Guest opinion by Wim Röst
Nature is beautiful, romantic and the best there is on Earth. But, nature is also fully unpredictable, dangerous and deadly. For example, by means of a virus.
Romantically, we want to live close to nature. But the closer we are to nature the more likely diseases will jump from animals to man.
This romance with nature resulted in a green blindness that reigned for decades. Every imaginary and possible danger to nature had to be fought. A little bit of warming or too much nitrogen in a nature area and billions and trillions of dollars and euros were spent. Nature itself was not thought capable of finding a new equilibrium somewhere close to the old one. According to the dominant ‘Green’ ideas whole societies should be transformed to avoid every possible damage to nature. Every change by humans was an unprecedented attempt to totally destroy the natural equilibrium.
Nature was thought to be a very fragile system, delicately balanced, and unable to find a new equilibrium after she is nudged slightly by humans. But every summer and every winter the Earth finds a new equilibrium, adapting to half-yearly changes in the position of the Sun. The Earth’s systems never collapse but are in a constant process of adaptation to daily changing situations in her environment – her position relative to the Sun is the main one. Daily the Earth adapts, finding a new equilibrium for every new situation.
After decades of green madness nature finally showed her other side, after being quite nice to humans for decades. The smallest possible enemy – a virus – was able to halt society in a way that man has not been able to do. This despite the rumours that mankind was already living in the ‘Anthropogenic Era’ or ‘Anthropocene.’ The blind arrogance of man, thinking that humans already dominated nature and ruled the whole Earth and all its parts. That arrogance was knocked out in the first round by a virus so small that it is not even visible to the human eye. Nature has always been stronger than man and for the foreseeable future nature will always dominate. Humans will always have to adapt to the limits of nature.
A small virus showed our common failure. The green blindness was able to put ‘imaginary problems that could happen in the 21st century’ in first place for decades and has dominated the minds of too many people. The green movement never warned us about the hidden danger in the environment. A virus living in a bat that could jump to man in order to kill many of us and by doing so, destroy our fragile societies. The virus jumped without any ecologist warning us and without an environmentalist movement showing us the way to prepare in advance. Green Blindness in optima forma.
The ‘Old Green World,’ fixated on imaginary problems for nature, disappeared from one moment to the other. That blindness will not return. How will it be replaced?
The New Reality
The New Reality is the reality after the virus. In a few months our new reality resulted in the impoverishment of all main economies, and it will get worse before it gets better. And we have not defeated the virus. In one moment nearly all airplanes disappeared from the sky and it is unclear when they will return and to what extent. Our world was changed in a moment – by a virus.
For luxury ‘future green fantasies’ all money disappeared, although this is not yet realized by decision makers. Many new problems appeared in our new world, a world that is no longer able to function the way we expect. A change from one moment to the next. And from one moment to the next a new reality is needed.
Over the last decades it has been the green blindness that prevented the world from seeing and solving real problems. Not only the virus but also problems like hunger, poor schools or no schools at all, health services that are too expensive or non-existent, and building a decent world-wide infrastructure.
Green blindness dominated political parties, our institutions, our countries and the United Nations. Trillions have been requested to solve future possible problems for nature.
It is twenty-twenty and we are back in reality. Nature again has proven its dominance over humans. Not by exposing us to a massive destruction by a meteor, by a massive volcanic eruption or by another huge natural force but by creating a real danger caused by one of the tiniest creatures of nature: a virus. Man does not dominate the Earth, nature dominates and man has to follow.
The new reality will ask all world leaders to reinvent the future. To reinvent societies to cope with a new virus that has established itself world-wide, lays a heavy burden on all of us for now and in the future.
One of the reasons this and other viruses develop is because of how closely people live with nature. The romantic idea of ‘man and nature united’ in the past has already resulted in a great number of epidemics that decimated populations and disrupted societies. Nature dominates man in many ways. The green arrogance made us forget that nature is dominant and full of surprises. That arrogance has made us look in the wrong direction for decades.
No preparation for real dangers
No preparations have been made for real dangers like this new virus. Our decision makers, like most of our modern academics, were living in their virtual world of models. The models made their plans for how to cope with the new epidemic. Unfortunately, no translations from model fantasies to reality were made. Our ‘Old World’ was not prepared to cope with a real problem like a new emerging virus. When the virus appeared, there were no face masks, no protective clothing for health employees, no testing capacities, no pop-up hospitals, no preparations for vaccines, no training for people, there was nothing at all. Only models.
In our world of green madness we have been busy with imaginary problems that ‘could, may, might’ appear somewhere far in the future but we have not been busy with real problems that already existed or would surely develop during our lifetime, problems for which only the exact date is unknown.
Wrong ideas dominated the world for decades, wrong initiatives empowered our main institutions.
Our present situation urges world leaders to clean up the mess. To start, we must clean up the mess of wrong ideas. No more throwing good money at bad ideas should be allowed.
In our new reality we will first have to learn how to cope with this virus. Then we will have to repair all economic damage. No room will be left to spend money on unproven imaginary ideas.
The new realism that should follow this 2020 disaster should first clean out the green fantasies that have poisoned the minds of people, making them blind to reality.
It is 2020 and the Old World must reinvent itself.
With regards to commenting: please adhere to the rules known for this site: quote and react, not personal.
About the author: Wim Röst studied human geography in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The above is his personal view. He is not connected to firms or foundations nor is he funded by government(s).
Thanks to Andy May for correcting and improving this article.
From a Watter’s World show: New York was fully prepared. For a sea level rise, not for a virus.
Neither is the UK for the sea level rise or was even less so for the virus !
The UK’s Covid-19 today’s (Monday) update:
Vuk, the several trillion spent because of Covid is going to reap huge savings by it wiping out the worst and most expensive virus – climate madness. The entire world will be wealthier by 2100 because of this beneficial virus.
Perhaps the even bigger benefit, after the close scrape with an Orwellian future, will be a recognition that we need to safeguard and expand our wealth and wealth generators and use them for attaining better and more secure lives for inhabitants of this little planet. We might have to go out there one day to turn an asteroid away from us.
In the meantime, we can assist the Third World to at least continue the prosperity expansion it has been achieving for itself. Did you know that Bangladesh has an annual GDP growth of over 8%? Even Africa is on the move. Scroll down a bit to the list it will surprise you.
Gary Pearse: “The entire world will be wealthier by 2100 because of this beneficial virus.”
WR: A great view and you might be right. But for now real discussions are needed to give direction to the future developments of the World.
Right now many groups just try to be mighty and rich and no one is setting a course for all of us. Doom is what is used to scare everyone and to take profit themselves by playing ‘The Authority who knows”. Science is misused to create all that doom. And with all that science no one knew about the virus that is turning the world upside down: nearly all authorities failed.
We need a positive view on the future development of the World. At the moment there was still money to develop new ideas most money has been spend on wrong things in order to fulfil the needs of specific groups, organized within mighty structures.
Perhaps the coming situation created by this nasty virus in combination with the resulting struggling economy will bring back the so needed real (!) discussions that should end up in creating a time path for that prosperous world where we all can live in in a pleasant way: for a multitude of generations to come. All ingredients are present to reach that goal, but what we miss is Organization.
Nice presentation of an incorrect view of COVID.
1. COVID didn’t “cause” the economic devastation or the money being spent by governments to defeat it. Our governments cause the waste of resources all by themselves.
2. COVID as a class was not unexpected – only the specifics which needed to be figured out of how to fight COVID. And we may never know whether it was created naturally or in a lab in China, funded by either the Chinese or the US.
3. COVID is not an existential threat. Recent daily test results show about 15% of people with antibodies. Extrapolating to the whole US population (15% of 340 million) indicates around 51 million Americans already have gotten COVID. If there are 70K deaths so far (mostly old people (like me), then the death rate is 70k / 51 million or about 0.137% – like a bad flu season.
4. Government should NOT be deciding how to protect us from threats like COVID. They tend do do a lousy job controlled more by politics and money than by actual science.
” The smallest possible enemy – a virus – was able to halt society in a way that man has not been able to do.”
No, something even smaller took us down. The tiny brains of the uninformed and easily fearful took us down. It takes no thought at all to panic and that is what many people did.
We did this to ourselves. It matters not where the virus came from, it was part and parcel of the flu season and acted as a part of the flu season. Just because we think we can track the one virus out of many, we panic over every little positive case. Millions of exposures are natural and needed for us to handle the flu season. Thinking we can stop the inevitable and even fight the desired herd immunity is just stupid. Herd immunity is what protects the elderly, not hiding them away from the world.
The young and healthy should be encouraged to be exposed to create herd immunity ASAP. Wow.
It is time to end the U.S. version of Hunger Games, the HOSTAGE GAMES. The people are not even slaves in our version, we are hostages and not allowed to slave for our masters. The state governments are the Capitol and they argue over the dying economy and the people while the dying continues, pretending that giving air back to the people needs to be done in phases. Full oxygen, please, 100%.
END THE U.S. HOSTAGE CRISIS NOW!
the only reason it halted society is because we let it, the agenda was on a roll
well throw that roll back in the oven, it was only half baked
I think this article is a good place to re-post Anthony’s letter to Greta.
An open letter to @GretaThunberg and other assorted climate wackadoodles
So you got what you wanted.
“System change & Economic Slowdown” is a real thing now.
Airplanes, industry, jobs, restaurants, recreation, and schools are all shut down.
Instead we have fear, poverty, misery, joblessness, economic ruin, and a bleak future.
Anthony Watts (and thousands of WUWT readers)
The UN is prepared 😉
“…The United Nations headquarters is located right on the coast of midtown Manhattan, along the East River. While the Climate Central maps suggest the building itself will be mostly safe due to its higher elevation, the coastal neighborhood around the UN will flood..”
It’s called a failure to do proper risk assessments. Politicians got dragged by the green blob into climate change which is just one prediction for 100 years time. They forgot that there are 100 year risk events that regularly occur.
It is a given that there will be little interest in Climate Change going forward especially as one of the big drivers for some countries in the idea of getting raparations for CO2 will be off the table. China can no longer push that idea (or get other countries to push that) because there will be an obvious pushback over virus damages claims.
The stark reality of total mismanagement is blatantly obvious because …
But why is there an increase in green-blindness?
-Is it because too high a proportion of people live in a concreted, chlorinated, meat-inspected world where they do not suffer from parasites, cholera and the rest.
Or is it because they spend too long in school where they are taught about the, by definition, rational things rather than spending time out side and witnessing the dog-eat dog nature, of nature.
Or could it be that is simply hard to comprehend that the exquisite engineering of nature is very often simply optimised evil?
“Nature” doesn’t optimise anything. Some 99% of all identifiable species are extinct. That is a 99% failure rate for “Nature”. Even photosynthesis has a serious energy inefficiency built into its chemical path. This is something we can optimise to our benefit.
Natural systems are what they are and cope (or not) with the changes that impinge upon them. Natural systems are impressive to the comprehending eye, but that doesn’t mean much in terms of optimisation. Nature is full of waste. That opens a gap for something to take advantage of that waste.
It is Mankind that is capable of optimisation through the application of inventive minds and scientific principles investigated and understood. Nature is not evil. We can choose to be, or choose otherwise by training and applying our higher nature. Untrained and unconstrained we are worse than animals.
That is a 99% failure rate for “Nature”
How many IBM PC do you think are still being built? Sometimes extinction is not failure, rather it is a success that has just been superseded by better more efficient models.
Yeah, Paul. By your logic we will develop immunity to a large asteroid strike. That’s what took out a goodly portion of the 99% or a glacial maximum of which we have had several of these and they helped, too. These are nature writ large. Nature writ small is earth’s and, so far, the universe’s, only life forms, which work improve and optimize themselves oblivious of nature writ large. That means winners and losers get knocked out just the same. The next one could take out Dell (who really breathed new life into IBM’s creation), and all the rest along with humans. The little creatures, insects, viruses, plant seeds waiting for water and sun, many ocean creatures both winners and losers will get to continue its optimizing ways if the asteroid isn’t too big.
What crispin said.
Natural systems tend to optimize on the “good enough”.
Think of teeth, I’ve read that there are many ridge patterns that are more efficient than what we have. The problem is getting from what we have to anything better.
At the risk of grossly over simplifying, think of a graph. The height of the graph indicates efficiency. The graph is not a smooth slope, ramping up the most efficient pattern and then dropping once you get past that point. In reality the line is quite squiggly with many high points, but only one highest point. Right now our teeth are at one of these local highs. However any small change from what we have results in less efficiency, so natural selection would tend to keep our teeth the way they are instead of constantly searching for the best possible pattern.
The idea that nature constantly searches for the best/most optimal is a fallacy.
Nope! It’s because the “dog-eat-dog nature of nature” has been replaced by Disney-fied “Lion King” anthropomorphic narratives that nature is the Garden of Eden which we have shat. Gaia is mad and sad and therefore human sacrifice is called for. Maybe we let Greta be the first down the volcano . . .
This is neo-Paganism as the New Religion of the Left.
In 2012 in Germany a paper written by several institute for the gouvernement desribed the scenario of a Corona virus in Germany, with all it’s possible impacts, necessities like masks, protective clothings for medical services, possible infected and deaths, all what we see now in live and slow motion.
Leading peoples, even medicals, didn’t even know it and were surprised as it resurged and became public.
Krishna, I bet there were papers like that in the US also. Good point.
Paper is maybe the wrong word for the study, it was a complete scenarion over about 100 pages at least, describing a virus, quasi the actual, the way of its propagation, the numbers of possible cases / deaths as worstcases, thought and intendet to give an idea how to prepare for such a situation.
Were we prepared ?? At no point, but the big surprise someone found it.
One of these institutes was the RKI, telling us end February, that nothing will happen. we are in all security and “WE CAN HANDLE THAT”
Yes, we had the knowledge, but did not prepare.
I suspect that the first thing we need to do after this pandemic is to prepare for the inevitable next one. It should not be too difficult. Stockpile equipment and medicines. Prepare for pre-fabrication ff laege ICUs. Put social distancing plans in place (without lockdowns). Set quarantine standards. Set reporting standards.
You know, all those things those massive socialist New World Order organisations like the WHO, UN and the EU utterly failed to do this time around. In fact, why not disband those organisations to fund this initiative and our economic recovery, eh? We can’t afford them now.
As for CAGW, I don’t think it’ll get a look in until it’s too late to pretend it’s not cooling again.
And what’s necessary is a regional production of necessary goods as medicine, med. clothes etc.
I would make an educated guess that the reason that governments did not prepare was that they didn’t want to spend the money.
Yet they have spent billions on CAGW.
Unfortunately the politicians and civil servants who are running the show now are the same ones who let this disaster evolve.
My thoughts were that it seems better to have the production of these goods and medicine “at home” and not, because of paying less, in China, f.e.
No, we need to realize that the flu season is an annual pandemic. Did no one ever notice that? These viruses are very communicable and stopping them essentially impossible, so the best strategy is to let the healthy become immune ASAP and aid the ill as best as we can, with the goal of effective herd immunity, which then protects the susceptible group. It is a waste of time and treasure to think we can develop vaccinations against constantly mutating targets. Just not going to happen. The flu vaccine is a great example of a waste of time; but, it makes people feel safe for not real reason.
We should practice good hygiene and social distance from those with critical conditions. That is really all we need to do.
The ventilator fiasco was just that, as a ventilator is a terrible option, from our experience this year. It turns out that other forms of providing air are more effective and less life-threatening.
We did not need the huge extra hospitals. It was stupid to send hospital staff home when they test ed positive when their job was to be working around patients who are positive. Where is the downside there? The only hospital problems were from understaffing not too many patients. Of course, I discount the long lines of fearful people, made fearful by the media, waiting in line for a test. That is not the virus’s problem. That is the fear-mongering media’s problem.
The idea now that all work places have to be safe from the flu season is a joke at the highest level. WOW. Have we gotten that stupid?
Charles, I cannot agree more.
But alas “we” have always been this stupid. All it took was for quick scare to expose the core beneath its thin veneer.
We HAVE gotten that stupid. We’ve forgotten (or are too infantilized to face) the plain fact of nature: That the old and sick are going to die no matter WHAT we do. And a certain percentage of the medically compromised, and occasionally even the “healthy.” That’s what nature DOES.
But the chattering classes have put SO much distance between themselves and nature, they have the hubris to think “we” can control life and death itself. To which, nature laughs!
Meanwhile, these “science” lovers bring us “animal rights” and “trans genderism.” “You can change the world” is their ubiquitous, astroturfed message spoon-fed to the young. Really?
Change the laws of physics, chemistry, biology, evolution? Good luck there, kiddies.
The idea we control the weather, or ever could, is just more of this mythology.
re: “Meanwhile, these “science” lovers bring us …”
And ‘bathroom confusion’, did you mention the confusion in which shower/locker/bath room to use?
Krishna do you have a link for that 2012 paper?
The paper is interesting because it shows that policy often not is driven by scientific findings. That was different in times that science and technology were leading on the road to prosperity of the Western World.
It seems present policy mostly is driven by politics. Making use of scientists that fit to prove the ‘being right’ of certain (!) policies. Which is something quite different from consulting ‘Science’ to learn to know what is the right thing to be done.
Here is the PDF
News about: https://bnn.de/nachrichten/suedwestecho/coronavirus-karlsruhe-baden-pforzheim-rastatt/verblueffende-aehnlichkeit-in-zeiten-des-coronavirus-stresstest-von-2012-wird-realitaet
You are welcome 😀
We live in a world of politics driven science formulation (as opposed to science driven policy formulation).
Anyone in doubt should ponder how those in academia who have the temerity (or foolishness) to publicly question the political line lose their grants and academic status – in climate “science” this has been the norm for a couple of de adds now, as evidenced by the fact that all those in a position to voice skeptical views are outside of the granting system – emeritus, endowment or independently funded.
Tetris: “We live in a world of politics driven science formulation (as opposed to science driven policy formulation).”
WR: Fully agree. Especially in new institutions like the UN and EU many ‘influencers’ helped to create the institutions. In several of the new institutions the focus has been on creating ‘imaginary dangers’ that would bring the influencers in a profitable and mighty position. IPCC and UNFCCC are good examples. At presentations of reports of those organizations always is referred to the role of ‘scientists’, suggesting that the reports are representing ‘Science’ which they don’t. Those organisations are not even using the Scientific Method, they work with a kind of ‘democratic majority’ points of view: ‘Likely, unlikely etc.’. Any scientist knows that such points of view never reflect Science, that the statements involved are just ‘political statements’.
This bad way of organizing makes us pay a high price when it comes to solving real problems. That is why UN and EU fundamentally have to change. They created our being unprepared by being only busy with their ‘imaginary self created problems’. Even leading persons in those organizations themselves often ‘believe’ in their own constructs. Forgetting that no proof exists for any of those imaginary problems.
Society has to pay the price for the bad international constructions. Continuing on the wrong path is nothing else than a way of slow and sometimes of even a very quick self destruction. Last months prove.
It is better to return half-way: now.
This was foreseen many decades ago by a President not given much credit for his brains.
Most have heard of Eisenhower’s Farewell Address and his warning about the Military Industrial Complex but few remember this from his speech. He was right about both.
IKE’S SPEECH ON SCIENTIFIC ELITE
IToday, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
Wim – thank you for this excellent article. Let us hope that sanity prevails.
In my considered opinion:
There is now ample evidence that Covid-19 is not much worse than other flu’s – most younger healthy people are asymptomatic, yet it is dangerous to the elderly and the unwell.
We should end the lockdown now. Re-open by 1May2020, and don’t over-regulate – let individuals and businesses manage themselves and their risks – people are typically far more intelligent than governments.
We should have followed the Swedish model and never shut down the economy, which harmed so many young people. We have over-protected the huge low-risk majority from a virus that typically does not harm them, and under-protected the high-risk elderly and infirm.
Hospitals have canceled elective surgeries and waiting lists have ballooned, waiting for the “tsunami of Covid cases” that never arrived.. What a debacle!
This is not 20:20 hindsight – it was apparent early in the process. I wrote in mid-March 2020:
“This full-lockdown scenario is especially hurting service sector businesses and their minimum-wage employees – young people are telling me they are “financially under the bus”. The young are being destroyed to protect us over-65’s. A far better solution is to get them back to work and let us oldies keep our distance, and get “herd immunity” established ASAP – in months not years. Then we will all be safe again.”
There’s a big difference between knowing that something is possible and having equipment and training in place for it to happen tomorrow.
We’ve known that asteroids and comets hit this planet from time to time for over 100 years. If one was spotted 1 month out tomorrow, there wouldn’t be much we could do about it.
Having an ample supply of masks ought to be a NO BRAINER.
In fact, following the Japanese model of wearing masks in public ought to be a goal, ALONG WITH parking one’s outside/public shoes at the door as well …
What – you (the US, the Western ‘whirled’) don’t subscribe to ‘germ theory’?
germ theory – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_theory_of_disease
Masks cost money and they deteriorate over time.
How much are you willing to spend in order to stock up enough masks (and keep them in stock) for a once in a century event?
re: “Masks cost money and they deteriorate over time.”
Failure to grasp concept (straining for gnats while swallowing camels again, MarkW); The point is, continued use by the public IN PARTICULAR during flu season (NO BRAINER). See, stock gets “turned over” at a regular pace or rate, nothing gets stale or ‘disintegrates’. A “NO BRAINER.”
Also, shoe guards or a separate pair of shoes WHILE the outdoor pair are parked at the door. Did you even READ that far down in my post? (No.) LIKE THE JAPANESE. Another NO BRAINER.
Shoe guards: https://www.google.com/search?q=shoe+guards&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
I reckon you never worked in a ‘clean room’ environment, MarkW.
MarkW: “How much are you willing to spend in order to stock up enough masks (and keep them in stock) for a once in a century event?”
WR: Professor Woo-Joo Kim who is a leading epidemiologist in South Korea calculates a potentially dangerous virus every 5-6 years. Two excellent video’s with high quality information below:
And the successor:
_Jim, I see that once again, in your desperate attempts to disagree with me, you haven’t even bothered to read what I actually wrote.
You claimed that having enough masks to cover the number needed for a pandemic like Covid19 was a no brainer. I pointed out why you are wrong.
In your response all you did was insult me then proceed to attack a position I’ve never taken. I said nothing about leaving shoes at the door, since neither had any relationship to the point I was making.
BTW, hydrino’s still don’t exist.
re: “hydrino’s still don’t exist.”
MarkW, the scientific illiterate rises again. We are well beyond stupid discussions like this, MarkW.
(1) Do you know what a gas chromatograph is?
(2) Do you know what a gas chromatograph is used for?
(3) Do you know how a gas chromatograph functions?
If you can pass answer YES (no cheating) to those three questions, then OBSERVE another recent test showing the very small, highly mobile hydrino form of hydrogen MIGRATING down the gas chromatograph’s ‘sieve’ line in advance of -wait for it- HYDROGEN even.
“Isolation and Identification of Molecular Hydrino Gas Directly from SunCell® Gas Using a Cryopump”
Accompanying video (it’s time compressed, so looks kind of odd. Note to idiot MarkW: There was a much more detailed write-up (DOUBT you EVER read it) involving a gas chromatograph months ago; this test used a different method to accrue the hydrino gas produced in the SunCell reactor)
MarkW, you really are an idiot.
If there’s a potentially dangerous virus every 5 to 6 years, then why has it been over 100 years since the last actual pandemic?
re: “If there’s a potentially dangerous virus every 5 to 6 years, then why has it been over 100 years since the last actual pandemic?”
Let me “play stupid” for a moment: “You mean, in Japan? The Japanese are notorious for wearing masks, always.” and I’ll add: “When was the last time the Japanese had a large number of fatalities due to flu even?”
Let me now use a smart-alecky voice: “Flu – for the YEARLY flu …”
Pick whichever suits …
MarkW: “why has it been over 100 years since the last actual pandemic”
WR: Partly the answer is in the video’s above. Mers, Sars, Swine Flu, Ebola and other viruses had the potention to grow out to big problems. Sars and Mers have been contained in Asia and the Middle East, protecting the rest of the World for an outbreak. For Swine Flu a vaccine has been effective. Ebola could be contained in Africa and because those strains of Ebola killed the host quickly the spread was not too quick to prevent timely eradication of the virus. Less quickly killing viruses can spread better. So we have been lucky.
If well prepared the Western World would have been lucky again. If all air transport from China had been halted in time we wouldn’t have known that we again escaped. China and the rest of SE Asia were able to contain the virus. Europe, US and others not.
When the virus knew how to spread in North Italy the rest of Europe had no answer: the boundaries had to stay open said Merkel. The virus must have applauded: a free entrance all over Europe and by air to the rest of the world. That is why we have a Pandemic right now. Thanks to our not knowing how to act in case of a dangerous virus.
Before the nineties air transport was less intense and because of that the spread of diseases was more slowly. The 1918 virus spread well because it had the right capacity to contaminate, was not killing to fast and was transported all over the world by big armies: from the US to Europe, to Asia and elsewhere. The Russian army transported the virus from the North to Iran. The Ottoman army also played her role.
In our well globalized world that is greening because of extra CO2 and where more people are living than before there is the romantic idea to live close with nature. Understandable, but the present risks for jumping viruses are higher.
So let’s be prepared for the next virus and also for a possible ‘second round’ of Covid-19. The second round of the 1918 Flu was by far the most deadly, killing many people in their twenties and thirties. And we are not yet finished with this virus. We are still naive as well. People talk as if this virus is already in control. It is not.
_Jim: “MarkW, you really are an idiot.”
WR: “adhere to the rules known for this site: quote and react, not personal”
Not personal! I suppose this is clear enough.
Might take a lesson from the UK during the Cold War. There were Regional Centres of Government, with underground shelters. Along with those were massive stocks of tinned and dried food, which were gradually turned over, taking out the oldest for distribution and replacing at the other end. This, of course, is what the ‘preppers’ have often been talking about! So, just maybe, some countries could build up necessary medical stocks for “the Next Big One”, and turn them over.
Wait a mo’ – just thinking about the turning over of stored food. Maybe THAT explains just why NHS hospital food (especially in the 1950’s) was so awful!
Guess all our many highly paid government medical scientists at CDC, FDA etc missed it – even after the SARS and Pig Flu epidemics. Obviously, they are unable to anticipate.
Actually, a MERS or SARS like virus type of flu, out of China is in the microbiology textbooks of possibilities for the next pandemic.
Johns Hopkins University gamed out the scenario last fall with a large number of participants, apparently. Epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, my Alma mater, published a book on it in 2017, with one highly suggestive chapter (13 I think), fairly outlining out situation today. He even went on podcasts like Joe Rogan Experience (See YouTube) in early March (or February) to remind us. And a bioterror weapons expert and virologist at George Washington University, Steven Hatfield, had a new book out in December, “ Three Seconds Until Midnight” (“The book examines current preparedness and unpreparedness for a devastating future influenza pandemic.” Say promo material.) Steve Bannon has had him on his War Room podcast since earliest February.
And for years, at the US department of Health and Human Services, there’s been an assistant deputy secretary for pandemic planning and domestic preparedness for years, replete with handbooks and scenarios and studies. Historian turned pundit Niall Ferguson pointed out that this was no Black Swan event, more like a charging gray Rhino, he says, in a current Hoover Institution podcast (again, see YouTube).
People knew what the next pandemic would likely be: airborne, lungs, viral, China, person-to-person, sped by air travel.
Authorities planned. But action was greatly inhibited. At the CDC – they promised Trump mass testing beginning in a week. It took nearly four when time was of the essence. When their tests failed in Washington State, the health department decided to do their own. But the federal Food and Drug Administration had to take weeks to review their new test – after a 28 page application form had been filled out, and after documents had been FedEx-Ed toWashington, DC! Why did they work this way? It’s always worked well this way before, PBS Frontline has a former FDA director saying! (Again, as seen in YouTube, Origins of a Pandemic.)
Delays went on and on. What a mess!
Good summary, Orson.
In the Netherlands it was said: “We are prepared, we have scenario’s”. But having seen that we did not prepare for all the practical things that would be needed in case of a new virus, those scenario’s must have been only theoretical ones.
It is the real world (and the real Earth) we must focus on. No more focus at theories, no focus at models. Just back with our feet on the ground. Solving real problems.
Kind of you, Wim. Some wag inspired this thought: how’s the pandemic going in the US? (I’m in NZ.) Early days still, comes my reply. How do you know? My response: because in America, they are still burning witches.
Knee-jerk Mendacious Sensationalist Media driven ignorant politicians were able to halt society.
Hmm…mendacious implies intent.
“Never attribute to malice that which is easily explained by incompetence.”
I’ll go with stupid and scared compiled with the hubris that they must “do something”, anything regardless of sane or not.
Hmm… So you’re saying the politicians had the same “intent” as the virus itself?
No thoughts whatsoever?
No they had thoughts, just extremely ill conceived and poorly considered.
Their intent was not to make things worse, but the outcome was easily as bad regardless.
Zig Zag Wanderer April 27, 2020 at 2:28 pm
I see that I was a few minutes lagging behind you with that quote.
So many misunderstandings in this post.
“Nature was thought to be a very fragile system, delicately balanced, and unable to find a new equilibrium after she is nudged slightly by humans.”
It is a very fragile, delicately balanced system, ask any biologist. Calling the effect humans have had on the bioshere as “slightly nudged” is deeper than misunderstanding, its more delusion.
“A small virus showed our common failure.” But then:”The green movement never warned us about the hidden danger in the environment.”
You’re trying to sheet home all blame to “green” but you say its was “our” failure. So, next time you go on about the ‘bloody Romans’, don’t forget you’re one of them.
When the virus threat has eased the tsunami of AGW will still be building out the back and we will be even less equipped than before.
The “tsumani” of warped fevered imagination based on lies and erroneous models.
In fact, barely a ripple. !
Is Loydo “any biologist”? Ask me instead. I am not a creationist.
Yes the big loser from the virus will be CAGW, there will be to many real problems to deal with starting with employment. I actually if Loydo has a job but my guess is a stay at home inner city mom … just based on how she comes across.
I would have guess a child in her momma’s basement.
“its more delusion.”
And you are full of it. !
Loydo, at first, nature is, was, will never be in what ever equilibrum, with or without human being.
The rest you wrote is the usual strawman.
I’m glad your agree that there’s no C in AGW. Panic over!
(the A is on shaky ground too, and the W may turn out to be insignificant. Ah well…)
But the G is safe! Be thankful for small mercies.
” don’t forget you’re one of them.”
no Loy… you are one of the delusional green fops.
Most people here have more intelligence and knowledge and have avoided falling into that mind-sewer.
You resemble AOC in brain capacity.
Kermit is all over you in that department.
Loydo is a perfect example of why this will never work…
” No more throwing good money at bad ideas”
…depends on who controls the ideas
The Green idea from the early beginning f.e. with Rousseau and his romantic view of “mother nature”, later Gaja if you will, and even the actual green idea (not the GND etc) is a very conservative attitude, but just in case of the wish to handle the imaginated global warming, all the so conservative ideas to protect nature are jettisoned, blown away. Nevertheless, nature is seen as good, and “we” are the ennemy.
The ‘fragile delicately balanced system’ is in constant and total flux. Any biologist who says different is full of shit.
Equilibrium is one of the progressive lefts most tortured nature fantasies.
Cuss first read later.
“It is a very fragile, delicately balanced system”
Which has existed through many millions of years, through many environmental impacts.
By constantly changing.
Just like climate does… NATURALLY !
I see that Loydo has completely given up trying to defend his religious convictions.
Cuss first read later.
You are sure, your comment worth reading ?
I HAVE read – that’s why I’m cussing now. That’s pretty much the only reasonable response to your garbage.
You failed to comprehend then. Insults without understanding…what snide a piece of work.
So many misunderstandings in this post.
As usual in your posts, where are the news ? 😀
64 million years ago, and asteroid struck the earth and wiped out about 80% of all life on the planet. Life recovered.
The notion that the environment is fragile and that man’s interventions are cause great harm to it is the kind of delusions that religious fanatics are famous for.
For vast majority of the planet, it’s hard to find any evidence whatsoever of human activity. Yes, human activity has been a slight nudge.
The tsunami of AGW?? WTF?? Considering that we still can’t find any evidence that it’s happening at all, that’s not much of a tsunami. Wake me when the temperatures get back to the average of the Holocene. We need at least 3C for that to happen.
Tornado’s are natural, they don’t do any harm.
Cyclones, Earth quakes, Tsunamis, Volcanism, Techtronic movement, Continental drift, Fire, Asteroid, Natural radiation, Drought, Floods.
Yea, the Earth is resilient. Not at all delicate. Humans struggle to survive in the wild.
Loydo, it’s so nice to have a troll hanging around Anthony’s place for the entertainment value you furnish. You provide the readers here with hours upon hours of laughter…at you, not with you.
Stay safe and healthy, all…even you, Loydo.
In response so far there has been nothing but sneering and insult so I guess my arguments, though unpopular, stand.
That ecosystems and species can be fragile or delicately balanced is not debateable.
That blaming catch-all scapegoats like ‘green’ is usually puerile, ill-conceived and unhelpful.
But pile on Bob, be my guest.
Bob has been very kind to spend some words on your remarks Loydo.
You made an argument? Where. All you’ve ever done is just scream that those who don’t worship as you do are wrong.
For your argument to stand, you must actually make one first. Repeating talking points isn’t an argument, it’s a screed.
The head post is a string of unsubstantiated talking points – an opinion piece. I guess he was expecting nothing but boot-lickers.
Loydo: “I guess he was expecting nothing but boot-lickers”
WR: I guess no one is interested in your opinion(s)
You know – don’t take it personally – it is not a bad thing to listen to contrarian opinions some times, especially from within an echo-chamber – nodding to the same slanted views over and over is risky. Being a regular contrarian here pile-ons like this don’t bother me at all.
My opinion stands undented, describing humanity’s affect on the earth as a “slight nudge” belies a deep misunderstanding, one that would be promptly dispelled if you were to ask a biologist or two to explain why.
**When the virus threat has eased the tsunami of AGW will still be building out the back and we will be even less equipped than before.**
Sure, anything to divert from real issues.
“When the virus threat has eased the tsunami of AGW will still be building out the back and we will be even less equipped than before.”
Sorry, Loydo, that’s wishful thinking on your part. The Great AGW Scare is on the way out, and you know it.
So many misunderstandings in this post.
How kind of you to provide that warning label on your posting, but it wasn’t needed as a post from you that isn’t full of misunderstandings would be what is unusual.
The smallest possible enemy – a virus – was able to halt society in a way that man has not been able to do.
We didn’t have to shut our economy down. That decision was made by politicians and they continue to go down that path. And more than a few of them are pleased with the result.
Steve Case: “We didn’t have to shut our economy down”
WR: If we would have been prepared there wouldn’t have been that panic. But the fact that we were not prepared is because we were only busy with imaginary problems, as prescribed by the green movement. That is why we need to go back to reality.
And the panic is first order from gouvernements side, people has to be shocked to follow what’s asked.
“Um die gewünschte Schockwirkung zu erzielen, müssen die konkreten Auswirkungen einer Durchseu
chung auf die menschliche Gesellschaft verdeutlicht werden:…”
To achieve the desired shock effect, the concrete effects of a
to human society:”
“To achieve the desired shock effect, the concrete effects of a nearly complete infestation
to human society:””
Steve Case; true, we did not have to shut down our societies. But how could one deliberately risk the deaths of tens of thousands more? Lockdown makes sense, as we now see in many countries which are slowly re-opening schools and businesses. New Zealand, a very tightly closed down nation, now claim they are in full control and have stopped community transmission of the virus. Though no one can say for sure which method was best for a long time yet. I can only say that in my country, Norway, everything was closed, and as a result we have so far ca. 200 deaths (with 5 mill. people). Our neighbour Sweden, where most of society remained open, has ca. 2300 deaths (with 10 mill. people). It is true that this crises may be tempting to those who long for more control and power over people, but still, lockdown does not necessarily mean lockstep.
Consider the analogy of the Pied Piper:
The Piper must and will be paid: Sweden is probably making a serious down payment and countries like Norway or Canada will wind up paying in a second and third wave.
Do the total next year and see how much difference in total outcome. We may well be surprised.
South Africa is still shut down – more so than most other places (ban on alcohol and cigarettes). And with the Army enforcing regulations, including a curfew. There are a lot of people whose low-level daily paid jobs have gone, and there’s a growing complaint “I’d rather take a chance of getting sick with the virus than the CERTAINTY of starving to death!”
Well, the first thang we have to recognize is that this Covid-19 virus is not all that much different from any previous.
That’s a myth perpetrated by the fake news media and vested interests and which is little different from the greenhouse/climate change myth.
Nick Schroeder: “this Covid-19 virus is not all that much different from any previous”
WR: What makes the situation different is that all of us are susceptible for the virus, no one has immunity.
There are people to have immunity they found out some days before. It seems, that people that had a Corona cold have active T-Cell, about 34% of tested people without contact to COV-19 before.
Mild or asymptomatic corona progressions could be related to previous infections with cold corona viruses, according to the Berlin virologist Christian Drosten. However, the expert warns against high hopes.
Referring to a study by a Charité colleague, the scientist confirmed on Friday in the NDR podcast that a certain background immunity seems to exist in the population. Drostens team had participated in the study on so-called T-helper cells, which are central to the immune response.
The researchers had seen that 34 percent of the patients had reactive T-cells that could recognize certain parts of the new coronavirus. So-called reactivity can be expected once the disease is over – but these patients have had no contact with Sars-CoV-2, said Drosten. The fact that reactive T-cells were nevertheless present could be due to infections with human cold coronaviruses.
Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)”
Even if this turns out to be true, nobody knew that 2 months ago.
A mid-March NEJM paper that got little traction had an interesting co-author, none other than Anthony Fauci.
One of the conclusions was that when all is said and done, the case/death rate of this virus will turn out to be roughly the same as the seasonal flu.
Question: if Fauci was convinced of that in early March, how could he support the Ferguson and Murray generated absurdities of 100-240,000 dead?
You are right, but good to know now.
Nick, are you sure you can be so confident ?
1) We likely have no immunity
2) We have no vaccine
3) The virus is highly contagious
4) Despite lockdowns and precautions, deaths from the virus are about equal to seasonal flu deaths after only a couple of months, so 6x flue deaths is quite possible, another maybe 8x for no vaccine….
5) Medical personnel looking after patients have a high mortality rate from the virus.
6) Outbreak locations easily overload the available medical facilities
7) Infected carriers show no symptoms and continue infecting others for several days.
Sure, its easy to look at the stats now, that didn’t exist a few weeks ago, and say that it makes most sense economically to lock down old folks who were going to die anyway….Is that modern moral philosophy ?
I loved Wim Roest’s article – and have forwarded it to others. Sensible, intelligent philosophizing the like of which we don’t often come across in our postmodern age.
The European Enlightenment 300 years ago understood. Let us just return to measuring everything, every piece of legislation, every social action and attitude by the yardsticks of Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.
Thank you Andy. I love to look at ‘the Big Picture’. So far I think not too many people are realizing what happened in the first months of this year.
Progress (i.e. monotonic change) has been qualified in diverse terms by diverse people from the Final Solution of yesteryear to the Wicked Solution (e.g. selective-child, one-child) in modern times.
n.n. – Yes, vague, postmodern philosophy will describe every whim, every individual leaning, every piece of legislation that conforms with their ideological attitudes as progress.
Only if qualified as humane and rational should an action be described as progress. Total lock-downs as legislated for in so many countries are not. It is not humane or rational to destroy jobs, livelihoods and well-being of a hundred thousand fellow human beings, it is not humane to ban a human being from visiting a dying parent or friend – just for the ideological purpose of containing an epidemic. It was always argued (e.g. by Ovid, Machiavelli and Soviet Russia) that the end justified the means. Only the Enlightenment went against this – and made this ethical statement theirs, THE END DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS
As I used to teach in a 400 level course, the Ancient Greeks thought us to understand the world around us in terms of two spheres.
One concerned with emotions, beliefs and religion, the other with facts, analysis and rational thought.
The taught that both spheres are equal in value, but that crucially they should never be mixed.
This allowed people like Newton to do his physics while being deeply devout.
In today’s world, this underpinning of the Enlightenment has disappeared and we see feelings and beliefs treated as facts.
Spot on, tetris.
Tetris: “In today’s world, this underpinning of the Enlightenment has disappeared and we see feelings and beliefs treated as facts”
WR: The underlying problem indeed is very fundamental. We need to go back to the roots.
The greatest philosophical error that permeates modern society is thinking that consciousness is more powerful than reality. That is metaphysically backwards – reality comes first. We’ve convinced ourselves that we’ve “conquered” nature’s most harmful effects on humans when in truth we’ve only adapted to them. And some of those adaptations, like pharmaceutical antibiotics, are showing that nature can adapt back. Viruses are a perfect example of natural adaptation. We need to stop thinking that we can prevent them and focus more about living with them and adaptive technologies like vaccines. When we frame a coronavirus as natural and our response as learning to live with it as best as we know how at the present time then it helps guide our policies to stay rational. We can’t shutdown the entire world economy because of a new, nasty cold virus. Smart responses like Sweden’s show that rational policies work as well or better than irrational ones driven by political CYA and overuse of the precautionary principle. The same goes for other “crises” of nature like natural variations in climate.
Lance Flake: “The greatest philosophical error that permeates modern society is thinking that consciousness is more powerful than reality.”
WR: In the end reality always wins, but sometimes societies already crumbled by their bad ideas. In the past many societies collapsed because of wrong ideas. As long as is paid for bad ideas a society is weakening further and further. This virus is something real, probably and hopefully bringing us back to reality.
What is really worrysome is that a real problem causes such a panic. As if we do not know how to handle real problems. Only countries that are doing real production (in SE Asia) seem to know how to handle a real problem like a virus. They are still living in reality, much more than our western societies do.
It is Green as in blight, and green as in naive, with laundered, renewable, sociopolitically inoculated secular green[back] incentives.
Though I will not argue against the idea that man is nearly powerless against some of what nature can dish out; I will argue about this statement:
“After decades of green madness nature finally showed her other side, after being quite nice to humans for decades. The smallest possible enemy – a virus – was able to halt society in a way that man has not been able to do.”
The virus didn’t “halt society”. Man did! We did it to ourselves even if the virus is a creation of nature and I believe it is highly doubtful that is the case anyway. I am inclined to believe that virus escaped from the lab at Wuhan.
That reminds me of a mighty civilization …
Rah: “The virus didn’t “halt society”. Man did!”
WR: The question is: would man have halted society in 2020 without this virus? If not, the virus played a decisive role, as it has done many times in history: read the stories. Very often societies became totally disrupted by a new virus.
See for example: https://www.history.com/topics/middle-ages/pandemics-timeline
So when they used poison gas in WW I, it was the gas that killed people and changed the way the war was fought and not man. Right?
Man caused the shut down in reaction to the virus. In my view, an over reaction that is going to end up causing more damage than the virus would have done, at least here in the US. Sweden seems to be working through this without destroying their economy.
Rah: “Man caused the shut down in reaction to the virus. In my view, an over reaction that is going to end up causing more damage than the virus would have done, at least here in the US”.
WR: I try to follow a lot of countries in their policies and in their reactions to the presence of the virus. Only afterwards we will be able to judge who did do it mostly right. As said before my first point is that without a virus there would not have been a reaction at all, simply because there was nothing to react on.
In the second place it is ‘panic’ that gives overreactions. In case we would have been well prepared for something like a new virus there would not have been that much of a panic. We were not prepared because the green blindness continuously pushed all of our attention to imaginary problems. That is why the green are responsible for this misjudgment: not climate and nitrogen but real problems like a virus are the things we should have had our focus on and where we should have prepared ourselves for.
Panic is the problem. In fear people can overreact. To prevent panic at the moment when a new virus would appear we should have been preparing for a new virus. In case you are preparing for a virus you are preparing for a real problem ever to exist. Up to now climate is only an imaginary problem – and to my opinion it will never be more than that. So it is 100% wrong to concentrate all attention and all money for this ‘idea’ of the greens and to take away all money and all attention from real problems that do exist or that very (!) probably will exist in the nearby future.
The green don’t live in reality. They are fighting imaginary problems they constructed themselves.
WR, I think that’s a conclusion too far. Diseases, droughts, floods, and other natural events happen from time to time. These events don’t cause the reaction or have any intent. It isn’t the virus that shut down society, it was the people.
I’ve read first hand accounts of towns and people who went through the black plague. It slowly moved from town to town, ever creeping forward. People scattered from the cities to the country to try to avoid it.
All these things are reactions to natural events. The Ebola virus breaks out every couple of years. People and society react to it. Floods happen, volcanos happen, earthquakes happen, fire happens, drought happens.
The question isn’t “would man have halted society”. We live in a dynamic world. Lots of things happen and people react to those things.
I still feel the statement “The virus didn’t halt society, man did” is accurate and true. You could say exactly the same thing about any event, any situation, any family matter, any change of condition whatsoever. People react to event A by doing B. Weather that be retirement, sickness, war, love, faith ect.
The “thing” didn’t play a decisive role. It’s just a thing that happened, and this is what people did as a result. Society could easily have continued one if they did “C”, “D” and “E” instead of shutting everything down. You can’t blame the virus for the reaction.
New Zealand has officially defeated the virus. Australia is nearly so.
New Zealand shut down the country and have eliminated the virus from society. Australia kept things running but did social distancing, and have almost succeeded in the same, just slower.
Until it shows back up in 6 months.
Greg Cavanagh: “Society could easily have continued one if they did “C”, “D” and “E” instead of shutting everything down. You can’t blame the virus for the reaction.”
WR: It is the word ‘easily’ which is not correct. For my own country about a month after measures were taken it has been estimated that (while all possible IC’s inclusive field hospitals at that moment were nearly filled) ten (!) times as much very sick people would have searched for a place at an ICU without the measures taken.
I don’t blame the virus for the reaction. I blame the unpreparedness for the virus for the heavy reaction and the Green Blindness made us being unprepared. That is my point.
I cannot remember that one of the Greens made their excuses for something they have been completely wrong in – not even when their point of view had very bad consequences for the people involved. Will they ever say: “Sorry, instead of asking trillions for windmills and solar panels we better should have asked some billions for being prepared for a new virus”? I am afraid not. They are not living in the real world and we should hold them accountable for that.
“Greg Cavanagh April 27, 2020 at 5:23 pm
New Zealand has officially defeated the virus. Australia is nearly so.”
Officially maybe, Ardern has an election to win this year, that might be motive, politically, enough to make crazy announcements like this. It will pop up again, like it has in Wuhan, like it has in Aus in aged care facilities where over 90% of victims have been and are.
In my experience treat anything that comes out of The Beehive, especially Peters, with suspicion.
“There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who ‘love Nature’ while deploring the ‘artificialities’ with which ‘Man has spoiled “Nature.” ‘ The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of ‘Nature’ — but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers’ purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the ‘Naturist’ reveals his hatred for his own race — i.e. his own self-hatred.”
-Robert Anson Heinlein
From what I have observed it seems that the most radical “naturalists” are pasty faced city slickers and academic types that never tried, nor would even think of trying, to live in the raw on natures terms for even a short period time and most likely have never even spent a night out in the woods alone.
I’d like some sport–I’d invite the radical “naturalists” to occupy the woods behind my swamp under truly “natural” conditions from now through next Sunday night. No manufactured tools, no prepared foods. Gotta hunt, gather & make your own shelter. Oh, and you get to start out naked, too. As in, “no Patagonia!” And no cell phone or Google.
Tonight it’s supposed to be 41 F. and raining. . . might be a few frogs to catch if you’re fast. Possums are the “other white meat, ” I’ve heard . . . there’s some skunk cabbage you could gnaw on I suppose.
Somehow I don’t think they’d make it through sunrise tomorrow! 😉 But the Pequot Indians sure did . . . and not by being sweet, either!
d, Great quote from a great author, thanks.
There are flaws in the thesis. Man is not Apart from Nature. We are animals. We arose in nature, have always lived in the natural world, and are dependent upon natural processes.
Hominids have influenced, modified, and altered the natural world for roughly 2 million years. No patch of land, no population of plants or animals is without human influence whether by human-set fire, hunting, gathering, agriculture, husbandry, industry, or urbanity.
We have dominion. It’s not a promise; it’s just a fact. Wilderness is a myth. Even abandonment or dehumanization is an action that affects nature. We can’t stop that bus.
Nature is not fragile, however. Life is aggressive and strong. Competition is the rule. It’s a dog eat dog world.
Covid19 is not the first virus, bacteria, parasite, or other disease vector to attack humanity. That tale goes back to our beginnings. It’s written in our DNA, our T-cells, our immune systems.
Green blindness is a complex complex. We affect Nature, we cannot stop affecting Nature, we can’t get off the bus, but we can steer the bus somewhat. Stewardship is our birthright and birth responsibility. That which makes for good stewardship is not always obvious — we must experiment, judge, debate, and especially learn.
The so-called environmental movement is not a monolithic political newcomer, is not settled science, has a deep history and prehistory, and cannot be dismissed as kooky without realizing we all are a part of it in some manner or other.
Mike Dubrasich: “we must experiment, judge, debate, and especially learn.”
WR: That is what we should do. But a real [scientific] debate is missing. We don’t do experiments, we are just gazing at results of the [constructed] models. That is why we don’t learn [from reality] and why we cannot judge well. That is why we are unprepared for real problems.
Several issues are being confused by a lot of posters and a lot of conservatives in the media. They are probably feeding on each other’s arguments. Tucker, Laura, Rush, Bill Bennett, and even Mark Styne! went on a rant about this issue today, hosting on Rush’s show. Maybe this is a Libertarian issue.
What they are confusing is the orginal estimates of the number of deaths from the Wuhan virus if no mitigation were taken, and that figure is 2.2 million Americans dead, if nothing was done to stop it.
With this other issue: the actual number of deaths caused by the Wuhan virus, 55,000, which is substantially less than the 2.2 million death figure and the proponents of this thought process, say that because 2.2 million is not even near 55,000, that the 2.2 million figure was wrong from the beginning and this caused panic in our leaders, who shut down the economy in order to socially distance people from one another, and since the 2.2 million figure is “wrong” they claim the policy of social distancing was not required and we should have known that back in January.
No! The 2.2 million figure is a good figure. President Trump used it again today. The 2.2 million figure is based on the U.S. taking no mitigating actions to stop the virus. But the U.S. *did* take mitigating actions, so the 2.2 million figure cannot be compared to the 55,000 figure.
Arguing about at the actual death rate is a legitimate exercise but only for determining whether it is now safe to go back to work or not.
Arguing about a connection between the unmitigated Wuhan virus humber and the actual lower number is not legitimate. The lower number does not negate the 2.2 million estimate, and that’s what a lot of people are claiming but they are wrong to do so. They are mixing apples and oranges.
I just watched Bill Bennet, on Martha Mcallum’s Fox News program tonight, get it all wrong about the virus computer models.
He is equating the orginal estimate of 2.2 million dead if nothing is done and comparing it to the much lower actual figures of 55,000 and is then saying the 2.2 million figure is wrong because it doesn’t match the current 55,000 death toll.
Bill obviously is unaware that he is comparing apples to oranges. The 2.2 million figure is based on nothing being done to stop the virus from spreading, and the 55,000 figure is after action was taken to stop the virus.
So Bill is comparing the number before action was taken and after action was taken and since the numbers don’t match, he is saying the 2.2 million figure is wrong. But the numbers cannot be compared because they require different circumstances to occur.
And then he was told by Martha, that his critics were saying the reason the figure is 55,000 instead of being the higher figure is because of social distancing which lowered the original numbers.
Bill again demonstrated he is confused about the virus models because his retort was that social distancing was figured into the numbers. But he is half wrong. No social distancing was figured into the 2.2 million figure. That was the whole point of that number. That figure was the result of *no* social distancing.
Social distancing was figured into the lower figures estimated if we put social distancing in effect. The estimated numbers were from 140,000 to 100,000 dead if 50 percent of Americans practiced social distancing.
So social distancing was not figured into the 2.2 million figure, but was figured into the lower 140,000 figure. And we now have 55,000 and climbing which is much better than 100,00, although we don’t know how much farther the number is going to climb, but it would be logical to think that the reason the number is 55,000 insted of 100,000 is because more than 50 percent of Americans followed the social distancing requests.
Bill, like so many others, is conflating the original estimate without intervention, with the number of actual deaths and is then going and saying that this makes the policy of social distancing a mistake. It’s not a mistake. Bill doesn’t know how many people would have died had we allowed the Wuhan virus to spread naturally.
Methinks Bill, and a lot of his fellow travelers, are trying to make this case that the original estimates were “wrong” in an effort to discourage similar efforts in the future.
The mitigation policies Trump instituted look like they are going to work to me. The economy is slowly starting back up and it won’t be long until we are humming again, and in about six months the economy is going to be back on track, and people like Bill may be calling it a mistake, but they would be wrong.
I also watched Tucker Carlson misunderstand the virus models tonight on Fox. He stated flat out that social distancing was not responsible for the low numbers of deaths so far. He said that as though he knows what he is talking about but obviously he can’t know that, the data is not in. He is speculating and passing it off as facts.
Lots of crazy talk going on about these virus computer models. It’s no wonder people are agitated and in the streets. Their leaders are telling them the plan was all wrong and they imply that the people should rebel against the plan. I don’t think these people are doing the United States any favors.
The unmitigated Wuhan virus death count should not be compared to the mitigated death count. They are two very separate things.
The estimates were supplied as exact values without uncertainties. There is no way to compare them to what has happened. While you argue that people here do not understand all sorts of things, our politicians are widely saying that whatever strategy they took, and there are differences from state to state, that they all worked! Actually there is no data suitable to test what worked. You are in the camp of the politicians.
I see from an earlier post of yours that you think, if the virus returns again, we can just do this all over again. Apparently you live in some very sheltered place. I doubt supply chains and financing can handle a second victory like this…
“I see from an earlier post of yours that you think, if the virus returns again, we can just do this all over again.”
No, I say if an unknown virus pops up in the future we *must* do the same thing we did this time until we know the lethality and the infectiousness of the virus.
The next one might kill a lot more people than this one. There’s no way you can deny that.
I, personally, don’t want my leaders “rolling the dice”.
re: “Tucker, Laura, Rush, Bill Bennett, and even Mark Styne! went on a rant”
HWGA; only one side, your POV presented. AS we have seen before, you can be highly one-sided. Often it seems to come down to one little facet being discussed, and that mole-hill becomes a mountain. I reckon ALL the discussion on these subjects on these shows amount to “rants” in your mind …
I would recommend to those reading here – go check out the primary sources themselves versus relying an an Abbott re-cap and summary.
“I reckon ALL the discussion on these subjects on these shows amount to “rants” in your mind … ”
Yes, pretty much. I’ve never turned Rush off in all the years I have listened to him. I’ve turned his show off twice in the last week or so because he is simply going over the top. And I must say I was surprised when Mark Steyn went off on the same rant. He ususally exercises some common sense. Rush does too, but not on this subject. I think he has this subject totally confused.
And what I am complaining about that they are doing is they are taking these virus computer models and making them out to be completely wrong, and putting doubt in people’s minds about the plan to contain this virus and I think this unnecessarily agitates people, especially when what they are saying is not true.
The critics are comparing confirmed Wuhan virus deaths (58,000 today) with the estimate for the number of deaths if no mitigation was taken (2.2 million) and making the case that the plan was flawed from the beginning because the numbers don’t match and the implication is we should stop following the plan.
The “Plan” is Donald Trump’s plan. Are all these conservatives trying to undermine Trump’s plan? It looks to me like they are. They are casting the actual blame on various governors, but this is Trump’s plan, and Trump’s computer models, not the governor’s, so if you are throwing cold water on the plan, then you are throwing cold water on Trump.
The estimated numbers of deaths from Wuhan virus with 50 percent of Americans practicing social distancing was between 100,000 and 140,000. The current number of deaths is 58,000 and climbing.
The critics of the “Plan” should be comparing the 58,000 figure to the 100,000 figure. That is a legitimate comparison. And as we see, the numbers are getting closer to the estimates every day. So the virus computer model detractors have no case to make at this time until we see the total number of deaths.
Compare the number of mitigated deaths to the estimated mitigated deaths. Do not compare mitigated deaths with unmitigated deaths. Don’t compare apples to oranges.
Is this that hard to figure out? It looks pretty straighforward to me.
Btw, the 58, 342 deaths from Wuhan virus in the United States now exceeds the total number of American troops killed in the Vietnam war, a war that lasted for over ten years.
Maybe shutting down the country was reasonable at the very beginning. However, as soon as the Italian outbreak indicated that the virus targeted the old and sick primarily, the strategy should have changed to allow business to reopen. Then we could spend some of the money saved to improve care of those who are vulnernerable.
It is a hard fact of life that the old and sick are vulnerable to any infectious disease around. Spending trillions to save them is irrational. We all know of families that resist DNR orders after granny has a massive stroke. One friend of mine had to put mother in an institution because she attacked anyone hired to help care for her. But she never forgave the institution when mother died of an infection. Instead of crying crocodile tears about the dangers to granny in an institution, if people really cared they would bring granny home to protect her from the virus – but they don’t like changing diapers.
We are familiar with the green scam. If there is one fundamental scam, there are more.
There is the same stinking mess in Healthcare.
Except in healthcare, there are two jump up and down breakthroughs.
The first is a Forest Gump breakthrough. Something that is so fundamentally backed by science and common sense and observations….. and peer reviewed studies.
This is different than the CAGW problem where there are two sides and some difficult to resolve questions.
In’healthcare’ there is the ‘lie’. And there is 20 years of research. The peer reviewed data/research/observations backs what is stated below, 100%.
Because there are human lives that being lost and this is the solution to end isolation …
… this will not stand.
We can reduce our ‘healthcare’ costs by 50% by getting our citizens to microbiological optimum for bodies.
We were previously running the herd in ‘disease’ mode where large portions of the population (herd) are missing key microbiological components.
In ‘disease’ mode a large number of the herd are dying from primarily deficiency caused diseases, which we are treating with patentable medicines. This mode maximizes the amount we spend on patentable medicines.
So now we are fighting a virus…
We are forced to swift from herd disease mode to herd optimized to fight diseases, including cancers,
Blacks who are the most Vitamin D deficient are 2 to 3 times more likely to have serious covid complications. Blacks are also twice as likely to get and die from HIV. The Elderly are Vitamin D deficient.
We (all citizens of the developed world) are not easily defeating this virus, all other natural viruses….
And 77% percent of all cancers….
Because we are all (entire population) deficient in ‘Vitamin’ D and Zinc.
Vitamin D is not a vitamin. It is a prohormone that is required by 200 microbiological processes in the body.
So, after 20 years of research, there is absolutely no doubt,
…. that increasing our blood vitamin D concentration from current 26 mg/ml to 60 mg/ml
… and some calcium for those who are deficient, will reduce all cancer occurrence by 77%.
Looking at this one chart. This is a summary of twenty years of research. This prevents 77% of all cancers and 66% of the instances of type 1 diabetes and 54% multiple sclerosis (Multiple sclerosis is the Canadian diseases as it is twice as prevalent in Canada), and on and on.
Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations 40 ng/ml Are Associated with >65% Lower Cancer Risk: Pooled Analysis of Randomized Trial and Prospective Cohort Study
And we are deficient in Magnesium.
There is a clear link between seasonality of conception and MS. Probably vitamin D related.
Either way, don’t stay indoor. No lockdowns.
From H G Wells “War of the Worlds”. “For so it had come about, as indeed I and many men might have foreseen had not terror and disaster blinded our minds. These germs of disease have taken toll of humanity since the beginning of things–taken toll of our prehuman ancestors since life began here. But by virtue of this natural selection of our kind we have developed resisting power; to no germs do we succumb without a struggle, and to many–those that cause putrefaction in dead matter, for instance–our living frames are altogether immune. But there are no bacteria in Mars, and directly these invaders arrived, directly they drank and fed, our microscopic allies began to work their overthrow. Already when I watched them they were irrevocably doomed, dying and rotting even as they went to and fro. It was inevitable. By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain.”
Nothing new under the sun. The goal shouldn’t be not to be infected but to control it’s rate of hospitalization. We will never escape entirely. I’m old and concerned but I am not going to be a hermit, deathly afraid to join society.
The problem with preparing for real dangers are ignoring made up ones is twofold (at least):
1) Politicians have to be smart enough about statistics and science to understand the difference between made-up and real. There is not much hope there…
2) Addressing real problems does not allow one to progress on a hidden agenda, like wealth distribution. Oil is the perfect target – there are huge opportunities to transfer money from people into the pockets of the elite liberals without actually earning it. Addressing a virus – that’s hard work and not likely to make you rich or powerful.
” Addressing a virus – that’s hard work and not likely to make you rich or powerful.”
Nancy Pelosi is in her element now with the Wuhan virus crisis. She is sitting at home thinking up every way she can to increase spending. She is now proposing a universal income for every American. I think she wants to pay every American $2000 a month for people with an income of up to $100,000 per year. Nancy is *so* generous!
That would be fine Nancy, as long as the payments are coming out of *your* pocket. But that’s not what Nancy wants, she wants to be generous with “Other People’s Money”.
Civilization as we know it,was created by our ancestors attempts to live with the four horsemen.
War,better to jaw,jaw jaw,that slay.
Famine,store surplus,enable reliable conditions for food producers,ensure distribution means.
Flood,get off the flood plain? Better planning,massive riverbank modifications,such as storage dams that benefited famine prevention…
Pestilence, sewage management,water treatment,modern housing,sanitation,vaccines and carrier eradication..
These are real problems which we lazily assume we have beaten,until we suffer.
The ultimate horror of Gang Green is the refuse to understand risk and any ranking of hazards.
Imaginary threats rank supreme in their belief system and such blasphemy as ensuring our defences against the traditional foes come first,seems to enrage them past all reason.
We all knew the ways of pandemics,that a new plague will come and that some aspects of modern life would promote its spread.
But we rested secure in our belief,those institutions built just for this emergency,would be ready.
Days before the panic,those “experts” appointed to run our public health institutions ,were bragging about how prepared they were..
Then we find,when the preparations are called into play, that we are damn near naked against this old foe.
We ask why?
Our hired help says,not enough money,we spent too much on ensuring our organizations were politically correct,carbon neutral and UN compliant..
What is that iron rule of bureaus?
Those who are there to actually perform the task are always supplanted by those who want to build empires?
Gang Green has certainly helped us here,if you can call this a “teaching moment”as our progressive comrades are so fond of preaching..
Cull the useless and clueless..shrink government by 90%.
Civilization ,as we knew it,collapsed under the parasitic load.
Now that load must be shifted or lifted,to allow us the economic activity to avoid the next horseman,which will be famine if the bureaus of lockdown hold on to power.
Saner nations than us fell under weight of their Dumb Ideas..We peons have a long history of rebuilding civilization after it is destroyed by expert help.
As seriously tough times produce serious and tough people.
What evidence exists that the virus isn’t the product of genetic modification technology?
Nature herself; Nature is MORE than capable of creating this kind of contagion (DO you not know the history of contagion in the world?)
Maybe you are unaware of the diversity and how plentiful viruses are in the world?
This introductory lecture should give you some idea:
Virology Lectures 2020 #1: What is a Virus?
Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D., Professor of Virology
How many have many sequences similar or identical with HIV?
Thank you very much for this superb article. It hit many nails on their heads. It will be interesting to see how the post-corona societies will develop. From some comments we can see already that the green fanatics will not stop. They see the consequences of this pandemic as bringing their dreams to reality. They want to keep it this way.
To tell you a bit about myself. I am a retired geologist. I studied, like you, at Utrecht University. I did my PhD in 1960. Yes, I go back a long time. I am now 86, but still active. My first job was in Suriname, a three-year contract for their “Operation Grasshopper”. After that I got a job as a sedimentologist with the New Zealand Geological Survey. I still live in New Zealand, in Nelson. For the last 20 years I have been active as a critical “sceptic”, in the climate change debate. When I turned 80, I decided to collate all my essays, articles and debates in a 418-page book, titled “The Fable of a Stable Climate”.
I see that you studied human geography in Utrecht. I met my wife at Utrecht University. She studied Sociale Geografie. But that was still in the time of professor Jacoba Hol. Is Sociale Geografie now called “human geography”? If you want to make contact, my email address is [email and message forwarded -mod]
Met hartelijke groeten
Gerrit van der Lingen
An interesting philosophical view that begs the question:
“How do we prepare for the unforeseen?”
Even if some people foresee it, but the general public does not?
In my philosophy, everyone carries around a model of the world in their tiny heads (or somewhere: even the physicality of the world may be must another idea that sort of works) and the only justification for these models is Darwinian, that they are not wrong enough to stop you meeting a member of the opposite sex and producing offspring…
…which is why there is a vast potential for Minds to hold onto extraordinarily complex, stupid, and irrelevant ideas – particularly Minds that have more capacity – so long as they are still somehow able to replicate themselves. And pass their nonsense on to their offspring.
Notions – ideas about what the world is, models of experiemce – obvilsy have qualiries.
They can be useful,.
They can be accurate predictors of the future.
They can be dangerous to the Mind that holds them.
Or they can just be picturesque nonsense with no real point or use other than they are picturesque.
Science selects on the second category when its being done correctly.
I myself would place religion in the first category. It is useful in that it aids species survival, but not by accurately predicting the future but instead by governing and controlling species behaviour towards group, rather than individual, survival – the Christian mythology is a supreme example of one man’s sacrifice for the survival of mankind. And example to us all, to be sure 😉
In the third category one can rapidly find examples of belief systems that have resulted in individual or mass suicide, Such belief systems are like lethal viruses (sic!) so deadly that they don’t propagate.
And there is no clear division between third and fourth types of mind maps.
There is no knowing when a broadly harmless notion – let’s say a romantic view of Nature, as distinct from Humans, that is no more than a childish aberration – can be marshalled into something so manifestly stupid and species threatening as a belief in Man Made Global Climate Change.
There are many notions that are completely independent of any evidence, and still more that are simplistic to the point of being useless.
On Mars, there has been no lockdown, and no deaths from CoVID 19
In Sweden there has been no lockdown but some social distancing, and deaths are moderate
In the UK, there has been full lockdown, and one of the highest recorded death rates in the world.
Ergo: lockdown doesn’t work, and in fact is counter productive.
This is the kind of reasoning that people who are not totally stupid can just about follow.
Frankly, sometimes I prefer totally stupid people…who have managed to survive by just doing things the way their parents did, because it worked, without actually pondering on it too much.
Protecting the environment does not mean stopping any natural process in its tracks. This planet has been evolving over billions of years. Just imagine, the natural world we marvel so much about today would not have happened without major extinctions. Should we go for extinctions then? Of course not. We should preserve this planet in its splendor. Its vibrant, changing nature. Not mummify it.
Rudolf Huber: “We should preserve this planet in its splendor.”
WR: Of course that is what we should do. The Planet is great, beautiful and stable in itself. We could live on this planet with technological solutions for all kinds of problems and we could create perfect locations to live. Safe, beautiful and with a pleasant life for all of us that were lucky enough to have a good health and enough capacities to play their own specific positive role in this world.
The problem is that groups of people are having profit by spreading wrong stories about the Earth. If there is something that is shown by this crisis is that Nature is robust and that human societies are very vulnerable. And not the other way around.
Many stories of doom originate at the UN. Doom is produced by the quasi-scientific production of UN doom reports. The UN should reinvent herself. It should solve REAL problems and give the lead to a prosperous and well organized world, suited for all of us.
WHO knew that the Grand Climate Crusades would be picked off by a pandemic while on the long march to infect others with bad ideas and “settled” science nonsense. It’s down to the deadenders, paid marchers, and paid media commentators now.