Thursday, July 18, 2024

 We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.

- Woodrow Wilson

Dear Disaster Diary,

Reason #575 not to vote Republican in November 2024: 

History takes us back to the revised North American Free Trade Agreement unveiled under Trump in 2019.

Let's take a moment to appreciate the spectacle of the White House's proclamation: "The Biggest and best trade deal in the history of the world." This grandiose declaration, much like many from the Trump era, falls spectacularly short upon closer examination. 

In reality, the updated agreement is more akin to a slight reshuffling of deck chairs on the Titanic than a monumental achievement in international trade.

Yes, there are some changes for the better. Mexico has agreed to adopt stronger protections for labor unions—though, given the administration's track record on workers' rights domestically, one might question the sincerity of this victory lap. 

Canada will now allow the sale of more American dairy products, which is wonderful news for the lactose-tolerant among us. However, these minor improvements are overshadowed by significant drawbacks that make it difficult to celebrate this "accomplishment."

For instance, the new restrictions on auto imports are poised to raise the price of new vehicles. In an economy where many families are already struggling to make ends meet, the prospect of more expensive cars is hardly a welcome development. 

It's a classic case of winning the battle but losing the war, as higher costs for consumers negate any supposed benefits of the deal.

Even more egregious is the glaring omission of any commitment to address climate change. At a time when the world is grappling with the escalating impacts of a warming planet, the absence of environmental considerations in this trade agreement is nothing short of irresponsible. It’s a stark reminder of the administration’s indifference towards the most pressing global crisis of our time.

The irony, of course, is that this deal may indeed represent the best possible outcome under Trump's leadership—a low bar if ever there was one. It is, after all, a presidency marked by bombast over substance, where lofty claims often crumble under the weight of scrutiny. 

The USMCA, as it is now called, stands as a testament to the administration's penchant for overselling and underdelivering.

In the grand scheme of things, this "minor deal" might do more harm than good. It exemplifies how the Trump presidency, with its superficial fixes and neglect of critical issues, continues to ill-serve the American people. 

As we approach November 2024, let us remember that the legacy of this administration is built on such hollow triumphs and misplaced priorities.

Yours scathingly, 

Disaster Diary

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Dear Disaster Diary, 

Where everything is bad it must be good to know the worst.
- Francis H. Bradley

An Ode to the 4th of July

On this day of freedom and reflection,
We face the shadows of our own creation.
The problems we're facing as a nation right now are structural,
Demanding radical solutions, truths fundamental.

One party delves deeper into a universe,
Of delusion, disinformation, a curse.
Human beings, still hunter-gatherers at heart,
Struggle to foresee, to play the long-term part.

Our brains, wired for immediate threats,
Fail to see the cave collapsing in regrets.
The world unready to slow climate’s pace,
Nor to live with the changes we must face.

Cities warming at twice the global rate,
Air conditioning helps, but fuels the state.
Imagine a power outage, heat wave severe,
A catastrophe that’s ever so near.

Trees, nature's gift, cool and store carbon,
Scrub air, nurture life, and help us harden.
Yet each year, cities lose 36 million strong,
Despite efforts to plant and right the wrong.

Preparing for the last disaster we’ve known,
Leaves us unprepared for the next storm blown.
The lessons from the extreme weather parade,
Show the U.S. unready, foundations decayed.

Electric grids, sewers, forests in need,
Of fortification, revamp, and clear heed.
But there's a limit to how much we can adapt,
If emissions aren’t cut, resilience entraps.

Heat waves, floods, droughts, wildfires in extreme,
Make adaptation alone a fading dream.
On this day of freedom, let’s pledge anew,
To face reality, and truth pursue.

For if we’re to honor this land so grand,
We must act now, with a united hand.
Let this be our anthem, a call to unite,
For the future we cherish, for the battles we fight.

Sunday, June 30, 2024

 Dear Disaster Diary,

Fate is the friend of the good, the guide of the wise, the tyrant of the foolish, the enemy of the bad.
- William Rounseville Alger

.......oh, Canada......🎂

Reassessing the Economic Effects of Climate Change


In recent years, the conversation around climate change and its economic impacts has evolved significantly. Initially, economist William Nordhaus's 1992 work laid the foundation for understanding how climate change would affect the global economy. He estimated that for every degree of global warming, the world economy would shrink by 1 to 3 percent. This view, while concerning, suggested manageable challenges. However, a new paper from the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is challenging this established perspective.

A New Perspective on Climate Change

Harvard University's Adrien Bilal and Northwestern University's Diego Kanzig have released a groundbreaking study, "The Macroeconomic Impact of Climate Change: Global vs. Local Temperature." This research indicates that the economic effects of climate change might be much more severe than previously thought. They argue that extreme weather events, such as storms and droughts, which are becoming more frequent due to climate change, play a significant role in economic damage. These events do not respect national borders and are closely linked to global temperature changes.

Key Findings

Bilal and Kanzig's study highlights several critical points:

  1. Underestimation of Damage: Previous studies focused mainly on how rising temperatures directly affect productivity. However, the new research shows that extreme weather also depletes capital, leading to greater economic losses.

  2. Significant Economic Impact: The study estimates that by the end of this century, the world economy could be 31 percent poorer due to climate change. Additionally, they argue that the world economy would be 37 percent larger today if global warming had not occurred since 1960.

  3. Slowing Global Growth: The global growth rate has been slowing, especially in Western countries. This trend might be partially attributed to the economic effects of climate change.

  4. Future Economic Challenges: The number and severity of extreme weather events and zoonotic pandemics (diseases transmitted from animals to humans) have been rising. These trends are likely to continue, leading to higher costs for repairing infrastructure and increased social and healthcare expenses.

Implications for Canada and the World

The study suggests that the economic impact of climate change will be felt globally, with no country exempt. Rich countries, including Canada, will not escape unscathed. In fact, developed nations have more infrastructure that can be damaged by extreme weather, and their older populations are more vulnerable to its effects.

Carbon Tax and the Social Cost of Carbon

One of the significant takeaways from the study is the need to reassess the carbon tax. Canada's current carbon tax is $80 per tonne, but previous estimates of the social cost of carbon ranged from $100 to $200. Bilal and Kanzig argue that the true cost should be much higher, potentially over $1000 per tonne. They suggest that failing to pay this cost now will lead to much higher expenses in the future, likening it to the perpetual economic strain of a domestic war.


In summary, the new research from the NBER presents a stark warning about the economic effects of climate change. The findings suggest that climate change will significantly reduce global economic output, with severe implications for all countries, including Canada. This study emphasizes the importance of taking immediate and substantial action to combat climate change, highlighting that the costs of inaction will be far greater in the long run. 

As we celebrate Canada Day, it's crucial to reflect on these findings and consider the steps needed to protect our future economic well-being.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

 Famous last words

"We may be past the point of no return, tangled in today's crises with no time to plan for tomorrow. As kids scream 'Do something!', it might already be too late—more homes falling into the sea while politicians chase re-election.

- Adaptation-Guide

Oven Roast Mallard and Teal

Our Proverbial Titanic: Turning Hard Starboard

As we witness the European Union election results and the recent US Supreme Court's Chevron ruling, it feels like our Titanic is making a hard turn to the right. This shift carries deadly implications for our well-being, leaving lawyers and judges in charge of our health—a move that could be considered a death sentence. But let's momentarily indulge in the luxury of the first-class menu, savoring the Mallard Duck, while we assess the grim realities of our mid-year review.

The Climate Crisis: Lingering Heat Waves

June marks the halfway point of the year, and it's time to confront a dire reality: climate change is making heat waves linger longer, exacerbating the effects of extreme temperatures. Last summer, oppressive heat waves swept across large parts of the planet, loitering for days or even weeks. According to a recent study published in Science Advances, each decade between 1979 and 2020 saw the rate at which heat waves travel slowing by about 5 miles (8 kilometers) per day. Heat waves now last about four days longer on average.

Wei Zhang, a climate scientist at Utah State University and one of the study's authors, emphasizes the severe public health impacts of these prolonged heat waves. The longer people are exposed to life-threatening temperatures, the more dangerous it becomes. This slowdown in heat wave movement also affects economic productivity as workers slow down in extreme heat, and it dries out soil and vegetation, harming crops and raising the risk of wildfires.

Regional Differences and Atmospheric Changes

The study found that heat waves are particularly lingering in Eurasia and North America and traveling farther in South America. Scientists have detected a larger pattern of weakening air circulation and upper atmosphere winds, like the jet stream, during summer in higher northern latitudes. This weakening could cause extreme weather events to stall and overstay their welcome. Although more research is needed to determine the exact causes, the harmful effects remain clear.

Dr. Zhang is especially concerned about urban areas, which are often hotter due to the urban heat island effect. He suggests that cities build more cooling centers, particularly for people experiencing homelessness. While waiting for international leaders to make progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, local adaptation efforts are crucial to keeping people safe.

The Unseen Dangers of Moderate Heat

Let us stay in the heat of the game changer for the next decade. Climate change is killing more people than most other natural disasters combined. Research shows that it’s not just record-breaking heat waves but also the far more numerous unremarkably hot days that cause the bulk of societal destruction. Even moderately elevated temperatures—days in the 80s or 90s—are responsible for as many excess deaths as the record triple-digit heat waves, according to recent analyses of Medicare records.

A growing body of literature links temperature to cognitive performance and decision-making. Hotter days lead to more mistakes, including among professional athletes, increased local crime, and more violence in prisons. Social media analysis even suggests that a hotter world is likely to be more irritable, error-prone, and conflictual.

Adaptation and Resilience: The Path Forward

At present, our social and economic systems are ill-prepared to adjust to the accumulating damage wreaked by climate change. The impact of climate change on us depends on the choices we make as individuals and as a society. Whether a hot day leads to mild discomfort or widespread mortality comes down to human decisions—like whether to install air-conditioning and collective decisions about the availability of insurance, hospital beds, and work procedures.

Climate change is a complex phenomenon, and its ultimate costs will depend on how quickly we transition away from fossil fuels and how well we adapt our social and economic systems to the warming that is already underway. A proactive stance toward adaptation and resilience is essential for safeguarding both physical and financial security, from homeowners to Fortune 500 company leaders. It is vital for ensuring that economic opportunities do not fray for those climbing the lower rungs of the economic ladder.

Conclusion: Bon Appétit

So, as we enjoy our Mallard Duck, let's not forget the pressing issues that demand our attention. Our proverbial Titanic is indeed changing course, and we must act swiftly and decisively to mitigate the looming dangers of climate change and the implications of our political decisions. Bon appétit, but let us also prepare for the turbulent times ahead.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

 Dear Disaster Diary,


A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.

- Adial E. Stevenson 


The European Green Deal-Visionary Policy Or Empty Promises?

The Green Deal or Red Alert?

The European Climate Law mandates climate neutrality by 2050. By then, industry and households are only allowed to emit as much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as can be absorbed by technical and natural means. 

Fifty individual measures and numerous laws are intended to push this initiative forward. The "Fit for 55" package sets an interim goal: by 2030, emissions should drop by 55 percent compared to 1990 levels. 

Yet, the project is stalling. For a highly industrialized continent like Europe, whose residents are accustomed to a wasteful lifestyle, the Green Deal has proven to be an exceedingly ambitious undertaking. 

Member states' measures were insufficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as planned, the Commission stated last December. Some countries are lagging, but the Commission has also been less steadfast as the Green Deal faced increasing resistance.

Lobbying has had an effect; contrary to initial plans, agriculture is not required to halve pesticide use. The EU had aimed to improve soil and groundwater quality through this measure. Additionally, the sector faces no specific reduction target for greenhouse gases. 

"Our farmers deserve to be heard," said Ursula von der Leyen. The industry, too, has grown increasingly dissatisfied. Since the onset of the Ukraine war, it has suffered from paying more for energy than competitors in the US and China. 

Expensive environmental measures, tied up in bureaucracy, are not seen as viable. Heated conflicts arose over questions such as which companies should comply with the supply chain law and whether only electric cars should be allowed in the EU from 2035. 

Consequently, the administratively burdensome supply chain law was somewhat simplified. The target year 2035 for the "combustion engine ban" still stands—at least for now, with exceptions. In 2026, the Commission will review the law. 

Moreover, even after 2035, cars running on e-fuels, i.e., synthetic fuels, will still be permitted.

Nothing could stop Ursula von der Leyen; the EU Commission President steadfastly implemented her Green Deal, and it packs a punch. The expropriation of farmers through land set-asides and the damage to the European automotive industry through the combustion engine ban are part of it. 

The German CDU politician could rely on an informal coalition of Social Democrats and Christian Democrats in the European Parliament. 

Initially, only the national conservatives to far-right parties in Europe rejected the Green Deal, which comprises around fifty laws. 

Von der Leyen and her broad coalition could still routinely sit that out. The argument of populism avoids any serious substantive discussion in Brussels as well. 

But then the farmers began to demonstrate—in France, Poland, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium. 

Hay bale barricades and street blockades with tractors are not democratic protests. They are sheer coercion, but at the same time a powerful expression of the "vox populi."

The EU is neither one nor the other. It is not a democracy, nor a republic. 

It is a homunculus mixing democratic elements like the European Parliament with the undemocratic principle of unanimity. However, the EU is a good seismograph for the mood in Europe. 

The "firewall," i.e., the uncompromising demarcation from right-wing parties, has long been fiction at the European level. 

Ironically, the German Ursula von der Leyen demonstrates to her compatriots, afflicted with exclusionitis, how to cooperate with ill-reputed parties when it benefits oneself. 

Under the pressure of the streets and the likely changing majorities, the European pseudo-democracy proves an adaptability that full-fledged democracy in Germany lacks. 

Recently, Marine Le Pen and Giorgia Meloni were still the "most dangerous women in Europe." Today, they are considered somewhat respectable, especially since they ended their factional alliance with the AfD. 

The two women are joining forces more closely. They see the historic chance to expand their power because the old parties have created a vacuum with an unrealistic asylum and climate policy. 

Nothing is more populist than a climate policy that proudly sets tough goals but cannot even present soft means to achieve them.

When a Herculean effort like the Green Deal also appears as a mere elite project, the mess is perfect. 

One should not be surprised when farmers take politics into their own hands, and judges in Strasbourg or Karlsruhe act as climate experts.

It’s Red Alert Time!

Whenever a politician trumpets net zero by 2050, especially one like Frau von der Leyen, who will be around 92 by then, just tune out and do not take her seriously. Do yourself a favor: do not vote for the EPP (European People's Party). 

And don’t vote for right-wing parties either. There’s no time left for a “protest vote.” Tell the EU that you are content with three climate laws: clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and non-toxic soil for growing food.

Frau von der Leyen’s CV is a disaster. Despite holding a medical degree (you would think "health before wealth", but no!), her lack of transparency in governance disqualifies her as the right President for the EU. 

Why does it feel like the EPP stands for European Puppet Play, with Ursula as the master pulling the strings? 

It’s crucial to make it perfectly clear: do not vote for the EPP and work to oust President Ursula von der Leyen!


Friday, May 31, 2024

 Famous Last Words,

May 2024

In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes in the morning.
- Carl Sandburg

A fool proof guide to the perfect roast chicken.

Humans love habit and certainty; research has long confirmed this. New things are exhausting, and the chatter about "stepping out of your comfort zone" is, for many, just that: uncomfortable. Why bother? Only if there's something to gain. In good economic terms, only if the investment yields a return. 

Today's menu: roast chicken, bread sauce. And with that, we toast with champagne on our fictional journey on the Titanic. Bon appĂ©tit! 

We would have liked to order a glass of Perrier or Vittel, but we are cautious. Why? NestlĂ© has been selling filtered mineral water from apparently contaminated sources for years. 

But because many in France profit from this luxury water, the scandal remained under wraps for a long time.

French authorities have known since December 2020 about the problems with mineral water bottlers in the country, yet it wasn't until January this year that the public learned through the media about the use of UV radiation and activated carbon filters in so-called "natural" mineral water. 

Just weeks ago, a report from the national food safety institute surfaced—again, through Le Monde and Radio France, not the Health Ministry—about the concentration of fecal coliform bacteria and "forever chemicals," like those used in the textile industry or in the coating of pans. 

The health quality of the final product cannot be guaranteed, the report on Nestlé's mineral water allegedly states.

But how do coliform bacteria, pesticides, and other chemicals even make their way into the mineral water sources? 

The primary culprit is agriculture. NestlĂ© has purchased more than 6,000 hectares of land around the water sources and leased it to farmers for organic farming. 

The manure from cows and sheep pollutes the groundwater. Another chapter out of "wealth before health."

In a world where multinational corporations like NestlĂ© put profits before people's health, we must ask ourselves: why do we let them get away with it? 

NestlĂ©’s actions show a blatant disregard for public health, exploiting natural resources and contaminating the very water we drink, all for the sake of maintaining their bottom line. 

The French authorities’ delayed response and the fact that critical information only reached the public through investigative journalism, not official channels, highlight a disturbing lack of accountability and transparency.

This isn’t just about dirty water; it’s about a dirty system. When will we demand better? When will the health of the public come before corporate profits? It's time for a reckoning.


Credits: NZZ, Le Monde, Radio France.

Monday, May 20, 2024

 Be prepared,

homeless in less than 20 minutes is not science fiction.

Hard-shell vs. Soft-shell Suitcases

Hard-shell Suitcases


  • Contents are more protected than in bags and soft-shell suitcases – also from thieves using a knife.
  • Washable surfaces.
  • Often more rain-resistant than soft-shell suitcases in tests.
  • Easy to push on smooth surfaces thanks to four wheels.
  • Very variable: Usually three to four telescopic handle settings.
  • Two shells, can be packed separately.


  • More prone to breakage and larger damage when dropped with heavy weight in tests compared to soft-shell suitcases.
  • Usually no expansion options.
  • Rigid case, harder to stow in cars.
  • Often a bit louder than soft-shell suitcases.
  • Harder to maneuver on cobblestones compared to rolling travel bags.

Soft-shell Suitcases


  • More robust in drop tests and handle durability tests than hard-shell suitcases, due to more flexible material.
  • Expansion options for more volume.
  • Four wheels, especially easy to push on smooth surfaces with little effort.
  • Variable: Usually two telescopic handle settings.
  • Flexible surface makes stowing easier, such as in a car.
  • Practical external pockets.
  • Often a bit lighter than hard-shell suitcases.


  • Usually less rain-resistant than hard-shell suitcases in tests.
  • Harder to clean than hard-shell suitcases.
  • Harder to maneuver on cobblestones compared to rolling travel bags.

Here is what "TEST" magazine says:

TypeProductPrice (EUR)Price (USD)
Hardshell Suitcases with Four WheelsRimowa "Essential Trunk Plus"880955
Samsonite "Magnum"229248
Travelite "Air Base"130141
Rolling Travel Bags with Two WheelsVaude "Rotuma 90"200217
The North Face "Rolling Thunder 30"250272
Jack Wolfskin "TRT Freight Train"140152

*Note: Conversion rate used is 1 EUR = 1.085 USD (approximate rate as of May 2024).

Our favourite brand over the years when it comes to hard-shell: SAMSONITE

Saturday, May 18, 2024

 `mayday', `mayday', `mayday'

EPP (European People Party) on Climate Change

When future historians ask, "Why didn’t people take action to stop the climate crisis when they had known about it for decades?" a prominent part of the answer will be the history of denial and obfuscation by the fossil fuel industry and the ways in which people in positions of power and privilege refused to acknowledge that climate change was a manifestation of a broken economic system. 

And then there is the EPP (European People’s Party) and this 15-year-old spot that did not age well. How can you lie this shamelessly to aspiring young child actors?

Let’s start with that sweet old man in the tram. He is Wilfried Achiel Emma Martens, Belgium’s longest-serving Prime Minister and one of the co-founders of the EPP in 1976. His climate achievements? We cannot find any significant moves on his part. They say he was a guy who did his deals in a "smoky backroom". Mr. Martens died in 2013.

Then there is José Manuel Barroso. He was the European Commission President from 2004 until 2014. Lots of time to show the next generation a change in pollution, transportation, pesticides, chemicals, and well-being. For some moments, we saw a flicker at the end of the tunnel. But it was only a flash in the pan. José was an opportunist and showed in the end his true calling by exiting straight to Goldman Sachs.

And usually, it would be ladies first, but with Dr. Angela Merkel, it is complicated, to say the least. If there is an enigma to the climate crisis, it would be her. When it comes to overpromising and under-delivering after 16 years in power, she deserves the gold medal.

So, in case the EPP likes to put out a new video about fighting climate change, Mrs. Von der Leyen should tell the next generation the truth. Here is a sample:

"Dear kids, only shareholder value counts, achieved through constant acquisitions, mass layoffs, and cost reductions. Politics, especially us in the EPP, have facilitated all of this. 

Every day in Brussels, decisions are made that influence the rules of the game. You have to imagine it like a black box: Lobbyists and campaign donations go in at the front, and rules come out at the back that are good for corporations and the wealthy. 

So, will you still vote EPP when you are old enough?"

Sunday, May 5, 2024

 ....  `mayday', `mayday', `mayday'....

If only we could generate power from the conservatives gaslighting!"

- Adaptation Guide


In the battle against climate change, there's growing talk of deploying large-scale geoengineering projects to counteract rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Proponents tout these initiatives as potential saviors, offering a seemingly quick fix to a complex global crisis.

However, behind the allure of geoengineering lie profound risks and ethical dilemmas that must not be ignored.

One of the key concerns is the exorbitant cost associated with artificial carbon removal technologies.

Critics rightly point out that these methods can cost upwards of $600 per ton of CO2 removed, making them financially impractical on a large scale.

Moreover, investing heavily in such expensive and unproven technologies could divert resources and attention away from more immediate and effective strategies to reduce emissions at their source.

Another troubling aspect is the involvement of oil companies and tech giants in geoengineering ventures.

Environmentalists rightly fear that these powerful entities could exploit geoengineering as a means to prolong our reliance on fossil fuels, rather than embracing the urgent transition to renewable energy sources.

Allowing vested interests to drive geoengineering discussions risks entrenching the very industries responsible for our climate predicament.

Moreover, geoengineering schemes reflect a dangerous mindset of domination over nature that has contributed to the climate crisis in the first place.

Manipulating Earth's systems on a global scale carries immense unknown risks, from unintended ecological consequences to geopolitical tensions.

The hubris of believing we can engineer our way out of climate change overlooks the complex interconnectedness of our planet's ecosystems.

The notion of geoengineering as a "plan B" is deeply concerning. By presenting these technological gambits as fallback options, we risk delaying the urgent societal transformations needed to curb emissions and transition to sustainable practices.

This narrative conveniently absolves fossil fuel industries and other proponents of geoengineering from taking meaningful action now.

In reality, geoengineering is not a viable solution—it's a distraction and a dangerous gamble.

Instead of entertaining technological fantasies, we must prioritize immediate and drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with transformative shifts towards renewable energy and conservation.

Our focus should be on nurturing a harmonious relationship with the Earth, not further exploiting it for short-sighted gains.

The implications of mainstreaming geoengineering discussions are far-reaching.

Let's not be swayed by false promises or convenient diversions. The path forward demands bold action rooted in humility, sustainability, and respect for our planet's delicate balance.

Geoengineering is not the answer; it's a misguided detour that leads us further away from genuine solutions to the climate crisis.

Adapt and Survive.

Credits: Channel 4, New York Times, Sky News, "The Climate Book".

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

 Famous last words, April 2024

Sooner or later, we will have to recognise that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.

-Evo Morales

Lamb & Mint Sauce! A Classic Springtime Recipe

As we indulge in the luxury of a spring lamb dish aboard our symbolic Titanic, the recent earthquake in Taiwan serves as a stark wake-up call.

This seismic event, which rattled even the bustling city of Taipei 120 kilometers from its epicenter, underscores the critical importance of resilient infrastructure in mitigating disaster.

Despite the magnitude of the tremors, only ten lives were lost—a testament to Taiwan's stringent building regulations.

Taiwan's resilience, however, lies not solely in its structural fortitude but in its robust democratic ethos.

Unlike many other nations, Taiwan's strength emanates from its stable democratic system, where politicians and parties face consequences for failing in disaster preparedness and response.

Civil society and the media play pivotal roles in holding accountable those who cut corners, with courts largely maintaining their independence.

Yet, while Taiwan stands as a beacon of democratic strength, the broader global landscape tells a different story.

According to Freedom House, a significant decline in the number of free countries—from 89 in 2005 to 82 in 2020—signals a troubling trend.

This erosion of democracy is not confined to distant lands like Hungary or Turkey but also affects established democracies like the United States and Canada.

Internal polarization, fueled by misinformation and grievances, threatens the very fabric of liberal democracies.

In the face of these challenges, the ADAPTATION GUIDE offers a poignant reminder: stay focused on what matters.

The distractions of UFOs, self-driving cars, and the allure of technological advancements divert attention from the core of democracy—voting.

It calls for decisive action, urging citizens to oust conservative elements hindering progress.

Turning to environmental concerns, the recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights against Switzerland exposes a broader failure in addressing climate change.

The ruling, while not prescriptive, highlights the urgent need for systemic change to protect our right to life.

Moreover, the looming climate crisis lays bare our species' inertia in the face of catastrophe. Despite our collective ability to achieve monumental feats—building cities, global communication networks, and advancing technology—our response to climate change falls short.

The axiom that "it's easier to imagine the end of the human race than the end of capitalism" resonates deeply, underscoring a systemic reluctance to confront entrenched economic systems.

In conclusion, the challenges we face demand a reinvigorated commitment to democratic principles and urgent action on climate change.

We must reclaim the narrative and steer our future towards sustainability and equity. Let us heed the lessons of Taiwan's resilience and confront the existential threats with unwavering resolve.

The time for adaptation and survival is now.

Credits: New York Times,

Neue ZĂŒrcher Zeitung,

Globe & Mail,

Titanic 1st. Class Menue,

Report of the Task Force on National Security

  We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end. - Woodrow Wilson Dear Disaster Diary, Reason #5...