News roundup for Fri, Nov 11, 2022

(Edited 11/11 to add a piece of missing news about Taiwan.)

In short:
  • Early signs that US inflation might be cooling down.
  • UK testing contingency plan to deal with nationwide power blackouts.
  • US and Russia will restart nuclear arms control talks.
US inflation might be peaking; UK food inflation hit new highs and it’s not peaking yet; UK testing contingency plan Programme Yarrow to deal with nationwide power blackouts

The US consumer price index (CPI) increased less than expected in October, and underlying inflation appears to have peaked, which should allow the Federal Reserve to reduce interest rate hikes.

Via St. Louis Fed (click for interactive link)

UK food inflation hit another high of 14.7% in October and doesn’t show to be peaking yet. Products like margarine, milk, and dog food saw the fastest price increases. There could also be a possible egg shortage due to bird flu and rising costs, although retailers are working to minimize the impact. Greek and Belgian workers were on strike over increasing inflation. Eurozone inflation hit 10.7% at the end of October.

UK companies are preparing for power cuts with backup generators and empty offices on standby to relocate workers. The government has also tested Programme Yarrow, a contingency plan that would kick in in the event of a weeks-long nationwide power outage. The plan prioritizes food, water, and shelter for the young and for the old, and looks at how to communicate with the public. Only hospitals, oil refineries, and certain other critical services would be protected.

Kenyan farmers will start planting drought-resistant maize next year. Kenya is currently facing a severe water shortage caused by four failed consecutive rainy seasons and is in the midst of one of the region’s harshest droughts for the past four decades.

Mexico will ban GMO corn and glyphosate, found in Roundup, by 2024.

France will require all parking lots with at least 80 vehicles to be covered by solar panels by 2028, and those with at least 400 spaces by 2026. The government estimates that this plan could generate up to 11 gigawatts (the equivalent of 10 nuclear reactors). A gigawatt is enough to power about 750,000 homes.

Covid 3rd leading cause of death globally; Thanksgiving is two weeks away: book the latest Covid booster, learn how to properly ventilate indoor spaces, and/or mask up with a good fitting mask

Covid was the top #3 cause of death globally last week:

Thanksgiving is two weeks away: Click here to find a free Covid vaccine or the latest bivalent boosters.

Also (from the last roundup):

Masks work: In the 15 weeks following Boston’s decision to lift masking requirements, there were 45 additional Covid cases per 1,000 students and staff.

And good ventilation will reduce the spread of Covid (the page has more guidance and suggestions on how to improve ventilation). Here’s how to make a cheap and easy portable air cleaner with just a box fan and MERV-13 filters (thanks, Eric!).

Tropical Storm Nicole left at least four dead in Florida and is now moving northwards; Fiji and the Guna people of Panama are relocating away from high sea levels; Fog collectors can produce up to 8,000 gals of water per year

At least four people died after Nicole hit Florida’s east coast. Nicole is the third hurricane on record to make landfall in Florida in the month of November and is the only storm in recorded history to make landfall on the state’s east coast after Nov 4. Hurricane Ian compromised the sea walls and sand dunes that were meant to protect Volusia County’s beaches, and the surge from Nicole was the nail in the coffin for some homes. Here are live updates on the path of the storm.

Here’s an article on how Florida wildlife is faring after Hurricane Ian. American alligators, gopher tortoises, and burrowing owls have been displaced or injured. Sanibel’s freshwater has been overwhelmed by saltwater, posing a threat to alligators and trees.

The whole of Fiji is relocating inland to protect its people from rising sea levels. Fiji has more than 300 islands and a population of just under 1 million. The article has more detail and some great stories about relocation challenges.

Similarly, a 100-year-old Panamanian community will move to the mainland next year due to rising sea levels. The move has been planned for a decade. Other islands part of the Blas archipelago, home to about 30,000 Guna people, are expected to be underwater within 30 years.

The rate of sea level rise has doubled since 1993, according to a recent report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

People in the Canary Islands are using ‘fog collectors’ (a.k.a. “fog catchers” or “fog harps”) to produce up to 8,000 gallons of water per year (almost one person’s entire water needs). Fog collectors can withstand up to 62 mph winds and do not consume energy or affect natural resources. The concept is really simple: it’s vertical mesh netting stretched over a frame. The net will catch the water from the fog, which will then slide down the net and into a through below. The concept is now new, and is being used even in Peru’s Atacama Desert, “the driest place in the world.” Here are written instructions to make one, and a video:

USA and Russia in talks over nuclear treaty; Biden met Xi Jinping for the first time; Taiwan preparing its military for China

Biden will hold his first in-person presidential meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The leaders will discuss efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication between the US and the PRC, responsibly manage competition, work together on transnational challenges that affect the international community (Russia’s invasion), and discuss a range of regional and global issues ( likely Taiwan, who is in the meantime rallying civilian drone makers in preparation for a conflict with China).

The US and Russia have agreed to restart talks on the nuclear arms control treaty. The treaty allows on-site inspections of each country’s nuclear weapons sites and caps the number of intercontinental-range nuclear weapons in both arsenals. New START is the last remaining arms control treaty in place between Russia and the US.

According to Ukrainian Air Force Command spokesperson Yuriy Ignat, Russians are likely to slow down their campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure, enabling Ukrainian authorities to address most of the damage.

The rest

Oregon passed one of the strictest gun control measures in the US. Measure 114 will require Oregonians to obtain a permit to buy a gun after completing a firearms safety course. It also will close the so-called Charleston loophole by requiring state police to complete full background checks on buyers with permits before any gun sale or transfer.

Energy crisis: How living in a cold home affects your health.

Something related:

Survival shows are popular with preppers. Here’s a doctor reacting to injuries on Naked and Afraid:


    • Hardened

      Thank you, Carlotta!  It’s good to have you back.

      6 |
    • 10 Canadian Winters

      This was a great round up!

      Awesome work Carlotta

      4 |
    • Carlotta SusannaStaff

      Folks, I totally forgot to add the news piece about Taiwan, despite it being one of the items listed in the big bold paragraph title! Sorry about that. What a derp 🤦😂 @Hardened, I’m surprised you haven’t noticed, you usually are really good at spotting those things 😉

      Anyway, I’ve updated the blog. It’s about Taiwan which, as you would expect, is preparing for a conflict with China. In short, the news piece is about the military buying up civilian drones (paywall).

      3 |