Economy, energy, and supply chain
Recession fears are rising: “Recession risks are low now but elevated in 2023 as inflation could force the Fed to hike until it hurts”, said a global economist at Bank of America. Bill Gates said that there’s a “strong argument” we’re about to see a global economic slowdown, and other top European CEOs are worried that Europe will soon face a recession, too.
US grid operators are bracing for a wave of blackouts this summer. If you’re worried about losing power here’s our off-grid power 101 guide, and our review of the best gas-powered portable generators to get you started.
There is talk about global diesel shortages. If you’re thinking about storing gas at home, here’s a handy guide on how to do that safely:
We are looking at a nightmare in terms of global diesel shortage that will shock people starting June.
Diesel inventory on the east coast is 18 million (About 3 days demand) as of today, we will run down to sub 10 million. 🚨
This is WAY below historic inventory levels pic.twitter.com/QquIeio8VF
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) May 8, 2022
The G7 (France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, and the US) has now committed to banning or phasing out Russian oil. Experts warn that Europe may face an LNG (liquified natural gas) crisis this winter. In the meantime, the EU is going to give out permits for renewable projects at a faster speed to speed up the transition away from Russian gas.
Visualizing how political and economic events shaped the price of oil from 1968 to March 2022:
Civica Rx, a nonprofit that makes generic drugs will sell generic insulin for no more than $30 for a month’s worth starting in 2024.
40% of the top-selling baby formulas were out of stock as of April 24.
In the “It’s not even summer yet!” series, California’s largest reservoirs are at their lowest levels. The snowpack, which provides one-third of CA’s water supplies, has already melted much faster than expected due to warmer-than-average temperatures.
Human activity and climate change are ruining the layers of fungi, lichen, and bacteria that protect deserts. Researchers estimate that biocrusts will disappear by 25%–40% within 65 years. It can take decades for this crust to reappear after it has been disturbed or the bacteria died out. Without it, the desert would turn into a dust bowl.
The number of flying insects in the UK has plunged by almost 60% since 2004. Although this is “terrifying” news considering that life on Earth depends on insects, there is a need for more large-scale surveys to understand these numbers.
Did you know that tidal is one of the most predictable sources of renewable energy? But projects can take years to materialize, and it only really works in specific locations. The UK has one of the highest tidal ranges worldwide, and “almost 50% of the world’s installed tidal stream capacity is in UK waters”, making it the global leader in tidal power. The Faroes Islands (North of the UK, but not part of it; about 50,000 inhabitants) could get 40% of their power from tidal and are currently planning four sites that could achieve a total capacity of 120 MW of tidal energy, around 350 GWh a year.
Biden reached a deal to provide low-income Americans with a $30 a month subsidies ($75 in tribal areas) for internet service. Households are eligible if their income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, or if a member of their family participates in one of several programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), or the Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit.
FEMA will cover Covid funeral expenses, but few people know of this program or don’t apply. There are no income limits, life insurance does not preclude participation, and there is no deadline. One of the few disqualifiers is if a funeral was pre-paid. We had already covered this program last year, but since it seems that the program is underutilized, it might be worth repeating.