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Listen to the Drilled Podcast on Climate Denial

Posted  August 7, 2020  by  Anonymous
Drilled logo

Read time: 1 min

You thought you knew the story of climate denial, but what about its connection to cigarette filter tips or public broadcasting? Listen to the Drilled podcast and you’ll learn fascinating new details about the propaganda campaign of the century: the creation of climate denial.

Full Story »

 
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Long-time Contrarian Michael Shellenberger Is a Republican Star Witness in Climate Hearings

Posted  August 6, 2020  by  Anonymous
Michael Shellenberger

Read time: 8 mins

Fresh off the publication of his new book Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, Michael Shellenberger — a self-described Democrat and climate activist who nevertheless purports that climate concerns are overhyped — is now making the rounds as a Republican minority witness in congressional committee hearings on climate change.

A week after testifying to the House Select Committee on Climate Change and subsequently complaining that he was “smeared” by several Democratic committee members, Shellenberger appeared, again as a GOP witness, before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, August 5 in a hearing titled “The Devastating Health Impacts of Climate Change.”

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Big Oil Knew Climate Change Could Be ‘Catastrophic.’ Study Shows Heat Could Become Deadlier Than Infectious Diseases

Posted  August 4, 2020  by  Anonymous
US Army medics attending to a Guatemalan woman passed out from heatstroke

Read time: 6 mins

More than a half century ago, the oil industry’s top lobbyist warned his peers of the potentially “catastrophic consequences” of burning fossil fuels, consequences that are already starting to unfold as historic heat scorches Siberia and bakes the Middle East this summer. Extreme heat is among the deadliest consequences of global warming, and a new study tallies just how deadly it could become if climate pollution continues unabated.

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Canada’s Obesity In Adults: A Clinical Practice Guideline, Released Today, A Huge Step Forward

Posted  August 4, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

I’m proud to have played a small part in the release of today’s Obesity In Adults: A Clinical Practice Guideline as it is the first (I think, though I’m biased) to truly take a patient-centred approach while simultaneously treating obesity like a chronic disease

Not a small endeavour, this years long effort includes chapters never before seen in any other obesity treatment guideline including those on weight bias and stigma, virtual medicine, commercial weight loss programs, living with obesity, as well as issues specific to indigenous peoples.

It explicitly steers away from diet culture (but does speak to the need for individualized medical nutrition therapy), teaches readers that neither BMI nor weight measures the presence or absence of health and introduces them to the concept that obesity should be considered a chronic disease only when excess adiposity impairs health, and it recognizes that obesity is anything but a choice.

While going through the entirety of the guideline isn’t doable in a short blog post, here are the guideline’s overarching summary points:

  • Obesity is a prevalent, complex, progressive and relapsing chronic disease, characterized by abnormal or excessive body fat (adiposity), that impairs health.
  • People living with obesity face substantial bias and stigma, which contribute to increased morbidity and mortality independent of weight or body mass index.
  • This guideline update reflects substantial advances in the epidemiology, determinants, pathophysiology, assessment, prevention and treatment of obesity, and shifts the focus of obesity management toward improving patient-centred health outcomes, rather than weight loss alone.
  • Obesity care should be based on evidence-based principles of chronic disease management, must validate patients’ lived experiences, move beyond simplistic approaches of “eat less, move more,” and address the root drivers of obesity.
  • People living with obesity should have access to evidence-informed interventions, including medical nutrition therapy, physical activity, psychological interventions, pharmacotherapy and surgery.

Kudos to all of my fellow authors and especially to Dr. Sean Wharton the project’s chief cat wrangler.

To have a peek at the CMAJ’s published guideline summary, click here.

To access the guideline in its 19 chapter entirety, click here.

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Racism and Discrimination in the Oil and Gas Industry

Posted  August 2, 2020  by  Anonymous

Read time: 10 mins

With the recent focus on systemic racism in America, the oil and gas industry is depicting itself as leading on the issue of diversity in the workforce. However, its public relations efforts and slick advertisements do not reflect the industry’s actual behavior.

In early June, as protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police went global, American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers released a statement vowing that America’s most powerful fossil fuel lobbying organization “has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.” 

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August funny

Posted  August 2, 2020  by  Anonymous

OK, its been one of those weeks, so here’s some funny stuff:

My son is wearing a MAGMA cap and a Vote Trump 2020 button. He’s been spat on, punched and verbally abused. I hate to think what will happen when he leaves the house.

— Humanist. (@kennuck) August 1, 2020

I sunburn easily. https://t.co/k9APKRxFn9

— Brent Butt (@BrentButt) August 2, 2020

Republican politician Louie Gohmert, who claims to have caught COVID-19 from wearing a mask, is now claiming he got pregnant after several people told him to go fuck himself.

— Middle Age Riot (@middleageriot) July 30, 2020

If you are not wearing a mask because you are afraid your brain won’t get enough oxygen, I’m sorry to tell you, that ship has sailed.

— Chip Franklin (@chipfranklin) July 29, 2020

“Jesus Christ, what’s Trump done NOW?” https://t.co/5ZhOGjnKWr

— Harry Turtledove (@HNTurtledove) July 24, 2020

#MeanwhileInCanada pic.twitter.com/tY1gFbE1f6

— Meanwhile in Canada (@MeanwhileinCana) July 30, 2020

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Fossil Fuel Industry Engaging in ‘Pervasive Fraud’ that Threatens Global Economy, Report Warns

Posted  July 31, 2020  by  Anonymous

Read time: 5 mins

Warning of an impending financial implosion driven largely by fossil fuel industry deception, a recent report calls on fossil fuel insiders and other potential whistleblowers to help expose and prosecute this fraud.

According to this new report from the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) published July 23, fossil fuel executives’ deception on the financial risks of climate change—to their business and the economy at large—is widespread and is likely actionable fraud, meaning that further securities fraud lawsuits against companies like ExxonMobil should be expected particularly if whistleblowers come forward to work with financial regulators and prosecutors.

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Historic Supreme Court Verdict Means Ireland’s Government Must Increase Climate Ambition

Posted  July 31, 2020  by  Anonymous
Climate Case Ireland campaigners

Read time: 4 mins

The Supreme Court of Ireland has ruled in favour of an environmental group challenging the Irish government’s climate plans, finding its policies did not meet legal requirements for detailing how the country will meet emissions-reduction targets.

The decision is only the second time a country’s highest court has required a national government to reform its climate policy in order to meet legal obligations.

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As Trump Leaves Permian Oilfield, Industry Insiders Question If 2020 Bust Marks Texas Oil’s Last Big Boom

Posted  July 30, 2020  by  Sharon Kelly

Read time: 11 mins

Yesterday, President Trump left Midland, Texas, after arriving in the state’s Permian oilfield region for a $2,800 a plate luncheon and a “roundtable” that required each participant to pony up $100,000.

The west Texas Mr. Trump left behind bears little resemblance to the region as it was when he first took office in January 2017, as the shale rush resumed following 2016’s oil price plunge.

Tags: 
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Mainstream News Prioritises Big Business and Opponents of Climate Action – Study

Posted  July 29, 2020  by  Anonymous

Read time: 3 minsStatements from large business associations and opponents of climate action are twice as likely to be included in climate change coverage by national newspapers than pro-climate action messaging, according to a new study.Tags: cli…

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Unplugged: How the Gas Industry Is Fighting Efforts to Electrify Buildings

Posted  July 28, 2020  by  Anonymous

Read time: 21 mins

Just over a year ago, the city of Berkeley, California, passed into law a first-in-the-nation ordinance prohibiting natural gas hookups in new buildings, a move that alarmed the gas industry. This alarm has since boiled over into a full-fledged opposition campaign to counter the rising tide of similar measures meant to restrict gas in favor of constructing all-electric buildings and cutting carbon pollution.

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FirstEnergy Scandal is Latest Example of Utility Corruption, Deceit

Posted  July 26, 2020  by  guest

Read time: 13 mins

By Matt Kasper, originally published at Energy and Policy Institute

Federal agents arrested Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder, along with several lobbyists, on July 21 on charges that the group used $60 million of funds provided by the monopoly utility FirstEnergy Corp. in exchange for passing a law that bailed out that company’s nuclear and coal plants. 

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Button, button, who’s got the button?

Posted  July 26, 2020  by  Anonymous

Well, this is a little strange. 

Today the Globe and Mail published a story about how Canada’s pandemic early warning system within the Public Health Agency of Canada has been muzzled under the Harper Conservatives in 2014, and how the Liberals had said they would change this but then they never did. So as a result, the epidemiologists in the early warning system, called the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), were silenced just when Canada needed them the most.
Other than not actually telling us which the individuals or offices are responsible for the muzzling, its an explosive article:
Early detection is as much an art as it is a science. 
The disease is hiding, but the signals are detectable. 
Acting quickly can have a big impact on the outcome. With COVID-19, the signals began small, but grew louder. 
 “We all had enough warning,” she said. “We saw what happened in China, in Italy,” Dr. St. John agrees. “The signal was there,” he said. 
 However, few people outside GPHIN knew Canada’s early warning alert system had effectively stopped working, just when it was needed most. 
When Ms. Thornton, the vice-president in charge of the alerts, appeared before a House of Commons committee in May to face questions about Canada’s handling of the pandemic, she was asked how the government had tracked the spread of the virus. 
 Ms. Thornton referenced GPHIN and the work it did. Though she made no mention that GPHIN had not issued a single alert in the previous 12 months. Nor did she mention that analysts had been assigned to other work, or that GPHIN had not sounded any further alarms on COVID-19 developments after the outbreak became known – even though the department’s own guidelines required as much.
As far as the committee knew, Canada’s surveillance system had been operating as it always had. 
 It’s not easy to know the consequences of such decisions, but Mr. Garner, the former senior science adviser at Public Health, says he believes Canada’s early response to the outbreak – which has been criticized for being slow and disorganized – was a product of the many changes he saw made to the department. 
 Those changes helped move Public Health’s focus away from science, he said, which slowed down its ability to react effectively – and with maximum urgency. 
 “All of these things have tragically come home to roost,” Mr. Garner said. 
 “Not to be overdramatic, but Canadians have died because of this.” 
A pretty damning indictment of the Public Health Agency of Canada, and of the Canadian government.
But then I also found this: in April, the CBC published a story that said GPHIN had been undergoing a technical upgrade in 2019, and that’s why it hadn’t issued alerts about COVID19 until the end of December.

CBC News has obtained a series of internal public health agency documents and slide-presentation decks — including one given by a senior epidemiologist from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) last November on the eve of a pandemic that has since killed tens of thousands and crippled the world economy. 

The documents bring into sharper focus the kind of information key decision-makers had at their fingertips as the outbreak started in China and raise questions about how seriously global pandemic preparedness was being taken within the federal government. 
The records show GPHIN was in the middle of a long-overdue technology upgrade as the virus was spreading. 
Despite almost four years of work with the National Research Council of Canada, the early warning system was — as of last fall — still in need of “improvement in the geographical and time tagging algorithm,” according to a Nov 12, 2019 presentation to a WHO conference in Seoul, South Korea by senior epidemiologist Florence Tanguay. 
That algorithm is crucial to the system’s ability to sort through as many as 7,000 online articles per day to spot disease outbreaks around the globe. 
The network also was awaiting an “expansion to new data sources,” such as social media feeds. 
From its inception in the late 1990s, GPHIN had relied on news wire services and later local media articles posted online.
So now I’m not sure what was going on in Canada last January and February.  
Maybe GPHIN was issuing timely and accurate reports on the emerging virus but Public Health Canada was minimizing their analysis and not sending the reports up the ladder to government. 
Or maybe because GPHIN was basing its alerts on wire services, its reports were no longer regarded as reliable enough for PHAC and government to count on.
Either way, it does sound like somebody maybe dropped the ball, doesn’t it?
And I hope there might now be some attempt to figure out what really happened.
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Trump’s Golden Era of Energy Is Turning to Lead

Posted  July 25, 2020  by  Anonymous
 A drilling rig on a former ranch outside of Barstow, Texas, in the Permian Basin

Read time: 9 mins

It was just over a year ago that President Trump announced, “The golden era of American energy is now underway,” saying that his policies focused on exploiting oil, gas, and coal were “unleashing energy dominance.” 

What a difference a year makes. On July 10, the Financial Times ran an article with a headline that asked, “Is the party finally over for U.S. oil and gas?” And there is no doubt that it has been quite a party for the last decade. At least, for the fracking executives who have enriched themselves while losing hundreds of billions of dollars investors gave them to produce oil and gas. Meanwhile, profits never materialized.

Lately, prospects for the broader fossil fuel industry look more like lead than gold.

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Following Lawsuit, Formosa Agrees to Hold Major Construction on One of Largest Planned US Plastics Plants Until 2021

Posted  July 24, 2020  by  Anonymous
Sharon Lavigne speaking at the Juneteenth ceremony at the location of a former burial ground for enslaved African Americans on the site where Formosa plans to build a petrochemical complex.

Read time: 6 mins

Back in late March, Formosa Plastics broke ground on its $9.4 billion plastics and petrochemical project in St. James, Louisiana, which the company has dubbed the “Sunshine Project.”

Today, the company agreed to limit its construction activities until early next year, under a legal agreement reached with several community and environmental organizations who had filed a lawsuit last week. Major construction activities at the site will not move forward until February 2021 under the terms of today’s agreement, with the company required to provide monthly status reports including photographs of work underway and completed.

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Analysis: Aviation Industry Coronavirus Bailouts Contradict Governments’ Climate Commitments

Posted  July 23, 2020  by  Anonymous

Read time: 17 mins

Is the chance for a green recovery flying by?

Despite governments around the world claiming they want to support low-carbon industries in the wake of COVID-19, many have prioritised airlines and plane manufacturers for bailouts with no green strings attached — giving or lending money to some of the world’s biggest polluters.

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Whose Allegiance? Three Percenters Militia Working in Bakken Oil Patch Raises Concerns of Domestic Terrorism Risk

Posted  July 21, 2020  by  Anonymous
New Orleans, August 19, 2017. A Three Percenter flag is visible as counter-protesters and protesters clash at the end of a march and rally opposing white supremacy and held in solidarity with Charlottesville

Read time: 28 mins

The Three Percenters, a loosely organized group of far-right militants, appear to have established a significant presence in North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield, one of the most productive oilfields in the nation. “There is a lot of membership in the oil and gas industry up there,” says Matt Marshall, a Three Percenter running for state legislature in Washington. “The fact that you have a lot of Three Percenters working in the oilfields of North Dakota is not surprising.”

The Three Percenters are so named for the dubious historical claim that only three percent of American colonists took up arms in the Revolutionary War. Their adherents have frequently been involved with incidents of ​armed protests, hate speech, and ​threatening behavior across the U.S., and the group’s members have shown up prominently at recent protests related to both pandemic response measures and police brutality.

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Messenger of the gods

Posted  July 19, 2020  by  Anonymous

The last time Comet NEOWISE was visible in our sky, Stonehenge had not yet been built.Comets used to be seen as messengers of the gods, sent to tell us something important. This time, maybe its just “wear a mask and keep your distance!”

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Disaster Recovery Expert Russel Honoré Decries the Lack of Coordinated Response to COVID-19

Posted  July 17, 2020  by  Julie Dermansky
Courtney Baloney removing a flag from the casket of a veteran, who died from the coronavirus, to give to a family member after carefully folding it.

Read time: 12 mins

Having no nationwide testing and contact tracing protocol several months into the pandemic is taking its toll in Louisiana, and especially in its predominantly African-American communities in Cancer Alley.

It pains retired Lt. General Russel Honoré to watch the United States lose the war against COVID-19, but it does not surprise him. A federal disaster response expert, Honoré coordinated military relief efforts in New Orleans and across the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and is credited with restoring order to the city. He has advocated for the federal government to tap the military to set up COVID-19 testing and contact tracing nationwide since the pandemic began spreading rapidly across the United States. 

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Court Rules Bayou Bridge Pipeline ‘Trampled’ Rights of Louisiana Landowners

Posted  July 17, 2020  by  Anonymous
Dean Wilson, executive director of the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, on the plaintiffs’ land in the basin.

Read time: 4 mins

A Louisiana state appeals court has ruled that the Bayou Bridge Pipeline Company illegally “trampled” on the rights of landowners by starting pipeline construction without the landowners’ permission. The pipeline company must pay the landowners $10,000 each plus attorneys fees.

This is a victory not only for us but for all landowners,” said Theda Larson Wright, one of the three Louisiana landowners who sued Bayou Bridge Pipeline Company (BBP) in September 2018. “All over the country, pipeline companies have destroyed people’s land, often without even attempting to get permission, and dared the landowners to speak up. Well, we did. I hope this victory will encourage many others to as well.”

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Bankers and Investors Finding Fracking Industry’s Underlying Models Prove Overly Optimistic

Posted  July 17, 2020  by  Anonymous
Dozens of drilling rigs are stacked at the Patterson-UTI yard in Midland, Texas after the oil price went negative on April 20, 2020. Midland, Texas. May 27, 2020.

Read time: 15 mins

Warren Buffet has a famous quote about investing: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” 

When it comes to his $10 billion investment in Occidental Petroleum, Buffett will need to take that one to heart now that other investors have sued Occidental for the merger financed in part by Buffet’s stake, alleging that the amount of debt required for Occidental to merge with Anadarko left the company “precariously exposed” if oil prices went lower. They cited the billions that Buffett invested in the deal as compounding this risk. 

The fracking industry doesn’t care that you’re a world-famous investment sage: It destroys all capital. 

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Industry Groups Sued EPA Over Obama Ozone Standards. Under Trump, They Support Them

Posted  July 14, 2020  by  Anonymous
Andrew Wheeler

Read time: 6 mins

Large business and industry associations representing the fossil fuel industry welcomed a July 13 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement that the agency would not be strengthening air quality standards for ozone pollution, the main ingredient in smog.

Ironically, some of these same groups previously fought in court against those standards when they were set in 2015 during the Obama administration — the same standards they are now praising. That legal challenge was unsuccessful.

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Report: Push for Renewable Natural Gas Is More Gas Industry ‘Greenwashing’

Posted  July 14, 2020  by  Anonymous
SoCalGas biogas demo project in Escondido, California

Read time: 9 mins

“Renewable natural gas,” or RNG, is an alternative gas fuel that comes from landfills, manure, or synthetic processes. That’s opposed to the fossil gas that drillers traditionally pump out of underground reserves in oil and gas fields.

With “renewable” in the name, it may sound like a promising alternative to the fossil-based “natural” gas commonly used for heating and cooking in buildings. According to a new report from Earthjustice and Sierra Club, however, these fuels pitched as “renewable ” and environmentally friendly alternatives to fossil gas amount to a PR campaign meant to distract from efforts to convert the building sector to all electric power.

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Global Push for LNG Creates ‘Gas Bubble’ That Could Bust

Posted  July 13, 2020  by  Anonymous
Wet'suwet'en Solidarity Event - Rail Yard near Pioneer Village Station Blockaded - Vaughan, Toronto, Ontario - February 15, 2020

Read time: 8 mins

Earlier this year, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway pulled out of a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Saguenay, Quebec. The project developer cited the “current Canadian political context” as the reason why Berkshire Hathaway bailed on them, including recent rail blockades led by hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in British Columbia.

The rail blockades targeted an entirely separate fossil fuel project — TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline, which would cross unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. The protests rapidly spread around the country, with students, environmental groups, and other First Nations joining the rail blockades in solidarity.

While far from British Columbia, the actions spooked investors in Energie Saguenay LNG. Without Berkshire Hathaway’s promised $4 billion investment, the project has stalled.

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How Canadian is this scandal, really?

Posted  July 13, 2020  by  Anonymous

So I guess the Globe and Mail thinks we’re supposed to be outraged now that prominent Canadians have raised money for an outstanding charity

What a typically Canadian scandal this is. 
I guess only non-entities like me are ever supposed to raise money for charities – over the years I have given a few bucks to the Saskatoon Food Bank and the Canadian Wildlife Federation, and I went door-to-door for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and for Diabetes Canada.  
So as far as the Globe and Mail is concerned, that’s OK as long as I never achieve any public prominence or get active in politics years after. 
Because hey, how dare people like Katie Telford and Seamus O’Regan, back in 2010, years before they were involved in politics, volunteer to work on creating artworks in developing countries, to support a charity then called Free The Children which later morphed into WE Charity and then later still got money from the feds to run a gigantic volunteer effort to give Canadian university students some support during COVID summer. 
Can’t have that.  This corruption must be STOPPED I tell you! And The Globe and Mail is ON IT!
I guess if I ever do become a cabinet minister or something, I’ll have to make very very sure that I never never have anything to do with any decisions around funding for, say, the Heart and Stroke Foundation. After all, I could be charged with having an awful and corrupt conflict of interest, I guess.

What I learned about Canadian politics this week: charities that administer services to young people bear a level of scrutiny that a pipeline company given billions from the Alberta taxpayer for Keystone (which will never be built) doesn’t have to face#cdnpoli

— DJ Chocolate Milk (@DJChocolateMLK) July 11, 2020

I would think that sometime next week, or maybe the week after, we will start seeing news stories with Conservatives and NDP expressing deep deep concern for the horrible situation of Canadian post-secondary students, with lots of hand wringing about what in the world they are going to do for money to pay tuition this fall. Somehow, its all going to be Trudeau’s fault again of course. 

Oh gag me with a spoon.
Trudeau’s Canada Student Service Grant idea was a good one, innovative and useful, another Trudeau success. 
Oh, can’t have that.  Not during a Conservative leadership campaign, when they were all just desperate to knock the Liberals off their perch at a time when Trudeau is so popular across Canada and around the world. It had to be trashed, and trashed it has been.
Of course they had to trash an outstanding Canadian children’s charity while they were at it, but can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.
So what can be done now? Well, nothing. I might be wrong but I think its too late to fix it this summer.  
Trudeau should just expand CERB eligibility to anyone who intends to go to school in the fall.  Move the Student Service Grant funds into the CERB budget, and let students claim the benefit for July and August, and just be done with it.  I think they would each get about $4,000, which would be something.
And he can urge them to volunteer somewhere, too. Maybe the service grant program can continue in the fall and winter, when government staff will have the time to run it.
Ending this post on a more cheerful note, here’s some funny:

REASONS TO NOT WEAR A FACE MASK pic.twitter.com/Ah75mzSF24

— Brittlestar (@brittlestar) July 10, 2020

This is how the evolution of the desk works pic.twitter.com/1NcmZ17epV

— I Didn’t Know That (@lDidNotKnowThat) July 12, 2020

pic.twitter.com/mwYF8YYH6L

— NotHereForYourBS🇨🇦🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🦄🌈📚🎧☕️ (@1peculiarchik) July 13, 2020

You need this. We all need this. #LoveWins#FreshTweets @thegoodgodabove TY

pic.twitter.com/ug3KbTapWn

— Southern Sister Resister (@ResisterSis20) July 10, 2020

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Return of the Bomb Trains

Posted  July 12, 2020  by  Anonymous

Read time: 7 mins

On July 6th Reuters published an article on the potential for a resurgence of moving crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota across the country by rail, due to a judge’s decision to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline over permit issues.

July 6th also was the 7th anniversary of the disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec when a train full of Bakken oil from North Dakota derailed and exploded — resulting in 47 fatalities and the destruction of much of downtown Lac-Mégantic. 

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As Pandemic Toll Rises, Science Deniers in Louisiana Shun Masks, Comparing Health Measures to Nazi Germany

Posted  July 10, 2020  by  Julie Dermansky
Woman holding an anti-mask sign at a July 4 “Save America” rally in Baton Rouge.

Read time: 10 mins

Science denial in America didn’t begin with the Trump administration, but under the leadership of President Trump, it has blossomed. From the climate crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic, this rejection of scientific authority has become a hallmark of and cultural signal among many in conservative circles. This phenomenon has been on recent display in Louisiana, where a clear anti-mask sentiment has emerged in the streets and online even as COVID-19 cases rise.

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Energy Transfer Launches Appeals Following Court Order to Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline

Posted  July 9, 2020  by  Sharon Kelly
Dakota Access pipeline under construction

Read time: 8 mins

On Monday, July 6, a federal judge ordered the shutdown of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) by August 5. The move follows a March judgment that ordered the pipeline to undergo a more thorough environmental review.

However, Energy Transfer, the pipeline’s parent company, later revealed that the company was continuing to offer deals to oil companies to ship their product on DAPL during times when the pipeline is slated to be shut down. Today, the legal battle moved towards the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, after the judge denied a request to freeze the shutdown order.

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‘The Cost of Plastics Is Lives’: House Oversight Hearing Highlights Environmental Justice Burdens of Plastic Production

Posted  July 8, 2020  by  Anonymous
Environmental justice march in Cancer Alley in 2019

Read time: 6 mins

During a congressional hearing Tuesday, a plastics industry executive echoed a common refrain from the industry: “Plastic saves lives.”

However, for many communities of color living in close proximity to the petrochemical plants producing those plastics, the exact opposite is often true.

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Report: Global Climate Lawsuits Against Governments and Polluters on the Rise

Posted  July 7, 2020  by  Anonymous

Read time: 6 mins

Climate litigation is not going away any time soon.

Lawsuits demanding accountability and action on the existential threat of climate change continue to take hold across the world with some significant new developments and new cases emerging over the past year, according to a new report on trends in global climate change litigation.

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Celebrate

Posted  July 5, 2020  by  Anonymous

Trudeau’s uplifting message on Canada Day:

Canada is an amazing place to call home, and its people make it even better. We’re always there for each other – in good times and bad – and we always will be. And that’s worth celebrating. Happy Canada Day, everyone! https://t.co/SDC41cWOY0 pic.twitter.com/2OKNyxGEqe

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 1, 2020

Biden’s inspiring message on Independence Day:

Our nation was founded on a simple idea: We’re all created equal. We’ve never lived up to it — but we’ve never stopped trying. This Independence Day, let’s not just celebrate those words, let’s commit to finally fulfill them. Happy #FourthOfJuly! pic.twitter.com/1WrATlx8Xl

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 4, 2020

Here’s another good one, from Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Happy birthday, America. Thank you for letting me live the American Dream. We must fight every day to make sure that dream is as true for a Black child born in Minneapolis as it was for a white bodybuilder born in Austria. via @attn pic.twitter.com/rM95vb3twC

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) July 4, 2020

And nothing in either of Trump’s speeches is worth repeating. But here’s a summary, in case you missed them both:

As Frederick Douglass delivered a swiff and swippy victory in Operation Desert Storm in Vietnam, protected against the oranges of totalittotalitotarianism, with super duper missiles and stock rocket records. God bless the United Schates and rid us of Obamanacare.#TrumpIsUnwell

— Trent Capelli 🇨🇦 (@TrentCapelli) July 5, 2020

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Saturday Stories: No Heroes In Science, Selflessness, School Reopening, And Vaccine Developments

Posted  July 4, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Stuart Richie, in Unherd, reminds us why there should be no such thing as science heroes.

Wency Leung, in The Globe and Mail, discusses her decision to donate one of her kidneys to a stranger and reflects on selflessness in the time of COVID

Carl Zimmer, in The New York Times, on the phenomenon of COVID19 super spreaders.

Hilda Bastian, in her blog Absolutely Maybe, brings us up to date on all the developments in the race to the first COVID19 vaccine.

Sarah Cohodes, on Twitter (and you don’t need an account to read), with a terrific thread on considerations around school reopening.

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Oil Industry and Allies Look to Pump Brakes on Democrats’ Plans to Move Transportation Off Petroleum

Posted  July 2, 2020  by  Anonymous
Hybrid-electric truck charging

Read time: 8 mins

This week Congressional Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives put forward policies, including passing a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill on July 1, aimed at cleaning up the number one source of carbon pollution in America — the transportation sector. The oil and gas industry and its supporters quickly weighed in, framing “the critical role” of the industry in addressing climate pollution and in some cases outright attacking these plans’ efforts to move away from petroleum-powered transport.

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Error by Mining Giant Anglo American Undermines its Promise of No Glacier Impacts for $3bn Chilean Copper Project

Posted  July 2, 2020  by  Anonymous
Protesters against Anglo American's Los Bronces mine expansion in Santiago on Sept 27, 2019

Read time: 12 mins

Anglo American has undermined its plans for a controversial US$3 billion copper mine expansion beneath a Chilean nature sanctuary, 52 kilometres (32 miles) above Santiago in the Andean foothills. The multinational mining giant revealed an embarrassing technical blunder in its response to shareholders this May. According to Anglo American’s Environmental Impact Study (Spanish) released in July 2019, the first of six central design criteria for its Los Bronces underground mine expansion is avoiding impact to nearby glaciers, a critical freshwater supply already threatened by the climate crisis.

However, the mine’s design, DeSmog can now reveal, uses an entirely unrelated contamination measure for estimating impact to glaciers.

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In the Shadow of Shuttered Philadelphia Refinery, Neighbors Recall Those Lost to Decades of Pollution

Posted  July 1, 2020  by  Sharon Kelly
PES Refinery fenceline memorial

Read time: 11 mins

The Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery was —until last year — the largest and oldest gasoline refinery on the East Coast. The week it was sold began with a community rally that also served as a makeshift memorial service.

On Monday, June 22, as Black Lives Matter protests continued nationwide, members of Philly Thrive, a local grassroots group, arrived outside the perimeter of the refinery complex in South Philadelphia. They posted “in memorium” placards bearing the names of deceased Philadelphians along the facility’s chainlink borders, handwritten fenceline memorials for departed members of the refinery’s fenceline community. Speakers that day recalled less the fiery explosion that tore through the plant one year earlier and more the long-term harms caused by decades of fossil fuel production in the majority Black neighborhood.

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Democrats’ New Climate Plan Says Polluters Shouldn’t Receive Immunity From Lawsuits for Climate Impacts

Posted  June 30, 2020  by  Anonymous
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a press conference about the new climate action agenda on June 30.

Read time: 5 mins

On Tuesday, June 30, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, released a comprehensive action plan for tackling climate change. 

Some environmental groups criticized the plan for lacking ambition and not directly targeting fossil fuel production. However, the Democrats’ agenda does support a powerful provision for holding fossil fuel companies accountable for their contributions to the disastrously warming planet: Not granting them legal immunity from Congress.

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