Guardian: Covid-19 Teaches Us Delaying Climate Action is “Deadly”

Johns Hopkins Covid-19 Cases 2020-03-24
Johns Hopkins Covid-19 Active Cases 3/24/20

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

In the minds of climate alarmists, the climate crisis is every bit as immediate and deadly as the Chinese Coronavirus epidemic.

Delay is deadly: what Covid-19 tells us about tackling the climate crisis

Jonathan Watts

Rightwing governments have denied the problem and been slow to act. With coronavirus and the climate, this costs lives.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought urgency to the defining political question of our age: how to distribute risk. As with the climate crisis, neoliberal capitalism is proving particularly ill-suited to this.

Like global warming, but in close-up and fast-forward, the Covid-19 outbreak shows how lives are lost or saved depending on a government’s propensity to acknowledge risk, act rapidly to contain it, and share the consequences.

On these matters, competence and ideology overlap. Governments willing to intervene have been more effective at stemming the virus than laissez-faire capitalists. The further right the government, the more inclined it is to delay action and offload blame elsewhere. International comparisons suggest this could be making infection and death rates steeper.

Take the US, where Donald Trump is only now acknowledging the seriousness of the pandemic after weeks of claiming fears were exaggerated. Until recently, his government put more money into shielding the oil industry than providing adequate testing kits. He reportedly ordered officials to downplay early warnings because he did not want bad news in an election year. The US now has one of the fastest rising numbers of new cases in the world.

In the UK, Boris Johnson acknowledged the risk, but did little about it. Though not as extreme in his denial as Trump or Bolsonaro, Johnson’s government first dithered, then dabbled with a policy of “herd-immunity”that was reportedly driven by Dominic Cummings’ desire to protect the economy, even if it cost pensioners’ lives. The UK has since shifted tack and enforced a lockdown, but its controls are still haphazard. Last week, daily deaths in the UK were reckoned to be on a steeper upward curve than Italy was at the same stage.

In Asia, China initially attempted to hide the problem from the public when the virus emerged in Wuhan, then mobilised huge public resources to enforce a strict lockdown and provide extra hospital beds. South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand also appear to have turned the corner thanks to different combinations of extensive testing, quarantine measures and public health education.

Read more:

Chinese Communists lying about an outbreak is not a new thing. I’m angry at China for lying, yet again, and I’m upset that many of our politicians complacently accepted China’s assurances. People in all of our governments must have been aware of China’s track record of lying about SARS.

Given China’s track record of lies and bad decisions, to uphold China as model of how to respond to a crisis is as out of touch with reality as claiming climate change is a problem. The Covid-19 crisis only occurred because Chinese authorities silenced doctors who tried to warn people. Early action could have stopped the virus in Wuhan.

China claims they have now contained the outbreak, but after all the lies, how can we trust anything the Chinese government says?

There is nothing praiseworthy about shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, then trying to hide the truth.

There is a country which really does deserve praise for their response to a recent outbreak, a country which a few years ago demonstrated skill, courage and determination when dealing with a deadly disease. That country is Nigeria.

In 2014, a deadly Ebola outbreak which could have torn through the Nigerian capital Lagos, a city of 21 million people, was contained to 19 people, 7 of whom sadly died. Nigeria didn’t try to cover up what was happening, or pretend it was business as usual. Nigerian authorities were honest, open and decisive. Their efforts stopped the deadly 2014 Lagos outbreak in its tracks.

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March 24, 2020 10:06 pm

Common sense interview with Prof. Richard Epstein (legal prof) on all this (climate and Covid-19):

“Don’t Expect Millions To Die From Coronavirus, Says Richard Epstein”
Mar 18, 2020

Reply to  _Jim
March 25, 2020 1:55 am

A few thoughts on that video:

1. As Prof. Epstein said, the main Reason (cough!) that millions won’t die from the Wuhan coronavirus is that we’re responding to it. We’re learning fast, and taking action to reduce its spread. That is not an argument for scaling back the response!

2. Epstein also asserted that as the virus spreads it will become “attenuated.”

That was a surprise to me. I hope he’s right, but this is the first time I’ve heard that claim. Is it true?

I’ve also heard roughly the opposite claim: that this virus mutates so easily that if a large population is infected the virus will continually spawn new variants, enabling reinfection of already-recovered patients, thwarting potential vaccines, and perhaps causing recurrent surges of the pandemic.

3. One critical factor which I didn’t hear him mention is testing. The more moderate measures he advocates, of protecting especially vulnerable populations, and isolating the sick, simply do not work if you cannot tell who’s sick & infectious.

It is estimated that 1/3 to 1/2 of the people who become infected with coronavirus never develop symptoms at all, yet they’re still infectious (albeit less infectious than people who’re coughing). So only when we have the ability to test people and determine whether they’re infected, can tell who the healthy people are, so that they can go back to school & work & church, confident that they won’t spread the disease.

That’s why I think economic stimulus measures are wrong-headed. To save businesses that are on the ropes, we must have the ability to test everyone, and find the carriers, quickly, so that healthy people can once again safely patronize those businesses. Resources need to be poured into building up that capability, not diverted to stopgap measures to prop up businesses that are in trouble.

4. Speaking of testing, how soon after infection can the disease be detected with reasonable reliability, with the current crop of tests?

Obviously, no test will ever be perfect. No test will be able to detect that a person was infected ten minutes ago. But how about one day? Two days? Five days?

Can the tests identify infections before the patients become infectious to others?

I understand that someone has developed a test which can give results in the field in just 45 minutes! That sounds wonderful, but if it only works after the infected person has already been spreading the disease for several days, it’s much less valuable than if detects infections before they spread.

5. I heard Epstein compare the pandemic response to exaggerated worries about climate change. That illustrates one of the hidden costs of climate alarmism.

Unfortunately, many people who’re rightly skeptical of the fake “climate emergency” are also wrongly skeptical of this crisis (or at least they were, initially). So-called “experts” have been “crying wolf” so long and loud about the “climate emergency,” “catastrophe,” or even “Apocalypse,” that many astute people, who’ve discovered that manmade climate change is actually modest and benign, have become dangerously complacent when they hear cries of “wolf!”

When there’s a REAL catastrophe, and a different set of experts sound the alarm, many people wrongly assume that it’s probably just another false alarm.

That’s a mistake which can have deadly consequences. In South Korea, one person, who they’re calling “Patient 31,” didn’t “believe in” the coronavirus emergency, and went on living her life as if she were not ill. Her irresponsibility has directly or indirectly caused the infection of about 2500 other people, so far.

Folks, this pandemic is not a false alarm. It is not another batch of superstitious paranoiacs, and scammers ginning up a fake “emergency” to pad their pockets. This one is real.

Be safe out there.

Reply to  Dave Burton
March 25, 2020 9:41 am

re: “3. One critical factor which I didn’t hear him mention is testing.”

I think that is a ‘detail’ and one can assume testing is done. The man works with ‘metrics’ (measured parameters, data) so this can be assumed.

Thanks for the summary BTW.

re: “Patient 31”

Typhoid Mary redux; there will always be those who will not/cannot (functionally incapable) of adhering to best/mandatory practices.

The BIG takeaway (IIRC) in his long-winded wandering is that our responses are dynamic (we adapt, quarantine, and find life-saving treatments if not out-right cures), and initial straight-line (geometric or power) projection ‘curves’ prove to be erroneous after some short (relative) period.

Reply to  Dave Burton
March 25, 2020 1:27 pm

I have a similar complaint, only regarding models.
Because climate models have been misused by climate scientists, therefore all models are invalid.

I read a report this morning that claimed the COVID-19 genome was more stable than average.
I looked for the report again, but couldn’t find it.

Ian L. McQueen
Reply to  Dave Burton
March 31, 2020 6:57 pm

An Italian doctor, in charge of a town of about 3000, decreed testing for every person. Anyone with a “positive” reading was weeded out. Some were asymptomatic, and they were weeded out, too. (I think they all went to a hospital.) The result was that no one who tested negative developed the coronavirus. (It’s logical; if no one is left to infect the others, the rest are safe.)
The major point is that someone who has shown no symptoms can still infect others.

Reply to  _Jim
March 25, 2020 3:28 am

The CDC admits in their Instructions for Use for their test that a positive test indicates presence of the virus, but the agent may not be the definite cause of disease, yet it’s counted as a disease case. See how they inflate case numbers?

“Positive [test] results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities.” (link begins download of pdf)

Reply to  icisil
March 25, 2020 5:58 am

already known people with cold or flu then got corona as a “bonus”prize
but wether the flu or corona gives you the pneumonia is a moot point
having both or one is bad enough

Reply to  _Jim
March 25, 2020 9:25 am

Americans are seeing the results of ‘action’ that they wouldn’t have, otherwise. That may be the best thing to come out of all of this, even though it’s because of the worst thing.

Reply to  _Jim
March 25, 2020 2:46 pm

With the economic crisis that will ensue in countries that force people to stop working, will ‘force majeure’ be used to cancel industrial scale wind contracts? This was certainly an unforeseen circumstance of massive proportions.

James R Clarke
March 24, 2020 10:15 pm

As a leftist, Jonathan Watts has learned that he can say anything he wants and there is a segment of the population (namely other leftist) that simple take what he says as true, and spread it as gospel.

Reality is quite different than what he is writing and his very few specifics are just wrong. Or as sleepy Joe would say, he is a lying, dog-faced, pony soldier.

J Mac
March 24, 2020 10:27 pm

The Guardian publishes a lot of left wing socialist crap. The referenced article is just more of the same…..

Mr Reynard
Reply to  J Mac
March 24, 2020 10:56 pm

Well, don’t put down the Guardian J Macf.. It’s very useful today with the shortage & lack of Toilet Paper ??

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Mr Reynard
March 25, 2020 12:06 am

I would not want to wipe my behind on that crap, it would just smear whats there all over the place.

Bryan A
Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 25, 2020 12:20 pm

Are you saying wiping with The Guardian would add to the Resi-Doo

Walt D.
Reply to  Mr Reynard
March 25, 2020 12:10 am


Reply to  J Mac
March 25, 2020 11:37 am

Agreed, JMac. “Take the US, where Donald Trump is only now acknowledging the seriousness of the pandemic”

Gee, when Trump offered to send medical staff to China early on (and they refused) he was somehow not acknowledging the seriousness of the problem. And what about when he banned travel from China in January (for which he was called racist and xenophobic by the left)?

The Guardian is all radical BS, all the time.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Art
March 25, 2020 4:14 pm

Trump was derided by US Democrats when he imposed a travel restriction in February from China. They were ones not taking it serious, and the historical evidence is on Trump’s side that he took it serious long before US Democrats did.
The Guardian writer here simply showing his bias by spewing easily debunked nonsense claims to try and make Trump look bad.

J Mac
Reply to  Art
March 25, 2020 9:11 pm

Art and Joel,
I take great pleasure in shoving the facts down the throats of hypocrites that attack President Trump from both sides: ala “He’s a racist, over reacting dictator!” and “He’s not aware of how serious the situation really is!” Reasoned arguments supported by facts are the sword and shield of a happy warrior.

Reply to  J Mac
March 25, 2020 1:08 pm

“The Guardian publishes a lot of left wing socialist crap. The referenced article is just more of the same…..”

We must listen to the desperate left, who understand all the risks that the rest of us cannot see.

For example:




Do I need to say sarc/off?

J Mac
March 25, 2020 9:22 pm

Delusional fear mongering is sooo laughable to the rational mind! Be a happy warrior, Allen!

March 25, 2020 11:03 pm


Robert of Texas
March 24, 2020 10:34 pm

What the BLEEP does a virus disease have to do with climate alarmism?

These people are so dense and heck-bound on their beliefs that they are a danger to everyone. They remind me of the pompous elites that burned witches for witchcraft – “oh well, witchcraft isn’t real after all, our bad…”.

Why don’t they just give up using all modern products, all fossil fuel energy, and go live in some marsh.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
March 25, 2020 12:46 am

Robert of Texas

The Swamp is already full I believe. That’s why you guys voted DJT in, to drain it. 🙂

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  HotScot
March 25, 2020 2:32 am

I voted for Hillary but that’s no reason to NOT be a climate skeptic. Who we voted for is no more linked to coronavirus than it’s linked to the climate issue. The Swamp has been full for the past few generations, IMHO.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 25, 2020 5:36 am

Hillary would have added to the swamp .
Why would a thinking person vote for hillary .

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  george1st:)
March 25, 2020 6:53 am

At the time, it seemed to make sense to me to vote for Hillary. I live in Mass. which is ultra, fanatically politically correct- so perhaps I was influenced by my environment. Here, Trump is considered- uh- not well. But I like the guy now- bearing in mind he’s a bit different. I think one reason people here in elite Mass. is that they don’t like the way he talks- it’s not so much what he says, it’s just that he doesn’t sound like an intellectual- and this is a snobby state with all its universities. But I’ve gotten beyond his style and like many of his policies. In Mass., the Republican Party is almost extinct and because of that we’re dominated by the state bureaucracy- and for that reason I hope the Republican Party can make a comeback for balance. I don’t really trust either conservatives or liberals. What’s important is to have a balance so they can critique each other. Here in Mass. there is no open criticism of the liberal view of things. The Boston Globe recently has a letter to the editor from Michael Mann- who attacked a relatively conservative writer for the paper. So far, nobody has dared to counter Mann in the paper. I posted what Mann said elsewhere on this blog. In fact, I also tried to post it on RealClimate- but the moderator there didn’t post it under my name but posted it himself- then all the “locals” on that blog swooned at how brilliant it was. When it comes to climate- I read everything- every blog- every web site, magazines, science journals- everything- and my conclusion is that climate change is not a big deal- it’s a bit warmer here in Mass. and I love it! I don’t care if some islands sink under the sea and if some glaciers shrink a bit. Means nothing to me. What I find really shocking is that- it was once thought smart to be skeptical- but now if you’re skeptical of climate change, at least here in Mass., you’re considered brain damaged!

Reply to  george1st:)
March 25, 2020 11:42 am

Joseph Zorzin – This is Trump in a nutshell.

Reply to  george1st:)
March 25, 2020 2:55 pm

Note to Joseph Zorin, who says he voted for Hillary:

I was in Boston a year ago and met with two astrophysicists from Harvard. These are two of the most intelligent, best educated people on the planet.

We discussed for four hours the science of the failed global warming hypothesis. Toward the end of our conversation, I asked a without-prejudice question: “What do you think of Trump?” Their answer: “Best President ever!” I concur.

In the highly politicized climate of the USA you should not listen to the roar of the crowd – it is the prattling of scoundrels and imbeciles. Also, do not pay attention to what politicians say – but watch what they do.

Your country is a mess, with the Democrats using the climate scam as a means to turn the USA into a Marxist dictatorship – the evidence for that statement is everywhere.

Seriously, given your voting history, your most patriotic act would be to never vote again.

March 25, 2020 3:02 pm

re: “Your country is a mess”

Someone has been watching too much “nooze” …

Reply to  george1st:)
March 25, 2020 9:37 pm

Someone has been watching too much “nooze” …

Jim – total fail – I’ve stated here that I don’t have a TV and I don’t read the newspapers. It’s not the news – it’s the bad news – and the prattling of scoundrels and imbeciles.

Reply to  george1st:)
March 25, 2020 11:26 pm

Enough Bad News – Watch, And Enjoy!


Reply to  george1st:)
March 27, 2020 3:26 am


Re my statement: “Your country is a mess.”

The USA in an Uncivil War between the lunatic extreme left and the sensible right.

If Hillary had won, your country would be in a real Civil War, not unlike the last one. The Green New Deal would be destroying your energy systems and you would be being driven into poverty and dictatorship.

My country Canada is already finished – Trudeau and his extremists are in control and they are deliberately impoverishing our country – we are on the road to Venezuela

My family has been in Canada for ~200 years and we have fought, bled and died in all our wars, including that unfortunate misunderstanding called the War of 1812.

I think it is too late to save Canada – the East is endemically lazy and corrupt and not worth saving. If we work hard, we can save Alberta.

March 27, 2020 6:06 am

re: “If Hillary had won, your country would be in a real Civil War, … ”

A Hypocritical; quite useless to consider.

We already have some idea how we would make out (8 yrs of continued Obama idiocy): We would survive.

Something YOU don’t consider now, given ‘happenings” (3+ years of Trump et al): The 8 years of Obama bred Trump, and a voting base sick of the status quo Washington.

And remember – “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” ― G. Michael Hopf

It’s a cycle, through-out history …

Reply to  george1st:)
March 27, 2020 12:03 pm

Jim – I assume you mean Hypothetical, as in a hypothetical situation.

Yes, it is hypothetical, but it is also the history of over half the countries in the world today, which are now so-called Marxist dictatorships, but they are really more like the old monarchies – with a king or cabal on top, and a lot of peasants below.

Look at Venezuela and Zimbabwe – two recent victims, but there are many more. That is the goal that the extreme left has for America – the Green New Deal will impoverish you and destroy your economy. – that is the Dems core plan.

March 24, 2020 10:37 pm

Where would we be without the Guardian to give us a laugh in such trying times? Bless ’em.

March 24, 2020 10:41 pm

“Guardian: Covid-19 Teaches Us Delaying Climate Action is Deadly”

Logic: This kind of desperate argument for climate action teaches us that climate science is really anti fossil fuel activism.

Reply to  chaamjamal
March 25, 2020 6:02 am

funny that germany and Sweden and others were such active CC enactors and also copped covid hard n fast them?
swedens going for the herd immunity plan
unless you end up in hospital theyre not testing
and they have a nice high and ignorant immigration problem
eu borders closed
still free access to the dark boaties
and Africas Covid went from 100 to 700 overnight with very limited testing
Libyas reporting cases and where do they travel to and float off from?

nw sage
Reply to  chaamjamal
March 25, 2020 7:47 pm

Of course, if there is a parallel between the Corona – pandemic and Climate Change then there must be a vaccine! Start the research immediately, we can appropriate at least a trillion$.

Craig from Oz
March 24, 2020 10:47 pm

“Rightwing governments have denied the problem and been slow to act.”

The implication of this claim is that Leftwing Governments have embraced the problem and acted decisively.

The Guardian will now give us example governments and description of the (successful) methods employed, probably right after they again ask their readers for more money.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Craig from Oz
March 25, 2020 1:10 am

Ask the people of the former East Germany how beneficial for the environment a socialist system of government really is. Or of Beijing or Wuhan for that matter. When the Iron Curtain came down 30 years ago the city of Leipzig was by a mile the most polluted place in Europe. Even now they are still cleaning up.

R Taylor
Reply to  Craig from Oz
March 25, 2020 6:20 am

Wait for it: The Guardian is about to claim that Putin is a free-marketer.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
March 25, 2020 1:31 pm

Are Italy, Spain and Germany right wing governments?

March 24, 2020 10:51 pm

And where does Jonathan Watts think all this intervention money is coming from? That’s right- dirty capitalists! And which party is currently, to their eternal shame, delaying the massive stimulus package that President Trump is trying to implement? That’s right- those paragons of virtue in the Democrat party! Don’t you just love socialism?

March 25, 2020 1:32 pm

According to liberals, money comes from government, and government can just print as much money as they need.

Paula Cohen
March 24, 2020 11:03 pm

The difference between coronavirus and climate change? The coronavirus is killing people in large numbers worldwide NOW. Climate change has been going on for billions of years, w-a-a-a-y long before humans were on the planet, as the 5 Ice Ages testify. And the leftist’s problems with reality is what, exactly?

March 24, 2020 11:46 pm

There is as much similarity between the ‘Climate Crisis’ and Covid-19 as there is between chalk and cheese.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
March 25, 2020 5:32 am

Less. Chalk and cheese are both good sources of calcium, and neither one of them is mythical.

March 24, 2020 11:57 pm

Time the Graun. expired. Loss making idiocy. BBC can go, too.

March 25, 2020 12:06 am

Seasonal FLU TWICE as Deadly as Coronavirus?

Reply to  max
March 25, 2020 1:27 am

Slowly but surely, people are starting to realize that the CVD-19 scare is lttle more than a case of mass hysteria.

But we must remain vigilant. While we are hiding under our beds from the bogeyman, our governments are likely using this as an excuse and an opportunity to pull the wool over our eyes.

Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Reply to  max
March 25, 2020 5:29 am

Swann is wrong. His stats are based on the fact that less than 1% of flu cases are tested and confirmed to be flu. The reason for that, is that, most years, the case fatality rate is 0.1% or less, and diagnosis would not affect treatment of the disease, for most patients. (The case fatality rate of influenza varies, but it is typically about 0.1%. E.g., the CDC estimates that 35.5 million Americans contracted influenza during the 2018-2019 flu season, and 34,200 of them died, which is a case fatality rate of 0.0963.) If diagnosis would not affect treatment, there’s no reason to test the patient.

Wuhan coronavirus is different. Because it is much more dangerous, it is important to test for it, and properly diagnose it, so physicians do not forgo testing of suspected cases (unless a shortage of test kits prevents testing).

I’ve seen estimates that 1/3 to 1/2 of Wuhan coronavirus cases never have symptoms (which is why the disease is so challenging to contain). So the actual number of cases could be 2× to 4× the number confirmed. But there’s no way it is 160× the number confirmed, like the flu.

That means Swann is making an apples-to-oranges comparison.

The Wuhan coronavirus apparently has a case fatality rate very roughly estimated to be about 2%, which is 20 times as high as the flu. (It might be higher or lower, but it’s certainly not 20× lower.) The U.S. statistics this morning are 54,941 confirmed cases, 784 deaths, and 379 recoveries. Those numbers are much, much worse than you typically see early in a flu season. That’s a case fatality rate of 1.4% so far, and most of the cases are still unresolved, so unless effective treatment is found, the case fatality rate will rise.

Do the math to see what will happen if we let this disease become as widespread as the flu became in 2018-19. 35.5 million cases with a case fatality rate of 2% would be 710,000 dead — in a country which has only about 60,000 non-pediatric ICU beds.

(Note: the flu is no laughing matter, either. My neighbor, two houses down, lost her daughter, Katie, to the flu, nine years ago.)

Reply to  Dave Burton
March 25, 2020 6:45 am

You won’t stay at 2% you are at start. New York has asked for 30,000 respirators so they know what is coming 10 days from now.

Reply to  LdB
March 25, 2020 1:35 pm

If the medical establishment saturates, the percentage of people who die will go up.

Reply to  Dave Burton
March 25, 2020 1:50 pm

if half of Covid-19 infections remain asymptomatic, how has China gotten control of the disease?

There would be 10’s of thousands of infected people wandering all over the country by now. (China did not employ 100% quarantines)…and it only takes a dozen to seed an outbreak.

Doesn’t add up. Those with minor symptoms or asymptomatic must also be minimally contagious…or not carriers at all.

We won’t know until widespread serological antibody testing is done. That is just starting this week with the release of a relatively fast “finger stick” test…will take a few months to get out of this “data darkness” we are in…with the critical data finally seeing the light of day.

Mr Brent Walker
March 25, 2020 12:07 am

I think COVID-19 is telling us how clever China has been over the last two decades and how dumb the rest of the world has been. China has pretended it was a developing country and so took no action on climate change. As a result it has very low electricity prices and is setting itself up to continue with very low cost electricity for at least the next 20 years. As a result China became the world’s manufacturing hub. Manufacturing now is quite different to manufacturing 20-30 years ago. It usually is less labour intensive with robots and machines of various types doing most of the work. These require electricity to run. So, with continuing cheap electricity costs China is going to remain a major manufacturer and crucial to many supply chains. The rest of the developed world can’t compete because thanks to all the climate change crap its electricity prices are going to continue to increase to even higher levels. Part of the problem for many countries in combating this virus is that they don’t have stocks of Hazmat suits, ventilators, N95 face masks and so on. In late January and early February stocks of face masks in Australian shops were pillaged by gangs of people, usually of Asian appearance who were taking them to warehouses where they were being boxed up and airmailed to China. Now there are huge shortages so people and some health professionals not having enough for their own safety.

David Hartley
Reply to  Mr Brent Walker
March 25, 2020 12:42 am

Calling China out for you not being cogent or coherent enough cultures and societies is not going to make the West’s inherent structural and intellectual problems disappear. Could we have a link to the racist outrage of ‘gangs of Asian appearance’?

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  David Hartley
March 25, 2020 1:14 am
Brent Walker
Reply to  David Hartley
March 25, 2020 3:54 pm

There is starting to be a bit of an uproar about this in Australia. It was far worse than I suggested. When city shopping centers were denuded of supplies they hired buses to take them to regional towns where they denuded those shopping centers of the essential supplies which we now need to fight the Pandemic. It is wrong to blame just the Greenland Group. There would have been many other well organised groups and the less formal Daigou.

Brent Walker
Reply to  David Hartley
March 25, 2020 4:18 pm

2nd Reply.
There is also the Sydney Morning Herald.
This was a world wide directive by the headquarters of the Greenland Group (in Singapore). “According to a company newsletter, the Greenland Group sourced 3 million protective masks, 700,000 hazmat suits and 500,000 pairs of protective gloves from “Australia, Canada, Turkey and other countries.”” And we wonder why we are so short of these that we cant properly protect our front-line workers in our hospitals. Our government cant demand that people wear facemasks on the streets or in shopping centers because there aren’t any in the shops. These organised shoppers also denuded shelves of contactless thermometers so we cant employ people to detect sick people entering public places.
So to re-emphasise my original point the West has to reclaim its previous manufacturing supremacy by driving down the real costs of electricity (not the marginal costs) so it can compete.

Reply to  Mr Brent Walker
March 25, 2020 5:32 am

Things will not return to business-as-usual. Companies and countries will diversify away from China.

I don’t think people understand how much PPE a large hospital consumes each day. It’s clear these goods must be produced domestically, even if more expensively.

Walt D.
March 25, 2020 12:14 am

Climate Alarmists are religious zealots.
Modern-day flagellants.
Time for the Guardian to start “mea culpa”?

A happy little debunker
March 25, 2020 12:37 am

“Rightwing governments have denied the problem and been slow to act.”

FAKE NEWS – the right wing governments of Australia and the US were amongst the first to act.

The country slow to react that imperilled the rest of the world was Socialist China.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  A happy little debunker
March 25, 2020 1:26 am

China may have been slow in the very beginning. However, I don’t think we should judge the doctors in Wuhan too hard. There appeared to be confusion in the beginning whether it was a standard influenza or a brand new variant. It’s a bit like AGW: Act now! – Yes sure, but how shall we act? Is there really a severe problem, etc.
Hans Christian Andersen once wrote about how one feather became five hens. Which leads me to think that papers like the Guardian also existed way back then.

a happy little debunker
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
March 25, 2020 2:58 am

I don’t blame Chinese Doctors who were focussed on health- they were belling the cat whilst their socialist administration were denying any problem existed.
China only declared a problem some 8 weeks ago – but knew about it at least 18 weeks ago.

Socialist regimes are renown for being able to muster significant resources in short order, whilst more capitalist regimes are seen as slower (due to the ‘profit’ motive) – but in this instance little blame can actually be afforded to the US or Aussie responses.

Trump has done his bit – closed the borders and supported both the CDC, the States and encouraged US manufacturing, but has been hamstrung by unexpected regulation & opposition from the Deep state, Democrat resisters & the MSM.

Meanwhile, China sells 150 000 wu-flu testing kits to Prague & 80% fail.

Please also remember that it is easy to play the Monday morning Quarterback 2 days/weeks/months after the Friday night game.

Robert Fisher
March 25, 2020 12:59 am

The guardian seems to have to publish at least one climate doomsday article everyday as a matter of policy.unfortunatley they never bother to look at the facts which show the world hasn’t been warming for 20,years and will be getting colder in the grand solar minimum.this article like most their output politically motivated garbage

March 25, 2020 1:31 am

So far Germany has remarkably low mortality from coronavirus. Maybe it’s because Germany has chosen to spend relatively more of its health care budget on nurses. link

If Germany’s low mortality rate holds, and the reason really is more nurses, that will be an astoundingly useful lesson for the health care system.

Reply to  commieBob
March 25, 2020 4:40 am

It would be interesting to know what treatments Germany is using and if/how they differ from other countries.

Reply to  commieBob
March 25, 2020 4:56 am

The relatively low mortality rate may also be because most of the victims were young, fit people who caught the virus while skiing in Italy.

Reply to  commieBob
March 25, 2020 6:19 am

It starts out like that as others mentioned and you get an initial spike of deaths then a lag.
Currently if you look at the live numbers
Germany is on the same deaths per million as USA … being 2

The easy way to see how far each country is into the first wave is look at the number in critical care

For all the infections UK has only 20 people in critical care so it’s very early
France is about 10 days ahead of UK in phase and now has 2516 in critical care
UK has half the infections but you can see a lot less in critical care

Now look at Germany only 23 in critical care so it is in same phase as UK but has more infected than france
Expect German numbers to look really bad in 10 days from now they will be at 3000 with 2000+ in crictical care.

Reply to  LdB
March 25, 2020 1:32 pm

I notice tonight UK critical has now jumped to 163 and they had 13 deaths, so the days ahead are not going to be good and I wish you guys all well.

Michael Carter
March 25, 2020 2:00 am

I am 70 in 2 months time, which places me in the second most vulnerable group. So, I will say what I darn will like. From the very beginning of this outbreak I was concerned that the cure would be more destructive than the condition. This imbalance is turning out much more skewed than I feared. It is frightening.

We are primarily talking about an accelerated mortality in my age group and above (many being sick). One moment our left wing MSM has been whining over the cost of our superannuation, the next insisting that a minor percentage of our lives must be saved at any economic cost. I would love to see a poll of our age group asking if the economic cost is justified.

There is all sorts of tricky predicaments given to philosophy students where one must make a difficult decision. There is no good outcome. How does one put a value on lives in relation to the general living conditions of a vast majority?

Should the outbreak be let run it would be done and dusted within (say) 12 months. I shudder to think how long the economic pain will persist within my own country, New Zealand. The Government is spending all the family jewels and borrowing billions more.

I run a private Engineering Geology consultancy. I am totally dependent on the housing industry. It is screwed and could take a decade to get back up to steam.

The rapid response and complete lock-down theory being implemented in my country assumes control over outbreak in 4 weeks time. I think that they are dreaming. For the first time in my life there is a plan to have military on the streets to impose isolation. This is going to piss a lot of Kiwis off. I know my people – not the foreign blow-ins, but of the hinterland. Soldiers on out streets and roads is a big mistake. Dare I say it: how dare you! This is OUR country!

This is all being done by a left wing government being pushed by scientists and bureaucrats who will never lose their jobs.

Why screw the whole country for a few old farts like me? They would no longer have to pay our superannuation neither.

Reply to  Michael Carter
March 25, 2020 2:04 pm

Jacinta and co would have no clue about how our parents (and us) dealt with polio, measles, chicken pox, etc etc etc.

It was the ordinary people who “soldiered on” back in tougher times, not like today’s flighty government wallahs who get the vapors at the first hint of adversity.

Do I sound like a cranky old geezer?
You bet your bippy, and I’m getting crankier every time I see some ‘celebrity’ or politician on the box telling how they’re going to “save” the planet or humanity from every newly invented ‘danger’

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Michael Carter
March 25, 2020 4:09 pm

Jacinta and Peters can’t be praised enough here in Australia, the media loves her! Most comments I read want Jacinta to be the next Aussie PM. I think NZ will have a new PM after the next election and it won’t be Jacinta.

A workmate of mine is going to back to NZ this w/e.

March 25, 2020 2:17 am

With the hydro chloroquine plus azithromycin study the effects may be actually due to the azithromycin.

Apparently this antibiotic actually has antiviral effects

Here is quote:

“ Azithromycin pre-treatment reduces RV replication in CF bronchial epithelial cells, possibly through the amplification of the antiviral response mediated by the IFN pathway”

Note UK is testing interferon inhalation (IFN) on covid patients.

Reply to  Stevek
March 25, 2020 6:09 am

might be so
plaquenil alone or as a combo with aids drugs also seems to be working
opens the options for those who cant take the plaquenil or aids meds ie me
the aids ones are contra indicated for anyone with heart issues and I have A-Fib
way my luck runs azithromyacin will be a abiotic i cant take either ;-/

Reply to  Stevek
March 25, 2020 6:33 am

Well, there is this (below), but I don’t know to what degree it is completely truthful (awaiting further confirmation, cross checks – “caveat emptor”):

“BREAKING: Noted New York Physician Urges Medical Community To Follow President Trump’s Coronavirus Treatment Plan”
by DCWhispers | Mar 24, 2020 | DC Whispers

Related: “Dr Vladmir Zelenko, MD, finds cure for Coronavirus”

A highly respected New York physician is urging all healthcare professionals in American and around the world to initiate a coronavirus treatment plan that includes the drug Hydroxychloroquine, described by President Trump days earlier as promising, which Dr. Zev Zelenko has been administering to his patients throughout Monroe, New York which is one of the virus hotbeds. Dr. Zelenko states this 5-day round of treatments has resulted in the following: “ZERO deaths. ZERO hospitalizations. ZERO intubations.”

There are other reports in both the lay and medical pubs touting Hydroxychloroquine et al too.

See also Rud Istvan’s write up on WUWT regarding treatments along these lines too.

B d Clark
March 25, 2020 3:33 am

Jonathan watts is a disgrace, fearmongering on the back of a epidemic, any real journalist, would be asking and informing their readership, what is the aftermath of QE the like of which we have never seen before, the USA considering digital currency, what are the effects of global shut down on agriculture, ports on lockdown ,the worlds supply of manufactured fertiliser not being shipped, China is the biggest producer the biggest importer as a sole country is the USA, when the likes of watts and his concentrate on non events global warming, why have they not mentioned a little anomily that Antarctica has just had its coldests temperature recorded ever.?

March 25, 2020 4:45 am

Published Jan.26,2020.
“5 million left Wuhan before lockdown, 1,000 new coronavirus cases expected in city.”

March 25, 2020 5:04 am

It gets more desperate at the Guardian as George Monbiot offers his latest rant.

“Covid-19 is nature’s wake-up call to complacent civilisation

A bubble has finally been burst – but will we now attend to the other threats facing humanity?”

Wur Doomed!

Reply to  leitmotif
March 26, 2020 6:19 am

re: “George Monbiot offers his latest rant.

“Covid-19 is nature’s wake-up call to complacent civilisation … ” ”

Funny … when this has been traced (with a high likelihood) to a ‘wet’ market in not-so-advanced (backward even?) China. See, George Monbiot, we do have a “CDC” whose job it is to “keep on top of such things”. We can take up their initial response performance as a separate subject …

Rick C PE
March 25, 2020 5:48 am

Deaths attributed to Covid-19 since Nov. 2019 = ~20,000
Deaths attributed to Climate Change since 1988 = 0.0

Reply to  Rick C PE
March 25, 2020 1:40 pm

Deaths attributed to policies intended to fight Climate Change, 10’s of thousands.

March 25, 2020 6:12 am

“The further right the government, the more inclined it is to delay action and offload blame elsewhere.”

This is a demonstrable lie. Take Poland, for example, my country. Imposed strict country-wide quarantine early: closed all schools after 1st confirmed death. Then, banned all gatherings up to 50 people. Now, banned all gatherings of 2 and more people. Only shops that sell food and basic utilities are allowed opeation. No bars, no restaurants, people can’t leave home except going to doctor, drug store or for food. Our government also secured all nationally produced hydroxychloroquine-based meds as soon as there were news about it being effective (from Polish company Adamed). We have official epidemic state declared. Our doctors are working on respirators, like the 3D-printed “last chance respirator”.

And they did it amongst the first in Europe. Sounds like no delaying of action. And according to Guardian and EU, Poland is Far Right as it goes. So nope, Guardian lies again, which doesn’t surprise me since it’s a Far Left communist newspaper.

Reply to  Laertes
March 25, 2020 6:52 am

A question I would ask which has nothing to do with any of that. What is the feeling in Poland on resuming with open borders with Europe after this all passes?

Reply to  LdB
March 25, 2020 8:41 am

I honestly don’t know. I remain in isolation for the last two weeks, so I don’t know the feeling of my co-workers. Considering comments in online newspapers, some are rabidly pro-EU (and anti-Polish), under very leftist newspapers, and they want more EU, and some, under right-wing newspapers, are rabidly anti-EU and want out. We are supposed to have a presidential election on May 10th, this should show where the sentiments lie. If we have the election then…

I myself am entirely against EU at this point. It concerns itself with trivial and irrelevant matters, like Green Deal and “democratic values”, while being completely ineffective against the coronavirus. There is no EU-wide response, they offered some money which will probably arrive when all is behind us, but I read this is money from the funds we would receive anyway, just rerouted and renamed. EU is a joke, their plan for Green Deal is ludicrous – the widely touted 2 billion help for Poland to forego CO2 emissions is just 4% of computed amount of how much it would cost our country to do so until 2050. And it is the biggest such proposed package. The rest proposed 100 billion (still 20% of the cost) would be in the forms of LOANS. I leave to your imagination how we could repay the loans after our economy is completely decarbonized. Hint: serfdom and slavery.

March 25, 2020 6:42 am

For the number watchers among you, if you are like me

I have been watching for a couple of weeks and the world total infections were under 100K (81K from memory).
It took only 10 days to get from 100K to 200K, 4 days to get from 200K to 300K and now less than 3 days to get from 300K to 400K. So it should pass 500K sometime tomorrow and the day after 100K in a single day.

Reply to  LdB
March 25, 2020 1:39 pm

Because about 98.7% survive, the number becoming immune is rising just as fast.

Reply to  Dan Pangburn
March 25, 2020 1:45 pm

400,000 out of 7 billion.

Reply to  MarkW
March 26, 2020 12:56 pm

All 400,000 are in the best locations to mitigate the pandemic. The down side is the 2 week or so lag between infection and recovered immune.

Reply to  LdB
March 26, 2020 6:55 pm

We passed thru 500,000 exactly as expected, should be 600K by late 28th march.
New major cities in US with community transmission, India now has community transmission.
So I guess the curve won’t start to flatten for a little while yet

BTW it’s just a number to watch while in lockdown, I don’t imply anything from the number.

Reply to  LdB
March 26, 2020 7:17 pm

re: “We passed thru 500,000 exactly as expected, should be 600K by late 28th march.”

Who would have thought it – test more, FIND more. Duh. Right in line with the thought many have expressed that this ‘bug’ is far more widespread, but non-symptomatic, as expressed by a number of side-liners like myself viewing this affair, sampling and reading a number of websites.

March 25, 2020 6:51 am

5 years ago, in 2015, Bill Gates gave an 8 minute TED talk about the next virus that we’re not prepared for.

Reply to  Ronald Stein
March 25, 2020 9:45 am

Stopped clock syndrome; right twice a day (it was an “easy” call for him to make. Eventually something else will come along after Covid-19 even.)

D Cage
Reply to  Ronald Stein
March 25, 2020 10:57 pm

And in 2011 there was a film called contagion based on an article about four years earlier that inspired the writer to produce the script though it could have been coincidental timing.

Joel Snider
March 25, 2020 7:41 am

False equivalencies – another propaganda tactic popular on the Progressive left.

Slime is literally evolving and metastasizing to a whole new level of scum, right before our eyes.

March 25, 2020 8:27 am

The Wuhan virus is a real threat. “Climate change” isn’t. It’s that simple. But then what would you expect from the “Grauniad”?

tsk tsk
March 25, 2020 8:49 am

Akshually, the virus shows that all of the hundreds of billions wasted on global warming sinecures should have been spent on subsidizing vaccine development, including that of coronaviruses. It also shows that mass transit, dense urban living, and “reusable” grocery bags were all literally pandemic enablers.

But reality has always been optional for this crew.

Al Miller
March 25, 2020 10:14 am


“Rightwing governments have denied the problem and been slow to act. With coronavirus and the climate, this costs lives.”
“In Asia, China initially attempted to hide the problem”

You completely contradict yourself and then act as the protector of the Chinese regime saying what a great job they did. Seriously!?
Then you engage in typical Trump Derangement syndrome.

Your thoughts are not worthy of serious consideration- Full stop.

Reply to  Al Miller
March 25, 2020 1:47 pm

Compared to the Guardian, China’s government is right wing.

March 25, 2020 10:14 am

Of course, the climate alarm movement is going to try to piggyback on the SARS-CoV-2 situation. Is anybody here really shocked about that?

Al Miller
March 25, 2020 10:16 am

Guardian: Covid-19 Teaches Us Delaying Climate Action is “Deadly”

On the contrary COVID19 teaches us that the pursuit of worldwide socialism in the name of phoney green fearmongering is the biggest waste of resources in the history of mankind. Had all that money and effort been put to good use we would be far ahead as a race!

Nick Schroeder
March 25, 2020 11:27 am
“CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 38 million flu illnesses, 390,000 hospitalizations and 23,000 deaths from flu.”

And not word one from the lying, fact free, fake news MSM propaganda machine.

Guess they couldn’t use this FACT to meddle in the election and screw over Trump.

March 25, 2020 1:17 pm

“Rightwing governments have denied the problem and been slow to act.”

China’s government is right wing?

Ill Tempered Klavier
Reply to  MarkW
March 25, 2020 8:46 pm

Compared to the Gluggian, it is.
Consider the case of a lady I know who considers the John Birch Society a dangerously left wing organization. 😉 😉

March 25, 2020 2:15 pm

56 million people die each year in the world, which is an average of about 153,424 people each day.

1.3 million people die per year worldwide in car accidents.

40,327 people were killed in the United States in motor vehicle collisions, during 2017.

March 25, 2020 7:24 pm

You earlier did a great article on the Green Swan.
Seems we need a new article now on the Corona Swan.

D Cage
March 25, 2020 11:01 pm

By delaying we have at least not done as much harm as we would have done if we had all fallen for the proven by hindsight scam of man made global warming. We are three years past the tipping point date so are reporters too thick to see climate change is NOT following a tipping point curve even after seeing it displayed repeatedly day in day out in the corona virus figures?

D Cage
March 25, 2020 11:08 pm

Unfortunately, many people who’re rightly skeptical of the fake “climate emergency” are also wrongly skeptical of this crisis (or at least they were, initially). So-called “experts” have been “crying wolf” so long and loud about the “climate emergency,” “catastrophe,” or even “Apocalypse,” that many astute people, who’ve discovered that manmade climate change is actually modest and benign, have become dangerously complacent when they hear cries of “wolf!”

I know of at least a dozen in all age brackets who no longer trust the government and think this is conditioning for accepting green zero transport for the plebs except essential travel and who still went to the pubs right until compulsory shutdown. Well done Greater Dubmturd and the climate scammers.

March 26, 2020 2:09 pm

It is an unfailing ‘tell’ of an ideologue that they will attach their message to any discussion regardless of the original point of the discussion.

Thus – discussion is Covid 19 – Ideologue likens it to Global Warming
Discussion about Covid 19 – Feminist brings in gender
and so it goes.

Roy Thomas Sokolowski
March 27, 2020 7:03 pm

What it tells us actually is that complex models such as climate change or Covid-19 spread with many unknown input variables are complete crap at accurate output over the space of a month in the case of Covid-19 or hundreds of years in the case of global warming. The prediction for the UK of 500,000 deaths from Covid-19 has been decreased to maybe 20,000 with over half of those deaths likely to occur within a year from the underlying conditions that made them vulnerable in the first place. If your prediction varies between 20,000 and 500,000 deaths you might have an issue with the accuracy of your model output.

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