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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Australians wiped out the flu and avoided 50,000 other cases of sickness and disease

Lessons from Coronavirus

Lockdowns and border closures mean many diseases have been prevented

It’s peak season for flu here in Australia and there’s almost no sign of it.  As Chris Gillham wrote here back in May, we know lockdowns stop viruses, because flu cases are 85% down.  Now he shows that this extends to other diseases too, and Chris has used data from the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System to calculate that just shy of 200,000 fewer Australians contracted any of the notifiable diseases in the first seven months of 2020 compared to the first seven months of 2019.

Is some of that disease burden just the price of holiday-makers bringing back diseases from overseas each year?

No one wants to stop the planes returning to the skies, but it begs the question — do we have to accept the onslaught of winter germs every year?

The answer may lie with other things we’ve discovered in the Covid pandemic too — that sick people should stay home from work and school, and that we have a lot of anti-viral tools we can use. Perhaps it’s time that travellers considered taking preemptive anti-virals, which might improve their holidays and also reduce the disease [...]

Unthreaded Explosions

An open thread, with remarkable footage and terrible state of affairs in Lebanon. Pray for the people of Beirut.

Apparently someone didn’t think much about storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in one spot in a city for six long ticking years. Two tons of the same was used to kill 168 people in the Oklahoma terrorist bombing. In this case, the worst “terrorist” appears to be bureaucratic negligence. Lebanon is in a dire state, with hyperinflation ruining life savings, and coronavirus accelerating.

Chatter suggests the explosion was set off by workers welding the doors to stop thieves?

Because there was a smaller fire, many cameras were on when the second explosion started.

Phenomenal footage and news on #BeirutBlast

Afterwards

Beirut port after explosion.

Fully destroyed. Too much bodies to count. #beirutexplosion @akhbar pic.twitter.com/TYMVx0WZVo

— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) August 4, 2020

The danger of uncontrolled chemistry.

Freedom and hard borders are 96% popular — a third of West Australians want to secede

A telling incident in Western democracies about borders

The electoral power of strong borders is vastly underestimated.

Western Australia has hard borders at the moment, and no coronavirus — other than a few cases getting caught in the mandatory quarantine. That’s 2.5 million people who are almost living a normal life.  This is not to boast (we wish you could be here), but to point out how politically popular closed borders are in the current pandemic. The Premier is wildly popular, polling close to 90%. To all the people who said “states can’t close borders” the message is that it’s bonkers not to close borders. When the Commonwealth government joined the bizarre High Court push to force them open, the pushback was ferocious. A poll today showed that West Australians are fed up. The West Australian collected 245,000 signatories to a petition supporting the border closure.

Not only do 96% say the borders should stay shut, but when asked, a whopping 34% of Western Australians said the state should secede. How fast did it come to that?

Never, have I seen such vitriol towards the Commonwealth from WA. …the Commonwealth’s decision to effectively join hands with Palmer [...]

Hottest Day recorded and deleted in Australia was 51.7 C in Bourke in 1909

Do the BOM even care about Australia’s climate?

Craig Kelly in our National Archives yesterday

The hottest day ever recorded in Australia with modern official equipment was Jan 3rd, 1909 in Bourke where the temperature blistered at 51.7C (125F).

Yesterday the Honorable Craig Kelly MP trawled through historic archives looking for temperature records from a century ago to see if he could confirm that it really was 125F in Bourke that day, and whether it was almost that hot in Brewarrina too.  Craig Kelly wants the record restored.

The site at Bourke is one of the oldest in Australia, starting in 1871. It’s also very influential because it was used to estimate the temperatures of vast remote areas around it. By 1909 there was already nearly 40 years of data at Bourke, and the Stevenson Screen had just been replaced so it was almost brand new. There was no airport tarmac either, so in 1909 the site was probably better than most modern sites are today. But the 1909 “hottest ever record” was deleted after an investigation in 1997 by Blair Trewin.  It was written off as an error partly because it was recorded on a Sunday and [...]

Koalas extinct? Hardly. “Nearly everything you have read or heard about koalas is wrong”

Since Europeans arrived Koalas have been booming and busting

The calls were out this week saying that koalas will be extinct in New South Wales in 30 years. But they didn’t mention that Koalas thrive and multiply so fast that in the right conditions scientists talk of ‘plagues’. On Kangaroo Island last year, there were so many koalas, the South Australian government has been trying to sterilize or relocate thousands of them over the last twenty years.  Periodically scientists even discuss whether we have to cull them (the horror!).

They’ve survived twenty megafires in 200 years. They can recover. Ponder that Koalas were only introduced to Kangaroo Island in the 1930′s but by the 1990′s there were 14,000 of them and even though they are considered a tourism asset they are also considered a problem and pest too.

“Nearly everything you have read or heard about koalas, is wrong” — Vic Jurskis

Koalas favorite snack  |      Photo by pen_ash

Vic Jurskis is a veteran forester and fire expert who studied them for years. He’s written The Great Koala Scam, Green propaganda, junk science government waste and cruelty.

Jurskis estimates that thanks to European settlers there are more [...]

Announcing BomWatch: Auditing the fake warming created by site changes near the Great Barrier Reef

Fake Warming in Queensland: The BOM says the sites didn’t move, but photos show they did.

The warming at these four sites alongside the Great Barrier Reef is due to site changes, incompetence, poor record keeping and “adjustments”. Map: Terrametrics, Map data Google 2020

All along the coast near the Great Barrier Reef, the BOM has claimed temperatures have warmed in the last 50 years, and they’ve calculated it to a tenth of a degree. To get that kind of accuracy the thermometers need to be carefully placed, and the BOM needs to know exactly where they were, but they don’t.

The BOM keeps long pages of site descriptions and exact dates of moves and equipment changes, but historic photos show the records are wrong. The BOM will solemnly swear a site was in the same place for decades but photographs and archives show the sites were often moved as developments sprang up around them. The BOM didn’t keep the records and didn’t bother to check. If the thermometer moved to a warmer location or it warmed because they replaced the standard 230-litre Stevenson screen with a 60-litre toy one, or no longer cleaned it [...]

A cold snap in Queensland cut the state’s solar power to just 5% of its average daily output

As Paul McArdle of WattClarity says: “the NEM* is becoming increasingly dependent on the weather“

Saturday week ago in Queensland was cold enough to break records. Brisbane “only” made it up to 17.9C (64F). It hasn’t been that cold there in May for 40 years. At the same time a band of cloud covered the populated slice of the state.

The cloud cover meant all the large solar “farms” in Queensland — with a total rated capacity of 1.7GW — produced only 79MW as an aggregate average daily output.

 Sunshine State forgets its own branding on Saturday 23rd May 2020

Averaged across the 24 hours in the day yesterday, average aggregate output across all of the Large Solar plant in QLD was a very meagre 79MW only:

1a)  Dividing this by an aggregate 1,664MW installed capacity* across the Large Solar plant in QLD this represents a capacity factor the day of just 4.7%

Not surprisingly the same clouds that ruined the large solar farms also wrecked the rooftop solar.

One in three homes in Queensland have solar panels. With 1.8GW of theoretical capacity, rooftop solar is Queenslands largest generator (except it hardly ever produces that much). [...]

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 [...]

Lockdowns work: Influenza cases are 85% down across 17 countries

Lockdowns appear to be reducing all flu-like diseases

This years flu season is smaller than the last five years

Good news: due to the pandemic it’s likely many people are not catching Influenza and other respiratory diseases.This shows a rather  predictable result that quarantine reduces the spread of respiratory diseases. It’s a banal and uncontroversial finding.

Chris Gillham is a part of the unofficial BOM audit team here, and below he looks at WHO data across 17 countries for Influenza. (The WHO Chief of course is a belt-n-debt-trap apologist for China, but this is not their modeled interpretation, just the data). Laboratory indicated influenza cases are down an astonishing 87% in 17 nations compared to the five year period.

Quarantine is textbook microbiology, and for most of history, the best way to reduce the spread of disease. In many countries 12 days after major isolation measures started, viral growth flattened off the dreaded exponential curve. Despite that, some commentators still wonder if the lockdowns achieve anything for Coronavirus. And so it is, that we reach this strange point in the debate, where it is worth stating the blandly obvious: that lockdowns slow the spread of respiratory viruses. This is not [...]

We Can Hammer Coronavirus in weeks instead we Rush to War Unarmoured

If you only read one serious page about how to deal with this crisis read Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance. The countries that “get this” approach will be the first to recover.

It’s all the things I’ve been suggesting but done on big scale with an expert team.

What I call the Slow Bleed is officially known as Mitigation. It’s the 6 month Flu strategy that kills people and the economy.

When I said Crush the Curve, they call it The Hammer, the hardest form of suppression. The Dance is the delicate recovery process until we get a vaccine, a treatment or a nicer mutant version of the virus.

1. Hammer and Dance — there is a better plan   (click to enlarge)

 

Eventually we’ll all get to the Hammer Crush approach because the alternative is so horrible.

Even Imperial College concludes that slow “Mitigation” is just not viable: in the UK the demand for ICU beds would exceed capacity 8-fold, and there would be something like a quarter of a million UK deaths, and over a million in the US. They conclude that epidemic suppression is the only strategy, yet their predictions on that are [...]

A history of droughts and flooding rains from 1782 – 1865 in Australia

Here’s one for all the history-deniers from 1885

Mr N Bartley understood Australias climate 134 years ago better than some climate scientists appear to now.

After the fire came the floods, Feb 2020.

Even then Australia already had a century-long rolling cycle of floods, fires and droughts. One natural disaster after another back when CO2 levels were perfect.

These go back to the earliest dates of European settlement. Wherever Captain Flinders landed in 1782 — 1792 he found “found traces of drought and bush fires invariably”.  In 1839, the drought was so bad that fish “putrefied” in the big Murrumbidgee River even though there was not one coal fired power plant on Earth.

The author laments that the droughts “become forgotten in the flood intervals.”

In the modern Wifi era humans can forget even faster.

Below is my summary list of the events described in the story.

Below that, the full letter. From The Queenslander, Sept 19th, 1885.

*Since Captain Flinders was born in 1774 I assume those dates were wrong and he wasn’t commanding a ship when he was 8 years old. Any other suggestions welcome.(thanks Gee Aye, SteveD, James West and Peter Fitzroy)

(1795 onwards?)* [...]

Coronavirus War Room Time — Mortality rate 1-3%. Hello?

In a word: bum.

WHO announced their estimates of 3.4% global mortality today. All the caveats apply — it includes rubbery-figures-from-China and comes from the Useless UN and a group headed by a star apologist-for-Xi. But here’s the thing, look at the numbers outside China (see the big table below), and its a similar ballpark. Sorry to rant on about this virus.

The World Health Organization had said last week that the mortality rate of COVID-19 can differ, ranging from 0.7% to up to 4%, depending on the quality of the health-care system where it’s treated.

Don’t look now: Big Numbers Coming. Assuming 60% of people catch it before some treatment appears, a death rate of 0.7% – 4% means bad news for some furry number from 100,000 to 600,000 Australians. Double that for the UK. And 1.4m – 8m in the United States. There is a wide range of mortality rates, which may reflect that there are two kinds of mortality rates here — one where people get great ICU care, and one where hospitals are overrun and they don’t. We’ll probably pin that to the low end if we keep cases limited, we eat well, don’t smoke, [...]

Who rules Britain? Activist Judges. Paris is the excuse to let the deep state run amok. Get out now.

The non-binding unenforceable Paris agreement was always a theatre show on the international stage, where most countries promise to do nothing, and the rest make promises they don’t keep. But it’s an excuse for the domestic Deep State to do whatever they want.

The zero carbon goal by 2050 was also a Grand Theater Promise. But here the two symbolic acts of nothingness met like anti-matter and threaten to blow up an economy.

Climate campaigners win Heathrow expansion case

By Tom Espiner, BBC

Controversial plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport have been thrown into doubt after a court ruling.

The government’s decision to allow the expansion was unlawful because it did not take climate commitments into account, the Court of Appeal said.  Heathrow said it would challenge the decision, but the government said it would not appeal.

The judges said that in future, a third runway could go ahead, as long as it fits with the UK’s climate policy.

Since when were Judges appointed to decide if an elected government stuck to its policies? Isn’t that what the voters are supposed to do?

Fears Heathrow eco-bombshell could pose a threat [...]

ACORN adjustments robbed Marble Bar of its legendary world record. Death Valley now longest hottest place

UPDATE: The Hon. Craig Kelly MP was so appalled by this story he has taken this to the Australian Parliament already where The Labor Party was so afraid they interrupted his allocated 15 minute speech just to stop him finishing. They even called a formal Division which means the bell is rung and all the missing MPs have to return to the Chamber to vote. See that on Kelly’s Facebook page. Who cares about our climate and who covers up for incompetent bureaucrats?!

For generations it was a Guinness Book of Records type thing. Now it’s gone. In 1924 Marble Bar set a world record of the most consecutive days of 100 °F (37.8 °C) or above, during an incredible period of 160 days starting in 1923. It was legend — but thanks to the genius homogenized adjustments, we now find out all along it was wrong. It’s another ACORN triumph, rewriting history, extinguishing the hot days of days long gone.  The experts at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) have reanalyzed the temperatures from 4000 km away and nine decades in the future and apparently it wasn’t that hot.

Chris Gillham wonders how the bureau figured out the Marble Bar max [...]

Royal Commission on Fires based on Myth of Hotter-Drier Summer

More lies by omission from the Bureau of Misinformation

When a PM gets it totally wrong, where is the BOM…

“What this royal commission is looking at are the practical things that must be done to keep Australians safer and safe in longer, hotter, drier summers.” — Scott Morrison. – ABC

The BoM, like Prof Andy Pitman of UNSW, and all other climate scientists know that “climate change” will make the world a hotter wetter place. Who are the evaporation deniers among us? Yet, apart from one momentary candid admission from Professor Andy Pitman, which of our paid public servants will correct the PM when he says things that are flagrantly, 100% wrong? Will a Royal Commission really be forced to accept a complete myth?

Looks like extra CO2 “causes” Summer rainfall in Australia to increase

Apparently, we should burn fossil fuels to stop fires. You know it makes sense…

Australian rainfall trends, Bureau of Meteorology,

But wait,  what about Southern Australia?

To cover every last caveat, it’s possible that “climate change” could change where rain falls, or when rain falls — so lets look at the BoM’s own rainfall records.

CO2 apparently makes summers wetter across [...]