Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Prioritizing climate over pandemics

We need a full accounting of what was spent preparing for the ‘climate crisis’ versus COVID

Paul Driessen

As of May 20, the United States had more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of Wuhan Coronavirus. US deaths related or attributed to the virus topped 92,000 (though many were really due to old age and related co-morbidities). Because of COVID, much of the US economy has been shut down since late March. More than 36 million American workers have now filed for unemployment insurance, while tens of millions more have been furloughed or seen their hours and/or salaries reduced severely.

With infections, cases and deaths declining, lockdowns and stay-home orders are finally easing, though only slightly and slowly in many areas. Millions of businesses face bankruptcy or simple disappearance, and rebuilding the recently vibrant US economy will likely take years. Lockdown-related deaths from medical screenings and treatments foregone, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, other diseases of despair, and other causes will likely kill many tens of thousands of Americans in the coming years.

The Eurozone is likewise in dire straits, as are countless other countries around the world. Impoverished Africa is being hit by the Coronavirus and starvation amid one of the worst locust plagues in its history.

Perhaps the most vital and fundamental role of government, at every level, is to protect its citizenry from criminals, foreign invasions, natural disasters and other threats – including pandemics that have ravaged mankind repeatedly throughout history. This raises two enormously important questions.

One, aside from the sudden appearance of the Wuhan COVID-19 pandemic – and bungling and duplicity by Chinese and World Health Organization (WHO) officials – why was the US response so slow?

Wall Street Journal and other articles suggest that “missteps” nearly everywhere helped magnify problems. Multiple federal government reports called attention to potential threats and inadequacies during future pandemics, but only modest steps were ever taken to prepare for them.

For example, a Strategic National Stockpile was established in 1999 for pharmaceuticals needed in a terrorist attack, natural disaster or pandemic, but Congress never allocated ongoing funding for pandemic preparations. The Bush, Obama and Trump administrations focused more on preparing for chemical, biological and other terrorist attacks than on pandemics. Reliance on foreign production (mostly Chinese) for N95 masks (30%) and surgical masks (90%) was highlighted but not addressed; expanding Made in America capacity was mostly just a slogan.

Left with large quantities of personal protective equipment (PPE), respirators and other items after the Swine Flu epidemic that ended in 2009, most manufacturers that had ramped up production during the epidemic refused to maintain high output capacity. Hospitals with similar experiences slashed inventories of masks, respirators and other supplies, to reduce costs; their inventory tracking software and programs focused on economic efficiency, rather than availability and resiliency during pandemics.

One healthcare system that did stock up on masks failed to replace them after their expiration date, and brittle elastic bands made them unusable. After Maryland (and probably other states) acquired abundant Coronavirus test kits, regulatory red tape and inefficiencies prevented their use for over a week.

Little has been reported about state or local studies, plans, actions or stockpiles for pandemics. However, in recent years New York City sold off its ventilator stockpiles to avoid spending more money on storage and maintenance. Perhaps logical at the time, NYC’s decision led to shortages and chaos amid Corona.

Far more lethal was NY Governor Cuomo’s decision to compel nursing homes with acutely vulnerable patients to admit recovering (and likely still contagious) COVID patients – even though the Javits Center and USS Comfort had some 2,000 empty beds. Other states did likewise, and far too many imposed blanket policies for all hospitals and clinics statewide, based on acute problems in a few urban centers.

Post-pandemic analyses, actions and preparations must ensure these “mistakes” never happen again.

Two, what were all these government entities focusing on – if not recurrent pandemics? Put another way: How much money, attention, task force time and policymaking was devoted during the past several decades to preparing for pandemics, drug and PPE needs, and safe nursing homes – versus:

How much was devoted to “dangerous manmade climate change” ... closing down fossil fuel production, pipelines and use ... mandating and subsidizing wind, solar and biofuel operations ... and adapting bridges and other infrastructure to rising seas and other alleged manmade climate crisis disasters?

Cumulative climate and renewable energy spending at federal, state and local levels over the past several decades was certainly in the hundreds of billions of dollars over this period, if not trillions. Government time devoted to climate change and renewable energy certainly totaled many millions of hours.

It is unclear whether anyone has any idea how much money, time and resources were devoted to climate research, modeling, preparation, mitigation, “educations,” conferences and just plain fear-mongering.

It’s equally uncertain whether any federal or state study examined how much was devoted to preparing for pandemics. But it was very likely a tiny fraction of the climate change/renewable energy total.

What is clear is that hardworking American taxpayers absolutely deserve and must get a full accounting of how much money and personnel time were devoted to both of these threats.

They deserve to know how much was devoted to protecting families and communities from pandemics like the Wuhan Coronavirus and ensuing economic collapse (and perhaps to other bona fide real-world disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts) – versus crises that exist primarily in unverified computer models and endless assertions that every temperature rise, drought, species loss and extreme weather event was unprecedented and due to fossil fuel use – despite a near total absence of real-world evidence to support any of those claims.

The Department of Defense alone spent billions on climate initiatives and renewable fuels during the Obama era. How much did it spend preparing for pandemics on aircraft carriers and during basic training? How many billions did federal, state and local healthcare agencies spend on climate change versus past and future pandemics? How much money and attention did those healthcare agencies devote to our excessive dependence on China for masks, pharmaceutical components, metals, critical materials and solar panels?

The United States and individual states established countless agencies, task forces, and special legislative and regulatory panels devoted to climate change. How many did they establish for pandemics? In the seven years following the 2009 Swine Flu Epidemic, how much money and attention did the Obama Administration devote to pandemic prevention and mitigation? How about all those House and Senate committees and staffers? All those state agencies, state legislatures, counties and city councils?

In just a few months, the Wuhan Coronavirus locked us in our homes, shuttered our businesses, cost the United States trillions of dollars in lost economic output, and resulted in hundreds of billions in lost tax revenues. Even if we attribute every flood, drought, hurricane, tornado and dead polar bear to manmade climate change, the cumulative impact of our fossil fuel use won’t come anywhere near that.

Does Congress have the stomach for digging into this? for appointing a “blue ribbon task force” to do so? Will any editors and “investigative journalists” at the Washington Post or New York Times take up the challenge? Will any states, counties or cities? Will President Trump appoint a special commission?

They don’t have to address the issue of real-world crises versus those that exist only in climate models and environmentalist press releases. They just need to tally up expenditures on the pandemic and climate sides of the ledger. That would ensure a factual, data-driven analysis, and minimize the politics.

Indeed, Europeans, Canadians, Australians and people everywhere deserve to know how national, state and local governments allocated and spent tax revenues on climate versus disease preparation and relief.

There are good reasons why only 2% of Americans believe “climate change” (manmade, dangerous, natural or otherwise) is the most important problem facing the United States. Federal, state and local accountings are long overdue – as are a reordering of government priorities. Will we ever get them?

Via email

British wind farms paid record £.9.3m to switch off their turbines on Friday

The so-called 'constraint payments' have been declared a "national embarrassment" and a power management "disgrace" by campaigners

More than 80 plants across England and Scotland were compensated for the lack of demand

Wind farms in Britain were paid a record £.9.3m to switch off their turbines on Friday, The Telegraph can disclose.

More than 80 plants across England and Scotland were handed the so-called 'constraint payments', when supply outstrips demand, by National Grid, as thousands of buildings lying empty following the coronavirus lockdown contributed to a nosedive in demand for energy.

In what has been declared a "national embarrassment" and a power management "disgrace" by campaigners, consumers will ultimately foot the bill of £6.9m to 66 Scottish plants and £1.9m to 14 offshore plants in England.


Small Algae Bloom In Antarctica Freaks Out Alarmist Media

Life is spawning in a few, tiny locations in Antarctica that recently did not sustain life.

As small amounts of surface ice turn to slush in a few locations, small amounts of algae have sprung to life in the icy slush.

The cumulative total of algae is less than a square mile. Incredibly (or maybe not), alarmists and their media stooges are declaring a crisis.

CNN’s scaremongering headline announces, “Snow is turning green in Antarctica — and climate change will make it worse.”

IFL Science hypes the horror with a headline, “The Climate Crisis Is Turning Antarctic Snow Green.” Many other prominent media outlets published articles with similarly alarmist titles.

A team of British researchers published a study in Nature Communication, indicating that during the Antarctic summer, temporary algae blooms cover a combined 1.9 square kilometers (0.73 square miles) on the Antarctic peninsula.

Two-thirds of the algae formed on small low-altitude islands. Most formed in the immediate vicinity and thriving on the droppings of penguin colonies flourishing on the Antarctic peninsula.

To put the size of the algae blooms in perspective, Antarctica is 14,200,000 square kilometers in size, so the seasonal blooms affect approximately 0.00001% of the continent.

Although sometimes dormant or covered with snow, algae, lichen, and moss have always been present in these areas, particularly where large groups of penguins congregate and huddle, fertilized by the nutrients of their excrement.

Indeed, the study shows most or all of the blooms were located either within 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of a penguin colony, or where other birds nest or where seals congregate onshore.

The media uniformly claim that a small bit of life forming from the nutrients in penguin excrement in very small portions of Antarctica is a climate crisis.

But is that truly the case?

The fake new media claim this less-than-one-square-mile of temporary algae absorb light and heat, unlike white snow, and therefore will cause substantial additional global warming.

IFL Science reports, “White snow reflects around 80 percent of the Sun’s radiation, while green snow only reflects about 45 percent.” But this only tells part of the story.

The algae act as carbon dioxide sinks, meaning they take more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than they release.

As the ISL Science article admits, “these blooms, which act as a carbon sink, remove 479 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year—equivalent to the emission of 486 planes traveling between New York and London.”

Well, if you believe in a climate crisis, isn’t that good news?

The algae blooms will always be constrained by Antarctica’s long, extremely cold winters. Winter temperatures average −10°C on the Antarctic coast to −60°C at the highest parts of the interior.

Even if the algae expand modestly in the short summer months, the algae will mitigate global warming by taking more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

So how and why is a tiny bit of algae that takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere a “crisis,” ISL Science? And why will this make climate change worse, CNN?

It doesn’t really matter to them, so long as they can add another fictitious “crisis” to The Climate Delusion.


Global Warming: Still Junk Science After All These Years

Climate alarmists insist that an increase of one degree in the average global temperatures is a signal that the end of civilization is near.

Every day a new revelation: more fires in California, snow in Antarctica is turning green, salmon are dying in Alaska – all attributed to rising temperatures.

The first question an inquiring mind would ask is, does the Earth maintain the same average temperature over millennia and how does it accomplish that task?

The answer is that it doesn’t.

Civilization began because of global warming.

About 6,000 years ago, according to experts, hunter-gatherers were driven from the higher lands because rising temperatures brought drought, loss of plants and animals, and famine.

They moved to river valleys in three or four places around the globe, most notably the Nile River.

There they had water and the water also provided food. But planting by hand did not suffice.

Someone devised the plow.

It was the “trigger” that led to a series of technological inventions and discoveries and brought about civilization, according to the book Connections, by James Burke, which also became a highly popular TV series in 1978.

Plowed fields meant surplus crops, and planning for the harvest and storage included preparing for the annual Nile floods, which brought about math, writing and cloth clothing, and a series of events subsequently that Burke linked to the 1965 electrical shutdown in Northeast America.

All because the Earth’s temperature had increased 6,000 years ago.

Has the global temperature remained the same every year since then? Climate alarmists admit it has not but say it has risen about one degree since 1850, which they say is way too fast.

It will mean crops can’t be grown in some places where they now flourish.

But won’t they grow in places where it has been too cold?

Those who predict the end of civilization by the very mechanism that brought about civilization still have a lot of explaining to do if they expect people to give up their freedom and wealth to a global government that promises to control the climate that experts admit they don’t fully understand.



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