Links 2/18/2022

Links 2/18/2022 1

James Webb Space Telescope has locked onto guide star in crucial milestone Space.com

SpaceX and our space junk problem Vox

Climate

Global industry groups push back on climate disclosure rules FT

Accusations of ‘greenwashing’ by big oil companies are well-founded, a new study finds NPR

Ikea’s Race for the Last of Europe’s Old-Growth Forest The New Republic

Let’s Fight Climate Change Without Eating Bugs New York Magazine

#COVID19

As BA.2 subvariant of Omicron rises, lab studies point to signs of severity CNN. Nobody could have predicted…. See Yves here.

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CDC wants to “give people a break” from masks, says new guidance coming Ars Technica. About time:

(A parody account. I think.)

After lifting mask mandate, California unveils plan to ease into next stage of life with COVID San Francisco Chronicle. The plan is called –wait for it — SMARTER. Don’t ever change, liberal Democrats. To be fair, the plan does call for “creating a task force to improve indoor air quality statewide.”

The Mask Debacle The Tablet. Word of the day: plerophory. I’m more than a little surprised, however, not to see the author cite to the work of Trisha Greenhalgh on masks. Greenhalgh does not suffer from plerophory. I think this post is interesting on the politics, but dangerously close to tendentiousness on the science.

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Coronaviruses are ‘clever’: Evolutionary scenarios for the future of SARS-CoV-2 STAT. Not very impressive. More impressive–

Covid-19 Medium-Term Scenarios – February 2022 SAGE. Handy chart:

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Which scenario are you?

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Estimated 73% of US now immune to omicron: Is that enough? AP. Throwing a flag on the Betteridge’s Law violation.

Aerosol generation in public restrooms Physics of Fluids. From the Abstract: “Flushing biomatter can lead to the aerosolization of micro-organisms; thus, there is a likelihood that bioaerosols generated in public restrooms may pose a concern for the transmission of COVID-19, especially since these areas are relatively confined, experience heavy foot traffic, and may suffer from inadequate ventilation…. Covering the toilet reduced aerosol levels but did not eliminate them completely, suggesting that aerosolized droplets escaped through small gaps between the cover and the seat. In addition to consistent increases in aerosol levels immediately after flushing, there was a notable rise in ambient aerosol levels due to the accumulation of droplets from multiple flushes conducted during the tests. This highlights the need for incorporating adequate ventilation in the design and operation of public spaces, which can help prevent aerosol accumulation in high occupancy areas and mitigate the risk of airborne disease transmission.” Don’t linger!

About transmission between deer:

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Was a 19th Century Global Pandemic a Case of COVID 1.0? MedPage Today

China?

China’s zero-Covid policy under review as economic pressure mounts, chief epidemiologist says South China Morning Post. Read all the way to the end: “The US is also playing a big role in driving the global spread of Omicron, [Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention] said, adding that about one-third of China’s imported coronavirus cases have come from the US.” Oopsie. However, I don’t know the absolute number, and I don’t know how much is due to the Olympics.

Metaverse’s NFT- and cryptocurrency-fuelled boom a gold mine for banking and finance sector South China Morning Post. Money laundering generally is.

Hong Kong earmarks 20,000 hotel rooms for quarantine as COVID cases surge Reuters

‘Blood slave’ kidnapped by Chinese crime gang in Cambodia drained for months and threatened with organ harvesting South China Morning Post Shades of Mad Max: Fury Road. And will Peter Thiel please pick up the white courtesy phone?

Myanmar

Evergreen halts ship calls at junta-controlled terminal in Myanmar Container News

ASEAN envoy seeks Myanmar junta blessing to meet its opponents Reuters. Let me know how that works out.

Another U.S.-Trained Soldier Stages a Coup in West Africa The Intercept

France announces military withdrawal from Mali France24

New Cold War

No Invasion Wouldn’t Mean an End to the Ukraine Crisis Foreign Policy. Commentary:

Dispatch From Ukraine The Flashpoint. Full podcast. Sending a message, but to whom:

(Moldova is a southern neighbor of Ukraine, also on the Black Sea.)

People Are Looking For Designated Bomb Shelters In Kyiv, But Some Have Become Cocktail Bars, Restaurants, And Even A Strip Club Buzzfeed

Russia announces nuclear exercises as fresh Ukraine talks planned FT. The shape of the negotiating table?

Senate passes symbolic Russia rebuke as Ukraine threat looms Politico

“Worse than Skabeeva and Solovyov.” Arakhamia accused CNN, Bloomberg and WSJ of publishing fakes about the Russian invasion (Google Translate) New Times (HB). Davyd Arakhamia.

Canada

Who supports the ‘freedom’ protesters and why Toronto Star. The deck: “Alarmingly, 65 per cent of Canadians believe that if the concentration of wealth at the top continues, Canadians may see ‘violent class conflict.’”

Liberals cite CBC ‘analysis’ to justify freezing bank accounts Toronto Sun

While constitutional law experts and civil liberties groups have said the threshold has not been met for the government to invoke the Act, the 14-page document the Liberals offered up presents their own more formal argument to back them up…. [T]his conclusion wasn’t arrived at after detailed study by anyone in the Ministry of Finance or Public Safety Canada. Instead, the only evidence they offer is ‘the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s February 14, 2022 analysis of the data’ of the GiveSendGo.com fundraisers list that was hacked and released publicly.

Seems a little circular. Couldn’t they are least quote some anonymous intelligence officials?

The Battle of Billings Bridge Breach Media (marym).

Reality Honks Back The Upheaval

Biden Administration

Covid Funding Is Drying Up, White House Warns U.S. Lawmakers Bloomberg

Federal court must reconsider religious exception to United employees’ vaccine mandate Houston Chronicle. Amusing thread on the opinion:

As I understand the opinion, the ruling says the religious, contra Smith’s dissent, would suffer “irreparable harm” if forced by the State to act against their beliefs, which has broad implications when you think about it. However, “irreparable” seem at odds with the notion of a forgiving God (see e.g.). In any case, the case brought by the employees has already been settled, and by the putatively highest of authorities: See Matt 22:17-22.

Protecting the U.S. Postal Service from Amazon’s Anticompetitive Assaul (PDF) Hal Singer and Ted Tatos, Econ One

Health Care

Nonprofit Hospital CEO Compensation: How Much Is Enough? Health Affairs

Supply Chain

A burning cargo ship with thousands of Porsches, Lamborghinis and VWs is adrift in the Atlantic Bloomberg

Competition authorities in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ team up to investigate cartel conduct in global supply chains Splash 247

Global production linkages and stock market co-movement (PDF) Bank of International Settlements

The Bezzle

Bored Apes, BuzzFeed and the Battle for the Future of the Internet Vice

Hypocrisy and The Consequences of Monkey Laundering Ed Zitron, Where’s Your Ed At

Oh great, there’s DRM in printer PAPER now Cory Doctorow

Realignment and Legitimacy

Revisiting the Resilience of Chestnut Forests in Corsica: from Social-Ecological Systems Theory to Political Ecology (PDF) Ecology and Society. From 2011, still germane.

“When all you have is a hammer…”: why Agamben’s ideas were bound to lead to this Monthly Review. Interesting thoughts on “states of exception.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

New scientific review punctures myth of missile defense Responsible Statecraft

Searching for The Pigeon Lady Chicago Reader

Antidote du jour (via):

Links 2/18/2022 3

Bonus antidote:

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Double bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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