The summer of all disturbances

Summer of all disturbances

UPDATE DAY

I start my vacation today and I would have liked to leave you on a positive note. I will still try to save this column before the end. In the meantime, let's be honest, the world is swinging from one dead end to another.

The heat wave in London has caused fires.

Let's start with the climate, which goes beyond our expectations – we, Quebecers, who dream of at least six months a year of sun and heat. We have detailed the exceptional 40° Celsius that England experienced at the start of last week. All of Western Europe, in fact, turned red on the weather maps.

The heat is also present in Washington.

It wasn't cooler south of the border, as around 60 new daily heat records were set across the United States, from 37.7°C in Denver to 41.6°C in Salt. Lake City. Knowing that the first is a hockey and ski town and that the other hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, we will have to revise our definition of “temperate climate”.

Even more worrying , a flood of new data collected by researchers at the end of 2021 reveals that the phenomenon of “polar amplification” is causing the Arctic to warm even faster than initially estimated: four times faster than the rest of the planet ! Consequences: accelerated sea level rise and expected increase in extreme weather events.

From one extreme to another

Speaking of extremes, the US Congressional Committee hearings into the January 6, 2021, Capitol assault confirmed that the United States was left to fend for itself by then-President Donald Trump.

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For 187 minutes, refusing to intervene, he watched on TV as police officers were beaten, windows and doors were smashed in, and elected officials – both Republicans and Democrats – ran in all directions, trying to save their skin.

Unfortunately, despite what has been presented, more and more Americans are resigned to seeing things get worse. In fact, according to domestic terrorism researcher Rachel Kleinfeld, the percentage of Americans endorsing political violence to advance their cause is approaching the worst times of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1973. 

Glup!

HEAD IN THE STARS

I would have liked to welcome the agreement reached between Russia and Ukraine for the export of Ukrainian grain, which millions of people in the Middle East and Africa are anxiously awaiting.

A Ukrainian soldier marches in the city of Siversk.

My doubts about Russia's sudden good intentions were sadly confirmed by yesterday's bombardment of the Ukrainian port of Odessa, a major avenue for shipping crops overseas. In this war, we must even be wary of good news.

One of the images transmitted to NASA by the James Webb telescope.

That said, it's not all black. As proof, the fabulous images that the James Webb telescope transmitted to us from the depths of the universe. Not only is there something to dream about, but there is also something to marvel at the technological prowess of which humanity is still capable. 

We are not so bad after all.

Summer of all disturbances