The Conversation: “Coronavirus response proves the world can act on climate change”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to The Conversation, we listen to disease experts but ignore climate experts, even though they are both groups of experts, because we have an instinctive fear of disease.

Coronavirus response proves the world can act on climate change

Eric Galbraith Professor of Earth System Science, McGill University
Ross Otto Assistant Professor of Psychology, McGill University

The alarms for both COVID-19 and climate change were sounded by experts, well in advance of visible crises. It is easy to forget, but at the time of this writing, the total deaths from COVID-19 are less than 9,000 — it is the terrifying computer model predictions of much larger numbers that have alerted governments to the need for swift action, despite the disruption this is causing to everyday life.

Yet computer models of climate change also predict a steady march of increasing deaths, surpassing 250,000 people per year within two decades from now. 

As scientists who have studied climate change and the psychology of decision-making, we find ourselves asking: Why do the government responses to COVID-19 and climate change — which both require making difficult decisions to avert future disasters — differ so dramatically? We suggest four important reasons.

Instinctive fear

First, COVID-19 is deadly in a way that is frightening on an instinctive, personal level. People react strongly to mortal threats, and although the virus appears to have much lower mortality for otherwise healthy people under 60, those statistics do not quell universal personal safety fears.

Read more:

There are a few details the professors left out, like that disease epidemic models have a firm foundation of observational evidence. Climate predictions of imminent catastrophe not so much.

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March 19, 2020 10:04 pm

Oh sure.

We can attack climate change when the worlds economies and civilization itself is reduced to lighting houses with whale oil and deforesting everything for cooking fuel. Sure. That.

⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

Reply to  GoatGuy
March 20, 2020 9:14 am

Cutting fossil fuels cures climate change the same way bloodletting cures disease.

Janice Moore
Reply to  ferdberple
March 20, 2020 9:40 am


The epidemiologists have: data.

Promoters styling themselves “climate scientists” have: nothing.*

*Unskilled, failed, computer model output is, indeed, nothing.

Reply to  Janice Moore
March 21, 2020 6:01 am

What kind of medical data is that?

Some people got ill from unspecified causes and died?

They got nothing.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  GoatGuy
March 20, 2020 11:41 am

Com’on GoatGuy, we really could act on a climate crisis if one were to come along.

Greg Cavanagh
March 19, 2020 10:07 pm

Coronavirus response proves the world did not take climate change seriously.

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
March 20, 2020 1:33 am

The world did not take climate change seriously for at least 300 million years of which the last 3.5 are the coldest and therefore we call it an Ice Age.
So what would be good about 2 miles of Ice over Greta’s homeland?

Reply to  Robertvd
March 20, 2020 3:18 am

Robertvd: “So what would be good about 2 miles of Ice over Greta’s homeland?”

You’d never run out of ice for your gin and tonic. Other than that, I’m not seeing an upside.

Bryan A
Reply to  H.R.
March 20, 2020 5:44 am

You wouldn’t have to listen to prattlings

Bryan A
Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
March 20, 2020 5:50 am

And the increase of NO2 over China from post COVID-19 economic reinvigoration proves that tackling CC as proposed is futile economic suicide for any country that attempts it

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
March 20, 2020 9:00 am

“Coronavirus response proves the world did not take climate change seriously.”

That is the lesson to take from this.

The reason for this behavior is there *is* evidence the Coronavirus is real. There is *no* evidence that Human-caused Climate Change is real.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 20, 2020 4:47 pm

People respond to immediate, certain and direct consequences (COVID 19 Exposure) while future, uncertain and indirect (Global Warming) gets a ho hum. People know a 1.2 in per decade sea level rise and another 0.5 C warming is not even a threat.
An we are pretty certain that the permanent drought in California announced by ex governor moonbeam was BS.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 21, 2020 2:22 am

Not only that, Tom, but their claim that “People react strongly to mortal threats, and although the virus appears to have much lower mortality for otherwise healthy people under 60…” appears to be wrong, too. It seems it’s lethal to those under 60, as well. Since this was said with what sounded like glee, I’m sure this is a disapointment to the Alarmist dude.
They sure seem to hate older people and babies. It makes one wonder if they ever learned about the birds and the bees thing.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  KcTaz
March 21, 2020 6:11 am

“Not only that, Tom, but their claim that “People react strongly to mortal threats, and although the virus appears to have much lower mortality for otherwise healthy people under 60…” appears to be wrong, too. It seems it’s lethal to those under 60, as well.”

I heard a reason for why those over 60 seem to be hit hard, that I had not heard before: The doctor said that older people’s immune systems are not weaker than young people, they are actually stronger, and when the Wuhan virus strikes, it causes a stronger overreaction of the older person’s immune system, and this immune response is what does the lethal damage.

That’s why these drugs that reduce this immune response are working well on the Wuhan virus. One of the reasons, I should say. 🙂

Hokey Schtick
March 19, 2020 10:08 pm

I can help professor. Because one is real and one is bogus.

Reply to  Hokey Schtick
March 19, 2020 10:25 pm

You can add one is in a direct threat to your life, the other is a possible threat based on lots of guesses to someone in the futures life.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  LdB
March 20, 2020 7:37 am

Fighting Global Warming/Climate Change the way radicals demand is a major threat to life in developing countries and the environment everywhere. Fighting the spread of a new contagion may save lives while destroying the energy underpinnings of modern society will decimate both society and the environment.

Reply to  LdB
March 20, 2020 9:08 am


Like 100 generations hence. Maybe……….

Reply to  HotScot
March 20, 2020 12:27 pm

But surely the hugely multiplying unicorn farts alone threaten – well, something. Eventually.
Don’t they?
Please? Don’t they?!
Unicorn farts, and – let me see – maybe over-grilled troll burgers?

Auto – yes, Mods – /Sarc. For sure /Sarc

March 19, 2020 10:10 pm

“Coronavirus response proves the world can act on climate change”

Or maybe the response proves that the world does respond to real crises and not to fake crises. The world turns out to be smarter than previously thought.

Curious George
Reply to  chaamjamal
March 20, 2020 7:53 am

The real problem is that Mother Nature does not take climate change seriously.

Janice Moore
March 19, 2020 10:11 pm

The epidemiologists have: data.

Promoters styling themselves “climate scientists” have: nothing.*

*Unskilled, failed, computer model output is, indeed, nothing.

mike the morlock
Reply to  Janice Moore
March 20, 2020 9:04 pm

Janice Moore March 19, 2020 at 10:11 pm
Hi Janice, I guess the climate crowd is just jealous that when the epidemiologists speak the public stocks up on toilet paper. 🙂


Janice Moore
Reply to  mike the morlock
March 21, 2020 3:41 pm

Hi, Michael,

How nice to see you 🙂

Not just for itself, but because I pray (yes, WUWT atheists, I realize you think prayers are a waste of time) for you and your family from time to time. My current re-reading of “My Dearest Friend,” collected letters of Abigail and John Adams to each other, with so many mentions of Revolutionary War sites, for instance, brought you and your sons to mind. So, I prayed for you all. Hope all is well.

LOL. Re: TP, UNBELIEVABLE. And, last night, when I shopped at Fred Meyer (a Kroger store), the shelves were STILL (same as it was over 2 weeks ago) empty. Who ARE these people? No one I have talked to about it has stockpiled TP. Too weird.

Everything else I needed (don’t need to buy TP, the Honey Bucket I rent comes with it -and to think I have been so chagrined this past year and a half about having no bathroom… it was a blessing (wry smile)!) was there (except hand sanitizer – and I didn’t need that, it is just convenient for me, living as I am without running water – I bought glass cleaner instead (alcohol based, well, heh, water based, really).

Overall, my errands went very well. No one freaked out if we passed closer than 6 feet apart in an aisle, etc.. The only other weird thing was at Safeway (where I can find the NON “organic” (will not support that junk science sc@m) free run (my heart will not let me eat caged chickens eggs) eggs). Only about 7 dozen eggs remained in the case (capacity approximately 1,000 cartons).


Sorry so long. Just nice to talk with someone…

Take care,


March 19, 2020 10:12 pm

Coronavirus events prove that people are likely to react when they see a real threat to their well-being. but not (eg, Global Warming) if they can see that there is no problem and the wool is being pulled over their eyes by Charlatans. The disease epidemic models have a firm foundation of observational science. Climate modes are pseudo-science based on fraudulent data. In both cases however governments are normally seen to over-react to any threat and stuff the response up. Individual people not so much.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
March 20, 2020 12:27 am

There’s always the madness of crowds.

The difference between the people and the government is that the government will amp up a crisis so it will have an excuse to do something the people would never accept otherwise.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. Mencken

Side note: Am I imagining it or is the above quote the most quoted quote found on WUWT?

Reply to  commieBob
March 20, 2020 2:33 am

Well Bob… far as I know…… it’s perhaps the most applicable ‘famous quote’ to the whole ‘Sky is Falling’ climate scam.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  commieBob
March 20, 2020 9:06 am

It’s one of the most quoted.

The quote about the “madness of crowds” is fairly popular, too.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 20, 2020 12:24 pm

The quote about human stupidity and an the universe is probably in the top 5.

March 19, 2020 10:21 pm

I think the bottom line is few of us think Climate Scientists experts they rate at about the same level as the profession we openly call shrinks and the other we call sharks, ambulance chasers and bottom feeders.

Reply to  LdB
March 20, 2020 6:09 am

The doom claiming “experts” are 0 for 50 in the accuracy of their claims.

I apologize, it may be 0 for 100. There are so many “expert” predictions that no one takes them seriously.

I also notice that the so called “experts” and their camp followers continue to fly, a lot. And many often use private jets. Justin Trudeau, self described climate change fighter extraordinaire, even used two jets during the last Canadian federal election.

Pandemics, are infrequent, but real.

With many people staying at home, imagine we are in the gang green world of the “experts”. Lots of blackouts and brown outs when the wind dies and during week long rainy periods.

Hospitals? Sorry the power is off again, the ventilators?

March 19, 2020 10:24 pm

My dad always defined experts as X is an unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure. The thing about the current advice from the doctor experts is that it actually has an empirical base and a well known equation to describe what is happening. Climate change experts change data and tune their models to provide the outcome they want and goodness forbid that real data should be allowed to prove their theories wrong. My dad would call the doctors , doctors and the climate change practitioners are the one to which he would apply his definition of expert.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Quilter52
March 20, 2020 12:28 am

Co-worker had a similar expression. “An Ex is a has-been, a spurt is a drip under pressure”.

Louis Hunt
March 19, 2020 10:31 pm

When it becomes clear that people are dying in increasing numbers from climate change, the world will respond. But climate idiots from Extinction Rebellion taking their own lives doesn’t count.

Janice Moore
March 19, 2020 10:35 pm

The epidemiologists have: data.

Promoters styling themselves “climate scientists” have: nothing.*

*Unskilled, failed, computer model output is, indeed, nothing.

March 19, 2020 10:35 pm

You will *still* find people who do not take precaution against CoVid.

Doesn’t bode well for climate change.

Chris Hanley
March 19, 2020 10:44 pm

As John P.A. Ioannidis (posted here yesterday) wrote governments may be overreacting: “One can only hope that, much like in 1918, life will continue. Conversely, with lockdowns of months, if not years, life largely stops, short-term and long-term consequences are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives may be eventually at stake”.
And that in effect is what the climate catastrophist cranks are proposing, that is a complete reversal of human development with known consequences viz. civil and international strife starvation disease and the deaths of millions.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
March 20, 2020 9:58 am

Maybe the coronavirus response, which will catapult the worldwide economy into a recession or depression, will show people what to expect from extreme climate change solutions, and thereby make those measures completely untenable.

March 19, 2020 10:51 pm

The one thing the COVID-19 Pandemic has proven is the economic depression that comes with reduced traveling between nations down to local economies. While issues like “The Green New Deal” were to include reduced traveling and Commrace this pandemic shows the impact that’s leading towards another Great Depression if governments don’t act to reduce those effects. In the USA the media driven panic that everyone is going to die if they don’t become angoraphobic and germaphobic like Howard Hughes created large groups of hoarders that disrupted the normal Supply and Demand leaving empty shelves in every store starting with Toilet Paper — which is not even a symptom of COVID-19 — and led to stocking up on all kinds of food and cleaning supplies. Now that the warehouses are empty the amounts of products coming in are gone within hours. I took over 20 pictures of empty shelves in our local Frys Supermarket on Wednesday afternoon and I still didn’t take pictures of them all. Every store in Arizona is reporting the same issue. This is a preview of life in the USA under the Green New Deal.

John K.
March 19, 2020 10:52 pm

Dr. Curry has addressed the topic in one of her latest posts:

As expected, her discussion is much better than the content in The Conversation.

Reply to  John K.
March 20, 2020 12:30 pm

Dr. Curry allows negative feedback, where as The Conversation only allows agreement.

March 19, 2020 10:59 pm

The reality is people have reacted to climate change and that’s the problem. They’ve been doing things for 15 + years with zero result. Here they were encouraged to act when China’s And South Korea’s actions shows that this scourge can be defeated. The cost is considered worth it and it has a real and near term solution. With global warming no matter what everyone does the result is so far into the future and so uncertain that no country should cripple its economy if the outcome is so unsure. With Global Warming the huge amounts spent so far and the lack of results just indicates how futile these measures are. Nothing like clear futility to act as a disincentive.

Martin Howard Keith Brumby
March 19, 2020 11:35 pm

I am afraid that anyone whose claim to fame is based on being a “Professor of Earth System Science”, is at a disadvantage in being taken seriously.

And whilst the medical profession has plenty of skeletons in its cupboard, doctors have a high reputation with most people. In general, I think they are perceived as being caring and trying to do no harm. Of course there are exceptions…

But it cannot be disputed that people like “Climate Psyentists” fall into a different category, probably even in the eyes of people who aren’t anything like as cynical (or well informed) as those who read WUWT.

The GangGreen bunch have been caught lying far too many times and their hectoring shroud waving doesn’t chime well with their blatant hypocrisy.

Medical experts would be unlikely to allow some 16 year old with obvious developmental problems to become their main cheerleader.

Even the most basic ‘man in the street’ has a reasonably well developed nose for bullshit.

March 19, 2020 11:44 pm

We don’t have to worry about the GND or other climate-change solutions ruing our economies – they’ll be ruined in about 10 weeks. And the atmospheric CO2 levels will be down.

According to the press, California Governor Newsom has stated that, based on the models, 25 million Californians will be infected with the corona virus in 8 weeks. When pressed about this, his staff wouldn’t provide any details about the models, the initial conditions, or the R0.

At the same time, he has told us we must stay home (except, presumably, for essential travel). When the 25M infected folks don’t materialize in 8 weeks. he can declare that the “stay-home” policy obviously worked.

March 20, 2020 12:20 am

I wrote the following email to the Editor of The Conservation:


I am horrified that you are claiming to be balanced on energy and environmental issues. The Conversation is just more agitprop, under the guise of intellectualism.


March 20, 2020 12:21 am

I wrote the following email to the Editor of The Conversation;


I am horrified that you are claiming to be balanced on energy and environmental issues. The Conversation is just more agitprop, under the guise of intellectualism.


Reply to  Stephen Heins
March 20, 2020 12:38 am


Since you won’t get a response from Beth (whoever she is) for reasons that will become apparent, let me proxy for her.

Dear Steve,

You are, of course, completely correct, but why don’t you Google my salary?



Reply to  Stephen Heins
March 20, 2020 4:20 pm

Steve, you are on dangerous ground,
if/when you start putting scientific facts in …first you will be verbally attacked (in graphic detail), then ‘moderated’ then your account will be closed
The Conversation only allows approved thoughts
Try searching ‘Peter Ridd Great Barrier Reef’ on The Conversation….All disappeared !!!

March 20, 2020 12:27 am

It may prove we can but it doesn’t prove we should!

Reply to  sunderlandsteve
March 20, 2020 8:02 am

Can we? When the final economic fallout from CoronaVirus is calculated, it may be that we wish we had just let nature take its course. In a few weeks we will likely have collapsed the world’s economies. To ‘solve’ CAGW, we would have to do similar for years or decades. We wouldn’t survive.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
March 20, 2020 12:29 pm

” We wouldn’t survive.”
Feature – not a bug.


Reply to  sunderlandsteve
March 20, 2020 8:04 am

Yes, what it proves is that anything like the GND, whose goal is to make something like the Covid-19 isolationism permanent, will destroy nations as the resulting boredom and economic hardship precipitates riots that will destabilize civilization across the globe.

March 20, 2020 12:54 am

It’s baffling how those pathetic clowns can get almost everything upside down.

Bryan A
Reply to  Petit_Barde
March 20, 2020 5:54 am

It’s easy when your mind is Down Under but you live in the Up Over

Matthew Sykes
March 20, 2020 1:15 am

We acted on CFCs and lead in petrol too. Why? Because we know they are a threat. However climate change, we know it is a crock, and are doing nothing but making a few token gestures, like planting a few trees.

And thank god we do as a whole see it for the crock it is.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
March 20, 2020 7:15 am

“We acted on CFCs and lead in petrol too.”

Were CFCs really a problem?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 20, 2020 12:32 pm

They were claimed to be a problem, however like climate change, the only evidence presented was unvalidated models.

Ian Coleman
March 20, 2020 1:28 am

What if (as I suspect) COVID 19 is just another version of the flu? The symptoms are the same and, since no one knows how many people are infected because so many are asymptomatic, no one can say with any certainty what COVIID 19’s mortality rate is. Meanwhile, billions of dollars are being lost in foregone commerce. How long will it take the authorities who have demanded the sacrifices now being made to admit that the sacrifices are no longer necessary?

Here in Edmonton, Canadian Tire has been closed, in response to possible contagion. What? Are there really dense crowds of people in a hardware store? This seems like an absurd overreaction. The precautionary principle seems to be, if someone with medical credentials can imagine a catastrophic scenario, we must act as if that scenario is likely. That’s the same kind of disordered thinking that has caused the Climate Crisis.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 20, 2020 7:19 am

It’s a very different virus, too. The Wuhan virus is certainly nasty for some people. It remains to be seen how this all ends, in the meantime the economic damage is all around us.

CDC explains the similarities and differences quite well. Speaking of absurdities, what is a store named Canadian Tire doing selling tires?

Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 20, 2020 8:07 am

For certain risk groups, it seems. Apart from those it appears to be pretty mild. We just need to better understand what those risk groups are. The latest I’ve found that increases risk 1.36 times is the flu vaccine.

Receiving influenza vaccination may increase the risk of other respiratory viruses, a phenomenon known as virus interference… Vaccine derived virus interference was significantly associated with coronavirus and human metapneumovirus

Reply to  icisil
March 20, 2020 8:22 am

36% greater chance may not be right. Reading through the comments in the second URL suggests it’s only a 7% increase.

Reply to  Ian Coleman
March 20, 2020 9:22 am

“no one can say with any certainty what COVIID 19’s mortality rate is.”

Add to that, mortality can be defined differently per country. Germany’s method is more honest because in many cases the virus is merely the last straw.

Germany doesn’t count comorbidities as coronavirus deaths. So if you already had a health condition before catching coronavirus and dying, they’d list cause of death as that health condition, while any other country would count it as a coronavirus death.

Reply to  icisil
March 20, 2020 9:39 am

This person has updated his feed to clarify that Germany does not do postmortem tests, so existing cause of death is pre-existing morbidity. So that tells me if a postmortem test is positive in other countries, the cause of death is listed as the virus, no matter what other morbidities existed. That strikes me as dishonest and problematic.

Reply to  icisil
March 20, 2020 12:34 pm

Again, people are dying WITH the virus; some of those die because the virus kills them, but not all.
As icisil rightly says – that is problematic.
It may also be dishonest – ‘Look, it’s worse than you thought!’.
And the corollary is that we m u s t destroy our economy more thoroughly.


March 20, 2020 1:42 am

I trust a plumber, because he knows the system, understands it fully, and has a very high percentage of successful diagnoses. I don’t trust the stock analyst even though he earns far more, because none of that is true for him.

I trust the NASA rocket scientist sending a probe to the Moon because she understands the physics, she knows the starting points and the probes usually get there. I don’t trust the NASA climate scientist because she doesn’t and her forecasts are mostly wrong.

Do these people actually not understand this?

Reply to  Phoenix44
March 20, 2020 9:04 am

I think that most people do understand this, but the chattering classes are most impressed by credentials and awards, just like they are impressed by Emmy and Academy Awards. Get a bunch of p.eople together with a lot of letters after their names, and the people who push the narratives will support their stories over anyone else who claims otherwise. It is true in entirely too many situations, because most people don’t have any direct experience to judge what they are being told.

I tell people who ask me about this to think about something they have seen or read about in the popular culture, where they KNOW the subject – either from working on it or extensive education. Does the popular culture report accurately about the stuff that you KNOW. And then, if you say no, then you should think about all the other stuff that they use to build a narrative, and decide how much you can depend on THOSE narratives. In my case, the field is nuclear power, and the popular culture reports almost nothing that is accurate. They take snippets of facts (some entirely valid) and build whatever narrative they want to push, whether it is anti-nuclear or in favor of some new nuclear fad.

I used to evaluate thermal=hydraulic models of fluid systems associated with nuclear power plants, and can tell you that it is very hard to predict the temperature and pressure inside a well documented piping system or building after an “exciting event”, where all the phenomena and geometry and heat sources/sinks have been accurately measured. Getting an answer within 10 degrees F of measured values in actual test facilites is considered good agreement. Anyone who tells me that they can predict (project) the average temperature of an entire planet for the next 100 years, with an accuracy of less than 1 degree C, is crazy. They don’t even KNOW all the important phenomena, much less understand them well enough to model them.

Doctors are a bit better, but medicine is still an art, NOT a science. Like engineers, they use scientific methods and information to try to do their jobs, but biological systems are very complicated.

The “social scientists”, though, are probably the worst, and they are going to use this crisis to try to build their perfect world society. I will be very surprised if there is not some conference at the end of this crisis to consider a treaty to have a world government take control, “To make sure that this never happens again.” “For th children”, of course.

B d Clark
March 20, 2020 1:54 am

Perhaps professor galbreath should consider manipulation of climate data, the action of scientists working within and with east Anglia university , organisations like the BBC stating “the science is settled ” scaremongering every time theres a Bush fire in Australia “its global warming” when the truth be told it’s a seasonal event. If the professor was to consider the above which I’m sure he has ,that can only lead me to one conclusion ,the professor is part of a conspiracy that is lieing,misleading,manipulating world populations , people professor galbreath have a instinct to know when there being lied too.

Ed Zuiderwijk
March 20, 2020 2:04 am

Obviously these people are masochists. Only happy when it hurts.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
March 20, 2020 12:34 pm

More like sadists. They are only happy when someone else is hurting.

Reply to  MarkW
March 20, 2020 12:37 pm

Plus lots!


David Stone
March 20, 2020 2:38 am

The part the climate “scientists” don’t understand is that they need to provide an economic reason why we should worry about any tiny “climate change”. They can’t, so no one is interested!

March 20, 2020 2:50 am

“we listen to disease experts but ignore climate experts, even though they are both groups of experts, because we have an instinctive fear of disease.”
…or could it be that we ignore Climastrologists because most of us know bovine excreta when we smell it?

I’m reminded once again of Sir Sydney Camm’s response to claims that all the experts said his Harrier ‘jump jet’ would never work; an ‘ex’ is a has-been and a ‘spurt’ is a drip under pressure.

Eamon Butler
March 20, 2020 3:20 am

Make no mistake, when the virus issue is over, the Climate Alarmists will try to draw similarities to their cause. The COVID19 virus has effectively thrashed the Climate emergency into oblivion, and the reality of that is killing the alarmists. 🙂 It has stolen their thunder, but they will attempt to emerge better (worse) than ever, and use the virus emergency to their advantage.
The Climate scare is abstract. It’s credibility is finished by the hard facts of the virus emergency. I must admit, the images of the Military trucks in a long line. driving through the streets (of Bologna, I think) in Italy, were quite shocking. At first, I thought It was a display of heavy handed tactics, and that angered me. But, it was actually a convoy of trucks carrying the dead bodies.
When the basic principles of, Observe, measure and quantify, have to be contrived and manipulated to create the illusion of an emergency, then it will fail when confronted by reality.

Reply to  Eamon Butler
March 20, 2020 6:20 am

“when it’s over”? They are not waiting for that, witness Dr Mann’s rebranding of AGW (again ) as not ‘climate change’ but ‘climate pandemic’.

March 20, 2020 3:31 am

Anthony and all:

Just reported. Boston hospital now using malaria drug for treatment of Covid.

Reply to  john
March 20, 2020 7:39 am

For those of you who choose to take this, you might want ask your doctor if eye supplements like lutein might be beneficial to offset possible side effects

Side Effects:

The most important toxicities are on the eyes: corneal deposits, extraocular muscular weakness, loss of accommodation (and sensitivity to light), and a retinopathy that may progress to irreversible visual loss. Ocular toxicity is exceedingly rare, occurring in only 1 out of 40,000 patients treated at the doses recommended. Patients with underlying retinopathies or risks may not be good candidates for antimalarial drugs. Baseline ophthalmologic examination and a follow-up examination every 12 months are recommended during the period of treatment.

Reply to  john
March 20, 2020 8:37 am


Seems chloroquine is working, as they are giving it to anybody with any symptoms. Chloroquine was first made in the 1930’s some people have been taking it for years and years, so everything about it is know.. taking 500 mg a day for 6/10 days isn’t bad as stated by the french professor who didn’t a clinal trial on chloroquine..

— Boston Medical Center is already using the drug to treat patients with coronavirus.

A BMC infectious diseases specialist told the Boston Herald the hospital is administering the drug to anyone who is either confirmed or suspected of having the virus.

They said it appears to stem inflammation and may decrease the virus’ ability to reproduce.

Reply to  john
March 20, 2020 12:36 pm

Does anyone know how difficult it would be to ramp up production of this drug?

March 20, 2020 3:42 am

With the obligations to stay home for Covid-19, there have been improvements in pollution. Air and water seem cleaner. Will we be able to change our habits after this global emergency situation? This situation has shown how pollution levels can drop thanks to greener solutions.

March 20, 2020 3:46 am

The world will respond to real problems.

Persuading 7 billion to act on Climate mitigation during the very best and mildest Climate in history and no cohesive proof to the contrary will be a challenge.

This won’t be made easier when the only group screaming loudly about the Climate are the same people we see lying to us daily about almost everything else.

Reply to  DocSiders
March 20, 2020 5:59 am

The problem is that a surprisingly (in my view) high number of otherwise intelligent people are adherents of the climate change meme, and as such don’t need persuading.

Coach Springer
March 20, 2020 4:38 am

Well, I do see a public more willing to do absolutely anything self-denying to address a potential threat if it means potentially saving the life of a single person living 36 miles away. And I see that unquestioningly embraced by school children. Opposed? How dare you!

John the Econ
March 20, 2020 5:27 am

So an ecological disaster that only exists within speculative computer models is just as real as a viral epidemic that is killing people today right in front of us?

Got it.

March 20, 2020 5:53 am

CAGW GAVE US THIS. It proved we are most likley completely willing to just roll over and die. No fighting back, no resistance, just off to the fields of gold in the beautiful nirvana coming. So when the government locked down the entire economies worldwide, we rolled over and obediently played dead. I am waiting for the riots from places being locked down, unless we send out armed soldiers from the National Guard to keep the peace. If there is not resistance, the dictators have WON and we are toast. Learn to love the hell that is dictatorship and no freedom, though I must say, that seems to be what most want.

March 20, 2020 5:56 am

There is cause for both mistakes; poor experimental data replaced with mathematical modelling. There is has been a trend for more academics since WW2. Consequently fewer large scale experiments collecting data over large areas of time and space combined with poor maths and computer skills in environmental science and medicine . Darwin spent decades collecting his data and from a vast numbers of sources. Darwin had a private income , as did Newton and did not need to publish. Newton and darwon only published a few books, yet changed the World. Quality not quantity.
The result is academics with poor stats and maths skills analysing too little confusing data in order to obtain a grant. The natural world is chaotic and unless one is a Freeman Dyson or Prof R Lindzen one is unlikely to have the skills to perceive thecomplexity, let alone quantify it. If there is inadequate field work, do not model. Barely 20 people gave us the Italian Renaissance or Industrial Revolution. What develops civilisation are a few brilliant types with lesser skilled doing much of the devlopment work.

The solution is to have a few top research universities in each country and ensure entry requires high levels of maths, physics and chemistry test. Forget SATS look at the Cambridge Entrance exams for STEM subjects mid pre -1980s. Most people would be taught at Polytechnics. Academics justifying their jobs are a threat to common sense.

Questions should be:
Does the investigation adequately assess the complexity over time and distance such that a clear answer can be given? If not, more sampling and only then statistical analysis by people with good maths skills.

Reply to  Charlie
March 20, 2020 8:54 am

There is cause for both mistakes; poor experimental data replaced with mathematical modelling.

These words will be soon forgotten amidst the economic destruction. 2 renowned doctors are destroying millions of jobs and a good bit of the US economy. And they will not care. They will be glorified for “defeating” the virus. Chavez, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Hitler, et. al. are still revered by many despite the destruction they caused. Those 2 magnificent doctors will join that list. God help us all.

Beta Blocker
March 20, 2020 6:05 am

Repeating several points I’ve been making on WUWT and on Climate Etc for the last three years:

— The EPA has legal authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate all of America’s carbon emissions, not just emissions from coal.

— The EPA, working in cooperation with the state governments under the authority of the Clean Air Act, could impose a system of carbon pollution fines which is the functional equivalent of a legislated tax on carbon.

— The Executive Branch of the US Government has legal authority under existing national security legislation to declare a carbon pollution emergency and to then impose a system of carbon fuel rationing throughout the American economy.

— All of these Executive Branch actions could be taken by a climate activist president without another word of new legislation being enacted by the US Congress.

As long as the carbon emission regulations, the carbon pollution fines, and the system of carbon fuel rationing were being applied with equal force to all sources of America’s carbon emissions, it is probable that all of these Executive Branch actions would survive any lawsuits filed against them in the courts.

How these actions might fare in the court of public opinion would be a very different matter, of course.

In addition to sparking the appearance of our own Yellow Vest protesters, the imposition of these kind of draconian anti-carbon regulations here in America would cause the public debate over the validity of today’s mainstream climate science to go critical mass, something we have not seen happen here before.

Coeur de Lion
March 20, 2020 6:19 am

It’s quite simple. The climate scaremongers are being paid to increase the scare. The health worrymen are being paid to reduce it.

Keith Rowe
March 20, 2020 6:48 am

And as the weeks turn into months and the months to years. The experts of epidemics will start to be questioned. As this will go on too long, in two weeks either few people are infected or many are infected. With most countries in the world reporting and also every state, the question will be – lockdown for how long….and it only takes one to start another cluster and continue the lockdown. I think the stopping everything because of a health threat is valid in people’s eyes because it is expected to be short term and governments tell them to do it by act of law. Short term this is viable and people see value. Climate change mitigation they talk about isn’t short term nor see benefit to peoples lives that a warm house, showers, personal transport and food from faraway places do. And they haven’t been wrong for 70 years….we give them the benefit of the doubt.

Reply to  Keith Rowe
March 20, 2020 8:15 am

Two weeks may be just enough that people get weary of the over reporting in the news and tune out. Then the governments can declare victory over Corona. After that, the virus will just do what it always was going to do, being somewhat worse than a typical flu. And since summer is on its way and flu season over, it may not look too bad. By next flu season it will be out of the public consciousness and it will appear to everyone as just a somewhat worse flu season if there is any reporting at all.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 20, 2020 6:56 am

Maybe when we get through the current virus crisis people will reflect on what a pain shutting down modern life is and decide not to repeat it for what most people think is a crock of donkey climate crap anyway.

One upside already is that no seems to be complaining about a bit of chlorinated chicken. And they seem to be quite happy spraying kitchen and bathroom disinfectants over everything – wonder if the eco-loons are agonising over this course of action … feel their pain (ha ha)

March 20, 2020 7:34 am
Joel Snider
March 20, 2020 8:02 am

You really got to shake your head at the unerring opportunism and exploitation.

Al Miller
March 20, 2020 8:03 am

Real Crisis vs. Fake crisis designed to destroy the ONLY successful model of an economy the world has ever known. Never mind the hundreds of millions killed under autocrats. People may fall for it a bit, but when the real crunch comes the emperor is naked and people can clearly see that. Goodbye fake CO2 crisis- you’ve had your 15 minutes.

Gordon Dressler
March 20, 2020 8:29 am

Hmmm . . . McGill University . . . never heard of it before reading this article. It is a repository of elevated scientific thinking, or just another for-profit diploma mill?

One might conclude the latter from the the above extract of statements by Professors Galbraith and Otto. Both need to go back to school to learn that computer models follow the acronym GIGO ( Garbage In, Garbage Out).

The title of their article, “Coronavirus response proves the world can act on climate change” shows how out-of-touch they are with reality. Taken literally, it implies the solution to climate change is to shut down most businesses, practice “social distancing”, self-quarantine, and eliminate all group gatherings exceeding 10 people. Really???

There are much more than “a few details the professors left out.”

March 20, 2020 9:00 am

Two weeks may be just enough that people get weary of the over reporting in the news and tune out. Then the governments can declare victory over Corona. After that, the virus will just do what it always was going to do, being somewhat worse than a typical flu. And since summer is on its way and flu season over, it may not look too bad. By next flu season it will be out of the public consciousness and it will appear to everyone as just a somewhat worse flu season if there is any reporting at all.

March 20, 2020 9:12 am

because we have an instinctive fear of disease.
More likely because we have an instinctive ability to detect BS.

Until recently we had no idea what disease was, except that bloodletting was the cure.

In point of fact, cutting fossil fuel use is to climate change as bloodletting is to disease. They both do more harm than good and don’t solve the underlying problem.

Dale S
March 20, 2020 9:33 am

Coranavirus has killed actual people. Climate change hasn’t.

The economic damage from Coranavirus mitigation has already done far more damage than the projected economic impact of +2.5C, and it’s done it to the *current* economy not a projected far-richer future economy. However, coronavirus mitigation will end up doing far *less* economic damage than a permanent Green New Deal would.

March 20, 2020 10:33 am

Actually what it proves is what WOULD happen if we DID follow the direction of the lunatic climate change freaks. “Climate change” as an “existential threat” is an absolute fraud. This isn’t. Therein is the difference. The “climate change” industry is dead….all efforts now are to defeat this virus and then get the REAL economy working again. A truck driver today is worth all the “climate change scientists” put together.

March 20, 2020 10:40 am

… we listen to disease experts but ignore climate experts.

Actually, many, many people do NOT listen to disease experts. Consequently, if climate catastrophists are making this argument, then they are simply using a false argument. Want proof? Read on.

Do we listen to disease experts who tell us the following:…/data…/fact_sheets/fast_facts/index.htm
Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.
An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco, and the second is poor diet and physical inactivity.…/documen…/downloadable/ucm_491265.pdf
About 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 40 seconds.

ANSWER: Apparently not.

Why isn’t the news media raging about all those deaths per day? Oh, they are well established, socially acceptable, and already monitized to make some people lots of income.

The current corona virus, on the other hand, is still in the phase of media weaponization to cause fear that leads to eventual business monitization to make profit. After that, it will likely be yesteryear’s news.

If it’s an old established way of killing ourselves that we know that we can prevent, but don’t, then we’re okay with that. But if it’s a new way of killing ourselves that we don’t know that much about, then we’ll “listen to the experts.”

Where’s the … “social distancing” … that prevents people from driving while drunk? … that prevents people from gorging themselves to 400 pounds and dying of a heart attaack? … that prevents people from smoking two packs a day of Camel unfiltered for decades on end?

Let’s close down businesses that we KNOW, for sure, will cause extreme hardships, while not knowing (but fearing) what happens if we don’t. Even better, let’s continue to allow business to flourish that encourage/enable people to smoke, drink and eat themselves to death — that’s all good business.

Close down business, out of fear of the unknown, yet encourage business that is known to kill. It makes so much sense now.

Steve Richards
March 20, 2020 11:07 am

Censorship at “TheConversation” is alive and well. I received this today….

“Hello S⁠t⁠e⁠v⁠e,

Your comment on ‘Coronavirus response proves the world can act on climate change’ has been removed.

There are several reasons why this may have occurred:

Your comment may have breached our community standards. For example it may have been a personal attack, or you might not have used your real name.
Your comment may have been entirely blameless but part of a thread that was removed because another comment had to be removed.
It might have been removed for another editorial reason, for example to avoid repetition or keep the conversation on topic.

For practical reasons we reserve the right to remove any comment and all decisions must be final, but please don’t take it personally.

If you’re playing by the rules it’s unlikely to happen again, so feel free to continue to post new comments and engage in polite and respectful discussion.

For your reference, the removed comment was:

The first error in this article is: “The alarms for both COVID-19 and climate change were sounded by expert”.

Equating ‘experts’ from different fields to each other.

There is a world of difference between medical doctors, virologists, those who study epidemiological matters and, ‘climate researchers’.

The difference is so great it makes one wonder why the article was written!

For more information you can read our standards.

Kind regards,

The Conversation”

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Steve Richards
March 20, 2020 12:15 pm

“Hello Steve . . . don’t take it personally . . .”


Tom Abbott
March 20, 2020 11:13 am

From the article: “Currently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that in another three to four decades that most of the USA will have further warmed by 1.5-2 °C. This compounds issues that already exist today, where global food security is under pressure from the increased frequency of extreme weather events.”

I think they have this wrong. The IPCC says the 1.5-2C warming will occur around the year 2100, if we don’t reduce CO2 production starting now.

And then this article says: “that in another three to four decades that most of the USA will have further warmed by 1.5-2 °C.”

I don’t think the IPCC said that either.

First of all the 1.5-2C rise in temperatures is supposed to be measured from the starting period of 1850. The IPCC is saying that by the year 2100, without CO2 mitigation, the temperatures will rise from 1.5-2C above the global average measured from 1850 to the present.

The year 2016, the so-called “hottest year ever” was estimated to be 1.1C above the 1850 to present average, during its warmest month. That makes 2016, 0.4C short of hitting the 1.5C IPCC panic limit.

Currently temperatures have dropped a little from 2016 and we are now 0.5 C below this 1.5C IPCC limit. Yet our weather is just fine.

Hansen said 1934 was 0.5C warmer than 1998, which would make it 0.4C warmer than 2016, and 1934’s temperature was right on the 1.5C mark quoted by the IPCC

The 1930’s was a terrible decade weather-wise worldwide. We shouldn’t want to revisit that era. But there’s no evidence that CO2 is taking us there.

Ian Coleman
March 20, 2020 11:38 am

My sense from watching TV and talking to my friends is that most people are kinda sorta enjoying the coronavirus crisis. Right now, unless you have children you can’t send to school or daycare, or you’re running short of money, it’s like a vacation. You get to stay at home, goof off and watch TV all day. When I heard that Justin Trudeau, who is asymptomatic and has not been tested for virus, was self-isolating himself, I thought, guy’s kicking back for a couple of weeks.

The bug doesn’t scare me any. I used to smoke and drink a lot. I want to see the virus that can hurt me more than I used to hurt myself every day. Bring it on, Baal, God of Pestilence.

Paul Penrose
March 20, 2020 11:46 am

People are willing to make *temporary* sacrifices to, hopefully, avoid getting an infectious disease. But this is based on two things that are not true of CAGW: the sacrifices are temporary, and the effects of an infection have immediate impacts on the individual.

March 20, 2020 12:17 pm

They have similarities: Misinformation pays off. An adult male on FB predicted our town will have 1000 deaths (which is 20% of our population.) I said it’s less than two tenths of a percent of the total population, using statistics of Wuhan and the cruise ship. He stuck to his guns, insisting it could happen. Someone else chided me that I was not taking it seriously enough, and we should keep every one of our town’s small ma and pa shops shuttered indefinitely and bankrupt if it would prevent even a single death. Never mind that the crisis to all their businesses has been a huge windfall for Walmart.

March 20, 2020 12:19 pm

I wondered where the stupid had gone the above gave a good laugh..

Thanks guys my confidence in the inherent stupidy of mankind remains unaltered and unassailable!

March 20, 2020 12:21 pm

We can address climate change.
We don’t want to address climate change because we don’t NEED to address climate change.

BTW, I love the way these guys “think”.
We trust models that predict disease progression. Therefore we should trust models that predict future climate.
As if one had anything to do with the other.

Walt D.
March 20, 2020 1:54 pm

125,000 deaths per year is a fraction of the number of people who died from malaria when they banned DDT.
Up to 2 million children per year

Reply to  Walt D.
March 20, 2020 6:14 pm

(Over)Use of DDT was linked to “polio”. I don’t the strength of that. There is certainly an explosion of “polio” post WWII and the history of “polio” in the US is never discussed seriously.

March 20, 2020 2:05 pm

“According to The Conversation, we listen to disease experts”

1) There is no “we”. Different people listen to different sources. Strong pro-Trump people don’t usually have the same sources as pro-Hillary.
2) Most people listen to medical crocks and buffoons. (They are often promoted as “experts”.)

“because we have an instinctive fear of disease.”

More like a pure terror of death. But again, there is no “we”.

March 21, 2020 12:53 am

As if the two “experts” are equivalent. The chief difference being the disease expert actually comes from science VS the climate magic 8 ball prognosticators. Do we have 10 years left before climate doom? My sources say no.

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