The debt-for-climate swap that I don’t think will happen


There is a new blog post entitled, “Swimming against a stronger tide.”

White Christian nationalism (Trumpism)

Katherine Stewart, “How the Christian right took over the judiciary and changed America,” Guardian, June 25, 2022,

Zoe Strimpel, “America is headed for another civil war where one side has to vanquish the other,” Telegraph, June 25, 2022,

Ishaan Tharoor, “The Supreme Court turns the U.S. into a cautionary tale,” Washington Post, June 27, 2022,


Ryan Deto, “Supreme Court abortion decision places higher stakes on Pa. election, experts say,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 24, 2022,

Matt Ford, “Clarence Thomas Will Wipe Out Marriage Equality and Contraception Next,” New Republic, June 24, 2022,

Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022,

Caroline Kitchener, “Roe’s gone. Now antiabortion lawmakers want more,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022,

Jennifer Calfas and Deanna Paul, “Abortion Providers Confront New Landscape After Roe,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2022,

Hannah Knowles and Josh Dawsey, “Pence leans in on abortion, as Trump, other potential 2024 candidates are more cautious,” Washington Post, June 27, 2022,

Tara Palmeri, “D.C. Insiders Grapple with the Politics of Roe,” Puck News, June 27, 2022,


Liz Sly, “Russia will soon exhaust its combat capabilities, Western assessments predict,” Washington Post, June 25, 2022,

Caitlin Ostroff and Chelsey Dulaney, “Sanctions Push Russia to First Foreign Default Since Bolshevik Revolution,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2022,

Louis Ashworth, “What Russia’s debt default means for the world,” Telegraph, June 27, 2022,

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

All I’ve heard or seen of a proposed University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) hospital in the South Hills area of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area is a bunch of signs protesting the idea. I live in the South Hills and it happens that UPMC is both my health insurance and medical provider—I had selected them in the vain hope of building some contact with the University of Pittsburgh (“Pitt”) but have been happy with the care and coverage I have received—so I have more than a passing interest that is at odds with potential neighbors. Eventually the signs came down but I never heard what came of the idea.

It seems the property in question, located not terribly far from but on the opposite side of Pennsylvania Route 51 from the Allegheny Health Network’s Jefferson Hospital, is “zoned in various spots as an office park, commercial and residential.” The county had granted the zoning application for UPMC’s planned hospital, then revoked it. An Allegheny County judge’s ruling upholding the revocation was overturned by the Commonwealth Court (apparently Pennsylvania’s appeals level); the case has now been accepted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.[1]

The only other major hospital in the South Hills area is Saint Clair, on Bower Hill Road. According to Google Maps, the boundary between Mount Lebanon and Scott Township runs right through it. It’s part of the Mayo Clinic network and if I were starting over on the whole health care thing, I’d probably go this way.

But it’s not like there are a lot of hospitals in the South Hills, particularly when one gazes across the Monongahela at the Oakland neighborhood and, if I’m counting right, sees Presbyterian, MaGee, and Montefiore, all within a very few blocks of each other. Widen your scope a bit and there’s Children’s Hospital along Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville (another Pittsburgh neighborhood).

All that said, I think UPMC could probably have chosen a different, less contentious location in the South Hills. It really doesn’t need to be practically right across the street from Jefferson Hospital.

Paula Reed Ward, “Pa. Supreme Court to consider proposed UPMC South hospital in Jefferson Hills,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 27, 2022,

Developing world

I’m tired as I write this but I think I’ve heard some variation on George Monbiot’s theme of trading developing world self- and climate investment for debt forgiveness[2] before.

Be that as it may, I think Monbiot is much too optimistic about elite interest in combating the climate crisis. I think they’re interested in talking about the climate crisis and sounding very serious. I very much doubt that they have even the slightest interest in actually doing anything serious about the climate crisis, let alone forgiving developing world debt over it.

But it might be worth reading the essay, just to see if I’m being way too cynical.

George Monbiot, “Revolt Against Debt,” June 27, 2022,

  1. [1]Paula Reed Ward, “Pa. Supreme Court to consider proposed UPMC South hospital in Jefferson Hills,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 27, 2022,
  2. [2]George Monbiot, “Revolt Against Debt,” June 27, 2022,

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