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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Thursday Open Thread

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8.3 out of 10 based on 14 ratings

104 comments to Thursday Open Thread

  • #
    Ian1946

    I have noticed a large reduction in wholesale electricity Prices recently. Are we still paying windmills a subsidy or has this been Discontinued? Or is it due to reduced consumption due to covid19.

    Tony in Oz?

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      The subsidy does not go on the wholesale price, but the electricity retailers have to buy the certificates (which have dropped a lot recently $80 down to $31 according to robber) so it still goes on your bill.
      It is more likely that all those who rushed into “renewables” hae oversupplied the market and pushed the price down as they scramble to become eligible for those certificates. SA has had to ration wind farms for some time to maintain enough diesel generation to keep the local grid stable. With extra household solar also reducing demand. The result is that the interconnectors can take only some of that from the wind farms and AEMO directs some farms to shut down, leading to a reduction in the C.F. from 30-31% down to 27%. That’s why they are so keen to get another interconnector to NSW.
      As a sideline, I note that the ACT locked in 100% renewables at prices in the range $73 – $79. It is a fudge as they really get reliable black coal fired electricity from NSW, not variable output from wind farms in SA. Doesn’t look like a good deal now.

      100

    • #
      stevem

      At the moment, the SA price is -$0.15 and Tas is -$0.68 per MWh. I’ve seen SA at $14,000

      60

  • #
    joseph

    A very interesting article on the meat industry and the effects resulting from the virus and the lockdown . . . . . .

    “Over the past decades the organization of the entire world food supply from farm to consumers has been reorganized into a globalized distribution known as agribusiness. With most of the world in lockdown over the fears of spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, that global food supply chain is in danger of catastrophic breakdown. The consequences of that would dwarf deaths by coronavirus by orders of magnitude. Yet governments seem oblivious. F. William Engdahl

    https://journal-neo.org/2020/04/20/the-agribusiness-model-is-failing/

    90

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      In the USA, one of the main meat processing facilities was bought by the chinese earlier last decade, then wound up with coronavirus infections and was shut down.

      There is talk Trump may nationalize key players in the food supply…. some plant now have national guardsmen protecting them.

      I guess if you wanted to starve your enemy out, you could buy all their plants and then shut them down….or buy all the PPE gear you could find globally and hoard it….
      3 guesses for who.

      Or you could buy the largest oil processing plant in the USA and fill it full of your own foreign oil, so the local production has to shut down and cripple the local oil production capability.

      Port Arthur plant in Texas is owned by the Saudis. Have the Saudis become aligned with China?

      130

    • #
      Graeme#4

      Not sure that the quoted study applies to Australia. For a start, surely more than 60% of our meals are normally obtained within our residences? And the university prof generating this study seems to be focused on other meat factory pollution issues.

      00

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    I think the Covid19 crisis is nearly over.
    Yesterday the local supermarket had sanitiser (4 sorts) and plastic gloves, both of which haven’t been available for a month. (Still on allocation but no frenzied buying). A couple of shops now have sanitiser available for use at the door, and at the chemist a “checkpoint charlie” with a printed list of things you must not have done to gain entry. For all that I saw 3 blokes by-pass the sanitiser as they etered the butcher’s shop.
    The local bakery is suddenly very busy, previously it was 2 or 3 getting their takeaways. For the last 2 days it has had lots of business and the car park 9 spaces has been full, whereas recently it has contained 2 or 3 cars only.
    For some reason the supermarket now has lots of Schweppes Tonic water and plenty of orange juice.
    There are a lot more cars on the main road, but not as many as there will be when the school kids go back to school next week (South Australia).

    90

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Sometimes I find it hard to believe some stuff wasn’t available….which conveniently compounded the problem.

      Thats just me of course…..

      80

      • #
        PeterS

        No you are not the only one. I can’t see how toilet paper shelves were totally empty for weeks. Today though it’s different. Coles had the toilet section almost full. First time in weeks. I don’t get it.

        40

        • #
          Ted O’Brien.

          We didn’t run out of tp, partly because I reduced my consumption. I wondered yesterday how the usage will have changed when things settle down again.

          20

  • #
    Ian1946

    An interesting article on why socialism must not be a feature of the recovery.

    https://richardsonpost.com/vivforbes/17176/socialism-is-the-wrong-way-out-of-this-mess/

    80

    • #
      PeterS

      None of us here need any more convincing. We already know socialism is a total fail.

      80

      • #
        Ian1946

        I guess I am preaching to the converted here, but if you can alert any warmist friends maybe we can get the message through.

        80

    • #
      Ted O’Brien.

      Socialism? What’s that?
      I’d call myself a socialist if the word hadn’t been expropriated by the Communists.
      Time to reclaim the language!

      11

      • #
        el gordo

        I’m a huge supporter of the utopian socialists, but Marx intervened with his dialectical materialism and sent the world in a different direction.

        01

  • #
    Aussie Pete

    My thoughts on “The Road Out”.
    Corona – The Road Out
    Australia is drifting (albeit fairly quickly) into a state of confused complacency. This has attendant dangers. For example, civil disobedience over strict behaviour laws and social disharmony where people will begin throwing eggs at those taking a walk on the beach or a twosome having a game of golf.
    The authorities have so far mustered majority support for draconian action. To use a crude analogy, they had to assume that all drivers on the road were drunk and so reduced the speed limit to 20kph and most people accepted that.
    It is now emerging that this was an acceptable over-reaction, where erring on the safe side was the only choice, given the unknowns about Covid19 and some alarming statistics from overseas.
    The confusion arises from conflicting statements from chief medical officers, their deputies, State Health Ministers, modellers, self-appointed experts and on and on.
    The complacency arises from the fact they all pretty much appear to have been wrong and that things are not as bad as was predicted. They can be forgiven and probably most people will take that view.
    Beset with all sorts of alarmism and confusing advice, Governments have taken decisions to try and minimise the possibility of a long term economic disaster and huge death numbers. Only time will tell how successful or otherwise they have been.
    What most people will not forgive is, if they stuff it up from here on.
    There are statistics all over the place about this virus, except the one we really need. I refer to the percentage of contagious people, at large in the community on any given day. Once that is established, sensible and responsible behaviour will become self-evident and the community will support it.
    To continue the analogy, we have a pretty fair idea of how many drunks are on the road and have established procedures, (laws if you like) to contain and minimise that number.
    “The road out” of this pandemic cannot be built until that foundation is firmly established. The paving for the road needs to be the right mix of common sense, co-operation and cohesion.
    Notwithstanding the talk of a “second wave” and the onset of winter, all of the various Governments and relevant authorities must get together and work out the recipe. To do this they need to put aside any face saving nonsense or attempts at bravado and one upmanship and join Team Australia.
    Communicated correctly, responsible stake holders, be they large, medium or small businesses, unions and the general public, will get behind them and maybe, just maybe we can minimise both the short and long term damage that surely will be the result of this pandemic.
    Posted on my blog http://www.dinosaurdiary.com.au

    111

    • #
      MrGrimNasty

      The UK is now a hostage to the crazy over-reaction to the virus, not the virus itself.

      ‘Experts’/MSM/politicians are now bound to exaggerating the cases/deaths to cover up the error. The worst week in 2015, flu, only had 2000 fewer deaths than the 18,500 worst week from CV19, and it was a sequence of high weeks from flu, not just a one off. The mortality rate under CV19 has not even reached the ‘normal’ mortality rate from 20-40 years ago in the UK. Even in ‘normal’ years, believe it or not, a small number of very fit young people die from pneumonia after a common cold or flu.

      Lockdown was always crazy – it was a panic policy, and the politicians/experts didn’t consider how the justification was an obvious logic trap.

      If it didn’t work (and even more evidence points to the decline occurring before lockdown could have been effective, i.e. each ‘hotspot’ runs a course of a few weeks and then infection rate naturally flattens) then you’ve destroyed your economy for nothing.

      If it did work, if you succeed in disrupting the spread, then the lockdown can never be released whilst there are still people to infect, or you get another surge.

      At the same time the politicians have lost sight of the original stated aim that this was not to lessen the overall number of infections from the virus, but to ‘flatten the curve’, and thus prevent ICUs being overwhelmed, but it rapidly became obvious that that was never going to happen. Now it seems to have become about actually stopping infections?

      So it has all been for nothing, the economy is wrecked, and there is no way out.

      The media is talking up a vaccine but the reality – that’s a shot in a million (no pun!).

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52389285

      Have some 80s cheese.

      https://youtu.be/rOXaPE6gklI

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      • #
        R.B.

        You can’t compare it to data with no lockdown. We don’t know what would have happened with no action. We only have countries that were slack like Brazil, Sweden and Netherlands, that have still a flattened curve.

        10

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Thanks for that Pete. An informative read.

      20

  • #
    PeterS

    Bill Gates hikes coronavirus contribution after bashing Trump for defunding WHO.
    Strange. I thought the reason Trump defunded the WHO was that they deliberately hidden the truth and paid lip service to the CPC for not telling the world the virus pandemic was forthcoming.

    170

    • #
      Latus Dextro

      Gates is an unbridled corporatist globalist. The intersection of interest between the globalist UN (WHO) (UNFCCC) et al. and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is manifest perfection. As Christiana Figueres stated prior to the Paris Discord, the aim was not environmental, but to change wreck the industrial and economic system of the last 150 years of the West.

      260

      • #
        PeterS

        Understood. I always knew he was a globalist but never really thought he would side with the CPC and the WHO in preference to the US and Trump. Perhaps like a lot of twisted Democrat supporters he doesn’t recognise Trump as the democratically elected POTUS but some alien invader. That would explain their tendencies to destroy Western democracy and put in place something like the Communist Party of the US (CPUS).

        70

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          There is no separation between countries at the highest levels of the Elite.

          They are transnational and have no aliegnance to any country.

          It appears Gates only has one thing he wants – mass vaccination & mcrochppng of entire populations.

          Its always about control.

          51

    • #
      joseph

      Not so mysterious . . . . . . Gates has been donating to the WHO for a long time, and is the largest private donor. This will give him even more influence.

      90

    • #
      dadgervais

      How Prescient!

      Event 201 – A Global Pandemic Exercise (conducted 2019)
      Public-private cooperation for pandemic preparedness and response.

      — Johns Hopkins, Bloomberg School of Public Health
      — World Economic Forum (NGO and UN Strategic Partner)
      — Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

      https://www.weforum.org/press/2019/06/world-economic-forum-and-un-sign-strategic-partnership-framework/

      https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/recommendations.html

      Depending on which side you come down on, either recommendations 4 & 7 or recommendation 3 might concern you.

      Consider the following if you have the stamina, its quite long.

      Rosemary Frei, MSc, molecular biology; medical journalist for 22 years and now an investigative journalist.
      https://torontoniansfortransparency.wordpress.com/2020/03/29/wheres-the-evidence-supporting-the-drastic-measures-against-covid-19/

      51

  • #
    Latus Dextro

    There are statistics all over the place about this virus, except the one we really need. I refer to the percentage of contagious people, at large in the community on any given day.

    Anti body testing.
    ‘They’ must do the damned TESTING otherwise the authorities are running policy like a blind man in the dark looking for a black cat that isn’t there.
    Cross sectional randomised population TESTING, a star in the line-up of freely and widely available PPE, social distancing, track/trace, protect the vulnerable and quarantine the identified cases AND get back to WORK.
    Discover the ACTUAL number of cases and actual mortality/morbidity, not merely the KNOWN cases.

    Let’s take a look at some comparative stats:
    Taiwan population a dense 25 million with 74% urbanisation, proximate to the epicentre, 427 cases, 6 deaths, 0.3 deaths per million population. No lock down.
    New Zealand: population a well separated sparse 5.3 million 85% urbanised, 1,451 KNOWN cases, 3 deaths per million population. All bar 155 KNOWN cases occurred since lock down, a tenfold increase, highlighting the Ro value of 5.7 (95% CI 3.8–8.9), Sanche et al. (2020); Emerg Infect Dis and the relative effectiveness of delaying the viral delivery to the population, which will inevitably become endemic.
    Australia: population 25.5 million, well separated, sparse, 85% urbanised, 6,660 KNOWN cases, 3 deaths per million population. Partial lock down.
    UK: population 67.5 million, densely populated, 83% urbanised, 133,495 KNOWN cases, 267 deaths per million population. Lock down with some grotesque and draconian police enforcement. Little sunshine, or warmth, coming out of winter.

    This following statement I find reassuring on the one hand and on the other a sound policy driver for widespread testing:
    The fraction of undocumented but infectious cases (86%) is a critical epidemiological characteristic that modulates the pandemic potential of an emergent respiratory virus. These undocumented infections often experience mild, limited or no symptoms and hence go unrecognized, and, depending on their contagiousness and numbers, can expose a far greater portion of the population to virus than would otherwise occur‘. R. Li (2020); Science.

    Keep calm. Carry on. Best wishes.

    nb. This site comes with 15 cross site trackers.

    60

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘An Australian cyber security expert says the Wuhan Labs in China have been hacked in what appears to be a deliberate attack on health organisations.’ Oz

    30

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      With luck E G. somebody will release all their records
      And provide us all with a more accurate idea of what actually happened
      That lead to the release of this Wuhan Corona 19 virus.

      71

  • #
    Annie

    Happy St George’s Day to all the English on this blog. We had a glass of fizz by the campfire to celebrate.
    St George for Merrie Englande!

    60

    • #
      Annie

      Moderation!

      We’ll also be observing the remembrance of ANZAC Day on Saturday for our adopted country. My OH is the President of the Marysville sub branch of the RSL in Marysville, working out how to observe it during this period of Wuflu lockdown.

      My moderated post was just to wish English members of this blog a happy St George’s Day!

      90

    • #
      toorightmate

      How long have you been following the Dragons?

      10

  • #
    el gordo

    Professor Brian Cox: ‘It’s shown us what a future with less pollution and more active wildlife could be like.’

    James Delingpole: ‘Expect to hear a lot more of this environmental propaganda in the coming weeks and months: green activists and their celebrity useful idiots treating the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic not as a crisis but an opportunity to be exploited.’

    140

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      I’ve avoided Cox ever since he so rudely threw a piece of paper across the room at Senator Roberts on a live ABC Q&A show, claiming it was irrefutable evidence of the IPCC garbage on climate change. And I have no interest in renewing any interest.
      Cheers
      Dave B

      150

  • #
    Another Ian

    More climate doctoring

    “Climate Red Shift”

    https://realclimatescience.com/2020/04/climate-red-shift/

    30

  • #
    Another Ian

    “Australia Sex Ratio Covid”

    Australia is the only country with about even male/female affected by the virus

    More “Why”

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2020/04/22/australia-sex-ratio-covid/

    30

  • #
    Sceptical Sam

    Another Ian,

    Thanks for putting that up. In the last vid the “Permanent Lung Damage – even in mild cases” one, the narrator makes reference to the VA study in the USA and notes that there is no mention of Zinc in the write up and, of course, Zn was not included in either of the Hydroxychloroquine treatments (including the one that complemented HCQ with Z-pack). He asks the question: why?

    A good question.

    However, there’s even more important questions to be asked about this study. I pulled in down last night and had a look at it.

    Here it is here in all its glory:

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.16.20065920v1.full.pdf

    All those who visit Jo’s site and who read this study will be appalled at just how shoddy it is. And, rightly so.

    Here’s a quick take from my reading last evening:

    1. There is no mention of the HCQ dosage given. Was it 600mg? Was it 10mg? What was the mean? What was the range? Over what period of time was it given? Which patients received what doses? The absence of that piece of information in remarkable.

    2. Have a look at the make up three groups out lined in Table 2.

    You’ll note that the HCQ group was older, heavier (more obese?) and had higher Systolic BP than the other two groups. The HCQ group also had more smokers than the control group, more congestive heart failure than the control group, more peripheral vascular disease and cerebrovascular disease than the control group, more chronic pulmonary disease than the control group and, finally, more diabetes (with and without complications) than the control group.

    If this study is an exemplar for medical research in the USA, one can only wonder how the devil they managed to get a man onto the moon and back 50 years ago.

    Perhaps in those days they had real scientists doing the work?

    60

    • #
      joseph

      Sceptical Sam,

      I don’t think the ABC has seen this debunking! It’s well done.

      Coronavirus-Debunking The Hydrochloroquine ‘Controversy’ (Dr. Chris Martenson)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLSYRqcg0wo&feature=emb_logo

      20

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Thanks Joseph for putting that up. I hadn’t seen it before.

        The points he makes are fundamental. HCQ appears to be most efficacious if prescribed early in the onset of the infection and if prescribed in conjunction with Zinc (and a fairly hefty dose of it).

        The studies he discusses I’d seen before. All good.

        The particular study (the V.A. study) that I posted about at #12 should be withdrawn.

        If the data is to be used at all, the whole study needs to be redesigned. Each group (HCQ, HCQ/Az, Control) needs to be subdivided into three based on patient co-morbidities (a/ one co-morbidity; b/ two co-morbidities; and, c/ three or more co-morbidities). Then each of those co-morbitity groups needs to be subdivided into three (a/ dosage = less than 200mg/day; b/ dosage = between 200-400mg/day; and, c/ dosage = greater than 400mg/day). Each patient within those dosage grouping need to be distinguished by whether they received the dosage a/ early, or b/ late, in the progression of the infection.

        The world might then obtain some benefit from the effort. Otherwise it’s just more confusion.

        And, who knows what the motivation for that might be?

        30

  • #
    Another Ian

    How to solve US economic problems

    https://image-cdn.parler.com/I/Y/IYlKkisbFL.jpeg

    31

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      That’s about $44.0 trillions worth of expenditure there.

      The Australian equivalent (very roughly) for those 65 and over in the workforce would be about $1.0 trillion. Goodness only knows what it’d be for Australians 50 years old and over.

      Given we don’t make cars, perhaps they could buy South Australian made submarines.
      ?

      20

    • #
      dadgervais

      Our unemployment problem will be solved once the govt starts hireing the millions of “Social Distance Compliance Officers” they need.

      50

  • #
    TdeF

    I managed to watch Michael Moore’s story right through. It is always hard viewing watching droning rubbish. The themes include Anti capitalism throughout, the great evil. And anti billionaires. And anti banks. And overpopulation is the root cause of all evil, the Malthusian story. And would Al Gore and Michael Bloomberg act in their own best interests? What a revelation. Is the earth flat or round?

    And the Koch brothers are having a lot each way.

    Not even a skerrick of an idea that carbon pollution driven Climate Change is anything but real. The whole move is about ‘carbon pollution’ and how to stop it with windmills and solar and biofuels which are all carbon pollution after all. Welcome to reality.

    What is crazy is a war on the sixth element of the periodic table as pure evil. I know Greenpeace banned the element Chlorine but they are just nuts. (Chlorine, without which we would not have salt). Michael Moore cannot believe how carbon is in everything we do. He would be stunned to know he is 95% carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. The documentary equivalent of Jabba the Hutt.

    Surely there must be an organization, a self help group say Idi*ts International they can join?

    Still the Gretas of this world will be distraught. Television does not lie. Films do not lie. Why would Billionaires and banks and corporations lie to us? Everyone is born naive by definition. Some never grow up. I think we can add Michael Moore. And as Ricky Gervais said, most of Hollywood spent less time at school than Greta.

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    • #
      TdeF

      James Delingpole though thinks it could be a watershed film if only because everyone involved is of the activist Green left, which gives it credibility.

      30

    • #
      TdeF

      And there are two very odd aspects of this film.

      The first is that while Green energy is exposed as a total scam, the question of whether climate change itself is fake and created to push Green energy is not explicitly addressed. After all, Green energy would not exist without Climate Change so surely the promotion of Climate Change is suspect? There was not a single picture of polar bears.

      The other is that while everyone interviewed is scared of the future, the destruction of the planet, but not one put it down to Climate Change. There is a hidden story that while coal is bad, Green energy is even worse and runs on coal anyway.

      The real story of the film is over population and over consumption, and exploitation to build Green energy.

      So without saying so, they have all expressed doubt that Climate Change is the battle or the motivation behind Green energy, doubt that man made Climate Change or Global Warming even exists. The ecological devastation is shown as a direct consequence of Green energy and greed. The desert was a fine, healthy and a busy ecosystem until man decided to build a useless solar plant. And Green energy was without exception, a fake.

      Delingpole thinks it is a gift for Donald Trump. This is a third aspect of Moore as a commentator, that while he detests Trump, Moore was the sole figure of the Left who was absolutely convinced Trump would win in 2016. And once again in 2020, based entirely on the fact that Trump has been right all along, not that he likes Trump.

      80

    • #
      TdeF

      And the Youtube video has had over 1 million views in three days. While this is not a giant weekend, it is a lot and like the virus, will build exponentially in time for the US elections. Despite my early scepticism, the film may be amazingly significant because it is made by respected Green activists.

      The viewers must include Al Gore, Richard Branson, the Koch Brothers, Michael Bloomberg, Elon Musk, Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Robert F Kennedy Jr; Jeremy Grantham, General Motors and the solar and wind industry executives. It has killed Bloomberg’s Green credibility. And all those aspirational people who went to Solar powered events and bought solar panels. And pictures of relatively new but decrepit windmill and solar farms are devastating.

      It’s only a single step to realise that holy Climate Change is entirely a creature of big Green energy. There are going to be some sad people like Greta. Between the exposure of Green energy as f*ke and the real world disaster of Wuhan Flu, they have become irrelevant, exposed as naive promoters of a big Green sc*m.

      70

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    And look….tagging people like pets

    There is a theme developing

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/quarantine-wristbands-how-some-countries-are-boosting-surveillance-20200423-p54mkm.html

    “New Delhi: India says it will use wristbands to monitor the movements and body temperatures of quarantined patients and help with contact tracing.

    “Officials said the wristbands will also help health workers by letting them know if people have contacted infected people or been to high-risk areas. Thousands of wristbands are expected to be deployed, but an exact figure has not been released.

    “Broadcast Engineering Consultants India, a government-owned company, will present wristband designs to hospitals and state governments next week and work with Indian start-ups to manufacture them.

    “George Kuruvilla, the company’s chairman, said the wristbands are likely to be rolled out in May.

    “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the country’s 1.3 billion people to download a government contact-tracing app called Arogya Setu to help determine their infection risk. It has been downloaded more than 50 million times since it was launched on April 2.

    “Kuruvilla said the wristbands could integrate data captured in the app.

    “He said the wristbands would be used to monitor the movements of quarantined patients, both at home and at hospitals, and any spikes in their body temperature. They would send an alert to public health officials if patients moved outside their quarantine zone. The devices will also have an emergency button that wearers can use to call for help, and to let health workers know if people they encounter have been to high-risk areas or have been in contact with an infected person.

    30

  • #
    Orson

    I have three medical research items to share, all bearing on controlling the CCP or novel corona virus.

    A polio vaccine with crossover potential? Is this possible? Second, just as water vapour and clouds spoil AGW climate models, so does the great unknown of asymptomatic Covid19 virus transmission spoil attempts to control the plague of 2020. Courtesy of Tyler Cowan’s marginalrevolution blog, we have a chart of eight cohorts headlines a vigorous Twitter debate. We have roughly 40% as the mean, but such a widely varying range, we have not much certainty about this claim. Why? Perhaps a report from the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong of a very detailed examination of the mutations – and consequently, the 270 times more infectiousness – seen in Covid19 genetic mutations. Will these findings from a new scientific paper out of China bugger a real effective vaccine?

    First, several heavy hitters in the US federal medical research establishment are backing a phase 2 type study beginning in May to decide if old oral polio vaccine (OPV) can, at least temporarily, stanch Covid19. Why? Neglected Soviet era medical research from the early 1970s showed that OPV was over three times as effective than flu vaccine in preventing infection, something it was never designed to do. At issue is does this cheap and safe vaccine against one RNA based virus such as polio crossover against another RNA virus like CV19? If so, how much? And for how long?

    Virologist Dr Robert Gallo gives us the short version in an 18 minute interview, “Can Oral polio vaccine stop the Coronavirus?”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azTcdQKcKvw

    And This Week In Virology (or “TWiV”) lays out the longer story in an interview with a Russian virologist working for the US Food and Drug Administration, whose parents did the forgotten OPV and influenza ground work, Constantin Chumakov
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbxlXh06LKQ

    A scientific paper is forthcoming, and the verdict on the prospects for this hoped for prophylactic antiviral barrier method are expected before the results are final, or, in other words, during the summer months. I believe this means July or August.

    Now, how much is Covid19 virus spreading through asymptomatic transmission? Estimates vary too much. Not even whether or not “asymptomatic” includes or excludes the occurrence of mild symptoms is agreed upon.

    But finally we have discussion of a chart from cohort studies and high visibility reports like ship based transmission from Twitter. Arguably, a few more could or will soon be included. Eric Topol and his colleagues at ScrippsRT Institute made the selections. https://twitter.com/EricTopol/status/1252356183077208082

    By the crude numbers, only a handful are based on a thousand or more cases. Their estimate is roughly 40% of all Covid19 cases of infection are spread without symptoms. But, as even raised in the down thread discussion, where does that leave New Zealand with zero? And Australia with few?

    One outside the box explanation is that we could be looking at different mutations of the same virus, but with varying levels of infectiveness. This likelihood was quashed only weeks ago in a report in the Daily Mail from Charles Chiu at UC-San Francisco. He stated that there were eight novel Coronavirus strains, all were infectious, and that the genetics looked stable enough to produce a single dose vaccine, not a seasonal flu-type of vaccine.

    Now comes along an ultra-deep look at the genetics of the virus from China that appears to rebut those happy thoughts and reopens the issues of viral mutations and viral loading that increases the agents infectiousness, by the very senior woman-scientist who recommended that Beijing lockdown the Wuhan epidemic.

    Let me simply tease the reader with the headline and bullet points:

    Coronavirus’s ability to mutate has been vastly underestimated, and mutations affect deadliness of strains, Chinese study finds
    -The most aggressive strains of Sars-CoV-2 could generate 270 times as much viral load as the least potent type
    -New York may have a deadlier strain imported from Europe, compared to less deadly viruses elsewhere in the United States

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3080771/coronavirus-mutations-affect-deadliness-strains-chinese-study

    If these findings are replicated, the outlook for a simpler and safer resolution to this plague year may well stay grim.

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      Bill In Oz

      Thanks Orson for an informed and thoughtful contribution to this discussion.
      I’ve seen the South China Morning Post article about different strains
      Having different levels of infectiousness and lethality.
      It’s interesting indeed.
      But how does this fit with the situation as it developed in Australia from late January to mid March ?
      Australia had a string of individuals infected with this virus arrive from China, Thailand, Iran, Italy, the USA etc.
      So we should thus have received a whole gamut of viral strains with a range of infectiousness and lethality.

      Despite this the overall Australia death rate s very low. And we have almost eliminated it here.. ( I hope )
      What’s going on ?

      The news about the old polio Sabin vaccine being trialled to see if it works again Wuhan Corona 19 virus is very good news. Again we live in hope.

      Thanks again/

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    Dennis

    Anybody know how many refugees from free market capitalist democracies seek asylum in socialist-communist regimes?

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    Richard Ilfeld

    Well, folks, here we are. The flight from reason, here in the US, is almost complete.

    It has always been bizarre that upstate New York, downstate Illinois, and outstate Michigan must suffer the same fate as
    NYC, Chicago, and Detroit, even though these regions much more resemble those states that have successfully stayed
    functional throughout this exercise.

    But now the mini-Mussolinis and their minions have hived off completely into partisan politics, abandoning all pretense of science
    for the “If we can save one life it worth it trope”. No need to flog this fallacy on a skeptical blog, right?

    There is no need, apparantly, for many governors, to justify their decisions beyond “your safety”. They get to decide what is and is not essential.
    Some clearly enjoy the power.

    As has become too often the case, we will further divide, red states will work, blue states will cower in faux fear as their budgets deteriorate, and the
    political differences between will be infested with exacerbated financial distinctions.

    States with upside down budgets will demand bailouts from their brethren, not admitting the their budget woes predated this crisis. They will villify their
    supposed right wing enemies for bailing out big business but not them “for politics” and “Because racism”.

    I am not sure the center can hold this time. We have flattened the curve. It may take civil disobedience to avoid flattening the economy.

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    Raving

    In Canada, the biggest deaths from this pandemic is coming from long term care residences. It is horrifying. See the links below

    “PPE shortages persist at Quebec long-term care home with more than half of residents infected”
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/nurses-lack-protective-gear-chsld-quebec-1.5541940

    “COVID-19 in Quebec: Long-term care seniors arriving at hospital underfed and dehydrated, doctor says”
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/covid-19-quebec-april-23-1.5542121

    The health care workers at the long term care homesare getting sick, leaving the residences uncared for. Very little PPE is available.

    Some 18.4 per cent of Quebecers occupied such spaces in 2019, compared with just 6.1 per cent on average in other Canadian provinces, according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. It says the discrepancy is explained by a much larger pool of residence spaces in Quebec and the lowest average rents for such spaces in the country.

    https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/many-factors-behind-covid-19-outbreaks-hitting-quebecs-long-term-care-homes

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    dinn, rob

    from the land of socialist multinational monopolistic capitalism comes
    the MAIN man/money behind WHO

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    • #
      dinn, rob

      though the industry standard gets a lot of play,
      cov-19 doesn’t play
      that game much
      ………..
      The federal government’s $349 billion aid program for small businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic was advertised as first-come, first-served. As many business owners found out, it was anything but.
      That’s because some of the nation’s biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and U.S. Bank, prioritized the applications of their wealthiest clients before turning to other loan seekers, according to half a dozen bank employees and financial industry executives who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the banks’ operations. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/business/sba-loans-ppp-coronavirus.html
      ……………………….
      4-23 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has leveled more charges at the World Health Organization, saying it needs to be held ‘accountable’ for failures tracking the coronavirus.
      Pompeo’s attack, delivered on conservative Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s show, follows President Donald Trump’s own blasts at the organization, and the president’s announcement he would withhold all U.S. funds for the group pending a review.
      Pompeo even said the U.S. may never return to the funding the group, for which it has been the greatest contributor. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8249675/Mike-Pompeo-launches-fresh-attack-coronavirus.html
      …………………..
      4-23 Doctors have warned that the coronavirus looks to be causing strokes among adults in their 30s and 40s who otherwise are not particularly unwell, or even not showing any symptoms of the virus at all. Strokes occur when a blood clot reaches the brain, blocking an artery that supplies blood to the vital organ. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8248395/Coronavirus-causing-blood-clots-sudden-strokes-healthy-younger-patients.html

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  • #
    TdeF

    There is an odd piece on Brietbart on Biden’s unsuitability as President. It’s a real Biden hit piece, talking about an alleged plot against Obama in 2012 on the basis that Biden was totally incompetent. And this is supported by multiple respected people.

    But it’s not newsworthy or timely, so the timing is very suspicious. Breitbart would not be trying to push Biden out because Biden is the best opponent Trump could have. While many think Biden is a complete dope and totally compromised, the left may be plotting to remove him at the Democratic convention in August. Why else resurrect this very old non news? Be prepared for a surprise candidate like Michelle Obama as the Democrats realise they have no hope of winning. Old white men and women will not work for them. It is hard to tackle Trump on age and suitabiity if you present someone older and with no record of achievement in a lifetime. Even Osama Bin Laden thought he was useless.

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    • #
      Asp

      Spot on. Obama’s endorsement of Biden as the Democrats candidate was the ‘kiss of death’. Biden will be removed from the picture before too long, and Michelle will come a-waltzing in. Watch now for Michelle’s increased prominence in MSMS, reassuring the sick, handing out food to the hungry and maybe even assisting with the development of a CoVid cure.

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  • #
    RicDre

    Mom with 16 kids puts sign on shopping cart: ‘Not hoarding … be kind or go away’

    https://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/mom-16-kids-sign-not-hoarding-coronavirus

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  • #
    R.B.

    From 2009 as the Obama administration was worried about a swine flu epidemic. The original Salon article is no longer available.
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/2009/04/28/the_great_swine_flu_epidemic_of_1976_212900.html
    They rushed a vaccine back then, unnecessarily, and they got a lot of blow back even though if the related events had happened in a proper study, the vaccine still would have been released.

    Amusing bits to the story are

    the Democratically controlled House attached $1.8 billion dollars in welfare and environmental spending to the flu bill. President Ford signed the bill on April 15, 1976,…
    Gerald Ford’s attempt to gain credit for keeping America safe was busted. He lost the presidential election to Jimmy Carter that November. The 1976 to 1977 flu season was the most flu-free since records had been kept; a condition that was apparently unrelated to the vaccination program. The Great Swine Flu Epidemic of 1976 never took place.

    It might be a good idea to research a few more versions of what happened. I’m a bit concerned as to why the article is no longer available at Salon.

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Turns out emitting a trace gas CO2 is a truly lousy way of causing the extinction of insects …

    Butterflies invade the Gold Coast for the third time in as many years

    http://www.mygc.com.au/butterflies-invade-gold-coast-third-time-many-years/

    [Travis the spam filter took a liking to you today. It wasn’t personal.]ED

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  • #
    RicDre

    And now for the latest on Global Warming Climate Change Climate Weirding Climate Emergency: Too much rain causes Volcanoes to be Triggered:

    Scientists: We Know Why Kilauea Got Triggered

    https://www.newser.com/story/289948/too-much-rain-may-have-triggered-kilauea-eruption.html

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    • #
      TdeF

      I can see where that is going. “too much” rain? Who decides? Anyway Climate Change causes volcanic eruptions is next. The only remaining natural disaster is that Climate Change attracts asteroids.

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      • #
        RicDre

        “Anyway Climate Change causes volcanic eruptions is next.”

        The article actually makes that claim:

        If the new theory is correct, however, climate change, expected to bring more “prolonged periods of extreme rainfall,” could increase eruptions, the scientists say.

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        • #
          AndyG55

          Wow, so we are going to have eternal droughts with prolonged periods of extreme rainfall.

          That makes total sense… to climate alarmists. !

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      • #
        RicDre

        I should have added that the “prolonged periods of extreme rainfall” must occur in between the periods of Climate Change induced extreme drought. Or perhaps Climate Change creates periods described in the song Oh! Susanna:

        It rained all night the day I left
        The weather it was dry
        The sun so hot I froze myself
        Susanna, don’t you cry

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    el gordo

    The ABC wonders if the old people are worth saving.

    ‘Few young people die of COVID-19, but they are being asked to make the biggest financial sacrifices to keep their elders safe. But will older generations return the favour when post-pandemic economic and tax policies are being formulated?’

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    • #
      RicDre

      “The ABC wonders if the old people are worth saving.”

      I can’t speak to your ABC, but I have heard some in the MSM here in the US express the opinion that there will no longer be a problem “Climate Denial” once all of the old people are gone.

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      • #
        RicDre

        “… will no longer be a problem with “Climate Denial” … “

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        So they want Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi (and other top Democrats) gone?
        I’m not sure there is much opposition to that.

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        • #
          RicDre

          “So they want Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi (and other top Democrats) gone?”

          The US MSM don’t address that but I strongly suspect they would give a pass to Democrats on that question as they do on just about any other question.

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    • #
      Bill Burrows

      Wasn’t it Marx* who once posited “Why should I worry about the future generations, what have they done for me?” [*Groucho, not Karl].

      20

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    It turns out emitting a trace gas CO2 is a truly lousy way of killing insects …

    Global ‘insect apocalypse’ severity called into question by new research
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-04-24/insect-apocalypse-new-research-less-severe/12172318

    Butterflies in-vade the Gold Coast for the third time in as many years
    http://www.mygc.com.au/butterflies-invade-gold-coast-third-time-many-years/

    [Travis the spam filter took a liking to you today. It wasn’t personal.]ED

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Another failure of climate science:

    Global ‘insect apocalypse’ severity called into question by new research
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-04-24/insect-apocalypse-new-research-less-severe/12172318

    Blue Tiger Butterflies spotted flying around Coast

    “We are seeing these large numbers because we received good rains in the beginning of the year after drought conditions and their host plants flourished, providing lots of feed for caterpillars,” she said.”

    https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/sun-community/blue-tiger-butterflies-spotted-flying-around-coast/news-story/9d2aefbdabc1fe18452a520ce6254bea

    Turns out emitting the trace gas CO2 is truly lousy way of causing insects to become extinct.

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  • #
    hillbilly33

    A wonderful tribute to some of our fallen from Australian Poet Laureate, Rupert McCall, OAM.

    https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2020/04/from-australias-poet-laureate-rupert-mccall-this-ode-lest-we-forget.html#comments

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    el gordo

    Are there any technical people here to advise headquarters how to fix the slowness of this blog?

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  • #
    Andrew McRae

    Did anyone else notice yesterday Qld have made a new COVID19 stats page for their state.
    Totals, dailies, cumulative graph in log scale, heat maps of cases and infection sources, definitions, data caveats, case distribution by age and gender, and BOTH the total samples and unique people tested … it’s all so… (sniff) beautiful.
    Well done, Queensland Health.

    That case demographic chart is also quite interesting. I can’t decide if one particular age range is skewed so much because younger guys are too proud to go to the doctor and get tested, or because people who…erm.. have an extra mucous membrane and use it… are more likely to get infected.
    Yeah, I’m just gonna leave that there unanswered and enjoy the mystery.

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    Sweet Old Bob

    Site been slow for anyone else these last few weeks ?

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  • #
    Orson

    Thanks Bill In Oz. How does it relate to CV19 in Oz? I believe the thought is that a more virulent strain affected Italy and New York (and Iran? Parts of Europe?) And Oz got a milder strain out of China via the rest of the USA.

    At least that’s all I can vaguely recall. It’s guess work anyway until more laborious lab work is done, anyway. More preprint science work on vaccines, again via links at marginalrevolution, suggest muted hopes.

    Chief Medical Officer at a big pharma firm, David State links to this preprint and shares a couple of money graphs. The findings concern SarsCovid2 immune responses. These are often weak and may correlate inversely with severity of symptoms. That is the more severe the case the less immune response. A second important finding is that immune response does fade. Again, contrary to the hope offered above by Charles Chiu (above) at UCSF, it appears that immunity will fade over a year. And thus an effective immune provoking vaccine will be difficult and maybe impossible.

    David States notes that these finding are consistent with other Coronaviruses, whether in humans or animals. A successful vaccine for the three earlier human Coronaviruses have never been made; in veterinary medicine where Coronaviruses are more common, despite decades of research, there’s only been weak success.

    Nonetheless, I’ve come across the reports that 70 or 100 or more attempts at such a vaccine are underway. Therefore, I believe the point is that we mere humans must hope we get lucky through our sheer persistence. Otherwise we may have to muddle along with cruder tools a long time. Including the ancient one, the quarantine.

    Oh. David State also reports that the R0 previously thought to be 2.5 actually is 3 to 5. Some people are superspreaders, indeed. To close out my report, this link has challenging and grim science news.
    https://twitter.com/statesdj/status/1252698777296797698

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    • #

      Thanks for your useful comments Orson.

      I have doubts about vaccines too — both for their slow and expensive testing, and the lack of Coronavirus success — which is why I keep reminding people that we now have so many other options and there are equally as many labs around the world working on things like monoclonal antibodies, anti-virals (There are so many possible ones), stem cells, CRISPR, RNAi.

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      • #
        Orson

        How thoughtful of you, Jo. Good to know that you have an advanced perspective on our human challenges out of the crisis, on to next year.

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  • #
    Robber

    An excellent article at WattClarity by Allan O’Neil on the variations in supply/demand/price on Easter Saturday. It explains clearly why windfarms bid at the market price floor of -$1000.
    Coupled with some failures of coal generators in Victoria, it explains what an effort is required to keep the lights on.

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    • #
      Chad

      To me, it confirms what a chaotic mess the Australian electricity market is !
      I would also like to see how they “estimate” how much Roof Top solar is being generated ?

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    Ian Hill

    There are some bizarre aspects about the police tragedy in Melbourne concerning the lack of safety procedure. Given that this was more than merely issuing a speeding ticket there was obviously enough time to set up cones and slow the traffic, bringing in other patrols to do that if necessary. If all traffic had been forced to slow down a kilometre further back it would not have happened. Failing that, at the very least you’d think that one of the four officers killed would have kept an eye on the traffic.

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  • #
    Another Ian

    Might be worth watching here

    “Wikileaks Dump”

    “So here’s a place to post any bits of juicy tid, or otherwise.”

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2020/04/23/wikileaks-dump/

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  • #
    Another Ian

    “Delingpole: Why Must Coronavirus Decision Makers be Clouded in Secrecy?”

    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/04/23/delingpole-why-must-covid-19-decision-makers-be-clouded-in-secrecy/

    AND (bulk post because of speed bumps)

    OK into the aerobics gear for a bit of pump with the Donald and “It comes from CHINA”

    https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2020/04/ok-into-the-aerobics-gear-for-a-bit-of-pump-with-the-donald-and-it-comes-from-china.html

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  • #
    Orson

    On Friday night, I see the fake news addicted media already attacking President Trump for what he did not say. That is, he did not recommend something as stupid as injecting bleach or Lysol into ones body to kill the Covid19 virus, although “experts” are already correcting him as though he did.

    Jesus Christos! These regnant morons cannot stop themselves from forever beclowning themselves over Trump. I saw through this charade in 2016. I am soooooo over the lamest “media” mavens, that from Auckland, I now read headlines and immediately know what idjits – as H L Mencken, the Sage of Baltimore, called them – are up to, ie, perping their delusions on gullible and naive masses.

    Anyway, here’s a link to American Greatness which labors to disentangle the media-rats self-deluded projections of Trump’s non idiocy. In short, Trump simply took a government scientist’s insight to the next logical implication. Duh, you malevolent and invidious morons: SEE HERE https://amgreatness.com/2020/04/24/morning-greatness-media-mouth-foam-over-trump-suggestion-of-disinfectant-injection/

    10