News roundup for Tue, Nov 16, 2021

The US and European allies warn that Russia could be planning a push into Ukraine. In response, France and the UK have vowed to help Ukraine defend itself. Some in the UK’s parliamentary defense committee fear that Russia could be setting its sights on more than just Ukraine—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania could also be at risk.

An ocean observatory off the coast of Norway used for marine science (but one that also happens to detect submarine traffic) had its undersea cables cut and removed. The Institute of Marine Research is looking to have the cables repaired. Interference with its detection capabilities has been happening since April. Russia is suspected of the sabotage.

Russia used a weapon against one of its own satellites over the weekend, and debris from that strike is imperiling the ISS and the astronauts and cosmonauts on board. The ISS passes through the debris field every 93 minutes. The debris includes 14 trackable items but thousands of smaller pieces that will endanger low-earth orbit assets for years or even decades to come. Folks around the world are not too happy about it:

A report from the Office of the DNI makes it clear that the impacts of climate change will be harrowing for the globe and that Americans will not be spared from the effects. Wars for resources, waves of climate migrants, droughts, and increasingly severe weather events are on the horizon. When agencies warn of climate refugees, that encompasses up to 1/3 of the global population:

British Columbia has had multiple 100-year flooding events all at once, causing evacuations and the shutdown of a pipeline:

Bird flu is spreading in Asia and Europe, and hundreds of thousands in various flocks have been culled. China has seen a few dozen infections hop to people as well. Multiple countries are on alert and implementing measures to help contain the H5N6 and H5N8 strains.

We can all scratch “Stinging Scorpion Storm” off our 2021 bingo card:

Biden signed the $1 trillion Infrastructure bill into law today. Here’s a state-by-state estimate of the monies each state will get towards transportation improvements, internet access, climate change mitigation, and clean water access. That fact sheet was released in August, and some allocations may have been changed prior to passage. It’s a massive bill. A decent breakdown of what it entails can be found here. If updated fact sheets come out, I’ll post them.

In news of the novel and cool, Dubai zaps its clouds with electricity from drones, and it causes rainfall! California and those states suffering from drought ought to pay attention to this as it’s a method of cloud-seeding that is chemical-free and seemingly effective.

A man was rescued from a sinking plane in waters off Florida by US Customs and Border Patrol agents. Trained personnel were able to get him to safety quickly.

The world has over 254.5 million COVID cases. The world has gained 3.5 million cases in the last week. Cases are rising globally and in the US. There have been over 5.1 million deaths in total. The US has a cumulative 48 million cases. The US gained about 600,000 cases in the last seven days. Over 784,000 Americans have died during the pandemic—about 9,000 in the last week. The US gained over 50,000 new cases on Sunday, and over 44,000 by late afternoon Monday. The US, Russia, UK, and Germany have had the largest case gains over the last week.

Austria has moved forward with a COVID lockdown on unvaccinated people aged 12 and over:

California has expanded COVID booster access to all adults who want one, not just the categories originally recommended by the CDC. If six months have passed since the second dose of an mRNA vaccine, or if two months have passed since the first dose of the J&J vaccine, adults in California may request a booster dose. Colorado and New Mexico have followed suit.

The UK is also expanding access to boosters:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit halted Biden’s vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees earlier this month and reaffirmed its stance last week. The White House and the US Chamber of Commerce, however, say that businesses can continue with the mandate until the mandate is definitively shut down–calling the Fifth Circuit’s actions a “preliminary review.” The case will likely go to the Supreme Court.

Multiple snow leopards at a Nebraska zoo have died from COVID:


  • 16 Comments

    • brownfox-ff

      What you can do about it:

      • Research the history of storms and weather in your area. Should you be expecting heat waves? Hurricanes? Earthquakes? Flood?
      • What could you do about each of these? Do you need a Go Bag ready to leave? Would you stay? What would make you decide to do each?
      • Write out a plan. For any one event, what would you do? What items would you need?
      • Do you have any neighbours who have been through those events before? What do they do to prepare? Can you ask them?
      • Learn a new skill. What’s something useful you could try in your spare time? Or what’s something you could do simply for fun?
      • Fight climate change locally. Plant some trees. Start a garden. Every tree helps.
      • Consider a rain capture downspout. Would this make a useful project?
      • Consider swimming lessons. Do you know how to swim? Does your family?
      • Check your mask supply vs Covid, Bird flu, or other airborn concerns.

      Everyone’s favourite trio:

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    • brownfox-ff

      I have no idea what you do about scorpions. Would love to hear from someone familiar with that.

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor brownfox-ff

        I lived with scorpions in the house for a year in El Paso, Tx. My grandma once scooped one up on a few stiff sheets of paper and took it outside like someone would do with a spider. Not sure I have the fortitude for that myself. I would have done jar/cardboard. We would remove scorpion larva when found, but full-sized adults still managed to get in the house on a number of occasions. Have no idea how they did it or how we could have prevented it besides using copious pesticides. 

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      • > We can all scratch “Stinging Scorpion Storm” off our 2021 bingo card

        Haha Stephanie, I like your sense of humor!

        6 |
      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor Hardened

        A good sense of humor is also an important skill in these very strange times. Although, to be honest, I am capable of finding just about anything funny. Well, except awkward humor. Stuff like “The Office” and “Borat” can drive me out of a room. 

        5 |
      • Gideon ParkerStaff brownfox-ff

        What should you do about scorpions? Eat ’em like Bear Grylls!

        BEAR-GRYLLS-4-696x463

        Oh, you don’t want to eat them? Okay, well scorpions are carnivores and eat lizards, snakes, rodents, and insects. So I would place some meat down on the ground in some kind of trap. Also it would be good to roll up a towel and place near your door frame so they can’t crawl inside under the door. 

        8 |
      • Mary M brownfox-ff

         Scorpions are nocturnal. You can minimize the risk of interacting with them if you turn on lights when you’re moving around the house after dark.

        When we were living in Florida, my mother got up to use the washroom, turned on the light, and found a large scorpion sitting on the toilet seat. Lucky she turned on the light.

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    • Bill Masen

      Looks very much like CW2 is hotting up, sig Int cables cut, testing anti satelite missiles, huge forces building up on Ukrainian border. 

      7 |
    • Hardened

      OK I’m convinced I want a booster shot.  My first two were Moderna; are there any data to suggest that I would get better protection by switching to a different kind this time or should I get another Moderna shot?  Ari?

      4 |
      • Gideon ParkerStaff Hardened

        I contacted Stephanie and Ari who are very knowledgeable about this and below are their responses:

        Ari:

        “So far no strong data suggesting a course.  All three will raise his antibody levels by a lot, the moderna one potentially somewhat more than the other two, but there is no strong data on the relationship between small differences in antibodies and efficacy.”

        “And there is limited data suggesting mix and match may be good, but not strong data.”

        “Someone who got J&J single may be best off with mRNA.”

        Stephanie:

        “Moderna performs slightly better against Delta”

        9 |
      • Carlotta SusannaStaff Gideon Parker

        Thanks for checking, we are due to get our booster shot soon and we were wondering the same.

        4 |
      • Hardened Gideon Parker

        Thank you!  I’m so grateful for The Prepared team’s competency, clarity, and caring!

        6 |
    • Cat L

      I live in BC and it’s been nuts here with the flooding. I am fortunate to not live in any of the communities that had to evacuate but we had scarily high water on one of the main highways here. I’ve never seen anything like it. And the scariest thing is that there were no emergency broadcasts in my community or the surrounding communities from local governments or the provincial government as all of this was unfolding. Places that got hit the worst are saying that in most cases they were notified way too late about how bad things were getting.  The province is blaming local communities for not having adequate emergency response systems – THAT is their response. This is no surprise to me and it is one of the main reasons that I prep and have been trying to add even more to my supplies this last year. Supply chain issues will likely be even worse in parts of BC now as one of the main highways that trucks bring supplies on has been broken in half and is under water. I fear this type of thing is really only the beginning.  

      4 |
      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor Cat L

        Agreed, Cat. Very scary, all around. I saw that areas were completely cut off as roads had washed away. I worry about the supplies getting in, too. Hopefully some air transport is arranged to help mitigate the problem. 

        3 |
      • Bill Masen Cat L

        Relying on the state is never the best way to ensure survival, In can often lead to fatalities. States and governments expertise is normally directed towards repair and recovery after the event, rather than costly prevention.

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      • Hardened Bill Masen

        A wise mindset, to be sure.  To balance the situation with some happier news, last week I was warned by my government through an emergency alert on my cell phone about a tornado a few minutes before it came through my campground.  I was able to evacuate safely and lost only an inexpensive structure.  I feel extremely grateful for my government’s warning system.

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