Things are heating up in summer 2022

August 11, 2022

(Alternative title: Observations and guesses August 2022)

The zeitgeist calls for despair:


Feline news:

The new video game “Stray” features a ginger tabby doing it’s special cat things, like balancing on railings, walking on keyboards, winding along rusted pipes, leaping over unidentified sludge, and decode clues in a seemingly abandoned city.

The game tells the story of a stray cat who falls into a walled city populated by robots, machines, and mystic ancient characters, and who ventures to return to the surface and reunite with it’s family again with the help of a drone companion called B-12.

The game not only became an instant success, but also, thanks to online fundraising platforms, raises money for animal shelters and other cat-related charities.


Against the odds:

The ubiquitous lawns in the front yards or backyards of suburb houses are a biodiversity desert. Converting them into natural habitats helps endangered species like bumblebees, certain butterflies, toads, and others. It also improves the climate and binds CO2.

The Montreal-based nonprofit Nouveaux Voisins envisions a world of yards, where suburban landscapes teem with life and buzz with planet-nourishing biodiversity. It aims to inform and educate people about how they can turn their yards (or balconies, or window ledges) into critical habitats for native plants and pollinators.

Each of its showcase gardens contains four to eight plant varieties that are found in natural environments like woodlands, meadows or prairies. A garden representing prairie conditions, for example, features airy clusters of tufted hairgrass and clumps of wild thyme, which blooms bright purple. Another garden inspired by meadows and open woodland contains tall pink and purple coneflowers, irresistible to butterflies and bees.

Alternative agriculture

Cuba has shown that an alternative to high-input industrial agriculture exists. During the Special Period that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union and the tightening of the US blockade, Cubans could not afford to be alienated from their food production. It was a matter of life and death. Alongside the proliferation of urban agriculture to increase food self-sufficiency in cities, the Cuban people shifted quickly and necessarily away from a conventional high-input state farm model that relied on petroleum-burning machinery toward a decentralized smallholder model based on the principles of sustainability. This shift was wholeheartedly supported by the Cuban government, which threw its weight behind the research and application of agroecological measures on a broad scale. By 2006, these measures made Cuba the only country in the world to have reached sustainable development according to the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), which means that Cuba was alone in having achieved high human development indicators without increasing its ecological footprint.

Large state farms were dismantled and land was redistributed to anyone with a desire to work it, while the Ministry of Agriculture sponsored nationwide workshops that brought together farmers and scientists to share sustainable solutions for the food production crisis. The reincorporation of rural populations into agriculture, through both their labor as well as their knowledge of traditional farming techniques and their active participation in the generation of new, more appropriate technologies.” An essential component of this model is the “recuperation” of traditional farming knowledge passed down through generations in the countryside, and the participation of these long-time farming families in the creation and implementation of sustainable models.

Some of these measures, outlined by a team of international agronomists in the paper Sustainable Agriculture and Resistance — Transforming Food Production in Cuba, included: increased recycling of nutrients and biomass within the system, addition of organic matter to improve soil quality and activate soil biology, soil and water conservation to minimize resource losses, diversification of agroecosystems in time and space, including the integration of crops and livestock, reliance on the ecological services of biodiversity in order to minimize the use of external inputs, and, critically, a system of democratic participation that incorporated the knowledge and wisdom of locals and farmers, thereby promoting participatory methods in research and in the extension and implementation process.

Environmental news:

The construction of facilities to release radioactive wastewater into the sea from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan has began despite opposition from the local community and neighboring countries.

Local residents and the fishing community are concerned about the impact on their fish catches and livelihoods and remain opposed to the plan, which calls for a gradual release of tons of treated water into the Pacific Ocean to begin next spring.

China also has expressed its firm opposition to the plan as China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that it is extremely irresponsible for Japan to ignore the objections and strong opposition from most involved parties.

Charles Eisenstein writes:

I haven’t seen any lightning bugs in our yard this summer. This is the first summer they have been absent. Their absence has fed a latent anxiety, a persistent feeling that all is not well. Disquiet. I remember the lightning bugs as a child, thick as stars in the undeveloped land atop the hill.

The butterflies and lightning bugs are a kind of wealth beyond price. When our days pass without them, we might feel a poverty that no amount of money or consumption can assuage. Will the next generation even know what they are missing? Do we ourselves know what is missing compared to the plenitude of life in former times?

Until a few weeks ago I had the same experience, not having seen fire flies for ten years. but in late July, on one of my nightly walks with the cat family in the adjacent forest, they suddenly  were there, first a few, then becoming more, and suddenly being everywhere in the whole forest.

The next day on our walk we were similarly surrounded by fire flies, quietly flying here and there, turning their lights on and off with no discernible pattern. On the same walk, I also saw a bat flying quietly in the starry sky, my first bat encounter after many years.

But the following day there were no fire flies and no bats, with only some roebucks barking in the distance, probably fighting for a female. Maybe nature is not as damaged and sick as we fear, maybe it’s only hiding, waiting for a time, when humans have changed their ways or have disappeared.

Economic news:

The two largest US oil monopolies, Exxon and Chevron, reported record quarterly profits on Friday as they cashed in on a strategy of cutting refining capacity while the price of oil shot up from the US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2022, roughly 43 percent of the world’s oil production came from just three countries in 2021 — the USA, Saudi Arabia, and the Russian Federation. Together, these three countries produced more oil than the rest of the top 10 combined.

The ruble, despite sanctions and theft (confiscation of Russian financial assets), is stronger than ever, at a seven-year high, while the Euro sank to a 20-year-low, the Russian central bank is cutting interest rates and Moscow is rolling in money. How much money? Russia’s account surplus this year January to July is $138.5 billion, roughly $100 billion higher than the same period last year and more than double the previous year.

China now uses CIPS when settling direct trades with Russia, while Russia recently began conducting its considerable oil trade with India in rupees and rubles. Moscow now transacts as many of its other foreign deals in rubles as it can.

Air travel problems

Economic experts allege, that the air travel industry is being systematically and deliberately demolished. If that only were true! It unfortunately is not, because airlines, despite their dreadful environmental impact, are still among the most pampered companies in this consumer economy.

Yet, something is going on with air travel – a sudden wave of dysfunction, similar to what’s happening in the energy industry, oil production, supply chains, and health care. And while the media has reported chaos at many airports around the world (pretty much everywhere, it seems), the explanations seem innocent enough: the airports are understaffed and can’t cope with sudden surge of travelers.

The traffic management systems that have evolved for nearly a century and that had  functioned close to flawlessly for decades, now suddenly seem to be coming apart at the seams. And it appears that airport chaos could become a chronic thing.


US and Japan will work together to develop leading-edge 2-nanometer (nm) semiconductor process technology to prevent over-reliance on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) factories in Taiwan. The US and Japan are playing catch-up, likely driven in part by fear of a Chinese take-over of Taiwan.

Pandemic news:

Reinfection rates are rising with the emergence of more infectious COVID variants. Especially Omicron subvariants are capable of evading previous immunity. Reinfections increase the odds of troubling health outcomes from heart, blood, and brain disorders, as well as diseases such as diabetes, chronic fatigue, and long COVID.

Cases of COVID-19 are surging in Japan and South Korea, fueled by the vaccine-evading BA.5 Omicron subvariant. Japan is experiencing its worst surge since the pandemic began. On July 28, the county recorded 233,066 daily cases and nearly half of Japan’s 47 prefectures are reporting record-highs, indicating widespread infection throughout the country.

Vaccine doubts

Since 2020, leading scientists have warned that the current vaccines would not stop transmission and that new variants would continue to evolve.

Tucker Carlson had a 20 minute monologue about Big Pharma and the corruption. He talked about opiates, SSRIs, COVID vaccines, Fauci, Birx, and the Biogen Alzheimer’s drug. The bosses at Fox, with Big Pharma providing a big part of their revenue, must clearly know the gig is up or they would not be allowing this on TV.

Recent data from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) show that each new Omicron subvariant has progressively eroded existing vaccines’ ability to prevent hospitalization.

Another memorable comment from a retired infectious diseases professor: “If they knowingly released a non-sterilizing vaccine into an acute coronavirus pandemic and forced millions to take it, that may be the greatest act of medical malpractice in the history of this whole world.”

Dr. Eric Topol and renowned Yale University immunologist Dr. Akiko Iwasaki have called for an “Operation Nasal Vaccine—Lightning speed to counter COVID-19” to massively fund next-generation vaccines that could potentially stop infections altogether.

COVID-19 vaccines are only delivered intramuscularly, whereas the nasal mucosa is the primary site of infection with SARS-CoV-2. Preclinical mucosal vaccines with intranasal or oral administration demonstrate promising results regarding mucosal IgA generation and tissue-resident lymphocyte responses against SARS-CoV-2. By mounting an improved local humoral and cell-mediated response, mucosal vaccination could be a safe and effective way to prevent infection, block transmission and contribute to reduce SARS-CoV-2 spread. However, questions and limitations remain: how effectively and reproducibly will vaccines penetrate mucosal barriers? Will vaccine-induced mucosal IgA responses provide sustained protection against infection?

A June 29, 2022, report in Science indicated that researchers conducting genomic sequencing had found mutations in variants circulating in infected people that can resist Paxlovid.

20 million Americans are suffering from Long COVID in the US alone, with hundreds of millions more worldwide. survey data from the Census Bureau, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the Lancet to come up with what she says is a conservative estimate: 4 million full-time equivalent workers out of work because of long COVID.

Pfizer reported its single largest quarterly sales in its history, bringing in $27.7 billion in revenues, of which $8.8 billion came from their COVID-19 vaccines and $8.1 billion from Paxlovid, beating Wall Street’s estimates. Meanwhile, it is competing with Moderna to ensure it gets its BA.4/BA.5-specific vaccines into US markets by the fall of this year.


In the three months since the global monkeypox outbreak commenced, 28,220 cases have been confirmed. The global seven-day moving average of infections is approaching 1,000 per day.

Currently, the US is the largest epicenter in the monkeypox pandemic with 6,616 confirmed cases. Canada has seen 890 monkeypox cases. Brazil (1,474) and Peru (340) are leading in Latin America. In Europe, Spain (4,577), the UK (2,749), Germany (2,781), Netherlands (927), and France (2,239) make up the lion’s share of cases. On a per capita basis, Spain’s rate of monkeypox cases is six times higher than in the US and the highest in the world. 87 countries have reported monkeypox cases.

There is a severe lack of awareness by health care workers and physicians on the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, which means that community transmission occurs undetected.

Media, technology, and propaganda news:

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the European Union blocked RT and Sputnik, Russia’s top news channels. Yet, many independent websites, critical of Western censorship, started republishing crucial content of RT and Sputnik, making the ban ineffective.

NewsGuard, a New York-based firm that studies and tracks political online content, has identified 250 websites actively spreading, what it called “Russian disinformation about the war.” Many of them were, in the words of NewsGuard co-CEO Gordon Crovitz, set up long before the war and were not obviously tied to the Russian government until they suddenly began “parroting Kremlin talking points.”

It doesn’t come to the mind of Western media experts, that the owners of these websites maybe are just incensed by the blatant censorship and breach of constitutional civil rights (freedom of speech and freedom of the press) and they only try to provide a more balanced and complete picture of whats going on.

Imperial news:

I wanted to stop with link lists, but this article is well researched and well written and it deserves as much publicity as possible. Please take the time and read it!

FBI agents conducted a series of raids on July 29 directed against the APSP (African People’s Socialist Party) in St. Louis, Missouri, and St. Petersburg, Florida. The raids are linked to a 25-page indictment against Aleksandr Ionov, who is accused of “conspiracy to commit offense” against the USA.

The APSP’s only activities noted in the indictment consist of holding rallies in various US cities opposing the “Genocide of African People in the United States” and making public statements denouncing US-NATO involvement in the war in Ukraine, while expressing political sympathy for Russia.

Imperial conquest news:

From Kosovo to Ukraine, it seems there’s a pattern regarding agreements in which Western powers have a hand. Since the start of this year’s special military operation in Ukraine, Russian officials have repeated time and again that the West had never pressed Kiev to fulfill its part of the 2015 Minsk 2 peace agreement, intended to end Kiev’s standoff with the Donbass republics. Recently, former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko openly admitted that Ukraine never intended to fulfill the agreement but was merely buying time until it could build up an army capable of overrunning Donbass.

The situation with Kosovo is not much different. The EU brokered an agreement between Pristina and Belgrade in April 2013, the so-called Brussels Agreement, by which Serbia was supposed to dismantle its “parallel” police and judicial structures in Kosovo and convince the Kosovo Serbs to accept integration into the Kosovo police and legal system, without recognizing the territory’s independence. And the Belgrade authorities did this, despite a large public outcry over the move.

However, there was a second part to the agreement, by which Pristina was obligated to form an Association of Serb Municipalities, with substantial local powers and ties to Serbia proper. The Albanian part of the Brussels Agreement has not been fulfilled to the present day.

Since Belgrade has proven to be a tough nut for the West to diplomatically crack when it comes to opposing Russia, it’s not at all far-fetched to imagine that the Kosovo Albanians just might be seen by the West as a useful tool by which to additionally turn the screws on Belgrade.

On Friday, the High Court of England and Wales decided in favor of opposition politician Juan Guaidó and dismissed a new effort by the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) to regain control over the reserves worth an estimated US $1.7 billion.

Venezuelan authorities have blasted the latest court ruling in the struggle for control over 31 tonnes of gold stored in the Bank of England

Caracas had brought to court the Venezuelan Supreme Court decrees stating that the parallel BCV board appointed by the US-backed opposition was illegal. However, judge Sara Cockerill decreed that the British Court could not recognize the rulings made by Venezuela’s highest judicial instance.

Ukraine news:

A war report is making the rounds on Ukrainian internet channels which was allegedly written by the higher command of the Ukrainian army and leaked from somewhere. Key points:

191000 soldiers were killed or wounded and the Ukrainian Armed Forces are only at 43 – 48 percent strength. Medical workers are at their limit.

Small arms and armor are running out.There is not enough hydraulics and liquid nitrogen for M777 howitzers. There is no possibility to repair weapons on the spot due to the lack of spare parts and specialists — everything is sent to Poland.

Another reports included similar grim casualty figures of the Ukrainian army:

(a) Death 74,583
(b) Wounded 151, 019
(c) Mercenaries 2,629
Surrendered: More than 5,000
Initial manpower: 260,200
Attrition Rate: 89.6353 percent

CBS News retracted a documentary after pressure from the Ukrainian government, which examined the flow of military aid to Ukraine and included estimations that only 30 to 40 percent of weapons and equipment were making it to the frontline.

Ukraine’s ministry of finance has estimated its public sector deficit increased from 2 billion US$ in March 2022 to as much as 7 billion by May.

The Russian pipeline operator Transneft reported that the Ukrainian company UkrTransNafta stopped pumping Russian crude through the southern branch of the Russian Druzhba pipeline, which supplies Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Transneft rejected a direct payment from Russia but as the payment is now made via a third party the issue should be resolved soon.

The USA is directly involved in the Ukrainian war. US officers are on the ground in Ukraine (for example as M142 HIMARS operators). The USA  helps with space based surveillance.

On August 7, Ukraine used 220 mm Hurricane MLRS cluster rocket fragmentation submunitions to again hit Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

The spent fuel area was hit; fragmentation submunitions and the rocket engine hit no more than 400 meters from one of the operating reactors. According to Russian authorities parts of the equipment at the plant are out of power due to the shelling, but a fire that broke out was quickly extinguished.

There are six nuclear reactors at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and they each have a spent fuel pool (Chernobyl did not have a spent fuel pool). Each pool probably holds 3 to 5 times more long-lived radionuclides than does each reactor. The pools must be cooled constantly or else the heat from the spent fuel assemblies will cause the water in the pools to boil off. If the fuel rods in the assemblies are exposed to air or steam, they will heat to the point of rupture or ignition and release massive amounts of radiation.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kiev has completed preparations for a monstrous provocation using highly toxic substances in Slavyansk. In the next few days, Security Service of Ukraine plan to blow up tanks with more than 120 tonnes of the chemically hazardous substance, hexane, at the oil and fats plant.

Explosion of the hexane tanks would create a toxic cloud that would spread more than 10 kilometers away. All residential areas of Slavyansk and nearby settlements will be in the chemical attack zone.

Russian forces captured intact the Soviet-era Vuhlehirska power plant near Svitlodarsk, and intend to activate it as soon as possible. This is Ukraine’s second-biggest power station and it is coal-fired, it shouldn’t be activated at all, but scrapped and replaced by renewable energy sources.

According to a July 11 report in Ukrainian media, Ruslan Onishenko, commander of the now-disbanded Tornado Battalion, was freed as part of President Zelensky’s scheme to release prisoners with combat experience. Along with an unwavering commitment to fascism, Onishenko is known as a psychopathic sadist who was involved in sexually assaulting children, brutally torturing prisoners, and murder.

Onishenko’s release follows a February 27 order by Zelensky to free other convicted former Tornado members like Danil “Mujahed” Lyashuk, a fanatic from Belarus who has openly emulated ISIS and boasted of torturing captives for sheer enjoyment. According to Zelensky‘s decree, prisoners with combat experience would be allowed to “compensate for their guilt” by fighting in the “hottest spots.”

Forbes reports on disappearing Ukrainian tank brigades
CBS reports on Western aid disappearing on the way to Ukrainian front lines
The Russian Ministry of Defense claims to have destroyed another HIMARS (6 destroyed in total of 16).
The Ukrainian lines at Avdiivka and Bakhmut are in danger of collapsing.
Various sources report that Russia is about to launch an offensive on Nikolaev.

An explosion at the Saky military air base on the Crimean Peninsula killed one person and injured 14. 9 warplanes are said to have been destroyed. The Russian defense ministry said earlier the blast had been a detonation of aviation ammunition, but later reports emerged that it was probably a command operation by Ukrainian and British special forces. Ukrainian leaders are said to have moved to air raid bunkers in anticipation of Russian retaliation.

China news:

The 2022 outbreak of COVID-19 is different from 2020, because the Omicron variant is highly contagious and it is extremely difficult to prevent it completely. On the other hand, as it has become extremely difficult to clear out SARS-CoV-2 quickly, Chinese COVID-19 prevention measures have to be more stringent than in 2020, and as a result, consumption is greatly restricted.

The peak of the 2022 COVID-19 outbreak shock has passed. According to the data, the daily average passenger capacity of the subway in ten major cities has increased significantly, approaching the level before this outbreak. Of course, due to the highly contagious nature of the Omicron variant, there is still a degree of uncertainty about the future direction of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there may be twists and turns.

China’s potential growth rate is about 6 percent, and that is still a relatively high estimate. If China wants to achieve 5.5 percent growth for 2022, its economy needs to grow 8 percent in the second half, which will be extremely difficult due to stringent COVID-19 controls and the deep decline of the housing industry.

Some economists call for facilitating domestic travel, especially with regard to Beijing and Shanghai, but that would of course increase the risks of new COVID-19 outbreaks.

At present, the main reason of weak domestic demand in China is the real estate industry. China’s real estate investment declined in the second half of 2021 and that has not changed significantly so far. Although China has issued a series of policies to stimulate infrastructure investment in the first half of 2022, the growth rate of infrastructure investment has not increased.

Economic warfare

US sanctions to stop the advance of Chinese semiconductor technology obviously have failed, because a new bitcoin mining IC (integrated circuit) sold by MinerVa appears to be manufactured in state of the art SMIC 7-nm technology node.

SMIC, despite targeted by crippling US sanctions, has built a substantial business serving the bulk of the semiconductor market. Founded in 2000, it now ranks fifth in the world in terms of semiconductor foundry revenues after TSMC, Samsung Foundry, UMC and Global Foundries.

SMIC operates 200mm and 300mm wafer factories in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, and Shenzhen, and has three new 300mm factories under construction. Semiconductor foundry services generate more than 90 percent of SMIC’s revenues, with the rest coming from mask making, testing and other related services.

On June 10, 2021, the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law (AFSL) was adopted and entered into force in the People’s Republic of China. In accordance with it, the authorized bodies under the Chinese State Council may include persons and organizations involved in the development and application of anti-Chinese sanctions in the List of Countermeasures. Countermeasures can be taken not only against persons on the list, but also against their spouses and immediate relatives, as well as organizations in which the mentioned persons are important leaders, and organizations that cooperate with these persons and their organizations. Countermeasures may include refusal to issue a visa, cancellation of a visa, refusal of entry, deportation, as well as arrest, seizure of property, prohibition or restriction of activities on the territory of the People’s Republic of China, etc. According to this law, all Chinese organizations and citizens who consider themselves victims of the application of foreign sanctions have the right to file relevant lawsuits with the Chinese People’s Court.

AFSL forces foreign companies operating in China not to comply with the sanctions imposed on China by the USA and the European Union, and not to allow anything that can be interpreted as compliance with these sanctions. According to Western experts, the law allows for broad interpretations and foreign companies can be punished not only for complying with their government’s sanctions, but also for other actions that run counter to the interests of their partners from China. In addition, AFSL obliges representatives of foreign businesses operating in China to participate in countering anti-Chinese sanctions. For example, foreign companies with production facilities in China will have to purchase the raw materials they need primarily from Chinese companies that have fallen under Western sanctions.

On February 21, 2022, Beijing has announced that it was imposing sanctions on the basis of AFSL against two US giants of the arms industry, namely, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies, which are among the three main contractors of the US military-industrial complex. The reason for the sanctions was the long-term supply of weapons by these companies to Taiwan.

Global fish stocks face a crisis, with nearly all classified as either fully exploited, overexploited or significantly depleted. China is the largest contributor to this problem as a world leader in both fishery exports and imports. It is responsible for 15 percent of the global total of caught fish and one-third of fish consumption worldwide.

Taiwan crisis

Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan came and went unimpeded and uninterrupted.

Andrei Martyanov writes:

The United States doesn’t know how and cannot fight a serious enemy on the ground, but there is absolutely no doubt about the United States being a naval power, which DOES think and, in fact, HAS the means to impose some solution on China as long as the naval forces are involved directly. It is the only field in which the United States has an upper hand over China.

Taiwan for China is a huge, existential issue. Taiwan officially is considered by international community as part of mainland China, which has its semi-official status “temporarily”. But because it is the island, and because the United States Navy can bring a massive firepower near it, the US has the escalation dominance here. And China knows it and she blinked.

I’m not sure about that China really blinked. Maybe it just as always responded in a more cautious and measured way.Beijing is in no great hurry and the ongoing military maneuvers demonstrate that it has still lot of leverage and lot of tools at hand short of open war.

BTW: Among much talk about democracy, freedom, and independence, Western commentators acknowledge the military aspect of US support for Taiwan. An exemplary comment: Taiwan occupies a strategically important location, allowing it to monitor Chinese warships and fighter jets heading out into the Pacific region.

Armageddon news:

The Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative is “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” It was adopted by the UN General Assembly—with 122 nations in favor — and opened for signature in 2017.

But its provisions only apply to nations which are party to it. Countries with nuclear weapons (including the USA, Russia, and China) have not. Instead so far, they have refused, boycotted meetings, and even pressured countries not to sign on.

While the UN tries to abolish nuclear weapons, spending on them is increasing, as shown in the list below (spending amounts in billion US$).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: