UNSW: “Is COVID-19 the dress rehearsal for climate change?”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

University of New South Wales, which sponsored the infamous Ship of Fools melting Antarctic expedition which got stuck in the irony, is encouraged that people listened to academic advice during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Is COVID-19 the dress rehearsal for climate change?

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn 01 JUN 2020   EBONY STANSFIELD 

The lessons we have learnt from the impact of COVID-19 may help businesses manage climate risk in the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences, changing society as we know it. 

Before the crisis hit, Australia was facing a climate emergency with the worst fire season to-date – taking lives, devastating towns, decimating forests and wildlife, and causing widespread fear about the future.   

There has been a push for governments and companies to continue their focus on sustainability. But is it appropriate to be talking about climate risk during a global pandemic that is barely contained?  

The impacts of climate change will be far-reaching for organisations, both government and private, but the repercussions of COVID-19 show that many are not ready to manage the climate risks.  

Throughout May, UNSW Business School’s Responsible Business Program coordinator, Dr Louise Fitzgerald, with Tanya Dellicompagni presented four online discussions titled ‘Future-Proofing Business’, bringing together researchers, academics, business leaders and practitioners.

“Hopefully, we’ll see people start to reject that kind of combative politics on the other side of this and they’ll want to see agreement, and they’ll want to see evidence-based policy.” 

Ms Shrivell says during COVID-19 society has been encouraged to pull together and to download the app but when faced with climate change “we’re a little more encouraged to be ‘well … what can we do?’ ” 

Read more: https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/business-law/covid-19-dress-rehearsal-climate-change

Aussie academics are ready to take on a greater role in global governance. The following are words spoken by the vice chancellor of the Australian National University at Davos in February.

Unis are key to meeting our climate change challenge 5 FEBRUARY 2020

In 2015, through the Paris Agreement, the world came together to chart a way forward to limit global warming to between 1.5 and 2 degrees. But we are nowhere near being on target to limit warming to 2 degrees, either as a world, or as a nation.   

Since the Paris Agreement, CO2 has increased by an amount in our atmosphere higher than in any other four-year period in human history.

We – the global citizenry – are seeing a comprehensive failure of the global political system; a failure that has existential consequences for our collective prosperity. The university sector, in my opinion, will be amongst the most critical of all institutions, if we are to find the pathways to a prosperous and sustainable global future.

We will educate those – young and old – who will be productive in a rapidly changing world.

We will undertake much of the research that underpins the technological development required to cope with our demands on the planet.

We will be the place where much of the thinking emerges on how to marry technology with human behaviour.

And we will be the places most open to contemplating whatever changes to the world-order are going to be required to keep the peace as change occurs.

It has been the role of universities for almost a millennium to challenge orthodoxy and think big.  Facing up to the challenges isn’t something we, the university sector, can’t wait for permission to do – our job is to get out in front of issues, and find answers before the calls for help.

But it is not just technology that matters – all of this has to be underpinned by a highly rational set of policies at the local, national, and international level, as well as things like financial instruments, and public education.

We need to help design the policies that governments can turn to. We stand ready to lend our deep expertise to governments as they act to tackle this enormously complex challenge – ensuring that these do not leave individuals and nations behind. Because if they do, they either will not happen, or will create civil unrest that will undermine their implementation. 

Read more: https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/unis-are-key-to-meeting-our-climate-change-challenge

Academics are sitting by the phone, waiting for our call. All we have to do is ask, and they will step in and offer us their expert leadership.

154 thoughts on “UNSW: “Is COVID-19 the dress rehearsal for climate change?”

  1. Actually, one of the lessons that a previously uncritical public has now learned from Covid-19 is that scientists can, and do, disagree with one another. If anything this will be help to those of us who, almost every day, explain to our less well-researched friends the obvious flaws in the ridiculous proposition that man-made CO2 can cause catastrophic global warming.

    • Yes, i think you nailed it. These people are whistling past the graveyard. The average person before covid had no idea what a model was, they figured its some pristine crystal ball but now they are seeing conversation every day about how they are simply GIGO and useless for predictions.

      So i think we keep up the pressure on the models and the fallacy of consensus science, that will eventually lead people to questions.

      • Its not so much the idea of a model that the generally mathematically illiterate populace ( I mean that in a kind, gentle way) have but rather their lack of apprecuiation of just how far off beam the results from a ‘linear’ type model of say an oscillating phenomenon can get when there is no proper account of period, multiple frequency components, phase and amplitude just a short burst of data fitted with a statistical mean line.

        Try and explain it and you are patronising, mansplaining and/or a denier.

        • ”lack of apprecuiation of just how far off beam the results from a ‘linear’ type model of say an oscillating phenomenon can get when there is no proper account of period, multiple frequency components, phase and amplitude just a short burst of data fitted with a statistical mean line.”

          Beautifully put Komrade Kuma.

    • I would hope the general public might learn from this that it is perilous to listen to doomsday predictors and those who advocate “burning the village in order to save it”, regardless of their costumes or fancy titles.
      But, alas history has proved my hope often misplaced.

    • The other thing that must be learned, is that when you oppress a population used to freedom, it doesn’t take much of a spark to get riots going, especially when there are anarchists like Antifa, who use peaceful protests as a cover to incite mayhem combined a political left and MSM that never wastes an opportunity to incite racial and class divisiveness.

      Apparently, electing Obama wasn’t sufficient to demonstrate that America isn’t a racist country. In fact, most of the racism we see today is targeted at a white President and is not only tolerated, but encouraged. Meanwhile, criminals in inner cities run by Democrats are for the most part, treated with kid gloves. No wonder there are so many bad influences driving inner city youths into a life of crime. Unfortunately, this results in a disproportionate number of police interactions, some of which end up using excessive force, especially when preceded by an adrenaline spiked chase. Stop and frisk based on profiling works and only results in excessive force when a target runs away or resists, presumably demonstrating consciousness of guilt. If a few innocent people are patted down for weapons and burglary tools, so be it. It’s a small price to pay to excise bad influences from communities at risk of producing generations of criminals.

      • In reply to:

        “a political left and MSM that never wastes an opportunity to incite racial and class divisiveness.”

        Totally agree. And there would have been no rioting, if the National Guard had been called up, day one, in force, with city dusk to dawn curfree. Rioting is not ‘protesting’. People were breaking store windows, at high end shops, like bike shops and then coming by with vehicles to steal the bikes/high end merchandise. That is not protesting.

        Protests do not need to happen at night. And the idiotic ‘protesting’ accomplishes nothing.

        Same as the ‘fight’ against climate change. We accomplished nothing. No solutions.

        Same as the fight against covid. No science. Just special interest groups. No solutions.

        82% of the US black population is ‘Vitamin’ D deficient and ‘Vitamin’ D deficient people, have been shown to have, a 20 times greater chance of dying from or having serious covid symptoms, regardless of age or sex.

        So logically rather than burning down our cities which is negative action, accomplishes less than nothing….

        …. the Blacks and their ‘friends’ the Left, should be demonstrating for ‘Vitamin’ D supplements, entire population 4000 UI/day.

        ‘Science’/logic is completely useless, if it is hidden away, not used.

        • I just don’t get it, there was no riots in America when a black officer shot and killed and Australian woman who had called them for help in regard to local trouble. She was in her dressing gown!

          Not that I would have wanted riots, pointless destruction. But I am so fed up with the double standards.

          • I can see violence like this erupting on a global level. Many of the people out there on the street were just looking for an excuse to riot. What sort of retaliation is it to go out and loot and destroy the property of those who wanted no part in the ‘peaceful demonstrations’? It’s a good excuse for some to carry out personal and unrelated vendettas that they have with neighbors in the name of retaliation for the original victim. I don’t believe that so many white folk were getting in amongst it for altruistic reasons either, most of them were extreme leftists or antifa and have been itching for a fight.

            The MSM played a big part in the escalation of trouble, egging people on on one hand and on the other, in front of cameras trying to deliver a story about peaceful demonstrations. What they want is civil war and for most of them it has little to do with the death of a black man.

            What happened to that black man was brutal, the white officer responsible should have gone through the same legal processes that the black officer did after he shot and killed an Australian white woman.

            It’s the leftists who have pulled the race card. It’s the leftists who decided to attach labels to people and it’s the leftists who decide who wears them, whether or not it’s true. They are just so full of hate.

            We are all equal, pain and injustice knows no colour.

          • The preliminary coroners report says that Floyd did not die of asphyxiation, but rather a heart attack brought on by existing medical conditions.

          • “I just don’t get it, there was no riots in America when a black officer shot and killed and Australian woman who had called them for help in regard to local trouble. She was in her dressing gown!”

            The lying Leftwing U.S. Media can’t use a situation like that for political gain, so they ignore it.

            They only care about such a situation if they can portray all white people as racists. They live and breath for those kinds of situaions. The Left is about dividing people. Racism narratives against white people are their weapons of choice.

          • no riots and everyone yawns when another 20 or more black on black murders happen in chicago near daily weekly etc
            doesnt even get much if anymedia mention
            this is just the excuse for all the usual antifa and TDS types to stir it up
            and score some nice new threads appliances and gucci perfume etc and trash a store that may well have hauled em up for theft previously.
            if the chap that died hadnt commited a crime.then the rest wouldnt have followed
            cops were OTT but then seeing the attitude and mentality they have to handle day in day out its hardly surprising some get aggro themelves.

        • Id reckon an IQ test be considered to be able to vote
          sounds bad but seriously some of the people we see, in so many clips, can’t speak the language , write or use anything approaching coherence..oh that sounds like bidet and hes running for Pres, scary stuff, I guess he can read and write though..
          cutoff point anything under 80 on a standard IQ test.
          for ANY country

      • “Meanwhile, criminals in inner cities run by Democrats are for the most part, treated with kid gloves.”

        Yes it’s certainly spilled over to other jurisdictions-
        https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/police-to-launch-investigation-into-violent-arrest-of-indigenous-teen/ar-BB14UuYf
        What isn’t in that report is the 17 year old having clearly committed an assault with an unconditional- ‘I’ll break your f#*%ing jaw bro!’ directed to the police officer and yet he’s released without charge while the officer is stood down for the usual. Well that’s what we do now when mummy fronts up to the police station crying police brutality and you wonder where daddy is but you have a fair idea.

  2. Social Changes with COVID-19 are a prelude to life with less fossil fuels. With COVID-19 we have seen extensive self-imposed social adjustments to transportation that are very similar to what will be required to live with less fossil fuels in the future. As we weed ourselves from unrestrained use of oil, we’ll need to lower our demands from the transportation infrastructures and the leisure and entertainment industries to the best of their abilities to conserve oil for where its most needed for society, to make the thousands of products that support lifestyles as well as worldwide sustainable economic development. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/12/social-changes-with-covid-19-are-a-prelude-to-life-with-less-fossil-fuels/

    • And many millions unemployed, now wards of the state. Now THAT’S an egalitarian utopia!

    • ie., covid has taught some (hopefully not too many) to tolerate being poor and oppressed, as that is what the lockdown life amounts to.

    • And yet it makes no darn difference.
      We’ve got a society of billions of Gretas. And the co2 concentration continues upwards.
      I wonder how many will give up on desire for personal action to save climate change after this c19 thing.

  3. Ebony Stansfield knows little about Australian fire history if he/she thinks last year’s fires were “the worst to date.”

    • ‘Unprecedented’ is a word that popped up in almost every ABC report on the bushfires.
      The fact that they were not the costliest in human life, not the largest by area burned, not the largest by loss of homes and not even the earliest in the calendar year doesn’t make any difference.
      They were ‘unprecedented’.

      Oh look, …, a blue car! ‘Unprecedented’.

      • Yes and several commentators have spoken about having three “Megafires” in the last 20 years and only 1 before 2000, which is completely untrue. (Apart from Ash Wednesday in 1983, Black Friday in 1939 the worst fires ever in Victoria were in 1851 where a quarter of the state burned and more lives were lost in proportion to population than in any of the more recent fires) The overuse of superlatives to make this time seem the greatest ever is a problem with journalists as they try to capture attention with their headlines. Unprecedented indeed!

  4. Please send the illustrious Vice Chancellor and his colleagues to Minneapolis first. There are a number of rational, concerned citizens there in need of guidance.

    • I’m closer and I’ll provide the answer for free. In fact, here it is:

      Climate change causes rioting, looting and violence in the United States. This problem can be solved by reducing fossil fuel emissions, and returning global temperatures to 1850 levels.

      What’s so hard to understand?

      • Apparently it also requires giving up Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression, Freedom from Tyranny, and the ability to afford your energy bills without government assistance

      • “philincalifornia June 1, 2020 at 8:12 am
        I’m closer and I’ll provide the answer for free. In fact, here it is:

        “Climate change causes rioting, looting and violence in the United States. This problem can be solved by reducing fossil fuel emissions, and returning global temperatures to 1850 levels.”

        Brilliant. Here is someone who really really understands climate science and would make a great climate scientist if he isn’t one already.

  5. The ‘lockdown’ was accepted with large degree of compliance because it was seen as temporary, initially just a couple of weeks, and protecting people from a scary bug which people did not understand and were afraid it might kill them. So it was a relatively easy sell.

    Climate change lockdown would be permanent and people understand the weather, get annoyed with it sometimes, but do not fear it or think it will kill them. Being killed imminently by a bug is more scary than the Planet being ‘killed’ at a future date when we here now shall be dead anyway.

    It might just have sensitised politicians to the reality of paying people’s wages and subsidising businesses, not for a few weeks until a pandemic abates, but over a much longer period of years as transition to… what? when? how? takes place.

    • “The ‘lockdown’ was accepted with large degree of compliance because it was seen as temporary, initially just a couple of weeks, and protecting people from a scary bug which people did not understand and were afraid it might kill them. So it was a relatively easy sell.”

      That’s right.

  6. Covid19 is a real crisis for the elderly, while climate change is an imaginary crisis that has been “coming” for 50 years but never shows up.

    Smarmy politicians were able to seize great power to fight a real crisis.

    They have been trying to do the same about the imaginary climate crisis, but the current climate is wonderful, so the scaremongering is harder to do.

  7. If anything has been learned from the past few weeks, it’s that much of modern business can be completed with people working from home, the requirement for presenteeism (being seen to be in the office for long hours) are really not necessary for business to operate. It has also proved that much of the mindless consumerism that has been promoted for decades is really not needed.

    The changes in society need to be matched by a change in how governments view employment and social welfare benefits, it is really time to review universal basic income for all as the number of active jobs will shrink as many of the “ancillary” jobs that exist to support commuters & consumers disappear.

    In reality it’s a coincidence that these changes are seen as “green”, but it is just the next stage of evolution in work. BUt it will be great to see that there will hopefully be a permanent reduction in waste generated by mindless consumerism.

    • If anything has been learned from the past few weeks, it’s that much of modern business can be completed with people working from home

      And if you really wanted to cut emissions you could put Europe and the UK on double-summer time. But they don’t and they won’t. Why? You’ll have to ask them. But it worked during WW II

      During the second world war, double British summer time was invented as an energy-saving device

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jun/24/comment.mainsection2

      Working from home goes against the Fordist-Taylorist grain. But savvy employers will have noticed that home working cuts their communications and energy costs, the employee(s) footing the bill.

      • The biggest savings will come to the employees in reduced commuting costs, as things stand the lawnmower is using more fuel than the car!” 🙂

        DST is pointless these days, the energy used in commuting vastly outweigh any minuscule savings by switching off the (mostly LED) lights.

        It’s a win win for employees and employers, but I expect that at some point, they’ll try to skim the wages for WFH employees, to cancel out the employees benefits.

        • What people are really learning is that they don’t like being isolated at home. Humans are social animals. We will not tolerate your communist utopia. We have accepted this lockdown because we have been told that it is temporary. If you think this will be something you can impose permanently, you will discover how uncooperative humans can get when mistreated.

          • Myself and many of my colleagues, actually prefer WFH, it’s great as it avoids the painful long commutes in and out each day. When the “crisis” is over we expect to go to the office maybe one or two days a week for jobs that are difficult to do from home. Fore the rest of the time, its great to be at home close to friends and family and saving a fortune in transportation costs at the same time.

            There will be a lot of resistance from many who have grown to like the extra freedom WHF has given them to having to go back to the long slog to and from the office 40 hours per week.

            Actually, that resistance is beginning to surface! https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-52876395

            How you can call that “communist” is beyond me??

          • I know many people who are working from home who just cant wait to be back in a office environment, who in there right mind wants to try and work with kids hanging around,the wife or boyfriend constantly interrupting you even though you told them not too, dream on philly people want freedom not chained to the house.

          • @BdC If you can’t wait to get back to an office environment it says a lot about your home life. Anyway, help is at hand as many businesses are looking to setting up local hubs where staff can drop in to an office close to home do the required work that is difficult or awkward to do at home or meet up with colleagues, have access to high quality office printers and similar facilities and then return home for the remainder.

            It’s the best of both worlds, those who like being in an office can go to these hubs and those who prefer being at home can also do so, forcing people to commute long distances just to sit in front of a PC will find a surprising amount of resistance.

          • Philly I think I have worked out what’s wrong with you ,you cant read I never said or insinuated I work in a office I said people I know,did not work did it philly reducing from people to person,

          • Home life philly you think living in the same house 24hrs a day week in week out is normal , that’s why the crime statistics have gone through the roof philly people just cant take it, the very thing you want people to do.

            You only put a agenda into your posts dont you philly not much evidence of empathy and joined up thinking

            Your just towing the propaganda line.

          • @BdC, you clearly are jealous of those who can work from home, so much so that your grammar has gone down the drain.
            Anyway, the new normal will be different and we’ll all have to get used to it.
            It’s not really an environmental issue, it’s a technological issue where it is now possible for so much work to be successfully accomplished from a home office that businesses around the world are rethinking their accommodation strategies for the future.
            The office of the future will probably only have accommodation for the essential onsite staff plus a large number of hot desks for the remainder to use a few days a month.

            The company I work for have already removed a large number of desks from service and staff are expected to remain at home except for infrequent onsite work when required.

          • Philly another assumption on your part, what makes you think I work? What is work philly ? And philly try answering the questions I pose to you , and not every one wants to live life on a needs basis , some of us want,a distinction you clearly have never fathomed, your usual change the world philosophy preaching , your way is the only way A philly,

          • @BcD Ah so you’re unemployed! (or retired).
            So why are you so adamant that working from home is a bad idea, you don’t even need to do it. You do realize that people who work from home can have a very good standard of living, no more lost hours each week commuting to and from the office, huge savings in transportation costs, may not even need a car anymore. You can book a lot of taxis from the savings on car insurance, depreciation etc. Your work/life balance is much better as you have more time to be with people you want to be with as opposed to being in an office with people you don’t like.

            As things are, I’m quite happy to be WFH for four days a week and only needing to go in once a week for a couple of hours. Even better I get the same wage as before.

          • Philly boy it’s no use coming back thinking I’ve gone to bed, philly, I’m not retired and not unemployed ,you missed the clue in the last post, your assumptions about people are ridiculous,

          • I just told you philly the crime rate has risen because people living 24/ 7 for weeks under the same roof just cant hack it ,why do you ignore this, why would anyone want to live in house arrest that’s what it amounts too, staring at the same 4 walls, your pushing a green agenda philly no ones buying into it ,apart from you brainwashed greens.

          • @BdC oh dear, you’re really trying too hard!
            How can you equate WFH with house arrest and why are you so hostile to the idea that many people actually like the idea of working from home.

            There has been some increases in crime, but that crime is not related to WFH and you know that, it is made worse by people who have been made unemployed by the lockdown, not from being made to work from home. Working from home is the future for more people, it’s not a “green” issue, it makes good business sense when you consider the costs of having prime office accommodation in cities. The savings in personal costs and time are a major benefit, the reduced traffic and pollution are a side benefit.

          • No philly you just dont seem to get it it’s you coming here who’s trying to change peoples mind ,if you want to live in a house 24/ 7 with screaming kids and a neurotic boy friend knock yourself out , I respect your right to choose to do that, by your actions and words it’s you who does not respect other peoples choices,

          • Your words ,There has been some increases in crime, but that crime is not related to WFH and you know that, ”

            https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/28/lockdowns-world-rise-domestic-violence

            So philly people staying at home through lockdown are committing crimes against the people they live with,
            So why are you lying philly ? Are you really that stupid not to have read anything about this,
            https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/04/22/domestic-violence-has-increased-during-coronavirus-lockdowns

            Seems to me philly your just a little boy who’s been brainwashed, your in complete denial to what’s happening,

            All the increases in domestic violence above are a direct result of the masses staying at home.

          • @bdc In the same article you posted
            “WITH HALF the world’s population under some form of lockdown to slow the spread of covid-19, most activities have been dramatically curtailed, including illegal ones. Official figures suggest that crime has plummeted in many big cities. Violent crime, including murder, rape and assault, has fallen even more sharply. ”
            Cherry picking, anyone can do that!

          • You just contradicted yourself again the point of me reproducing the article was to show domestic violence has increased due to lockdowns an working from home,of course outside crimes have gone down who disputing that ,you were completely wrong to say no crimes were committed because of working from home, you say your debating your not ,your just one big contradiction and a liar in denial,I know 5 year olds who can debate better than you,

            I’m going to have a guess now I dont think you work or ever have done your a activist who arrives on this forum when the agenda needs a little help

          • @BdC oh dear poor clarkín, you really don’t like when people actually show you up.
            I have repeatedly pointed out that working from home is better for many people and provides many who have the choice to WFH an improved quality of life as well as improvements in their income due to not having to spend money on commuting and other costs involved in traveling to and from work. They also have the time and extra spending power to enjoy life more as they now have more time and moneyto go to local restaurants, pubs etc

            But no, you don’t like that! why? All you want to do is try to make WFH look as bad as possible and dismiss anyone who thinks that work does not have to be in an office is a heretic. You also hate the idea of being confronted with this issue.

          • So your in complete denial of your contradictions, your still lieing about what I’ve said , YOU dont seem to realise I’ve told you countless times you cant work from wherever you want dont lay your bollocks on others

          • @Bdc, Sure we can, I can work from the car the boat, the home office I hold frequent global video conferences with my colleagues, I VPN into the corporate internet infrastructure to resolve issue and use the cloud for documentation.

            So yes you can!
            The fact that you can’t see that is unfortunate for you.

          • @BdC Maybe it’s past your bedtime!
            You clearly don’t like it when your beliefs are countered, but you do not provide any good reasons why people should be expected to continue the old pretense of presenteeism.

            I am debating the point that working from home is beneficial to people and also good for business, but all you are doing is countering with waffle!

          • Wow. Working from home is not the same as being on lockdown. One is house arrest imposed by the state, and one is voluntary, giving people more free time to spend with friends and family. I don’t understand how that isn’t clear…

          • Unfortunately, for several posters in this thread, WFH is akin to communism, being forced to work from home is considered degrading, they expect us to spend hours every week traipsing to and from an office and expect us to enjoy it! They expect us to pay all the expenses required to commute just for the pleasure of been seen in the office.

            Give me WFH anytime.

          • As a follow up on the reluctance of people to return to the old ways of being in the office, or in this case being coerced into returning to their office/place of work.

            https://www.rte.ie/news/uk/2020/0602/1144934-uk-parliament-johnson/

            “British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a Tory revolt over controversial plans to end online voting in Parliament, which could exclude vulnerable MPs from fully representing their constituents during the coronavirus crisis.

            Senior conservatives including select committee chairs and a former Cabinet minister have tabled amendments to Government plans to force all MPs to vote in person when they return today.”

            I chose a local news site as certain readers here dislike the BBC version, It will be interesting to see if MPs rebel and chose to WFH or toe the line and go back to the gasworks.

    • “It has also proved that much of the mindless consumerism that has been promoted for decades is really not needed”
      Ha, thats kinda funny.
      Have you looked at the value of amazon, and their volumes?
      Looks to me like consumerism is just fine, should avoid pretentious broad statements, never works out well

      • An increase in online shopping in no way offsets the reduction in high Street shopping, people buying online are less likely to buy unneeded stuff.
        The biggest reduction in sales will be noticed by the secondary retailers who are dependant on passing trade.

        • Wishful thinking as soon as retailers reopen the high street will be back to normal 2 weeks and counting, they have been given huge help by UK government, rate relief, Grant’s, loans, furloughed employees getting up to 80% of wages paid by government.

          • Traffic-wise, things are already back to normal in my neck of the woods, Northwest Washington State.

        • Actually, I know from personal experience that this sin’t true. More than one family member often sit browsing eBay and Amazon and buy stuff BECAUSE it’s online and easy, regardless of whether it’s needed. Me, I prefer to work from home because it suits me, but not others- plus not everyone has the self motivation and discipline needed to do this long term. I love what I do, but many don’t and over time I’m sure it would show up in reduced productivity- it’s just human nature. I also like going out to coffee shops and stores to buy stuff to get away from the house/office- very little of which I actually need, but for the same reason my wife and others do so in a functioning, free society- because I WANT to. I really don’t care whether anyone thinks this is wasteful or needless or even ‘mindless’ consumerism, plus I feel I am supporting retailers and small businesses which gives me a warm, fuzzy glow- but then I am just a greedy capitalist pig…

    • I suspect that as the world recovers from the lockdowns, we may see a bit of pent-up demand leading to “mindless consumerism”. But will those who have that pent-up demand have any money to go shopping?

      • Fer the many that have not worked due to their jobs being furloughed will have had their spending power severely reduced , they won’t be flocking back to the shops to buy unneeded stuff.
        They will be very particular in what they buy.
        There will be some pent up demand for stuff that has worn out and needs replacing or delayed due to the lockdown, but this will be short-lived, the economy will be down for years.

          • Pent up demand, it will be short lived. plus the fact that the numbers actually able to use the shop is severely reduced to the social distancing rules.

            One quite from that article.
            “But some criticized the long queues as a sign of runaway consumerism.

            One Twitter user said: “Don’t understand how a person sees this Ikea queue and actually joins it, rather than… heading home for a beer.””

            Ant the comments section below is far from complementary to the “desperate consumers”
            Public opinion is tending against such pointless consumerism.

          • Philly your in complete denial, you insinuated people will only go out for necessities queuing up for hours to buy furniture is not a necessity, like buying a pair of worn out shoes, there not queuing because they have moved house ,the market is flat, there buying a brand name philly because they want to not because they need too, get real philly.

          • @BdC, go back and read the article.
            Law student Alexi Norris visited Wembley to buy a desk but was shocked at the long waits.
            This person needed a desk to help her with her studies, that is a need not a want.
            The fact that all the shops have been closed for nearly three months had prevented an earlier purchase, I suspect that many of the other shoppers are the same.

            If you need to queue for several hours just for some “retail therapy” then you must lead quite an empty life. Some shops recently reopened here (Ireland) and I waited a couple of days before going in to buy essentials to replace things that had worn out and broken beyond repair over the past few months.
            No queues for me.

          • A philly boy, one comment out of hundreds does not make a need, come back when you have asked every one in the queue, I do think you need a new barrel, you can only drag the bottom of a barrel for so long before it weres out,

        • @BdC Please review the comments section of the news article, 1400 comments by BBC readers, many of them criticizing the “pointless consumerism”.

          That barrel has plenty of fuel before I even reach the bottom.

          • A hint philly that’s because there not the ones buying, really philly this is just to easy.

          • @BdC, they’re not buying because they’re not mindless consumers, so they have a right to criticize. They’re not buying simply because they are not that desperate to go shopping, they’ll go when it suits them to buy what they need to and avoid queuing just because “the shops are open!” But it is clear that many see the pointlessness in queuing to shop for stuff you don’t need. It would be very different if those queues were outside food shops, then we know we’re in serious trouble.

          • Philly the BBC is as bad as the guardian with agenda pushing groupies all singing from the same hymn sheet,

            If they had any currency philly they would be out and about spending like every one else.

            But you distract philly it’s not about the groupies it’s about the hundreds who queued all day to buy, your justification simply does not work in a society were people have a right to exercise a choice,

            We like are combustion engines philly we like to spend money on what we want philly , for all your shouting philly you are never going to change peoples minds, you live on a turnip a day if you want and give your wages to Oxfam if you want it’s your choice, but dont dictate to me and take away my choice, if you can exercise a choice so can I, do you see were your argument falls away your trying to dictate inforce your choice on me.

          • @bdc So you think that saying that working from home is good, that I am dictating to you, someone who claims not to work, so why should it bother you.
            I never read the Guardian and I don’t have a “green” agenda, I just believe in a cleaner world, one where my grandchildren can breathe clean air, the recent shutdown had proven beyond doubt that clean air is easy to obtain if the rat race is turned down a few notches. Clean electric vehicles are the way to go, governments will eventually tax petrol and diesel vehicles off the roads, that’s a given. The working from home initiative really cuts out the need for unnecessary journeys as well as improving people’s work/ life balance. So why are you so against it!

          • “I dont have a green agenda I just belive in a cleaner world” that is a green agenda , coupled with your posts on green renewable energy I’d say you have a very green agenda, your quoted sentence is completely hypocritical.

            Your making this up as you go along no consistency, I said you had a choice to work from home philly I dont care if you do or dont ,the problem with people like you is you expect every one to do the same, that’s your point of being here philly ,whether you realise it or not your dictating what every one else should do,

            Your nothing but a green activist, trying to spread your gospel on a site were no one is supporting you, you allow all you green contradictions to be shown for what they are how hypocritical you are,

          • Let’s look at your next contradictions

            “@bdc So you think that saying that working from home is good, that I am dictating to you, someone who claims not to work, so why should it bother you.
            I never read the Guardian and I don’t have a “green” agenda, I just believe in a cleaner world, one where my grandchildren can breathe clean air, the recent shutdown had proven beyond doubt that clean air is easy to obtain if the rat race is turned down a few notches. Clean electric vehicles are the way to go, governments will eventually tax petrol and diesel vehicles off the roads, that’s a given. The working from home initiative really cuts out the need for unnecessary journeys as well as improving people’s work/ life balance. So why are you so against it!”

            “”@bdc So you think that saying that working from home is good, ”

            “The working from home initiative really cuts out the need for unnecessary journeys as well as improving people’s work/ life balance. So why are you so against it!”

            So not only a contradiction but mis quoting me as well, I never said working from home was good philly I said it was a choice so lying yet again. You really dont stand up to much scrutiny do you.

          • @bdc A cleaner world, if you like to live with the pollution from excessive FF burning then good for you, many of us don’t and would prefer to live with cleaner air and avoide the health issues that pollution causes.

            Anyway, I have work in the morning (from home) so the commute to the office is about 20 seconds (my house has its own office, I designed it that way).

            Slán

          • Phil, whilst I don’t disagree with a lot of your points- I never queue up for anything if at all avoidable- I think you are mistaking people who comment on the BBC’s content for normal people. They tend to be hand wringing why-oh-why types that live in the BBC world view bubble with utter disdain for the rest of us. Ironically, since lots of them work in the public sector, they seem not to realize that they need this ‘pointless consumerism’ to fund their pomposity. Anyhoo, what’s wrong with buying stuff you want if you can afford it and it puts a smile on your face?

          • You would be well advised to disagree with everything this green activist states, he lies and is shown to be contradictory, he wants every one to live in the 17th cent, no cars ,no wants, hes demonstrated quite clearly his way of living is the only way,

            Give no quarter to the green slime ,they have already altered our way of life through undemocratic, secret lobbying, there is no reasoning with green religious terrorism.

          • @BdC well now, the 17th century, working from home using ye olde VPN over the internet, Lovely!
            WFH is the future, not the past, I just think (actually I know) you’re just afraid of the future as you can’t keep up with it.

          • @BdC The irony of this discussion is that you’re using the very thing to say that I cannot do what you are doing to tell me that I can’t.

          • The irony of your brainwashed mantra is you cant respond to anyone else, the irony of your brainwashed mantra is you have achieved absolutely nothing,not only are you in the wrong place no one is agreeing with you in fact the opposite, your just being hysterical.

          • @Bdc You can’t provide a reason why WFH is wrong, so you resort to diversion and FUD to try to divert attention from the fact that you can’t provide a rational reason as to why WFH is wrong.

            I see the HoC have voted against remote voting, but that’s understandable in the context that BoJo (and previous PM’s) and whatshisname on the other side really need a crowd behind when trying to score points off each other. I don’t need that type of audience participation when I’m on VC’s while WFH.

          • Look philly you do realise every response I’ve made to you is being read and all the reasons too,why I and others have told you working from home is not a good idea ,the posts are there philly your yet again lieing, that again is your choice but I doubt theres a single person who believes anything you say. Your just becoming a trouble maker,

          • @bdc, the issue is that you have not once actually provided a realistic reason as to why you believe that WFH is not a good idea. Don’t conflate WFH with lockdown, they’re two different things that coincided together for some people.
            It’s worth noting that several of the wealthiest companies on the planet are advocating WFH for their staff.
            https://www.crn.com/news/security/michael-dell-work-from-home-will-be-permanent-feature-
            https://www.cityam.com/work-from-home-coronavirus-kill-commute/
            https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52570714

            Just three of many thousands of articles that say that WFH is where the future lays.
            As for the other posters here, they’ve got the popcorn ready and waiting for the next episode in this punch and Judy show!

          • @Bdc, Not just my opinion, but the opinion of a significant number, three links of which I highlighted earlier.
            As for no one listening, I know for a fact that at least one person is reading and responding, you!

          • @bcd Ye it is as it clearly shows that you cannot provide an adequate answer to the question as to why working from home is so bad?

            Everyone else is just eating popcorn.

            Are you actually going to answer the question?

          • @bcd You are avoiding the actual question, which you can refer to as posted earlier.
            But 0/10 for your last answer.

          • @bcd Oh do please keep up, and answer the question that I asked earlier.
            I know that you won’t because you can’t.
            But like any good politician, you’ll duck and dive until you get bored of your own little games.
            But your inability to provide an answer does not look good for you in the eyes of others following this thread.

          • @bcd, yes I’m sure you did!
            And you’re never going to admit that you can’t answer the question either.

          • @Bcd You have stated that in your opinion that WFH is bad without providing a reasonable argument as to why you are holding that viewpoint.

            I have provided several reasons as to why WFH is beneficial to both the individual and their employer, you on the other hand simply refuse to answer the question.

    • “If anything has been learned from the past few weeks, it’s that much of modern business can be completed with people working from home”
      What proof do we have that much of modern business can be completed working from home, when countries are facing one of the deepest depressions since World War Two, with millions likely to be out of work in the near future? Who are these people who are going to change our working practices by working from home? They are certainly not factory workers, factory managers, factory office workers, delivery drivers, bus drivers, train drivers, station staff, shop workers, supermarket staff, refuse collectors, cleaners, postmen, taxi drivers, repair workers, electricity, gas and water maintenance staff, builders, road repairers, airline staff, school teachers, hotel and restaurant staff, solicitors, doctors, midwives, nurses etc., etc., etc. This doesn’t leave many of the countries workforce who can work from home does it?. So please let us get out of the idea that the enforced lock down has proven that working practices, evolved over centuries, can be changed for the better by people being enforced to work from home. It is just an unrealistic and impractical proposition.

      • Well done for providing a list of occupations that are impossible to do from home!
        I can also tell you that ships cannot drive down motorways at 120Km/h, so what have you proven by listing all those occupations?
        As someone who works in IT supporting these WFH staff, I know that it works, I use it myself.
        As for working practices that have evolved over the centuries, they have constantly changed over the centuries.It is only 100 years ago when coal was mostly mined using a pick and shovel, these days it’s almost all mechanized. Office work only 50 years ago was all typewriters and index cards all stuff that required staff to be chained to their desks, now it’s all on the end of a VPN.

  8. Meanwhile in a newly discovered and translated tablet from Thag (of Thagomiser/Larsson fame) comes this dire warning…

    “Climate need fix now or tribes dead in 10 new suns, even harmless stegos screwed, send more stones”

  9. encouraged that people listened to academic advice

    While the Norwegian Prime Minister admits to a knee-jerk panic reaction and that the lockdown didn’t work, in the UK the academic advice is doubling down…

    Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of Sage, said on Twitter that Covid-19 is “spreading too fast to lift lockdown in England”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52858392

    People like Ferguson and Farrar are of the Ehrlich/Holdren school of thought on de-development etc.

    Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: “Climate change is an urgent threat to global health.

    wellcome.ac.uk/news/wellcome-trust-reaction-paris-agreement-climate-change

    Every day delayed means more unknown numbers of businesses going to the wall, people being made unemployed. And lower carbon dioxide emissions.

    I doubt Plantae will appreciate that much. I know people despairing of how they will pay their rent/mortgage and child costs certainly won’t.

    At least the Norwegians ‘fessed up to the mistake.

  10. “The university sector, in my opinion, will be amongst the most critical of all institutions, if we are to find the pathways to a prosperous and sustainable global future.”

    Wow, these leftist think tank types will happily supply their agenda, all supported with computer models.

    In the real world, most of them couldn’t solve their way out of a paper bag.

    • What you need to understand is the Australia University sector is basically a business for giving rich foreign students a piece of paper. The sector really isn’t anchored in reality or the needs of Australia it will make up any course that it can sell to foreign paying students who make up 24% of students. That 24% contributes close to 60% of university funding. The problem is those lefty courses sell well to foreign students and so the universities themselves get more and more left and crazy.

      I would argue Covid19 has been the best thing for the sector as a wakeup call that it really isn’t relevant to Australia itself. Lets be honest you could put a bulldozer thru half the university sector and no-one in Australia that wasn’t a worker there would notice.

    • Indeed they could not, nor would they last 5 minutes in a real job that involved actually doing something useful in the real world- but they do have an incredibly high opinion of themselves!

    • “More than 200 top UK firms and investors are calling on the government to deliver a Covid-19 recovery plan that prioritises the environment.”

      Hey where’s our taxpayer largesse to help save the planet? This is all one giant public/private partnership crisis to manage remember.

      • Of course it is, not much on consensus from the people though,apart from organised propaganda.

  11. Since people listened to academic advice during the Covid lockdown so maybe the covid is the dress rehearsal for climate change. Now finallt they will have some respect for us climate people. The pandemic has had far-reaching consequences, changing society as we know it and just before that Australia was facing a climate emergency with that horrible bushfire. So all that adds up to something profound surely and maybe someday we can figure that out so we can finally sell this climate thing.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/04/29/numnut-un-bureaucrat/

    • No Chaamjamal – thats utter nonsense. Climate Change had absolutely no hand in the fires – the main issues were drought and fuel load – as it has always been – as it was in 2009 and earlier fires. You have forgotten that climate change – (or lets call it by what people seem to think it means – global warming) depends on the forcing increasing moisture in the atmosphere to get more than the one degree or so that might occur due to CO2 – which does not equate to drought. Temperature is irrelevant in bushfires – but dryness fuel load and wind are the main protagonists to create a big fire. You need to study fire behaviour before falling into the trap of blaming climate change for large bushfires.

      • > No Chaamjamal – thats utter nonsense

        I’m pretty sure you’re preaching to the converted (or the infidels, as the case may be). Chaamjamal’s blog is wickedly satirical.

        Chaam, one criticism: some of your posts seem to be set in capital letters. Which is bad news for readability. After a couple of lines, all-caps become a real drag due to the lack of diversity in glyph forms. This is known.

  12. We’ll find out if social distancing works after these riots, etc. in the USA. – There was essentially no social distancing then.

    We will probably know in 2 to 3 weeks.

    – JPP

  13. UNSW: “Is COVID-19 the dress rehearsal for climate change?”

    Of course it is. Paraphrasing a statement made by numerous marxists, “Take advantage of any emergency.” And they have.

  14. If a new world order comes it won’t be the farmers, and tradesmen, and laborers who will be the first marched off to re-education camps. Academics, lawyers, and journalists seem unaware of the dangers awaiting them through socialism.

  15. “We need to help design the policies that governments can turn to. We stand ready to lend our deep expertise to governments…” Please spare us your arrogant and misguided help as you are part of the problem, not the solution.

  16. It has been the role of universities …. to challenge orthodoxy …. blablabla.

    Tell that to Peter Ridd.

  17. And we will be the places most open to contemplating whatever changes to the world-order are going to be required to keep the peace as change occurs.

    Wow, I snorted hot coffee out of my nose when I read THAT! After the Peter Ridd affair, might not the Aussie universities also add:

    And then we will be the places where if you disagree with us, we’ll not merely ignore your criticisms, we will fire you, call you names, forbid you to speak to your spouse, investigate you, and spend the public’s money to not only pay ourselves, but pay our lawyers as well. You will revere us as GODS of SCIENCE, or else, and you will not dare to dismiss us as deluded megalomaniacs. Our feces will smell like roses.

  18. Lending their deep understanding to a crisis that is showing no sign of existence. Also, with the deep erosion in scholarship starting after WWII that rendered social sciences a useless set of unbudgeable marxbrothers axioms. e.g. criminals and the poor are the products of democracy, free speech and capitalism, has in the last 3 to 4 decades rotted out the guts of science and thrown the Uni doors open to the hordes, is now trying to destroy engineering through the bureaucracies of their own profesional associations.

    From what I have seen in this clisci muck, my BSc in Engineering and MSc in Geology is far superior in quality and qualifications to 97% of the PhDs doled out by and to the mediocre in what really is a branch of social science. Unless it crashes somehow and education from K to PhD is re-oriented to slash enrollment at Universities by doubling standards of entry back to the right hand tail of the bell curve, civilization is in dire straits. “Lending their deep understanding” indeed!

    • well said sir – as a product of the 4% in the 1960s – it took really good grades to get into Unis and to stay there. I class my Geology BSc above any modern Phd

  19. Federal funding for these fraudsters needs to happen during Trump’s Second and Third Presidential terms.

  20. “Hopefully, we’ll see people start to reject that kind of combative politics on the other side of this and they’ll want to see agreement, and they’ll want to see evidence-based policy.”

    That’s odd, because we Climate Skeptics/Realist want the same thing. We want “the other side” to quit their combative politics, and for people to finally agree that by far, most of any changes we see (or think we do) are primarily natural, and cyclical, and certainly nothing to worry about. And people should certainly demand that policy be based on the actual evidence, and not on hype, and Alarmist ideology.

  21. Professors at uni:

    “We will educate those – young and old – who will be productive in a rapidly changing world… we will be the places most open to contemplating whatever changes to the world-order are going to be required …”

    The hubris and puffery of mediocre minds of today’s so-called scholars makes it hard for smart minds to know what to do with this trainwreck. An old Russian saying adaptable to this is “A hundred wise men cannot solve the problems created by one madman”

    • ““A hundred wise men cannot solve the problems created by one madman””

      That sounds like the situation we have now in the United States.

      I hear protests of George Floyd’s murder are going on in Europe. Have they been burning any buildings over there?

  22. ” …… offer us their expert leadership.”

    I would prefer professional leadership.
    Expert = drip under pressure, or person in suit/dress with laptop from next county.
    Professional = someone who earns an honest living doing something and sometimes makes a mistake which he/she owns up to and corrects.

  23. Professors at uni:

    “We will educate those – young and old – who will be productive in a rapidly changing world… we will be the places most open to contemplating whatever changes to the world-order are going to be required …”

    The hubris and puffery of mediocre minds of today’s so-called scholars makes it hard for smart minds to know what to do with this trainwreck. An old Russian saying adaptable to this is “A hundred wise men cannot solve the problems created by one crazy person”

  24. “And we will be the places most open to contemplating whatever changes to the world-order are going to b”We stand ready to lend our deep expertise to governments as they act…”

    So, the blind leading the blind, then? That should work out well. Until one group of tyrants attacks the other group of tyrants.

  25. “It has been the role of universities for almost a millennium to challenge orthodoxy and think big.”

    But evidently no longer so big as to allow for the possibility that there are things going on in the universe that are bigger than we are, and bigger than big government and Big Brother can dictate.

  26. well, wife employer not opening bldg (work from home) until September at earliest and if no vaccine then 2021 AND it was 31 deg F this morning (mid-maine) SO…they got to be related somehow.
    just need to suss it out….use any data any way you want for any argument you want just like AGW crowd does.

  27. Dress Rehearsal or Final Curtain ?
    As sung by the Seekers “ The Carnival is Over “

  28. A very generous offer to lead us into a new world order. I can’t wait to see what they have to offer apart from such unmitigated arrogance.

  29. If academics and so-called experts want politicians to follow their advice then hold them to account, make them liable for that advice — criminally where relevant.

  30. Academics are standing by at their phones, ready to lead us all up the garden path yet again, towards the ATM of Funding. Faced with Real World Problems, these academics could not even fight their way out of a paper bag.

  31. “The university sector, in my opinion, will be amongst the most critical of all institutions, if we are to find the pathways to a glorious Marxist-Leninist global future.”

    There, fixed it for ya.

    • > having sex with someone who is not part of your household is now illegal.

      That shouldn’t pose a problem for certain elements within the UK’s rich ethnocultural tapestry.

      *slaps self on wrist for being racialist*

  32. “We – the global citizenry – are seeing a comprehensive failure of the global political system”

    The author presumes to speak for every citizen on the globe.

    Did the author talk to every global citizen? Of course not. It’s blowing smoke/wild speculation.

  33. Strikes me that this is about the reality of the Bonfire of the Vanities. The global political system must mean the United Nations – which has comprehensively failed when put to the test regarding CV19

  34. “Before the crisis hit, Australia was facing a climate emergency…”

    Suggesting that once the ‘crisis’ hit, the climate emergency went away.

    Wuhan Flu fixed the Climate Emergency! All Praise Wuhan!

    /snarc

    • Protests to show solidarity for Black Lives Matters in US gets more numbers than a climate protest. It’s like a greek tragedy … one is supposedly going to end the world the other is an event in another country.

  35. The slow March through the institutions sees the capture of some in governments by universities. One reads reports like this from University of New South Wales with scepticism precedent, the expectation of an unbalanced, left leaning set of words that heap criticism on others.
    It is so bad in Victoria that the Premier, comrade Daniel, describes the university education of paid, foreign students as Victoria’s biggest industry. Problem is, most of said students are from China and many have little to no comprehension of English language, so the Aussie Victorians see travel of these students in and out of China as a productive path to spread Covid-19 nasties.
    There is now an embargo on international incomings. This means Comrade Dan can see a loss of income. On the news today, he floated a plan to allow students to bypass the embargo, plus making them stay in quarantine for a fortnight, plus having the taxpayers here pay for the cost of quarantine. I think airfares are also paid, not sure.
    So, at a time of stress and worry by Aussies here, with some dislike of Chinese Communism for concealing Covid at the start, we have a Premier in love with Communism, certainly not doing what most Victorians would wish.
    Government out of control and 2 years before the next State election. God help Victoria. Geoff S

  36. Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. { Richard Feynman }. In my years as a Registered Engineer, I have found that advice useful.

  37. Because when you think about it viruses and bugs attack the aged and senescent fatally if you watch plants and animals. It’s inevitable that as they spread and transfer to the younger stalwarts they’re modified in turn just as they create defence mechanisms in the hosts. No critter is unchanged by such interaction as a permanently deadly virus to a species faces it’s own demise with the demise of the host. Equilibrium occurs when the virus can survive largely on the frail senescent and the odd young with compromised or out of whack immune systems leaving the bulk of the host largely unscathed. Covid19 should be no different unless it’s a Black Swan virus but Alberto reckons it’s not.

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