- VIA Rail’s (Canada) new trains for their main Windsor-Quebec City Corridor were shown off, which are awesome - would be even better if they could go faster, on their own tracks, across the country… but small steps I guess.
- CBC put out a great article/explainer on the difference between weather and climate, and while I wish it was a bit more in-depth, it was a great read that should be shared.
- Christmas is cancelled (and not just by conservative bullshit): the heatwave in the Pacific Northwest killed up to 70% of Noble Fir seedlings; impacts might be slim this year, but the output of ‘Christmas trees’ for the next few years might be… less than merry.
- The Saskatchewan Government revised their deficit expectations, increasing the deficit by $97 million (CAD). In case you’re wondering why this is a climate issue, well… the province paid out $2.4 billion in crop insurance payments, the largest in its history, because of the heatwave and drought. Oh, but don’t worry, they’re not planning for any further issues next year. Everything will be all good. No need to plan for a worsening climate. It would be too expensive to make big changes. Damn. Sucks. Oh well. Anyways.
- There was an interesting report that came out around Giving Tuesday, which talked about how the charities that are doing the hard work on climate are getting… the least amount of donations. Interesting.
- In what should not worry anyone (lol), Gizmodo had an interesting article on how Amazon’s cloud computing technology is helping researchers figure out solar radiation or geoengineering, a.k.a. blocking the sun, and how that research and funding might be used to delay actual climate action.
- In case you wanted more to worry about, there was a fantastic piece on the drought in California and what it will mean if (when) it continues into the future. Kind of tough to say how many predictions will come true, but like… migration is going to happen. It’s sad really, for such an incredible place.
Developers in Louisiana want to fill in part of a lake… that sits on a floodplain… to build houses… and in case you don’t get where I’m going with this - maybe we should stop building on floodplains? Or filling in lakes to build housing? Maybe?
- Here’s a fun one: conservatives in Canada took aim at Canada’s environment minister… but not for like, slacking on environmental minister duties - no, it was because his bike hanging on the wall behind him during a virtual parliament session (I guess) constituted a “political prop” that broke a House rule. Ah, glad the war on bikes is still alive and well.
A blizzard warning in Hawaii, but no snow in Denver (I should know, I was in Denver last week) - this is the time we now live in. Cool.
- Here’s a weird one… weird in the sense that I think it should be strange to be giving intelligence analysts a feature piece in the U.S.‘s paper of record, but alas: A NYTimes piece on how the careers of Uber’s former intelligence analysts were ruined after one of their coworkers made some… less than true accusations about their work.
Police Disinformation is Still Disinformation - I know, shocker. This piece is a good look at the whole “defund the police” movement, which… never really happened, despite what police departments and unions say. This also reminds me about how I had to do a session with the RCMP (Canada’s national police force) on disinformation, and they seemed shocked when I asked them what to do about corporate and police disinformation, “We’ll have to add that to the presentation.” Yeah, sure.
- Something I’m watching closely: moves in various countries to disincentivize, or make illegal, the ability to protest. There was a great opinion piece in the Guardian this week on one of the UK’s new bills that could make protesting come with a 51 week prison sentence, but I mean even the moves to criminalize protest in Alberta over 'critical infrastructure’ (to stop people from protesting against fossil fuel projects), to moves to criminalize protests around healthcare facilities because of anti-vax/mask protests that I’m sure, absolutely positive, will not ever - nope, never - be used to criminalize labour protests. I feel like it’s a good time to make the point that if protests don’t disrupt anything… then they don’t disrupt anything.
Qualcomm announced a new phone that has an always-on camera, which is going to be a no from me. No, no, no, NOOOOOOOOOO.
- In a great piece from the creator of the Drilled podcast, Amy Westervelt dives into how funding research at various universities serves to reinforce whatever the main funders want to be researched… and not what they don’t want to be.
Here’s an infuriating piece on how Walmart falsely accused a woman of shoplifting, then charged her $200 to dismiss her case (which, it seems, isn’t the first time they’ve done it). Anyways, Walmart now owes her a few million. Likely will be reduced, but still. Geesh.
A DNA testing firm disclosed a data breach of around two million people… I hate it when my passwords get compromised, let alone the sequence of my genetic code.
- Speaking of compromised things - a new document shined a light on what data the FBI can access from various “secure” messaging apps - it’s an interesting read, if you, like, didn’t already know (or assume) these things.