CORONA-PANIC : A Fiasco In The Making?


“It’s like an elephant being
attacked by a house cat.
Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat,
the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.”
John P.A. Ioannidis
Professor of medicine, epidemiology – Stanford University

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*Immediate disclaimer: saying something is a panic is not denying, minimising, or ignoring it. (Jamie)

MARCH 21, 2020

AS Australia enforces a further increase to its “social distancing” rules from one metre yesterday to 4 square metres today, and as the Australian Football League (AFL) kicks off its second game of the ‘go-ahead’ season, to an empty stadium, the stark reality of our new draconian way of Corona-life sets in.

MEANWHILE, as the Australian Prime Minister holds daily pressers, pulling every fiscal lever available to stimulate the economy in an effort to avoid the R word, it seems impossible that there will not be devastating and permanent damage done to the economy and society as tens of thousands of businesses become insolvent, raising welfare queues exponentially.

A grim reality that seems inevitable as large employers, including the hospitality sector and the 45 billion-dollar tourism industry literally grind to a halt.

ON Thursday, Australia’s national carrier Qantas laid off two-thirds of its entire workforce, totalling some 20,000 employees, as the airline grounded its entire international fleet and 60 per cent of its domestic fleet as a result of the unprecedented lack of demand for travel, tied with government-imposed travel restrictions.

EUROPEAN and American carriers’ share prices have declined faster even than the globe’s corona-struck stock markets.

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WORLDWIDE DEPRESSION?

UNEMPLOYMENT levels peaked at 25 per cent during the 1930’s Great Depression. It took 3 years from 1929 to reach that level.

IN the era of COVID19, the hospitality and tourism sectors, alone, makeup approximately 15 per cent (1,500,000 positions) of Australia’s total workforce. A great percentage of those jobs have quite possibly been eviscerated not within years, but within days.

IT seems untenable that even the most potent suite of economic stimulus measures can possibly prevent the current and future carnage of a solvency crisis unleashed by the enforced six-month, four square metre “social distancing” policy.

THE ultimate lever of a COVID vaccine would matter little, following months of trials and regulatory approvals.

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HEAVILY WEIGHTED, HEALTH-BASED POLICY PRESCRIPTIONS

WHILE we are bombarded hourly by the predictable mainstream media on how many new cases of COVID there are, how many deaths, and who is to blame, we are rarely exposed to the math or reality of the long-term economic damage that draconian policies will do to society, business and indeed the health system.

WHY is that? Does it detract from the COVID19 narrative of fear and panic, as real as it may be? Or, is it too risky or distressing to explore and be honest to the public about the consequences of such heavily weighted, health-based policy prescriptions? Are politicians afraid that doing too little will invite mainstream media contempt, or god forbid, social-media scorn?

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A FEW BRAVE SCIENTISTS

A few brave scientists are publicly warning of the dangers of such draconian measures in relation to how little we know about COVID19, based on a total lack of reliable data.

THEY argue:

  • “How have we found out that the virus is dangerous?”
  • “Only 10 to 20 percent of infections are detected, a study says. It means the case fatality rate is 5 to 10 times lower than what it seems to be and close to flu.”
  • “How was it before?”
  • “Didn’t we have the same thing last year?”
  • “Is it even something new?”
  • “Where is the data?”

ARE false positives corrupting known data?

50/50 testing = 0% accuracy.

nearly half or even more of the ‘asymptomatic [COVID-19-]infected individuals’ reported in the active nucleic acid test screening might be false positives.” Source: [Potential False-Positive Rate Among the ‘Asymptomatic Infected Individuals’ in Close Contacts of COVID-19 Patients

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STANFORD PROFESSOR

“In some people who die from viral respiratory pathogens, more than one virus is found upon autopsy and bacteria are often superimposed. A positive test for coronavirus does not mean necessarily that this virus is always primarily responsible for a patient’s demise.” – John P.A. Ioannidis Professor of medicine, epidemiology (Stanford University)

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JOHN P.A. IOANNIDIS is professor of medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University and co-director of Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center.

HE warns in this impassioned and must read op-ed that current COVID data indicates that we are severely overreacting to Coronavirus.

FIRST OPINION

A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data

The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic. But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco.

At a time when everyone needs better information, from disease modelers and governments to people quarantined or just social distancing, we lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who continue to become infected. Better information is needed to guide decisions and actions of monumental significance and to monitor their impact.

Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries. If the pandemic dissipates — either on its own or because of these measures — short-term extreme social distancing and lockdowns may be bearable. How long, though, should measures like these be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing more good than harm?

Vaccines or affordable treatments take many months (or even years) to develop and test properly. Given such timelines, the consequences of long-term lockdowns are entirely unknown.

The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the limited testing to date, some deaths and probably the vast majority of infections due to SARS-CoV-2 are being missed. We don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300. Three months after the outbreak emerged, most countries, including the U.S., lack the ability to test a large number of people and no countries have reliable data on the prevalence of the virus in a representative random sample of the general population.

This evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty about the risk of dying from Covid-19. Reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4% rate from the World Health Organization, cause horror — and are meaningless. Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.

The one situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its quarantine passengers. The case fatality rate there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher.

Projecting the Diamond Princess mortality rate onto the age structure of the U.S. population, the death rate among people infected with Covid-19 would be 0.125%. But since this estimate is based on extremely thin data — there were just seven deaths among the 700 infected passengers and crew — the real death rate could stretch from five times lower (0.025%) to five times higher (0.625%). It is also possible that some of the passengers who were infected might die later, and that tourists may have different frequencies of chronic diseases — a risk factor for worse outcomes with SARS-CoV-2 infection — than the general population. Adding these extra sources of uncertainty, reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general U.S. population vary from 0.05% to 1%.

That huge range markedly affects how severe the pandemic is and what should be done. A population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05% is lower than seasonal influenza. If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.

Could the Covid-19 case fatality rate be that low? No, some say, pointing to the high rate in elderly people. However, even some so-called mild or common-cold-type coronaviruses that have been known for decades can have case fatality rates as high as 8% when they infect elderly people in nursing homes. In fact, such “mild” coronaviruses infect tens of millions of people every year, and account for 3% to 11% of those hospitalized in the U.S. with lower respiratory infections each winter.

These “mild” coronaviruses may be implicated in several thousands of deaths every year worldwide, though the vast majority of them are not documented with precise testing. Instead, they are lost as noise among 60 million deaths from various causes every year.

Although successful surveillance systems have long existed for influenza, the disease is confirmed by a laboratory in a tiny minority of cases. In the U.S., for example, so far this season 1,073,976 specimens have been tested and 222,552 (20.7%) have tested positive for influenza. In the same period, the estimated number of influenza-like illnesses is between 36,000,000 and 51,000,000, with an estimated 22,000 to 55,000 flu deaths.

Note the uncertainty about influenza-like illness deaths: a 2.5-fold range, corresponding to tens of thousands of deaths. Every year, some of these deaths are due to influenza and some to other viruses, like common-cold coronaviruses.

In an autopsy series that tested for respiratory viruses in specimens from 57 elderly persons who died during the 2016 to 2017 influenza season, influenza viruses were detected in 18% of the specimens, while any kind of respiratory virus was found in 47%. In some people who die from viral respiratory pathogens, more than one virus is found upon autopsy and bacteria are often superimposed. A positive test for coronavirus does not mean necessarily that this virus is always primarily responsible for a patient’s demise.

In the coronavirus pandemic, we’re making decisions without reliable data | STAT

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THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES

BY now, many of you may just have ten minutes to spare in this the ‘new normal’ of COVID isolation!

URGE you to take a moment to watch this highly informative (10’51”) insight into the Coronavirus panic by lung expert Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg.

Must-watch insights into the Corona-panic by lung expert Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg // H/t @AndersEngstrm4

WODARG’s thesis contends that SARS-CoV-2 is only one of many similar viruses which usually go undetected as part of an ordinary seasonal period of respiratory infections (casually called flu or cold), and that the worldwide activities to stop the pandemic are only a “hype” caused basically by selective perception of researchers.

DÉJÀ VU?

A segment of the video, which I transcribed, explains how Corona-panic has escalated by an unholy interaction between government and virologists.

THE formula is eerily similar to how ClimateChange™️ panic has successfully metastasised into its own global pandemic, care of the exact same vectors — politicians, science ‘experts’ and the mainstream media — working in unison.

DR Wodarg:

And all this was so significant that it lead to international consequences, politicians had to deal with it, had to take a stand.

Then the virologists came into play again.

The governments asked their own virologists and they confirmed that this virus is a thing to worry about and proposed to develop tests to help measure the virus – like China.

Something was woven around this. A network of information and opinions has been developed in certain expert groups. And politicians turned to these expert groups, who initially started all this. And they really absorbed this network, moved within it.

This lead to politicians who now are just resting on these arguments, while using these arguments to evaluate who has to be helped, to determine safety measures or what has to be permitted.

All these decisions have just been derived from these arguments. Which means that it’s now going to be very hard for critics to say “Stop. There is nothing going on.”

And this reminds me of this fairytale about the king without clothes on. And just a small child was able to say “Hey, he is naked!”. All the others in the courtyard – surrounding the government and asking the government advice, because they can’t know themselves – they all played along and joined the hype.

And like this, politicians are being courted by many scientists. Scientists who want to be important in politics because they need money for their institutions….

And what is missing at the moment is a rational way of looking at things. We should ask questions like

  • “How have you found out that the virus is dangerous?”
  • “How was it before?”
  • “Didn’t we have the same thing last year?”
  • “Is it even something new?”

That’s missing. And the king is naked.

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CONCLUSION

“What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know,
it’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”
– Mark Twain

IS COVID19 merely another Coronavirus, one of many that mutates every year in order that we get sick, like every other virus including the flu does?

IF viruses didn’t mutate we would become immune and never have hundreds of thousands of people dying each year of existing Corona and Flu strains.

COVID19, the latest Corona variant is unfortunately with us now and here to stay. The genie is out of the bottle. We will all come into contact with it eventually and become immune by vaccine or by exposure.

VIRUSES are clever and will always be with us. They adapt and so should we, only smartly, not foolishly.

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UPDATE

FOR the many, including the mainstream media, who continue to cite Italy as the bell-weather of the Coronavirus “Crisis”, please note the following scientific study regarding flu-death incidents studied in a 3-season 4-season period from 2013/14 to 2016/17.

Highlights

  • In the winter seasons from 2013/14 to 2016/17, an estimated average of 5,290,000 ILI cases occurred in Italy, corresponding to an incidence of 9%.
  • More than 68,000 deaths attributable to flu epidemics were estimated in the study period.
  • Italy showed a higher influenza attributable excess mortality compared to other European countries. especially in the elderly.

Investigating the impact of influenza on excess mortality in all ages in Italy during recent seasons (2013/14–2016/17 seasons) – ScienceDirect

CURRENT deaths in Italy, attributed to COVID19, stand at 4,032.

HOPEFULLY this death rate does not rise to the yearly average, based on the above ScienceDirect study, of 23,000 deaths. 17,000 Italian flu deaths per year.

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UPDATE

CORRECTION:

STUDY is over a four-year period. Not over a 3-year period as I noted. My mistake. Apologies (Jamie)

FROM the study…

We estimated excess deaths of 7,027, 20,259, 15,801 and 24,981 attributable to influenza epidemics in the 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17, respectively, using the Goldstein index. The average annual mortality excess rate per 100,000 ranged from 11.6 to 41.2 with most of the influenza-associated deaths per year registered among the elderly. However children less than 5 years old also reported a relevant influenza attributable excess death rate in the 2014/15 and 2016/17 seasons (1.05/100,000 and 1.54/100,000 respectively). Investigating the impact of influenza on excess mortality in all ages in Italy during recent seasons (2013/14–2016/17 seasons) – ScienceDirect

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UPDATE – Mainstream media not helping

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UPDATE – Sun 22/3/20 (14:22 AU)

H/t @Byoz01

INTERESTING analysis and explanation by Prof Walter Ricciardi, scientific adviser to #Italy’s minister of health, as to the above average Case Fatality Rate (CFR) in Italy:

But Prof Ricciardi added that Italy’s death rate may also appear high because of how doctors record fatalities.

“The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

“On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three,” he says.

Why have so many coronavirus patients died in Italy? | The Telegraph

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UPDATE – Sun 22/3/20 (17:00 AU)

THE situation is certainly ‘fluid’. Two month suspension of AFL. Guttered.

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UPDATE – Mon 23/3/20 (09:00 AU)

AUSTRALIA SHUTS DOWN

  • Hospitality sector — pubs, clubs, gyms, cafes, restaurants — completely shut down, Australia wide.
  • State borders closed.
  • Stockmarket in free-fall.
  • Massive Centrelink (Welfare) queues stretching for blocks, with no “4 square metre” “social distancing” zone.
  • Chaos.
A NATION IN SHUTDOWN

A NATION IN SHUTDOWN

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UPDATE – Mon 23/3/20 (11:46 AU)

Hundreds THOUSANDS queue outside Centrelink offices as coronavirus unemployment surges

The MyGov website has crashed as Australians try to access government services like Centrelink online. Photos showed queues outside some Centrelink offices stretching around the block this morning.

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UPDATE – Mon 23/3/20 (21:06 AU)

CURE WORSE THAN THE DISEASE?

ACTUAL scientific data bolsters this thinking …

“The problem of SARS-CoV-2 is probably overestimated, as 2.6 million people die of respiratory infections each year compared with less than 4000 deaths for SARS-CoV-2 at the time of writing.”

H/t Ned Nikolov, Ph.D. @NikolovScience

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UPDATE – Tue 24/3/20 (10:08 AU)

MUST WATCH

Prof. Dr. med. Sucharit Bhakdi. Infectious disease specialist. One of the most highly cited medical research scientists in Germany.

THE good Dr is not the best orator, but what he has to say about existing Corona viruses within the population, that lead to the normal death rate of respiratory victims, is highly informative.

“The life expectancy of millions is being shortened. The horrifying impact on world economy threatens the existence of countless people.”

Source : Czech theoretical physicist and former assistant professor at Harvard University from 2004 to 2007, Dr Luboš Motl

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UPDATE – Tue 24/3/20 (23:36 AU)

PEER-REVIEWED article by John P.A. Ioannidis Professor of medicine, epidemiology (Stanford University)

“Influenza” attracted 30- to 60-fold less attention although this season it has caused so far about 100-fold more deaths globally than coronavirus.

TAKE-OUT…

This year’s coronavirus outbreak is clearly unprecedented in amount of attention received. Media have capitalized on curiosity, uncertainty and horror. A Google search with “coronavirus” yielded 3,550,000,000 results on March 3 and 9,440,000,000 results on March 14. Conversely, “influenza” attracted 30- to 60-fold less attention although this season it has caused so far about 100-fold more deaths globally than coronavirus.

Different coronaviruses actually infect millions of people every year, and they are common especially in the elderly and in hospitalized patients with respiratory illness in the winter.


*This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1111/eci.13222

Coronavirus disease 2019: the harms of exaggerated information and non‐evidence‐based measures – Ioannidis – – European Journal of Clinical Investigation | Wiley Online Library

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UPDATE – Thu 26/3/20 (06:10 AU)

IN striking resemblance to ClimateChange™️, it seems that experts who question the official narratives of the Mainstream media are not to be heard, by the herd …

“Below is our list of twelve medical experts whose opinions on the Coronavirus outbreak contradict the official narratives of the MSM, and the memes so prevalent on social media.” – Off-Guardian

IMPORTANT read : 12 Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic – OffGuardian

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UPDATE – Thu 26/3/20 (08:36 AU)

”I want you to remember these people died WITH the #coronavirus and not FROM the coronavirus”

– (President Italian Civil Protection Service)

THIS would make the news in a functioning mainstream media, whose job is to report the ‘news’ in an unbiased way. Not, at all, to minimise or to ‘deny’ the seriousness of COVID19, rather to maintain cool heads when so much rides on clear and precise information that is essential to quell hysteria which inevitably leads policy makers to prescribe possibly even more deadly cures than the disease itself.

“The president of the Italian Civil Protection Service actually went out of his way to remind people of the nature of Italy’s fatality figures in a morning briefing on 20/03

REPORT shows up to 88% of Italy’s alleged Covid19 deaths could be misattributed.

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UPDATE – Fri 27/3/20 (14:50 AU)

IMPERIAL COLLEGE DOOMSDAY DEATH-MODEL IS WRONG!

THE man who panicked the world is now running from his doomsday projections.

MARCH 17, 2020

Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 2.32.17 pm

That messy back-and-forth has been on vivid display this week with the publication of a startling new report on the virus from a team at Imperial College in London. The report, which warned that an uncontrolled spread of the disease could cause as many as 510,000 deaths in Britain, triggered a sudden shift in the government’s comparatively relaxed response to the virus.

American officials said the report, which projected up to 2.2 million deaths in the United States from such a spread, also influenced the White House to strengthen its measures to isolate members of the public.

Behind the Virus Report That Jarred the U.S. and the U.K. to Action – The New York Times

FAST-FORWARD to MARCH 25, 2020

A remarkable turn from @neil_ferguson who led the @imperialcollege authors who warned of 500,000 UK deaths – and who has now himself tested positive for COVID19.

AND this..

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HOW listening to one ‘expert’ from @imperialcollege coupled with mainstream media fear-mongering and fact-free hysteria, has paralysed the entire global economy, destroying billions of people’s lives and their livelihoods!

MUST READ Twitter thread from @JordanSchachtel :

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UPDATE

IT turns out that Imperial College advises the U.K bureaucracy on ClimateChange™️ models and ‘science’ as well as advice for UK’s ClimateChange™️ and energy strategies and policies.

NO guessing which way their ‘advice’ leans!

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UPDATE – Fri 27/3/20 (21:42 AU)

AUSTRALIA’S MOST ICONIC & BIGGEST DEPARTMENT STORE CLOSES – 10,000 MORE JOBLESS 

In one of the biggest shocks to the retail sector in a week where tens of thousands of jobs have been lost, the nation’s biggest department store has decided to close its stores.

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UPDATE – Fri 27/3/20 (22:35 AU)

Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus

ANOTHER timely indicator which reinforces the fact that we are all going to ‘get’ COVID19 at some point, either from direct exposure or by vaccine.

FROM my earlier “CONCLUSION”:

COVID19, the latest Corona variant is unfortunately with us now and here to stay. The genie is out of the bottle. We will all come into contact with it eventually and become immune by vaccine or by exposure.

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TBC…

•••

FOR the latest AU government information on COVID19 :

COVID19 Science :

COVID19 Related – useful reading :

CLIMATISM Related :

•••

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•••


GLOBAL WARMING HYSTERIA : Suicide A Climate Change Solution

Cheer up. If we keep our heads we are likely to deal with climate challenges the same way we got to where we are; innovation, markets, democracy and optimism. | The Australian

Cheer up. If we keep our heads we are likely to deal with climate challenges the same way we got to where we are; innovation, markets, democracy and optimism. | The Australian


“Articles, tweets and interviews that deliberately lob personal tears into the public domain sound the alarm bells of sanctimony..”
Chris Kenny

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FIRSTLY, apologies for the use of “suicide” in the heading to all those who have been directly or indirectly affected by such a horrible and tragic event. I can personally sympathise.

THAT said, the use of the threat of “suicide” by those pushing the global warming climate change agenda is indicative of the desperate, dishonest and disrespectful lengths that climate activists will go to in order to drive their latest fashionable eco-scare.

AUSTRALIAN columnist Chris Kenny with some much needed perspective, clarity and reason to parlay the constant rhetoric of climate change doom and gloom that the Climate Crisis Industry relies on in an attempt to remain relevant…

(Links, Graphs and Bolds added by Climatism)

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Stop the hand-wringing, humankind will adapt and prosper

Associate Editor // The Australian
Sydney

WHEN people go public with private tears I am immediately suspicious. Not that I am against tears; as a physical reaction to emotion they are a fact of life best controlled in some circumstances but uncontrollable in others.

But articles, tweets and interviews that deliberately lob personal tears into the public domain sound the alarm bells of sanctimony. Telling the world about your saltwater reaction to this or that is perhaps the epitome of virtue-signalling.

“I cried two times when my daughter was born,” was the opening line in a New York Times piece this week. Those sanctimony warning bells rang loud. It was by Iraq veteran, English professor and climate alarmist Roy Scranton, promoting a new book of essays on war and climate change titled We’re Doomed. Now What? And yes, he claims to have shed tears for the planet.

“First for joy, when after 27 hours of labour the little feral being we’d made came yowling into the world, and the second for sorrow, holding the earth’s newest human and looking out the window with her at the rows of cars in the hospital parking lot, the strip mall across the street, the box stores and drive-throughs and drainage ditches and asphalt and waste fields that had once been oak groves. A world of extinction and catastrophe, a world in which harmony with nature had long been foreclosed. My partner and I had, in our selfishness, doomed our daughter to life on a dystopian planet, and I could see no way to shield her from the future.”

Where to start with such inanity? Perhaps with the good news. Max Roser’s work for Oxford University’s Our World in Data project shows that two centuries ago, 90 per cent of the global population lived in extreme poverty and now, even though the population has grown from less than one billion people to about 7.5 billion, those proportions have completely reversed so that only 10 per cent of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty.

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* Read the rest of this entry »