Styrene gas leak kills 11, injures thousands

A styrene gas leak in Visakhapatnam, India has killed 11 people and left thousands injured:

Vizag gas leak: Death toll mounts to 11

The incident led to panic among locals in the 3km-radius area. Many people were seen lying unconscious on roads while some faced breathing difficulties. People also complained of rashes on their body and soar eyes.

This event echoes back to the Union Carbine incident in Bhopal, India in 1984 which killed over 3,000 people.

There are thousands of large chemical manufacturing plants around the world, as well as millions of tons of toxic materials being transported every day. The Chemical Attacks chapter of the book covers these kinds of incidents as well as chemical attacks launched by terrorists.

Stopping COVID-19 in the United States by July 4

Imagine if the United States could gain control over COVID-19 and “rescue the economy” by July 4. Here is one plan to do it without a vaccine:

We could stop the pandemic by July 4 if the government took these steps

The plan relies on frequent testing followed by tracing the contacts of people who test positive (and their contacts) until no new positive cases are found. It also encourages voluntary isolation, at home or in hotel rooms, to prevent further disease spread. Isolated patients would receive a federal stipend, like jurors, to discourage them from returning to workplaces too soon.

The total cost would be $74 billion – a tiny cost to pay to re-open the economy.

Siberia is burning

Siberia was once permafrost and frozen tundra. Now global warming has brought a new era, and Siberia is on fire:

Huge Stretches Of Siberia Are Currently On Fire

Ah, 2020: Another month, another disaster. Just in case you forgot this cursed year started with Australian bushfires that killed over a billion animals, wildfires have now lit up huge chunks of forest and farmland in Siberia and the Russian Far East. 

See also:

Parts of Siberia are hotter than Washington, with temperatures nearly 40 degrees above average

More info:

WHO director announces that COVID-19 is a pandemic on March 11, 2020

On March 11, 2020 the director of the World Health Organization (WHO) made it official – he announced that COVID-19 is a global pandemic. On this day the world completely changed. Millions and millions of people would become infected, so many people were maimed and killed, hundreds of millions of people became unemployed, and the world watched tens of trillions of dollars in economic activity evaporate:

There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.  Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals. In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher. WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. 

Doomsday Clock – 100 seconds to midnight

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists updated their Doomsday Clock today, and it is looking as bad as it ever has for Planet Earth:

To: Leaders and citizens of the world
Re: Closer than ever: It is 100 seconds to midnight
Date: January 23, 2020

Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers—nuclear war and climate change—that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society’s ability to respond. The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode.

Also:

In the past year, some countries have taken action to combat climate change, but others—including the United States, which formalized its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, and Brazil, which dismantled policies that had protected the Amazon rainforest—have taken major steps backward.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain is designed to help humanity step back from the precipice and solve the many interlocking doomsday scenarios that humanity faces today.

The Doomsday Clock, explained