Though Amazon is a sprawling international conglomerate, with more than a million employees and significant operations in areas ranging from technology to retail to food, it is possible to understand its essence by grasping a few key facts. Its boss is one of the richest men in the world. It exercises unparalleled influence over the consumer economy. And it has a long and well-documented history of abusing virtually every category of human it employs, from office workers to warehouse workers to customer service agents. Most recently, the company agreed to pay a $62m fine for stealing tips from its delivery drivers, an awful crime that nevertheless constituted a fairly average week in the annals of Amazon workplace horror stories.
From the moment he burst through the door at 5:59 a.m. until our shift ended eight hours later, Jan was on a tear — coffee, nicotine, cops and robbers punctuated with the occasional conspiracy theory or obscure drug reference.
Alberta: the land of wide-open prairies, the Rocky Mountains, salt-of-the-earth people and oil. Lots of oil. And it seems those vast quantities of oil have an insidious way of interfering with common sense, a trait Albertans tend to hold in high regard.
The latest news in the torrent of negative headlines about Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) is a taxpayer-funded attack on climate journalists, all part of an effort to bolster public perception of that beloved oil industry.
If one were to engineer the optimal activity to help us not only navigate but even enjoy the coldest, darkest months, it would need to satisfy certain criteria. To be safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it should be outdoors, regardless of snow or sleet. It should provide a boost for our bodies and brains, to keep the human machine functioning smoothly during a season when it may be repeatedly tested. It should be social as long as it’s safe, but it could also be solo, for those times when we just need some space. Staying local, to reduce viral transmission, would be good. So would something accessible to as many people as possible, notwithstanding hurdles of age, affluence, and ability—differences that determine what we can do, and where and when we can do it, to take care of ourselves. And, considering that climate change was a big concern before COVID-19 changed the channel, it would be nice to tread lightly on the planet while trying to stay sane and in shape.
Dear Dr. Steve,
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced he is stepping down this year. What does it mean?
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Carl Sagan, the scientist, once identified what he called "one of the saddest lessons of history." I think it applies in spades today to one of Canada's largest and greediest employers of journalists, Bell Media.
"It is this," Sagan said. "If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle … It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken."
On January 18, Canada Post Corporation (CPC) announced that 2020 was a record year for parcel delivery. Obviously, public health measures had something to do with it. But parcel delivery at CPC has been growing exponentially for the past five years, and it shows no sign of slowing down.
With this kind of growth, a corporation like Canada Post must roll up its sleeves and review its values, its commitment, and the service portfolio it offers to the population, including businesses. Canada Post already has the infrastructure and the network it needs to be an integral part of the post-COVID recovery and to become a leader in sustainable development. In doing so, it would create jobs across the country and be part of the government’s environmental plan, while also respecting its mandate to be financially self-sustaining.
As of now, most of my home state of Western Australia is in the midst of a five-day full lockdown.
In Perth, a city of almost two million people, and surrounding regions nobody is allowed to leave their home or neighbourhood except for essential reasons. Everyone must wear a mask. Schools are closed. One hour of exercise is allowed within a five kilometre radius of your home.
The penalties for breaching quarantine rules range from hundreds of dollars to a maximum of $50,000 or 12 months in jail.
The meaning of urgency
While I understand Scott Gilmore’s point, not everyone has the luxury of being paid for late submissions and maybe not showing up to work, etc. (“The end of urgency,” Work, December 2020).
There's truth to the saying, "Think globally, act locally." To resolve a planetary crisis like climate disruption, we need change from the top, but without localized support, that's difficult to achieve.
And grassroots action can grow into something much bigger. Think of Greta Thunberg, whose 2018 solitary school strike for climate outside the Swedish parliament blossomed into a massive youth movement that drew more than four million people to 2,500 events in 163 countries on all seven continents just one year later.