I was listening to the radio yesterday and the “disk jockey” asked the listeners what covid habit you got into you were going to get ride of/change now that restrictions are being lifted a bit.  I realized that one that I have fallen into is writing this article pretty much every Sunday.  You may have noticed, but probably not, that I missed last Sunday.  Deb and I were on a short vacation, first in almost two years where we went alone.  So I decided not to write.  And now I’m thinking I may not write as frequently as I have been doing.  That’s more in line with the way I wrote before the pandemic so please forgive me if you don’t get something from me every week from now on.

That said, there’s been a LOT of news this last two weeks.  I’m going to feature two articles today before the headlines and links to articles.  Both are essentially about the weather.  The first is pretty self explanatory and I encourage you to click on the link and read the whole thing. It is a very good summary of many items which I have been writing about forever.  It’s a pretty sobering wake up call if you haven’t been otherwise paying attention.

The second is also about something that I have been letting you know about also: the Jet Stream, and it’s impact on weather and how our warming planet is affecting it.


The New York Times, July 29, 2021

Is This the End of Summer as We’ve Known It?

Click on Photo to Read the full Article

This is the summer we saw climate change merge from the abstract to the now, the summer we realized that every summer from now on will be more like this than any quaint memory of past summers.
Wildfires, drought, sewage spills, a resurgent virus — separately, each is a familiar peril. But this year, the worst-case scenarios have arrived en masse and just as expectations were high that this summer would be especially joyful…
America has known dreadful summers before…What is different this time is the sheer volume of catastrophe, natural and man-made — and a sense that there is no turning back from it…
“You see gradual change for a while and then you reach this threshold of pressures that cause all hell to break loose — that’s what we’re seeing this summer,”


Bloomberg Green, July 22, 2021

Heat, Floods, Fires: Jet Stream Is Key Link in Climate Disasters



“Jet streams are the weather—they create it and they steer it,” said Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center. “Sometimes the jet stream takes on a very convoluted pattern. When we see it taking big swings north and big dips southward we know we’re going to see some unusual weather conditions.”…
When movements in the jet stream, which was first documented by U.S. bombers flying to missions to Japan in World War II, coincide with climate-driven extremes—heat, drought, intense rainfall—the consequences can be catastrophic…
understanding the jet stream is becoming more pressing as warming temperatures drive more frequent extreme weather events. “We need to think more about the way weather systems will change with the changing climate, rather than just how the climate will change,”


The last few weeks’ headlines.



Bloomberg Business July 22, 2021

Insurers Won’t Save a Heating World From Floods and Fire


From Germany and China to California and Australia, the risks from climate disasters are getting too hard to calculate. Expect fewer policies and soaring premiums…
Reinsurers — the places where insurance companies get their own insurance — are crucial to how the world handles natural disasters. Despite representing only 5% or so of the $7 trillion in gross premiums written by the industry each year, reinsurers use their global reach and huge balance sheets to cover as much as two-thirds of the losses from major events.
Those have been rising dramatically. Disaster payouts last year were the fifth-highest in history. There were no catastrophes on the scale of the2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, or of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017. Instead, an increasing proportion of losses have resulted from so-called “secondary perils” — landslides, wildfires and drought, as well as flooding, wind and hail damage from storms. These tend to be smaller-scale and harder to predict than the vast calamities inflicted by cyclones and earthquakes.
Traditionally, reinsurers haven’t paid much attention to the distinction between these secondary perils and the larger catastrophes in which they specialize. ..
As the frequency and severity of small-scale disasters increase, they’re having to pay more attention. Swiss Re AG, the world’s largest natural catastrophe reinsurer, said last year it had started paring back parts of its portfolio with high exposure to secondary perils,
The Wall Street Journal July 22, 2021

Smaller but More Frequent Catastrophes Loom Over Insurance Sector

This year is expected to be the most damaging for the country since 2002, when insured storm damage totaled about €11 billion, equivalent to $12.98 billion, the association said. While mostly all residential buildings have windstorm and hail coverage, only 46% of homeowners have cover for heavy rain and floods…
Insurers paid out $81 billion for damages related to natural catastrophes in 2020, according to reinsurance giant Swiss Re, up 50% from 2019 and comfortably topping the $74 billion 10-year average for such losses.
Secondary peril events accounted for more than 70% of the $81 billion in natural catastrophe losses last year, according to the data…
In some cases, the increased frequency of extreme weather events can lead insurers to drop coverage altogether. Some insurers in California chose to not renew insurance policies for homeowners in high-risk areas for wildfires,



Bloomberg Green July 24, 2021

World’s Food Supplies Get Slammed by Drought, Floods and Frost

The series of misfortunes underscores what scientists have been warning about for years: Climate change and its associated weather volatility will make it increasingly harder to produce enough food for the world, with the poorest nations typically feeling the hardest blow. In some cases, social and political unrest follows.



The Wall Street Journal July 24, 2021

Gas Engines, and the People Behind Them, Are Cast Aside for Electric Vehicles

some of the world’s biggest car companies are sending the combustion engine to the scrap heap and are pouring billions of dollars into electric motors and battery factories. Instead of powertrain specialists, they are hiring thousands of software engineers and battery experts
The transition is hardly noticeable yet on showroom floors. But it is upending the automotive workplace, from the engineering ranks and supply chain to the factory floor.
GM, Volkswagen AG VOW -1.06% , Stellantis NV, and other car makers say they no longer are setting aside significant money for developing new engines.


Bloomberg Hyperdrive July 20, 2021

2035 Marks the End of the Road

Last week the European Commission announced plans to effectively phase out sales of new combustion-engine cars by 2035
Five years ago, only two countries, Norway and the Netherlands, had such plans, with the former targeting 2025 and the latter 2030 as a cut-off date. The consensus among industry watchers at that time was that these phaseouts would be very difficult to meet. Fast forward five years — battery electric vehicles hit 65% of sales in Norway in June. The 2025 target in Norway now looks broadly achievable if the pace of growth can be maintained, though the last 10% will probably be difficult. 
Adding the European countries included under last week’s proposal, the number of countries with phase-out targets now is 34. This group includes Israel (targeting 2030), Canada (targeting 2035), Singapore (2040; its target is framed as a fleet-wide goal, but will also include some hybrids), and Costa Rica (2050). In the U.S., states like California and Massachusetts have their own targets for 2035…
Countries representing almost 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions have some form of Net Zero target either already passed or under discussion. It’s easy to be dismissive of something as far out as 2050, but as more countries work backwards from these end dates and map out their emissions reductions pathways to get there, expect to see more internal combustion vehicle phase-out targets put in place or pulled forward in the next few years.   


That’s probably enough for your brain to contemplate for one day.  Remember one thing…  Whenever targets are set, eventually they are reset to a much sooner date.  The target dates in the articles above will continue to be moved closer as the pace of change gets faster and faster.  

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