Wednesday Night #1988

Written by  //  April 22, 2020  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Details of the tragic events in Nova Scotia continue to unfold. There are no words to convey the horror of the senseless murder of (at least) 22 people.

Wednesday’s Guardian trumpets Pandemic side-effects offer glimpse of alternative future on Earth Day 2020. Accompanied by a beautiful picture of the clear waters of Venice, whose caption references ‘fewer tourists and motorboats [no mention of the absence of the behemoth cruise ships] and less pollution, the article continues “The skies are clearing of pollution, wildlife is returning to newly clear waters, a host of flights have been scrapped and crude oil is so worthless that the industry would have to pay you to take it off their hands – a few months ago, environmentalists could only dream of such a scenario as the 50th anniversary of Earth Day hove into view.”
But, while coronavirus has led to reduced pollution, re-emerging wildlife and plunging oil prices, just in time for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Trump administration has officially published a final rule rolling back some Obama-era environmental protections, essentially removing limits on the amount of pollution that can be dumped into small streams and wetlands.

Earth Day 2020 could mark the year we stop taking the planet for granted
The 50th annual call for environmental reform falls at a time when the health of people and nature has never been more urgent
and in the U.S. what the E.P.A. is doing now under Mr. Wheeler — his blanket relaxation of pollution regulations under the guise of repairing the economic destruction wrought by the coronavirus; his refusal to increase protections from one of the most insidious air pollution killers, fine particulate matter; his move to disregard credible scientific research — beggars belief. ”
Mr. Wheeler’s E.P.A. could make Americans even more vulnerable to disease at a time when our nation’s health is on the line. What was once a steady drumbeat of proposed rollbacks has become, since the pandemic reached our shores, a feverish gutting of pollution protections, turning the E.P.A. into a shop of horrors. On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we should be celebrating the remarkable achievements of the Clean Air Act, a crown jewel of America’s environmental laws. Instead we are witnessing an attempt to systematically dismantle it.”

Last week, there was much discussion of Coronavirus Covoid-19 impact – national approaches to dealing with the virus, lethality, mortality per million inhabitants and other data. In an effort to clarify some of the issues – and to reinforce his argument that TESTING is the answer, John Buchanan prepared a concise review of facts and figures supported by data from Worldometer coronavirus – which, of course, changes by the minute.
An additional concern – and proposed testing – relates to  “silent hypoxia”, and a pulse oximeter a common diagnostic tool that can be purchased at most pharmacies without a prescription. See The Infection That’s Silently Killing Coronavirus Patients.

The Trump administration’s response to the crisis continues to be inept, to put it kindly, and more appropriately -catastrophic. Daily fights with governors over availability of equipment, national testing policy, lockdown versus reopening the economy, shifts in position and confusion sown at every White House daily briefing-cum-reality-show, almost drown out the sane voices of Dr. Fauci, Governor Cuomo and their allies. On Tuesday, the New York Times editorial board asked Where Is Trump’s Plan to Test Millions of Americans a Day?Testing is how we let people start returning safely to work, to school, to stores.. Meanwhile Trump and his allies are aiding and abetting the lockdown protesters.
But, be of good cheer Jared Kushner is here to assuage the fears of an anxious nation

The role of China in the spread of the coronavirus has been a constant thread, whether through Trump stating that China may have started coronavirus deliberately and thus contributing to the on-going debate, or Trump aides flirt with China lab coronavirus conspiracy theory although experts overwhelmingly say analysis of COVID-19’s genome rules out the possibility it was engineered by humans, or the Wuhan lab conspiracy theory that will not go away – even though experts say it is ‘highly unlikely’ the virus was accidentally released from the virology institute,  it continues to draw attention as possible origin.
The Epoch Times published a video promoting the theory that however, BBC Science editor Paul Rincon (Is there any evidence for lab release theory?) concludes “there is currently no evidence that any research institute in Wuhan was the source of Sars-CoV-2.”

Cleo Paskal writes in World tries to shake off its dangerous China addiction “over the past few decades, entire global business sectors and the national leadership of whole countries have been lured down a dark road by China, along the way becoming addicted to cheap labour, lax environmental regulations, authoritarian facilitation of access to land, a rigged market, a docile media, a compliant legal system, and a lot of wining and dining (and more). The model expanded out of China with individual non-Chinese politicians and business people acting as middlemen for what China was peddling. In exchange for great personal gain, they addicted their economies and stakeholders to fast, cheap, economic thrills, paying for it with their country’s and company’s IP, critical digital, physical and economic infrastructure, and so much more.” Forbes highlights the NATO warning  Watch Out For China Buying SpreeWatch out for Chinese companies swooping in with buckets of cash to buy strategic stakes, or majority control in U.S. and European companies as asset prices fall due to the pandemic.
Cleo raised the question last week of what role U.S. China relations might play in the election campaign. Although our guest felt that it was not likely to be a consideration, we were pleased to note that the Washington Post thinks otherwise: Joe Biden just hammered Trump on China. But there’s more to be said.

Kind words for the PM from Politico:
Trudeau waits out Trump’s coronavirus provocations
The prime minister counters the president’s Covid-19 challenges by applying lessons learned from NAFTA’s crash course.
Far from provoking a meltdown in U.S.-Canada relations, the Covid-19 crisis has revealed an intriguing dynamic: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is finally used to dealing with Trump.
The U.S. president’s coronavirus-driven provocations have been met with “no’s” from top Canadian officials, who have then moved onto other priorities.
Read and ponder Andrew Caddell‘s Wednesday column in The Hill Times, The post-COVID Canada faces many challenges. Even if you do not agree with all of his proposals, these are policies that deserve serious consideration and debate.

The future of CBC
Carleton’s Chris Waddell Argues a More Diverse Canada Needs a More Global CBC
Millions of Canadians have roots in Asia, but Canada’s public broadcaster has only one correspondent that covers the world’s most populous region.
Chris Waddell of Carleton University argues that’s nowhere near enough. In The End of the CBC?, co-authored with David Taras of Mount Royal University, he argues that to be more relevant, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation needs a stronger global presence.
“Canadians come from different places around the world – China, India, the Philippines — yet we know almost nothing about the places they come from,” says Waddell. “We don’t know the stories of what happens there. We never hear much about those countries, except when there’s a disaster. But helping Canadians learn about those countries can also help us understand the issues that new Canadians face and how they see Canada.”
“Looking at how other countries handle a problem can help understand the problems society faces, and offer ideas and solutions. On health care, we hear about how millions of Americans don’t have health care. We never hear how France, Germany, Britain, or the Scandinavian countries are dealing with their health care systems. So, we don’t do anything, because we think we’re better than the Americans. That’s really not good enough. We need to have more information to help us have more intelligent debates about public policy issues.”,Waddell and Taras argue that the CBC should focus on six key areas: urban life, business and the economy, public policy, science and technology, issues that impact Canadians, and Canadians who are making a difference.

Happy news: As many of you know, I have been very worried about the difficulty in replenishing the bee colonies of Canada
Honeybee farmers facing ‘desperate situation’ as bee imports slow – Lower crop yields expected if Canadian farmers can’t get bees into country. Michel Jutras has shared that Air Canada Cargo, working with Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food has flown in honeybees from Hawaii and California to help in the pollination of Canadian crops. We cannot understand why no media seem to have picked up on this story.

SPCA Petition addressed to landlords
During the crisis, let’s ask landlords to rent to families with animals
With the current vacancy rate of 1.8% in Quebec, tenants are facing a scarcity of rentals in addition to lost income and stress caused by the pandemic. Finding a rental unit in the present context is therefore extremely difficult, and even more so for families with companion animals. The housing shortage hits renters with animals even harder.

Many of the world’s most iconic and memorable photographs have been made by street photographers, but who is defining this genre today? For the sixth edition of the LensCulture Street Photography Awards, we are searching the globe to find out!  Wednesday Night Facebook friends can support Matthew Cope‘s entry:

Is the Virus on My Clothes? My Shoes? My Hair? My Newspaper?
We asked the experts to answer questions about all the places coronavirus lurks (or doesn’t). You’ll feel better after reading this.

And finally, the definitive take on working from home:
Flight attendant’s hilarious ‘working from home’ video goes viral

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