The Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by half a point, the biggest rate hike since the 2000s. The Feds try to keep inflation at about 2%, but post-pandemic spending and government stimulus caused inflation to hit 8.5% this past March. By raising interest rates, the cost of loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc will go up, meaning that fewer people will be spending money, and prices will go down. In response, the stock market crashed🤷
The US will pay down the national debt for the first time in six years. The Treasury Department estimates that this fiscal year’s budget deficit will decline by $1.5 trillion.
The EU proposed a phase-out of Russian imports of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of 2022.
The latest government map shows that nearly all of the West is already in drought, and it’s not even summer yet. California officials said that they have been preparing for global warming to cause water stress, but “we did not know it would happen this fast.”
Water levels in Lake Powell dropped to 24% of its capacity and they keep dropping. The Federal Government will hold back a large amount of water to make sure that the lake doesn’t fall below a point where Glen Canyon Dam can’t generate power. This is the first time that the US Bureau of Reclamation has invoked its authority in this way. Lake Powell is the second-largest reservoir on the Colorado River.
And just in case you need help visualizing Lake Mead’s water levels, the water is so low that it’s exposing dead bodies stuffed in barrels:
Permitting or zoning laws in some areas can delay the installation of solar panels. If you’re trying to install solar, it might be worth checking if your community is part of a new Department of Energy project called SolarAPP+ that helps people streamline the permitting process.
If we ate 1/5 less meat, we could prevent half of the deforestation. Just replacing 20% of beef with meat substitutes will halve deforestation and carbon emissions by 2050, a new study finds.
Lithium Valley could produce the greenest lithium in the world, and meet 40% of the world’s future demand. At Salton Sea lake (near the California-Mexico border), three companies are developing chemical processes to extract lithium in a much cleaner way, taking advantage of the Salton Sea’s rich geothermal resources. The new industry could provide a major boost to the economy of the region.
Western officials think Putin may formally declare war on Ukraine on May 9. The officials said that by declaring war, Putin would be able to deploy thousands of reservists.
More children under 5 are likely suffering from malnutrition now than before Covid hit. People already have inadequate diets because of conflicts, poverty, and climate change. Global malnutrition rates are expected to rise further due to price hikes and disruptions in the trade of food, fertilizer, and fuel.
North Korea test-fired another ballistic missile. This time it was just ahead of the inauguration of the new youth Korean president, who had vowed a tougher stance on North Korea. Experts say North Korea’s fast pace in weapons tests this year underscores its dual goal of advancing its missile programs while applying pressure on Washington over a deep freeze in nuclear talks. US military and intelligence agencies think North Korea will resume underground nuclear testing this month.
Did you know that Finland has enough bunkers to fit all its population? Or that by law, any building bigger than 1,200 sq m (about 12,917 sq ft) must make provision for a shelter? In peacetime, shelters can serve civilian functions, but they must be semi-permanent and able to be dismantled within 72 hours, like storage rooms, sports halls, and swimming pools (that can be drained). The Finns take preparedness seriously, and it shows.