This Week in the New Normal #88

Our successor to This Week in the Guardian, This Week in the New Normal is our weekly chart of the progress of autocracy, authoritarianism and economic restructuring around the world.

1. Apparently Weather Modification IS a thing

This week torrential rainfall in Oman and the UAE resulted in some of the worst flooding those countries have ever seen.

Why? Well climate change, duh. But not just climate change

Climate change and cloud seeding ‘exacerbated’ deadly flooding in Gulf countries

Cloud seeding too. Cloud seeding is the practice of spraying chemicals – usually silver or potassium iodide – into the atmosphere to bond with fine water vapour and cause heavier droplets, which then fall as rain.

So, planes were flying over Dubai and Abu Dhabi spraying chemicals, they must have been…and yet anybody who saw them doing so, and said that’s what they were doing would have been branded a crazy conspiracy theorist.

After all, “chemtrails” are just a paranoid conspiracy theory.

Obviously, cloud seeding, stratospheric aerosol injection and other forms of weather manipulation don’t count.

2. Food Transition Making Strides

A new study has allegedly found that if people started eating herring instead of beef, we could save 750,000 lives.

Two days ago the University of Minnesota Entology Department held an event – The Great Minnsect Show 2024 – where they promoted eating insects. “[It] can be good for you and good for the environment”, according to this article from AOL News.

Prof Sujaya Rao, the head of the department gave a Ted Talk last year simply titled “Why we should be eating bugs”.

Across the Channel, Dutch retail chain Albert Heijn announced this week they will be creating a “food transition advisory council”, with the mission brief of “Making better food accessible together. For everyone.”

According to the write-up in European Supermarket Magazine [emphasis added]:

[The advisory board] meet regularly to explore and discuss the role and power of food and drink in the transition towards a healthy, social and sustainable society.


The Indy has gone the more personal route this week, with a kind of “slice of life” column from a “reformed picky eater” all about how delicious insects are: “Mezcal-cured worms and cricket chilli oil: Why restaurants are ditching beef for bugs”

Which slips the messaging in at the end:

…despite that UN report suggesting that wasps, beetles and other insects are underutilised as food for both people and livestock, there’s some way to go in persuading legislators that bugs have a place in British diets for the sake of the environment and public health. It’s certainly not me, or the thousands of people booking up these restaurants, that need convincing. The bug trend has well and truly landed.

About as subtle as a brick to the face.

3. Google Sustainability

Cards on the table, I have no idea if this is new or not. I just stumbled across it today, and wanted to mention it: “Google Sustainability”

It’s a specialised search engine that tells you how you can do X or Y in the most environmentally friendly way…

Oh, it’s Earth Day, by the way. So, as well as helping us be sustainable, Google has added a feature to their Maps app that “encourages” you to plan “climate-friendly” means of transportation.

Good old Google, so friendly. Not at all the tip of the spear when it comes to global tech-based tyranny in a lovely green box.

If you’re imagining a future where using the “green travel” feature is mandatory, or where refusing to use it impacts your social credit score or something, then shame on you, you cynical so-and-so.

BONUS: Pay-off of the week

This week it was announced that Anthony Fauci has been awarded the prestigious Stearne Medal for “outstanding contribution to public health”, by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

This is my description of “The ScienceTMfrom last year

“The Science” is a self-sustaining industry of academics who need jobs and owe favours. An ongoing quid pro quo relationship between the researchers – who want honors and knighthoods and tenure and book deals and research grants and to be the popular talking head explaining complex ideas to the multitudes on television – and the corporations, governments and “charitable foundations” who have all of those things in their gift.

A better example I could not have hoped for.

It’s not all bad…

Had trouble finding any good news worth reporting this week, but I’m not yet so taken by the bleak demons of despair to suppose that means there wasn’t any. If you have some, put it in the comments below.

In the meantime, enjoy actor Julian Glover reading one of my favourite poems, My Last Duchess by Robert Browning.


All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention how climate change is creating cockroach infestations or British GPs selling the “climate change = public health” narrative via protest.


There’s a lot of change in the air, a lot of agendas in the works, if you see a headline, article, post or interview you think is a sign of the times, post it in the comments, email us or share it on social media and we will add it to the next edition.



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