Companies around the world, such as Spotify, H&M Group, Disney, Warner Bros., Canada Goose, Expedia, Adidas, ExxonMobil, Harley-Davidson, General Motors, BP, Apple, multiple gas and airline companies, McDonald’s, and many more, are pulling operations out of Russia in protest of the war. Russia is threatening to nationalize the facilities of foreign companies who have done this:
BREAKING: Secretary of the general council of Russia's ruling party calls for nationalizing production plants of firms that have stopped operations in Russia
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) March 9, 2022
There’s been power loss at the now Russian-controlled, defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant. What’s at risk is the old, spent nuclear fuel. Luckily, this fuel is still water-cooled enough that even as the backup generators run out of fuel, the spent fuel is not expected to cause critical safety breaches:
#Ukraine has informed IAEA of power loss at #Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, @rafaelmgrossi says development violates key safety pillar on ensuring uninterrupted power supply; in this case IAEA sees no critical impact on safety.
— IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) March 9, 2022
Biden is banning Russian oil and gas in the US. This might mean a little more pain at the pump for Americans, and a little pain for Russia. But Russian oil typically makes up only about 8% of US oil imports and it’s not ultimately a huge amount:
"Today I'm announcing that…we’re banning all imports of #Russian oil & gas & energy.
That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports, & the American people will deal another powerful blow to #Putin’s war machine." pic.twitter.com/w0k13yJCDP
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) March 8, 2022
The IEA plans to release even more oil from the reserves to help control prices at the pump. OPEC also plans to increase output and oil prices are tumbling after this announcement. OPEC countries are signaling a willingness to increase sales to the EU as well.
The EU is accelerating its path towards renewables and pulling away from reliance on Russian gas. The EU currently gets 40% of its gas from Russia. With the EU’s new energy plan, they hope to cut the proverbial cord with Russia by 2030. In the short term, the EU hopes to find alternative sources of gas. In the long-term, the EU hopes to switch to greener options. European gas-rationing has already begun.
Here are some fuel-saving tips from the AAA.
There’s an upward blip in global case growth, even though cases have dropped around the world. We have to watch this closely because BA.2 could sneak up on us and create new waves right as mask mandates are coming down all over the world. Even Hawaii, one of the last mask-mandate holdouts in the US, is planning on ending them soon. Testing is also way down around the world, so it’s unclear how accurately we’re ascertaining case growth at the moment. We’ll need more time to see the trends clearly:
Global cases increasing last five days (7 day average).
Widely claimed Omicron immunity may not be holding even at global scale. A few more days are needed to be sure.
— Yaneer Bar-Yam (@yaneerbaryam) March 9, 2022
Vaccinations, boosters, and immunity through infection have reduced fatality risk significantly:
This represents phenomenal progress, folks.
The immunity wall in England has now led to Covid carrying (slightly) *less* fatality risk than seasonal fluhttps://t.co/bNZ1j1MFMs @FT @jburnmurdoch @mroliverbarnes pic.twitter.com/vPWxMHznSP
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) March 10, 2022
Vaccination against COVID during pregnancy is not only safe, but it also offers some protection to the baby through antibodies as well.
Now that there’s a glut of vaccine doses around the world, the WHO has reversed course and is recommending boosters.
Australians are still suffering from severe weather and evacuations are still ongoing. After weeks of horrendous, “1,000-year flooding” Australians are now facing severe winds.
Miami and the Florida Keys are going to be underwater before the end of the century, and there’s not much we can do about it if we don’t address emissions very quickly:
"Once certain thresholds are crossed, seawater would start encroaching upon Miami’s metropolitan area from the ocean side and the Everglades side. For the low-lying #flkeys, just a modest rise of two feet — potentially expected by 2050 — would inundate 70 percent of the islands." https://t.co/mWfRr1cVO5
— John Morales (@JohnMoralesTV) March 10, 2022
In good news, New Mexico’s governor has signed a bill making college tuition-free for most students in the state. Tuition will be waived for students attending New Mexico’s public colleges, universities, and tribal colleges. There are monies for both full- and part-time students.
The future of Smart Cities? Rat control.
The giant flying Joro spider is invading much of the southeast and there isn’t much we can do. The good news: it’s relatively harmless to humans and shouldn’t be disruptive to the ecosystem.
Want to test your survival skills? Montana is hiring a grizzly bear conflict manager.