Podcast: The Calamity of Models (Guest: Willis Eschenbach)

Both climate and coronavirus models continue to fail. Why do we still look at them for deciding public policy?

Our resident polymath Willis Eschenbach joins Anthony Watts to discuss the parallels of hysteria and failure surrounding climate models and the coronovirus model that effectively put the world on hold.

Problem is, it’s worse than the old computer programmers adage “garbage in/garbage” out this time. These models are affecting real lives.

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July 11, 2020 11:29 am

Mosh will be clutching his data until his dying breath. One imagines him in a tiny room looking at his climate data like Gollum looked upon the ring…”my precious.”

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Derg
July 11, 2020 11:42 am

Is he mentioned in the podcast? Or are you just trolling?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 11, 2020 12:07 pm

Jeff I could never troll like Mosh

Reply to  Derg
July 11, 2020 12:27 pm

Mosh is the quintessential troll, middle earth notwithstanding.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  RockyRoad
July 11, 2020 7:49 pm

Miramar in Wellington NZ, that middle earth?

Reply to  Derg
July 11, 2020 1:29 pm

Some years ago Steven Mosher was a respectful sceptic, making valuable contribution to the WUWT discussions (probably best known for work done on ‘Climategate’ and Berkeley Earth) but he has somewhat drifted away in the other direction. Regardless, he is a very decent bloke.

Reply to  Vuk
July 11, 2020 1:41 pm

Agree, he’s just fallen in to bad company.

He’ll come around again. ‘Tis his fate.

Joseph murphy
Reply to  Vuk
July 11, 2020 7:19 pm

Mosh gets much more hate here than he deserves but, maybe less than he earns. I, for one, am always happy to see him post a comment. And my only complaint would be that he tosses out half a thought rather than putting in much effort.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Derg
July 11, 2020 3:55 pm

That wasn’t the question.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 11, 2020 4:34 pm

It was the answer Jeff

Robert Davis
July 11, 2020 11:40 am

Love it Willis! If your ever on Florida’s west coast, I recommend the Village of Cortez. I ‘d love to buy you a pint at the docks.

Reply to  Robert Davis
July 11, 2020 11:43 am

Done. I gotta get back to Florida at some point, I lived in Coconut Grove for a short while in the ’60s and enjoyed it greatly.


Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 11, 2020 4:01 pm

After living on Whidbey island for the last 18 years, I don’t think I could deal with the bugs in Florida.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 13, 2020 8:00 am

Spent 13 months in FL if I never go back it will be to soon. I can’t stand the bugs or overly saturated air, why anyone wants to retire there is beyond me.

Global Cooling
July 11, 2020 11:50 am

Do the people and politicians know that expert’s opinions are based on models? I don’t think so. Media just editorializes what the scientist’s say. Unchallenged, no details asked, no analysis done.

People also understand that asking wrong questions is not good for your career. Business owners and politicians see a way to profit with the narrative. So the Ponzi scheme starts and escalates.

Reply to  Global Cooling
July 11, 2020 1:29 pm
July 11, 2020 12:06 pm

Data says 1 in 500 year event.
Model says it’s getting worse , maybe 1 in 1000 year?


Reply to  farmerbraun
July 11, 2020 6:20 pm

The article is just a compilation of videos.
The narrator is just making up as he goes along.
States that a 400 year old bridge has been washed away earlier and now a 500 year old plus bridge has been washed away. So the storm event must be more than a 1 in 500 event possibly heading to a 1 in 1000 year event. WHAT GARBAGE.
This is a good example of how media make 2+2 = whatever they want to be.

M Seward
Reply to  Waza
July 12, 2020 10:52 am

Agree. A 4 or 500 yo structure might not exactly be in pristine condition.

Nick Schroeder
July 11, 2020 12:27 pm

“Experts” cannot be questioned.


Golden rule of employment: Do what the boss wants done and say what the boss wants said or work somewhere else.

Wonder if failures include WE’s atmospheric model of multiple concentric reflective glass spheres. Or ACS’s tool kit version? Or the K-T or NASA’s power flux balances?

Curious George
July 11, 2020 12:33 pm

Will a transcript be available?

July 11, 2020 12:53 pm

The General Climate Models are not fit for the purpose for which they have been used, that is for climate and energy policy and the modelers know it. From them the silence of the tomb, except when braying doom.

They are caught off thirdbase when they thought they could streak home.

There is no joy in modelville tonight.

Pat Frank
Reply to  kim
July 11, 2020 1:02 pm

I think the modelers don’t know it, kim. They’re not competent enough to know it.

They all actually do believe their models.

Reply to  Pat Frank
July 11, 2020 1:49 pm

Well, they only strongly defend their use as experiments.
Perhaps you are right, but they have certainly been told plenty of times how unfit the models are for policy.

Perhaps deaf and selectively dumb.
Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Reply to  Pat Frank
July 11, 2020 2:04 pm


They all actually do believe their models.

Sometimes it’s a function of their bosses (or “customers” if you’re a for-hire analysis firm) asking you to come up with something, anything:

“The CEO of your New York city hospital wants to know

How many cases should he plan for?
How many beds will he need
How many ventilators?”


Sometimes it’s not about “belief,” but rather “usefulness,” which I find particularly interesting with regard to philosophical truth and policy-making implications:

“For IHME I would say it was damn useful for New York.
They predicted more beds than needed and more vents than needed.”


Sometimes you don’t even believe your own model:

“Now, no one whines when war modellers got it wrong. How do I know? well I did combat modelling in the 80’s. we got a ton of shit wrong. There was no choice but to give our best
assessment, which we knew would be wrong and which we knew would offer no lessons for the future.”


Upon reviewing those particular exchanges later, I learned a thing or two about modelers and modeling, despite myself.

Pat Frank
Reply to  sycomputing
July 11, 2020 2:38 pm

I take your point, Sy, but have spoken with far too many modelers. Well over 2 dozen of them.

They believe their models.

Reply to  Pat Frank
July 11, 2020 2:58 pm


Reply to  Pat Frank
July 12, 2020 7:58 am

They’d better believe their models, or act like it, or else (queue Donald Sutherland pointing at you w/open mouth & making screeching sound).

ht/ Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Reply to  beng135
July 12, 2020 2:35 pm

Well paid actors. Serfs really, co-opted by the politically active among them. Only in it for the gold, the fame, and the power.

Pat Frank
Reply to  beng135
July 19, 2020 2:14 pm

My brother calls TDS sufferers, ‘pod people.’

As in, ‘Who are you and how did you grab my friend’s body?’

I”m about to lose the friendship of a different brother, caught in the grip of that disease.

Reply to  kim
July 14, 2020 4:17 am

Science is built on models. It’s differential equations all the way down. What do you suggest as a better alternative? Chicken entrails? Perhaps a Trumpian dream world? Models are not perfect, but it’s all we’ve got.

HD Hoese
July 11, 2020 1:10 pm

Sounds like Potential Prize Winner Eschenbach is like my best now gone refuge biologist friend (with a Silver Star in WWII), who often used to say he “was checking on things.” Never learned computer “science” but was around many who understood, including the one I played softball with and started our successful university computer program. Nevertheless he suggested caution about them. When I first saw Ferguson’s “graph” I had enough statistical background to say “WHAT?”

I worked with three very good modelers, one in hydraulics, two in fisheries. They all did the same thing. One of these was connected to the “Blackened Redfish” fiasco when they were not overfished in Louisiana, but an earlier one did not assume the possibility of natural fluctuations. At a seminar I asked the modeler about this, and he admitted the assumption, but it got out of hand and New Orleans restaurants lost their fresh local fish over it. The modeler was just naive and later models helped correct it.

As to sea level, I have also hung around competent oceanographers, as in physical, and only have this to say after living many decades around the water and reading their works. “It seems to me to be evident that the position of a shoreline at any time and place is determined by an exceedingly complicated equation….Shaler, Evidences as to change of sea level, 1895. Bulletin of the Geological Society America. 6:141-166.

It used to be that doing the same thing over and over again was insanity, glad to hear the explanation about models. As many have said here, it is not just about climate and now we have epidemiology examples to prove it.

Nick Schroeder
July 11, 2020 1:37 pm

The oh-so popular atmospheric greenhouse effect model is flawed. A greenhouse works because of the convection trapping physical walls.
By reflecting 30% of the ISR the albedo/atmosphere are much like that reflective panel set behind a car’s windshield. Remove albedo/panel and the earth/car get more kJ/h and hotter. Nikolov, Kramm and UCLA Diviner all recognize this.
The sun heats the terrestrial surface, the terrestrial surface heats the contiguous atmosphere. Those infrared heaters over the checkout stands at Home Depot heat the objects below which then heat the contiguous air molecules.
So, how does energy leave the surface and move up through the atmosphere.
Linked is a model with heat transfer equations that heat exchanger and HVAC engineers use to design industrial heat exchangers and building insulation systems.
That should give it a little street cred.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
July 11, 2020 5:46 pm

So how does this show GHE is flawed ? Various Trenberth type graphics show about 165 watts absorbed by the surface, surface then loses about 85 by evaporation, 20 by thermals/convection, 40 radiates directly to outer space, and about 20 watts radiates from the ground to cooler clouds and atmosphere. The RGHE is the 20, which would be a lot higher if the atmosphere didn’t contain H2O and CO2 vapour which would then cause more than 40 watts to radiate directly to outer space.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  DMacKenzie
July 12, 2020 6:16 am


“The RGHE is the 20, which would be a lot higher if the atmosphere didn’t contain H2O and CO2 vapour which would then cause more than 40 watts to radiate directly to outer space.”
Total handwavium nonsense.

I don’t know where you got your numbers, but they are not from a K-T diagram which can be found here “TFK_bams09” or a slightly different version here “Trenberth 2011jcli24 “.
Every diploma mill with a half-baked science department has their own version, some in percentage, some in calories, some in furlongs per fortnights. They all rely on upwelling “extra” energy and they are all incorrect.

160 W/m^2 arrive at the surface. 17 upwelling as sensible, non-radiative, 80 upwelling as latent, non-radiative, leaving by simple difference 63 upwelling as LWIR.
The accounting is complete.

So, what’s with the “extra” 396 upwelling?
It comes from a theoretical “what if” application of the S-B calculation for any surface at 16 C, 289 K.
Subtract the 63 to get the 333 perpetual (not possible) 100% efficient (not possible) GHG “extra” energy loop from cold to hot w/o work (not possible) result.

It’s not real.

It double counts the upwelling energy.

In summary:
1) By reflecting 30% of the ISR the albedo/atmosphere makes the earth cooler not warmer.
2) The GHGs “trap” & “back” radiate energy loop demands “extra” energy from the surface.
3) Because of the non-radiative heat transfer processes of the contiguous atmospheric molecules BB LWIR from the surface is not possible and there is no “extra” energy for the GHGs.
4) As demonstrated in the classical scientific tradition with a experiment.

1+2+3= 0 RGHE & 0 GHG warming & 0 CAGW.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
July 12, 2020 8:50 pm

Nick, I think your are mixing flux with net but that is not as important as DMac’s missing part.

DM: according to your numbers there is 105 watts/m^2 leaving the surface by convection heat transfer to the surface air. If there were no GHG’s in the air, that number would be a great deal higher because far more insolation would hit the ground.

When the air without GHG’s was heated by (at least) 105 watts, and with no way to cool radiatively, the heat would create thermals and remain aloft, unable to dispose of the heat because…no greenhouse gases to do it.

Over time the air temperature near the ground would greatly exceed the current ~14 C, perhaps by more than 100 C. The only way to cool would be to transfer heat back to the ground and heat doesn’t like convecting downwards.

So the notion that CO2 is warming the air is dubious, if on balance, it is a more effective radiator of baseline energy than it is an accumulator of new energy.

July 11, 2020 1:45 pm


I’ll concede troubador, with many wonderful tales, sung with clarity and brio.

Reply to  kim
July 11, 2020 6:36 pm

Check out his resume. Really.

Dan Harrison
July 11, 2020 2:24 pm

With regard to COVID models: The government (CDC, States) reported”data”is so poorly defined, and may be defined in so many ways, that I’ve quit even trying to figure out what’s behind the current reports. I’ve noted in WUWT (apologies to authors whose names I don’t immediately recall) differences in about everything, for example: (1) how deaths are being attributed to SARS-CoV-2 in different US jurisdictions (and different countries), (2) how data dates are assigned in different ways in different countries, and (3) various discussions of the equations(s) used to “model” the progress of the disease. And yesterday I found: “Musk Urges COVID-19 Retests Due to ‘Ridiculous Number’ of False Positives” with a very little research producing many other references. (Murdock, Jason. Musk Urges COVID-19 Retests Due to ‘Ridiculous Number’ of False Positives. Newsweek, June 29, 2020 8:14 AM EDT. [https://www.newsweek.com/elon-musk-coronavirus-covid19-false-positives-new-cases-surging-hospitalizations-deaths-1514032#slideshow/1604467].)

My point and my frustration is that I have not seen any report at the Federal level that recommends a consistent approach to define, characterize and report data in a meaningful (and, therefor, useful) way. Does anyone have a solid reference that at least attempts to do this?

I heartily agree with Willis that a generalist would be much better at doing this than an “expert” like Fouci. I recently put an article on my company’s website that provides an outline showing how a technical generalist (a technical advisor) could lead a task force to address the next pandemic in which I specifically spell out the problem with putting an “expert” in charge.

July 11, 2020 3:25 pm

I am a retired analyst/programmer and started to learn about computers in 1974. I finished a formal degree as an adult in the early 80s. First I taught the subject to the large numbers of people having acquired their personal PC then wanted to learn how to use it. Later on I moved fully into the professional business world. I was right there when computer models or should I say Global Circulation Models using a computer came into vogue. I had a lot of experience about the capabilities of a computer and had seen many failed attempts to push them into areas of impossibility. One notable one in my memory was the attempt to get computers to shear sheep. There were a few articles in the media about sheep shearers faced imminent unemployment. As it turned out the shearers had little to fear. Despite the fact the sheep was stunned and strapped into a framework it was a total failure. I understood even though I was greatly fascinated with what computers could do there were things that were impossible. Computers are not a brain and never will be but the effect of the media and fiction makes it acceptable to the general public that they are. This means many believe they can have vast intellects that can solve issues that humans just cannot. That may be in the future but at the present moment we are nowhere near it and such things would not be called computers.

To model the climate you are attempting to create a virtual reality of the planet. In other words it should when some factor is altered behave in the same way that our planet does. The real problem hits home when one realises this is untestable. I worked on large computer systems for funding of universities and student loans in Australia. This is an incredibly simple task compared to modelling the planet. In all there were about 100 staff members working on this, 20% were testers. We knew exactly the parameters of what was required and yet errors were often found.

In our modern world computer models are valuable but one must know an exact theory of how things work. For instance much is manufactured using computers during the design phase say a jet engine. Knowing exactly what should happen is built into the model and then it is used to do the complex calculations to produce the design. Fortunately no one is foolish enough to use that design to go straight to manufacture and from there into aircraft without testing. Even so there are still failures.

Finally because of public misconception of what computers can and can’t do any fool can put their foolishness into a computer. The computer can be then used as evidence of the correct path to salvation. It is as if a disconnect between the origin and the output is proof. An interesting parallel is electric cars which are considered environmentally friendly but the truth is they run on fossil fuel. Because the generators are a long way away that fact is ignored.

Another Ian
Reply to  Mike O'Ceirin
July 11, 2020 6:50 pm
Another Ian
Reply to  Another Ian
July 11, 2020 8:40 pm

Downloads the .pdf

Harry Davidson
Reply to  Another Ian
July 12, 2020 1:21 am

Fascinating. And I thought that only the UK Civil Service made such a corrupt pigs breakfast of IT projects, with loadsamoney spent for zero useful product.

Reply to  Another Ian
July 12, 2020 7:04 am

Read about the “Phoenix” payroll with the Canadian government. Thousands underpaid, not paid, overpaid. Already cost the gov 1 billion dollars and has not been fixed. I have been waiting two years for my last pay.

July 11, 2020 4:21 pm

Walter Bagehot had this to say in an article on following the science:
Count your enemies and economise your expenditure. May 1862

“And ‘science’ I regret to say only means scientific men, and they all differ on every practical question. Whenever there is an important trial involving any complex point of engineering, twelve engineers will give evidence on oath, and doubtless with perfect sincerity, in the affermitive, —and twelve others, with equal sincerity and upon oath also, in the negative.
Now, suppose our authorities believe the wrong engineer, and our enemies’ authorities believe the right “engineer”. This is no impossible supposition. On the contrary, it is next to impossible that it should not infrequently happen: infallibility in the choice of scientific employees is as rare as any other sort of administrative infallibility.
And then with all our expenditure we shall be worsted. We shall have spent a large fortune, but we shall have obtained no security.
Unless we have some other guide besides a blind following of science (which, though it sound well to showy generals and reads nicely in print, only means in life, at the best an uncertain selection amongst discordant sects of scientific persons), we shall never obtain real security, and we must anticipate not a diminishing, but a still increasing expenditure.”

For engineers read modellers, and apply it to climate change and Covid19.
Plus ca change, c’est plus la meme chose.

Reply to  StephenP
July 11, 2020 5:57 pm

Marvelous quote there.

I’ll invoke my inner willard and criticize your English syntax: ‘Plus c’est’ instead of ‘C’est plus’ but the sentiment is right on.

July 11, 2020 5:18 pm

Models are always correct and modelers are always right. Let us take the COVID-19 case. Sweden did not follow the herd but its economy is linked to the global economy. So its economy has to suffer with the global economy. It is now the whipping boy of the media for not following the herd or the modelers and the computer models. In one country I know, the policy makers are now congratulating itself with the modelers that the deaths are just around 1000 because they followed the models and the modelers advice of destroying their economy and draconian lock down. If they did not take the draconian actions, there could have been 100,000 deaths as the model predicted. The media were all praises and confirmatory to the self praises of the modelers and the policy makers. It is also for this reason computer models always exaggerate the problem. Just think if the computer models in this case only predicted 10 deaths and there are 1000 deaths. Well the deaths, anxiety and other health problems from the lock down and economic damage is not accounted for.

M Seward
Reply to  eo
July 12, 2020 11:14 am

It is one thing for models to be accurate or inaccurate but quite another to say that because they are inaccurate there is nothing to see. COVID 19 is killing significant numbers of people.

The US has lost more than twice the number it did in 10 years of war in Vietnam. It has also lost about 100 times as many people’s lives PER CAPITA as say Australia. You might not bea able to model it accurately but the outcomes do respond to certain contributing factors.

Just because you cannot quantify the effect of a factor to an acceptable accuracy does not mean the factor does not exist or that you cannot have an appreciation of its presence. That is the essential problem with modelling whether it is COVID 19 or say some fluid system obeying the Navier Stokes equations. Sometimes it is the sheer number crunching effort required to properly evaluate the model component of just one factor, sometimes it is having accurate coefficiants for others such as pertaining to cloud cover and the water cycle.

Unfortunately this reality opens the door to the science ‘shamans’ who move in the shadows and fog of the inherent uncertainty. Some shamans blame CO2 emmissions for everything and construct a carbon vilification narrative accordingly, ‘vilification’ being their operative device others say there is nothing to se here that COVID is a con, its just the flu, hillbilly paranoid distrust of government being theirs. Meanwhile they enjoy their carbon based bodies, eat carbon based foods and enjoy the convenience of carbon based fuelled transport by road and air on the one hand and enjoy the safety and comfort provided by government organised and operated roads, currencies, legal systems, education, police and defence forces on the other.

Izaak Walton
July 11, 2020 7:22 pm

There seems to be two main flaws with the podcast. Firstly they do not define what a model is, nor do they
discuss what possible alternatives might exist. For example most people know how to catch a ball. In order
to do so the brain makes a simple model of the physical world extroplates the trajectory and decides where
to stick out the hand. And most of the time the model works and the brain gets it right. Suppose that you listened to this podcast and decided that such models were useless and wrong — what would you do? Stick out your hand at random? Do nothing? I am prepared to bet that using a model would result in people catching more balls than any other alternative.

The same is/was true of COVID-19. If a new deadly disease turns up what do you think governments should do? Willis and Anthony appear to be suggesting they either act randomly or do nothing. Any attempt to plan for the future involves making a model of the world, extroplating it into the future and then acting accordingly. Unless you want to completely give up planning for the future you need models.

And more fundamentally science is nothing but models. Every physical law is an attempt to write down a
mathematical model of the world around us. Every time you use something that was engineered or designed you are relying on models. The modern world would not be possible without them.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 11, 2020 8:12 pm

what podcast did you listen to?
The podcasts was a discussion about the parallels between climate models and covid models.
My understanding from the podcast is neither climate models or covid models are properly verified or validated

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Waza
July 11, 2020 8:36 pm

How do you propose verifying a COVID model? Do you wait until everyone is dead and then see
whether or not the model was right? And in fact you would expect the models to be wrong — once people see the projections they will act to prevent them by imposing lockdowns making people wear masks etc. And the importance of the models is to help governments act before things get too bad. Which means making decisions on incomplete information. After all if you think there is a 10% chance a cyclone will hit your house you will take precautions rather than waiting until it is right on top and you are 100% certain.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 11, 2020 9:29 pm

Izaak, “precautions” for a 10% chance of a cyclone event would involve no more than just keeping tuned to its trajectory.
Panic stations not called for.

M Seward
Reply to  Mr.
July 12, 2020 11:24 am


Oh it might just include being aware that you live in a cyclone prone region, having a house build to appropraite specs, having all the loose stuf around the place packed away or having provision for same, securing/moving the boat and a bunch of other common sense precautions. A 10% chace of a cyclone event at your place is actually pretty high even for a cyclone region.

By the time you are sure its trajectory is passing over or close by you its probably way to late except to get the hell out if you can. Speaking from personal experience that is but maybe thats just me.

Reply to  Mr.
July 12, 2020 4:39 pm

M Seward, I speak from personal experience too.
Firstly, how would anyone get away with not having a house built to cyclone rating anywhere in Qld since the ’70s?
And living in those cyclone zones, ‘stuff’ was always ready to be moved, covered, tethered or anchored. Didn’t need a “10% chance” of one happening to be aware, we always assumed one was on the way at some stage of the season.
Growing up in the 50s & 60s, we didn’t need to wait until the Darwin event to know what to expect during cyclone season. Just a part of life.
Then later on I lived in a prime bushfire zone for 20 years. Again, preparedness for a bushfire was just a part of life.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 12, 2020 3:31 am

“ Every time you use something that was engineered or designed you are relying on models. The modern world would not be possible without them.”

How many climate models have we had so far? If they have all been wrong what does that tell you?

Gerald Browning
Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 12, 2020 10:19 pm


Are you a modeler? You already seemed to forget that the global climate models are based on the wrong dynamical system of equations
as proved in my peer reviewed manuscript. How can they be relied on for any conclusions given that is the case? And that is before discussing their continuum parameterization and excessive dissipation errors.


July 11, 2020 7:27 pm

Very nice podcast.
Re generalist
Generalist = a person competent in different fields.
IMO #1 – the adviser doesn’t need to be a generalist, the leader does.
IMO #2 – a leader should have various experts to advise them.
If the medical expert says the country/state should shut down all restaurants, hotels and flights, the tourism experts should have the guts to step in a say no effing way.
IMO #3 – the leadership ( across many jurisdictions, fields and levels) over time has acquired too much inner circle that are only expert in politics.

July 11, 2020 7:35 pm

When forecasting longer term weather forecasts during WWII Ken Arrow realised they were useless models and informed his superiors. In response they said:

“The Commanding General is well aware that the forecasts are no good. However, he needs them for planning purposes.”

Statistician George Box also said:

“All models are wrong, but some are useful”

This is the only quote above my desk at work.

Patrick MJD
July 11, 2020 7:59 pm

Prof. “I can’t keep my dick in my pants during lockdown” Ferguson, model predictions have been monumental failures since he began his “work”. BSE, bird/swine ‘flu, foot and mouth, several others and now COVID-19. His models predicted 500,000 deaths for Australia alone. And yet, Imperial College, London, are still using models to say that the NIPs (Lockdowns) saved over 3 million lives.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 11, 2020 8:58 pm

the high estimate was a calculation of the worse case scenario assuming that the government did
nothing. And even a rough calculation gives similar numbers. COVID-19 is a new disease and the population has no natural immunity and so you might expect 50% of Australians to get it. Which is
roughly 10 million people. Of which about 5% will die resulting in 500000 deaths.

But what is clear is any sensible government seeing such a forcast will act to stop it. Hence the lockdowns, social distancing etc. And as a result the number of fatalities is currently very low,
showing that simple public health measures work and can save thousands of lives. The imperial
college team also gave estimates for the number of deaths if public health measures were implemented
and those were much lower and in line with current fatalities.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 11, 2020 10:34 pm

“Izaak Walton July 11, 2020 at 8:58 pm”

Prof. Lockdown and his models constantly wrong. NIPs were not necessary. Govn’t policy based on bad modelling leads to 1 million unemployed in Australia and 3 million in the UK at least. How many infected cases of COVID-19 and how many deaths OF COVID-19?

My suggestion buy canned foods and store.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 12, 2020 7:41 am

“COVID-19 is a new disease and the population has no natural immunity and so you might expect 50% of Australians to get it.”

This outrageous fact free ASSUMPTION is flat not true. Covid variations have been known since the 60’s. It’s obvious from the testing/cases/deaths stats that a significant portion of the herd was either immune or healthy enough to fight it off.

Wiki, Sci-Fi novels and some “expert’s” butt were the genesis of the exponential model spread, i.e. a doubling means exponential. A second order doubles over time, so does a linear with a 2 slope.
Excel curve fits of the actual data showed second order from the start.

And around here the social distancing and masks were little more than an ineffective clown show. That did destroy movie theaters and fitness clubs. Collateral damages.

Between 6/10/20 and 6/24/20 CDC recorded 12,389 Covid-19 involved deaths with the following age-related distribution:
85 years + 4,170 or 33.7%
75 – 84 years 3,215 or 26.0%
65 – 74 years 2,572 or 20.8%
Let’s pause for a moment.
Over the two weeks 80.5% of Covid-19 involved deaths were among the 65+ demographic.
55-64 years 1,456 or 11.8%
Pause II.
Over the two weeks 92.3% of the Covid-19 deaths were among the 55+ demographic.

The Grim Reaper will take his due and badly run (blue) NYC, NJ, NY, MA & PA nursing homes just makes his task all that easier.

The inconsequential 7.7% balance of the herd is on the graphic.

Covid-19 is not and never was a wide-spread highly contagious lethal virus.

The lying, fact free, fake news MSM propaganda machine stampeded the politicians and public into a totally unwarranted and irresponsible scam-demic response, trashing civil liberties, wrecking the economy and ruining lives to get Trump.

Remember that come November.


Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
July 12, 2020 9:03 pm

Nick, you nailed that one.

Something missing is the misdiagnosis. COVID is a lung disease but the virus is an epithelial cell disease. Most early treatment attempted to cure the wrong disease.

Historians are probably not going to be very forgiving.

Joel O'Bryan
July 11, 2020 9:40 pm

From a general philosophical stand-point, models create the illusion of knowledge about the physical world. Most times, like catching a baseball, these AI-trained neural net based models are quite useful.
Models, either in software and run in a computer, or heuristic models created in our own biological neural network (our brain and spinal cord reflexes) by years-to-decades of say for example, training to catch a fly ball hit by a batter in a multitude of different ways and contexts, the outputs of those models only guide us in what we trained them to do. They can easily become victims of properly applied deceptions. The curveball or slider thrown at the correct time by a pitcher for example to even the most seasoned batter to get him to swing hard and chest high at a sinker.

One big trap of models of course: It is the what we think is so that ain’t, is what gets us in the most trouble.

When I was in the military, my 15 years of flying career was as a navigator trained in electronic warfare. I flew as both a defensive electronic countermeasures operator on special ops C-130’s and as an offensive information warfare operator and planner on EC-130’s. My job as a defensive EWO was always to use the enemy’s expectations of targets (me and my airplane) against them. The enemy operators of various systems are trained in certain ways, and they are trained to expect certain things. My job was to always understand that (if I could) and stay the next step ahead of their expectations. The Art of Military planning is of course immersed in that at all levels from short tactical engagements all the way to strategic theater-level campaign planning with multiple layers of deceptions. Both giving the enemy what they expect to see and then altering something.

What we see happening now with the climate scam is very sophisticated strategic deception being employed at some levels (local, state, mostly national, and some international stages) by deeply funded climate scammers. Some of it is sophisticated, and a lot of it fortunately is just downright dumb done by hacks. Right now, they are attempting to figure out ways to use the COIVD-19 black swan and the wide-spread economic misery it has brought to so many to the Left’s Trojan Horse climate scam advantage. We see this playing out as they operate various political mouth pieces. How to understand this for example: The NYTimes is now one of the key indicators of how the sophisticated socialist operators are now putting out marching orders to field. When they started thier 1619 Project last August 2019, we now see today the groundwork they were laying in their propaganda campaign and how it has turned to a 2020 summer of racial unrest of divisions. By intent. The NYTimes has become the Left-Socialists command and control central outlet to their followers. Watch them. Know what they are doing is sophisticated and by design.

We can get a lot of things wrong as a society. We can screw up our health care systems and survive. We can screw up our financial systems and survive. We can screw up our education systems and survive. Because we have a political system that us to make corrections to those things to right them. But screw up our political system, and we are lost. This is what Venezuela did, what Cubans did. And down the line wherever socialism is allowed to take hold.
You can vote yourself into socialism, but you have to shoot you way out of it.

July 11, 2020 10:51 pm

Any expert, government and the model the use should be agile.
The diamond princess although not a proper experiment gave even the man in the street an understanding how the virus works – verification it is biased towards elderly with co morbidities.
The models an government can change to reflect this.
Cyclone is different. It’s more an ongoing projection.
Category X heading towards town a or town b expected to hit in 4 days.
2 days later the projection is amended to say category y hitting town. This is a ongoing verification and validation and improvements process.
( Apologies if I get the v and v mixed up with to computer models and real life models)

July 12, 2020 1:35 am

There was once an aristocrat Lord Bertrand Russell, who with Whitehead, actually tried to model arithmetic on logic, Principia Mathematica. Despite being thoroughly debunked by Gödel, Systems Analyses was born. It was primarily the introduction of systems analysis, by Bertrand Russell and his associates, into the Soviet Union, through the Laxenburg, Austria-based International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) that caused the Soviet economy to collapse.

And now Bertrand Russell has succeeded in bringing the USA to its knees, his aristocratic target all along.

From : How Bertrand Russell Made Us Stupid, Fearful, and Evil by Paul Glumaz

“Systems analysis has no way of measuring the effect in an economy of a qualitative increase, or decrease in energy flux density, or in the level of infrastructure, or in the increase, or decrease of the cognitive level of the population. This is because those changes change all the variables in ways that are outside of the “system” being analyzed.

It is the use of system analysis, by substituting systems analysis for real science in closed earth-climate computer models, which leads to the absurd, “all the scientists agree..,” or “the science is settled. . .” in matters like climate change, without any regard to the profound macroscopic physical effects coming from the Solar System and the Galaxy. It is the devotees of systems analysis who believe that you can successfully carry out global depopulation to a permanent equilibrium, without acknowledging the physical impossibility of maintaining such an equilibrium in the real physical universe.

It is the use of systems analysis that encourages the devotees of Russell’s logic to believe they can account for all the variables sufficiently to launch a first strike and win a nuclear war. This happens to be the basis of the Prompt Global Strike Doctrine, the current U.S. doctrine for nuclear war. If the human race becomes extinct in the near term because of nuclear war, the stupidity of systems analysis may be one of the most important contributing factors.

The practical man is a stupid man. The reason the practical man is a stupid man, is because he has lost the ability to imagine what could be, or what could have been. The practical man can only know what is, or know “how things work.” As society collapses the practical man cannot conceive of how it could be otherwise, let alone believe that it could be possible to alter the course of the collapse of things. Worse, the practical man will assault the visionary who tries to create a better future for the practical man. The Twentieth Century is the century of the emergence of the practical man, as made stupid by Bertrand Russell.”

The Full article by Paul Glumaz, is sure to raise hackles here, but Systems Analysis had done severe damage.

July 12, 2020 2:19 am

Insight into such problems as COVID parties, which affect both “left-wing” radicals and “right-wing” libertarians in the country, was provided 310 years ago by Gottfried Leibniz in his Theodicy (1710):
“Men have been perplexed in well-nigh every age by a sophism
which the ancients called the ‘Lazy Reason,’ because it tended
towards doing nothing, or at least towards being careful for
nothing and only following inclination for the pleasure of the
moment. For, they said, if the future is necessary, that which
must happen will happen, whatever I may do…
“The false conception of necessity, being applied in
practice, has given rise to what I call Fatum Mahometanum, fate
after the Turkish fashion, because it is said of the Turks that
they do not shun danger or even abandon places infected with
plague, owing to their use of such reasoning as that just
“It is true that they are not inactive or negligent when
obvious perils or great and manifest hopes present themselves;
for they will not fail to abandon a house that is about to fall
and to turn aside from a precipice they see in their path; and
they will burrow in the earth to dig up a treasure half
uncovered, without waiting for to finish dislodging it. But when
the good or the evil is remote and uncertain and the remedy
painful or little to our taste, the lazy reason seems to us to be
valid. For example, when it is a question of preserving one’s
health and even one’s life by good diet, people to whom one gives
advice thereupon very often answer that our days are numbered and
that it avails nothing to try to struggle against that which God
destines for us. But these same persons run to even the most
absurd remedies when the evil they had neglected draws near….
“One will employ the lazy reason, derived from the idea of
inevitable fate, to relieve oneself of the need to reason

How is it that the USA, founded on Leibniz’s ” Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness,” has succumbed to Fatum Mahometanum, Lazy Reason?
Well, one answer is Bertrand Russell’s Systems Analysis of the Practical Man.

Alasdair Fairbairn
July 12, 2020 3:49 am

The IPCC was set up with the brief: “—-to understand the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change”. It is not surprising then that the resulting models produce the results they do; as if they didn’t then the IPCC would have been disbanded.

A case of ‘appropriate garbage in for required garbage out.‘

Jim Gorman
July 12, 2020 5:23 am

The biggest problem is using temperature as a proxy for enthalpy. This makes the temperature in the desert Southwest equivalent to the temperature in a Louisiana bayou. No one would argue that the enthalpy of the two locations are equivalent.

This has been my major problem with Global Average Temperature since I began investigating it. Besides the statistical manipulations that are terribly incorrect, the variations in humidity over the globe point me toward regional analysis rather than a funky GAT and attempts to model it. GAT is a solution in search of a problem.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 12, 2020 6:09 am

Bet all you know about enthalpy and even entropy is the words are impressive.
Water and steam have enthalpies.
Never seen enthalpy for air.
Specific heat capacity but not enthalpy.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
July 12, 2020 7:27 am

The psychrometric properties of moist air are key to understanding how energy flows in the atmosphere.
Not an every day concept for anyone other than an HVAC or cooling tower engineer.
Pierrehumbert says RH is too complicated for climate models so they just fix it.
It’s obvious from USCRN data that a lot of energy gets stored and passed back and forth from day to night between RH and DB.
Moisture in the air acts like an energy surge tank and has a lot more influence than CO2/GHG.
It’s the moisture that provides the thermal inertia that moderates the diurnal atmospheric temperature.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
July 12, 2020 4:43 pm

Boy, what an ass you are! You don’t know me from siccum, yet you know how stupid I am. You know what they say about assume.

For your information, I received my BSEE in 1972 when coal power plants were king. We had to learn more thermodynamics with water and steam than you probably have thought about.

I do have a clue about enthalpy and entropy for your information. I stand by my statement. Using temperature as a proxy for the amount of heat in a parcel of air (inclusive of water vapor) anywhere on the globe is useless. A GAT tells you nothing about enthalpy.

Instead of throwing around ad hominems and deflecting to another issue, maybe you could address the statement I made.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 12, 2020 6:33 pm

I have 35 years of power generation starting back when the steam tables were actual paper tables.

Who uses temperature as a proxy for enthalpy?

“No one would argue that the enthalpy of the two locations are equivalent.”
Same DB & RH = same enthalpy no matter where you are. (elevation matters)

Besides which:

By reflecting away 30% of the ISR the atmospheric albedo cools the earth much like that reflective panel behind a car’s windshield.

For the greenhouse effect to perform as advertised “extra” energy must radiate upwards from the surface. Because of the non-radiative heat transfer processes of the contiguous atmospheric molecules such ideal BB upwelling “extra” energy does not exist.
Backed by an experimental demonstration, the gold standard of classical science.

There is no “extra” energy for the GHGs to “trap” and “back” radiate and no greenhouse warming.

With no greenhouse effect what CO2 does or does not do, where it comes from or where it goes, becomes moot.

Equally moot are temperatures, ice caps, glaciers, polar bears, sea levels, hurricanes, nuclear power, solar minimums, CH4, ….

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
July 13, 2020 7:44 am

Nick –> “I have 35 years of power generation starting back when the steam tables were actual paper tables.

Who uses temperature as a proxy for enthalpy?”

I started my studies of thermodynamics in 1969. That’s what, 51 yrs ago. And yes, it was with slide rule and paper steam tables, along with a large book of all kinds of log, trig and other constants.

You still haven’t addressed my comment on GAT being worthless because it doesn’t adjust for locations enthapy.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
July 13, 2020 8:49 am

“You still haven’t addressed my comment on GAT being worthless because it doesn’t adjust for locations enthapy.”

You haven’t explained the connection between GAT and enthalpy or how that “adjustment” works and why it even matters.

A GAT is nonsense from the start. One temperature to rule them all. What’s the uncertainty +/- 5C?

There is no greenhouse effect so the GAT itself does not matter.

July 12, 2020 6:33 am

Just a quick check :
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis is a scientific research institute located in Laxenburg, near Vienna, Austria. Partner, surprise surprise IPCC.

“Indeed IIASA’s pioneering research into climate change in the 1970s and 1980s played a key role in establishing the IPCC. Read more about IIASA’s contribution to the field in the Options Magazine article, 40 Years’ Research into Climate Change. Since then, numerous IIASA scientists have been authors and reviewers of the IPCC’s reports. IIASA’s approach of merging interdisciplinary and international research ensures its scientists are well experienced to provide expertise in understanding problems such as climate change that also crosses national and disciplinary boundaries. ”

The 40-year link is gone : http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/about/achievments/scientificachievementsandpolicyimpact/From-Ice-Age-to-Heat-Wave.en.html
That was the Ice Age Cometh stuff, right?

This is Lord Bertrand Russell’s legacy. Equilibrium modelling including population, food, climate, pandemics is their game. “Carrying Capacity” is their euphemism for outright econometric geno-cide.

No wonder modelling is such a charade!

July 12, 2020 7:37 am

Yes, first try to understand the past. A simple sounding task, but so many are too afraid to try.

July 13, 2020 8:22 am

About a month and a half ago there was a study saying that (a model had said that) the confinement had saved 3 million lives in Europe. I was surprised by how many people wanted to believe it.
A quick calculation at the time, considering the different onset times and the differences in population made me think that, if that was true, then in Brazil, with no confinement, we should see 2 million deaths, a month and a half later, which is… NOW.
Reality is that according to latest data there have been roughly 75 thousand deaths in Brazil. That’s a bit far from 2 million. Assuming that Bolsonaro may be hiding a big ammount of them, and that the number triples… that’s still off by an order of magnitude. It’s a lot, yes, but it is off by an order of magnitude. I really cannot understand why so much faith is put in models.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Nylo
July 13, 2020 10:57 am

My study says 30 million bazillion gazzilion.

(Pinky to cheek!!)

July 13, 2020 12:36 pm

Made a meme re: model as hand puppet which sums it up. No way to post an image here.
Is this permitted? Copy and paste, remove the spaces:
facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10159996 859683812&set=a.46084993811&type=3&theater

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