Archive for July, 2013
Just as I was beginning to write about 2013 being so far a year of health for American people, mosquito-carrying West Nile Virus sprang up. Nonetheless, compared to 2010 thru 2012, this year has been a respite for Americans’ health!
Starting in 2010, this nation was faced with diseases from whooping cough to E. coli, including: mad cow disease, Lyme disease, Babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, malaria, dengue, plague, measles, tuberculosis, leprosy, avian flu outbreaks, intestinal parasites, meningitis, chagas disease, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.
Of course, most of the diseases attacking Americans in those three years were caused by Global Warming. But immigration, and world-wide travel and population growth also accounted for soaring disease patterns.
Then there were the mishaps on grocery shelves, among farms and food processors, including foods imported from China and Europe. Even wholesale medical suppliers brought recurring deaths to Americans during those three years.
Lettuces were recalled because they produced symptoms of listeriosis; chickens, cows and pigs were often found to be disease carriers; some peanut butter was found to have salmonella; excessive amounts of mercury was found in most fish Americans eat; and beef from Europe was rejected because of horse-meat, not to mention the myriad of foods from China Americans could not eat.
By the end of last year, some 30 Americans had died and over 400 more were sickened because of filth in compounding pharmacies. Poor treatment in some of the nation’s sewage treatment plants still contributes to new antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Thus, doctors still find it more difficult to heal patients.
And by the end of 2011, 29 other Americans were killed when eating cantaloupes infected with listeria. And state and county fairs were avoided because of possible contamination from swine flu, E. coli, and other health hazards.
Now, so far in 2013 things seem to be better. But are they? Here are some possibilities: First: In spite of 00+ degree weather, few heat-related deaths or illnesses have been reported this summer; Hundreds of people died the last summer the U.S. experienced such hot weather, and there were stories everywhere about what was done to help people stay cool. But not this summer. One must ask why?
Second: It is possible that news about breaking diseases may be more suppressed than in prior years. For instance, victims of Hurricane Sandy, the Arkansas oil spill, or the Oklahoma tornadoes must be in the hundreds, but there is little follow-up news on illness numbers or types or patient conditions.
Third: New U.S. government laws (i.e. HR 933) gutting food safety make it almost impossible to stop production of bad foods; Meat, livestock and other food producers are even pushing back against disclosure laws. For instance, as Dan Flynn writes in Food Safety News, meat producers fight disclosing nations of origin for the meat products Americans are told to eat.
Let us pray things are better in 2013 because God wills it. But as Christian messages insist: “Watch . . . and pray always, that ye may be . . . worthy to escape all these things . . . and to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21: 36).”
For the first six months of this year, Munich Re says floods in Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia, etc., top global losses for 45% of insured losses for first six months of this year. Of the $ 45 billion in losses only $13 billion were insured.
According to Munich Re’s loss report: “Altogether, natural catastrophes— also including earthquakes, tornadoes and heat waves—caused $45 billion in losses in the first half of 2013, well below the 10-year average of $85 billion.”
The most expensive of this year’s natural disasters so far are the flooding rivers in Germany and nearby countries last May and June which came to more than $ 16 billion in damage.
While poorer nations cannot afford much insurance coverage, nonetheless: “The deadliest disaster out of 460 recorded ‘natural hazard events’ worldwide was a series of flash floods in northern India and Nepal that killed more than 1,000 people in June after early and exceptionally heavy monsoon rains.”
Torsten Jeworrek from Munich Re says: “The frequency of flood events in Germany and central Europe has increased by a factor of two since 1980.” Peter Hoeppe, from its Geo Risks Research unit, adds: “it is evident that days with weather conditions that lead to such flooding are becoming more frequent.”
Increasingly scientists foresee earth’s disasters tumbling toward much greater increases. For instance, researchers at UK’s University of Cambridge and the Netherlands’s Erasmus University Rotterdam claim the melting Arctic will eventually bring the high cost of some $ 60 trillion in losses.
In ‘Scientists Warn on Arctic ‘Economic Time Bomb’ for CNBC News, Pilita Clark argues: “The rapidly melting Arctic is . . . likely to cost the world at least $60 trillion, say researchers who have started to calculate the financial consequences of one of the world’s fastest changing climates.”
While the world of oil financiers believe an ice-free Arctic will open up “30 percent of the world’s undiscovered gas and 13 percent of its undiscovered oil,” those scientists insist that, on the contrary, the melting Arctic “will damage crops, flood properties and wreck infrastructure around the world.”
For example, Cambridge’s Chris Hope says: “People are calculating possible economic benefits in the billions of dollars and we’re talking about possible costs and damage and extra impacts in the order of tens of trillions of dollars.”
In addition, these scientists argue: “. . . warmer Arctic waters are expected to hasten thawing of the permafrost beneath the East Siberian Sea off northern Russia that is believed to contain vast deposits of methane.”
As Apostle Paul writes in Bible prophecies: “ . . . knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep . . . (Romans 13: 11),” believers must wake up to perils pending over the world and pray, before it is far too late!
While, compared to 2011 losses, international insurance rates were lower last year, losses in the United States in 2012 topped those of any other country. Munich Re insurance statistics find that 67% of the world’s losses were in the U.S.
Munich Re’s report on 2012 catastrophes estimates: “With regard to the 2012 loss statistics, Hurricane Sandy alone accounted for some US$ 50bn in overall losses, while the insured losses are expected to be around US$ 25bn.”
The international insurance report says further: “The second major loss event of 2012 was the summer-long drought in the USA that plagued the Corn Belt in the Midwest and surrounding states, where most of the USA’s main agricultural crops, corn and soybean, are grown.” 2012 was the hottest U.S. year since 1895:
“Only in the Dust Bowl years, from 1934–1936, had yields been decimated by a worse drought. Nearly half of the USA’s arable acreage was hit by the 2012 event. The overall agricultural crop losses in the USA in 2012 totaled around US$ 20bn . . . making it the biggest loss in US agricultural insurance history.”
Prof. Peter Höppe, Head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research, advises that Climate Change (i.e. Global Warming) will continue to bring such devastations: “These two catastrophes clearly demonstrate the type of events we can expect to contend with more often in the future. . .
“ . . . numerous studies assume a rise in summer drought periods in North America in the future and an increasing probability of severe cyclones relatively far north along the US East Coast in the long term.”
Because “The rise in sea level caused by Climate Change will further increase the risk of storm surge,” Munich Re advises cities and states along the East Coast of the U.S. to be better prepared for such wreckage.
It is of course shameful that German record keepers must advise the U.S.––reportedly the richest country in the world––to be better prepared for nature’s destruction. Is that because this nation’s leaders ‘ignore’ Global Warming?
Is it chance that such reports get little attention in U.S. media, which also failed to acknowledge that in 2012 Typhoon Bopha killed over 1,000 people in the Philippines? Why do so few American’s know we broke disaster records last year?
The media are the country’s watchmen. Wholesale Christian books in Isaiah 21: 6: instruct “ . . . Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.” Media must break its hold from the government’s or further judgment will come.
While both coasts seem to have a reprieve from excessively hot weather, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, etc., rest assured these are not over. Especially the drought, hot weather and thunderstorms mean that even worst fires are to come.
As Alicia Chang and Seth Borenstein write for the Associated Press in ‘Climate Change and Wildfires: Bigger, Fiercer Blazes Expected In West:’“There’s a dangerous but basic equation behind the killer Yarnell Hill wildfire and other blazes raging across the West this summer: More heat, more drought, more fuel and more people in the way are adding up to increasingly ferocious fires.”
In short, much of the U.S. is being burned away: “Since Jan. 1, 2000, about 145,000 square miles have burned, roughly the size of New York, New England, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland combined, according to federal records.”
Felicity Barringer and Kenneth Chang quote fire historian, Stephen J. Pyne: “In many landscapes you’ve enhanced the natural combustibility by building hundreds of thousands of homes in fire-prone areas . . .”
They also cite testimony from Roger B. Hammer, demographer at Oregon State University who told the House of Representatives that in the Western U.S. during the 1990s builders added 2.2 million housing units in fire-prone areas.
Yet experts point out fire fighters’ budgets has been cut. Also Dr. Craig D. Allen from the U.S. Geological Survey Station in New Mexico points out that the fire season has lengthened by two months going even into winter, and that hotter fires are killing for more trees than they use to, even “many thousands of acres.”
Moreover, today’s fires are not behaving ‘normally.’ Global Warming means hotter weather, and Chang and Borenstein mention fire ecologist Steve Running of the University of Montana:
“Even a degree or so warmer, day in day out, evaporates water faster and that desiccates the system more.” He also reports firefighters complain about how fire flames “go berserk in ways they never used to see.”
Climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona told Chang and Borenstein that “unless greenhouse gas emissions are curbed, huge, fierce wildfires will become the norm.” So once more, the problem is Global Warming!
Experts say just let fires burn out. University of Montana fire scientist, and a fire fighter himself, Carl Seielstad says: “Governments also need to rethink the way they deal with fires, which could mean just letting some burn rather than sending fire crews into increasingly intense and unpredictable situations.
Again, unnecessary real estate expansion has not only robbed animals of their habitats, it endangered people, devastated communities, leveled needed trees, and now led to the deaths of at least 19 brave forest fighters.
When will we stop being our own enemy. As Proverbs 29: 1 says in wholesale Christian Bibles: “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”
These years of Global Warming, immigration, urbanization, and world travel increasingly bring new diseases into the world––almost by design. Medical professionals often seem unprepared, and nations appear to avoid true statistics.
Paul Tinder of Vaccine News Daily reports that as of Monday there were 81 ‘laboratory-confirmed’ cases of the new SARS-like virus, MERS-CoV, of which 45 patients died. Most cases are presumed to be in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia. Some patients became sick with the virus after they traveled back home.
Tinder quotes the World Health Organization’s (WHO) gingerly reminders to all nations: “The WHO encourages all member states to continue surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and to carefully review unusual patterns.
“All travelers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV and test specimens should be obtained from patients’ lower respiratory tracts whenever possible.” Again, no clear system of truthful reporting.
In ‘Is Climate Change Fueling a Deadly Disease in California and Other Parched States?,’ Tara Lohan tells of a 850 percent spike in cases Valley Fever in the U.S. between 1998 and 2011. California and Arizona have the worst cases.
Too often Valley Fever is misdiagnosed. The disease has many symptoms, is extremely painful, and can be deadly. It thrives in hotter, drier climates with dust to carry its spores. Some patients complain doctors often search for every type of disease other than this one, leaving patients to suffer for months and years.
“The disease—prevalent in arid regions of the United States, Mexico, Central and South America — can be contracted by simply breathing in fungus-laced spores from dust disturbed by wind as well as human or animal activity.”
Also, AFP News Service reports: researchers in Paris have discovered that the newest Bird Flu brand, H7N9, “replicates deep in the longs” where it affects the immune system. Moreover, other seasonal vaccines cannot protect against it. China reports 131 confirmed cases of H7N9, with some 40 fatalities.
The Chinese Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Beijing issued a report on the genetic ID of H7N9 stating: “Together with the challenges in the available treatments for H7N9 caused by its clinical severity and emerging antiviral resistance, further unpredictable evolution and adaptation of the H7N9 virus and the lack of pre-existing immunity leave the human population at high risk.”
“Human population at high risk” could be translated: “diseases capable of killing off the human race.” Christian prayer books give examples of prayers that elicit answers from Almighty God. We must start practicing those prayers.
Among other things, I must report: a severe heat-wave hit Japan last week, killing at least 12 people and sending thousands to hospitals from heatstroke and exhaustion. Most were over 65, but children were also affected. Heat ranged from 95• to 101• F. News advises citizens to drink plenty of fluids and stay indoors.
And while citizens sit sweltering, politicians get ready for so-called elections that are suppose to take place on the 21st of this month. But with the system rigged so that rural votes count more than urban votes, the party of present Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to win overwhelmingly.
The only thing that could hurt him is that he supports restarting nuclear power plants, while all other parties––and, yes, most private citizens––are against it! Speaking of which, have you heard that now officials here admit their Fukushima power plant has been leaking for a lonnngggggg time!!
Hiroko Tabuchi writes for The New York Times: “The stricken nuclear power plant at Fukushima has probably been leaking contaminated water into the ocean for two years, ever since an earthquake and tsunami badly damaged the plant, . . . In unusually candid comments, Shunichi Tanaka, the head of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, also said that neither his staff nor the plant’s operator knew exactly where the leaks were coming from, or how to stop them.” Say what????
In ‘Japanese Nuclear Plant May Have Been Leaking for Two Years’ Tabuchi adds: “Until recently, Tokyo Electric, . . . flatly denied that any of that water was leaking into the ocean, even though various independent studies of radiation levels in the nearby ocean have suggested otherwise. In recent days, Tepco has retreated to saying that it was not sure whether there was a leak into the ocean.”
Well tomorrow I cross the pond to China where the government’s trying to deal with city folk who hate farm folks moving in, and the largest collection ever seen of algae bloom amasses among the beaches. But then as Solomon tells us in used Christian Bibles, “ . . . there is no new thing under the sun (Eccl. 1: 9).”
Economists agree: European Union’s (EU) banking system is in dire straits. In anticipation of failing banks, EU finance ministers stealthily plan to following what they did in Cyprus––confiscate bank deposits over 100,000 euros ($129,000).
The Guardian wrote on May 14, 2013: “Depositors with less than €100,000 in a bank that is being closed down will get all their money back, EU finance ministers agreed on Tuesday, and most supported the idea that bigger depositors would get privileged status.” That language ‘privileged’ leaves obvious questions.
Some banking commissioners indicate the issue is not fully settled, but Tom Fairless of the Wall Street Journal writes: “German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, along with his Dutch and Danish counterparts, backed a tough approach in which uninsured depositors would contribute on the same level as senior bondholders when problems arose.”
Fairless further quotes Germany’s Finance Minister: “Mr. Schäuble did signal a willingness to compromise. He said uninsured depositors could be given preference, but certainly shouldn’t be excluded from taking losses.” Fairless then quotes Schäuble:”It’s a matter of when, not a matter of whether” uninsured depositors should take losses, he said. Germany and northern European countries seem intent on the right to take depositors funds as they will.
Michael Snyder argues in ‘New EU Plan Will Make Every Bank Account In Europe Vulnerable To Cyprus-Style Wealth Confiscation’: “Did you actually believe that they were not going to use the precedent that they set in Cyprus?
“On Thursday, EU finance ministers agreed to a shocking new plan that will make every bank account in Europe vulnerable to Cyprus-style bail-ins. In other words, the wealth confiscation that we just witnessed in Cyprus will now be used as a template for future bank failures all over Europe. That means that if you have a bank account in Europe, you could wake up some morning and every penny in that account over 100,000 euros could be gone.”
Because EU countries have different rules, European Central Bank commissioner Jörg Asmussen repeatedly argues: “We want a single European resolution regime, together with a single resolution agency and a single resolution fund that is financed by a levy from the banking industry.”
But Mr. Schäuble strongly disagrees: “Current treaties don’t give enough foundation for a European restructuring authority.” In other words, Germany wants new “treaties” giving it authority over EU citizens and their finances.
This is an economic war! Non-German EU countries are losing that war. Hitler’s nation wants most EU members to be in the same position as Israel when Jeremiah cried in wholesale Christian Bibles: “We have drunken our water for money; our wood is sold unto us (Lamentations 5: 4).” To that extend Germany will own all assets of other EU nations and then charge them for their use.
Just a few days after destructive floods in Canada’s largest Western city, Calgary, her largest Eastern city, Toronto, yesterday suffered historically unnatural down-pouring––a month’s worth of rain in just two hours.
The torrents of rain and subsequent flooding caught Toronto residents completely by surprise. People were lined up on streets waiting for streetcars, and within seconds, those streets turned into rivers.
Don Peat and Angela Hennessy of QMI quote Ralph Siekanowicz who was getting home from work: “It’s unbelievable, water was pouring down the stairs in the subway station and then the lights went out, it was really scary. When we got outside, you could see parked cars surrounded in water up to their windows.”
The City of Toronto’s latest update says that some 300,000 people in the city are without power. Authorities urged residents to stay in place, avoiding travel. Jennifer Angiers said her building lost power 6 p.m. last night said: “I can literally see waves on the street, it doesn’t look like King St.––it looks like a river.”
“This is likely the wettest moment in Toronto’s history. By the end, we may have a new all-time one-day record.” David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada. Basements throughout the city are flooded, and river banks threaten to collapse. Like most cities, asphalt makes Toronto subject to flooding.
Extinction Protocol and Raveena Aulakh of Star.com label Toronto’s rainfall ‘epic:’ “More than 90 millimeters of rainfall was recorded at Pearson International Airport in just two hours, starting at about 4:30 p.m. To put it in perspective, the wettest day in Toronto was Oct. 15, 1954, when Hurricane Hazel slammed the city and 121.4 millimeters of rainfall was recorded over the entire day.”
They explain: “As temperatures rise globally, so do the chances of extreme weather. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in its 2012 report that short, powerful rains, hurricanes, heat waves and droughts will intensify. . . . the average global temperature could rise anywhere between 1.6 and 4.4 degrees C. . . That includes fewer but more extreme rainstorms.
Some 1500 Calgary residents are in shelters and hundreds more stay with families. Hundreds of cattle drowned. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told news services: “This is incredible. “I don’t think any of us have seen anything like this before.” Public transportation is shut down and schools are closed.
What will it take for people to understand that there is no safe zone in these last days? Global Warming assures that things will get much worst. As Christian children’s T-Shirts warn: “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer (1 Peter 4: 7).”
Other than brief six month revisits to Hurricane Sandy, American media has done little to follow-up on life after Hurricane Katrina, or financial assistance for those surviving repeated tornadoes in Oklahoma, or insurance payouts, etc.
In late April, early May, Wayne Parry wrote several pieces for Associated Press about homelessness among Sandy survivors. In ‘Six Months After Hurricane Sandy, Thousands Are Still Homeless,’ he wrote:
“Six months after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey shore and New York City and pounded coastal areas of New England, the region is dealing with a slow and frustrating recovery. Tens of thousands of people remain homeless. Housing, business, tourism and coastal protection remain major issues with the summer vacation — and hurricane — seasons almost here.”
New York Gov. Cuomo says “some lives have come back together quickly and well.” But “some people are still very much in the midst of recovery. You still have people in hotel rooms, you still have people doubled up, you still have people fighting with insurance companies, and for them it’s been terrible and horrendous.”
Parry adds: “The recovery from Hurricane Sandy, which struck Oct. 29, has been slow. From Maryland to New Hampshire, the National Hurricane Center attributes 72 deaths directly to Sandy and 87 others indirectly from causes such as hypothermia due to power outages, carbon-monoxide poisoning and accidents during cleanup efforts.” He says Gov. Christie estimates 39,000 New Jersey families are still displaced, and that in New York, 250 families still live in hotel rooms, while others are with relatives are living in “temporary rentals.”
But Parry quotes no other East Coast governors. However, Inquistir.com’s ‘six months after’ article claims “Tens of thousands of people are still homeless as they deal with a slow and frustrating recovery from the storm that flooded parts of the subway system and caused billions of dollars in damage. . . many businesses affected by the storm have not reopened.”
In ‘Katrina, All Over Again,’ Chris Hedges makes clear that the most affected by Hurricane Sandy are the poor of the region. “Hurricane Sandy, if you are poor, is the Katrina of the North. It has exposed the nation’s fragile, dilapidated and shoddy infrastructure, one that crumbles under minimal stress.
“It has highlighted the inability of utility companies, as well as state and federal agencies, to cope with the looming environmental disasters that because of the climate crisis will soon come in wave after wave.”
These are the things deniers don’t want to deal with: the U.S. is not ready for Climate Change/Global Warming disasters, and politicians don’t want media to talk about their inept weak policies, because the public might wake up!
Used Christian books make clear that the rich and poor continually have different concepts of life: “Lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is The LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take The Name of My God in vain.” Wonder which group among Sandy, Katrina and Oklahoma victims prays now!
John J. Jr.: As we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July anniversary of our country’s Declaration of Independence, we are honored to welcome new workers from the associations of newspaper kids to our intern ranks.
Let us take this opportunity to thank you for all the diligent work you do to send in urgent news stories from around the world. And of course we congratulate our kids at home for their promotion to internships as well.
Intern Sissy: Of course I wanted to intern with sassy Ms. Feermeno, and write about animals. But nooo! Her beat is nuclear energy wars, so to do stories about dreadful declines in animal species, they stick me with Butterman.
Intern Violet: Don’t feel bad Sissy. They stuck me with Newsworthy and she assigns me to work on volcanoes. Such gooey stuff. So I’m flooded with news carriers from Extinction Protocol and its news outlets every day. ugh!
Intern Ernie: Oh quit your belly aching Violet. I’m an understudy with Sarah Newsworthy too. I mark up stories on earthquakes everywhere. Neat!
Intern Wally: I am so glad I’m working with Wendy Weathersbee. She assigned me to research tornadoes, hurricanes and other violent storms. Neat!
Intern Frank: Frank Fredericks here. Newsworthy assigned me to forest fires and drought. Hot work, but I’m glad to be aboard. She had me send a memo to the prayer teams for the families of those 19 firefighters we lost recently!
Farley: I think Sissy’s right John. We need to do more on animals––wild and domestic––and insects, etc., rather than sending kids out to these new things.
John J. Jr.: Don’t worry. We’ll get more kids. The news corp. babies are growing up. They’ll take up the slack.
Intern Terry: Wait, wait for me! John assigned me to work with Taryn at I.E. Plexus. I have to make sure orders get out and new products are added and proof read all the blogs. Neat O! Taryn get’s frustrated sometimes with Jael’s ah lack of attention to business details on occasion.
Intern Paul: Wait for me too! Rev. Repriestly sent me to bolster the prayer teams. So I’m working with Brothers Michael, John, and Jude to learn how to pray. Wow! I had no idea there are so many things to pray about.
John J. Jr.: Great! With that in mind, let’s thank God for the U.S. A. And Pray for Our Country on this 4th of July. As our Christian childrens t-shirts say: “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118: 24).”