Friday, May 27, 2016

How will we all die under President Trump?

The choices right now are

1) Superbug
(CNN)Superbugs could kill one person every three seconds by 2050, the equivalent of 10 million people a year, according to the final report last week from the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, established in 2014 to keep the world from being "cast back into the dark ages of medicine." 

The authors highlight the increasing burden of resistance and call for greater awareness of the problem, including the need for public campaigns beginning as soon as this summer.
2) Loose nukes
The term "wake-up call" is a tired cliché, but it is appropriate in the case of Command and Control, the frightening new exposé of America's nuclear weapons mishaps by Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser. (Click here to read an excerpt and my detailed review.) In short, Schlosser delivers a book full of revelations that left me agape. While we still worry in the abstract about Iran and North Korea and Pakistan, it's easy to forget that we still have thousands of our own ungodly devices on hair-trigger alert at this very moment. And even if we never drop or launch another nuke on purpose, these weapons are, in his words, "the most dangerous machines ever invented. And like every machine, sometimes they go wrong."

That's what the book is about. Through hard-fought documents and deep digging and extensive interviews, Schlosser reveals how close we've come, on numerous occasions, to a domestic nuclear detonation or an accidental war in which there are only losers. Command and Control will leave many readers with a deep unease about America's ability to handle our nukes safely. Schlosser's hope is that this unease will beget a long-neglected debate about "why we have them and when we use them and how many we need." But his book is no screed. He delivers an engrossing page-turner. Would that it were fiction.
That interview with Schlosser is from 2013. But since we're talking about Hiroshima today, it's worth a look.

3)  Robot uprising
One factory has "reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots", a government official told the South China Morning Post.

Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, added: "More companies are likely to follow suit."

China is investing heavily in a robot workforce.

In a statement to the BBC, Foxconn Technology Group confirmed that it was automating "many of the manufacturing tasks associated with our operations" but denied that it meant long-term job losses.
 4) Trump Drunkeness
In his speech at an energy conference, Trump called for cutting regulations and for building the Keystone XL pipeline, which the Obama administration has blocked.

"I'm drunk on Trump," proclaimed John Olson, a North Dakota unbound delegate and attorney representing oil, natural gas and coal companies.
It's probably that one.

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