They’re back!

Pink Floyd are set to release their first new music in 28 years tomorrow (April 8) to aid the relief effort in Ukraine.

The new track, titled ‘Hey, Hey, Rise Up’, features a sample of Andriy Khlyvnyuk, the singer of Ukrainian band Boombox, and is the band’s first original music to be released since their 1994 album ‘The Division Bell’. All proceeds from the song will go to Ukraine Humanitarian Relief.

Discussing the new song in a statement, Gilmour said: “I hope it will receive wide support and publicity. We want to raise funds for humanitarian charities, and raise morale. We want express our support for Ukraine and in that way, show that most of the world thinks that it is totally wrong for a superpower to invade the independent democratic country that Ukraine has become.”

The singer, who has a Ukrainian family, said: “We, like so many, have been feeling the fury and the frustration of this vile act of an independent, peaceful democratic country being invaded and having its people murdered by one of the world’s major powers.”

Gilmour added: “Russian soldiers, stop killing your brothers. There will be no winners in this war. My daughter in law is Ukrainian and my granddaughters want to visit and know their beautiful country. Stop this before it is all destroyed.”

How much of our labor force has been lost to COVID-19?


Olivier Douliery/AFP

…More than 850,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States. They were parents, partners, friends and family. Many of them were also workers. Meanwhile, there’s a big labor shortage right now, with more than 10 million job openings. There are many reasons those jobs haven’t been easy to fill: the virus and variants, limited day care, school interruptions and people looking for more pay and better working conditions.

What’s been talked about less is how COVID and long COVID, a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act, have changed the workforce.

Through October of last year, more than 100 million working-age Americans, or people between the ages of 18 and 65, have contracted the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Studies show that about one-third of people who get COVID experience long-term symptoms, meaning that more than 30 million working-age Americans may have or have had long-COVID.

But how many of those with long-haul COVID left the workforce?…

Researchers haven’t yet been able to produce confident stable statistics. Numbers range from 1.6 to 1.9 million. That means we’re possibly undercounting casualties by 300,000 human beings. And it may be worse. Yes, no nation in the world maintains staff ready to fight a pandemic. A lot of tactics, style and weapons are being devised from scratch.

This article tells us more about what we confront, what we must solve.

Megafires are becoming common!

What the US Forest Service once characterized as a four-month-long fire season starting in late summer and early autumn now stretches into six to eight months of the year. Wildfires are starting earlier, burning more intensely and scorching swaths of land larger than ever before. Risks for large, catastrophic fires like the Camp fire that leveled the town of Paradise in 2018 are rising…

More than half of the 20 largest fires in California history burned in just the last four years. Eight of the top 20 fires in Oregon occurred in that time frame too. Last year, Arizona saw the most acres burned in its history. California’s August Complex fire, which consumed more than 1m acres alone, became the first-ever giga-fire in 2020. The Dixie fire this year came close to becoming the second, burning through more than 963,200 acres…

The conditions that set the stage for a staggering escalation in wildfire activity in the American west are layered and complicated, but the climate emergency is a leading culprit…

There are still solutions and mitigations that could slow the shift in intensity – but researchers say that window is closing.

“The trends that are driving this increase in fire risk, fire size, fire severity over time are continuing – that’s climate change.”

Until and unless people press politicians to act upon climate change, reversing human-made trends decades in the making, the dangers to whole communities, whole states, regional disasters, will continue and increase.

New IPCC Climate Report is a guide to action – Time to choose our future!

It has been eight years since the last major report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), though it has produced smaller reports since then. But today, the first piece of the 6th Assessment Report is out. Most of it should not surprise you—the basics of climate science have been known for decades. And the general outlines were already obvious: almost all of the warming is due to human activities, and, without immediate action, we’re poised to blow past 1.5º C of warming.

Still, each report is a little more useful than the last, and we’re going to go over what has changed in terms of the science and what has changed in how that information is being shared with the public.

Today’s release is the Working Group I section of the report. It’s massive — a product of 751 scientists that references over 14,000 studies and data sources…Using the average of the last decade, the report notes that surface temperatures have warmed about 1.09°C (1.96°F) since the late 1800s. The new summary statement about humanity’s contribution to that warming says, “The likely range of total human-caused global surface temperature increase from 1850–1900 to 2010–2019 is 0.8°C to 1.3°C, with a best estimate of 1.07°C.” That is, humans are responsible for approximately all of it.

Putting this into historical context, the report concludes that the present state of the climate goes beyond anything the Earth has seen in quite some time: “In 2019, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher than at any time in at least 2 million years[…] Global surface temperature has increased faster since 1970 than in any other 50-year period over at least the last 2,000 years.”

Finally, projections of various future greenhouse gas concentrations highlight the futures we can yet choose between. It is still physically possible to limit warming to 1.5° C or 2° C, given the will to act. It is likewise still possible to cross 4° C or 5° C by 2100, given a sufficiently blatant disregard for current and future life on our planet.

So, what’s the heritage we leave for future generations. People who can afford the best, newest and (probably) most expensive will do OK. The rest of your family in the coming era will be cursed by our inaction…or grateful if we get off our rusty dustys and do something useful to halt and eventually reverse the trend. Scientists are actively pursuing guidelines. A number of educated politicians and activists are trying to provide leadership.

And the rest, a predictable lot, will wallow in the ethos of doing nothing or aiding the Know-Nothings of this century.

Microsoft will get new accounts they may not want!

Apple announced new features Thursday that will scan iPhone and iPad users’ photos to detect and report large collections of child sexual abuse images stored on its cloud servers.

“We want to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them, and limit the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM),” Apple said in a statement.

“This program is ambitious, and protecting children is an important responsibility,” it said. “Our efforts will evolve and expand over time.”

Bravo!