Showing posts with label The Guardian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Guardian. Show all posts

Saturday, May 21, 2022

"We urgently need to diversify global food production"

"For the past few years, scientists have been frantically sounding an alarm that governments refuse to hear: the global food system is beginning to look like the global financial system in the run-up to 2008.

While financial collapse would have been devastating to human welfare, food system collapse doesn’t bear thinking about. Yet the evidence that something is going badly wrong has been escalating rapidly. The current surge in food prices looks like the latest sign of systemic instability.

Many people assume that the food crisis was caused by a combination of the pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine. While these are important factors, they aggravate an underlying problem. For years, it looked as if hunger was heading for extinction. The number of undernourished people fell from 811 million in 2005 to 607 million in 2014. But in 2015, the trend began to turn. Hunger has been rising ever since: to 650 million in 2019, and back to 811 million in 2020. This year is likely to be much worse. "

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Illustration: Eva Bee/The Guardian
Illustration: Eva Bee/The Guardian

Thursday, May 12, 2022

On the climate front: aviation industry fails to meet climate targets; "‘carbon bombs’ set to trigger catastrophic climate breakdown"

"The international aviation industry has failed to meet all but one of 50 of its own climate targets in the past two decades, environment campaigners say.

A report commissioned by the climate charity Possible assessed every target set by the industry since 2000 and found that nearly all had been missed, revised or quietly ignored. The charity says the findings undermine a UK government plan to leave airlines to reduce their emissions through self-regulation.

Leo Murray, Possible’s director of innovation, said: “This forensic investigation shows just how implausible and credulous the government’s jet-zero strategy is shaping up to be. How can we credibly expect this industry to overdeliver on emissions reduction when they’ve never met any of their previous climate targets?

“It’s clear that we need to demand reduction via a frequent flyer levy, which would discourage the frequent flying by a small group of people which makes up the bulk of emissions from planes.

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Copy of the full report available -> https://www.wearepossible.org/latest-news/for-20-years-the-aviation-has-missed-all-but-one-of-their-sustainability-targets

 

Missed Targets Report
Missed Targets Report

"The world’s biggest fossil fuel firms are quietly planning scores of “carbon bomb” oil and gas projects that would drive the climate past internationally agreed temperature limits with catastrophic global impacts, a Guardian investigation shows.

The exclusive data shows these firms are in effect placing multibillion-dollar bets against humanity halting global heating. Their huge investments in new fossil fuel production could pay off only if countries fail to rapidly slash carbon emissions, which scientists say is vital.

The oil and gas industry is extremely volatile but extraordinarily profitable, particularly when prices are high, as they are at present. ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron have made almost $2tn in profits in the past three decades, while recent price rises led BP’s boss to describe the company as a “cash machine”.

The lure of colossal payouts in the years to come appears to be irresistible to the oil companies, despite the world’s climate scientists stating in February that further delay in cutting fossil fuel use would mean missing our last chance “to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all”. As the UN secretary general, António Guterres, warned world leaders in April: “Our addiction to fossil fuels is killing us.”

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Sunday, May 8, 2022

On the climate front: 2 articles remind us (1) unified approach required (2) time is running out

On the climate front, two articles reminding us (1) we need to tackle climate in a unified approach (we have one world to share with others) and (2) time to act is indeed running out.

"Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon surged to record levels for the month of April, nearly doubling the area of forest removed in that month last year – the previous April record – preliminary government data has shown, alarming environmental campaigners.

In the first 29 days of April, deforestation in the region totaled 1,012.5 square km (390 square miles), according to data from national space research agency Inpe on Friday. The agency, which has compiled the monthly data series since 2015/2016, will report data for the final day of April next week.

April is the third monthly record this year, after new highs were also observed in January and February."

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An aerial view shows logs that were illegally cut from the Amazon rainforest in Anapu, Para state, Brazil, in 2019. Photograph: Nacho Doce/Reuters
An aerial view shows logs that were illegally cut from the Amazon rainforest in Anapu, Para state, Brazil, in 2019. Photograph: Nacho Doce/Reuters


"The world’s birds, described as the planet’s “canaries in the coalmine”, are disappearing in large numbers as the colossal impact of humanity on the Earth grows, a global review has found.

There are about 11,000 species of bird spanning the globe, but the populations of half of them are falling, while just 6% are increasing. Their flight and song make them easier to study than many animals, meaning they are the best studied large group.

Bird populations are also affected by all the damage caused by human activity, from the destruction of wild habitat, the climate crisis, and pesticides and other pollution, to over-hunting and impacts of alien species and disease. This makes them the best living indicators of global change, the scientists said."
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The most threatened families of birds are those which are larger and take longer to reproduce, including the Australian brushturkey. Photograph: thomasmales/Getty Images/iStockphoto
The most threatened families of birds are those which are larger and take longer to reproduce, including the Australian brushturkey. Photograph: thomasmales/Getty Images/iStockphoto


Saturday, May 7, 2022

If all we get is 5%, maybe it is time to ask what can we do better?

When most people toss a plastic bottle or cup into the recycling bin, they assume that means the plastic is recycled – but a new report lays bare how rarely that actually happens.

According to the Last Beach Cleanup and Beyond Plastics, the organization behind the report released on Wednesday, the recycling rate for post-consumer plastic was just 5% to 6% in 2021.

The Department of Energy also released a research paper this week, which analyzed data from 2019, and came to the same number: only 5% of plastics are being recycled. The researchers on that report wrote that landfilled plastic waste in the United States has been on the rise for many reasons, including “low recycling rates, population growth, consumer preference for single-use plastics, and low disposal fees in certain parts of the country”, according to a press release.

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Last Beach Cleanup & Beyond Plastics report -> 

 

If all we get is 5%, maybe it is time to ask what can we do better?
If all we get is 5%, maybe it is time to ask what can we do better?

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Guardian: Oil company execs raking in the cash; "‘What we now know … they lied"

"While gas prices soar for consumers, one group of people isn’t faring so badly.

Chief executives from the largest oil and gas companies received nearly $45m more in combined total compensation in 2021 as compared to 2020 amid the steep rise in gasoline prices across the US over the last year, a new report states.

Twenty-eight major oil and gas companies, such as Shell, Exxon, BP and Marathon Petroleum, gave out $394m in total to their chief executives in 2021, according to an exclusive analysis provided to the Guardian."

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‘What we now know … they lied’: how big oil companies betrayed us all

"There is a moment in the revelatory PBS Frontline docuseries The Power of Big Oil, about the industry’s long campaign to stall action on the climate crisis, in which the former Republican senator Chuck Hagel reflects on his part in killing US ratification of the Kyoto climate treaty.

In 1997, Hagel joined with the Democratic senator Robert Byrd to promote a resolution opposing the international agreement to limit greenhouse gases, on the grounds that it was unfair to Americans. The measure passed the US Senate without a single dissenting vote, after a vigorous campaign by big oil to mischaracterize the Kyoto protocol as a threat to jobs and the economy while falsely claiming that China and India could go on polluting to their heart’s content.

The resolution effectively put a block on US ratification of any climate treaty ever since."
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A sign displays the price of gas at an Exxon gas station in Washington DC, in March. Photograph: Stefani Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images
A sign displays the price of gas at an Exxon gas station in Washington DC, in March. Photograph: Stefani Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Saturday, April 9, 2022

On the Climate Front: more heat pumps; legislation in Congress; MA Senate acts to drive climate action forward

A Cold War law could be used to boost heat pump production 

"Democrats and climate advocates are demanding the White House invoke a Cold War-era law to boost domestic manufacturing of heat pumps and other clean energy technologies, arguing it could simultaneously counter Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and fend off climate change.

The Defense Production Act enables the president to force manufacturers to expand the production of crucial goods in times of crisis. President Harry S. Truman wielded the law in 1950 to bolster steel production for the Korean War. Former president Donald Trump and President Biden used it to boost the manufacturing of ventilators and medical masks respectively."

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Is the world’s most important climate legislation about to die in US Congress?

"On April 23, the day after Earth Day, a big tent coalition—climate activists, union workers, civil rights leaders, and increasingly desperate young people—will be gathering outside the White House. If you live on the eastern seaboard and are free that Saturday, you should sign up and join them. Here’s why:

Tucked beneath the headlines on COVID and Ukraine, the most important climate legislation in US history – and thus, arguably, in world history – is still stuck in Congressional purgatory. You’d be forgiven if you weren’t fully aware. It is not trending on Twitter. President Biden has mostly stopped talking about it. The enormous moral stakes have been brutally ablated by a broken, farcical, and, above all, extremely boring legislative kludge known as budget reconciliation. The months-long saga has turned Biden’s original “Build Back Better” plan into the juridical equivalent of a Warhol soup can – a ubiquitous token evacuated of any original meaning."

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An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward

The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday introduced An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward, its second major climate proposal this legislative session, and the latest effort to continue the Commonwealth on its path towards reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The bill, also known as the Drive Act, increases investments in the state’s clean energy infrastructure, builds and improves upon existing incentives for homeowners, renters, and consumers to reduce their carbon footprints, and reduces emissions from the building and transportation sectors.

“With the Drive Act, we are taking an all-hands-on deck approach to saving the planet, with a particular focus on three area that will need significant attention if we are to meet our ambitious goal of having net zero emissions by 2050: the transportation, clean energy, and building sectors,” stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “With gas prices fluctuating and our reliance on foreign oil being brought into question once again by world events, it is in everyone’s best interest to get more Massachusetts drivers into electric vehicles, and this bill will help do that through investing in renewed EV incentives for consumers and expanded EV infrastructure. I’m proud that the Senate continues to lead on facing the existential challenge of climate change, and I am particularly grateful to Senate Majority Leader Cream and Chairs Barrett and Rodrigues on their dedicated work to aggressively move this important legislation forward.”

“Building off last year’s landmark Next Gen Climate law, An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward is a comprehensive climate bill focused on boldly confronting our climate challenges and achieving our ambitious 2050 net zero carbon emission goals as quickly and as equitably as possible,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “I applaud Senate President Spilka and her team for their incredible leadership, ensuring the Senate is committed to prioritizing an all-hands-on deck approach on the issue of climate change, and I applaud Senator Barrett, Senator Creem, their staffs and the Senate Ways and Means team for their collaboration, dedication and focus to put forward this comprehensive package to meet this most urgent moment. I look forward to a robust and energetic debate next week on the Senate floor.”
 
“We know climate change is relentless, so we think Massachusetts needs to be relentless, too,” stated Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington), Senate Chair of the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee. “No one's around to give out ‘A’s’ for effort. What matters are results. An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward pushes back against global warming on multiple fronts, and with an emphasis on innovation and smart experimentation. It's about thinking long-range but executing now, in the short term. It's about problem-solving, confidence, and even optimism.”

“It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating the passage of another landmark climate bill, but the climate crisis requires of us to constantly drive Massachusetts’ climate policy forward,” said Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem (D-Newton), Chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. “I’m grateful to President Spilka, Chair Rodrigues, and Senator Barrett for prioritizing climate action, and I’m incredibly proud of the bold steps that the Senate is proposing today to reduce emissions from transportation and buildings and invest in clean energy technology.”

An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward bolsters cutting edge clean energy technologies, updates the offshore wind procurement process and supports the advancement of solar power. It also incentivizes consumer adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), electrifies the MBTA bus fleet and builds up the EV charging infrastructure across the state. Finally, it addresses issues regarding building emissions, biomass facilities and the future of gas in the Commonwealth, among other things.

A detailed description of the bill’s provisions can be found in the accompanying fact sheet. The Senate plans to debate S.2819, An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward on Thursday, April 14, 2022, in advance of the annual celebration of Earth Day. In coordination with the Drive Act, the Senate will take up H.851, An Act preserving open space in the Commonwealth, and S.676, An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releases. The former bill codifies into law protections for open space covered by Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, while the latter bill takes action to ensure that homeowner insurers provide crucial insurance coverage to families who are at risk of costly home heating oil spills.

PDF of the press release

PDF of the Fact Sheet 

An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward
An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward

Monday, April 4, 2022

"We need a CDC that prioritizes the health of the people, not the health of big business"

"A new omicron variant, referred to as BA 2, is taking hold in the US. Anthony Fauci and others have said they don’t expect a new surge in the US, but BA.2 is causing devastating surges elsewhere, and the policies and behaviors we might use to prevent a surge in the US have been widely abandoned, in part thanks to the CDC’s new system for measuring and conveying COVID risk.

In late February, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unveiled a new COVID-19 monitoring system based on what they call “Community Levels.” By downplaying the importance of Sars-CoV-2 transmission, the new system instantly turned what was a pandemic map still red from Omicron transmission to green – creating the false impression that the pandemic is over.

Released four days before the State of the Union, the new CDC measures and the narrative they created let President Biden claim victory over the virus via sleight of hand: a switch from standard reporting of community transmissions to measures of risk based largely on contentious hospital-based metrics. The previous guidelines called anything over 50 cases per 100,000 people “substantial or high.” Now, they say 200 cases per 100,000 is “low” as long as hospitalizations are also low.

The resulting shift from a red map to a green one reflected no real reduction in transmission risk. It was a resort to rhetoric: an effort to craft a success story that would explain away hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths and the continued threat the virus poses. "

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"The People’s CDC is a collective of public health practitioners, scientists, healthcare workers, educators, advocates and people from all walks of life who care about reducing the harmful impacts of COVID-19. The People’s CDC is volunteer-run and independent of partisan political and corporate interests. 
A copy of the People’s CDC report on the change in the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines can be found at peoplescdc.org."
"We need a CDC that prioritizes the health of the people, not the health of big business"
"We need a CDC that prioritizes the health of the people, not the health of big business"



Tuesday, March 22, 2022

"The sillier I allow myself to be, the better the writing is”

"Mary Dickins had been a spectator at poetry nights before and knew “the poetry clap”. She mimes a polite tapping of fingers. But when she made her debut as a performer at the age of 62 at the legendary Bang Said the Gun night in south London, “it was so anarchic and wild – like nothing I had seen before”. The audience stamped feet, shook shakers. “It felt transformative. I thought: ‘I’ve got to have more of this.’”

Even though Dickins says she “constantly has impostor syndrome – I always feel that I’m going to be found out”, becoming a performance poet has given her a place on a stage of her own making.

All her life she has written, mostly without being seen or heard. Her mother died when she was nine, and, after she went into a care home at 13, Dickins’ writing “stayed in notebooks”. “Never really took it anywhere,” she says (she has a habit of eliding the personal pronoun, as if she might be an impostor in her own sentences)."

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If this inspires you to write, there are opportunities around to do so. For example, the Senior Scribblers meet weekly at the Senior Center on Wednesdays (once a month to record at the Franklin TV Studio). If interested, call the Senior Center or let me know (I am part of the group).


Mary Dickins: ‘The sillier I allow myself to be, the better the writing is.’ Photograph: Teri Pengilley/The Guardian
Mary Dickins: ‘The sillier I allow myself to be, the better the writing is.’ Photograph: Teri Pengilley/The Guardian

Thursday, March 17, 2022

"Indications within the United States support the idea that new wave is already getting started"

 

"When it comes to COVID, the United States specializes in denialism. Deny the human-to-human transmission of the virus when China’s first cases were publicized in late 2019. Deny that the virus is airborne. Deny the need for boosters across all adult age groups. There are many more examples, but now one stands out – learning from other countries.

In early 2020, with the major outbreak in the Lombardy region of Italy that rapidly and profoundly outstripped hospital resources and medical staffing, Americans expressed confidence that it won’t happen here. That it couldn’t happen here. And then it did.

Fast forward two years of the pandemic: the United Kingdom and Europe have provided five unmistakable warnings to America that a new surge was occurring. Within weeks, each time, the United States experienced a new wave, some not as severe (such as with the Alpha variant), some worse (Delta and Omicron variants). From this COVID track record over two years, it is palpable: what happens in the UK and Europe doesn’t stay in the UK and Europe."

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‘Unfortunately, we have a mindset that the pandemic is over, which couldn’t be further than the truth.’ Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock
‘Unfortunately, we have a mindset that the pandemic is over, which couldn’t be further than the truth.’ Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

Monday, March 14, 2022

The Guardian provides another view to US news

A couple of good articles on topics we don't always find in the US new media

"How COVID shook the US: eight charts that capture the last two years"
Death is a topic not well discussed and perhaps even more so when associated with COVID-19. The counting process can be problematic. Everyone needs to be using the same definitions and even in MA, the definition of a COVID death is changing. One thing is clear, the disease is deadly.

one of the 8 charts in the article
one of the 8 charts in the article

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"Sandy Hook review: anatomy of an American tragedy – and the obscenity of social media"

"Even in a country now completely inured to the horrors of mass shootings, the massacre at Sandy Hook remains lodged in the minds of everyone old enough to remember it. Ten years ago, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fired 154 rounds from an AR-15-style rifle in less than five minutes. Twenty extremely young children and six adults were killed.

It was the worst elementary school shooting in American history.

Elizabeth Williamson’s new book is about that “American Tragedy”, but more importantly it is about “the Battle for Truth” that followed. In excruciating detail, Williamson describes the unimaginable double tragedy every Sandy Hook parent has had to endure: the murder of their child, followed by years and years of an army of online monsters accusing them of inventing this unimaginable horror."
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Note: my wife taught kindergarten for 20+ years here in Franklin so the Sandy Hook tragedy hits close to home. 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

"‘Defining moment’: how can the US end its dependency on fossil fuels?"

"Environmental groups and progressive Democrats are aiming to build upon the backlash to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by ending the era of fossil fuel dependency and help address the unfolding climate crisis.

“This moment is a clarion call for the urgent need to transition to domestic clean energy so that we are never again complicit in fossil-fueled conflict,” said Ed Markey, the Democratic senator who helped devise the Green New Deal platform.

The climate measures in Biden’s moribund Build Back Better legislation may now be resurrected, Democrats hope, with several of the party’s senators unveiling a flurry of bills to ensure renewable energy replaces the banned Russian oil imports and to tax oil companies enjoying a financial bonanza from oil prices that have soared due to the crisis in Ukraine.

Green groups want Biden to go even further."
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/11/us-fossil-fuel-dependency-climate-joe-biden-oil-russia

‘There’s a war with a fossil fuel oligarch and we are in a climate war, so we need to attack this on a wartime footing.’ Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA
‘There’s a war with a fossil fuel oligarch and we are in a climate war, so we need to attack this on a wartime footing.’ Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA


   

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Guardian: "Chemical pollution has passed safe limit for humanity, say scientists"

Kate Raworth (@KateRaworth) tweeted on Tue, Jan 18, 2022:
"This is big and bleak news. The planetary boundary for chemical pollution (aka 'novel entities') has been quantified for the first time - and it's now clear that humanity is massively transgressing levels that are safe for life on Earth. 
Plastics! Read on. https://t.co/OEHWdSOX23 "
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Shared from Twitter: https://twitter.com/KateRaworth/status/1483480456335175684

The Guardian: "Chemical pollution has passed safe limit for humanity, say scientists"
The Guardian: "Chemical pollution has passed safe limit for humanity, say scientists"

Monday, December 20, 2021

"a chaotic “ripple effect” around the world"

"In Britain it’s alcohol, in Canada it’s maple syrup, while in Australia it’s a crucial additive for diesel trucks, and in New Zealand it’s brown sugar. These are just some of the many shortages affecting consumers and businesses around the world as industry experts warn that the supply chain crisis prompted by the coronavirus pandemic could last for many more months and even up to two years.

Although there are signs that some bottlenecks are easing, the onset of the Omicron Covid variant could lead to new shutdowns, sending another disruptive spasm through the global system.

The gravest appears to be an outbreak of Covid this week in the Chinese manufacturing hub of Zhejiang, which is home to the world’s largest cargo port, Ningbo-Zhoushan. Tens of thousands are in quarantine under China’s strict zero-Covid policy and some local authorities have urged workers not to travel home “unnecessarily” for lunar new year festival in February. “Further supply chain disruption is a significant possibility,” economic analysts at Capital Economics said in a note.

Industry experts and economists believe the problems could persist as the finely calibrated network of world trade, already weakened by months of shipping backlogs, labour shortages and geopolitical tensions, remains “discombobulated”."
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https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/18/global-supply-chain-crisis-could-last-another-two-years-warn-experts

China’s Ningbo Zhoushan port in Zhejiang province, a key shipping hub. A new Covid outbreak in the region has raised fears of further delays in the global shipping system. Photograph: China Stringer Network/Reuters
China’s Ningbo Zhoushan port in Zhejiang province, a key shipping hub. A new Covid outbreak in the region has raised fears of further delays in the global shipping system. Photograph: China Stringer Network/Reuters

Monday, December 6, 2021

From pandemic to endemic: this is how we might get back to normal

"First, the bad news. With unpredictable outbreaks still occurring around the world, and variants like Omicron raising questions about the virus’s contagiousness, we are very much still in a pandemic.

The good news: while it’s difficult to predict the exact timing, most scientists agree that the Covid-19 pandemic will end and that the virus will become endemic. That means the virus will probably never be eliminated entirely, but as more people get vaccinated and become exposed to it, infections will eventually arise at a consistently low rate, and fewer people will become severely ill. An area where vaccination and booster rates are high will probably see endemicity sooner than a region with lower rates."
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Illustration: Ulises Mendicutty/The Guardian
Illustration: Ulises Mendicutty/The Guardian

Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Guardian: "COVID cases are surging in Europe. America is in denial about what lies in store for it"

"It’s deja vu, yet again. The pandemic first hit Europe in March 2020, and Americans were in denial, thinking it wouldn’t happen here. Then, later in the year, the Alpha variant wave took hold in the United Kingdom and the United States was unprepared. This recurred with Delta in the summer of 2021. 
Now, in the fall of 2021, Europe is the outlier continent on the rise with COVID, with approximately 350 cases per 100,000 people and many countries are soaring to new records. This not only involves eastern and central Europe, where there are some countries with low vaccination rates (such as Georgia, only 24% fully vaccinated) and caseloads as high as 160/100,000 (Slovenia), but also western Europe, such as Austria, Belgium, Ireland and several others. 
Indeed, in Germany, leading virologist Christian Drosten recently warned their death toll could be doubled if more aggressive mitigation and vaccination strategies were not quickly adopted.

.... 

We are already seeing signs that the US is destined to succumb to more COVID spread, with more than three weeks sitting at a plateau of ~75,000 new cases per day, now there’s been a 10% rise in the past week. We are miles from any semblance of COVID containment, facing winter and the increased reliance of being indoors with inadequate ventilation and air filtration, along with the imminent holiday gatherings."

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Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Guardian: "Climate experts warn world leaders 1.5C is ‘real science’, not just talking point"

"The 1.5C temperature limit to be discussed by world leaders at critical meetings this weekend is a vital physical threshold for the planet’s climate, and not an arbitrary political construct that can be haggled over, leading climate scientists have warned.

World leaders are meeting in Rome and Glasgow over the next four days to thrash out a common approach aimed at holding global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the lower of two limits set out in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

But some countries are unwilling to peg their emissions plans to the tougher goal, as it would require more urgent efforts. They prefer to consider long-term goals such as net zero by 2050.

Johan Rockström, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and one of the world’s foremost climate scientists, warned that the 1.5C target was not like other political negotiations, which can be haggled over or compromised on."

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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/30/climate-experts-warn-world-leaders-15c-is-real-science-not-just-talking-point

The Greenland ice sheet, the melting of which would raise sea level rises, could be tipped into a state of irreversible decline beyond 1.5C. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images
The Greenland ice sheet, the melting of which would raise sea level rises, could be tipped into a state of irreversible decline beyond 1.5C. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images


Sound familiar?

 

"Youngkin’s seeming confusion around controversial racial issues highlighted his conflicting roles. In Washington, while at Carlyle, he was the responsible corporate citizen practicing worthy philanthropy. In the Republican party, where that sort of non-partisan moderation is not only suspect but mocked as a source of evil, he has had to demonstrate that he is not tainted.

Soon enough, Youngkin waded into the murky waters of racial politics. He offered himself as the defender of schoolchildren from the menace of critical race theory, even though the abstruse legal doctrine is not taught in any Virginia public school. Yet he suggested that his opponent, former governor Terry McAuliffe, would impose its creed on innocent minds, depriving parents of control. “On day one, I will ban critical race theory in our schools,” Youngkin has pledged.

But his brandishing of critical race theory, nonexistent in the schools’ curriculum, has been apparently insufficiently frightening to finish the job. Perhaps not enough people know what the theory is at all. He needed one more push, searched for one more issue and produced one more ad."
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Friday, October 29, 2021

The good (then) and the bad (now)

The Good that once was:
"Worn #onthisday in 1956 by Elvis Presley when he was photographed getting his polio vaccine to persuade teenagers to get vaccinated. 
Within the next 6 months, 84% of American children got the vaccine, released in 1955; by 1957, US cases had dropped by 81%. #OTD #rollupyoursleeve"   https://t.co/7HnZELqjrs
Shared from Twitter: https://twitter.com/WornOnThisDay/status/1453678218314194951


Elvis Presley when he was photographed getting his polio vaccine
Elvis Presley when he was photographed getting his polio vaccine


The Bad that lingers on:
"A systematic disinformation campaign in Russian media to foster doubts and misgivings about COVID-19 vaccines in the West has backfired as the death toll in Russia rises to record daily tolls, a European Union report said on Thursday.

Facing a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections and deaths and a widespread reluctance among Russians to get inoculated, President Vladimir Putin approved a government proposal on Wednesday for a week-long workplace shutdown in Russia at the start of November to curb the spread of the virus."
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The Guardian also covers the Russian surge in cases:  (Subscription maybe required)  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/28/russia-brings-in-harsh-new-covid-measures-amid-record-cases-and-deaths
 
The Guardian covers the Russian surge in cases
The Guardian covers the Russian surge in cases


Monday, September 27, 2021

The Guardian: "Femicides in the US: the silent epidemic few dare to name"

"The last week of July, as Gabby Petito and her fiance, Brian Laundrie, posted Instagram photos of themselves hiking barefoot in Utah’s Canyonlands national park, bronzed skin matching apricot-colored rocks, the body of Jerri Winters was discovered in Clinton Township, Michigan.

Her boyfriend, Matthew Lewinski, immediately admitted to the police he strangled her last December, keeping her mutilated body in the basement of the home they shared for months.

The same week, down in Starkville, Mississippi, William Chisholm was convicted of capital murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend Dr Shauna Witt. One month following her breaking up with him, Chisholm stormed the Walmart eye clinic where Witt worked as an optometrist and shot her dead.

Over in Baltimore, Maryland, Gomezgeka Chisala was that same week being held without bail after confessing to the killing of his ex-girlfriend Shaunya Green, a life-loving nurse and mother of two who once traveled to Africa to walk among elephants. Earlier in the month, Chisala had driven to Green’s home with a gun, entered into an argument with her and shot her dead."
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/26/femicide-us-silent-epidemic

A woman with a red hand painted on her face, which calls attention to the high rates of Indigenous women who are murdered or missing. Photograph: Kevin Mohatt/Reuters
A woman with a red hand painted on her face, which calls attention to the high rates of Indigenous women who are murdered or missing. Photograph: Kevin Mohatt/Reuters


Saturday, September 25, 2021

“I don’t tell strangers what I do for a living any more”

"Alexandra was working in the public health emergencies unit in a major north-eastern American city when the first wave of the pandemic hit. Although her job was in public health policy research, and not treating Coovid-19 patients on the frontlines of the healthcare system, she recalls the spring of 2020 as a blur of 24-hour shifts.

Beginning last March, Alexandra estimates that she and her colleagues worked the equivalent of three full-time years in 12 months. (Her name has been changed to protect anonymity.)

“There was no overtime, there was no hazard pay,” Alexandra recalls. Throughout the public health department where she worked, symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress-related physical maladies were commonplace among staff.

This summer, despite the protestations of her superiors, Alexandra quit. She says she’s one of roughly 25 staff members who have left the department since the start of the pandemic."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/23/us-public-health-workers-pandemic-burnout

Just as the pandemic has fuelled a burnout crisis among frontline medical staff, it has been calamitous for the mental health of workers in public health. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
Just as the pandemic has fuelled a burnout crisis among frontline medical staff, it has been calamitous for the mental health of workers in public health. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock