EPIDEMICS UPDATES - COVID & Climate Change - U.S. Takes The Lead?
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
December 20, 2021 - Democracy Now!
As Covid Numbers Skyrocket - Fentanyl Is No. 1 Cause Of Death For US Adults 18 - 45 year old: A National Emergency
Airlines Warn 5G Disruptions
The U.S. is needed to lead the World in Defeating these Skyrocketing Epidemics of Increasing Number and
We could vaccinate the world in six months from now.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: He’s going to have to tell the people of West Virginia why he doesn’t want to expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing and eyeglasses. It’s a great state, beautiful people. But it is a state that is struggling. And he’s going to have to tell the people of West Virginia why he’s rejecting what the scientists of the world are telling us, that we have to act boldly and transform our energy system to protect future generations from the devastation of climate change.
You know, what’s going on now, Jake, in Washington is the big money interests are pouring hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to make sure that we continue to pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, that the rich do not start paying their fair share of taxes. And I would have hoped that we could have had at least 50 Democrats on board who had the guts to stand up for working families and take on the lobbyists and the powerful special interests.
AMY GOODMAN: Massachusetts Congressmember Ayanna Pressley appeared on CNN and condemned Manchin.
REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY: This is about Joe Manchin obstructing the president’s agenda, obstructing the people’s agenda, you know, torpedoing our opportunity to advance unprecedented advancements to address the hurt that this pandemic-induced recession has caused and to get this pandemic under control.
Sen_JoeManchin, with all due respect, when you say you’re a no on Build Back Better–is it you? Or is it the special interest [money]?” You talk about the number of noes that he is saying to the face of your community: no more child tax payments, no affordable child care, no paid leave, no immigration protections, no community violence and trauma intervention funding, no $35-a-month cap on insulin, no down payment assistance, no housing vouchers, and beyond.
And I also want to read another of the six congressmembers, the Squad plus you and Cori Bush, who voted against separating the bipartisan infrastructure bill from Build Back Better, saying this would then never pass. She said, “West Virginia is 50th in public health, 50th in childcare, 48th in employment. They support Build Back Better by a 43 point margin. This has nothing to do with [the] constituents [of Manchin]. This is about the corruption and self-interest of a coal baron,” Ilhan Omar tweeted.
Now, clearly, if 43% more — they support Build Back Better, West Virginians, by a 43-point margin. That’s what Senator Schumer is counting on when he has the senators going back home and then voting on this, just announced before we went to broadcast, anyway on the Senate floor. Talk about that decision.
REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN: It’s the right decision. I am happy it’s happening. . . .
he’s the largest recipient of oil, gas and coal money of any senator in the country. But this point you’re making about Big Pharma, on Sunday, Senator Sanders accused Manchin of not having the guts to take on pharmaceutical and other powerful special interests. Manchin has long had this close relationship with Big Pharma. His daughter, Heather Bresch, is the former president and CEO of the drug company Mylan. During her time as CEO, she drew outrage when the company raised the price of its life-saving EpiPen, used by millions to reverse fatal allergic reactions. She raised the cost of it by 400%. She later received a $31 million payout, and her company, Mylan, gave massive contributions to her father, Senator Manchin. Can you talk specifically about this? Because, in fact, Manchin on Fox talked about drug prices, even when he talked about killing the bill.
REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN: Yeah. We also have to consider the committees that he is affiliated with in the Senate. Yeah, his daughter increased her salary by 671%. You know, this is a senator who believes that this is OK, that this is business as usual and there’s no problem at all with his family benefiting from investments in and payments from the pharmaceutical lobby.
Unfortunately, he is not the only one. Many of my colleagues in the House and the Senate think it’s OK for big money to continue to control how Congress behaves. You know, this is capitalism. Many of my colleagues are capitalists, and they celebrate this, and they are completely OK with this. he’s the largest recipient of oil, gas and coal money of any senator in the country. But this point you’re making about Big Pharma, on Sunday, Senator Sanders accused Manchin of not having the guts to take on pharmaceutical and other powerful special interests. Manchin has long had this close relationship with Big Pharma. His daughter, Heather Bresch, is the former president and CEO of the drug company Mylan. During her time as CEO, she drew outrage when the company raised the price of its life-saving EpiPen, used by millions to reverse fatal allergic reactions. She raised the cost of it by 400%. She later received a $31 million payout, and her company, Mylan, gave massive contributions to her father, Senator Manchin. Can you talk specifically about this? Because, in fact, Manchin on Fox talked about drug prices, even when he talked about killing the bill.
REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN: Yeah. We also have to consider the committees that he is affiliated with in the Senate. Yeah, his daughter increased her salary by 671%. You know, this is a senator who believes that this is OK, that this is business as usual and there’s no problem at all with his family benefiting from investments in and payments from the pharmaceutical lobby.
Unfortunately, he is not the only one. Many of my colleagues in the House and the Senate think it’s OK for big money to continue to control how Congress behaves. You know, this is capitalism. Many of my colleagues are capitalists, and they celebrate this, and they are completely OK with this. “Unacceptable”: Rep. Jamaal Bowman Slams Manchin After Senator Says No to Build Back Better Plan | Democracy Now!
As Omicron Spreads, 100+ Firms in Africa, Asia & Latin America Can Make mRNA Vaccine If Tech Shared | Democracy Now!
12/7/2021 Dem Now Report on Pfizer Moderna stocks soaring in response to news of omicron variant
huge profits - alert Dem Now that there has been a huge increase in the no of childhood vaccines since 1980s - SEE NVIC
Huge new market for vaccines - ADULTS - at the expense of millions billions in developing countries
Only a few tiny handful of which such as Hg study managed to not be shut down when Bush Admin took over - showing link to autism
EWG studies showing arsenic heavy metals in baby food - everywhere - Missouri Can...
NVIC - RFK Jr - EPA Publication - Continues to this day - Lack of understanding of role of Hg and Coal ash in rising escalating rates of autism a spectrum of disorders of epidemic proportions
when Bush Admin took over - Much to RFK's chagrin as his scientific and public action cite his contributions and successes on power plant issues such as (acronym?) new plant construction control standards requirements - Helped dramatically clean the Hudson River and other eastern rivers were catching fire - Nixon's impetus for the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act and EPA in 1970.t
huge public US role in research AND manufacturing these vaccines that pharma is now claiming patents ownership
blocking US pledges to share with the world
Biden pledges but US gov being huge organization there may be likely to be many former GOP Admin staff and chiefs still carrying out private corp policies and directives below the level of his new Secretaries etc that need to be identified sabotaging new policies in a wide range of actions.
Big Pharma / Big Ag are two sides of the same industry, factories, R&D, chemistry of monocultural methods highly toxic to human health and the environment. Lobbyists and access to Congress would thus be having twice the impact on laws, policy, issues, etc.
Impact on World Health wrt to vaccines is adversely causing viruses to fluorish, mutate, ensuring Pharma profits breaking thru to a HUGE new market - ADULTS - At the cost of millions or billions of lives in developing countries
-DESPITE BIDEN Pledges and Goodwill his policies are not being carried out! implemented! This breakdown in the chain of command needs to be recognized and corrected. Recall that when as soon as Trump took office, his directives were out calling for information and names of staff who were working to protect the environment and human health and weed them out.
In red states these directives were already being carried out due to management installed throughout the Bush Admin who continued to advance their policies throughout the Obama Admin that continues if not to this day, at least as recently as the spring of 2020 when Missouri state gov used the pandemic as a pretext to curtail many public outreach and coordination involvement, the Missouri DNR official if unspoken position on climate change was that is was not real, not spoken of or addressed - even in FRAWG . climate change disasters that are increasing in frequency and intensity. Eg when then Governor Jay Nixon said of Torrential flooding weather after Christmas 2013,4,,5? Again in 2016,7 headlines "It's like another strange different planet war zone"
It is impossible for humanity to respond to exstential threats - Climate Change - Nuclear War - while complicit with ongoing wars and violence around the world.
Dangerously Mutated R.1 COVID Variant Detected
in 35 Countries
September 23, 2021
The R.1 variant of COVID-19, which scientists fear is more infectious and could evade current vaccines, has been detected in 35 countries and in two U.S. territories. The variant, which initially spread through 45 residents and staff at a Kentucky nursing home in March, has since been detected in 47 U.S. states, according to data. First detected in Japan, the variant contains a mutation that could enable it to bypass the antibody protection present in those who are fully vaccinated.
AND SAVE LIVES
COVID-19 cases are continuing to soar here in the United States and around the world. The highly contagious Delta variant is driving the increase in areas with low vaccination rates. The country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN the United States is in, quote, “unnecessary predicament.”
Much of the world has yet to see a single vaccine dose, with less than 1% of COVID vaccines now distributed to low-income countries — 0.3%. The People’s Vaccine Alliance and Public Citizen are pushing rich countries to invest in global vaccine manufacturing. The campaign calls on President Biden to launch a $25 billion global vaccine manufacturing program to produce 8 billion doses of mRNA vaccine within a year, enough for more than half the world’s population.
In response, dozens of members of Congress have called for funding in the reconciliation package to produce and distribute COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. “No investment in the fight against COVID-19 is more urgent and cost-effective now than an investment in getting the world vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
UPDATE: Biden Pledges More Vaccine Donations as Poorer Nations Demand Patent Waivers for COVID-19 Shots
SEP 23, 2021 Headlines for September 23, 2021 | Democracy Now!
Watch: Rich Countries Signed Away A Chance To Vaccinate The World
At the virtual global vaccine summit of world leaders this week, President Biden announced that the United States will donate an additional 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses to other nations around the world. Biden is calling on wealthy nations to vaccinate 70% of the world’s 8 billion people within the next year. Critics say Biden’s commitments fall far short of what’s needed. The vaccine summit’s goals make no mention of a push, led by India and South Africa, to waive intellectual property rights on vaccines and to force pharmaceutical companies to transfer technology to vaccine makers in the Global South. In a statement, the director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program said, “Ending the pandemic is a choice. Leaders at today’s summit have yet to make that choice. The White House still has not mobilized the necessary resources to expand vaccine manufacturing and protect millions more lives that may be lost.”
How Many COVID-19 Variants Are There? Will More Come?
Currently, the World Health Organization believes there are at least 17 strains of COVID-19 circulating around the world, including a new one you may have heard of: Mu. Poland and his team have been gathering data on them and emphasized that it's important not to focus on the variant, but the "dire need" for vaccination to stop the spread.
The Delta variant is contributing to a faster and broader spread of COVID-19, especially among the unvaccinated "The current vaccines protect against severe disease, death and hospitalization against all the known variants currently circulating," Poland said.
What’s Next for Americans?
Unless more people become vaccinated, the Delta variant will continue to wreak havoc, Poland emphasized. "Delta remains a serious threat to the health of the unvaccinated. Hospitals are overwhelmed now in many parts of the country and to varying degrees. COVID is constantly mutating so there will be more variants identified, no doubt. We hope to see an expansion of vaccines for children and a wider range of biologics for treating symptoms, in hopes of keeping patients out of hospitals and ICU facilities. Again, the best thing one can do is become vaccinated and urge others to do so as well," Poland said.
Which States Will be In Danger?
Kent Sepkowitz, a physician and infection control expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, shared in a guest column that he believes the Delta variant will "continue to overwhelm unvaccinated communities." "Right now, Mississippi and Oklahoma, both of which have vaccination rates that are lower than the national average, have unimaginably high rates of test positivity, exceeding 50 percent; an additional six states have test positivity rates that are higher than 20 percent. While Florida and Alabama do not release this data to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, they are also likely to be high in both states, given the rising case numbers there," Sepkowitz wrote. These rates capture the situation before school started, Now, many school districts do not require masks and cannot effectively social distance in a classroom or lunchroom. "This will likely lead to more spread and more soul-crushing tragedy, much of it vaccine-preventable. This surge of new cases, which we saw at the start of the school year in 2020, will take a while to settle down. And by then, we will be looking at the winter — when the prospect of being stuck indoors hour after hour will feel particularly grim," Sepkowitz noted.
How to Stay Safe Every Day
Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Diet Habits Wrecking Your Immune System
With fall fast approaching, cold and flu season isn't far behind. For many people who want to avoid getting sick, frequent hand washing and steering clear of crowds has already become a priority. However, there's one crucial step toward protecting your immune system that many people aren't taking: revamping your eating habits. If you want to protect your wellbeing, read on to discover the eating habits that could be wrecking your immune health, according to experts. And for more foods to cut from your diet, check out the 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.
A profound malaise is spreading across planet earth. Entire species are blinking out at an accelerating rate. Billions of birds, whales, rhinos, tigers, fish, insects, coral reefs, spiders, are dying before our eyes, on the news feed. On our watch. Environmental destruction driven by human short-sightedness and greed.
New UN Report Highlights Threat Of Climate Change
‘COVID Is A Warning From The Planet’
'Code Red Alert'
A new UN report will highlight the threats facing the world. (Getty) ‘COVID is a warning’: New UN report to highlight threat of climate change (yahoo.com)
Top scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are preparing to finalize the first installment of its Sixth Assessment Report. The report will expand on the 5th IPCC report in 2013 by focusing on more extreme weather and regional impacts.
The biggest UN climate report since 2013 is set to highlight the threats faced by our planet, with one UN official describing the pandemic as a warning from the planet. "While the climate crisis, together with biodiversity loss and pollution, has been under way for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought this triple planetary crisis into sharp focus," says Joyce Msuya, assistant secretary general of the United Nations and deputy executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). "The pandemic is a warning from the planet that much worse lies in store unless we change our ways."
Watch: UN report shows world hunger worsened in pandemic
CHINA TAKES THE LEAD IN RENEWABLE ENERGY - ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - HUMANITARIAN ACTIONS
AROUND THE WORLD
China is taking the lead in everything from renewable energy to economic development and assistance, humanitarian actions around the world. This despite their own poverty compared to the United States, who however is focussed on continually concentrating our wealth at the very top, while homeless populations proliferate. As they are elsewhere in the world, due to U.S. aggression on the part of the military, industrial, agricultural etc. complexes. Thus China's military buildup can be seen in light of U.S. dominance in these remaining spheres. QUANTITATIVE EASING / FED RESERVE BOND PROGRAM FOR THE PEOPLE
Dem Now on China around the Globe
China on track to ‘become the world’s renewable energy superpower.’
By Marc Prosser
April 4, 2019
Renewable energy demand and capacity are growing explosively.
When looking at numbers for wind energy production, China stands above all other countries. Figures released by the Global Energy Council in late February showed that China has installed far more wind power capacity, both on land and at sea, than any other country. So, why is China such a force when it comes to wind power? Moreover, will it continue to lead the way in the coming years?
China’s Lead In Wind and Other Renewables
China is approaching the end of its 13th Energy Technology Innovation Five-Year Plan. The plan specifically mentions wind energy as a focus point, identifying wind turbines with a megawatt (MW) production capacity of between 8 and 10MW as a key technology. By the end of 2020, China aims to have 210 gigawatts (GW) of grid-connected wind energy capacity. Its capacity at the beginning of 2018 led the world with around 187 GW, compared to 89 GW for the US in second place and 56 GW for Germany in third.
Wind energy isn’t the only renewable where China is the pacesetter. A recent report from the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, set up by the International Renewable Energy Agency, pointed to China as the country in the best position to ‘become the world’s renewable energy superpower.’
China is now the world leader in production, export, and installation of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and electric vehicles. It aims to produce 50 percent of its energy from non-fossil sources, including nuclear and renewable, by 2030. . . .
Read more in original article including numerous links at:
United States Should become a Humanitarian Superpower - Howard Zinn
Over 230 medical journals:
Floodwaters remain in Helmetta, New Jersey, on Aug. 22 following flash flooding as Tropical Storm Henri swept through. Photo: Tom Brenner/AFP via Getty Images
Rebecca Falconer - September 6, 2021 - Energy & Environment
Nearly 1 in 3 Americans have experienced a weather disaster since June — showing the extent to which climate change is impacting people's daily lives.
Global warming is affecting people's health — World leaders need to address the climate crisis now — It can't wait until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, editors of over 230 medical journals warn. This is the first time this many publications have come together to issue such a joint statement to world leaders, underscoring the severity of the situation — with the Lancet and the British Medical Journal among those issuing the warning.
Ahead of this November's UN general assembly and the COP 26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, the journals warn: "The greatest threat to global public health is the continued failure of world leaders to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5C and to restore nature."
Threat level: "Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world," states the editorial, which also ran in the New England Journal of Medicine, the International Nursing Review, the Chinese Science Bulletin and Brazil's Revista de Saude Publica.
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warns that global warming could reach 1.5°C (2.7°F) compared to pre-industrial levels by 2030.
Global warming also impacts farming production, "hampering efforts to reduce undernutrition."s.
Heat-related mortality among people older than 65 has risen by over 50% in the past 20 years.
"Higher temperatures have brought increased dehydration and renal function loss, dermatological malignancies, tropical infections, adverse mental health outcomes, pregnancy complications, allergies, and cardiovascular and pulmonary morbidity and mortality."
"The science is unequivocal: a global increase of 1.5° C above the pre-industrial average and the continued loss of biodiversity risk catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse," the editorial warns.
Pressure Mounts on U.S., Germany, U.K. to Support COVID-19 Patent Waivers as WTO Panel Meets
A new report contends the Biden administration could unilaterally share the recipe for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine with the world. Public Citizen says the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority — known as BARDA — invested heavily in the development of Moderna’s vaccine at taxpayer expense and has access to its entire “vaccine recipe.” That includes chemistry, manufacturing and controls information that Public Citizen says could be shared with the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile, more than 140 Nobel laureates and former heads of state have signed an open letter calling on Germany to support a waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID vaccines. Their call comes as a World Trade Organization panel is set to convene this week to discuss a patent waiver — nearly a year after India and South Africa proposed the move, which would require the unanimous consent of all 164 WTO member nations.
A handful of countries, led by Germany and the United Kingdom, have so far refused to agree to a patent waiver. Joining the call for a People’s Vaccine is California Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna.
Rep. Ro Khanna: “We need to ensure that everyone has access to this vaccine. A first step to getting people access to the vaccine is making sure that we’re sharing the know-how of how they can build it.”
In the West, a Connection Between Covid and Wildfires
Exposure to wildfire smoke during last summer’s wildfire season could be associated with thousands of additional coronavirus infections as well as hundreds of deaths in Washington, Oregon and California, a new study has found.
DEM NOW on CLIMATE
A Tale Of Two States On The Front Lines Of Climate Change & The Pandemic
California and Florida take turns in national headlines for both climate change and the coronavirus, and their responses are a study in contrasts. Eye Opener: Evacuations underway as Dixie Fire spreads - CBS News
Coronavirus and Climate Change
Harvard School of Public Health
A look at the origins of COVID reveals that many forces may be in play. In the past century we have escalated our demands upon nature, such that today, we are losing species at a rate unknown since the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago. A major cause of species loss is climate change. This rapid dismantling of life on earth owes primarily to habitat loss, which occurs mostly from growing crops and raising livestock for people.
As the planet heats up, animals big and small, on land and in the sea, are headed to the poles to get out of the heat. That means animals are coming into contact with other animals they normally wouldn’t, and that creates an opportunity for pathogens to get into new hosts. Climate change has already made conditions more favorable to the spread of some infectious diseases, including Lyme disease and mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.
Many of the root causes of climate change also increase the risk of pandemics.
Deforestation, which occurs mostly for agricultural purposes, is the largest cause of habitat loss worldwide. Large livestock farms also serve as a source for spillover of infections from animals to people. The recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa probably occurred in part because bats, which carried the disease, had been forced to move into new habitats because the forests they used to live in had been cut down to grow palm oil trees.
People who are exposed to more air pollution and who smoke fare worse with respiratory infections than those who are breathing cleaner air, and who don’t smoke. Individuals such as the homeless, or those whose health is already compromised, are more exposed or vulnerable than others to polluted air.
WATCH - MISSOURI LEADS COVID SURGING ACROSS NATION
TOWNS ARE RUNNING OUT OF WATER
Imagine trying to soothe your loved one's fevered brow, fix them a hot cup of tea, give them a shower. . . with NO WATER.
The next pandemic is already happening – targeted disease surveillance can help prevent it
Sustained surveillance for disease outbreaks at global hot spots may be the key to preventing the next pandemic.MR.Cole_Photographer/Getty Images The next pandemic is already happening – targeted disease surveillance can help prevent it (yahoo.com)
The Conversation -
Let’s not miss the next pandemic warning signal
Global health professionals have long known that pandemics fueled by zoonotic disease spillover, or animal-to-human disease transmission, were a problem. In 1947, the World Health Organization established a global network of hospitals to detect pandemic threats through a process called syndromic surveillance. The process relies on standardized symptom checklists to look for signals of emerging or reemerging diseases of pandemic potential among patient populations with symptoms that can’t be easily diagnosed.
There’s only one hitch: By the time someone sick shows up at a hospital, an outbreak has already occurred. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, it was likely widespread long before it was detected. This time, the clinical strategy alone failed us.
Zoonotic disease spillover is not one and done
A more proactive approach is currently gaining prominence in the world of pandemic prevention: viral evolutionary theory. This theory suggests that animal viruses become dangerous human viruses incrementally over time through frequent zoonotic spillover.
It’s not a one-time deal: An “intermediary” animal such as a civet cat, pangolin or pig may be required to mutate the virus so it can make initial jumps to people. But the final host that allows a variant to become fully adapted to humans may be humans themselves.
Viral evolutionary theory is playing out in real time with the rapid development of COVID-19 variants. In fact, an international team of scientists have proposed that undetected human-to-human transmission after an animal-to-human jump is the likely origin of SARS-CoV-2.
When novel zoonotic viral disease outbreaks like Ebola first came to the world’s attention in the 1970s, research on the extent of disease transmission relied on antibody assays, blood tests to identify people who have already been infected. Antibody surveillance, also called serosurveys, test blood samples from target populations to identify how many people have been infected. Serosurveys help determine whether diseases like Ebola are circulating undetected.
Turns out they were: Ebola antibodies were found in more than 5% of people tested in Liberia in 1982, decades before the West African epidemic in 2014. These results support viral evolutionary theory: It takes time – sometimes a lot of time – to make an animal virus dangerous and transmissible between humans.
What this also means is that scientists have a chance to intervene.
The good news is that surveillance infrastructure in global “hot spots” already exists. The Connecting Organisations for Regional Disease Surveillance program links six regional disease surveillance networks in 28 countries. They pioneered “participant surveillance,” partnering with communities at high risk for both initial zoonotic spillover and the gravest health outcomes to contribute to prevention efforts.
For example, Cambodia, a country at risk of pandemic avian influenza spillover, established a free national hotline for community members to report animal illnesses directly to the Ministry of Health in real time. Boots-on-the-ground approaches like these are key to a timely and coordinated public health response to stop outbreaks before they become pandemics.
It is easy to miss warning signals when global and local priorities are tentative. The same mistake need not happen again.
A man died in West Africa of a virus that causes internal bleeding and organ failure. WHO says it could 'spread far and wide.'
Like climate change, like the pandemic, epidemics of hunger and homelessness
The release on Monday of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s grim assessment of the trajectory of global warming has been met by a deafening silence by Republicans in Washington.
Unlike President Biden and numerous Democratic lawmakers, who shared on social media the conclusion of U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres that the report is “a code red for humanity,” prominent Republicans avoided posting their thoughts on the matter.
Wildfires rage across the world as U.N. releases damning climate change report
Eve Hartley·Producer, Reporter
Tue, August 10, 2021, 12:19 PM·4 min read
Fires broke out across Greece last week during the country’s worst heat wave in three decades, affecting the island east of the capital, Athens, which was also struck. The devastation comes as neighboring Turkey suffers its worst ever wildfire season, with its latest reported death toll from the blazes at eight.
In Italy, firefighters battled wildfires in many regions, including Abruzzo, Sardinia and Sicily. On Monday, officials warned of increased risks of wildfires across the country due to a predicted heat wave this week. Massive fires have also been burning in Siberia, in Russia, for weeks.
In the U.S., the ongoing Dixie Fire has become California’s second-largest wildfire in history. More than 1,000 structures have been destroyed in the blaze, which continues to threaten homes and businesses as it rages.
There are 108 large fires burning across the U.S., according to the National Interagency Fire Center, and together they have burned more than 2.4 million acres in 15 states. Twelve of them are located in California, where residents are now on the way to seeing the worst fire season in the state’s history.
Many of the fires have been fueled by bone-dry gusty weather, which could become more extreme in years to come due to global warming, scientists say.
Under a cloud of smoke, a volunteer, with hands on hips, watches firefighters use a water hose near the burning blaze of a forest fire.
A volunteer watches firefighters use a hose to extinguish a forest fire in the village of Glatsona on Evia island, Greece, on Monday. (Getty Images)
The widespread devastation comes as a damning report was released by the U.N. on Monday. The landmark study by climate researchers warned of the “unprecedented” ways human activity is changing the Earth’s climate.
The report, the sixth from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 1988, took eight years to conduct and publish. It represents the fullest knowledge of how the Earth’s climate has changed and how that change will continue.
One of the lead authors of the report, Richard Allan, a professor of climate science at the University of Reading, told Yahoo News that wildfires and other extreme weather events could become more intense if global warming is not tackled effectively.
“These events are caused by the weather. The weather generates heat waves, heavy rain and associated flooding or wildfire weather conditions,” Allan explained. “But when these ingredients come together in a warmer world, they will be more intense or more severe than they would otherwise be.”
“It’s not really a matter of there’ll be more [extreme weather] events,” he said. “It's just the events that we do see will be more severe.”
“The most extreme events we see today will be kind of elevated to unprecedented events in the future,” Allan added.
Climate experts say that if the Earth continues to heat up at the current rate, life could be devastating for many communities.
A man wearing an wearing an orange vest stands below a hazy sky amid an expanse of fire-destroyed rubble.
Ken Donnell looks at what is left of his business, Donnell’s MusicLand, after it was destroyed by the Dixie Fire in Greenville, Calif. (Reuters)
The U.N. report assesses different pathways and scenarios for the future. If the world follows the scenario of very low greenhouse gas emissions, it’s plausible that warming of greater than 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures can be avoided, according to the assessment.
But if that scenario — which involves very drastic, rapid and sustained cuts in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, enforced by governments and businesses — is not followed, the world could be heading toward being 3 degrees Celsius warmer by 2100, the report argues.
In all cases, extreme events that cause flooding, wildfires and droughts are likely to become more intense.
“We’re able to live with the current warming, but as is evident by extremes all over the world ... recent wildfires in the USA, in Southern Europe, the extreme rainfall and flooding we've seen across parts of Europe and China ... we’re living with this already, and it’s killing people, it’s causing damage,” Allan explained.
A burned and empty refrigerator sits amid fire-strewn rubble
A burned and empty refrigerator sits amid rubble on Sunday near Greenville, Calif. (Getty Images)
“It’s obviously not ideal that we have to adapt to these changes in a 1.5 degrees C warmer or 2 degrees C warmer world,” Allan said, “[but] inevitably there’ll be aspects that we’ll have to adapt to change the way we live so that we become less vulnerable.”
The report was described as “a code red for humanity” by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. Allan said that he wouldn’t use those specific words to describe the paper, but that it does show a “stark warning” for humans.
“Without rapid, strong and sustained cuts in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, we’re heading into a world where it will be not pleasant for many, particularly the vulnerable, to live. ... So in that sense it is a stark warning; it is a dire prediction,” Allan said.
Why The Dixie Fire Won't Stop Burning
Mashable - A deer standing amid smoke in Greenville, California. The Dixie Fire burned through Greenville in early August 2021. Why the Dixie Fire won't stop burning
The big picture in the years and decades ahead, however, requires blunting the intensity of modern wildfires. The West, like the world, will continue to warm for at least a few decades, as heat-trapping CO2 has skyrocketed in the atmosphere. This means more extreme, and likely worsening, fire conditions. Yet, governments and communities can significantly reduce the amount of overcrowded forest, or fuels, available to burn. This means intentional, prescribed fire (strategic burning often at cooler times of the year), and letting certain wildfires burn through forests (though this comes with controversy and risk).
The U.S. Begins To Lead Global Climate Action
As Time Is Running Out
INFRASTRUCTURE: The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approves a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, followed by a party-line vote in favor of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion budget that includes far more climate and clean energy spending than the bipartisan package. (New York Times, NPR)
ALSO: • Nearly every House Democrat signed on to a letter pushing party leaders to ensure energy efficiency and clean transportation tax initiatives make it into the final infrastructure package. (The Hill) • Republicans defeat a reconciliation bill amendment that would have banned fracking and push through others that would benefit carbon capture and traditional baseload power sources. (E&E News)
Senate Democrats passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution plan early this morning. The budget vastly expands the social safety net; improves healthcare, education and worker rights; includes measures to combat the climate catastrophe; and increases taxes on the rich and corporations. The budget passed 50-49 after a 14-hour “vote-a-rama,” in which any senator can propose amendments. This came less than 24 hours after a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was approved 69-30 in the Senate. President Biden celebrated the passage of that bill, calling it “transformational.”
This is a historic piece of legislation that marks, frankly, the end of neoliberalism, that has governed America for the last four decades. It is a major investment in the American people. This will have child care being universal. It will have community college for everyone. It will expand Medicare to include dental, vision, hearing. It will mark the largest investment in tackling the climate crisis, with massive investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. And it will have significant investment in infrastructure, including improving our broadband, replacing lead pipes and upgrading our roads, bridges and airports.
ILLINOIS PASSES SOLAR BILL OF RIGHTS - Ill. law makes it tougher for HOAs to block solar | Energy News Network
Rescues This Week By The SOS Méditerranée
The Central Mediterranean is the deadliest migration route in the world, due to a terrible lack of search-and-rescue maritime assets in the area.
August 4, 2021 - The number of refugees trying to reach European soil continues to grow due to worsening poverty, violence and the climate crisis. According to the United Nations, over 1,100 refugees have perished crossing the Mediterranean so far this year. Rescue ships are now looking for safe locations to disembark the asylum seekers, many of whom need urgent medical care. Many of them are super exhausted, have fuel burns, seasick, dehydrated and quite a number of them have diseases. Measures to protect against Covid-19 further intensify the hardship and suffering. "We urgently need a port of safety as soon as possible. We have requested several times a port of safety but so far have not received any reply. We medevaced the six most critical patients. We need a port of safety as soon as possible." says Anne Dekker of SOS Méditerranée, based in France, a humanitarian group that rescues migrants at sea. Laurence Bondard of SOS Méditerranée, says there is a severe shortage of search-and-rescue resources in the area to address the crisis. They were being interviewed by Nurmeen Shaikh and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now.
Over 700 refugees were rescued in the Mediterranean this weekend as they attempted to reach Europe. Another rescue group, SOS Méditerranée, has over 550 refugees on board its ship, after conducting six rescue operations this weekend. Most of the rescues occurred off the coast of Libya and Malta. While some are fleeing from Libya, most of them are on a migration journey. Currently on board, are a majority of Bangladeshi people and Malian and Egyptian, along with 22 nationalities on board from West Africa and sub-Saharan countries of Africa — Nigeria, Eritrea — many countries. We also have a few people currently on board that are coming from Yemen, and from Syria.
Due to the many crises in the world, many people trying to flee become trapped in Libya. Despite never intending to go there they were, for example, trying to go to Algeria and were abducted on their way. The taxi driver would not drive them to Algeria, but to Libya, and they didn't realize they were going to Libya until they were there. Survivors who have attempted to cross the Mediterranean several times were beaten in detention centers in Libya, where you can be killed just going out. Many women explained they just do not go out, as little as possible, only to go and get food and come back, because they may be abducted or killed or face sexual violence. A woman who was in a detention center with her baby, where the guards dug a hole, and put the baby in it. They started to put sand over the baby in the hole as the baby and the mother were crying. Many women were witnessing. Eventually they gave the baby back to the mother. This was more of a psychological threat. But this kind of physical violence and psychological violence are daily reported by the survivors on board. Most of the survivors say that Libya is hell on Earth and that they would rather die at sea than die in Libya. For them, taking the tremendous risk to go and potentially die at sea, is still a hope to survive, whereas in Libya, there is no hope.
Potentially Lifesaving Home Treatments
The highly contagious new Delta mutation of the Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire across the U.S. and around the world. It does not limit its worst harm to the elderly and those with other health problems, but poses a threat to all age groups. There is much we have yet to learn in the days ahead, but this much is already clear:
- The vaccines are effective in easing the symptoms and preventing death.
- Time is of the essence to vaccinate every American so that the U.S. reserve of millions of doses of the vaccines can be released to people around the world to save millions of lives.
- Time is of the essence to get the vaccines to people everywhere, to prevent the mutation to an even more contagious and virulent variant.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE TO SAVE MILLIONS OF LIVES!
Many Americans, even those vaccinated, experience symptoms from the Delta Coronavirus, who were unaffected by Covid-19. It is therefore helpful to keep in mind the home remedies provided earlier and shown below, along with many other precautionary treatments available online - by searching such mild symptoms as cough, sore throat, congestion, and fever.
Simple home remedies include humidifiers, steam, cool mist, hot teas and showers to break up congestion in the head and chest, cold water to ease high fevers, herbal teas with a time tested array of healing properties, fruits and vegetables packed with nutrients, salt and liqueurs to ward off a sore throat.
End The Eye Violence - For those with with vaccine hesitancy, the constant footage of Americas' arms being jabbed by long needles may increase their sensitivity and mistrust of the vaccination campaign.
Full Transparency - All Americans being asked to entrust their health and families to the vaccine campaign are entitled to complete information regarding the contents of the vaccines, side effects, reports, costs, activities, agreements, and arrangements affecting the public. Including issues raised by public health organizations such as the National Vaccine Information Center and Children's Health Defense.
While the vaccines are effective against hospitalization and death, they are less effective at blocking Delta from infecting you than previous variants — and once a vaccinated person is infected with Delta, they too can transmit the virus. This continues to spread and intensify the ongoing surge of the Delta variant. Right now, about 140 million Americans are still unvaccinated. The United States’ top priority is inoculating as many of these people as possible — But the vaccination process takes five or six weeks from start to finish, which isn’t fast enough to turn the tide on Delta. About 40 million children under 12 probably won’t be eligible until late fall or early winter. Why experts say even vaccinated people need to mask up during a Delta surge [Video] (aol.com)
Coronavirus' Global Spread - August 1, 2021
The U.S. leads the world with over 32 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 575,000 deaths, followed by Brazil, India, and Mexico. Johnson & Johnson obtained the US Food and Drug Administration authorization for emergency use of its Covid-19 vaccine, creating the availability of a third coronavirus vaccine for the US market, in addition to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Water Protector Begins 8-Year Sentence for DAPL Eco-Sabotage
Image Credit: Twitter @resistline3 Headlines for August 13, 2021 | Democracy Now!
In Minnesota, climate activist Jessica Reznicek self-reported to the Waseca Federal Correctional Facility Thursday to begin serving an eight-year prison sentence for damaging parts of the Dakota Access pipeline in 2016 and 2017.
Reznicek’s imprisonment came the same week the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in a major new report that the Earth could face runaway climate catastrophe unless drastic efforts are made to reduce greenhouse gases.