Your Latest Doom Report


Your Latest Doom Report

Here's a look at what we're dealing with right now:

Climate chaos slams Houston

A derecho tore through Houston a few days ago, bringing winds of 100 miles per hour. It knocked out power for nearly 1 million homes and businesses. Most of them won't have power for weeks. Houston was also recently hit with massive floods. They've been feeling the reality of climate collapse that we're all going to be living through soon enough.

Mpox makes a comeback

Monkeypox (or mpox) has been making a comeback in the U.S. In fact, it never really went away. As of this year, it has continued to spark outbreaks around the world, including Britain, Vietnam, and Puerto Rico. According to a recent report from The Journal of Infectious Diseases, asymptomatic spread has been contributing to these outbreaks. Researchers found that 1 in 15 adults tested for mpox had antibodies but no signs of illness.

The deadlier Clade II mpox has been spreading through the DRC, resulting in 20,000 infections and 1,000 deaths over the last year. The CDC and WHO have said they're "concerned" about the virus spreading worldwide, like the "milder" Clade I did in 2022.

Whooping cough kills

The public is finally starting to pay attention to whooping cough as a major outbreak in the UK has killed at least five infants and sickened thousands. It's caused by a bacteria, which means you have to treat it with antibiotics. Pharmacies are now reporting shortages of those antibiotics, and they're having to turn away patients. Whooping cough is especially contagious. One person can spread it to 15-17 people, putting it on par with Covid and measles. Vaccination rates have plummeted since the beginning Covid, to 58 percent.

This outbreak won't stay in the UK. In fact, pertussis has already been spreading through schools in the U.S. and across Europe. Officials have only been encouraging vaccines, not masks or clean air.

When you combine sagging vaccination rates with weakened immune systems and resistance to masking, you get outbreaks like this one. You also set the stage for worse outbreaks in the future.

Which leads to...

The dairy industry doesn't care

As we all know now, bird flu has established a reservoir in U.S. cattle. It's close to the worst-case scenario, and it essentially guarantees spillover to humans in the near future. So far, bird flu has killed half of the humans it infects. It continues to surprise scientists and rewrite disease textbooks.

As Nate Bear explains, the dairy industry is courting the next pandemic through widespread negligence and corruption. Even as a dangerous virus spreads through cows across the country, dairy farms and even USDA labs refuse to participate in the kind of tracking we need.

U.S. politicians have spent hundreds of millions propping up this flawed, failing industry over the last several decades, even as demand for milk and cheese fall and the world increasingly realizes that at least half of us can't even properly digest dairy. It was never meant for us. It's not a good source of calcium for humans. It's environmentally destructive, and there's no reason for us to be torturing and murdering millions of cows.

The dairy industry employs large numbers of undocumented immigrants, who are extremely unlikely to get tested or treated for bird flu when they become ill. When the bird flu pandemic begins, these exploited workers will be ground zero, and we won't even know until it's too late.

How's that for doomsaying?

The rich keep on spending

A recent story in Vox asks why Americans are still spending so much if the economy is doing so bad. I don't know who comes up with the headlines for these pieces, but I doubt it's the writers themselves. This one answers its own question. It's not ordinary Americans who keep spending. It's the top 20 percent. It's all those "high-income consumers" earning more than $240K who "have been largely cushioned from economic headwinds and are flush with cash to spend." It's no wonder they have so much money to spend.

They're taking it from the rest of us.

They're benefitting from the higher prices. They're the ones who see the dividends, the bonuses, and the profits from corporate price fixing and collusion. In other words, it's the exact same individuals who profit off inflation who are spending more. When ordinary Americans spend more, it's on necessities like healthcare, insurance, and clothing. We're increasingly financing those purchases with debt, not higher incomes.

A more accurate headline would be that affluent Americans are spending as much as ever, at the expense of everyone else.

Don't you think?

We're already a fascist nation

A.R. Moxon published a powerful essay on the rise of fascism in the U.S., describing it as present tense, not future tense. We already live in a fascist culture. The transition has happened. After all, Trump won the 2016 election nearly 10 years ago. It's hard to believe, but fascism has been growing out in the open for a decade, with little to stop it. Fascists have captured our courts and destroyed our schools. These things have already happened.

As Moxon writes, "what you want to protect is already gone." It takes more effort not to be a Nazi now than to "just go along with whatever," which is what most Americans have been doing, just going along, until now we have NFL football players like Harrison Butker giving openly fascist graduation speeches.

We're now in the business of fighting and disrupting fascism, not preventing it. Resistance takes a lot of different forms. I'll take this idea a little further to comment on the climate, and on public health. It's safe to say we've already lost these things. They're gone.

That doesn't mean we give up. It means we have to admit that what we're doing now is rebuilding what's been destroyed.

We're rebuilding it in age of collapse.

It's going to be hard.

Police abuse college protestors

Fascism isn't just a problem on the right. It has become a problem in the squishy moderate middle, too. If you want evidence, look at how the pro-Palestinian college protestors have been treated.

A story in The Intercept describes the conditions of jailed protestors. They were put in solitary confinement as punishment, kept in cells infested with rodents, and denied food and water for 16 hours. Some of them were beaten so badly they had to be taken to the hospital before they were taken to jail. These are conditions you read about in countries described as third world dictatorships. But they're happening right here in our cities.

Here's the real kicker: These conditions have existed in our jails for a long time. We're only hearing about them now because these protestors, their good intentions aside, go to some pretty high-profile schools. As a college professor, I've had students who weren't even in jail but often only ate one or two meals a day, living with rats and roaches, or in their car.

It's not loneliness. It's abandonment.

A good piece in Politico comes at our loneliness problem from a different angle. Joanna Weiss reminds us of the German word verlassenheit, used by Hannah Arendt to describe the feeling of abandonment and isolation that facilitated the rise of fascism in the 1930s.

Politicians and gurus keep talking about our loneliness like it's a literal, physical thing. They tell us to go out more and socialize, often at places where we'll spend money and drive the economy. That's not the kind of loneliness and abandonment that Arendt addresses. She's getting at something less tangible, something we're all feeling right now.

You can be surrounded by friends and family while feeling lonelier than ever. It's not about your proximity to them. It's about how much you can trust them. It's about whether you can share your real thoughts with them. It's about whether they would actually help you.

We can't fix this problem by smiling more or going to football games. We can't fix it with mindfulness exercises. We can only fix it by doing the right thing, and demanding better from our leaders.

That's just my take.

That's the state of the world this week, but it doesn't have to be. We just need more people doing the right thing.

Take care,


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