News Dump Friday — A Splash Of Snow!

July 30, 2021

A news-worthy Friday with all kinds of shit making the cycle along with the continuing weather stories, COVID surging through vaxxed and un-vaxxed and the T-Rump getting skinned.
Not only was he busted for coup incitement, but was also slapped hard by the dreaded, Achilles heel, always-present personal-fright-fight to keep his taxes hidden: ‘The Treasury Department “must” turn over former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee for its longstanding investigation, the Justice Department found on Friday.

The first ‘one’ of the one-two punch against the T-Rump today, the election fraud grift, is still playing out:

As I noted this morning, our ‘dodge-the-bullet’ routine in maintaining sanity is the T-Rump being a pure, 100-percent dumb-ass wrapped up in a self-centered belief he’s smarter than anybody — the only thing he’s actually any good at is creating chaos.
In that context, David A Graham at The Atlantic this afternoon has an interesting read on T-Rump’s bullshit, including this:

All Trump wanted was some semi-independent arbiter to declare the election fraudulent — whether that was the governor of Arizona, the Georgia secretary of state, or the U.S. Justice Department.
This much was clear even then, but Trump’s endgame was not.
After all, Democrat Joe Biden’s lead was wide enough that a single state declining to certify or a single fraud case couldn’t have erased it. Trump, despite his weakness for conspiracy theories, understood that.
But he didn’t need any of these officials to set aside the results on their own.
He just needed enough ammunition, no matter how tenuous, that he could derail certification of the election in Congress.

Alas, it failed. This feature discovery will continue for a while, and hopefully, something somewhere will latch onto the T-Rump, if not pulling him inside a jail cell, at least make him shut his fat-ass pie hole.

Meanwhile, world weather is getting weird — don’t know if climate change had anything to do with this, but it’s more than beyond odd, especially with a large chunk of rest of the planet overheating — I heard about it just this morning, but it first started on Wednesday::

Background via Gizmodo this afternoon:

Snow has fallen in Brazil, an extremely rare event for the tropical country. Thanks to an intense cold snap, snow or freezing rain fell in at least 43 Brazilian cities on Wednesday and Thursday, according to weather service Climatempo.

South America has been buffeted in cold air ushered north from the Antarctic this week, resulting in some decided strange scenes across the continent.
But none are more bizarre than those taking place in Brazil, parts of which haven’ seen snow in decades.

“I am 62 years old and had never seen the snow, you know? To see nature’s beauty is something indescribable,” a truck driver in Cambara do Sul, a municipality of Rio Grande do Sul state, told TV Globo network.

Snow isn’t unheard of in Brazil. In fact, in the High Plains in the southern part of the nation, it’s an annual occurrence.
But this week, some regions that almost never see the white stuff were snowed in. In Bom Jesus, a municipality in the state of Piauí in the northeast part of the nation, snow fell on a landscape dotted with palm trees and dusty red cliffs that looks more desert-like than winter wonderland.

The intensity of this week’s snowfall, which piled up to one meter high in some places, was also a rare occurrence. These are the highest snowfall totals the nation has seen since a major blizzard in 1957.

The key ingredient for Brazil’s snow is a freak cold snap driven by air that traveled north from the Antarctic.
The air normally trapped to the south was able to move northward thanks to a big zig in the jet stream, a fast-flowing streak of air that normally keeps colder air bottled up closer to the poles.
But a breakdown in it allowed for cold air to leak further north than usual.

“Antarctica has been very cold recently and there have been strong cold shots across the Southern hemisphere over the last few weeks,” meteorologist Scott Duncan said in a Twitter direct message.

Other regions, including South Africa and Australia, have seen similar cold shocks due to this phenomenon in recent weeks, but none as intense as the one currently hitting South America.

“The cold was swift and could maintain its intensity far north through South America, perfect setup for delivering unusually intense cold widely into South America. Some near-tropical locations are recording frost,” said Duncan.

It adds to the series of bizarre weather events around the world in recent weeks, including a rash of wildfires from Siberia to California and ripples of extreme heat across the northern hemisphere.
As always, one cold snap doesn’t disprove the planet is overheating (and in fact, northern hemisphere cold snaps could become more common because of the climate crisis).

Meanwhile, there’s the freaking Delta version of COVID-19 acting like a Republican asshole — wait, I’m mixing sound bites — and the danger even for vaccinated folks:

Story from CNN:

Six guests have tested positive for Covid-19 on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas cruise ship, the cruise line confirmed Friday.
Four of the guests are vaccinated and two are unvaccinated minors, Royal Caribbean International said in a statement. The seven-night cruise departed from Nassau, Bahamas, on July 25.
One of the four vaccinated guests has mild symptoms, the company said, and three are asymptomatic. The four are not traveling together.

Another turn as being vaccinated can be dangerous, though, maybe not as fierce or fatal as being unvaccinated — we’re in a medical mess.

Finally, indeed it truly appears the world is in a frightful mess.
A side issue of climate change is societal collapse and where to be if this occurs — good examination at EuroNews this afternoon:

A new study has revealed the top five countries that would survive the collapse of global civilisation.

New Zealand (already home to a wealth of billionaire preppers) takes the top spot, with the other five entrants being Iceland, Ireland, Australia and the UK.

The study, carried out by Nick King and Professor Aled Jones of the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) examined possible ‘shocks’ to the complex global system of food supply chains, webs of technology and communications and global finance.

“I have been looking at shocks to global society for a number of years around the world, what causes shocks and how they propagate through the system, looking at what countries need to withstand those shocks,” says Jones.

In a potential scenario where overpopulation, lack of resources or climate catastrophe causes a societal collapse (over a ‘long descent’ or within as little as a year), arable land for farming, capacity for renewable energy production and separation from collapsing population centres is key.

“Islands do particularly well, we were surprised by the UK but being heavily isolated helps quite a bit,” adds Jones.
“The UK has a lot of potential for renewables with offshore wind and tidal.”

“The top 20 countries we looked at were the ones most resilient to climate change. Extreme weather and climate change looking over the next decade or so that threat seems quite high.”

However, Jones is keen to point out that the research is not designed to encourage people to move to one of the five survivor nations, but to point out flaws in our global systems.
“There has been a trend for billionaires to buy up land in New Zealand, we are advising let’s see if you can keep other countries going.

“We obviously don’t want the rest of the world to collapse, it would be very lonely and you’d always be having to continue protecting your borders,” he says.
The researchers looked at what causes the collapse in complex systems and advocate for making things a bit simple so you can see how things are connected.

“The key is having some slack in the system, how you can make sure if there is a shock you can absorb those shocks. If you shock global society that goes through very quickly,” adds Jones.
“The pandemic showed…that we are really connected; when something happens in China it can affect every single person on the planet.”

A mess or not, here we are…

(Illustration out front found here).

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