Fight the virus, not carbon

Often obsessive focus on climate wastes scarce money and distracts from real health crisis

Paul Driessen and David Wojick

The many trillions of dollars proposed to be spent under dubious “green new deals” should be spent instead (effectively and within reason) on health care, especially virus prevention, protection and cures. This is the gist of an “Open Letter to World Leaders” from the Climate Intelligence Foundation.

The Foundation, or CLINTEL, makes this clear right up front: “Your Excellencies, compared to COVID-19, climate change is a non-problem! It is based on immature computer models, and it looks into the distant future. In the current health emergency, however, your attention to the peoples’ needs is today! Please, don’t continue pushing your zero carbon emission ambition in a time that the world is dealing with a deadly global crisis. Yes, there is an emergency, but it is NOT climate.”

CLINTEL specifically speaks to the leaders of the UN and EU, saying “People need an inspiring narrative that promises them a hopeful future. Today, for instance, it is totally inappropriate that the billion-dollar Green New Deal focused on climate is still on the agenda of leaders such as Mr. Antonio Guterres of the UN and Mr. Frans Timmermans of the EU.” We do not have a manmade climate and weather crisis.

In the EU, green funds could begin flowing to the virus crisis almost immediately, by reprogramming €100 billion ($110 billion) of European Green Deal money. The GED has a Just Transition Mechanism to “help mobilise at least €100 billion over the period 2021-2027,” by way of “financial support and technical assistance to help people, businesses and regions that are most affected by the move toward the green economy.” All they have to do is replace the Mechanism’s “green economy” with “corona crisis.”

All the EU has to do is abandon its compulsory transition to a so-called “green economy,” which would in reality be very poor and uncompetitive, with tens of millions unemployed. The European Green Plan (EGP) proposes spending a trillion euros on a foolish attempt to control the global climate, even as China, India and other emerging economies build hundreds of new coal and gas-fired power plants, hundreds of new airports, thousands of fossil fuel-based factories, and millions of internal combustion vehicles.

CLINTEL says it would be far wiser to spend that money on improving health care, with priority to virus protection. Far more necessary, too. Anyone following the coronavirus news out of Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Britain and other EU countries, knows CLINTEL is right. Awake EU leaders know it too.

In the United States, President Trump has signed into law Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the $2.2 trillion emergency relief bill, the largest such package in US history. It will help hospitals and state and local governments, assist with critical medical needs, and provide relief for small businesses and furloughed workers. It eliminated most of the liberal wish list items in an earlier bill.

(By contrast, any European Green Deal would cost many trillions of dollars, as would the US Green New Deal endorsed by Democrat presidential candidates, to address conjectural future risks. Candidate Bernie Sanders pegs his pet version at “just” $11 trillion, while other estimates run as high as $93 trillion!)

Some of that spending should go to upgrading the health care system, testing people and getting COVID patients respirators and medicines that work, conducting clinical trials to evaluate anecdotal evidence about various treatments, and saving lives! Other spending should assist families whose breadwinners have been laid off by the lockdowns and quarantines, and businesses that have been closed down.

Right now, some 15 million workers are unemployed in the restaurant industry alone, plus millions more in restaurant support industries. If the business lockdown continues another month or so, some 75% of independently owned restaurants will never reopen, business insiders say. Moreover, across the USA, it is minorities who are most seriously harmed by the shutdown, since they dominate worst-affected sectors.

(A suggestion: Order an occasional takeout-pickup meal from local eateries – and leave a generous tip.)

The rest of the money should simply not be spent, especially since it’s mostly more government debt. Spending it would further damage the economy and future taxpayers, in Europe and the United States.

Any thinking legislator should endorse CLINTEL’s call for action, instead of foolish green new deals.

But instead, the manmade-climate-crisis-obsessed United Nations continues to pressure all nations to adopt expensive zero-carbon-dioxide plans, preferably as soon as its Glasgow climate summit in November. That underscores how wrongheaded and intransigent the UN has been for decades. No. The world needs to fix the current virus problem – and prepare for the inevitable next ones.

The economic crisis due to the corona pandemic will hit all countries, including those with relatively small virus outbreaks at the moment or in the future. With proper prevention and response systems in place, there is no reason these economic disasters should escalate. But those systems will not be in place in impoverished nations – largely because UN, EU, climate and other eco-imperialist activists for decades have prevented those countries from building fossil fuel, nuclear and even hydroelectric generating plants, forcing them instead to be content with minimal, unreliable, habitat-destroying wind and solar power.

CLINTEL’s strong advice to the world’s leaders is spot-on: “To revive the global economy, don’t further increase government debts. Instead, apply the money intended for your costly Green New Deal to the present needs of people and society. Call it the COVID-19 RECOVERY PLAN. Be aware that, in today’s crisis, the conjectural policy of CO2 reduction is highly counterproductive!”

The letter’s eloquent summary statement says it all: “The world is moving to an open global economy of ten billion people. Top priority must be given to significant investments in a global health system that makes any pandemic less catastrophic. Considering COVID-19, climate alarmists and climate critics should admit that global warming is a non-problem. Therefore, stop fighting, step over your own shadow and work together against the deadly virus. In this tough battle we need each other!”

Imagine what would happen if abundant, reliable, affordable electricity from fossil, nuclear and hydroelectric were replaced by expensive, limited, intermittent, weather-dependent wind and solar power. The impacts on our coronavirus response, healthcare, living standards and life spans would be horrific.

Without reliable, on-demand energy sufficient to power modern, industrialized society – which neither wind nor solar power can provide at current levels of technology – hospitals could not maintain sterile conditions. Food and vaccines could not be grown, developed, preserved or transported. Protective equipment to safeguard front-line health care workers from COVID-19, and respirators for critically-ill patients, could not be delivered where they’re needed, let alone manufactured in the first place.

We would not even have clean water or reliable sanitation systems. We would not have jobs, industries, decent living standards, or anything approaching a vibrant, functioning, job and tax-generating economy.

That’s the situation African and other impoverished nations found themselves with Ebola – and will find themselves if (when) COVID-19 reaches them. It is where a GED or GND would take the United States.

President Trump is absolutely right. We need to fight the coronavirus and keep it from spreading. But we also need to begin soon to balance the virus threat against threats created by our response to the virus: deaths from COVID-19 itself (which could be overstated) versus deaths due to mass unemployment and recession because of the shutdowns: from stress, depression, despair, strokes, heart attacks, suicides and murder-suicides … amid bankruptcies, loss of life savings, and destruction of years’ of work and sacrifice.

And yet there are some who applaud the corona-economic recession for driving down fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions – or want more wind and solar mandates and subsidies built into any corona response plans.

Our health and economic emergency is real and immediate. The manmade climate emergency is years or decades away – if it even exists outside the realm of computer models that generate worst-case scenarios but cannot even forecast average global temperatures accurately … and pseudo-scientific studies that blame every observed (and imagined) temperature shift, climate fluctuation and extreme weather event on fossil fuels.

Fight the virus, not carbon.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environment, climate and human rights issues. David Wojick is an independent analyst specializing in science, logic and human rights in public policy, and author of numerous articles on these topics.

92 thoughts on “Fight the virus, not carbon

  1. Who needs ventilators when your green energy doesn’t work at night or when the wind doesn’t blow or blows too fast?

    • All major medical centers, and big regional hospitals in the US( and I assume Canada and Europe as well) have large back-power plants to produce hot water and electricity that are always on standby. That is to be sure, back-up power plants with large on-site tanks full of kerosene/diesel fuel.

      • The problem is not energy. Rather, it stockpiles. Many have been pointing out that a pandemic similar to the 1918 flu or far worse, is statistically, biologically, and socially inevitable. As long ago as 1949, George R Stewart wrote a novel that looked at the potential for a catastrophic pandemic at that time. The possibilities he explored have increased since then. In that light COVID-19 is a stroke of luck. It provides a real world example of what even a relatively harmless virus can do under modern conditions of transportation and economic models. The US is lucky in part because our healthcare system is not focused on prevention and health maintenance. Consequently, we actually have more critical care beds and gear available, and as seen in Seattle and New York, even those can be overwhelmed by what amounts to a very mild pandemic. New York has somewhat more than 50,000 COVID patients most of whom do not need hospitalization. Pandemics are a reality, they don’t go away and technological responses such as vaccines take time to develop. A flu like the 1918 flu would overwhelm any response simply because there is no preparation to speak of. It costs to much. Neither the Democrats or the Republicans want to be seen as Chicken Little planning for when the sky does fall.

  2. CLINTEL specifically speaks to the leaders of the UN and EU”

    I hope this letter goes to the UK as well, particularly as we seem to be pushing the green agenda, the population is being coerced into agreeing that there is a climate emergency when clearly there is not, and last but not least we are surposed to be hosting COP26 .

    • Imagine how much “coercion” the company with the world’s third highest revenue could exert. Imagine the lobbying power, the PR machine you could fund with a USD23 billion profit.
      CLINTEL was founded by a former Shell petroleum engineer. What an astonishing surprise.

        • What arguments? You mean recycled talking points? Scientific arguments are supported by cited evidence. I’ve also read the letter – its fact-free bombast.
          Why not listen to scientists instead?

          • “Loydo March 29, 2020 at 9:56 pm

            Why not listen to scientists instead?”

            Why not study the issue and become informed? I did the same, on another subject, when my sister was diagnosed with hemochromatosis. I too “suffer” form it, although my genes are different and less aggressive. I studied it and came to the conclusion, against “scientific expert” advice, that what they suggest I do (Bloodletting as there is no cure) I didn’t want to do, ie, the “cure” was much much worse than the actual problem.

          • Loydo,
            I’m passionate about science, but I also know that science – and scientists – often get things hopelessly wrong. Continental drift is a perfect example. Until well into the 20th century the scientific concensus was that the continents were fixed and unmoving. The lone scientist, Wegener, who saw the truth was attacked by the concensus scientists – but we know who was right in the end, don’t we?
            Oh, yes, and the young Einstein was the sceptic who was attacked by the concensus scientists for his mad theory of Relativity – but we know who was right in the end, don’t we?
            The great thing with science is that it is – or should be – self correcting. Its very essence is scepticism. The history of science is basically the story of how one concensus after another turned out to be hopelessly wrong. Just a few short centuries ago the scientists would have told us that the earth revolves around the sun.
            Science does not work by concensus.
            For this reason “listening to the scientists” is no guarantee of being right.
            Although it requires effort, the best way is to look at the science and data and to try to understand the arguments on both sides. Of course, this is precisely what sceptics do. I would summarise this as follows:
            Don’t listen to the scientists. Listen to the science.
            Chris

          • Try outlining something it says, and state your disagreement with it. We all know you’re upset. Take your time.

          • Fair comment Chris.
            Thats part of the reason I come here. The other part is to remind people that this site often sounds like an echo-chamber and that scepticism needs to apply to the likes Driessen, Niek Sandmann and Guus Berkhout, instead of un-critically lapping up their baseless opinions and repeating them as science.

          • Your a hypocrite loydo , you practice demonizing opinion ,as my first post to you points out, you have no scientific argument, you gave up on that,because your relentlessly shot down, so now you try to demonize any other publication that’s not in line with the made up climate crisis.

      • Imagine how much ‘coercion’ the governments of the world can apply with bottomless pits of other peoples money and the force of law which can be applied anywhere they see fit. Imagine how little actual ‘lobbying’ would be needed if you can simply brainwash people – indeed scare them witless-
        through the education system that you control, plus various state broadcasters, not to mention well funded green movements. Imagine how much power you could have over people’s lives and futures if you could terrify them into just giving up their wealth and freedoms, and imagine that, if all else fails, you could simply take it anyway, all in the name of protecting us from some possible threat that may happen some time in the future…

        • I don’t have a lot of trust in my democratically elected representatives, but I have zero trust in the anonymous oligarchs at Royal Dutch Shell.

          • Hardly anonymous since they’re directors, etc. of a plc. – plus, the guy has put his name to this so you could identify him as such. Sigh

          • “CLINTEL was founded by a former Shell petroleum engineer.”

            We all (or most) start in a junior position, and then move on. Are we then forever damned because we sold ice cream, or drove tractors on a pipeline, or worked on a motorway?

      • Imagine a insidious movement coercing governments and there by their own people ,faceless ,relentless pressure to coerce the public and particularly children , into giving a false mandate to governments to change our way of life , the debate closed down because the MSM decided the science is settled ,and their by cutting off the head of debate,

        And you complain loydo that a organisation Clintel publicly as far as they can, try to put a opposing view, did you stop to think clintel is not buried under layers like the un and IPCC, the people can see who is saying what to who,

        Citing a former shell petroleum engineer contradicts the first part of your post does it not,he is a former employee, even if he was a current employee would that negate his right to voice a opinion ,should shell not have a right of opinion even if it contradicts the current hysteria around climate change,

        By your very own words loydo you admit to cutting the head off debate , you oppose informing the people of both sides of the debate , that is coercion loydo insidious by nature.

    • You are Correct. In the UK a climate Emergency has been adopted by the virtue signalling at every level of government from village council upwards. None of them are interested in actually hearing the scientific reality, they are all comfortable in their middle-class solar panel bedecked houses And want to enforce property on the rest of us.

  3. Bad link

    It eliminated most of the liberal wish list items in an earlier bill.
    file:///C:/Users/Paul/Documents/Climate%20Change/Articles%20&%20Op-eds/Coronavirus%20Aid,%20Relief%20and%20Economic%20Security%20(CARES)%20Act,

  4. The urban poor in Africa have to pay retailers for their water. If they don’t work one day, they don’t eat that day. They essentially have no access to health care, let alone critical health care and ventilators. They live in very crowded conditions where social distancing is not possible. They need affordable energy to improve their lives.

    The green new deal is a death prescription to Africans. Perhaps the proponents do not care. Denial is not wishful thinking, it’s deliberately blinding one’s self to facts.

    This modern plauge will kill millions of Africans. Only 13% of Sub-Saharan Africa is electrified. Think of the help cheap power would be to these desperate people in this desperate situation.

  5. If only they would take notice of this letter, but I fear they will not be able to admit that they were wrong. They may put off some of the costly measures for the time being, but they will at least continue to pay lip-service to the “climate emergency” as they have already invested so much in it. If the public were to turn against the spending on global warming then governments would be forced to listen, but that requires a massive campaign which is not looking likely at present. Maybe when the coming recession really starts to bite there will be a backlash.

  6. “Fight the virus, not carbon”

    WR: If ‘fighting the virus’ results in a ‘back to reality’ switch by western societies than the virus also has done something well for society. And for developing countries as well: they need cheap and reliable energy to develop. But unnecessary trillions for a virtual ‘climate danger’ that doesn’t exist in reality is only lost money without any usefulness – destroying resources, destroying landscapes.

    • The COVID models are based on sound logic and mathematics. The basic models are easy to follow. Only 2 initial parameters are needed and they can be estimated with reasonable accuracy.

      Interestingly, it looks as though Imperial College under-estimated the R0 value for their Covid-19 model. The infection in Europe was spreading faster than they expected. They now think the initial R0 values was 3 rather than 2.4.

      • Despite their simplicity they can’t be accurate with so many people that were asymptomatic or recovered without being tested. It’s really a stupid game everyone’s playing trying to figure it out. I mean really, really stupid. It’s like a quintessential exercise in vanity.

      • Looking at those who have tested positive in the USA we see a weighting towards older people. That means there must be lots of younger people getting this that are not symptomatic enough to get a test. This combined with younger people being more social ( school, going out, working ) I imagine many more people have had disease than we think.

    • White house briefing says the models without mitigation predict 1.6 -2-2 million US deaths. With mitigation Fauci saying 100-200 thousand deaths. Trump seems to be accepting those numbers now.

  7. You will not win the fight against Carbon. It is nonmetallic and tetravalent, making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds (which means lots and lots of compounds). Carbon is the 15th most abundant element on Earth and the fourth most abundant element in the universe. Try and get around those little facts (/sarc)

    So you watermelons go suck eggs.

    Regards
    Climate Heretic

    • Carbon is life on Earth. Strange that those who pose as “ecologists” are so busy trying to fight “carbon”.

  8. Just got this from a Sigma Xi blog, seems to be evidence that they knew (could have known?) it all the time, at least in our millennium. https://cmr.asm.org/content/20/4/660

    “ The findings that horseshoe bats are the natural reservoir for SARS-CoV-like virus and that civets are the amplification host highlight the importance of wildlife and biosecurity in farms and wet markets, which can serve as the source and amplification centers for emerging infections……The key receptor of the host cell attached by S is angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is a metalloprotease expressed in the cells of the lung, intestine, liver, heart, vascular endothelium, testis, and kidney (119). Since ACE2 was shown to protect against acute lung injury in a mouse model and since the binding of the S protein to host cells results in the downregulation of ACE2, this mechanism may contribute to the severity of lung damage in SARS (181)…. The devastating pandemic started in Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), when a professor of nephrology from a teaching hospital in Guangzhou who had acquired the disease from his patients came to HKSAR on 21 February 2003. Within a day, he transmitted the infection to 16 other people in the hotel where he resided. His brother-in-law, one of the secondary cases, underwent an open lung biopsy from which the etiological agent was discovered and first isolated (259). It was a novel coronavirus, named SARS-CoV. The secondary cases unknowingly carried the disease to hospitals in the HKSAR and to other countries and continents.” From Table 2. “ 16 September 2005 Finding of SARS-CoV-like virus in horseshoe bats; all isolates sequenced had a 29-bp signature sequence for bat SARS-CoV”

    Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus as an Agent of Emerging and Reemerging Infection. Vincent C. C. Cheng, Susanna K. P. Lau, Patrick C. Y. Woo, Kwok Yung Yuen– DOI: 10.1128/CMR.00023-07 Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2007, volume 20(4):660-694.

    Where was the “Professor of Sustainability Leadership” when we needed him?

    • This is not regarding the new virus, but the original SARS virus.
      This one is SARS-Co-V-2.
      Not sure if you are aware of that, HD.

  9. I think it is time to start to temper hopes for any of the treatments being tested for the virus.
    It is unethical to keep giving an inferior treatment once it is clear that this is the case.
    In particular, for trials involving an experimental treatment vs standard of care, or vs a placebo, if it becomes apparent that the treatment arm of a trial is saving lives, the trial has to be halted and people getting placebo are given the drug.
    Similarly, if it is clear that the drug is harming people and the placebo arm patients are surviving in higher numbers, the trial must be halted and the drug treatment ended.
    Prior to the study beginning, exactly what is going to be considered a result strong enough to halt the trial is decided on.
    Neither of these things has happened.
    So it is for sure, IMO, that none of the treatments being tried have been a clear enough success to warrant ending any of the trials, some of which started way back in February.
    For a result to be statistically significant, either the case fatality rate has to change by a large percentage, or the number of patients treated must be large, or some combination thereof.
    If, for example, patients receiving treatment x had a 5 fold increase in survival rate over the control arm, it would not take very many patients to reach statistical significance.
    If the criteria for ending the study early was lower, say a 20% improvement in outcome, it would take a larger number of people treated in order for the result to be statistically significant.
    Based on carefully following clinical trial results over many years, for many drugs, and for many conditions treated for, I am becoming fairly certain of what I was beginning to suspect was the most likely case about two weeks ago: The treatments being tested for the longest are not harming people significantly more than helping them, and they are not curing people in any huge proportion either.
    The most likely result, IMO, is that remdesivir, the one we know has been in trials in the most places with the most patients for the longest time, is lowering the CFR somewhat, but it is not going to be a game changer or a blockbuster.
    It could be that they have set the bar very high, and decided they would only end the trial early if there was a huge drop in the number of patients dying.
    If they set the bar very high in order to make sure that any result would be incontrovertible and very clear, then it is still possible that we will see a strong effect when the results are released.
    If they set the bar low, perhaps on the premise that even small improvement in the outcomes would justify widespread usage as soon as possible, then that would be bad, as it would mean even that low bar has not been met in preliminary review that was schedules for day 15.
    It is also possible they had trouble signing up enough patients for a statistically significant result at an early stage of the trials.

    I am wondering what other people think would have been the best or most likely place to set the bar ahead of time: In your opinions, did they probably set the bar high, or did they set it low?
    Have there been enough cases that it is improbable they lack data an an early stage?
    And what would be a result that justified FDA approval and a recommendation to make it the new standard of care?
    20% better case fatality rate? 10%? 50%…or would it take a large improvement like one quarter as many deaths, or one fifth, or one tenth as many?
    What if deaths remained the same for people with severe symptoms, but dropped markedly for people in the early stages of illness (this is what was seen with Ebola)?
    Or, and this is a possibility…if just as many people died, but the people that lived had a drastically shortened average time to discharge from the hospital, or discontinuation of oxygen, or time on a ventilator?

    IOW…what is the general feeling regarding how much it has to help to be worth approving it?

    • Here is an article I found that makes this point, including an example of a graph of the relationship between outcomes, number of patients, and statistical significance:
      https://medium.com/datadriveninvestor/the-chances-for-a-quick-covid-cure-are-slipping-daily-f57ad25d09c0

      “Given the number of COVID-19 patients, it won’t take long to accrue enough to see an effect like this. Conversely, detection of small effects will require thousands of patients and many weeks or months.
      The NIH remdesivir trial started on Feb 25. A first evaluation of data was scheduled for day 15 of the trial, and another evaluation after the first 100 patients. Day 15 has come and gone with no announcement of results. This could mean either too small an effect or too few patients. But as the graph above shows, detecting big effects does not require many patients. We are now (Mar 26) on day 30 of the trial, and no word has yet been forthcoming.
      Every day that passes decreases the likelihood of there being a game-changing drug out there. This means that case fatality rates are not going to plunge, ICU stays will not be shortened, life will not be returning to normal. At least not soon, and not because of remdesivir.”

    • Here is another essay written by a pharmacist:
      https://www.emedicinehealth.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=229514

      “MedicineNet: When will we find out if remdesivir is successful at treating COVID-19 coronavirus?

      Dr. Chan: As of March 26, 2020:

      There are four U.S. trials.
      Two China trials are expected to conclude at the beginning of April.
      There are two or three European trials that have RDV as a comparator, meaning it’s one of the drugs they are testing in a multi-drug trial.
      One Chinese trial is for severe COVID-19, one is for mild-to-moderate COVID-19.

      The last day for data collection for the severe trial is April 3.
      The last day for data collection for the mild-to-moderate one is April 10.
      Then, there will be a short lag time as researchers crunch the data and put their paper through peer review.

      How fast these papers are coming out is really unprecedented and it’s causing some anxiety in the sense that they might not be vetted as heavily as in the past — that’s my personal opinion.

      I think the thirst for “cure” is transforming scientific publications into the toilet paper of healthcare — there is such a mad rush into grabbing everything that’s out there.

      We, as clinicians, owe it to our patients to stop, pause, and look at the literature with a statistical and scientific eye, and treat these medications used on COVID-19 patients as the experiments they are.

      We know the harm the medications can cause. We don’t know their efficacy.”

    • I understand that many of the critical care patients who have CoViD-19 also have other serious medical conditions.

      Patient: Doctor, when I get this arm of this cast will I be able to play the piano?
      Doctor: I don’t see why not.
      Patient: That’s great , because I don’t know how to play the piano.

      How do you know that the treatments cured CoViD-19 but did nothing about the pneumonia and the hypertension?

      • There is no cure for hypertension, and no one thinks a drug to help someone clear an infectious disease would or should possibly help with that.
        Pneumonia has symptoms. When the symptoms no longer exist, the condition is resolved.
        Some people who get pneumonia never make a full recovery.
        But in general, if someone on a ventilator no longer needs a ventilator, when a patient who needs oxygen no longer needs oxygen, when a patient with low blood oxygen level has a normal level return, when the lungs clear in imaging scans, and when a person feels better and is able to breath, get out of bed, and return to some semblance of normal life…then the condition is deemed to be resolved.
        In clinical trials, patients who enroll in the trial are evaluated, screened for inclusion and exclusion criteria, and then are randomized into different cohorts, each getting different treatments.
        Then the patients are closely monitored and their progress is evaluated and recorded using prearranged objective criteria. At the end of the trial all of the data on the various cohorts of patients is assembled and the data analyzed and parsed.
        Your question is difficult to make sense of, and seems to be assuming facts not in evidence.
        No one knows if any of the treatment are a cure for anything.
        Patients are evaluated for viral loading using any number of methods, but the key is to have it decided upon ahead of time, and everyone is evaluated using the same methodology.
        It takes hundreds of patients because except in the case where a treatment is a grand slam home run, the decision about whether something can be deemed to have “worked” is a matter of statistical analysis.
        If the only difference in how one group of 250 people and another group of 250 people is whether they got a saline drip or a remdesivir drip, any differences in the outcome measures for the two groups is likely due to that specific thing which was the only variable.

        In situations where some people get a treatment and there these types of protocols are not used, it is very difficult to say anything conclusive, and certain impossible to say anything quantitative.
        Patients have to be at a similar stage of illness, adverse events must be recorded and compared, people who die or drop out of the study or are lost to follow up need to be accounted for as such.

        Question for you now: Is this situation funny to you?

  10. Excuse my ignorance, but is this a possibility? I put this here in the hope that people who know much more than me will comment.

    An experiment of nature

    Back in day genetic diseases were called experiments of nature, which I thought rather cruel, as it implied a conscious intent to set them up (to me at least). Well, we’re in the middle of one presently, and it may tell us something about climate change. The New York Times today has a pious article “What the Pandemic Means for Climate Change” full of treacle.

    However, it is possible that the drop in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (25% in China in February) if it goes on long enough might tell us something about the effect of CO2 on climate.

    Suppose global CO2 drops and the temperature along with it. This should convince the hardiest climate skeptic (not denier) that CO2 and global temperature are related.

    I’m far from knowing enough to even guess, if a mild decline in emissions would change global CO2 levels and with it global temperatures, but both are being continuously measured so we’ll soon have the data.

    Probably nothing will happen to either as there is so much CO2 in the atmosphere, that a blip of a 25% decline (even worldwide) won’t do anything.

    I’m posting this, because the article said nothing about the possibility.

    Any thoughts, particularly from people more knowledgeable than me

    • luysii – There were already signs, before WuFlu hit the world, that temperature has peaked for now and may already be in decline (eg. https://tinyurl.com/s4ke6ac). So a drop in both CO2 concentrations and temperature now would not prove that the climate alarmists were right. Unfortunately, it would allow them to claim they were right (not that anything ever stops them from claimimg that).

    • There will be no measurable effect as the contribution of CO2 to temperature is very small.

    • “Suppose global CO2 drops and the temperature along with it. This should convince the hardiest climate skeptic (not denier) that CO2 and global temperature are related.

      I’m far from knowing enough to even guess, if a mild decline in emissions would change global CO2 levels and with it global temperatures, but both are being continuously measured so we’ll soon have the data

      1. the effect of changes in total forcing are always lagged in the system. Inertia. So
      you would not see any immediate effect. Think steering an oil tanker. Thing
      wont change direction for a while
      2. If skeptics doubt the effect of c02 today, no amount of evidence will convince them.

      Go read back a few weeks when I was telling folks here about this virus
      The will to disbelieve is strong.
      why?
      because the truth threatens your way of life and folks resist change.

      • I doubt most could even understand your drive-by gangster posts. About all I go got was some doomsday prep stuff about vitamin D was going to save you and you were going to hide under a rock in South Korea.

        • Huh, if you are vitamin D deficient, it may help you immune system.
          err the point was rather simple, dont panic prepare and test.

          meanwhile guys called me alarmist when the deaths were at 0 and case count was 68.

          read harder

      • BTW I should actually commend you that your posts over the last week have actually made sense and actually construct an argument.

      • Hi Steve,
        Since early March 2020 I have been downloading data on atmospheric CO2 looking for a change in the “business as usual” signal. It is hard to interpret the data because it is hard to find it.
        This link https://www.co2.earth/daily-co2 has these words
        “This table presents the most up-to-date, daily average reading for atmospheric CO2 on the planet. Units = parts per million (ppm). Measurement location = Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. Source = NOAA-ESRL. See the tabs below for more info and CO2 readings.”
        When you search the “tabs below” you can find more data, such as Barrow, which ends December 2018, other data that are weekly or monthly. Nothing I can find that has daily data after the end of February 2020.
        Given your high ability to find appropriate sites, have you any suggestions on how to find up-to-date daily data? It is not only the data from one site like ML that are interesting. A comparison with Barrow, South Pole, Cape Grim and many others could show pattern shifts due to geographic time lags etc.

        So, if you know of sources of recent daily data – even better, sources of isotopic analysis of C and O in CO2 as well, I’d be delighted if you could pass them on.
        The daily data from the link above have several days of missing data, then a sudden jump that is about the 5th highest daily jump in the last 5 years, a mysterious event for which I have so far found no explanation.
        Keep free of virus — we are both in the higher risk category now. Geoff S

    • I recall something on WUWT a week or two ago on that very subject. As I recall the conclusion was that natural variability will swamp out any result. I may have this wrong. 3 weeks of cough medicine make for a very hazy memory.

  11. Donald Trump’s approach isn’t the only possible approach. Some others are going for total lockdown in order to kill the virus off quickly. Both approaches have their problems – Donald Trump’s risks killing more people, the others’ risks enormous economic damage and then being back at square one if an effective vaccine or cure isn’t found. So in the end, it’s a balancing issue, the sort that we elect our politicians to deal with.

    My main thought is that after many decades of trying we haven’t been at all that successful in finding an effective vaccine or cure for flu – a fact which gives at least some support for Donald Trump.

    I note a massive difference between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump. Xi Jinping has operated at all times in the best interest of himself and the communist party. Donald Trump has operated at all times in the best interest of the American people. [Never-Trumpers might choke on that thought. Tough.]

    • I worry about economic depression leading to tax base drying up which will end up cutting services at local level. I’m worried about cuts to police force, firefighters, increased homelessness. All this causes death.

  12. Here in Canada we have nothing but virtue signaling governments who spent the last couple years passing “climate emergency” declarations but doing nothing about real problems. This even extends to premiers and mayors all across the far north, dozens of communities that only exist as long as the diesel generators are running and the trucks and boats bringing the diesel from the south keep running. They have the nerve to demand that the rest of stuff stop burning the stuff, I guess so they can continue to do so.
    Then in early february, in response to pandemic worries, the federal government shipped 16 tons of medical supplies to China, the place where much of that is made.
    Now we face shortages here and there seems to be no return favor from Xi.

  13. spend an hour watching this and ask: why is this man not a regular – or even an irregular – on MSM?

    AUDIO: 1hr2m46: 25 Mar: Youtube: Perspectives on the Pandemic with Dr. John Ioannidis
    (recorded 23 March interview by John Kirby, The Press and The Public Interest)
    In this extended interview, Dr. John Ioannidis of Stanford University cautions that we do not have reliable data to make long-term decisions about COVID-19, and that an extended lockdown might have far graver effects than the disease itself.
    Use this index to jump to points of interest; though we do recommend taking the time to watch the full interview:
    00:50-Dr. Ioannidis summarizes his article titled “A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data” (linked below)
    03:47-The truth about COVID-19’s death rate ETC

    from the comments:
    Too bad this will never run on MSM. Their panic bubble would burst pretty quickly.

    • The only required knowledge is that this virus, allowed to run its course, overwhelms any existing medical care system – that is the only information needed.

      Taiwan was the only sizeable country with an effective pandemic response. At 30 March they 298 cases and 3 dead.

      There are already countries where their medical system is overwhelmed. Even death statistics are meaningless because the military are not determining what killed the bodies they are dragging from houses. China had some 3000+ deaths from CV19; counted in hospital after surviving to be tested positive. Tens of thousands more bodies were taken from homes by authorities. Their cause of death unknown. Burst of fumes from crematoriums cranking are testament to that. The queues for ashes urn at Collection sites in Wuhan is testament to that.

      The freezer trucks outside emergency departments in New York have bodies that possibly died from CV19 but no one is going to test a cadaver to verify the cause of death in the circumstances. If they made into the hospital register and tested positive then they will be counted as a CV19 victim. If the died in the queue without testing then the cause of death is unknown.

      Statistics on CV19 will never be accurate. Just know it is deadly and everyone needs to stop feeding it fresh flesh.

      This expert is a dingbat. The only sensible message is to assume everyone else is infected and stay away from them and things they may have touched.

  14. Trump said at his news conference a little earlier today that there were 1100 patients being given hydroxychloroquine in New York and today was Day Two of the trial.

    Trump also said the new computer models say if we took no action at all to mitigate the Wuhan virus, then an estimated 2.2 million Americans might die of the virus.

    Trump’s actions to stop the virus from coming in from China and from Europe and all the other efforts that are taking place now like social distancing might keep the deaths from Wuhan virus below 100,000 Americans.

    There’s a big difference between 100,00 people and 2,200,000 people.

    Let’s hope some of these drugs we are testing will cut these numbers down. Russia is said to be using another malaria drug in their tests and they are reporting good indications.

    There is a possibilty that 100,000 Americans are going to die because the Chinese leadership tried to cover up the Wuhan virus infection and spread, which unleashed this plague on the world.

    • How many of the 100,000 died from the flu?

      I am hoping social distancing drives down the number of flu deaths.

    • Tom
      Tom
      “There is a possibilty that 100,000 Americans are going to die because the Chinese leadership tried to cover up the Wuhan virus infection and spread, which unleashed this plague on the world.”
      Oh please Tom…. You are happy to blame the Chinese, but think Trumps denial at the initial stages and refusal to do very little is fine. There are well documented statements from him that now long incredulous. “Be gone by spring” “we will have a vaccine soon””our cases will soo n be zero” etc. By the time the first case hit the US shores there was more than enough evidence that a tough line needed to be taken. But…Trump down played this thing for far too long and it gave the public a false sense of security. They carried on their lives during those crucial initial weeks, the end result being many thousands were infected and they infected many thousands more. He’s doing the right thing now(listening to the experts) but I’m sorry it is going to be too late for many who will now die.

      • “Oh please Tom…. You are happy to blame the Chinese, but think Trumps denial at the initial stages and refusal to do very little is fine. There are well documented statements from him that now long incredulous. “Be gone by spring” “we will have a vaccine soon””our cases will soo n be zero” etc.”

        Simon, please provide links to all those statements you cliam Trump made.

        If you don’t, then I will assume these are your personal interpretations and opinions of what Trump said. You know, the Leftwing Media is real bad about distorting exactly what Trump says. It’s what they do. They are always trying to find fault, and if they can’t find any, then they just make it up. If people pay attention to the Leftwing Media, then they probably have a distorted picture of reality, especially when it comes to President Trump.

        Links please.

        • Trump banned flights from China as far back as January, he was criticised by the Democrats for doing this, then the Democrats accuse him of not doing enough,when he was the first to act, like loydo the democrates are hypocritical, point scoring in the face of reality.

        • Tom
          Here is a timeline of Trump’s comments on coronavirus:
          Feb. 7 (tweet): ”… as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”
           
          Feb. 10: “I think the virus is going to be — it’s going to be fine.”
           
          Feb. 14: “We have a very small number of people in the country, right now, with it. It’s like around 12. Many of them are getting better. Some are fully recovered already. So we’re in very good shape.”
           
          Feb. 19: “I think it’s going to work out fine. I think when we get into April, in the warmer weather, that has a very negative effect on that and that type of a virus. So let’s see what happens, but I think it’s going to work out fine.”
           
          Feb. 24 (tweet): “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. … Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
           
          Feb. 25: “You may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country. We have very few people with it, and the people that have it are … getting better. They’re all getting better. … As far as what we’re doing with the new virus, I think that we’re doing a great job.”
           
          Feb. 26: “Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low. … When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. That’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”
           
          Feb. 28: “I think it’s really going well. … We’re prepared for the worst, but we think we’re going to be very fortunate.”
           
          Feb. 28: “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
           
          Feb. 28: “This is their new hoax.”
           
          March 4: “Some people will have this at a very light level and won’t even go to a doctor or hospital, and they’ll get better. There are many people like that.”
           
          March 9 (tweet): “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”
           
          March 10: “And it hit the world. And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”
           
          March 11: “I think we’re going to get through it very well.”
           
          March 12: “It’s going to go away. … The United States, because of what I did and what the administration did with China, we have 32 deaths at this point … when you look at the kind of numbers that you’re seeing coming out of other countries, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it.”
           
          March 15: “This is a very contagious virus. It’s incredible. But it’s something that we have tremendous control over.”
           
          March 16: “If you’re talking about the virus, no, that’s not under control for any place in the world.”
           
          March 17: “I’ve always known this is a, this is a real, this is a pandemic … I’ve felt that it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

          That enough for you or will you say because I have compiled these neatly for you to read they are fake?

          • So what ,nearly every world leader took the same line, till it became evident that more precautions were needed, are you saying trump should of had a crystal ball, he can only go on what’s in front of him.

  15. 17 Mar: StatNews: A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data
    By John P.A. Ioannidis
    At a time when everyone needs better information, from disease modelers and governments to people quarantined or just social distancing, we lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who continue to become infected…

    How long, though, should measures like these (lockdowns) be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing more good than harm?…
    The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable…
    https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

    Lipsitch – whose claim ‘40% to 70% of the world’s adult population could become infected’ went ‘viral’ (later revised in a tweet & ignored by MSM) – contacted Ioannidis following his StatNews article and critiqued him the next day, while admitting Ioannidis was right – there is no good data:

    18 Mar: StatNews: We know enough now to act decisively against Covid-19. Social distancing is a good place to start
    By Marc Lipsitch
    (Marc Lipsitch, D.Phil., is professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and director of Harvard’s Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics)
    In a recent and controversial First Opinion, epidemiologist and statistician John Ioannidis argues that we lack good data on many aspects of the Covid-19 epidemic, and seems to suggest that we should not take drastic actions to curtail the spread of the virus until the data are more certain…

    He is absolutely right on the first point…
    https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/18/we-know-enough-now

    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: The latest on the coronavirus
    March 2: Coronavirus may infect up to 70% of world’s population, expert says (CBS News)
    According to Marc Lipsitch, 40% to 70% of the world’s adult population could become infected with the new coronavirus, and of those, 1% could die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. (In a later tweet, Lipsitch revised his estimates downward, to 20% to 60% of adults becoming infected.)
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/the-latest-on-the-coronavirus/

    Tweet: Marc Lipsitch
    Because I am now less certain of where the R0 will end up (and how it may vary geographically) I am going to revise downward the range of outcomes I consider plausible to 20%-60% of adults infected. This involves subjectivity about what range of R0 may turn out to be true.
    3 Mar 2020
    https://twitter.com/mlipsitch/status/1234879949946814464

  16. in what should be familiar to CAGW sceptics, CBC brought together an array of “scientists” to dispute Ioannidis, while also admitting they don’t have the evidence:

    19 Mar: CBC: Prominent scientist dares to ask: Has the COVID-19 response gone too far?
    Leading epidemiologists publish duelling commentaries, igniting debate on social media
    by Kelly Crowe
    It’s a clash of titans — an epic battle between two famous scientists over the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    In one corner, influential Stanford University epidemiologist John Ioannidis, who wrote a commentary asking whether taking such drastic action to combat the pandemic without evidence it will work is a “fiasco in the making.”
    Across the mat, prominent Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch punched back with a defiant response titled: “We know enough now to act decisively against COVID-19.”…

    Prof. Ross Upshur of the University of Toronto is a public health expert, a physician and a scholar of the ethics and history of global health emergencies. He’s also a veteran of the SARS outbreak.
    He has corresponded with Ioannidis over the years and respects the Stanford professor’s expertise: “He is one of the most cited, most highly regarded researchers.”

    But in this particular case, Upshur said, Ioannidis is making an error in his analysis by failing to view the current response through the lens of public health instead of evidence-based medicine.
    “Of course there’s a lack of data,” said Upshur. “It’s all nice to stand on the sidelines and say, ‘Hey, you know we don’t have very good data. These are not evidence-based decisions.’ Well, of course they’re not, because we don’t have the evidence.”
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/coronavirus-covid-pandemic-response-scientists-1.5502423

    • We board up houses and evacuate whole states when hurricanes approach, not once they hit, because by the time we know for sure where it will hit, and when, and how strong, it is far too late to board up houses and evacuate.
      Besides, drastic action has already been taken.
      This sounds like news from two weeks ago.

  17. the other numbers that went viral and stuck in people’s minds was, of course, Imperial College London’s Neil Ferguson’s 500,000 could die in the UK; 2.2m in the US.

    near the end of the Ioannidis hour, he’s asked (on 23 March) about those who will claim their proclamations didn’t eventuate because of the shelter-in-place/lockdowns. his response is pertinent, given:

    28 Mar: UK Mirror: Coronavirus death toll could be ‘just’ 5,700 – but only if lockdown rules obeyed
    Coronavirus could kill as few as 5,700 people in Britain with the peak of the outbreak as early as next Sunday if people stringently follow the government’s social distancing advice
    by Nicola Bartless & Jeremy Culley
    The paper from Imperial College, London, says that 5,700 people will die in Britain if the disease follows the same pattern as China now lockdown measures are in place.
    This follows the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance’s grim assertion that 20,000 deaths in the UK would represent a “good outcome”.
    Hundreds of thousands are feared to be at risk of death if no intervention is made…

    The 5,700 lives lost in Britain as a result of the pandemic would amount to fewer annual deaths than seasonal flu.
    Explaining his findings on Twitter (LINK), Professor Tom Pike, one of the study’s author’s, said: “Social distancing is working against Covid-19 as an effective parachute across multiple countries.
    “That’s no reason for us to cut away our parachutes when we’re still way above the ground.”…READ ON
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/coronavirus-death-toll-could-just-21769975

    26 Mar: Washington Examiner: Imperial College scientist who predicted 500K coronavirus deaths in UK adjusts figure to 20K or fewer
    by Andrew Mark Miller
    A scientist who warned that the coronavirus would kill 500,000 people in the United Kingdom has presented evidence that if current measures work as expected, the death toll would drop to roughly 20,000 people or fewer…
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/imperial-college-scientist-who-predicted-500k-coronavirus-deaths-in-uk-revises-to-20k-or-less

    29 Mar: Washington Examiner: ‘Confusion’: Imperial College scientist says 500K coronavirus death projection in UK remains unchanged
    by Daniel Chaitin
    A top infectious disease modeler and epidemiologist said there is misinformation going around about his research on the expected coronavirus death toll in the United Kingdom.
    Neil Ferguson, an Imperial College London professor, said his original estimate, which showed the coronavirus would kill 500,000 people in the U.K., remains true, while a new model reading reflecting the influence of lockdown measures saw that estimate shrink to 20,000 or fewer.
    “I think it would be helpful if I cleared up some confusion that has emerged in recent days. Some have interpreted my evidence to a UK parliamentary committee as indicating we have substantially revised our assessments of the potential mortality impact of COVID-19,” Ferguson said in a Twitter thread posted Thursday.
    “This is not the case. Indeed, if anything, our latest estimates suggest that the virus is slightly more transmissible than we previously thought. Our lethality estimates remain unchanged,” he continued.
    “My evidence to Parliament referred to the deaths we assess might occur in the UK in the presence of the very intensive social distancing and other public health interventions now in place,” Ferguson said. “Without those controls, our assessment remains that the UK would see the scale of deaths reported in our study (namely, up to approximately 500 thousand).”

    Ferguson, who tested positive for the coronavirus, said Wednesday the coronavirus death toll is unlikely to exceed 20,000 and could be much lower if lockdown measures in the U.K. stay in place, noting that he is “reasonably confident” that the health system can handle the burden of treating coronavirus patients.

    His initial March 16 report that showed the disease could cause up to 510,000 deaths in the U.K. also projected up to 2.2 million deaths in the United States from a similar spread. That report, which said social distancing practices might be needed for as many as 18 months to avoid catastrophe, is credited with inspiring more extreme measures to have the public self-isolate to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
    Ferguson’s new evidence prompted critics to pan his initial “doomsday” study as alarmist…READ ON
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/is-the-coronavirus-as-deadly-as-they-say-professors-claim-more-data-needed-to-know-mortality-rate

  18. The Chinese cheated from the beginning. The number of deaths in Wuhan certainly exceeds 40,000. If we take into account the decrease in the number of mobile subscribers in Wuhan, the number of deaths may be even several times higher.

    • I’m shocked, not. And yet….where’s the usual outrage mob? Why aren’t they protesting outside Chinese embassies, demanding mass boycotts of Chinese products and various unrealistic government measures? Imagine the instant vitriol if this had started in the West?

  19. Just imagine how better off the US would be today if the untold billions wasted on climate change had been spent wisely on health care.

    The Republicans didn’t kill off American health care reform. Al Gore did.

    And, no, that is not necessarily an endorsement of recent proposals per se. Rather, it is an acceptance of the principle of government health care for the greater good of a nation. AGW scaremongering is bereft of principles, but not of principal and for that a nation pays dearly.

  20. All very well, but you guys who’ve been fending off the greenies for decades can start winding down.
    Gordon Brown and Tony Blair recently stated that only a one-world government can stop the virus. Whether it actually could is not the point. The point is that they’ve concluded that gorebull warmening hasn’t worked and won’t work. And they need a new looming catastrophe to be the moral equivalent of war in getting the gullible to fork over money and personal liberty.
    So you won.

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