- Ukraine and Russia sign deal to reopen grain export ports.
- The EU is asking its members to ration gas ahead of winter.
- Australian report reveals severe deterioration in biodiversity, habitat loss, and pollution.
Economy, energy, food, supply chain
The US Senate moves ahead with the $52 billion CHIPS Act, which is intended to reduce America’s dependence on Asian semiconductors. The US supposedly manufactures only 12% of the world’s semiconductors, down from 37% in the 90s. An argument against the move is that we have to stop microchip companies from receiving taxpayer money unless they agree to give the government warrants or equity stakes. And some say the government must intervene because of the industry’s importance.
The EU wants its members to voluntarily ration their gas and reduce demand by 15% between August 22 and March 23. The EU’s gas storage is at 64%, and the commission wants to save up for winter in case of a complete cutoff from Russia. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline finally reopened after 10 days of maintenance work but at only 40% pre-maintenance levels. According to the International Monetary Fund, a total Russian embargo would cause a deep recession in Hungary, Czechia, and Slovakia. Italy, Germany, and Austria would also be most impacted:
Ukraine, Russia sign deal to reopen grain export ports. Even if a deal is agreed upon now, shipments might not resume for three weeks. Ukraine ultimately ended the 2021/22 harvest season with 6.8 million tonnes of corn, an eight-fold increase, while wheat stocks almost quadrupled to 5.8 million tonnes. Silos are still packed with 1,100 tonnes of grain from last year’s harvest, and millions of tonnes of new harvest are sitting on farms:
Dubai opens the ‘world’s largest vertical farm’. The farm is supposed to use 95% less water than traditional farming and guarantees an output of three tons per day.
Bus drivers are in decline across the US. Many retire or seek higher-paying jobs in the private sector that require less in-person contact (assaults and Covid being the main concerns).
For the first time, wind and solar produce more electricity than nuclear in the US, and 25% of energy came from renewables.
GAF Energy to build second US nailable solar shingle factory to meet growing demand.
A Ukrainian woman invents ‘solar for balconies’ to wean Europe off Russian gas. These vertical panels are specifically designed to be mounted, with weatherproof straps, onto balconies by non-tech-savvy users:
Climate change, environment, extreme weather
Biden is considering declaring a climate emergency to unlock federal funds and take action on climate change. Here are five ways the US can still combat climate change without a national emergency declaration.
Australia report reveals a ‘shocking’ decline in the environment. The 2021 State of the Environment Report finds severe deterioration across biodiversity, habitat loss, and pollution. The report found that Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent in the world.
The UK reached the hottest temperature ever recorded of 40.2C (104.4F), and the hottest night when temperatures never fell below 25C (77F). At least 13 people have died going into open water throughout the heatwave period. Wildfires broke. London’s Ambulance Service is experiencing a sustained demand for emergency services as they see “an increase in the number of patients experiencing heat exposure”. London is literally on fire because of the heat:
BREAKING: The London Fire Brigade has declared a major incident in response to the surge in fires across the capital as temperatures exceed 40C. https://t.co/NvxWFA7hul
📺 Sky 501, Virgin 602, Freeview 233 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/wzGKMjAlcx
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 19, 2022
Problem: British homes were built to retain heat.
35,000 people evacuated in France due to wildfires:
More than 35,000 people have been forced to flee their homes and summer vacation spots due to the uncontrollable fires: https://t.co/OUtfwSmtwP
— Breaking Weather by AccuWeather (@breakingweather) July 20, 2022
A heat warning is in effect in 28 states across the US with central and southern states being the most affected. Here’s how US cities are coping with more deadly heatwaves. Opinion: The fastest growing US cities risk becoming unlivable from the climate crisis.
Heat exhaustion during these temperatures is real: here’s a video of a UPS driver collapsing in extreme heat on someone’s porch:
- How to know if you’re experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- How to prevent and treat heat exhaustion.
Here’s how British zookeepers are keeping their animals cool during extreme heatwaves: cool showers, baths, and frozen treats!
And, if you live in NYC, there are maps that show drinking fountains, tree cover, and water features such as spray showers that can help people cool down:
Spray showers are on! Use our Cool It! NYC Map at https://t.co/2VMpsMEXxq to find one in a park near you + more ways to keep cool, including pools and drinking fountains!
— NYC Parks (@NYCParks) July 19, 2022
Or you can rent someone else’s swimming pool on Swimply (just stay safe when going into a stranger’s backyard 😉 )
BA.5 makes up nearly 80% of new Covid cases.
FBI and NSA directors warn of evolving foreign interference threat ahead of US midterms. Iran, Russia, and China are the main suspects, and there is concern about hybrid threats “[including] a situation in which foreign operatives might use an “unremarkable cyber incident” to sow “panic or lack of confidence in our election infrastructure.”
CIA director says Putin is healthy, dismissing illness rumors. However, he notes that the fact that Putin is turning to Iran for drones is a sign that Russia’s defenses are weak.
Opinion: America’s wealth inequality is a domestic IED, ready to ignite.
Here’s a cool article about streaming weather data from Mount Everest. Posting with the excuse of being vaguely related to weather forecasting (which is useful for prepping, etc) 😉
A tourist in Greece survived 18 hours at sea by clinging to a semi-inflated ball. Wilson?!?