News roundup for Tue, Aug 09, 2022

In short: The US Senate passed a landmark climate bill that could slash emissions by 40%. Early signs suggest that monkeypox in the UK might be peakin
[See the full post at: News roundup for Tue, Aug 09, 2022]


  • Comments (13)

    • 5

      “The UK health agency said there are early signs that monkeypox is peaking. This is encouraging, but this is not the time to become complacent.”

      That would be amazingly good news if monkeypox really is peaking now. One less pandemic to worry about.

      No complacency here. Still taking strong measures on COVID and keeping an eye on both monkeypox and polio as potential future threats.

    • 4

      “In these 32 states, it’s legal for power companies to cut your AC during a heat wave. In other words, most of the US population is vulnerable to utility shutoffs during extreme weather.”

      Losing power during extreme heat or cold is a big deal. Here in Florida, the possibility of losing A/C on a hot day is one of my top prepping concerns.

      That said, I’m not sure that map is a good reflection of how reliable electricity is in each state. Texas has the best color on the map, but my coworker in Texas fully expects to lose power every time the weather gets very hot or cold. Florida has the worst color on the map, but my local utility is very conscientious about preventing and addressing outages.

    • 4

      Lyme disease, spread by ticks, is one of the risks of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and hunting. Clinical trials are starting for a vaccine to prevent Lyme disease.


      • 5

        And Yale University researchers are in early stages of designing a vaccine that recognizes a tick’s saliva — which in animal testing sparked a skin reaction that made it harder for ticks to hang on and feed.

        Since different tick species carry many diseases other than Lyme, ultimately “we’re all hoping for a tick-bite prevention vaccine,” Wormser said.

        Wow, that would be amazing!

      • 5

        A vaccine that makes the tick let go?!? Yes, please!

    • 1

      All of that rain in Illinois – is that a portent for floods lower down the Mississippi river?

    • 2

      Curious about this claim above: “Not only is the McKinney fire is the largest wildfire in California so far this year, but is also the largest in the US since 1991’s Thomas Fire in Oregon.”

      Unless I am misunderstanding how you’re measuring size, the McKinney Fire is by far *not* the largest in the US since 1991. There have been many much larger fires in CA alone in the past three years. For example:

      Dixie: 963,309 acres

      Caldor: 221,835 acres

      Full CA list: https://www.fire.ca.gov/media/4jandlhh/top20_acres.pdf 

      And there were three in Colo that topped 100K in 2020. 

    • 2

      “Not only is the McKinney fire is the largest wildfire in California so far this year, but is also the largest in the US since 1991’s Thomas Fire in Oregon.”

      Not to minimize the loss, but I think there’s an error here.  3 California fires in the last 5 years have all been larger: 2021 Dixie Fire – 463,000 acres, 2020 North Complex Fire – 300,000 acres, and 2018 Camp Fire – 150,000 acres. And the 2012 Long Draw Fire in Oregon was 560,000 acres. ODF/NICC data

      • 2

        Thank you for bringing this up. The statement was not mine but was taken from an article (which was obviously wrong). I’ve deleted the quote altogether.

    • 1

      Switzerland is opening a hydro plant with the capacity to charge 400,000 car batteries simultaneously.

      This had me scratching my head—why are the Swiss so interested in charging car batteries at scale?  It turns out the plant has a capacity of 900 MW (which can be compared to the capacity of car batteries if that’s your thing) but doesn’t actually have the capacity to jump start 400,000 cars simultaneously.

      • 2

        I think they’re using the charging 400,000 batteries simultaneously just as an aid to help people understand the storage capacity. The plant is likely just going to add to Europe’s stability, as per the plant director “I would say it’s not only important for Switzerland, it’s also an important plant at European level because it will contribute to the stability of the network in Europe and to the security of supply in Europe.”

    • 2