States are proposing tax cuts and rebates to help people cope with high prices. Unfortunately, these strategies could make inflation even worse (i.e. people have more money? They will spend more, keeping the economy ‘hot’.) The Fed ultimately hopes for a ‘soft landing’ for the US economy, but history suggests it won’t be able to prevent a recession. As we mentioned in the last roundup, recession risks are supposed to be low now but elevated in 2023. Here’s an explainer of the three outcomes of the Fed hike rate: a cooling down of the economy (i.e. soft landing), recession, and stagflation.
Crypto crash. We hope you didn’t have most of your eggs in the crypto basket because it’s crashing hard. 40% of bitcoin investors are underwater; that’s almost 20 million Americans that couldn’t have lost their assets at the worst possible time.
Supply chain and EU energy
In the meantime, the FDA strongly recommends against making your own formula, diluting it, or sharing breast milk. Homemade infant formula can lead to life-threatening bacterial infections; diluting it could lead to malnutrition, and sharing breast milk could expose the baby to infectious diseases, chemical contaminants, and some prescription drugs if the donor has not been adequately screened.
Some things you can do if you’re running low on formula:
- Trying switching up formula brands. Even fussy babies will adjust to a new formula within one week.
- Ask your pediatrician for individualized suggestions. They might also have samples to give away.
- Contact Feeding America or dial 2-1-1 to be connected to a community resource specialist who can help you find local resources.
- Try breast milk banks. Their milk is pasteurized so it’s way safer than just sharing breast milk.
The price of US ammonia (used in fertilizers) is rising because of higher international gas prices. Ammonia is mostly produced from natural gas, and so it follows natural gas prices.
Covid shutdown in China is creating a global shortage of contrast fluids used in CT scans, X-rays, and MRIs. California, Texas, and Maryland might be affected soon. The shortage is supposed to last at least until July. Both Tesla’s and Toyota’s productions are also affected by the lockdowns.
Ukraine suspended the Sokhranovka gas transit route which carries one-third of gas supplies to Europe, citing gas theft by Russian-backed separatists. It’s unclear right now if the gas can be transported through a different route, but Ukraine is not going to reopen until it obtains full control of the pipeline system.
In 2020 about 11% (14 million) of US households were food insecure. Of those, more than 7 % (nine million) got enough food to avoid disrupting their eating habits by using coping strategies, such as eating less variety, getting food from food pantries, and participating in Federal food assistance programs. Households that were food insecure at some point in the year were food insecure for an average of seven months:
The Community Eligibility Provision is a federal program that helps families with children save up to $468 per year on groceries. As community member Karl Winterling previously commented, there is no shame in checking benefits.gov to learn if you are entitled to any government financial aid. At the end of the day, that’s one of the reasons why you pay taxes so don’t feel bad if you need to claim any benefits.
Europe is working on expediting the shipping of some of Ukraine’s key exports via land routes. 25 million tons of goods need to be moved by this fall’s harvest season. Unfortunately, trains have a much-limited transportation capacity and can only transport about one million tons of grain and 250,000 tons of sunflower oil per month. You do the math.
Drought and high food and fuel prices are putting millions of lives at risk of famine in the Horn of Africa.
Sri Lankans are already rioting:
It’s getting hotter: there is a 50% chance that one of the next five years will temporarily reach the 1.5 C cap set by the Paris Agreement. The WMO report also found there is a 93% chance that at least one year between 2022-2026 will be the warmest on record and a 93% chance that the five-year average for 2022-2026 will be higher than the last five years:
The odds of at least one of the next 5 years temporarily reaching the #ParisAgreement threshold of 1.5°C have increased to 50:50. In 2015 the chance was zero.
We are edging ever closer to a situation where 1.5 °C could be exceeded for an extended period
— World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) May 10, 2022
“It’s way too early”: 20 homes were destroyed in a wildfire in Laguna Beach, California. Meteorologists were surprised by how fast the fire burned, and are expecting a very bad fire season in California this year. Southern California Edison reported “circuit activity” in the area where the fire started. The fire burned 200 acres and is 15% contained so far. Meanwhile, the New Mexico fire keeps pushing north fuelled by extreme winds and heavy fuel in its path. Here is why the 2022 Southwest fire season is so early and intense.
91% of the Great Barrier Reef suffered bleaching this summer. It is the fourth mass bleaching event in six years and the first to occur under La Niña conditions. The Australian Marine Conservation Society was hoping for La Niña’s rainy weather to cool down the water and allow the coral to recover, but now that recovery window is closing.
Sea levels rising: two houses in North Carolina collapsed into the ocean. The one caught on video was purchased only two years ago, and it had a flood rating of 2 out of 10:
A new study suggests that short-term use of ibuprofen may increase the chance of chronic pain. This is just one study and more research needs to be done, but it’s good to keep in mind.
Check the American Lung Association State of the Air Report to see which cities are the most polluted in America, and how yours compare to others.
A passenger with no flying experience landed a plane after the pilot had a medical emergency. Like in movies, he was given instructions by an air traffic controller on duty. The air traffic controller is a certified flying instructor but had never flown that type of plane before. So he whipped out pictures of the instrument panel’s layout and guided the passenger to safety.