currently making their money off of oil and gas.  

- But lest anybody think denialism in any way reflects what the public wants as opposed to the complete capture of power by capital, Damian Carrington reports on a UN poll showing that even in petrostates a strong majority of people want to see a rapid transition to clean energy. Justin Worland discusses how consumers want and expect the corporate sector which limits consumer choices to do far more to fight the climate crisis. And Dhitri Gupta points out that developer reticence is making it difficult to convert Toronto's housing stock to carbon neutrality - though it bears mention that the perceived need to cater to those same developers is itself something which could be changed.  

- Steve Genco examines what it means to talk about (and plan for) civilizational collapse, while Nitish Patwa discusses the multiple effects of the climate breakdown in progress. The Energy Mix reports on the move to establish "chief heat officer" positions at the municipal level to help alleviate the dangers at a local level. And Drew Anderson notes that Calgary (among other Canadian cities) can learn from the experiences of other areas which have seen their water supplies dry up due to the climate crisis. 

- Inayat Singh reports on one of the most stark consequences of the current North American heat wave, as monkeys are falling dead out of trees in Mexico due to unprecedented temperatures. 

- Finally, Fiona Harvey reports on new research showing that thousands of children under five are dying every day due to air pollution, making it the second-largest cause of death for young children around the globe. 

[Edit: fixed wording.]

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Marianne Cooper and Maxim Voronov optimistically suggest that our state of denial surrounding the climate crisis and other collective action problems can't get any deeper. 

- But Julia Steinberger examines the array of wealth and power dedicated to pushing perpetually-increasing extraction regardless of the environmental damage it causes. Jack Marley writes about the manipulative and deceptive nature of fossil fuel advertising (which of course Canada's establishment is determined to push and echo at every turn). Arno Kopecky discusses the risk that the fossil fuel-funded far right will get to set the limits on any climate action. And Michael Harris warns that Canada is far from immune from the rise of violent fascist politics in Europe and the U.S.

- Martin Guttridge-Hewitt writes about the possibility that weather reports could systematically include a mention of climate impacts so people's day-to-day experiences aren't detached from the carbon pollution which is altering our living environment. Meryl Davids Landau points out how the climate crisis is affecting our brains. And Anna Pivovarchuk highlights how climate scientists are increasingly turning to direct action in an effort to avert a readily-foreseeable catastrophe. 

- Meanwhile, Amanda Stephenson reports on Deloitte's conclusion that even applying the self-serving standards set by the oil and gas industry, it's impossible for Canada to meet existing climate commitments without reducing our fossil fuel extraction. And Carl Meyer reports that RBC is starting to face pressure to acknowledge and respond to its role in financing climate destruction. 

- Finally, Andrew Gregory reports on new research showing the absolute declines in well-being for children in the UK who are shorter, sicker and more prone to obesity than earlier cohorts. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Tuckered-out cat.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Thom Hartmann discusses how the selfish preferences of billionaires are almost invariably winning out over the public interest in the U.S. due in part to the treatment of advertising dollars as the most vigorously-protected form of speech. Jim Stanford highlights the obvious flaws in the spin being used by the uber-wealthy to oppose paying a slightly more fair share of taxes off of their capital gains.  And Arthur Nelson reports on the less-than-surprising finding that fossil fuel firms have used corporate trade agreements to impose their wishes on governments. 

- Meanwhile, Steve Ruvakina reports on the finding of the Institut de recherche et d'informations socio├ęconomiques that deregulation will do nothing to solve a housing crisis caused by the inherent reality that for-profit developers make more money building houses that most people can't afford.

- Jenaye Johnson discusses how extreme temperatures and other climate calamities are harming the mental health of children. And Denise Balkissoon writes that the combination of heat and smoke is making it unsafe for children to be outside for much of any given summer. 

- Stephen Maher examines how the ineffective government response to the Flu Trux Klan was the result of an utter failure to recognize the nature of the threat. And Bill Graveland reports on the testimony from a convoy murder conspiracy trial has revealed the participation of Edmonton police officers in the violent resistance to public health measures. 

- Finally, Aiden Simardone discusses how Pierre Poilievre is threatening the end of guaranteed rights and freedoms in Canada to serve the interests of those with high property values. 

Monday, June 17, 2024

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Monica Curtis offers a reminder that even from the standpoint of a blinkered fixation on limiting costs, we're better off working to avert a climate breakdown rather than suffering its effects. Kenza Bryan reports on Swiss Re's warning that large areas are becoming uninsurable. And Jeff Goodell discusses the impending heat and other extreme conditions which keep climate scientists up at night even as they're blithely disregarded by petropoliticians.  

- Meanwhile, Sam Meredith reports on the IEA's projections showing an imminent decline in fossil fuel demand. And Oliver Vardakoulias and Giulia Nardi highlight how handouts to the oil sector don't produce the intended results for anybody but oil barons.  

- John Michael McGrath discusses how planning processes which don't recognize the importance of meeting the right to housing represent one of the main barriers to any attempt to give effect to that right. And Samantha Beattie reports on the nine-figure liabilities left over from Ontario landlords who turned large investments into personal benefits.  

- Finally, Jess Reia discusses the biases which result when the definition of "disorder" is set by the wealthy and privileged. And Crawford Kilian points out that there are plenty of sources of disinformation and foreign interference in Canadian politics beyond the ones investigated by Parliament's national security committee.