News roundup for Tue, Nov 2, 2021

Fertilizer prices have spiked, and this could fuel already existing inflationary pressure through elevated food prices:

Water scarcity in the Western US already exists and it’s going to get worse in the future. A town in Colorado is a proverbial canary in the coal mine. Twenty years of drought and a dry reservoir forced emergency water delivery to the town of 600 people.

A magnetic storm hit this week that brought Northern Lights down into a few of the upper 48 states. There was little disruption to electrical, GPS, or radio equipment:

Phoenix, Arizona has a Heat Response and Mitigation Officer now, and the town plans to help address rising temperatures with a combination of tree planting, erecting shade structures, and using light-reflecting surfaces. Hundreds of people die each year from heat-related incidents in the city.

Lake Tuz in Turkey, the country’s second largest lake, has dried up completely.

Most older Americans would rather rebuild than move after a destructive natural disaster, even if living in a disaster-prone region. Millennials and Gen Zers are more inclined to move over rebuild. People who live in the Western US are also more inclined to move away due to extreme weather events.

The New York City Fire Department has shuttered dozens of firehouses as city firefighters refuse COVID vaccine mandates—firefighters are calling in sick en masse in protest. Voluntary firefighters from Long Island are coming in to help fill the gap. American Airlines has cancelled thousands of flights this week for the same type of staffing shortages. If American truckers pull a trucker’s strike over COVID vaccine mandates, goods on shelves could suffer even more than they already are:

US manufacturing is suffering: port congestion, chip shortages, aluminum sourcing, and high consumer demand is bad combination.

China is employing austerity measures on food waste as the country feels the fertilizer and energy crunch:

Americans are worried about sourcing turkeys for their Thanksgiving table. On a personal note: I recommend a tasty roasted pork loin or three seasoned with garlic or cumin and served with Cranberry sauce, apricot jam, or a chutney—they’re fork-tender, which is why I prefer them to turkey most of the time.

Apple lost $6 billion in revenue due to supply chain issues but still gained over $20 billion in profit this year.

The world has over 247.8 million COVID cases. The world has gained 3 million cases in the last week. There have been over 5 million deaths in total. The US has a cumulative 46.9 million cases. The US gained over 500,000 cases in the last seven days. Over 766,000 Americans have died during the pandemic—9,000 in the last week. The US gained over 34,000 new cases on Sunday, and over 27,000 by late afternoon Monday. The US, UK, Russia, and Turkey have had the largest case gains over the last week.

Cases are rising again in Europe, and waning vaccine effectiveness may be part of it:

The US military intelligence apparatus has issued a report on COVID origins. The DNI’s assessment of COVID origins is still split between the two possibilities (zoonotic v. lab leak), but the lab leak possibility is still considered with “moderate confidence.” The report states that origin cannot be determined conclusively without more information. PDF warning if you click on the twitter link:

Tigers get breakthrough COVID infections, too.

The FDA wants more data before it approves the Moderna COVID vaccine for adolescents: