Friday, April 3, 2020

Reactions to coronavirus and climate crisis: A question of age group?

--                                                                                               --
 NASA scientist James Hansen arrested by the police in 2009



Guest post by Lukas Fierz

Prompt response to an epidemic 

So far, the coronavirus has killed less people in four months than the global traffic in two weeks. Only in the worst case will the epidemic last a year and a half and kill as many people as road traffic will kill in a year or two. In contrast to the traffic fatalities, the corona dead will be mainly old people with previous illnesses who would have blessed the time anyway in a foreseeable future. In addition, there will be collateral damage other sick people not being adequately treated because of clogged intensive care units. The economy will suffer a severe dent, after which the world will return to the order of the day, just like after the flu epidemic of 1918 or after the financial crisis. Pension funds will suffer financial losses, but will be somewhat relieved by over-mortality of pensioners. The problem of overpopulation remains unaffected. The public and the media only needed a few weeks to months to understand the problem. Everywhere the scientists were given a platform, and depending on the level of information, competence and courage of the decision-makers, the political reaction came more or less quickly, not everywhere in time or quite adequately, but finally reaching impressive proportions almost everywhere. An estimated quarter of media content is concerned with this problem. All possible scenarios are expanded and discussed at a high level. The existing basic consensus is only disturbed by a few Russian trolls and a few self-proclaimed pseudoexperts, neither of whom is taken seriously by serious media. And despite all this agitation, the coronavirus epidemic will be history by 2021 at the latest. So what?

Inadequate response to the environmental crisis 

Let us compare the reaction to the climate and environmental catastrophe: overpopulation and overconsumption blow up the foundations of life. Space for nonhuman creatures is rapidly disappearing due to overuse and to loss and poisoning of habitats. Damaged ecosystems and monocultures are sensitive to new plagues. An increase in temperature due to greenhouse gases was predicted by James Hansen back in 1988 and his predictions have turned out accurate up to now. The consequences such as floods, droughts, hunger, wars and migration are already apparent. But even decades later, the public, the media and politics have not understood what will come. Science has been neutralized in the government-dependent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which hides the match-determining feedback mechanisms, that can double the officially predicted temperatures or even accelerate them uncontrollably at any time. Anyone who, like the tried and tested expert James Hansen, still speaks out what's going on (Climate Change in a Nutshell - The gathering storm ") is ignored or taken away by the police (picture). And even as far as science has its say, it is drowned in a flood of climate-nonsense. Even so-called "reputable" media denigrate scientists as "alarmist" and their reasoned proposals as "extreme". The result is a lack of political response disguised by declarations such as the Paris Agreement which has not even been able to stop the absurd billion dollar subsidies for the fossil industry.

Why the different reaction? 

The coronavirus epidemic is receiving a huge and quite efficient media and political response, even though it doesn't really threaten anyone except the very old. The environmental and climate crisis, on the other hand, receives only a small, trivializing and completely inefficient media and political reaction, although in the coming decades or even years it will most certainly threaten the existence of our civilization, that of humanity and of large parts of the biosphere. Where can this grotesque discrepancy come from? With the older people, the corona virus threatens exactly the age group that actually leads society, sitting in suits and ties on boards of directors and governments. They have the leverage to get the media, politics and society to defend their old lives and interests and they certainly use it. In contrast, the environmental and climate crisis is sparing these same older decision-makers, because they are likely to die before the problems become acute. Therefore, the most comfortable thing for them is "business as usual" and the sufferers - the young generation - have little leverage to defend themselves, except repeating the “alarmist” and “extreme” teachings of science in impotent protests.

19 comments:

  1. Lukas Fierz - Swiss physician and politician

    https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q23017410

    In reply to: Prompt response to an epidemic  :

    From the thoughts of Thomas Jefferson – prior to the adoption of widespread adoption of Industrial Civilization.

    Agrarianism is a social philosophy or political philosophy which relates to the ownership and use of land for farming, or relating to the part of a society or economy that is tied to agriculture. Agrarianism and Agrarians will typically advocate on behalf of farmers and those in rural communities.[1][2] While there are many schools of thought with Agrarianism, historically a reoccurring feature of Agrarians has been a commitment to Egalitarianism, with Agrarian political parties normally supporting the rights of small farmers and poor peasants against the wealthy in society.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrarianism


    In reply to: Inadequate response to the environmental crisis 

    “ overpopulation and overconsumption blow up the foundations of life”.

    Agreed.

    Why the different reaction? 

    The coronavirus epidemic is receiving a huge and quite efficient media and political response, even though it doesn't really threaten anyone except the very old.

    In Reply:

    The very old have demanded that the young and working class pay their bills – provide them with healthcare options which continue to maintain their existence – way past their productive years – at great expense – with technologies which were not even developed or envisioned when the old were young. I spouse that the Boomers who gave us endless wars – fought at various levels – to maintain the MIC (Military Industrial Complex) want to live forever.\\

    “the young generation - have little leverage to defend themselves, except repeating the “alarmist” and “extreme” teachings of science in impotent protests”.

    In Reply:

    Define ‘alarmist” and ‘extreme” for me. I live in a small Studio Apartment – am dependent upon Supermarkets for my food. Work in a machine shop which exposes me daily to hazardous substances. Perhaps the Corona Virus is the Saviour.

    As for: ‘the existence of our civilization”

    My Reply: Is Industrial Civilization worth saving? Do you believe that the Universe cares about Humanity surviving – whatever? The Universe will still exist without Humanity. Humanity cannot survive without a constant non-depleting/changing Universe. Humanity is the problem – not the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's enough to read the abstract. The chimeric virus was generated in the lab already in 2015. I see only two Chinese names among many non-Chinese names. So much for the view that the virus is not man-made.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A very interesting paper - indeed. I did not need to have full knowledge of the higher level language used to come to the conclusion that this is indeed a synthetic virus:

      "Construction of SARS-like chimeric viruses.

      Both wild-type and chimeric viruses were derived from either SARS-CoV Urbani or the corresponding mouse-adapted (SARS-CoV MA15) infectious clone (ic) as previously described27. Plasmids containing spike sequences for SHC014 were extracted by restriction digest and ligated into the E and F plasmid of the MA15 infectious clone. The clone was designed and purchased from Bio Basic as six contiguous cDNAs using published sequences flanked by unique class II restriction endonuclease sites (BglI). Thereafter, plasmids containing wild-type, chimeric SARS-CoV and SHC014-CoV genome fragments were amplified, excised, ligated and purified. In vitro transcription reactions were then preformed to synthesize full-length genomic RNA, which was transfected into Vero E6 cells as previously described2. The medium from transfected cells was harvested and served as seed stocks for subsequent experiments. Chimeric and full-length viruses were confirmed by sequence analysis before use in these studies. Synthetic construction of chimeric mutant and full-length SHC014-CoV was approved by the University of North Carolina Institutional Biosafety Committee and the Dual Use Research of Concern committee".

      Delete
    2. I think these comments are legitimate opinions, but please take into account that the fact that they appear in this blog doesn't mean that the blog owner agrees with this interpretation.

      Delete
    3. Agreed Ugo - and I continue to thank you for allowing this open forum.

      Delete
    4. A man in the local Serbian forum who directed our attention to this paper posted this comment: "Chinese are eating bats for centuries, probably thousands of years, and during that long period bat virus never mutated in such way to infect humans. And suddenly someone decided that such virus should be made in the lab. Is that coincidence?"

      Delete
  3. Long time follower but considering unfollowing at this point despite the fact that I enjoy and learn from the blog. The reason......”Russian Trolls”.....????
    Seriously Ugo, a man as seemingly intelligent as yourself, have you fallen for that ridiculous American tripe? Or am I unaware of an underlying agenda associated with your blog.
    YOU CAN AND SHOULD DO BETTER

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I took the remark as ironic. But even if Mr. Fierz meant it to be serious, well, it is part of the different views of different people.

      Delete
    2. Our many Russian friends keep entertaining us with absurd and funny conspiracy theories about COVID (freemasons, illuminati, CIA...), and according to the Guardian there might be some method in it (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/18/russian-media-spreading-covid-19-disinformation). I summarised this into "trolls" to emphasize that such voices have no importance in comparision to our billion-dollar high-impact disinformation campaign about climate and environment. I have the highest regard for my Russian friends and for Russian culture.

      Delete
  4. I've seen several reports of campains founded by the Russian government to influence elections in US, discredit climate change, and so on. They spread racist accusations worldwide. I read a detailed report on one troll farm in Poland, including about hundred employees paid to make posts to support the current far-right government, but there is much more in Russia. Facebook reported organized far-right and climate deniers campains fake news, it is really established I would say. Now, regarding climate change, maybe we thought it wasn't sure or that it will happen much later? I myself am less scared of climate change than of the virus because climate change is not a big danger for my life this year. The Future needs sensible planning, but it does not awake fear as presents events do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dorota, please, avoid this kind of comments. The Russian "troll farms" are mostly Western propaganda. There is obviously an ongoing battle to control the Web that sees all governments engaged, but diffusing these statements means taking sides in it.

      Delete
  5. This is China - 1937 DOCUMENTARY FILM ABOUT JAPANESE INVASION OF CHINA YANGTZE VALLEY XD13534

    The time before China became an Industrial Civilization powered by POL. - for those in isolation to watch. https://youtu.be/mn0t8-5WPRI

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rising above:

    "When human consciousness becomes coherent, the behavior of random systems may change. Random number generators (RNGs) based on quantum tunneling produce completely unpredictable sequences of zeroes and ones. But when a great event synchronizes the feelings of millions of people, our network of RNGs becomes subtly structured. We calculate one in a trillion odds that the effect is due to chance. The evidence suggests an emerging noosphere or the unifying field of consciousness described by sages in all cultures".

    noosphere.princeton.edu

    It was only when I worked at NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex - and meet the MGR - Message Generator Recorder - a mechanical device which had somehow failed - stripped off a bit which identified the situation as an exercise - went live - and the Bombers were launched - and the missiles put on high alert - this mechanical device was placed in "isolation" and carefully guarded.

    Than I had questions...... and had to question reality - and what was actually happening.


    George Harrison - for the isolated : https://youtu.be/lIbVWNy7HBk

    New Delhi: As coronavirus cases continued to mount across India despite the nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted people on Friday morning to switch off their lights at home and light candles, diyas or even display their mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday, April 5, to demonstrate the country’s "collective resolve" to defeat the pandemic.

    https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/030420/pm-modi-third-address-to-nation-on-covid19-video-message-to-people-of.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. A famous short story by Ray Bradbury:

    http://www.riversidelocalschools.com/Downloads/pedestrian%20short%20story.pdf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ivan. I would not have got in the car.

      Delete
    2. Avoid trains too: https://www.you-books.com/book/F-Durrenmatt/The-Tunnel

      Delete
  8. Interesting viewpoint Ugo, I have had the same thoughts.

    But I changed them when I watched this moving interview:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=175&v=ejlbCmRJMW4&feature=emb_logo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for this exellent link: From what I read in fact COVID patients of any age might need intensive care, but the ones dying are mostly elderly and having additional diseases. This is not in contradiction to this video, the doctor says nothing about the number of deceased patients or their age.

      Delete
  9. We hgave a mixed age group as Admins on the Diner. Monsta is 30s, the rest of the Admins are Boomers. We have a new member who is a Millenial in his 20s.

    The video has the reactions of the 4 Diner Admins:

    https://youtu.be/1p26beBckFI

    RE

    ReplyDelete

Who

Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)