A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



Australian Speakers Agency


The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Youtube censorship gone wild removing Michael Moore’s documentary

Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans racked up 8 million views in a month, then when they extended the free views for another month, YouTube finally found a reason to shut it down. Apparently 4 seconds of video isn’t “fair use” in a documentary any more, and thus for copyright reasons, the video got pulled. If Youtube took down every 4 second violation of copyright there’d be no Youtube. Which may be about to happen anyway, when the young hip revolutionary teens realize the conglomate power is heavily censoring their access to “news” in order to fool them into obedience for corporate profit.

It’s so predictable. A month ago, Myron Ebell, CEI, said “Quick. Watch it before it’s banned”.


Everytime Youtube does this it makes it easier for a competitor to take their top spot. Bring it on.

Moore put it on Vimeo, but searching there finds nothing too. Has Vimeo been “got to”?

Doesn’t matter, because Moore’s now moved to Bitchute.

Long live Bitchute.

The documentary was banned by the film distributors right from the start, but when people started tweeting “now that it’s banned, I want to see it” they reversed their decision. But there are many ways to ignore something without actually banning it. So a big Thank You to Youtube for being so cack-handed. This will make both the documentary and Bitchute more popular.

For Michael Moore, this must be an eye opening transition as he falls from Green-Left Grace to become just another of the unspoken untermensch. For him, it might be the first time he really wakes up to the weapons grade corporate power that may have thought he was fighting previously. A Red Pill day. At this point he either does something grovelling to claw back to his former position (but they won’t trust him), or this move pushes him far into skeptic-land. Many a great skeptic is borne from the claws of Censorship.

It may also open some eyes among other namecalling lefty editors, like those on Deadline who still use the petty “deniers” label.

 ‘Planet Of The Humans’ EP Michael Moore & Director Jeff Gibbs Blast “Blatant Censorship”

The documentary, especially coming from the unassailably left-wing Moore and Gibbs and not right-wing climate-change deniers, was bound to provoke a strong reaction. Among the environmental champions leading the charge against Planet of the Humans has been Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of Gasland. Fox led an earlier campaign on Twitter to get the docu “retracted by its creators and distributors,” calling the film “shockingly misleading and absurd.”

The effort by Fox triggered its own backlash, with the writers organization PEN America labeling it attempted censorship. In his statement to Deadline, Gibbs once against decried any attempt to keep the film from reaching the public.

Here is Gibbs’ full statement to Deadline:

This attempt to take down our film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of Planet of the Humans. It is a misuse of copyright law to shutdown a film that has opened a serious conversation about how parts of the environmental movement have gotten into bed with Wall Street and so-called “green capitalists.” There is absolutely no copyright violation in my film. This is just another attempt by the film’s opponents to subvert the right to free speech.

Opponents of Planet of the Humans, who do not like its critique of the failures of the environmental movement, have worked for weeks to have the film taken down and to block us from appearing on TV and on livestream. Their efforts to subvert free speech have failed, with nearly eight and a half million people already viewing the film on YouTube. These Trumpian tactics are shameful, and their aim to stifle free speech and prevent people from grappling with the uncomfortable truths exposed in this film is deeply disturbing.

PEN America, which was founded in 1922 and fights for the free speech of artists in the U.S. and around the world, came out strongly and denounced the initial attempt to censor this film, and we hope all champions of free expression condemn this act of censorship. We are working with YouTube to resolve this issue and have the film back up as soon as possible.”

My thought on Planet of the Humans: It’s like someone read all the major skeptic blogs in the world on renewables and turned them into a documentary. Shame though he still sees humans and fossil fuels as a plague on the planet. One step at a time.

Welcome to the Deplorables club Michael Moore.

Myron Ebell, Competitive Enterprise Institute describes the film:

Much of the analysis is taken from a 2012 book, Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism by Ozzie Zehner, who was a co-producer of the film and gives a key interview in it.

A better title for the film would be, The Luddite Left Eats the Climate Industrial Complex. Every type of green energy is exposed as phony, useless, and inextricably dependent on fossil fuel production and large-scale hardrock mining. The targets include wind power, solar power, ethanol, biomass, battery storage, electric vehicles, and seaweed. After revealing the manifold shortcomings in each type of renewable energy, Gibbs, who narrates the film, remarks, “It was enough to make my head explode. I was getting the uneasy feeling that green energy was not going to save us.”

The film also goes after the leading green energy promoters and profiteers. Bill McKibben of is the leading target, but Al Gore, Michael Brune and the Sierra Club, Michael Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, Elon Musk and Tesla, Arnold Scwarzenegger, the Nature Conservancy, Vinod Khosla, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Van Jones, Richard Blood, and Jeremy Grantham are also featured. And—of course—the Kochs.

h/t Strop, Jim Simpson, Waxing Gibberish, Andrew C, Helen D.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (91 votes cast)

Fire seasons don’t run around the country lighting fires


The advertising wing for Big Government is out claiming that our cars cause extended fire seasons. Since they can’t claim that CO2 causes droughts or controls rainfall, there’s not much else they can claim.

But Fire-seasons don’t create bigger fires. The longest fire season in the world is possibly in Marble Bar but that’s not where the pyroconvective monster firestorms are.

If fuel loads were managed, longer fire seasons might allow for more small fires, but they wouldn’t be big bad ones. Plus, there’s the thing that a high fuel load without lightning or an arsonist, is just a forest.

At one point 42% of fires last summer in NSW were man-made. 9% were “natural.

Fire season extends by almost four months in parts of Australia

The fire season in parts of eastern Australia has lengthened by almost four months since the 1950s, with climate change a prominent driver in the trend, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

Karl Braganza, head of the bureau’s climate monitoring, told the first day of public hearings for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements on Monday that the South Coast of NSW and eastern Victoria now see fire weather arriving three months earlier, occurring towards the end of winter rather than the end of spring.

Fires are not where the heat is, they’re where the fuel is

What you need to know about fires, rain and droughts

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (64 votes cast)

Antibody test shows 5% of Spaniards or 2.3 million have contracted the coronavirus

This is not the road to herd immunity

In Spain, after a long battle, a quarter of a million people have tested positive to coronavirus and 27,000 have died.

But Spanish authorities have now done the largest antibody test I am aware of, and it was at least somewhat randomized.  As many as 70,000 people have been blood tested and it was discovered that 5% had antibodies to Coronavirus. That would mean there were about 2.3 million cases of Covid-WuFlu across all of Spain, which is ten times as many cases as officially counted. But it also means 95% of Spaniards are at risk of catching it, and without a lockdown the virus would still spread very quickly. The death rate works out to be about 1.1% of total infections. But there were excess deaths in Spain — above and beyond the normal, and above the known Covid Cases — so that suggests the real death rate is more like 1.3%. Not fun.

That’s possibly why Spain is heading towards zero cases. The combination of infectiousness and the fairly significant death rate means Coronavirus is a hard virus to live with. Even a low level of running virus could fire up in a couple of weeks to 5,000 cases a day.

One third were asymptomatic. Good for them. Another number worth knowing.


Daily new cases in Spain. Worldmeters.

 Antibody study shows just 5% of Spaniards have contracted the coronavirus

Bordja Andrino, Daniele Grasso, kiko llaneras, Elena Sevillano, El Pais

  • 90% weren’t detected (because Spain isn’t doing enough tests).
  • One out of every three people who tested positive for antibodies was asymptomatic and did not realize they had contracted the virus.
  • 43% lost their sense of smell.

Only 5% of Spaniards have been infected with the coronavirus, according to the preliminary results of a study by the Carlos III public health institute, which took blood samples from nearly 70,000 participants.

The Spanish overall figure of 5% is in line with studies in other European countries that showed a prevalence of 4% to 5%, far below the rate that would provide the population with so-called herd immunity, and which experts place at 60% at the very least.

If the percentage of infected people who eventually die is around 1.1%, as the study suggests, the cost in human lives of herd immunity would be between 200,000 and 300,000, making the method unacceptable.

“Five percent is the equivalent of 2,350,000 cases. If there were around 27,100 deaths, that means that the fatality rate is between 1 and 1.2%,” explains Jesús Molina Cabrillana, an epidemiologist at the Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Hygiene (Sempsph).

That is in the higher range of the best available estimates from other countries, which talk about 0.5% to 1% of deaths among people who were infected with the coronavirus, known as the infection fatality rate or IFR. In Spain, if we add another 5,900 suspicious but untested cases to the total number of infections, the fatality rate grows to 1.3%.

It’s good that 36,000 households were selected at random, but since 70,000 tests were done this means probably whole households were tested. So it is possible that the study overrepresents families and young people demographically. It may also overrepresent infections since household members are more likely to spread an infection. On the other hand, the test won’t pick up active new infections, so it will  underestimate the infections as well. There is a lag of a week before some of the antibodies form. In the wash, this might be as good as it gets as an estimate.

In Spain, herd immunity might cost 200-300,000 lives.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.9/10 (32 votes cast)

Tuesday Open Thread

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.6/10 (10 votes cast)

Peter Ridd case: JCU appeals for their right to threaten and scare staff and ignore potential fraud

Today and tomorrow are the Appeal Days for James Cook University. They sacked Professor Peter Ridd for daring to say that some of our reef expert institutions “could not be trusted” then wasted $600,000 in court defending their work only to lose on every single count. James Cook Uni was ordered to pay $1.2m to Peter Ridd. Judge Vasta was scathing. Yet JCU barrelled on to waste more taxpayer money on an appeal.

Think about how pointless this JCU appeal is — even if they were to win the legal war, they lose the scientific, academic and educational one — they prove that they are not the kind of institute taxpayers should be funding.

Peter Ridd was JCU’s best asset until they sacked him. He helped expose manipulated photos of reef fish by a JCU researcher, Oona Lönnstedt, who had already been caught fabricating data in Sweden, and yet JCU “investigated” and sacked Ridd faster than it investigated her suspicious lionfish shots. Other  JCU researchers claimed that “acidification” would make reef fish act strangely. But, Peter Ridd warned a lot of research could not be replicated, and so it was with the odd fish. In January a new paper tried to repeat eight JCU experiments and every one of them failed. Reef fish will be fine, but JCU’s reputation may never recover.

JCU management have learnt nothing. Since losing the case JCU has changed its employment contracts, not to give their academics the unequivocal right to speak freely, but to make sure they can’t. Enough is enough — all universities need to guarantee free speech in employment contracts or no more government funds.

Every JCU employee’s work is tainted by this. Even the honest ones. We will never know what any JCU researchers really believe, or which results were filed in the bin, no matter what they say, because we know employees of JCU have to hide unfashionable opinions. Staff admitted they were too afraid to use their uni emails. So much for academic freedom. Their quality assurance is terminally flawed. This makes the entire institution useless as a research body, and with standards so low, also useless for teaching. The government could fix this entire embarrassing debacle in five minutes. They just need to withhold JCU funding til the uni gets new management, investigates potential fraud, stops wasting funds in legal battles, and demonstrate that they support free speech — rehire Ridd, sack the VC Sandra Harding AO who earnt was paid $975,000 in 2018, and enshrine free speech in employment contracts.

The IPA has also released a podcast on the whole sorry affair

It may be possible to view the lawsuit via videolink but submissions must be in before that date (so it may be too late now unless they accept submissions for tomorrow’s viewing. The relevant information is at Peter’s GoFundMe page.

 It’s easy to stop JCU from behaving like this. Where is Scott Morrison?

When will conservative leaders learn that government funded institutions vote left and the more you pay them, the worse their bias gets?

Education Minister Dan Tehan or PM Scott Morrison could fix this in five minutes. All they have to do is tell JCU they’ll get no more grant money until the institute guarantees free speech and shows accountability for the people who flagrantly wasted over half a million dollars.

JCU grant money is better spent elsewhere. All the research they produce is now tainted and effectively worthless– no matter what any Professor says, everyone knows they are not free to criticize other staff, or procedures, or point out flaws. They’re scared to use their email addresses. We’ll never know what any JCU researcher is holding back.

JCU is the text-book example of what happens when government funding strangles science. The people in charge of JCU’s “science” department — deciding what “the consensus will be” are the administrators, not the academics.

This is not a one off. JCU has a pattern of evicting, blackbanning, and ousting people who disagree with the bureaucrats pet fashions (vale, Bob Carter!). In this culture, more funding means more strangling. So just stop.

Peter Ridd has two GoFundMe accounts. Both have raised their targets and are closed, but have updates there anyone can read.

The Peter Ridd story:


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.9/10 (87 votes cast)

Victoria blows up cheapest electricity generator in the state

In 2017 in its last month of operation, the 53 year old Hazelwood coal plant was still operating reliably 24 hours a day at around $30/MWhr and producing 1360MW of electricity. Despite its age, it could peak at 86% of its original rated output.

After Hazelwood closed, wholesale prices jumped 85% in Victoria. And the annual average spot wholesale price in Victoria in the last year was $100/MWH.

So naturally Victoria wants to build more wind power, and blow up old reliable coal.

Every single week in January, when electricity demand peaks in Australia, there were days when one old coal plant could have provided more electricity than all 57 new wind farms on the National Electricity Market could.

How much did it cost to build 57 not-there-when-you-need-it wind farms?


Wind Energy, Australia, Hazelwood, coal, graph, January 2020. Megawatts.

The output of all the wind farms in Australia still isn’t enough to reliably produce more than one 50 year old coal plant.


In its lifetime Hazelwood made $15 billion dollars worth of electricity (or 520TWH). It paid for itself many times over.


h/t David B, Serp



VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (73 votes cast)

Weekend Unthreaded

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.9/10 (14 votes cast)

Hydroxychloroquine Lancet study of 96,000 Covid patients ignores Zinc, wasn’t randomized, has 12% death rate

A new study came out last night in the Lancet which is being used to call for the end of doctors using Choloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid patients without them being enrolled in a clinical trial. Some of the claims about “no chance of any benefit” seem a bit premature given the limits of this kind of study:

Superficially, it looks large and comprehensive but there are three obvious problems with it –

1. It ignores zinc entirely. There is not even a mention of the essential mineral, despite Chloroquine being a well known zinc ionophone (something that pumps a mineral across a cell membrane) and intracellular zinc being identified as a useful anti-viral.

2. It’s not randomized. If doctors are prescribing these drugs to sicker patients or patients with a certain (unknown) genetic risk factor that selection bias (there we go again) could neutralize the entire result. We just don’t know.

3. These were sick people. The total mortality in this whole group was almost 12%. This trial tells us nothing about using these drugs as preventative measures in mild or moderate cases. It doesn’t tell us whether people had symptoms for a week before getting to hospital — and presumably if people saw a doctor early on, used HCQ and zinc, and then didn’t go to hospital at all (because they recovered) then they won’t be counted at all.

So this trial successfully filters and removes the success stories (whatever they are) from early HCQ treatment.

Even Donald Trump knows that HCQ is meant to be used with Zinc, so it is surprising that the medical researchers did not even mention it. Or in this politicized new world of medicine, perhaps it isn’t?

They obtained data from 671 hospitals in many countries and control for obvious factors, and a stack of co-morbidities and demographics. Two thirds of the patients are from the US. They only include patients that are diagnosed, and start one or the other chloroquine type drug within 48 hours of diagnosis (but that may be quite some time after they first got sick). The groups are split into HCQ, or CQ, paired with or without Azithromycin (Az). But both the antimalarial and the antibiotic are known to affect something called the QT interval. Obviously patients who have long QT’s or heart arrhythmia would be at higher risk. Docs would know.

We note that HCQ is not a big money-spinner for large pharmaceutical companies, being an old cheap out-of-patent drug, and that some of these authors do work sometimes with Big Pharma:

 Authors Declaration of interests

MRM reports personal fees from Abbott, Medtronic, Janssen, Mesoblast, Portola, Bayer, Baim Institute for Clinical Research, NupulseCV, FineHeart, Leviticus, Roivant, and Triple Gene. SSD is the founder of Surgisphere Corporation. FR has been paid for time spent as a committee member for clinical trials, advisory boards, other forms of consulting, and lectures or presentations; these payments were made directly to the University of Zurich and no personal payments were received in relation to these trials or other activities. ANP declares no competing interests.

The development and maintenance of the Surgical Outcomes Collaborative database was funded by Surgisphere Corporation (Chicago, IL, USA)




 Doctors seem unimpressed

If comments under the Medpage version of this story are any gauge, it suggests many doctors in the US are unmoved by this study, or are even cynically disillusioned.

Vincent Tedone MD

This article is like rowing a boat with a pool cue.

HCQ + Zn use is indicated only in early cases or as a prophylactic.

Big Pharma influence is all over this.

Robert Dunn

Why they continue to promote these studies which have nothing to do with the proper use of HCQ in helping Covid-19 patients in incredible.

Until they do a study which addresses the use of HCQ in the early/mid stage of the infection, PRIOR to hospitalization, these studies do nothing to clear the air or the virus.

There simply is way too much evidence of doctor/patient treatments that have had dramatic cures of the progression of the disease to have gone this far in time without a definitive and trustworthy analysis of the proper use of HCQ in fighting Covid-19.

Iggy Dalrymple

Hydroxychloroquine has 2 major defects:
1- Trump touted it.
2- HCQ is off patent.

Retrospective studies are ideal for agenda driven “researchers” because they allow cherry-picking the data.

Samuel Rivera

Another garbage, politically motivated study that does not answer the question we physicians want to know. Is HCQ alone or in combination treatment effective prophylaxis or early treatment for COVID 19? All these “analyses” of very sick folks LATE IN THE COVID game are clearly biased against HCQ from the start based on what we know are the mechanisms by which HCQ might help. The attempt to sabotage science is the most disgusting thing I have witnessed in my entire medical career and I am saddened that even physicians have taken sides. By the way, when they talk about more arrhythmias, I want to know exactly what they are talking about- is it more PAC’s, PVC’s. What I really want to know is the incidence of sustained VT or V-fib and whether these arrythmias had any clinical impact at all. The degree of biased interpretation is also very sad!

Obviously, we still need good studies on these drugs to be sure of anything. If Hydroxycholoroquine is useful in a preventative way, we should already see that effect in countries and groups who use it regularly — like Lupus patients or people with Rheumatoid arthritis or who live in malaria-zones. It seems strange there isn’t more information on that available, but perhaps some readers here have seen some?

But most of all, we need to depoliticize medical research somehow…


Mehra MR, et al “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis” Lancet 2020; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31180-6.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (80 votes cast)

Remy discovers the hysterical, shrieking crowds are here for the entitlements.

Some great talent in time for the weekend.

Remy does The Beatles.

The money tap was already running before the visit from a virus. Someone’s going to have to break the bad news…



Written and Performed by Remy |  Produced and Edited by Austin Bragg Music tracks and mastering by Ben Karlstrom

h/t Alexandra

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.4/10 (40 votes cast)

Solar Owners worried Big Brother AEMO wants to turn off their panels at noon in emergencies

Last November at lunchtime 64% of the entire generation of South Australia was coming from across thousands of small generators that the Grid Managers had no control of, and that clouds could wipe out. This is the junk conglomerate infrastructure that billions of dollars in forced subsidies have created.

The AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) has no control over the vagaries of two-thirds of the electricity generation. Audrey Zibelmen has described it as “”It’s almost like driving without your headlights.” She wants new panels to get “smart inverters” which means they can be dumb servants — controlled by the AEMO, just in case there is an emergency — lest the state suffer another System Black. They also want old panels to get the new style inverters when the next replacement is due.

Who could have seen that coming (only anyone with an engineering degree).

Poor solar home owners are feeling pretty miffed. They didn’t realize their panels were never economic, a burden on the grid, and they’ve been riding on the backs of fellow Australians for years. And after reading this ABC story (below), they still won’t know. So it’s a complete surprise to them that the green electrons they produce are expensive and unwanted, and so useless — worse than useless — the Energy Market Operator wants to have the power to turn them off at their peak time of day.

Craig Kelly M.P. has a much better plan. He thinks if China can cancel our barley because of alleged subsidies that don’t exist, we ought to axe the subsidies that do exist for the Chinese solar panels and save that $1.7billion dollars a year which hapless Australian electricity consumers are forced to cover installation costs of.

Concerns over plan to switch off household solar panels when grid is unstable

Ange Donnellan ABC

Thanasis Avramis has been an advocate of solar panels since he had them installed in 2008.   “In the last 12 years we’ve probably earned about $9,000 worth of feed-in tariff. That’s been a very substantial reduction in the cost of our electricity,” Mr Avramis told 7.30.

Thanasis is not happy and blames the regulator and the network. He says it would make “Australian families pay for the mistakes of others”. Which would be not much different to his solar panels where Australian families pay for him to get cheaper electricity.

Since 2010, the number of panels across the nation has grown from 100,000 to 2.2 million.

But the proliferation is at times leading to grid instability, prompting the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to call for the switch-off measure.

AEMO CEO Audrey Zibelman said it would only be used in emergencies

When we have way too much solar there’s so little load we can’t even manage to keep the balance with the generators, and in that context there’s always a risk that the system could fail and will go black.”

ABC advertising writers (called journalists) manage to find a quasi industry spokesman to say exactly what the ABC staff want to hear — including his own big conspiracy theory:

Energy analyst Bruce Mountain said solar helped keep prices down.

When Australia had only 100,000 solar panels wholesale prices were $35 per megawatt hour. Now that we have two million, we pay $80. That’s not the kind of “down” most people are thinking of.

He is worried that once the ability to switch off solar systems is added, there could be pressure to externally control them more regularly.

“The threat lies not with the market operator, but the control mechanisms that they establish may well be taken advantage of by other forces who want to throttle back rooftop solar to look after their own commercial interests,” he told 7.30.

Bruce Mountain is director of the Victoria Energy Policy Centre (VEPC). He is in a sense, a de facto employee of The Victorian Government, an entity that benefits from renewables propaganda.

All those new “smart inverters” — add them to the bill for solar power.

Handy questions journalists could’ve asked

  1. Is there any country around the world which has a high penetration of intermittent renewables and cheap electricity? Name them…
  2. If renewables are so cheap, why is China secretly building more coal power plants?
  3. Australian electricity wholesale costs were around $30 per MWh for years on the national grid, then we added 2 million solar panels. Shouldn’t the prices have gone down?
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (95 votes cast)

Thursday Open Thread

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.9/10 (15 votes cast)

When more borders means more freedom

The bickering in Australia over borders is a prelude to the world

Australian states are fighting about borders. The WA premier swatting down the NSW calls to open with two words “Ruby Princess” — the disastrous failure to allow a cruise ship of coronavirus cases to spread from Sydney to every state of Australia.

The border debate is bizarre. From a pure medical point of view there is zero, no, nothing, none, not one reason to open borders between states when one of those states has a highly infectious, deadly new virus present in the community. There is only risk.

The decision about opening borders is all economic. Is it worth it? The problem is that none of the economists know what the cost is, so we end up with Medical Swamp Experts, who don’t know the answer either, making economic judgements and calling it “medical advice”.

Australian states border battle

Which borders to open? Within the hard borders is real freedom from both the virus and Big Government.

Virus free states are Golden Zones of freedom

The view from within a Golden Zone is very different. In a state with no virus (as far as we can tell) — the costs of letting in just one new case of virus are potentially astronomical. One undetected case could spread for weeks, causing the mass closure of hospitals, aged care centres, and so much economic damage with uncertainty and a second wave of lockdowns.

A virus-free state has almost all the normal freedoms within its border and Western Australia is opening up, people are booking holidays in droves in the South West. Phones are ring ‘off the hook’. People can shop free of fear.  Groups of 20 people are allowed to gather indoors, and 30 outdoors.  Swimming pools, libraries and gyms are opening on a limited 20 person basis.

The calls from states with uncontrolled infections like NSW to open the borders are purely selfish. The precious state of freedom-from-the-Wuflu is too valuable to risk. For those few state leaders which have cleared the virus the situation suddenly looks very different. The only thing that stands between freedom and pandemonium is the state border. More borders means more freedom. West Australians can’t fly out on holiday and they can’t invite family from the East to visit. But 99% of the freedom of their everyday lives are within grasp.

Freedom from the virus means freedom from Big Government

WA is a microcosm of the world. If many other states clear this virus they will not want travel from the US and the UK (etc). The giants of The Western World have powerful orbital pulls but so does the Golden Zone. The future depends on how many nations end up in each cluster: Virus 1 or Virus 0. The Western World balances on the cusp. If states (European nations) open up too soon, and keep the virus circulating, their risk analysis is different. Twenty or thirty nations are close to the Golden Zone or headed there.

As long as the virus spreads, even at a low level, there is an ever-present need for the claws of Big-Government. Call me ambitious, but there is no true freedom while an untreatable mysterious virus runs free. I want real freedom, not to have governments needing tracking, or calling for mandatory vaccination, constant testing, potential re-lockdowns.

Those who oppose the shackles of Big Government might want to start with science, not politics, and get rid of this virus. It’s possible, especially in summer.

How much is your freedom from Big Government, as well as disease, worth?

The West Australian premier slapped down the NSW premier with two words “Ruby Princess”

Mr McGowan said the WA border would remain closed for months to come and questioned whether NSW was in any position to be handing out advice.

“It’s odd, New South Wales is saying don’t catch public transport in Sydney, they’re restricting the number of people who can go to a restaurant or cafe far more than Western Australia is, yet they’re saying ‘why can’t New South Wales people fly to Western Australia,” he said.

“Their message is totally inconsistent.”

Mr McGowan said as long as the eastern states had high rates of community transmission of COVID-19, they would remain closed off from WA.

“New South Wales had the Ruby Princess — I mean, seriously? And they are trying to give us advice on our borders, seriously?” he said.

Watch the Medical Swamp Experts disagree:

Professor Kelly said there was never national advice issued that states should close their borders, but he respected their decision to do so “to protect their own population”.

“From a medical point of view, I can’t see why the borders are still closed but as I said that’s for the states and territories to decide when that time is right for them,” he said.

But Mr McGowan maintained the WA Chief Health Officer and director general of the state’s Health Department had both advised it was an appropriate measure [to keep borders closed] for Western Australia.

The medical advice should be identical. Curiously, the bias to open comes from those who answer to states-with-virus. The bias to close comes from those in States-with-freedom (no virus). Perhaps the Medical Expert Swamps are providing what their paymasters want to hear. That said, one side is also right.

Borders within borders in WA

WEstern Australia,

Inside the vast million square kilometer state of Western Australia there were nine sub-regions which have draconian fines of up to $50,000 for people who breach them. Some of these regions have now been released or amalgamated into four regions.  But the vast North West is still closed (controversially) from the main population in Perth. These regions have no virus, so keeping them shut seems unjustifiable. But bear in mind the North-West has the billion-dollar mining operations, and critical gas supplies and high-risk Indigenous communities. It is both the engine of the economy (even measured on a national scale) and also the most impossible health risk. Some of these communities are 3,000 kilometers away from an Intensive Care bed. The expense of quarantined transport and treatment is shocking. Hopefully, with more days of zero virus in Perth (it stands at six days now), the North West will open in time for their main holiday tourist traffic.

Borders have worked so well for Australia and most of the world. One of the biggest enduring mysteries is why the two Giants of the West — the UK and USA — have so willingly given up the best and cheapest tool to beat a threat that may turn out to an accidentally leaked Chinese lab virus.

WA Main Roads Covid Travel Restrictions

WA Travel Map

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.4/10 (52 votes cast)

UK Expert-Swamp Sabotage: close borders 3 months and 10 million visitors too late

UK Flag

The British government is finally putting a two week quarantine on arrivals, after about 12 million people arrived in February and March, and nearly 100,000 came through in April. Nearly every country on Earth closed their borders except the US, UK and Sweden and parts of Africa and a few ‘istans’. This closure is so late, by the time it takes effect other countries are planning to open.

Coronavirus: After 34,000 dead, UK to finally shut borders

Jacquelin Magnay, The Australian

The secretive Scientific ­Advisory Group for Emergencies has refused to detail to parliament its reasoning for introducing ­border closures now. Britain has recorded 34,000 deaths but infections have peaked.

This is how not to do quarantine:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson signalled the border closures ­earlier this month.

The warning allowed farmers time to fly in seasonal crop pickers from eastern Europe and gave pharmaceutical companies time to bolster stock levels, with many having factories on the continent.

It’s important to give travelers lots of warning so that infected fruit pickers can fly germs in without that pesky two week isolation. As for flying in “stock levels”, the rest of the world manages to bring in freight without it being accompanied by one hundred thousand people.

The reason for the trillion dollar mistake?

Epidemiology Model

Appearing before the House of Commons science and technology committee, John Aston, who is the chief scientific adviser at the Home Office, said if tougher ­restrictions had been introduced at the border when the virus emerged, the peak might have been delayed.

The peak might have been delayed?  Do they mean that the number of Covid cases would have stayed higher longer if they stopped flying in sick people? Like hoping to get rid of feral rabbits faster by flying in more of them?

Or was some expert accidentally aiming to infect the entire Kingdom, in which case, more sick people coming in to seed extra victims was just the ticket. Get it done already! If everyone was going to get sick anyhow, then slowing arrivals would have no net effect other than to “delay the peak.”

The first explanation makes no sense in any universe and the second is what you’d do if you were still using the 1918 flu plan and aiming for Herd Immunity.

So while 60 million people stayed home to slow the spread of disease the Home Office was working to speed it up.

The problem wasn’t the Imperial College model at all, it was the Experts mental model. They’d either been infected by the CCP’s “it’s the flu” messaging, and couldn’t reboot, or perhaps (probably) it was the end result of decades of degenerate postmodern academic existence which spent too long training students to believe the Experts and tear down statues of Cecil Rhodes.

“An estimate was made about what the effect of putting further restrictions on the border would be,” Professor Aston said.

“It would delay the epidemic by a small amount of time and therefore it was deemed that wasn’t a sensible thing to do.”

So a new disease turns up, the aim (at a cost of billions each week in lockdown) is to save lives, and the UK Swamp’s Medical Advice was effectively not about health but an economic one.  The nation will be richer, the health experts said, if we lock up all the houses, but keep the borders open.

Are Boris and Trump being sabotaged by the Swamp or is this just in-competence?

When will Boris and Trump wake up and Sack the Swamp?

Airplane image in graph: Original: Jussi PajuVector: McSush

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.6/10 (49 votes cast)

“It’s just the flu”: China is locking down 100 million people after 34 new cases with Covid-19

We know everything about Chinese Communist official figures can be adjusted. So we watch what they do, not what they say.

In February, 80% of the entire economy of China was shut down and non-productive. Electricity use was down, coal use was low, container ships sat in ports, and satellite tracking of aerosols showed the air over China was cleaner than it has been, probably for a century. Locking down the nation must have been wildly expensive, and yet the Chinese still behave as if this is a plague and it’s worth doing everything humanly possible to avoid.

They said it was preventable and treatable, only infected the old, and was like the flu. What do they know that they are not saying?

CCP autocrats are known for organ harvesting not for compassion, so we could assume that culling off a few old folk would be deemed “useful” in a nation with older demographics.

They are incompetent, communist management, but they are not stupid. This reaction speaks volumes about how seriously the CCP views Covid-19:

They’ve found 34 new cases and they’re locking down 100 million people

Over 100 Million in China’s Northeast Face Renewed Lockdown

Some 108 million people in China’s northeast region are being plunged back under lockdown conditions as a new and growing cluster of infections causes a backslide in the nation’s return to normal.

In an abrupt reversal of the re-opening taking place across the nation, cities in Jilin province have cut off trains and buses, shut schools and quarantined tens of thousands of people. The strict measures have dismayed many residents who had thought the worst of the nation’s epidemic was over.

People cannot even buy panadol (tylenol) at chemists so they can hide their fever:

… delivery services have been mostly halted and anti-fever medication is banned at drugstores to prevent people from hiding their symptoms. The tension has spread to nearby areas, even if no cases have been reported officially in those places yet.

“Everyone is jittery,” said Wang Yuemei, a pharmaceutical factory worker in neighboring Tonghua

In total since the beginning to the pandemic Jilin province has had only 127 cases. (Officially, anyhow.) This new outbreak may have been seeded from people returning across the border from Russia.

In other news this week China found 11 new cases in Wuhan and decided to test 11 million people.

The Chinese city of Wuhan will test all 11 million residents for coronavirus after a small cluster of cases emerged over the weekend, according to state media.

Six new cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed in the city and a report from a state run media outlet The Paper has claimed authorities will now test all of the city’s 11 million residents within 10 days.

The report refers to the plan as a “10 day battle”, with each district responsible for testing its local residents.

It’s just the flu.

Related posts:

China — only 20% of the economy working — the cost of inviting a virus to dinner

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.9/10 (36 votes cast)

Tasmania may open borders to safe states, not “sick” ones…

Travel bubbles are coming:

Tasmania’s premier is looking at opening up travel between WA, SA, NT, and possibly New Zealand.

If the selective borders do open, it won’t be popular with the two biggest states which still have outbreaks. (Queensland has only had four new cases in the last week, but NSW has 23  and Victoria 50+. Indignant commenters at The Australian talked of High Court Challenges using s117. BUt I can’t see anyone rushing to fund those.

Map, Tasmania, TAS.

Coronavirus: Apple Isle’s selective reopening would shut out tourists from ‘sick’ states

Mathew Denholm ,The Australian

Some Australians craving a long-promised Tasmanian getaway may have to wait longer than others­, with the holiday isle’s Premier considering a selective border relaxation favouring states most on top of COVID-19.

Options included restoring direct­ flights to cities in jurisdictions that had the virus under control, such as Adelaide and Perth, or even New Zealand. This would avoid the need for tourists to travel via Sydney or Melbourne, cities still experiencing multiple new daily coronavirus cases.

A few days ago three Baltic States opened borders with each other.

On May 15 Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia decided their Coronavirus situation was good enough that they could afford to reopen amongst themselves.  But anyone else flying in would need to be quarantined for 2 weeks. I hope Latvia’s numbers are low enough.

It’s a start.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.8/10 (30 votes cast)