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The Syrian Job: Uncovering the Oil Industry’s Radioactive Secret

Posted  April 29, 2020  by  Anonymous
oil pump and radioactive warning

Read time: 27 mins

Cancerous lesions have developed across Keith MacDonald’s body and his son is dead from leukemia. His life has disintegrated, and in his eyes fault lies with the third richest company on earth. It is headquartered in the Netherlands, incorporated in the United Kingdom, and is an entity (thanks to the Parliamentary Pension Fund) that every single British MP has a stake in — Royal Dutch Shell.

The story of how MacDonald got here is a tale of adventure and tragedy fit for a Hollywood thriller, only it is real. Even with many unknowns, MacDonald’s case unearths a shocking part of the world’s most powerful industry that somehow has remained hidden for generations.

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‘Energy Policy Advocates’ and the Fossil Fuel Boosters Attacking Legal Efforts to Hold Climate Polluters Accountable

Posted  April 30, 2020  by  Anonymous
Lady Justice statue

Read time: 11 mins

While fossil fuel companies defend against mounting climate liability lawsuits in court, their surrogates are working in parallel to target the attorneys, academics, and institutions supporting these lawsuits. This defensive strategy involves vigorous public records requests, and in some cases legal action or intervention, to try proving a supposed conspiracy by those working to hold polluters accountable.

ExxonMobil has itself argued that attorneys general and municipal officials that have sued the company are engaged in a conspiracy to take down Big Oil. That argument hasn’t gained traction in court, but this hasn’t stopped operatives tied to fossil fuel funding from trying to take up that charge.

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Fossil Fuel-Backed Climate Deniers Rush to Promote Michael Moore Documentary ‘Planet of The Humans’

Posted  May 1, 2020  by  Anonymous
Michael Moore

Read time: 10 mins

Climate science deniers and long-time opponents of renewable energy, many with ties to oil and gas companies, have seized on Michael Moore’s latest documentary to argue the case for continued fossil fuel dependence.

Planet of the Humans investigates the environmental footprint of renewable technologies such as wind, solar and biomass, and argues that the green movement has sold out to corporate interests. The documentary has been viewed over five million times on YouTube since its release last week to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

But the film, produced by Moore and written and directed by his long-time collaborator Jeff Gibbs, has been widely criticised by energy and climate experts, who say it fails to provide context on the benefits of renewable energy and the negative impacts of fossil fuels, and is based on out-of-date information. A group of environmentalists and climate scientists, including Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Michael Mann, who was this week elected to the National Academy of Sciences, has described the documentary as “shockingly misleading” and called for it to be withdrawn.

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EPA Has Been Captured by Fossil Fuel Interests, Democratic Senators Tell Court

Posted  May 1, 2020  by  Anonymous
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler

Read time: 6 mins

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump administration is run by fossil fuel allies determined to do polluters’ bidding, U.S. senators are telling the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The group of Democratic senators calls out this extensive fossil fuel industry influence in a recent friend-of-the-court brief filed in a lawsuit challenging the Trump EPA’s replacement of the Clean Power Plan meant to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.

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Yes, its about time

Posted  May 2, 2020  by  Anonymous
I was computerless for the last week+ so I didn’t post, but here I am again.
And I am so glad that Trudeau is banning assault rifles in Canada. I agree with @Dred_Tory:

Dear people who are pissed that AR-15s are set to be banned:

No one gives a shit.#ar15

— Sir Francis (@Dred_Tory) April 30, 2020

Here’s some funny stuff to end the week:

I must’ve watched this 50 times and I’ll probably watch it 50 more. pic.twitter.com/S7GjgMlH7j

— ѕυzу (@suzy_swears) April 28, 2020

Seals are just dogs of the sea pic.twitter.com/PcSz3mJQKe

— What’s Underwater (@UnderwaterVids) April 26, 2020

This is the best weather forecast in the history of television news pic.twitter.com/LhmoJDCkbZ

— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) April 30, 2020

— Nick Heath (@nickheathsport) May 1, 2020

And a little Jann Arden to finish things off:

This could be the most Canadian-COVID19 tweet ever. 🇨🇦 https://t.co/t64WghKHCi

— Jeffrey Luscombe (@JeffreyLuscombe) April 27, 2020


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Saturday Stories: This Week in #COVID19

Posted  May 2, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff
Arlene Reid, 51, mother of 5 and PSW in Ontario working in LTC, died from COVID19 on April 27th. May her memory be a blessing.

Gid MK, in Medium, with his meta-analysis of reported infection fatality rates for COVID19

Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee, in Inside, on the out of control “science” of this pandemic.

Joss Fong, in Vox, with a great explainer on how to understand that graph of all the countries’ COVID cases you keep seeing. 

Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, with a spectacular guide on how to make sense of the all over the place that is COVID19.

Caitlin Flanagan, in The Atlantic, with the 2020 commencement speech you’re never hear (but you should so read).

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Big Oil Fears Keystone XL Ruling Means End of Easy Pipeline Permits

Posted  May 3, 2020  by  Steve Horn
Keystone XL pipeline construction in Texas in 2012

Read time: 8 mins

On April 15, Judge Brian Morris nullified water-crossing permits in Montana that were granted for the Keystone XL, a major setback for the long-embattled tar sands oil pipeline. The ruling came just days after Keystone XL owner TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, obtained billions of dollars in subsidies from the Alberta government as global oil prices plummeted.

The oil and gas industry has taken notice. Seemingly just a ruling on Keystone XL — the subject of opposition by the climate movement for the past decade — the ruling could have far broader implications for the future of building water-crossing pipelines and utility lines.

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Irish LNG Plan That Would Allow US Fracked Gas Imports ‘Dead in the Water’

Posted  May 4, 2020  by  Anonymous
LNG ship

Read time: 4 mins

It is increasingly unlikely that Ireland will develop new infrastructure to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced from fracked wells in the US, after the plans suffered a series of potentially fatal legal and political setbacks.

First, the European Court of Justice advocate general, Juliane Kokott, ruled that An Bord Pleanála, Ireland’s planning appeals body, erred in not requesting an up-to-date environmental impact study for the proposed Shannon LNG terminal before extending planning permission for a planned project. The decision means the case would have to be referred back to Ireland’s High Court.

Meanwhile, the political climate regarding the project has turned distinctly hostile, with the two major centrist parties Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil this week signing a joint letter that appears to signal the death knell for the LNG project.

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FREE Help From My New Venture For Ontarians With Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Or Prediabetes But Stranded By COVID19

Posted  May 4, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Are you an Ontario resident recently diagnosed with either type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes where COVID19 has prevented you from receiving comprehensive support to help manage and understand your new condition? If so, my new venture may can help, and better still, for FREE. Built initially to support weight management, Constant Health, our new digital behavioural intervention, is being re-positioned to help people with newly diagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes who in turn have been left stranded by COVID19.

Constant Health’s iOS app (note, this opportunity is currently only available for those with iPhones or iPads as the Android app is still in development), will provide you with 12 weeks of private and secure (PHIPA compliant) access to both a Mayo clinic certified health coach as well as a registered dietitian who together, by way of text messaging and video chats, will work collaboratively with you on your diet and lifestyle to help improve your blood sugar control and teach you about your new condition.

Constant Health’s technology includes a robust, open-ended collaborative goal setting engine, a built-in food diary, a searchable and filterable database of millions of the web’s most popular recipe sites, along with a proprietary real-time dashboard which will allow our team to applaud and encourage your success as well as to help troubleshoot your struggles.

As with my office’s practice (the Bariatric Medical Institute), Constant Health’s services aren’t limited to any particular dietary strategy, but instead work with you on whatever approach you feel would best suit your life and preferences. From low-fat, to keto, to vegan and everything in between Constant Health can help.

Rest assured, there are no strings whatsoever. Currently, thanks to an unrestricted grant from Novo Nordisk, we have a limited number of spots available to freely offer and plainly, we are not currently accepting paid patients. However due to provincial medical licensing regulations for both MDs and RDs, and the need for physician screening, we can currently only extend this offer to Ontarians.

If you’re interested, live in Ontario, and have an iPhone, simply fill out this quick survey and if eligible, our office will contact you to book a consultation with me so that I can explore your medical history and have a peek at your lab results for us to mutually determine if the program is for you.

        
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Fiddling while America burns

Posted  May 5, 2020  by  Anonymous

People in the United States are realizing that Trump and his administration have spent the last two months tweeting and twiddling their thumbs.

Silly. The plan is to pretend that the problem had been solved (because it’s been a while and staying at home is boring) and start opening up the country. What could go wrong?

— Your Friend & Sabre ⚔️ (@xiphodaimon) May 4, 2020

And why did they expect anything different?
Trump is utterly incompetent at everything, and the only people he hires are people who won’t show him up. So of course he is clueless now and so is everyone else around him. 
If America survives this, it will be because of its governors, who are rapidly forming their own regional associations. But they don’t have the authority to deficit spend so we are going to be stuck for the next 9 months watching the US economy implode, until Biden can take over. It isn’t going to be pleasant.
Still, its a tricky go, isn’t it?  I’m uncertain about our future is, too, but I do have some confidence that the Trudeau government and most of the provinces are on the same page. Though Saskatchewan is reporting new cases, the Maritimes are doing better.
Vox had a big article today comparing Canada and the US:

The American response has become infected by partisan politics and shot through with federal incompetence. Meanwhile, Canada’s policies have been efficiently implemented with support from leaders across the political spectrum. The comparison is a case study in how a dysfunctional political system can quite literally cost lives.
The Canadian approach has not been perfect. Its death rate is currently much higher than best-in-class performers like Germany and South Korea; Canadian officials have fallen down, in particular, when it comes to long-term senior care and the indigenous population. But given the interdependence between these two large neighboring economies, Canadians are not only vulnerable as a result of their own government’s choices but also because of their southern neighbors’ failures.
“The biggest public health threat to Canada right now is importing cases from the United States,” says Steven Hoffman, a political scientist who studies global health at York University.

Yes, its going to be a long time before that border reopens.
I am beginning to worry seriously about Canadian food supplies — so much of our food is from vegetable and fruit growers in the US, and further south too, and these all depend on an established and predictable supply chain where crops get planted, harvested, processed and transported in an orderly progression.  Canada can produce its own flour and beef and apples, but not oranges. Or bananas.

“Let me tell you about the olden days, children.  Why, there used to be a time when we could get bananas any time we went to the store.  Any time at all!”

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Saving lives

Posted  April 25, 2020  by  Anonymous

Once we recognise that this is a major event in human history, it can actually help gain some perspective. And as Cuomo said “What we have done has saved lives” pic.twitter.com/cZFbE9HTlX

— Helen Jenkins (@jenkinshelen) April 25, 2020

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Saturday Stories: The Week in #COVID19 And Some Stories Worth Reading

Posted  April 25, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff
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Saturday Stories: Still Just Coronavirus Links – Guessing It Might Be This Way For A Little While At Least

Posted  March 21, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Gretchen Reynolds, in The New York Times, answers questions as to the safety of exercising in the face of COVID-19

Cornelia Griggs, in The New York Times,  a critical care physician in New York, explains why she needs you to know that the sky is falling.

Yascha Mounk, in The Atlantic, tries to explain why people aren’t staying home despite incredible risks and ramifications of not doing so.

Ashleigh Tuite and David Fisman, in The Globe and Mail, both infectious disease epidemiologists, with their thoughts on how we might slow the burn of the COVID-19 forest fire.

Aaron E. Carroll and Ashish Jha, in The Atlantic, with their thoughts on how we can beat this coronavirus.

Pam Belluck, in The New York Times, needs you to know that though children uniformly have much milder cases of COVID-19 than adults, some will become seriously ill.

Manny Fernandez, in The New York Times, with a sobering read on how the coronavirus will impact the already impoverished.

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#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

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Saturday Stories: Some Of This Week’s Most Important #COVID19 Reads

Posted  March 28, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Jennifer Yang, in The Toronto Star, speaks with 3 of Toronto’s health care heroes.

Adam Rogers, in Wired, explains what convalescent plasma is and how it might help treat COVID19.

Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, being Ed Yong and writing an incredible piece on how this pandemic might end.

David Enrich, Rachel Abrams and Steven Kurutz, in The New York Time, on the sewing army rising up to help.

Helen Branswell, in STAT, summarizing all the we’ve learned to date about the SARS-CoV2 virus.

Daniela J. Lamas, in The New York Times, writing as a critical care physician in Boston on the unfathomable reality she’s facing there.

Siddhartha Mukherjee, in The New Yorker, on how the coronavirus behaves inside of our bodies.

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Friday Funfest

Posted  April 3, 2020  by  Anonymous

The COVID-19 news is so depressing, beaten only by the economic news, which is absolutely awful. So here’s something a little more lighter-hearted, on a cold Friday. 

This is Toby he is now working from home… pic.twitter.com/RB6na9bUsT

— Stuart Antony (@STU_ACTOR) March 31, 2020

A true friend is someone who helps you in good & bad times, no matter what. pic.twitter.com/6UW6JNEhl1

— Land of cuteness (@landpsychology) April 3, 2020

How the livestock keep warm in Russia. pic.twitter.com/qlh8s8JuUB

— 🇷🇺Only In Russia 🇷🇺 (@CrazyinRussia) April 3, 2020

— Engineering (@engineeringvids) April 2, 2020

Sandra the orangutang started washing her hands because she saw all the zookeepers doing it repeatedly during the COVID-19 crisis.

Wash your hands.
Be more like Sandra.🌎❤️🧼🌎 pic.twitter.com/t8TTizDGeD

— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) April 1, 2020

Grizzly bear casually fixing a fallen safety cone as they walk down the road pic.twitter.com/c4klDbdGOJ

— Nature is Lit🔥 (@NaturelsLit) April 1, 2020

— Animal Life (@animalIife) March 14, 2020

And this thread wins the award for the funniest tweet of the week:

I think I just got a group of goats in Llandudno arrested.

Let me explain… first, I saw this from inside a dark pub (the one I live in currently). I thought I was seeing things. So I took some video: pic.twitter.com/RtxYG6htLC

— Andrew Stuart (@AndrewStuart) March 27, 2020

So maybe next week will be better — well, we can always hope!
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Strange Days Indeed

Posted  April 4, 2020  by  Anonymous

I wonder if John Lennon ever realized how prophetic his words would be:Nobody told me there’d be days like theseStrange days indeed.I never understood how a pandemic would destroy the world economy.  Millions of people out of work. Millions w…

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How I spent my summer vacation

Posted  April 10, 2020  by  Anonymous

Here’s the tweet of the week month:

Today is 3 wks in quarantine w/o sugar. Walking 3 miles a day, no meat, dairy or flour! I feel great! No alcohol & vegan diet! A 2 hr home workout everyday. Lost 14 lbs & gained muscle mass! I have no idea whose tweet this is but I’m proud of them so I decided to copy & paste it!

— Alison 🇨🇦🇿🇦 (@AckAlison) April 10, 2020


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Saturday Story: Only One, Because For First Time in 15 Years, I Accidentally Deleted The Rest

Posted  April 11, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff
Dr. Doug Bass, may his memory be a blessing, the first physician in NYC to die from COVID9

Sorry to those who enjoy these reads, but by accident, deleted the lot of them save one

Dhruv Khullar, in The New Yorker, on his work as a physician in NYC during the time of COVID19, and adrenaline, duty and fear.

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Stages of Grief

Posted  April 18, 2020  by  Anonymous

Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.
These are the stages of grief and I’ve been through them all since the COVID19 lockdown began. I think everyone else has going through them too.

Denial – how can this be happening? WTF is this? Isn’t there some easier way?
Anger – don’t they realize what they are doing to us and to the economy? Its so terrible for so many people.
Bargaining – well, maybe it won’t last too long if everybody acts the right way.
Depression – how awful this is, and its going on FOREVER!!!
Acceptance – it is what it is. Nothing we can do except to get through it.

Though I must admit, I still feel anger:

What shocks me about #COVID19 is the economic disaster. I never realized we might have no way to control a disease except to close everything down, worldwide, and keep it closed for weeks or months. People starving, businesses bankrupt, economies ruined, lives devastated.

— Cathie from Canada 🇨🇦 (@CathieCanada) April 14, 2020


The economic hit from this is going to be so hard, and last so long, and hurt so many innocent blameless people.
But every time I start to feel sorry for myself and for all of us, I remember that whatever I am going through, it is nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to what others are dealing with.
I don’t think our society will ever be able to repay doctors and nurses for what they are doing for all of us, risking death every day to save as many as they can.
There was one tweet in particular, from a pediatric surgical fellow and single mother in New York, that made me just cry.

My babies are too young to read this now. And they’d barely recognize me in my gear. But if they lose me to COVID I want them to know Mommy tried really hard to do her job. #GetMePPE #NYC pic.twitter.com/OMew5G7mjK

— Cornelia Griggs (@CorneliaLG) March 29, 2020


I hope she will be OK.
I hope someday her children will be able to honour her for what she is doing.

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Saturday Stories: This Week’s Worthwhile COVID19 Reads Roundup

Posted  April 18, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff
Dr. Huy-Hao Dao, 44,,who worked at Quebec’s Montérégie-Centre Integrated Health and Social Services Centre in Longueuil and sadly the first Canadian physician to die of COVID19, may his memory be a blessing.

Roxanne Khamsi, in Nature, on the incredible challenges we’ll face producing and distributing a SARS-CoV2 vaccine if/when we find one.

Michael Specter, in The New Yorker, with a profile of America’s real doctor – Anthony Fauci

Apoorva Mandavilli and Katie Thomas, in The New York Times, discuss what serology tests are, and whether they’ll help us all get back to work.

Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, on our pandemic summer and how the only way out is through.

Maggie Koerth, in FiveThirtyEight, on COVID’s destruction of our medical supply chains and how it’s not impossible the entire world’s supply of medical grade glass (used for vaccine vials for instance) has already been pre-purchased.

Terrie Laplante-Beauchamp, in the Globe and Mail, with her must-read 3 day diary of her experiences volunteering as an orderly in a Montreal based long-term care facility hit hard by COVID19.

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Laugh and the world laughs with you

Posted  April 18, 2020  by  Anonymous

Joe Biden could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot Donald Trump and I would still vote for him

— doug wiser (@MyBigRedTruck) April 18, 2020

If you could pick one person to curse Donald Trump out on live television in that press room for one minute straight, right to his face, who would it be? I think I would go with Samuel L. Jackson.

— Jason Overstreet (@JasonOverstreet) April 8, 2020

What do ya bet if trump ever used an interpreter for the deaf they’d fuck up and get him a mime?

— George Carlin’s Ghost (@OldFuckGCG) April 16, 2020

My best friend sent me this. I can’t stop laughing. It’s spot on 😂 pic.twitter.com/ecTo5MtcaV

— Emmet Kelly (@EmmetSeanKelly) April 11, 2020

Americans dumbest criminal. pic.twitter.com/T39kWEomxw

— Only in America (@Crazzyintheusa) April 15, 2020

Most pointless colouring picture ever. pic.twitter.com/OFcQzoVUab

— You Have One Job, Stay Indoors (@_youhadonejob1) April 15, 2020


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EPA Decides to Reject the Latest Science, Endanger Public Health and Ignore the Law by Keeping an Outdated Fine Particle Air Pollution Standard

Posted  May 5, 2020  by  guest
Diesel truck

Read time: 5 mins

By H. Christopher Frey, North Carolina State University

The COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown have temporarily produced clearer skies across the U.S. Meanwhile, however, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been busy finding reasons not to pursue long-lasting air quality gains.

On April 30, 2020, the agency published a proposed new rule that retains current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter without any revisions. It took this action after a five-year review process, in which scientific evidence showed unequivocally that these standards are not adequate to protect public health.

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