Closing Thought–29Nov21

I know that Covid has become a passe topic these days…..50 the population think it is all a government ploy and the other half worries about their friends and families……so I thought I would bring my readers up to date on the variants and the international stage……

Almost two years after the first cases were detected in Wuhan, China, the fight against the coronavirus continues—and authorities are worried that a new variant detected in South Africa could be a major setback. The variant, currently known as B.1.1.529, has mutations that could make it more infectious and reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, scientists say. CNBC reports that the World Health Organization has scheduled a meeting on the variant for Friday. It if is declared a variant of interest or a variant of concern, it will be assigned a Greek letter name. The “Mu” variant first detected in Colombia was designated a variant of interest in August, making “Nu” the next letter in line. More:

  • Why scientists are worried. While many COVID variants die out, the latest one has an unusually high number of mutations and believed to be behind a steep rise in infections in South Africa, the AP reports. Joe Phaahla, the country’s health minister, said Thursday that there has been an “exponential” rise in cases over the last four or five days. Cases have also been detected in Botswana, Hong Kong, and Israel.
  • “A big jump in evolution.” The variant was detected after scientists investigated a surge in infections in the Johannesburg area, the New York Times reports. “This variant did surprise us—it has a big jump in evolution, many more mutations than we expected, especially after a very severe third wave of Delta,” said Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform.
  • New travel restrictions. European countries quickly imposed restrictions on travel from southern Africa as news of the variant emerged, the BBC reports. The UK has banned flights from six countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini.
  • “The most worrying we’ve seen.” Dr Susan Hopkins, a top medical adviser to the British government, described the variant as “the most worrying we’ve seen” due to high transmission levels, per the Guardian. South African officials are “saying that their transmission rates, the R value that they have in Gauteng around where this was first found, is now 2, which is really quite high and we’ve not seen levels of transmission like that since right back at the beginning of the pandemic, because of all of the mitigations and steps we’ve taken,” Hopkins said.
  • Stock markets sink. The Financial Times reports that stock markets in Europe and Asia dropped sharply Friday, with airline stocks among the hardest hit. Oil prices are also down and the Dow Jones is set to open down 800 points.

This pandemic is far from over…..and it seems to point to  a long range spread once again.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Space Colonization

I am one of the few bloggers that has an interest in the developments centered around space and its exploration.

I have made my thoughts known on the push for corporate dominance of space…..for one it violates the 1967 Outer Space Treaty that most of the UN members signed including the US.

But if the treaty escapes you then I can help bring in the light.

Old Prof’s Look At Space Law (Again)

I also enjoy visiting the debate sites on the web…..sites like ….

https://www.debate.org/

https://www.procon.org/

On the later site there was a debate on space colonization…..

https://www.procon.org/headlines/space-colonization-top-3-pros-and-cons/

Most of the pros and cons were about this planet and the need to find alternate living space….I both agree and disagree with that premise.

Yes since we are apparently incapable to fixing our climate and planetary problems we will need to look elsewhere for a place to live so we can do it all again…..most likely making all the same mistakes.

My first objection is the term ‘colonization’ …..it has a sinister implications….

Colonization, or colonisation refers to large-scale population movements where the migrants maintain strong links with their – or their ancestors’ – former country, gaining significant privileges over other inhabitants of the territory by such links. When colonization takes place under the protection of colonial structures, it may be termed settler colonialism. This often involves the settlers dispossessing indigenous inhabitants, or instituting legal and other structures which systematically disadvantage them.

In its basic sense, colonization can be defined as the process of establishing foreign control over target territories or people for the purpose of cultivation, often through establishing colonies and possibly by settling them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonization

The term has imperialistic overtones for me.  The treaty of 1967 made it clear that there should be NO military hardware in space and all innovations were for the benefit of all humanity…..instead the whole deal is to claim and exploit the resources found in space

Now the treaty means nothing like most treaties that keep greed from ruling.

From Bush to Obama to Trump to Biden….all have extended the reach of corporations into space and beyond (not sure what beyond actually means).

I think ‘colonization’ will create more problems than it will solve.

Like nukes in space…while most of the rhetoric is about nukes for rocket power….but like anything nuke there could be another under the table plan for nukes.

The Push for Nukes in Space

Not only will there be a threat of nukes from countries that have a stockpile but also from space….a scenario that should be unacceptable for humanity.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”