News roundup for Tue, Nov 29, 2022 – The Prepared

In short:
  • Fed officials expect to switch to smaller interest rate increases “soon.”
  • Property catastrophe reinsurance premiums will be higher in Australia, Florida, and France.
  • Drought is shrinking California’s farmland.
Fed officials expect to switch to smaller interest rate increases “soon”; Property catastrophe reinsurance premiums will be higher in Australia, Florida, and France; Drought is shrinking California’s farmland

Federal Reserve officials expect to switch to smaller interest rate increases “soon,” according to minutes from the November meeting.

Biden said the WH administration is involved in negotiations to avert a looming US railroad strike that could shut down supply chains across the country. A rail strike could freeze almost 30% of US cargo shipments by weight, stoke inflation, and cost the American economy as much as $2 billion per day by unleashing a cascade of transport woes affecting energy, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail sectors.

Property catastrophe reinsurance premiums will be higher in Australia, Florida, France, and other regions that were most affected by natural disasters in 2022. The industry has warned that property catastrophe reinsurance premiums will soar as some companies have been forced to exit the market after another year of extreme weather conditions. (Paywall) (Free)

Congress could make it easier to set money aside for emergency expenses. Three emergency savings proposals may be included in a legislative package known as Secure 2.0, which is set to amplify changes to the retirement system brought by the Secure Act in 2019. Those that had at least $1,000 in emergency savings at the height of the pandemic were half as likely to withdraw from their retirement savings accounts, according to the Aspen Institute.

The bird flu outbreak wiped out a record 50.54 million US birds, making it the country’s deadliest outbreak in history.

Drought is shrinking California’s farmland, costing $1.2 billion. Nearly all the farmland that was left unplanted and dry falls within the Central Valley, especially the northern half.

Universal flu vaccine could be ready within two years; WHO and CDC warn measles is a global imminent threat; Diabetes risk higher after Covid

A universal flu vaccine may be available within two years. An experimental vaccine based on the same mRNA technology used in the highly successful Covid jabs was found to protect mice and ferrets against severe influenza, paving the way for clinical trials in humans.

WHO and CDC warn that measles is now an imminent global threat. Measles is highly contagious and almost entirely preventable through vaccination, requiring 95% vaccine coverage to prevent outbreaks. But the Covid pandemic led to a decline in vaccine coverage for the disease.

A new study finds an increased risk of diabetes after Covid. Even mild infections can amplify a person’s chance of developing diabetes, especially for those already susceptible to the disease.

Oregon has a plow operator shortage — expect snowed-in roads; The UK is experiencing a second spring due to warm weather; The largest volcano in the world erupted in Hawaii for the first time in 38 years

Hawaii’s Manua Loa, the largest volcano in the world, erupted for the first time in 38 years. People have been told to prepare in case their communities are threatened.

A landslide in the Italian island of Ischia has killed at least eight people. Five inches of rain fell within six hours. The mud was powerful enough to collapse buildings, displace residents and send vehicles into the sea.The construction of illegal buildings is blamed for the increased risks from natural disasters.

Plow operator shortage means Oregon drivers should prepare for snowed-in roads this winter.

The UK has been 2.2 C (almost 36 F) warmer than average, this November. Flowers and plants are entering a “second spring” due to the warmer conditions. Their behavior change could have a detrimental effect into next spring, horticulturalists say.

‘An engineering marvel just saved Venice from a flood. What about when the seas rise?’ The system that safeguards Venice could become stressed with even a 30-centimeter (approx. 12 in) sea-level rise, its operator says — something that middle-of-the-road projections indicate could happen within 30 years. (Paywall)

New reservoirs designed to supply French farms with water are guarded by the police because they have attracted opposition from environmentalists in what the NYT calls a prelude to future water wars. (Paywall)

The rest

Ukrainians share wartime survival techniques as Russian missile attacks plunge the nation’s capital into darkness.

A new Freedom Convoy is apparently being organized for Feb 17- 21 in Ottawa. Too early to tell if it’s going to happen at all and if it’s going to be disruptive.

The European Space Agency (ESA) wants to collect solar energy from space and beam it down to Earth. A final decision on the development of space-based solar power will be made in 2025.


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