News roundup for Tue, Aug 09, 2022 – The Prepared

News roundup for Tue, Aug 09, 2022 – The Prepared

(Editor’s note: removed an incorrect statement about the size of the McKinney fire.)

In short:
  • The US Senate passed a landmark climate bill that could slash emissions by 40%.
  • Early signs suggest that monkeypox in the UK might be peaking.
  • 30% of Americans cited climate change as a reason to move in 2022.
Economy

The US Senate approved a bill to fight climate change and cut drug costs. The new bill could slash emissions by 40%.

Job growth surges in the US, cooling recession fears. The economy added 528,000 jobs—more than double what was expected, and the unemployment rate is 3.5%, its lowest level in 50 years. But as a result, the Fed is expected to keep hiking interest rates.

Via Al Jazeera

US gas price has fallen 83 cents since mid-June, the fastest decline in over a decade:

Via Car and Driver

The New York Fed’s survey of consumer inflation expectations drops to its lowest level ever:

Opinion: How this economic moment rewrites the rules.

Three more ships carrying thousands of tons of corn departed Ukraine ports. The ships are bound for Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Turkey. The first vessels to leave were among over a dozen grain carriers and cargo ships stuck in ports. Despite hopes that resumed shipments will ease a food crisis, much of the backed-up cargo is for animal feed.

Think 9% inflation is bad? Try 90%. Argentines are dealing with the latest economic crisis by using only cash (US Dollar preferred against the weak Peso), keeping that cash anywhere outside of a bank, spending that money as fast as possible, and buying everything in installments. Read more here.

Energy

UN warns of power and water shortages as two of the US largest reservoirs nearing “dead pool” status. A dead pool occurs when water in a reservoir drops so low that it can’t flow downstream from the dam.

In these 32 states, it’s legal for power companies to cut your AC during a heat wave. In other words, most of the US population is vulnerable to utility shutoffs during extreme weather:

Via Vox

The Spanish government has set a law that prevents businesses from setting their AC below 27C (almost 81F). Spain is trying to save energy and wean itself from Russian gas:

There’s a chance that the global diesel crunch is going to get worse.

Switzerland is opening a hydro plant with the capacity to charge 400,000 car batteries simultaneously.

Climate change, environment, extreme weather

California’s McKinney fire has burned at least 60,200 acres and is only about 40% contained. At least 134 homes and businesses burned down, and five people died, including a lifetime wildfire lookout who was urged to evacuate. The fire has also led to the mass fish kill in the Klamath River. The fire began underneath a power line circuit that had trouble just hours earlier.

Illinois got a foot of rain in 12 hours. This is the US’s third 1,000-year rain in one week. Climate change is making heavy rains more frequent and severe, especially in the Northeast and Midwest.

Via Yahoo! News

At least 549 people have died in Pakistan over the past month due to flash floods. The past month was the wettest in 30 years, with 133% more rain than average. In Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, it rained 305% more than usual. Pakistan declared an emergency state as two monsoon systems will bring in more rain in the next few days. In case they’re helpful, I’ve compiled some resources about flash floods in the Aug 02 roundup.

Drought reveals more bodies from Lake Mead and more WWII artifacts from the drying bottom of Italy’s river Po. This time it was an unexploded bomb:

Nebraska and Colorado are fighting over water rights. Nebraska wants to siphon South Platte River water into Colorado using the fine print of a century-old water compact. Colorado’s governor calls the plan a “misguided political stunt.” Climate scientists say the drought could cause more conflicts as it stretches out.

A new report shows that 30% of Americans cited climate change as a reason to move in 2022, and 1 on 10 US homes (14.5 million) was impacted by natural disasters in 2021:

Via Forbes

The Guardian: A new database of extreme weather studies makes clear how far policymaking is lagging behind the reality of climate chaos.

Here’s AccuWeather forecast for the US this fall:

The rest

The UK health agency said there are early signs that monkeypox is peaking. This is encouraging, but this is not the time to become complacent.

Canada will ban the import of handguns from Aug 19. The measure will remain in effect until parliament passes new, stricter rules, including a permanent import ban.

China halted climate and military dialogue with the US over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Blinken is on a diplomatic tour of Africa. There’s growing concern about China and Russia’s influence, so Washington is trying to boost relations.