JoNova

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


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Weekend Unthreaded

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Weekend Unthreaded, 9.1 out of 10 based on 12 ratings

84 comments to Weekend Unthreaded

  • #
    Karabar

    Here is an interesting take on the current situation.
    Joanne has of course nailed. The sooner we take steps to avoid this flu bug, the better the chances of avoiding a failed health care system.

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    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Regarding exponentials, I commented on that about 20 minutes before this Weekend Unthreaded was created.

      Agreed on the cost of delay.
      Biting the bullet and enacting a limited shutdown pre-emptively is brazen, and by definition it is done in the absence of any significant deaths domestically. But we should judge the situation by the dynamics not the present state, and try avoiding the cost of the continuation of current trends which are well understood biologically, rather than avoiding the short term economic cost of isolation. It is difficult to get the balance right and we should accept we probably won’t get the balance between over-reaction and under-reaction exactly correct. But we can never know for fact what the perfect balance was, not even in hindsight no matter what we do or don’t do, because we live only one version of history. The best we can do is compare how different countries handled things differently, or how models of our own virtual country project it could have turned out after different behaviours.

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    • #
      Richardw

      Thanks for that, Karabar. Very informative.

      20

  • #
    Aussie Pete

    With our politicians up to their axles in a bureaucratic bog and activists cutting them off at every turn, plus all the rest of the hurdles they have to jump, it is no wonder that most people think politics is boring. For the average Jane or Joe there is no excitement, no inspiration, just tinkering around with a few numbers, tax rates, pensions or social issues and the like. This is of course not true but it is the way it appears to those who are not engaged.
    Kings College in England conducted a study in 2016 and found that political boredom gave rise to activism. Thankfully, most people can self-motivate and will find their own particular source of inspiration but some will resort to outfits like Extinction Rebellion, Get Up or extreme climate alarmism and so on. They generally make the most noise, they are not called activists for nothing.
    Politicians pay way too much attention to social media noise and if they think something has got legs they will try to turn it into policy and run with it. Such policies are generally weak and lack vision.
    If something is changing and we know the outcome, the process will generally have a name. For example a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly or a tadpole to a frog. Day changing to night or night to day we all know as dusk and dawn.
    When the outcome is not known, it is common to use the word “transitioning”.
    Our shopping habits are changing to online and because we don’t know how far this will go or what effects it will have on the economy, it is safe to say we are transitioning. Likewise, changing our electricity generation from coal power to windmills has uncertain outcomes. Again, because we don’t know how long it will take, or how much it will cost or even if it will work, it is best to describe it as “transitioning”.
    Our ancestors were visionaries. They changed the way we communicated with England and Europe by building the overland telegraph from Adelaide to Darwin, completed in 1872. In the mid-19th century they changed the way people and goods moved around the country, from stage coaches and bullock wagons to an extraordinary railway network extending for thousands of miles in all directions across mountains and rivers.
    The Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed in 1901 after much agonising over a constitution and much more. As mentioned elsewhere, the amazing Snowy Mountains Scheme was completed in 1974.
    All these things were planned with known outcomes. They were extremely difficult projects (as nation building always is), which at times would have seemed like impossibilities but history has proven that to be incorrect.
    On the World’s stage Australia is always at pains to be a good citizen, but this has dangers too. There is a feeling at large that says our eagerness to do the right thing internationally, may well see us transitioning to some kind of colony subservient to The United Nations or some other Super Power. A lack of “visionary nation building leaders” may well result in Australia being relegated to a side-street in the Global Village.
    To this end we must beware, when we hear our leaders talk about transitioning to something and that we should vote for it, because quite likely they actually mean they haven’t a clue or, worse still, they have a hidden agenda.
    On that point and seriously, there is a change going on in Australia that our leaders won’t admit to. I refer to the break-down of our traditional Judeo-Christian free society, which will inevitably be replaced by a much more sinister culture of control. I won’t refer to this as transitioning since the outcome is obvious and staring us in the face. Many of our prominent leaders across the board, are just standing by and watching, while others are actively promoting it. Somewhere down the track, we will be told that we are transitioning, like as tho it is desirable and supported by the majority.
    Perhaps the most urgent project on the agenda should be the promotion of someone who can breath new life into our moribund political system and rebuild our independence.
    I have researched, year on year, the number of times the “Prime Minister of the day” actually used the word “transitioning” over the last 40 years.
    The figures show an alarming trend. For 30 years (Hawke to Howard incl.) the average usage was 17 per annum. In the 10 years (Rudd to Turnbull incl.) it was 70 per annum. It is impossible to escape the thought, that unless a few good young people (and I know they are out there) can win their battles for free speech and step up, over the next few years, the Country will be in serious trouble.
    This is part three of a three part series. Parts one and two plus an intriguing graph can be found here.

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    • #
      DOC

      Increasing use of jargon is, to me, a reflection of the changed sources and education levels of politicians
      and bureaucrats. I reckon it shows a deficit in their abilities to think independently of what they had to
      learn and regurgitate to get a degree. When politicians were sourced from the workplaces, general society, the
      bush and the farms they seem to have been much more in tune with the country. What we have now, coming from the ranks
      of the Parties and the unions, with a bit of university tossed in, reflect more the Party chat and the world scene. They
      seem to have great attraction to international bodies like the UN, the WHO and the power of the non democratic EU.
      Their fixation makes me shudder when I hear terms like ‘WE must be good world citizens’, and the External Affairs Powers
      in this context give me the heebee geebies.

      Once I hear bureaucratic jargon from the mouths of politicians, I see it as a sign of disconnect from the people and a
      coldness comes over in respect of the ability of that person to function for Australia instead of the world. Another
      indication of total disconnection with the people in a politician is describing the people that vote for them or pay
      their big salaries, as Delcons or Deplorables. Imagine that from the mouth of someone that is elected to govern the nation
      on behalf of all citizens!

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Good summary.

      10

  • #
    PeterS

    I don’t get it. Given the situation is very serious and looks like getting worse why aren’t all arrivals from overseas regardless of where they have come from and who they are quarantined? We already do it with animals.

    11

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      I was wondering that too, but I hadn’t heard the news until 3 minutes ago.
      SloMo catching up with Ardern. The cooler is the new cool.

      11

      • #
        PeterS

        I think the announcement was about self-isolatation not quarantining. Self_isolation is impossible to enforce. Granted it’s better than nothing and should help reduce the spread.

        40

    • #
      yarpos

      Why arent they quarantined? think it through, how would you do it? where would you do it? how would you sustain and support it? and how would you enforce it? quickly now, because everyone want it turned on like a light switch!!

      Its like everything else , the world is set up for business as usual and in some areas can deal with exceptional but predictable peaks and disruptions (the grid, Internet, TAB betting systems) but throw in a black swan and the world goes to hell in a handcart very quickly.

      30

  • #
    DOC

    This stepwise approach is probably killing more us.
    It is a huge worry about the mentality, knowledge (?)of our professional public healthcare
    advisors and leaders when the politicians are making the big decisions apparently
    when their advice has been that such moves were ‘not yet’ necessary.

    This appears to be a more contagious virus than influenza, but for most it seems a mild disease.
    One wonders if the overall death rate of 1% is being the professional guideline which misses
    the fact that in the elderly that explodes to 10-15%. I sincerely hope and believe the
    professionals are better than that.

    The other thing is I believe self-isolation is a mickymouse solution. The fact that it is known
    to fail – the failures have been publically reported – is again a concern. Unfortunately, with
    an epidemic, half measures to be kinder or just have a trial, appear to a non professional epidemiologist
    like me to be absurd. Italy shows what happens when people mess around trying half measures.

    IMO, and again I am no epidemiologist, the sooner a country hits the hard times button and demands
    at least a week of confinement at the government’s pleasure to allow the disease to express itself in
    any incomer. They can be infected but symptomless. Doing mandatory testing on those – even the self isolationist people -
    must be in the mix.

    32

  • #
    joseph

    Another very interesting coronavirus article . . . . .
    This one by William Engdahl.

    https://journal-neo.org/2020/03/10/lock-step-this-is-no-futuristic-scenario/

    12

  • #
    Slithers

    Beware Politicians at WORK!

    On the 24th February I formally asked in writing, directed at the Local Shire Council, with my name and contact details supplied, if there were any contingency plans to care for 10% of the population requiring Quarantine due to the Conv-19 situation and needing a hospital bed or significant home care.
    I saw my local council member at the local Bowling Club on 13th March and asked that question again.
    I was told that the council is having a meeting next week to discus what measures can be taken!
    I wonder if I will get a formal reply some time soon?

    Our Politicians at work!

    40

  • #
    Sambar

    A bit of good news that I haven’t noticed on main stream media is that the Darling river is flowing from source to the Menindee lakes, with the lakes having the best inflows for years. Funny how the fish die offs and lack of water were headline news but the reversal of this situation, which really is good news for the environment and people dependant on this water way has passed without being noticed, Guess we can’t blame this terrific news on climate change. Ahh well.

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  • #

    My latest:
    https://www.cfact.org/2020/03/15/un-should-change-course-on-climate/

    When COP 26 collapses, where will official alarmism go? Try adaptation!

    50

  • #
    Lance

    This is a very thorough, concise, article on Covid-19 written by a surgeon.

    He echoes much of what Jo has said and provides important details.

    Worth a read, for sure.

    https://www.howardluksmd.com/sports-medicine/covid-19-update-3-14-2020-concerned-physicians-unite/

    10

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    “Existential threat” or an imaginary “existential threat” …

    “During last week’s Democratic debate in South Carolina, climate change global warming barely got a hearing, but Bernie Sanders did manage to call it an “existential threat.

    https://grist.org/climate/is-the-climate-crisis-an-existential-threat-scientists-weigh-in/

    >> Remember 2014: Climate Change Global Warming Is Already Here, Says Massive Government Report

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/national-climate-assessment_n_5270541?guccounter=1

    Deaths from “global warming”: 0
    Deaths from COVID19: 1000′s + counting …

    20

    • #

      According to the attribution studies of various extreme events there have already been lots of deaths from global warming. Most heat waves, hurricanes and wildfires are partially caused by AGW according to these peer reviewed studies.

      That is what Greta is referring to when she says people are dying. She is not making it up, the scientists are doing that for her. In fact under the Paris Accord countries are supposed to soon start reporting their losses and damages from AGW. The numbers will be large indeed. Brace yourselves.

      30

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Q. What causes an ice age to end?
    A. Not a lack of renewable energy or a carbon (sic) tax!

    “New University of Melbourne research has revealed that ice ages over the last million years ended when the tilt angle of the Earth’s axis was approaching higher values.”

    https://phys.org/news/2020-03-ice-age.html

    30

    • #

      This is a correlation, not a mechanism. Ice ages begin and end far too rapidly for these extremely slow Milankovitch cycles changes to explain them. This is one of the great unsolved mysteries and lots of work is done on it. Last I knew the Belgians had the lead in the research.

      30

      • #
        Peter C

        This is a correlation, not a mechanism. Ice ages begin and end far too rapidly for these extremely slow Milankovitch cycles changes to explain them. This is one of the great unsolved mysteries

        Thanks David,

        I am inclined to a solar mechanism explanation.

        According to the solar protaganists including David Evans and elgordo, we are on the cusp of a new mini ice age (based on solar cycles). The next two years should tell.

        20

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      It’s interesting to note that the two main events researched were long before the current half million years of very regular cyclical glacial events.

      The last 400,000 plus years has seen four cycles of around 100,000 years each.

      The Big question is, will this interglacial collapse to take us into another ice age.

      The southern hemisphere got off relatively lightly in the past but who knows if New York Central Park Will once again be covered by a field of ice nearly a mile deep.

      What’s caused this?

      4><26,000 = 104,000.

      Gee, I wonder if maybe orbital mechanics was involved in those "transitions".

      KK

      10

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        There was a bit of a holdup in the melting of the New York Central Park ice field about 12,000 years ago.
        When the air had cleared the Sun got back to work and melted the rest of it. All up in the very short space of about 15,000 years the melting ice caused sea levels to rise by a minimum of 125 metres.
        There was a bit of an overshoot up to 130 metres and over the last 7,000 years oceans have oscillated down 4 to 6 metres to the current stable situation.

        KK

        20

    • #
      el gordo

      The Last Glacial Max ended with volcanic activity in the Southern Ocean, the rise in sea level was astounding. It still took thousands of years for the atmosphere to catch up to ocean warming.

      Is it possible for two lows to merge into a super storm?

      https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-181.42,-31.83,1674/loc=168.914,-27.186

      10

    • #
      el gordo

      The other point worth considering, Meltwater Pulse 1a liberated a large amount of CO2 from the carbon sink.

      https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2019PA003766#.XlVmayW259Q.twitter

      10

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Did this happen 800 years after the event?

        10

        • #
          el gordo

          Atmospheric CO2 took a few thousand years to reach present levels, warm water unlocked the CO2.

          During the LGM there was a strong aridity pulse and Australia’s deserts expanded, with sand dunes reaching the Great Dividing Range. Iron ore dust fell into the Southern Ocean and strengthened the biological pump, creating a very big CO2 sink.

          https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00393-x?

          10

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            So the last glacial maximum was ended by increased solar energy which warmed the earth and oceans and melted the massive ice accumulations.

            This liberated CO2 from the oceans but was hampered by the presence of iron dust which reduced CO2 output?

            Maybe the U.S. Air force could be used to drop iron dust over the U.N. Building in New York to reduce CO2 output from the Hudson river and nearby oceans.
            The reduced CO2 levels may help give their thinking more clarity.

            KK

            20

            • #
              el gordo

              At the depths of the Last Glacial Maximum (18,000 bp) Australia was very droughty and sand dunes covered the country. A lot of this iron dust ended up in the Southern Ocean, which was very invigorating for life underwater.

              10

  • #
    yarpos

    In more prosaic news, we went grocery shopping today. We usually do a two step through Aldi and Woolies, but had stealed ourselves to go via Coles, IGA and Foodworks if need be to complete the weekly shop. We werent bulk buying, just the usual stuff.

    Although busy and depleted in some areas it wasnt too tragic and Aldi even had toilet paper (gasp!) Some observations along the way:

    - Even though meat was generally bought out the expensive cuts of steak and lamb were still on the shelf
    - At the end of the meat section was the faux meat vegetarian section, fully stocked. I wonder how bad it has to get before that stuff sells? same in the freezer section. I had seen memes of this last week but thought they were staged, but no its a real thing.
    - Frozen goods greatly depleted everywhere, I can only imagine somebody has mentioned frozen goods because the public seems to have picked up on it
    - Plenty of tuna available, people dont seem to realise it lasts for years, or they just dont like tuna.
    - Plenty of noodles left. Pasta, flour gone but plenty of noodle meals. I guess its a different type of shopping. Just grabbing “my brands” rather than prepper style stashing.
    - For some reason eggs seemed to be in short supply today, zero in Aldi and a small amount in Woolies
    - In Aldi nobody was fondling the merchandise in the special buys aisle, they were all there on a serious food focussed shopping mission

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    • #
      robert rosicka

      Same in town Yarpos, I’ve heard the supermarkets are doing better business now than a busy Christmas period and if this is true and their share price is falling I’d imagine someone will make a motza by buying share prices while low .

      30

    • #

      One thing I have noticed is that all the labels indicating Specials have all disappeared.

      Now, umm, surely the supermarkets would not be profiteering.

      Tony.

      30

    • #
      yarpos

      “but had stealed ourselves….” sounds like we were planning a shoplifting raid

      30

    • #
      yarpos

      Aldi sent out a letter to staff today saying that any staff needing to self isolate would receive their normal pay. Apparently a global directive from the Aldi family HQ.

      30

    • #
      yarpos

      Another shopping update, the butcher in our little town has woken up that something is happening after getting sold out yesterday. Today he had lots of everything (but expensive) and even the local supermarket (that has in inbuilt butcher) had reasonable supplies.

      My gorgeous ex fiance went to Melbourne today (which she described elegantly as an F’in zoo) she had time to fill so went shopping (amazed I am) at some stage she did a shopping centre/supermarket drive by and noticed:

      - Lots of generic drugs available, people panic by Panadol and leave generic Paracetomol. The power of brands.
      - Something that we noticed locally by refected in the burbs, lots of frozen Pizza available. Othet freezers empty but people dont see these things in the same way
      - Once again, lotso tuna available
      - Quite a few people coughing and wheezing but still out shopping. In one shoe(amazed I am again)store the sole employee was an older woman with some guts/experience. She asked a woman to cover her mouth when coughing or leave. Go her!

      20

      • #
        Annie

        Yarpos, did you notice that most meat had gone from our supermarket…other than the pork and bacon?! I saw this on Monday afternoon when I called in on the way back from Seymour to try to get supplies for our ill daughter.
        I must fish around in the freezer and see if there is any of our home-killed lamb left. It’s buried by a post-Christmas turkey bought cheaply and a load of stewed and dried fruit!
        I know that our shops had been well-stocked before the long weekend and people were acting normally. On Monday the staff on the checkouts told me about the ‘tourist’ shopping buses that cleared most stuff out…disgusting.

        10

        • #
          yarpos

          There were reasonable stocks in the morning, i went in to buy Kilkenny because St Patricks Day. The butcher down the end had good stocks though , i had just come from their after buying mince and a nice steak to enjoy while SWMBO is out for a day.

          00

    • #
      yarpos

      More supermarket madness. Shopper in regional Aldi gets abusive towards staff over lack of stock (as if they have an control). Turns out the abuser is a female copper, nice. Today they are having a security guard. Up until now that has only been needed at a few troublesome metro stores.

      20

      • #
        Annie

        Aldi, Coles and Woolies were all very bare on Monday, also our local supermarket. Apparently there had been people in the local one never seen before, even as weekenders.

        10

        • #
          yarpos

          Try Seymour not Healesville Lilydale. We shopped there Monday as we usually do without major grief

          00

  • #
    Broadie

    Right on schedule! Pollution,- Nuh? Climate Change – Nope? Germs – yep that’ll have to do!

    https://www.facebook.com/abcnews.au/videos/this-day-tonight-club-of-rome-1973/10160018539709988/

    Jo I have asked in a previous post as to how publicity, development of a test and then availability of a test actually creates the infection curves we see. As would diagnosis of cause of death as doctors became aware of the symptoms. How do these formulas account for what I see as an artifact affecting at least the initial reporting of an infection?

    10

  • #
    Peter C

    Possibly there is an artifact there in the early stages.

    Willis Eschenbach has a way of matching the data to a Gompex curve.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/13/the-math-of-epidemics/

    10

  • #
    Broadie

    Thanks Peter C for your reply.
    It was Willis’s article that raised my curiosity as the Gompex curve equation did not appear to allow for a situation whereby a new untested infective gradually gains notoriety and then a response.
    Person 1 evidently arrived in the USA in November 2019 with only a few cases reported at the end of February for what is a contagious and potentially fatal virus.
    My question is whether a relatively benign viral infection in an aging population would create these curves as an artifact of the testing?

    10

  • #
    el gordo

    The dinosaur extinction came about because of an asteroid impact and volcanism had no part to play.

    https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/new-evidence-points-to-asteroid-as-cause-of-dinosaur-extinction-66984?

    00

  • #
    el gordo

    Anyone interested in ENSO behaviour might want to ponder this.

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/east-west-shift-in-el-ninos-since-mid-1970s/

    10

  • #
    pat

    behind paywall:

    UK coal-free fortnight claim ‘misleading’
    The Times – 22 hours ago
    The government’s claim that Britain went coal free for a fortnight last year was grossly misleading because power was being imported from countries burning large amounts of coal, according to a think tank…
    A carbon border tax should be imposed to address these “hidden emissions”, according to the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS)…
    Tony Lodge, CPS research fellow and author of a new paper entitled The Great Carbon Swindle, said that the claim was false because during that fortnight the UK imported 40.4 gigawatt hours of coal-fired power from the Netherlands via an undersea interconnector. “It was not true and was grossly misleading,” he said…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/uk-coal-free-fortnight-claim-misleading-8sdt3g5bw

    Britain isn’t being honest about its carbon emissions
    by Tony Lodge
    UK Times – 22h ago
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/britain-isnt-being-honest-about-its-carbon-emissions

    16 Mar: Scotsman: Carbon offshoring ‘hides true UK greenhouse emissions’, says report
    UK businesses face being at a competitive disadvantage to overseas rivals as growing evidence shows “carbon offshoring” is hiding the true picture of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report today.
    By Perry Gourley
    The paper from the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) think-tank argues that although the UK has made significant progress in areas such as reducing coal-fired power generation, imports of carbon-intensive goods and raw materials from abroad have increased.
    As well as overstating the UK’s performance on climate change, the CPS argues the practice also discriminates against UK companies which are subject to climate levies, planning and regulatory hurdles that their competitors overseas do not have to face, such as the Carbon Price Floor which taxes emissions.
    It is now urging the upcoming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to look at introducing a “carbon border tax” on carbon-intensive imports to reduce global emissions and better support domestic industries.

    Energy and infrastructure analyst Tony Lodge of the CPS pointed out the UK imports six times more electricity than it exports, and is increasingly reliant on power delivered via undersea interconnectors…
    Lodge said that during the UK’s recent coal-free fortnight, where no domestic coal was used to power the grid, the country imported an estimated 40.4 gigawatt hours of Dutch coal-fired generation.
    He also said that although British coal mines have closed, the UK is still importing millions of tonnes from overseas for industrial use, in particular in the steel industry.

    “This carries with it additional emissions costs, for example in terms of transportation. Emissions from imported goods and raw materials, including coal, steel and electricity, are not included in UK statistics, allowing Britain to continue using energy generated from fossil fuels, and other energy intensive products, while appearing to be meeting emissions targets.”
    The CPS said a new carbon tax could be calculated based on the electricity mix of the exporting country, making it far simpler to introduce than economy-wide carbon taxation. This would also incentivise other countries to invest in nuclear or renewable energy and generate revenues that could be used to cut costs for consumers…
    https://www.scotsman.com/business/carbon-offshoring-hides-true-uk-greenhouse-emissions-says-report-2450354

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    • #
      pat

      11 Mar: NoTricksZone: Leading Activist Resigns, Blasts FFF: “Science Largely Manipulation, Fraud.”…”Feel Like I’m Leaving A Cult”
      By P Gosselin
      Hardcore German left-wing activist Tom Radke – citing selfish leaders, fraudulent science, psychological manipulation and a cult-like atmosphere within the German Greens – has had enough of the Fridays For Future (FFF) Germany movement and has announced his resignation…
      He wrote: “Of all activists at FFF Hamburg, only a few were really interested in preserving our environment, clean air and healthy food.”
      Radke blasts the FFF leader “Longhaul Luisa” Neubauer who he believes was “obviously in it for a career” and “her luxury life” while she called on others to save money…
      Radke also had the impression that FFF movement leader Greta Thunberg was “being taken advantage of by her family but that she was “personally a nice person”…

      Radke also explains how he came to realize that the FFF activists in fact had very little knowledge about climate science itself and that “their fanaticism is largely based on pure emotions and blind faith” and “also based on fear-mongering”…
      Radke accuses the German Green Party Using “a lot of psychological pressure” to coerce donations from followers despite the fact that “there are major donors in the background, who are completely unknown to the ordinary members.”
      Radke also writes that the FFF movement “has nothing to to do with real environmental protection” and that “the CO2-tax serves to squeeze even more out of ordinary people.
      He summarizes his departure as follows: “I feel a little like a person who is leaving the cult. It is a liberating feeling. Through my experience I will try to help other students to leave FFF and the climate religion.”
      https://notrickszone.com/2020/03/11/leading-activist-resigns-blasts-fff-science-largely-manipulation-fraud-feel-like-im-leaving-a-cult/

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    pat

    behind paywall:

    16 Mar: UK Telegraph: The energy industry is on war footing as it prepares to fuel the coronavirus battle
    Energy companies are bracing themselves to keep the lights on for a nation living unrecognisable lives
    By Ed Clowes
    When the commercial breaks during Coronation Street start, the UK’s electricity networks are braced for the spike in demand triggered by millions of households putting on the kettle.
    That’s because the industry thrives on predictability – knowing where to direct electricity and at what times. All that is being turned on its head by Covid-19. As millions of people gear up to start working from home, energy suppliers are furiously modelling what these unprecedented patterns of demand could look like.

    In Italy, where the country has been completely locked down since last week, electricity use has dropped. The centre of the outbreak, Wuhan in China, also saw a stark drop in energy consumption.
    ***But much of those falls came from the shuttering of heavy industry such as steel plants that have voracious appetites for energy…
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/03/16/energy-industry-war-footing-prepares-fuel-coronavirus-battle/

    10

  • #
    pat

    the MSM/RE smearers attacking coal & nuclear…again. writer is also published by HuffPo:

    15 Mar: News24: Anatomy of a lobby: How, and why, coal and nuclear interests are converging
    by Sarah Evans
    The coal industry remains at the centre of the South African energy mix, with a strong push still being made to add nuclear energy into the equation. Who are the groups and individuals behind these lobby groups, and what do they want? Sarah Evans reports.

    While in South Africa, there is little proof of such an organised, funded campaign being conducted by the coal industry itself, a motley crew of intersecting interests has coalesced around common policy goals: Attempting to stop government’s policy of introducing renewable energy onto the national grid by purchasing power from Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and pushing a narrative that says that Eskom needs to keep buying coal, and that the life of its ageing power stations needs to be extended…

    Lobbying efforts by the industry itself have cropped up all over the world as governments are pressured to radically reduce their reliance on burning fossil fuels.
    The Guardian reported last year that such a campaign had been launched on a global scale by mining giant Glencore.
    But in South Africa, the campaign has taken on the face of a coalition of forces, more than an organised and well-funded propaganda effort, as far as we know…READ ON
    https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/anatomy-of-a-lobby-how-and-why-coal-and-nuclear-interests-are-converging-20200315

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      Graeme No.3

      Any news on a well-funded propaganda effort to introduce expensive and unreliable methods of generating electricity?

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    pat

    14 Mar: HeraldScotland: Energy bill hikes to pay for £69m Scots wind farm compensation
    by Martin Williams
    HOUSEHOLDS are facing a huge hike in their energy bills after a record surge in subsidy payments to switch off Scottish wind farm turbines partly caused by them producing too much power, an analysis has found.
    In the two months of this year, £69 million was paid out in constraint payments, according to research by the Renewable Energy Foundation which described it as an “extreme spike”.

    This is four times greater than the previous most expensive January-February period on record, which was in 2016…
    REF said the surge in payments was partly because of strong winds, which means farms are generating too much power…
    It is also said it was because wider network reinforcement is “unable to keep pace with wind sector growth in Scotland where government continues to approve wind farms in spite of the constraints”…

    The GMB trade union, has said that the payments are creating a “subsidy sandwich for a renewables industry” that is treating bill payers with contempt…READ ALL
    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18304539.energy-bill-hikes-pay-69m-scots-wind-farm-compensation/

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    pat

    17 Mar: ABC: Victoria gives green light to conventional onshore gas exploration but bans fracking
    By state political reporter Bridget Rollason
    Environment groups have warned the Victorian Government that its decision to lift a ban on onshore gas exploration could lead to worse bushfires and droughts…

    Premier Daniel Andrews said the new gas supplies would be reserved for Victorian households and businesses first and companies that wanted to drill for gas on private land would have to strike agreements with landholders…
    The ban will be lifted on July 1 2021.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-17/victoria-lifts-ban-on-onshore-gas-exploration-but-bans-fracking/12063196

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      robert rosicka

      Heard it on the radio Pat and comments from chairman Dan on how dangerous fracking was according to his ideology.
      Not sure how much of a win this is for anyone with that restriction over it .

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        pat

        robert rosicka -

        it does suggest energy reality might be slowly dawning on the Premier, hopefully.

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    pat

    17 Mar: CarbonPulse: EU Market: Carbon plummets 13% to sub-€20 levels as wider markets gripped by virus-fuelled sell-off
    EU carbon prices plummeted on Monday, falling below €20 for the first time in over a year as the coronavirus-fuelled sell-off in financial markets picked up pace despite governments ramping up emergency measures, including the US Federal Reserve slashing interest rates to zero.

    17 Mar: CarbonPulse: Switzerland shuts emissions trading registry, extends compliance deadline over virus crisis
    Switzerland has closed its emissions trading registry and extended the ETS compliance deadline for emitters due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the government announced Monday, adding that it had also cancelled this month’s allowance auction.

    16 Mar: CarbonPulse: EU’s climate action disrupted as Brussels scrambles to tackle coronavirus
    The pace of EU legislative activity on climate policy is set to slow as the response to COVID-19 coronavirus takes the attention of the bloc’s institutions and as non-essential meetings are postponed.

    16 Mar: CarbonPulse: NA Markets: CCAs, RGAs plummet in early-morning trading amid global slowdown fears
    California Carbon Allowance (CCA) and RGGI Allowance (RGA) prices dove on Monday morning after the US Federal Reserve announced further rate cuts to bolster the stock market as the coronavirus pandemic spread across North America.

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    pat

    16 Mar: BBC: The ‘climate doomers’ preparing for society to fall apart
    By Jack Hunter
    (Jem) Bendell, a professor in sustainable leadership at the University of Cumbria, is the author of an academic article, Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy, which has become the closest thing to a manifesto for a generation of self-described “climate doomers”.
    In it, he argues that it is too late for us to avoid “the inevitability of societal collapse” caused by climate change. Instead, we are facing a “near-term” breakdown of civilisation – near-term meaning within about a decade.
    The paper was rejected for publication by a peer-reviewed journal, whose reviewers said its language was “not appropriate for an academic article”.
    It is certainly unconventional, with its disturbing descriptions of what’s to come. “You won’t know whether to stay or go. You will fear being violently killed before starving to death,” Bendell writes…

    Prof Michael Mann, one of the world’s most renowned, describes Bendell’s paper as “pseudo-scientific nonsense”.
    “To me, the Bendell paper is a perfect storm of misguidedness and wrongheadedness,” Mann says. “It is wrong on the science and its impacts. There is no credible evidence that we face ‘inevitable near-term collapse’.”
    What’s more, Mann claims, Bendell’s “doomist framing” is “disabling” and will “lead us down the very same path of inaction as outright climate change denial. Fossil fuel interests love this framing.” Bendell is, he says, “a poster child for the dangerous new strain of crypto-denialism”.

    Myles Allen, professor of Geosystem Science at the University of Oxford, is just as critical.
    “Predictions of societal collapse in the next few years as a result of climate change seem very far-fetched,” he tells me.
    “So far, the system’s responded to greenhouse gas emissions almost exactly as predicted. So to say it’s about to change and become much worse is speculation.
    “Honestly this kind of material is at the level of science of the anti-vax campaign.”
    Allen agrees with Mann that the paper’s pessimism is liable to make people feel powerless. “Lots of people are using this kind of catastrophism to argue that there’s no point in reducing emissions,” he says.

    Bendell rejects the scientists’ claims and says people have been inspired by his paper to demand radical government measures to tackle climate change.
    “I hope Michael Mann gets to meet some more climate activists on the streets, so he can meet the new breed of fearless people taking peaceful direct action after being moved by uncompromising assessments of our situation,” he says. “Many of the leaders of Extinction Rebellion read my paper and quit their jobs to go full time to try to reduce harm and save what we can.”

    Other climate scientists say they have more time for Bendell.
    “With global emissions continuing to rise, and no signs that the Paris targets will be respected, Jem Bendell has some justification in taking the strong position that it is already too late and we’d better prepare to deal with the collapse of the globalised economic system,” says Prof ***Will Steffen, from Australia’s Climate Change Council.
    “Jem may, in fact, be ‘ahead of the game’ in warning us about what we might need to prepare for.”…READ ALL
    “I can’t say for sure that Jem Bendell is right… but we certainly can’t rule it out.”…
    https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-51857722

    Wikipedia: Jem Bendell graduated from Cambridge University in 1993, beginning his career at the World Wide Fund for Nature. There, he helped to create the Forest Stewardship Council. He specialised on relationships between NGOs and business, pointing out the power inequities and the way in which business agendas tend to prevail over those of the non-profit sector.
    Changing strategy, he became involved in direct action and the anti-globalisation movement, later writing a United Nations report on the conflict between business and civil society. After his time consulting for the United Nations, Bendell joined Cumbria University and founded IFLAS,[when?] soon expanding his focus to monetary reform and complementary currencies…
    In the 2017 United Kingdom general election, he provided strategic communication advice to the Labour Party…
    He also occasionally contributes to Open Democracy and The Guardian blog…

    never doubted for a second that Bendell would have appealed to theirABC:

    7 Nov 2019: ABC TripleJ Hack: Breaking up over climate change: My deep dark journey into doomer Facebook
    By James Purtill
    I was curious about what demographic the group was attracting…
    The admins said the five-year trend in membership numbers had hit an “inflection point” around July 2018, when a sustainability academic at the University of Cumbria, Professor Jem Bendell, published a prediction that “climate-induced societal collapse” was about a decade away.
    I knew this paper; I’d read about it on VICE.

    Most academic papers are read by a handful; ‘Deep Adaptation: A Map For Navigating Climate Tragedy’, has been downloaded over 100,000 times, and has its own Facebook discussion group. Bendell is a prominent voice in the Extinction Rebellion.
    In the paper, the language now and then violently breaks out of the sober academic mode to bring home the fact it’s describing our extinction.
    “You will depend on your neighbours for food and some warmth,” it says.
    You will become malnourished. You won’t know whether to stay or go. You will fear being violently killed before starving to death…

    Bendell foresees collapse, but I’d argue he isn’t a doomer.
    He says humanity needs to urgently prepare for what’s coming, and not pretend the future will be a smooth continuation of the present. He wants us to freak out, and to do so collectively and rationally. He wants us to imagine new ways we can live together.
    Extinction Rebellion, also, isn’t doomerism. Doomers are more isolationist…

    Doomerism v climate rebellion
    Recently, one of our leading environmental advocates, Tim Flannery, declared 20 years of climate activism had been a “a colossal failure”.
    “Words have not cut through,” he said. “Is rebellion the only option?”
    When I read this, I wondered if, like rebellion, doomerism was driven by a conviction that the usual established political processes were not working…ETC
    https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/breaking-up-over-climate-change-my-journey-into-doomer-facebook/11678736

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    pat

    some amusing replies; if Sky were listening, they’d drop their relentless CAGW coverage:

    TWEET: Sam Coates, Deputy Political Editor Sky News UK
    ICYMI: Both @EdConwaySky and I hearing from sources yesterday that it might be better to postpone COP
    17 Mar 2020
    One more thing
    First signs of worry about whether pushing ahead with the COP climate summit in November is now a good idea. Massive global effort needed to make success; but now attention will understandably be diverted.
    Some asking is it better to scale back?
    Or just cancel?
    16 Mar 2020
    https://twitter.com/SamCoatesSky/status/1239681994184933377

    16 Mar: Bloomberg: Climate Push Loses Momentum as World Fights Coronavirus
    By Laura Millan Lombrana
    (Laura Millan Lombrana writes the Climate Report newsletter about the impact of global warming — With assistance by Jeannette Neumann
    The United Nations won’t hold any face-to-face climate change talks until at least the end of April, as part of the effort to contain the coronavirus, according to Climate Change News (LINK). An EU-China climate summit due to take place at the end of the month has also been postponed (LINK)…

    The climate policy push is at risk of stalling on a national level as well. The U.K. scaled back plans to put environment at the center of its budget last week. Spain, which has made climate change a central part of its political agenda, halted all legislative activity for at least two weeks and declared a state of emergency over the weekend…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-16/coronavirus-slows-global-efforts-to-fight-climate-change

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    pat

    17 Mar: Reuters: Coronavirus creating solar industry ‘crisis’: U.S. trade group
    by Nichola Groom
    Fallout from the pandemic has impacted both supply chains and demand in the fast-growing industry, and the president of the top U.S. solar trade group said its annual market report’s projection of 47% growth in 2020 will be ratcheted down in the coming weeks and months…
    “It’s really across the board a pretty significant crisis in the solar industry in addition to a significant crisis in the overall economy,” Abigail Ross Hopper, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said in an interview…

    Solar companies are facing not only disruptions to supplies of components such as panels and inverters, but labor shortages as Americans are asked to limit social contacts to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 disease or are forced to stay home due to school closures, Hopper said. In the rooftop solar market, homeowners may be putting large investments on hold for the time being, she added…
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-solar-report/coronavirus-creating-solar-industry-crisis-u-s-trade-group-idUSKBN2140F6

    16 Mar: BusinessGreen: Coronavirus: European wind power project delays likely, trade body warns
    by Michael Holder
    The European wind power sector is braced for potential economic headwinds in the wake of the escalating coronavirus outbreak, with trade body WindEurope today warning that some supply chains are already being hit by delays…

    Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has also warned (LINK) the escalating crisis would likely hit clean energy investment, and called for stimulus packages from governments to focus on clean energy deployment in order to deliver a short term boost for the renewables sector.

    It came as leading turbine manufacturer Siemans Gamesa today confirmed it has been forced to close one of its facilities in Spain after an employee tested positive for coronavirus, according to Recharge (LINK)…
    “Vehicle and vessel manufacturers, solar-PV panel and battery producers are being similarly affected,” (Giles Dixon, WindEurope’s CEO) added. “We will need to take a strategic approach to ensure that disruption is minimised.”
    https://www.businessgreen.com/news/4012494/coronavirus-european-wind-power-project-delays-trade-body-warns

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    pat

    17 Mar: Bloomberg: Gas Plunges in Europe On Concern Virus Weakens Economy
    By Vanessa Dezem and Jeremy Hodges
    Carbon dropped; Dutch gas hit lowest level in a decade
    Carbon emissions dropped as much as 13% Monday on ICE Futures to the lowest level since February 2019, undoing some of the commodity’s recent resilience…
    The big drop on carbon prices show a turnaround for a commodity that had showed some strength. European polluters had been buying allowances to comply with limits imposed by the bloc for the last year.

    With industrial production weakening and airlines consuming less fuel, demand for those certificates is likely to slide. Polluters covered by the Emissions Trading System must hand in permits for their 2019 carbon output by the end of April…READ ON FOR COAL ETC
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-16/gas-and-power-plunge-in-europe-on-concern-virus-weakens-economy

    17 Mar: Vice: NASA Is Grounding Climate Change Missions Due to Coronavirus
    The coronavirus has postponed airborne NASA missions to study sea level rise and extreme weather, delaying the delivery of data and models.
    by Becky Ferreira
    NASA has delayed two airborne missions that study Earth’s climate and the effects of climate change, and one tasked with understanding extreme weather, due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic…
    The missions that will be affected are called Delta-X, Dynamics and Chemistry of the Summer Stratosphere (DCOTSS), and Sub-Mesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment (S-MODE)…

    “These airborne campaigns are often accompanied by deployment of personnel (scientists, postdocs, students, technicians) on the ground to make measurements that are used to calibrate the remote-sensing measurements,” said Marc Simard, the principal investigator of Delta-X at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in an email.
    “As such, it requires travel by airborne and field personnel during the campaign,” he added. “Spaceborne missions are global and consistent. Thus, calibration can be anywhere and anytime during the multiyear mission, although preferably near the beginning of the mission.”

    J. Thomas Farrar, principal investigator of S-MODE at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, also noted that these missions tend to involve many research organizations, all of which are reeling in response to the pandemic at the moment.
    “All of these institutions have different and rapidly evolving travel and work restrictions, and it seemed likely that travel restrictions by some institutions or school closures or something would make it impossible to successfully execute the field campaign,” Farrar said in an email. “It was also clear that it would be more costly if we tried to go ahead and then had to delay at the last minute.”…READ ALL
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/dygkak/nasa-is-grounding-climate-change-missions-due-to-coronavirus

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    pat

    stirring the pot, as always:

    16 Mar: BBC: Climate change: The rich are to blame, international study finds
    By Roger Harrabin
    The rich are primarily to blame for the global climate crisis, a study by the University of Leeds of 86 countries claims.
    The wealthiest tenth of people consume about 20 times more energy overall than the bottom ten, wherever they live.
    The gulf is greatest in transport, where the top tenth gobble 187 times more fuel than the poorest tenth, the research says.
    That’s because people on the lowest incomes can rarely afford to drive…

    And they warn that, unless there’s a significant policy change, household energy consumption could double from 2011 levels by 2050. That’s even if energy efficiency improves…
    The researchers combined European Union and World Bank data to calculate how different income groups spend their money. They say it’s the first study of its kind…
    The study, published in Nature Energy, showed that energy for cooking and heating is more equitably consumed…

    Co-author Professor Julia Steinberger, leader of the project at Leeds, asked: “How can we change the vastly unequal distribution of energy to provide a decent life for everyone while protecting the climate and ecosystems?”…
    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51906530

    16 Mar: Nature Energy: Large inequality in international and intranational energy footprints between income groups and across consumption categories
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-020-0579-8

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    pat

    16 Mar: SMH: Morrison government faces legal challenge over Adani pipeline plan
    by Peter Hannam
    The Morrison government’s failure to activate the so-called “water trigger” when assessing the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland will be challenged in the Federal Court.
    Lawyers acting for the Australian Conservation Foundation will test the government’s decision not to refer Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme, a pipeline supplying the mine, for a thorough assessment as intended by the law.

    Tony Windsor, the former independent MP who was a key architect of the trigger, said reliable long-term access to clean water was “vital for regional communities and demands that we sustainably manage our rivers and aquifers”…

    A spokesman for Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said that, under national environment law, the water trigger “does not apply to activities related to associated infrastructure, such as pipelines because they do not directly involve the extraction of coal”…

    A spokeswoman for Adani said the Indian-owned miner had yet to see the legal challenge…
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/morrison-government-faces-legal-challenge-over-adani-pipeline-plan-20200316-p54an6.html

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