Will Climate Change affect global trade? You betcha!

Some new drone footage shot as the ONE Apus was arriving in Japan last week gives us the first aerial view of the extent of damage on the deck of the ship after its historic cargo loss in the Pacific Ocean…

The owners and managers of the containership estimate that 1,816 containers were lost overboard when the ONE Apus encountered severe weather as it sailed towards Long Beach, California on November 30.

The number of containers damaged but remaining on deck is yet to be determined, but these images (and what we’ve seen already) show that the number is likely to be significant.

Authors of the article estimate 2,250 containers were swept away.

After the cold fall winds swirling around Hurricane Sandy pushed an enormous storm surge toward the New York and New Jersey coastlines several years ago, the ensuing damage left an indelible imprint on the public imagination. Restaurants with ocean views were battered by wild waves, homes were rent asunder, and historic lighthouses were pummeled into piles of rubble. New York City was paralyzed for days, and some 40,000 people were left homeless.

…Scant attention was paid to the goods containers strewn like toys around the marine terminals or to the gantry cranes left inoperable by saltwater damage. For a week, container ships laden with cargo floated aimlessly in the calmed harbor while responders scrambled to repair the damage.

As concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere at a record-breaking pace, changes to the climate system—not least sea level rise and increasingly ferocious extreme weather—will pose a growing threat to international trade. Costal transport infrastructure, especially ports, is highly vulnerable. But this is a two-way relationship. International trade plays a well-established role in making climate change worse by increasing greenhouse gas emissions, but what Sandy portends is that climate change will also imperil the smooth flow of international trade.

And this is just the beginning.

Trump Pandemic shatters records for new cases, daily death rate

It was another devastating day for the coronavirus pandemic in the US yesterday, with the total number of coronavirus cases passing 17m, the highest in the world by far. The US recorded almost a quarter of a million new coronavirus infections and more than 3,600 deaths yesterday alone. Thursday’s unemployment report also found that new jobless claims reached 885,000 last week, the highest weekly figure since September. In Los Angeles, two people are dying of Covid-19 every hour, as the hospitals system creaks under the weight of the pandemic.

However, there is some respite on the horizon. An advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that the agency authorise a second coronavirus vaccine, developed by Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The Moderna vaccine was found to be more than 94% effective at preventing Covid-19 in a trial of more than 30,000 participants…

[Disclaimer: My retirement investment account holds shares in Moderna.]

Twitter will remove tweets spreading harmful misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine, the company has announced, and will begin to label tweets that push conspiracy theories from next year.

Don’t delude yourself. Trump and his acolytes will declare a victory for their ignorant and racist policies. This confrontation with fascist politics ain’t going away. And the next rightwing candidate that will lead the American public down the road to obedience and death may be smarter than Trump. It ain’t that difficult a requirement.

Facebook attacks Apple’s tougher privacy standards


This is what pisses off FACEBOOK honcho, Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook has…attacked Apple in a series of full-page newspaper ads, asserting that iOS 14’s privacy changes regarding data gathering and targeted advertising are bad for small businesses (via Bloomberg).

The ads are running in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, feature the headline “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.”

I feel like I’m standing up to my ankles in cowshit when I read this press release from Zuckerberg.

Earlier this year, Apple introduced a number of privacy changes that curb the ability of companies like Facebook to gather data on users and target adverts. In ‌‌iOS 14‌‌, Apple has made the “Identifier for Advertisers,” used by Facebook and its advertising partners for ad targeting, an opt-in feature, providing more transparency for users who would prefer not to be tracked in apps and on websites. The update simply asks users if they want to agree to ad tracking or prevent cross-app and cross-site tracking to provide targeted ads.

Personally, I love Apple’s changes. What I’d like to see – and Zuckerberg fears – is more software and site developers take the same stand.