Daily Archives: May 21, 2023

‘Everyone has a story.’ Growing industry makes memoir-writing more accessible

PBS NewsHour – May 21, 2023

What is our legacy? What do we leave behind after we’re gone? During the pandemic, many of us pondered these questions. Now, more people are passing on their stories in the form of memoirs. As Jeffrey Brown reports, these books — once reserved for the famous — are becoming more accessible than ever.

See related:

* * *

Top U.S. & World Headlines — May 19, 2023

Democracy Now! . May 19, 2023

Transcript: https://www.democracynow.org/2023/5/1…

Rome: climate activists turn Trevi fountain water black

Guardian News, May 21, 2023

Members of Ultima Generazione anti-fossil fuel group poured diluted charcoal into the water of Trevi fountain. Uniformed police waded into the water to take away the activists. Some onlookers cheered, while others jeered at the protesters. The activists said they were protesting against public subsidies for fossil fuels and linked their action to deadly floods in Italy’s northern Emilia-Romagna region

A Tribute to Emmanuel Akyeampong

* * * * *


* * * * *

At the end of the 2022-2023 academic year
Professor Emmanuel Akyeampong
will step down as the
Oppenheimer Faculty Director of the Harvard University
Center for African Studies

This is a tribute from Harvard students, colleagues and friends in honor of
Professor Emmanuel Akyeampong.


* * * *

The music in the video is the opening movement of J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G, Movement I (Allegro), BWV 1049

* * *

See related:

* * *


* * *


* * * *

Extremely severe cyclonic storm Mocha hits Myanmar, Bangladesh | World Meteorological Organization

Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Mocha made landfall on 14 May in Myanmar, near the border with Bangladesh, accompanied by sustained winds of 180-190 km/h and violent gusts, torrential rainfall and flooding. The WMO community provided forecasts and meteorological support to humanitarian agencies to help them mobilize against this dangerous threat for hundreds of thousands of extremely vulnerable people.

Mocha (pronounced Mokha) made landfall about 30 km west-northwest of Sittwe (Myanmar) and 150 km south-southeast of Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh).

The extreme weather conditions in Rakhine and telecommunications interruptions mean it has not yet been possible to assess the full magnitude of the disaster, but early reports suggest the damage is extensive and needs among already vulnerable communities, particularly displaced people, will be high, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The state of Rakhine in Myanmar has about six million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

Cox’s Bazaar, home to nearly one million Rohingya, escaped the worst of the force of Mocha but still suffered impacts.

According to initial reports, the number of casualties was limited by accurate forecasts and advance action. It highlighted once again the importance of the UN Early Warnings for All initiative.

Both Bangladesh and Myanmar used to suffer horrific death tolls from tropical cyclones. This has been dramatically reduced by early warnings, disaster management and community mobilization.

Mocha weakened rapidly after landfall,according to WMO’s regional specialized meteorological centre (RSMC) New Delhi.

RSMC New Delhi had forecast a storm surge of about 2.0-2.5 m above the astronomical tides was likely to inundate low lying areas of north Myanmar and the adjoining Southeast Bangladesh coasts. It warned of very strong winds, heavy rainfall, with the risk of floods, flash floods and landslides.

…(read more).

See and listen to related:


Global temperatures set to reach new records in next five years | World Meteorological Organization

Geneva, 17 May 2023 (WMO) – Global temperatures are likely to surge to record levels in the next five years, fuelled by heat-trapping greenhouse gases and a naturally occurring El Niño event, according to a new update issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

There is a 66% likelihood that the annual average near-surface global temperature between 2023 and 2027 will be more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year. There is a 98% likelihood that at least one of the next five years, and the five-year period as a whole, will be the warmest on record.

“This report does not mean that we will permanently exceed the 1.5°C level specified in the Paris Agreement which refers to long-term warming over many years. However, WMO is sounding the alarm that we will breach the 1.5°C level on a temporary basis with increasing frequency,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.

“A warming El Niño is expected to develop in the coming months and this will combine with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into uncharted territory,” he said. “This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management and the environment. We need to be prepared,” said Prof. Taalas.

There is only a 32% chance that the five-year mean will exceed the 1.5°C threshold, according to the Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update produced by the United Kingdom’s Met Office, the WMO lead centre for such predictions.

The chance of temporarily exceeding 1.5°C has risen steadily since 2015, when it was close to zero. For the years between 2017 and 2021, there was a 10% chance of exceedance.

“Global mean temperatures are predicted to continue increasing, moving us away further and further away from the climate we are used to,” said Dr Leon Hermanson, a Met Office expert scientist who led the report.

Key points

  • The average global temperature in 2022 was about 1.15°C above the 1850-1900 average. The cooling influence of La Niña conditions over much of the past three years temporarily reined in the longer-term warming trend. But La Niña ended in March 2023 and an El Niño is forecast to develop in the coming months. Typically, El Niño increases global temperatures in the year after it develops – in this case this would be 2024.
  • The annual mean global near-surface temperature for each year between 2023 and 2027 is predicted to be between 1.1°C and 1.8°C higher than the 1850-1900 average. This is used as a baseline because it was before the emission of greenhouse gases from human and industrial activities.
  • There is a 98% chance of at least one in the next five years beating the temperature record set in 2016, when there was an exceptionally strong El Niño.
  • The chance of the five-year mean for 2023-2027 being higher than the last five years is also 98%.
  • Arctic warming is disproportionately high. Compared to the 1991-2020 average, the temperature anomaly is predicted to be more than three times as large as the global mean anomaly when averaged over the next five northern hemisphere extended winters.
  • Predicted precipitation patterns for the May to September 2023-2027 average, compared to the 1991-2020 average, suggest increased rainfall in the Sahel, northern Europe, Alaska and northern Siberia, and reduced rainfall for this season over the Amazon and parts of Australia.

…(read more).

See and listen to related: