BlogsCanada.ca
Top Canadian Blogs and News Sites


 
 

 
General

Tweets of the Day

Posted February 28, 2020 by Anonymous

Here’s a Friday palate cleanser for ya:

— CCTV IDIOTS (@cctvidiots) February 27, 2020


Full Story »


 
Children

Canadian Donut Chain Launches Donut Flavoured Cereal And People Are Angry. Why I Think There Are Better Things (And Worse Cereals) To Be Angry About.

Posted January 9, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

So last week saw the Canadian launch of timbits cereal and as evidenced by the number of people have sent press releases about it to me, not everyone is pleased.

Timbits, for readers who don’t know, are donut holes from Canadian donut chain giant Tim Hortons.

People are upset because apparently this sugary cereal is over the top and somehow extra wrong or extra awful.

But why?

Tim Horton’s certainly isn’t in the business of protecting or promoting public health. Nor is Post Foods. Nor should anyone expect either to be.

Presumably the sugar is a concern for people, and at 17g per cup (4.25 teaspoons), it’s definitely not an insignificant amount, but it’s not more than many other sugary cereals, and is in fact less than Post Raisin Bran which packs 24% more sugar at 21g (5.25 teaspoons) per cup.

All this to say, it’s difficult to get angry with Tim Horton’s or Post Foods for trying to sell food as selling food is literally their only job, and frankly this food isn’t any worse than comparable foods they’re already selling.

So what should the cereal aisle make people angry about?

How about laxity in advertising laws that allows for cartoon characters to be festooned on boxes of sugary cereals and prey on children? Or laxity in front-of-packaging laws that allow Froot Loops boxes to brag about their whole grain or vitamin D content? Or the failure of our government to create a front-of-package warning system like the one that was enacted in Chile.

What would life in Canadian cereal aisles look like if we followed Chile’s lead?

Here’s Frosted Flakes before and after Chile’s laws came into effect

Sure looks great to me.

(And for the grammar police, ‘donut’ is how Tim Horton’s spells doughnut)

Full Story »

 
General

Coal Industry Group Asks Federal Lawmakers to Cut Funding for Black Lung Program, Citing COVID-19

Posted March 20, 2020 by Sharon Kelly

Read time: 5 mins

The National Mining Association (NMA) on Wednesday called on President Donald Trump and federal lawmakers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by cutting a tax used to support coal miners affected by black lung disease, to cut funding to clean up high-priority abandoned coal mine sites, and taking other steps that would financially benefit the coal mining industry.

Full Story »

 
Children

TikTok Is All About Fat Shaming These Days

Posted March 9, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

I was driving with my 13 year old daughter on Saturday and we were just chatting. I asked her what was trending these days on her TikTok stream (in the past she’d been served up antisemitism)? Apparently it’s fat shaming Lizzo.

I asked her to share some videos with me.

She sent over 10 in less than a minute.

Some representative examples to follow, but all this to say, TikTok, while hugely entertaining, is a cesspool of hate and bullying, and if your children use it, probably worth asking them every once in a while what’s trending on their streams so that you can take the time at least to talk about it.

@noahswitzer98

Everyone please ##stop making ##lizzo memes ##fyp

♬ original sound – noahswitzer98

@nickring4

When you lose Lizzo while your whale watching 😂 ##greenscreen ##lizzo ##meme ##xyzbca ##xyzcba ##joke ##fyp ##memes ##tiktokmemes ##comedy ##comedicgenius

♬ ITs ANIT new girlfriend of your ex – its_anit

@yaboyg35

##greenscreenvideo ##lizzo ##meme ##tacticalnuke ##mw2

♬ original sound – yaboyg35

Full Story »

 
General

Daughter Dearest

Posted December 9, 2019 by Anonymous

Hmmm — I’ve been saying for years that SOMEBODY in Trump’s inner circle is a Russian asset.  I am convinced that someone very close to him has been feeding him all the pro-Putin and pro-Russian stuff he has been parroting since 2016, convincing him that the Russian world-view is correct, leading him to say things like how unfair it is that Russia is out of the G7, etc.

Occasionally, Trump has actually done something anti-Russian, like announce new sanctions in retaliation for assassinations – maybe when the asset is out of town and isn’t whispering in his ear.  But then later Trump will almost always reverse himself and change his mind, indicating that the asset continues their subversion.

I have not been able to believe that Trump himself is the asset — he isn’t smart enough and his lies are often too self-delusional to be the kind of conscious falsehoods that a Russian asset would need to promote.

So now maybe we are finding out who the Russian asset might be: maybe its Ivanka.

Reaching out to someone like Steele and trying to develop/maintain a relationship w him is the kind of thing one might do if you were a Russian asset. https://t.co/IrKOQ60KwM

— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) December 9, 2019


NEW via @thamburger @PostRoz: Ivanka Trump was personal friends with former British spy Christopher Steele, according to person familiar with the situation https://t.co/h21YbomZO3

— Matea Gold (@mateagold) December 9, 2019


Full Story »

 
General

10 Million Americans Lost Their Jobs In Two Weeks Because of Coronavirus

Posted April 2, 2020 by Anonymous

Economists who study unemployment expected the new figures to be a bloodbath — but they didn’t think they would be this bad.

Full Story »

 
General

This Be The Verse

Posted December 19, 2019 by Anonymous

I find myself reading a number of the advice columnists these days. And as I read about all the problems people have with their families, I often think of this great poem:

This Be The Verseby Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

Someday I will share this with my own adult children, if I ever have the courage.

Full Story »

 
General

Why Public Health Experts Support These Youth Suing the US Government Over Climate Change

Posted March 25, 2020 by Anonymous
protesters at a "die-in" at COP25

Read time: 5 mins

Leading experts in the medical community, including two former U.S. Surgeons General, recently filed supporting briefs backing a youth climate lawsuit against the federal government because, like the current coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis poses “unprecedented threats to public health and safety.”

Full Story »

 
General

Scientists find fragment of ancient continent in northern Canada

Posted March 31, 2020 by Anonymous

Baffin Island, where a fragment of one of Earth’s ancient continents was found. (Photo: iStock)

The Earth’s ever-changing physical geography has intrigued humanity for centuries, with scientists working to explore the history of ancient landforms and how they diverged to form the continents we know today. Now, researchers in Canada can add a new piece to this puzzle.

Full Story »


 
General

“Send us your money and everything will be just fine”

Posted December 4, 2019 by Anonymous

I’m very glad to see that Canadian authorities are taking these scams seriously: A Burnaby, B.C., man has been identified as a suspect in an RCMP investigation into organized crime groups;accused of scamming Canadians by posing as Canada Revenue Agency…

Full Story »

 
General

Life In Scarborough: The Plague Journal, Day I

Posted March 12, 2020 by bigcitylib

This evening at the local Metro  I saw something resembling “panic buying”.  Not quite at that point. Nobody got violent.  More like the kind of lineups you see before the Superbowl or a long-weekend.  Except everyone, everyone, was…

Full Story »

 
General

Great tweets of the day, animal edition

Posted December 17, 2019 by Anonymous

Here are some good animal tweets:

— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) December 15, 2019

— Right Wing, Shoots Left 🍷🐓🏒🥅🌈 (@HILITINGHOCKEY) December 14, 2019

I can’t stop watching this. You really need the sound on. A perfect elixir to get Trump out of your head before bed!

pic.twitter.com/9dcuJqSKXv

— Mystery Solvent (@MysterySolvent) December 10, 2019

Any hope of getting my prowl on today is #BuriedUnderTheSnow. #CatsOfTwitter pic.twitter.com/nwk2mcxru5

— 🐾Beware of Dogma🐾 (@ellelljaytoo) November 16, 2019

ok its time again for this pup who was asked to ‘sit’ but was not asked to ‘stay’ and is just doing fine this pup is doing just fine if u ask me

(via https://t.co/oS1Qwthmkq) pic.twitter.com/9AsEKZxbqz

— darth™ (@darth) July 30, 2018

And one political one, of course:

an adult with the mental capacity of a child, wearing ill-fitting clothes and repeatedly making terrible choices, is put in a situation where global disaster occurs if he screws up

im talking about the movie Elf but makes u think kinda, right

— ho ho holesome content (@SortaBad) December 14, 2019


Full Story »

 
General

Court Rules EPA Can’t Keep Secret Key Model Used in Clean Car Rule Rollback

Posted April 1, 2020 by Anonymous
Andrew Wheeler

Read time: 3 mins

A federal appeals court ruled April 1 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had no basis to withhold one key part of a computer model used by the agency to develop its less stringent greenhouse gas emission standards for new vehicles. The ruling came just one day after EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a final rule rolling back clean car standards set under the Obama administration.

Full Story »

 
General

The big bad wolf?

Posted March 30, 2020 by Anonymous

Timber wolves in captivity

Timber wolves in captivity at the Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve’s Wolf Centre. The centre aims to educate the public about the animals and the role they play in their ecosystem. (Photo: Sharon Gallina/Can Geo Photo Club)

The year was in its last few bone-chilling hours when Peter Schleifenbaum got the call that a timber wolf from his 324-square-kilometre forest sanctuary near Haliburton, Ont., was on the loose. At first, he wasn’t too worried. Alarms like that happened every few months and, so far, all had been false.

Full Story »

 
Football

Does Tom Brady Think COVID-19 Was Sent to Make Us All ‘Chill Out’?

Posted April 2, 2020 by Anonymous

“Maybe the world is telling us to slow down a little bit, you know?” he said.

Full Story »

 
General

‘Yoga With Adriene’ On Her Rising Popularity During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted April 2, 2020 by Anonymous

As more people are trying to stay healthy while not being able to leave their homes, YouTube’s yoga star becomes more popular than ever.

Full Story »

 
General

Its the Year of the Optometrist!

Posted January 1, 2020 by Anonymous
People around the world are celebrating 2020 – which my husband calls The Year of the Optometrist.
Singapore, with 500 performing drones
New Year’s Eve - Singapore
Australia
Philippines
India
Kenya
London
Photos from the New York Times.
And from Twitter:
Image
Couldn’t resist this tweet:

“I’m going to learn the flute and write my novel this year”

dude if we aren’t bartering dried beans and ammo with the last person who remembers how to make antibiotics in a year let’s call it a win

— Mass for Shut-ins (is a podcast) (@edburmila) December 31, 2019


Full Story »

 
General

Exxon Now Wants to Write the Rules for Regulating Methane Emissions

Posted March 16, 2020 by Anonymous
A compressor station along newly constructed pipeline in Loving County, Texas.

Read time: 10 mins

ExxonMobil is a company capable of contradictions. It has been lobbying against government efforts to address climate change while running ads touting its own efforts to do so.

And while the oil giant has been responsible for massive methane releases, Exxon has now proposed a new regulatory framework for cutting emissions of this powerful greenhouse gas that it hopes regulators and industry will adopt. As Exxon put it, the goal is to achieve “cost-effective and reasonable methane-emission regulations.”

So, why is Exxon asking to be regulated?

Full Story »


 
General

Canadian scene

Posted December 31, 2019 by Anonymous
A few Canadian tweets to finish out the year:

Only in Canada eh https://t.co/AQwmru6GOs

— Raging🇨🇦Granny/ Resistor & Team Trudeau (@RagingLibNana) December 30, 2019

Exactly five years ago today, I moved from Nigeria to Canada and my life changed forever. That’s it. That’s the tweet.

— ufuoma (@theufuoma) December 31, 2019

Happy Birthday to The Guess Who singer songwriter, keyboardist and guitarist Burton Cummings, born on this day in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1947. 🎉🎂🎶🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/neqOAs6nWf

— Purple Beacon (@BeaconPurple) December 31, 2019

Crime is getting out of hand! https://t.co/Po7f2QjNYU

— Meanwhile in Canada (@MeanwhileinCana) December 31, 2019



Full Story »

 
General

Courage is found in unlikely places

Posted March 18, 2020 by Anonymous

Things are awful and they’re going to get worse – the economy is going to tank, maybe worse than it did in 2008, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to lose their jobs. 

To understand why the world economy is in grave peril because of the spread of coronavirus, it helps to grasp one idea that is at once blindingly obvious and sneakily profound.
One person’s spending is another person’s income. That, in a single sentence, is what the $87 trillion global economy is.That relationship, between spending and income, consumption and production, is at the core of how a capitalist economy works. It is the basis of a perpetual motion machine. We buy the things we want and need, and in exchange give money to the people who produced those things, who in turn use that money to buy the things they want and need, and so on, forever.
What is so deeply worrying about the potential economic ripple effects of the virus is that it requires this perpetual motion machine to come to a near-complete stop across large chunks of the economy, for an indeterminate period of time.

In spite of the billions that governments will spend to prop up the economy, our standard of living is going to decline. Or at least it will FEEL like it is declining — we won’t have the restaurants around anymore that we used to love, we won’t be getting the variety and quality of food we are used to seeing in grocery stores because the agricultural and shipping industries are going to be in such disarray, we won’t have sports or new TV shows or new movies or touring theatre companies or concerts or community events. For many of us, our retirement savings are taking a hit that we won’t be able to recover. 
Not to mention, of course, the hundreds of thousands around the world who will get sick, and the tens of thousands who will die in the next 18 months to two years, before a COVID vaccine can be developed and put into production and reach the market.
Goodbye yellow brick road, yes indeed.
Someday maybe we will say “I remember when you could walk into a store and buy bananas any time of the year”.
So in the meantime, I can only keep my spirits up by searching out some “good news” stories. Because once again, in a crisis, people have a remarkable way of pulling together, pushing though, helping themselves and each other to cope and to manage and to survive.

“But where shall I find courage?” asked Frodo.
“That is what I chiefly need.”“Courage is found in unlikely places,” said Gildor.
“Be of good hope! Sleep now!”

Beautiful. King Street, right? https://t.co/LkN6dqdqnj

— David Frum (@davidfrum) March 18, 2020

@CoronavirusCast

You wanted some positive stories.
Here you go. This man must be a listener.

Sask. First Nation chief prepared for COVID-19 pandemic weeks before it hit https://t.co/1zRd7e74O3

— Raptor Girl SK- We the Champs! (@raptorgirlSK) March 17, 2020

While our doors may be closed, we’ll still bring the Gallery to you online.

During our closure, we’ll take you on a tour, gallery by gallery. Each day we’ll focus on one room and the works of art on view within it. #MuseumFromHome pic.twitter.com/VfI4Nm8kj5

— National Gallery of Art (@ngadc) March 14, 2020

We’re better than our political leadership. https://t.co/ez9K1RChDP

— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) March 16, 2020

Louis Vuitton is switching all its perfume & cosmetic manufacturing factories to make hand sanitizer gels. https://t.co/p6I5QC1s4d

— Krishnan (@cvkrishnan) March 15, 2020

Hope they were able to find some TP https://t.co/3gBnXKJAKB

— Kevin Smith (@Global_Smith) March 15, 2020

Full Story »

 
General

Life In Scarborough: The Plague Journal, Day II

Posted March 13, 2020 by bigcitylib

Visited The Elsy (LCBO) today.  I notice that while they’re knifing each other over toilet paper at the Walmart across the parking lot, here everything is calm.  People believe that Water and wipes are essential, booze some kind of peripheral…

Full Story »

 
General

Fighting floods and fires while a pandemic rages on

Posted April 1, 2020 by Anonymous

Forest fires have left colourful scars on the hills near Dease Lake, B.C. (Photo: Richard Eckert/Can Geo Photo Club)

Spring floods and summer forest fires are facts of life in some parts of Canada. Normally, emergency services in high-risk areas are well prepared to deal with the natural disasters common to their landscapes. 

But as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency agencies are stretched to their limits.

Full Story »

 
General

#DieForTheDow is trending

Posted March 25, 2020 by Anonymous

Image result for picture of throwing baby to the wolves

Age-wise, I am on the wrong side of the “let’s save the economy by throwing grandma to the wolves” argument. So I have to say, I disagree with it!
And with COVID-19, it won’t work anyway. 
Because it isn’t only the grandmas who get sick and die. Its the doctors, the nurses, the teachers, the stock brokers, the policemen, the bartenders, the teenagers on a beach. 

Many of the shitmonkeys advocating #DieForTheDow are legislators who have proven (but mysterious) ways of getting tested for COVID19 that your average person doesn’t. Have NO doubt: these shitmonkeys will also have first dibs on increasingly scarce ventilators & other treatments. https://t.co/2HZJpqXDwM

— Sailin’ Dame (@YerseniaP) March 24, 2020

If you need a wake-up call, here it is: My husband was on a large conference call of American med school deans last night. One asked about legal coverage for pulling people off ventilators to give to others more likely to survive. I.e., not being charged with murder. Here we are.

— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) March 24, 2020

The choice is between:

– a very hurtful major recession caused by social distancing, managed by stimulus

or

– a economic collapse caused by the breakdown of our health system due to millions of deaths, tens of millions of hospitalizations, that cannot be managed by stimulus

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 24, 2020

At the end of all this, let’s try to remember that the geniuses who told us not to worry about coronavirus are the same geniuses telling us not to worry about #climatechange

— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) March 16, 2020

Full Story »

 
General

Great tweets: politics or animals or maybe both

Posted February 13, 2020 by Anonymous

Here’s some tweets I enjoyed this week.
And doesn’t it always seem that January DRAGGGGS while February goes so FAST?

TAKE. NO. CRAP. 💅🏻

pic.twitter.com/iBVE1fuQNC

— Jay Arnold 🏳️‍🌈 (@JadedCreative) February 11, 2020


Expectation vs Reality. pic.twitter.com/0PDhoroVe8

— Darwin Award 🔞 (@AwardsDarwin) February 5, 2020


I’m not sure he totally qualifies as a Good Boi™ with that food theft at the end – 🤣🤣🤣 – but he’s definitely both adorable and hilarious! https://t.co/1qpw17TXTm

— Julie Ritt (@faeryfancier) February 2, 2020


When you’re trying to end an argument, but your bird won’t let you. 🔊
(🎥: Imgur user MrPuckett) pic.twitter.com/KXYTv3Olq3

— Clare Logan (@withchillies) January 19, 2020


Good joke…

Interviewer asks Michael Bloomberg what he thinks about a possible situation where two billionaires are running against each other for the presidency

Bloomberg says ” Who’s the other one ? “

— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) February 5, 2020


If we’re being honest about these democratic candidates not only would any of them be better than this president but any of their personal assistants would be better. So let’s get the primaries over with, try not to be too mean to each other & get this guy the hell out of office.

— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) February 10, 2020


Hooooly shit.

An audience member asks Warren if she ever wonders, “Who is going to be my Mike Pence? Who is going to look at me with adoring eyes?”@ewarren: “I already have a dog.”pic.twitter.com/svyS5dkCRw

— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) February 10, 2020



Full Story »

 
General

Why Service Provision Fatally Confounds All Diet Studies (5:2 Intermittent Fasting Edition)

Posted February 11, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Last week I posted about a 5:2 intermittent fasting study that demonstrated terrible adherence with a 58% 5:2 drop out rate by the end of year one and where the average loss was 11lbs.

In response, Erik Arnesen shared another year long 5:2 intermittent fasting vs. continuous energy restriction study where the drop out rate at the end of year one was just 7% and the average loss was 20lbs! (and actually I blogged about this one in the past – tl;dr no difference in outcomes but 5:2 participants were hungrier)

If the diets were identical, why the tremendous difference in adherence and weight loss at a year?

Sure, could be different patient populations, but I’m guessing the much larger factor was the service provision. Because at the end of the day that’s a huge part of what’s being measured in any organized diet study. Not just in terms of how many visits or touch-points a particular program has, or what collateral materials and support they provide their participants, but also the rapport development, motivational ability, and teaching skills of the service providers themselves.

Having led an inter-professional team for 16 years, I can tell you that who you’ve got helping your patients/participants has a tremendous impact on their outcomes even within the same program’s delivery.

So the next time you consider the outcomes of any study’s diet arm, a question worth pondering is how much of those outcomes are consequent to the prescribed diet itself, and how much are consequent to the health care professionals administering it?

Full Story »

 
General

In Senate Hearing, Economic Experts Warn Climate Crisis Could Spur Financial Crash Like 2008

Posted March 12, 2020 by Anonymous
Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis Hearing on financial risks

Read time: 6 mins

Could the climate crisis precipitate a financial crash akin to or even greater than the one in 2008? With markets currently in turmoil due to the coronavirus pandemic, experts testified Thursday that there is high risk for an even larger economic crisis absent urgent climate policy.

Full Story »

 
General

Announcing the winners of the 2019 Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year Competition

Posted March 25, 2020 by Anonymous

This photo by Maxwel Hohn, titled “Painted Pillars of Campbell River,” was selected as the winner of the Urban Wildlife category in Canadian Geographic’s 2019 Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year Competition.

A Canada lynx kitten stares intently over the top of a snowbank, surveying its surroundings. A northern pygmy-owl seems to frown amid a whirl of snowflakes. An underwater pillar decorated with sea stars, anemones and urchins rises toward the dim glow of the surface. Canada’s biodiversity is breathtaking in its beauty and variety, but it’s also vulnerable to climate change and the encroachment of human activities on critical habitat.

Full Story »


 
General

Year Long 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Study Reports It’s No Better Or Worse Than A Horribly Restrictive Diet

Posted February 4, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

I started out planning to write about a different paper – a one year post intervention followup of people who had completed a prior year of being randomly assigned to 5:2 style intermittent fasting (IF) (2 days a week consuming 400-600 calories) vs. continuous energy restriction (typical of eating less daily) which showed that there was no difference between the two, but when I read it I realized the story was in the initial intervention, not the follow up.

The initial intervention involved randomly assigning 332 people to one of 3 dietary interventions:  Continuous (daily) energy restriction (CER), week-on, week-off energy restriction, and a 5:2 intermittent fasting pattern involving 5 days of habitual intake and 2 very low energy diet days each week.

Of the only 146 completers, no differences were found between the different diets in terms of weight loss, adherence, change in lipids, or fasting glucose.

And most of that is consistent with other studies of 5:2 IF which have found that it’s no better or worse than any other approach when it comes to weight loss and biochemical changes. But what’s not consistent is adherence being the same, wherein other studies tend to see more people quitting IF.

Digging the tiniest bit deeper into this two things stand out. Adherence was abysmal for both CER (49% drop out rate) and IF (58% drop out rate). But what was different here was what was involved in the CER arm. Women randomized to the CER arm were aimed at consuming only 1,000 calories daily for a year, while men were aimed at only 1,200 calories daily. That’s a life-suckingly low number of calories for anyone to be aimed at and honestly it surprises me that researchers (and peer reviewers) would think that degree of continuous restriction would be worthy of study.

All this to say, that people were just as likely to report adherence to a misery inducing 1,000-1,200 calorie per day diet as they were to a 5:2 IF approach does not reflect well on the enjoyability (and consequently the broad applicability) of 5:2 style diets.

And for the inevitable trolls, I’m not knocking 5:2 IF. If you love it, terrific! Don’t stop! But don’t anyone expect it’s a panacea for all comers.

Full Story »

 
General

Product Reformulation Means Sugar Taxes Work Even If People Don’t Buy Less As A Consequence

Posted January 15, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Taxes work to decrease purchasing, and the higher the tax, the greater their impact. Period.

Which is why it’s always struck me as odd when people question whether or not sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes would affect SSB purchases (and consequently consumption).

But let’s leave that odd debate aside for a moment. If the goal of SSB taxes is to decrease added sugar consumption (which it explicitly is, while it is explicitly not about weight loss as societal obesity is not singularly caused by SSB consumption, and decreasing SSB consumption is healthy at every weight), it would appear that SSB taxes will decrease sugar consumption even if they don’t decreasing purchasing.

How?

Because when SSB taxes are enacted, the beverage industry reformulates its products.

And at least according to this bulletin from the World Health Organization, they do so not insignificantly!

Of the 83 products they surveyed in both 2014 (before the SSB tax) and in 2018 (after the SSB tax), the mean sugar content decreased by 42% (from 9.1 g/100mL to 5.3 g/100m) while the mean energy content decreased by 40% (from 38 kcal/100mL to 23 kcal/100mL). Putting this into the context of a standard 355ml can – that would represent 2.45 fewer teaspoons of sugar and 53 fewer calories per can.

And this was in response to a fairly nominal tax. Presumably larger taxes would drive larger (or more expansive) reformulations which of course would also be coupled with decreased purchasing.

All this to say, this is yet another reason why if you’re living somewhere without an SSB tax, my bet is that it’s a matter of when, not if, you will be.

Full Story »

 
General

Best moment at #SOTU

Posted February 4, 2020 by Anonymous
Full Story »

 
Agriculture

China May Have Beaten Coronavirus, But Now It Could Be Facing a Food Crisis

Posted April 2, 2020 by Anonymous

“China’s agricultural industry has collapsed.”

Full Story »

 
General

Op-Ed: The US Must Protect Communities and Workers But We Need Our Leaders to Stop Bending to the Oil and Gas Industry

Posted March 24, 2020 by guest
A roughneck operates the pipe ramp on Citadel Rig 6 in the Permian Basin

Read time: 6 mins

By Megan Milliken Biven

Imagine a sovereign nation with nearly 29 million citizens and the eleventh largest economy in the world. Now imagine that this nation’s legislature only met to represent its citizens and their interests once every two years. The work of governance, regulation, and oversight are instead shifted to a relatively unknown cadre of boards. Boards whose leadership is a revolving door of the industries the government is supposed to regulate. If this were Venezuela, we Americans would deem it a corrupt Banana Republic and demand international intervention.

The hypothetical nation described here is in fact Texas. One of those state boards is the Railroad Commission of Texas, a little-known agency that oversees oil and gas activities across the state. Ryan Sitton is both current Railroad Texas Commissioner and founder of an oil and gas consulting company. Sitton, who recently lost reelection, regulates the very activities he personally profits from. On March 19, he published an opinion piece in Bloomberg, “The U.S. Must Protect Free Markets in the Oil Price War,” which calls for protecting not free markets, but the oil and gas industry in Texas.

His article asks the federal government to allow oil and gas companies to behave like the OPEC cartel and limit oil production, raise prices on already suffering Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continue with a status quo energy policy.

Full Story »


 
General

Exxon May Crush Bailout Hopes for Suffering Fracking Companies

Posted March 27, 2020 by Anonymous
Antique truck rusting in the oil fields of Reeves County, Texas, in the Permian Basin.

Read time: 10 mins

The Washington Post reported March 10 that the Trump administration was considering some type of financial help for the failing U.S. shale oil and gas industry, “as industry officials close to the administration clamor for help.” Those officials — billionaire shale CEO Harold Hamm was likely among them — seemed desperate for government assistance because, as DeSmog has documented, their deeply indebted businesses have lost billions of dollars during the fracking boom. Even before the recent oil price war and COVID-19 pandemic, these companies could hardly stay afloat, making cries for some type of corporate welfare likely unavoidable. 

But that’s not the same message across the entire oil and gas industry.

Full Story »

 
General

Industry Infighting as Oil and Gas Seek Government Help

Posted April 1, 2020 by Anonymous
Roughneck on a rig in the Permian Basin

Read time: 7 mins

The $2 trillion stimulus bill that the U.S. Congress rushed to pass in order to respond to millions of job losses provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity for corporate lobbying. The oil and gas industry has been no exception, but some of the proposed initiatives are dividing the industry.

Full Story »

 
General

Another poetry post

Posted January 23, 2020 by Anonymous

Darkest Hour was on, so I was able to watch this great scene again today:

Horatius  —Thomas Babington Macaulay

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods.”
Full Story »