Fear Not Warming from CO2

Yellow dot is the present day ppm CO2 and the Green dot is double present ppm CO2. NASA estimates CO2 was 300 ppm in 1910 and 400 ppm in 2015. Exhibit from Coe et al. with added information.

Consensus climate science asserts as given a difference of 33°K between earth surface temperature average 288°K and top of the atmosphere temperature average 255°K. It further claims that IR active gases in the atmosphere (so-called “greenhouse gases”) cause the entire 33°K by their absorption of IR emitted from the earth.  A recent peer-reviewed paper took without challenging that presumption and proceeded to attribute the warming effect to the various GHGs:  H2O, CO2, CH4, and N2O.  The researchers are expert with measures of atmospheric radiation activity and use of the HITRAN database.  The paper is The Impact of CO2, H2O and Other “Greenhouse Gases” on Equilibrium Earth Temperatures by David Coe et al.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  H\T Paul Homewood


It has long been accepted that the “greenhouse effect”, where the atmosphere readily transmits short wavelength incoming solar radiation but selectively absorbs long wavelength outgoing radiation emitted by the earth, is responsible for warming the earth from the 255K effective earth temperature, without atmospheric warming, to the current average temperature of 288K. It is also widely accepted that the two main atmospheric greenhouse gases are H2O and CO2.

What is surprising is the wide variation in the estimated warming potential of CO2, the gas held responsible for the modern concept of climate change. Estimates published by the IPCC for climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentration vary from 1.5 to 4.5°C based upon a plethora of scientific papers attempting to analyse the complexities of atmospheric thermodynamics to determine their results.

The aim of this paper is to simplify the method of achieving a figure for climate sensitivity not only for CO2, but also CH4 and N2O, which are also considered to be strong greenhouse gases, by determining just how atmospheric absorption has resulted in the current 33K warming and then extrapolating that result to calculate the expected warming due to future increases of greenhouse gas concentrations.

The HITRAN database of gaseous absorption spectra enables the absorption of earth radiation at its current temperature of 288K to be accurately determined for each individual atmospheric constituent and also for the combined absorption of the atmosphere as a whole. From this data it is concluded that H2O is responsible for 29.4K of the 33K warming, with CO2 contributing 3.3K and CH4 and N2O combined just 0.3K. Climate sensitivity to future increases in CO2 concentration is calculated to be 0.50K, including the positive feedback effects of H2O, while climate sensitivities to CH4 and N2O are almost undetectable at 0.06K and 0.08K respectively. This result strongly suggests that increasing levels of CO2 will not lead to significant changes in earth temperature and that increases in CH4 and N2O will have very little discernable impact.


Unlike water vapour, the mean CO2 concentration will remain constant at all atmospheric levels, although its density will reduce as altitude increases and pressure and temperature decrease. CO2 concentration however will vary considerably with location and with seasons, as biospheric photosynthesis removes substantial seasonal amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere. A mean level of 400ppm has been assumed for the following calculations of atmospheric absorptivity. Similarly, CH4 and N2O concentrations will be considered to remain constant at current average levels of 1.8ppm and 0.32ppm respectively.

CH4 and N2O are indeed very powerful absorbers of infra-red radiation. Increasing the concentrations of each gas to 30ppm (a 16fold increase in the case of CH4 and an almost
100fold increase in N2O) would result in a combined absorption of 15%, close to the value of 18% for 400ppm of CO2. The combined absorptive impact in the presence of
H2O and CO2 however reduces this absorption to less than 3% as can be seen in Figure 11 due to the overlap of the absorption bands of CO2 and H2O. It would thus take a huge increase in atmospheric concentrations of these gases to have any significant impact on total atmospheric infra-red absorption.

Figures 4, 5 and 6 show the transmission of the spectral radiation Eλ, through current atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and H2O and through the combination of the two gases. Absorptivities of both CO2 and H2O, as well as CH4 and N2O, have been determined over the range 3 to 100µm to a resolution of 0.1cm-1. It is clear that significant amounts of radiated energy are absorbed by both CO2 and H2O. It is also clear that there is considerable overlap of the absorption bands of CO2 and H2O with the H2O absorption being the dominant factor.

Coe et al. Figures 4, 5 and 6.

It is of some interest to calculate the increase in temperature that has occurred due to the increase in atmospheric CO2 levels from the 280ppm prior at the start of the industrial revolution to the current 420ppm registered at the Mona Loa Observatory. (K. W. Thoning et. al. 2019) [17]. The HITRAN calculations show that atmospheric absorptivity has increased from 0.727 to 0.730 due to the increase of 140ppm CO2, resulting in a temperature increase of 0.24Kelvin. This is, therefore, the full extent of anthropogenic global warming to date.


From this it follows that the 33Kelvin warming of the earth from 255Kelvin, widely accepted as the zero-atmosphere earth temperature, to the current average temperature of 288Kelvin, is a 29.4K increase attributed to H2O, 3.3K to CO2 and 0.3K to CH4 and N2O combined. H2O is by far the dominant greenhouse gas, and its atmospheric concentration is determined solely by atmospheric temperature. Furthermore, the strength of the H2O infra-red absorption bands is such that the radiation within those bands is quickly absorbed in the lower atmosphere resulting in further increases in H2O concentrations having little further effect upon atmospheric absorption and hence earth temperatures. An increase in average Relative Humidity of 1% will result in a temperature increase of 0.03Kelvin.

By comparison CO2 is a bit player. It however does possess strong spectral absorption bands which, like H2O, absorb most of the radiated energy, within those bands, in the lower atmosphere. It also suffers the big disadvantage that most of its absorption bands are overlapped by those of H2O thus reducing greatly its effectiveness. In fact, the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 from 400ppm to 800ppm is calculated to be 0.45 Kelvin. This increases to 0.50 Kelvin when feedback effects are taken into account. This figure is significantly lower than the IPCC claims of 1.5 to 4.5 Kelvin.

The contribution of CH4 and N2O is miniscule. Not only have they contributed a mere 0.3Kelvin to current earth temperatures, their climate sensitivities to a doubling of their present atmospheric concentrations are 0.06 and 0.08 Kelvin respectively. As with CO2 their absorption spectra are largely overlapped by the H2O spectra again substantially reducing their impact.

It is often claimed that a major contributor to global warming is the positive feedback effect of H2O. As the atmosphere warms, the atmospheric concentration of H2O also increases, resulting in a further increase in temperature suggesting that a tipping point might eventually be reached where runaway temperatures are experienced. The calculations in this paper show that this is simply not the case. There is indeed a positive feedback effect due to the presence of H2O, but this is limited to a multiplying effect of 1.183 to any temperature increase. For example, it increases the CO2 climate sensitivity from 0.45K to 0.53K.

A further feedback, however, is caused by a reduction in atmospheric absorptivity as the spectral radiance of the earth’s emitted energy increases with temperature, with peak emissions moving slightly towards lower radiation wavelengths. This causes a negative feedback with a temperature multiplier of 0.9894. This results in a total feedback multiplier of 1.124, reducing the effective CO2 climate sensitivity from 0.53 to 0.50 Kelvin.

Feedback effects play a minor role in the warming of the earth. There is, and never can be, a tipping point. As the concentrations of greenhouse gases increase, the temperature sensitivity to those increases becomes smaller and smaller. The earth’s atmosphere is a near perfect example of a stable system. It is also possible to attribute the impact of the increase in CO2 concentrations from the pre-industrial levels of 280ppm to the current 420ppm to an increase in earth mean temperature of just 0.24Kelvin, a figure entirely consistent with the calculated climate sensitivity of 0.50 Kelvin.

The atmosphere, mainly due to the beneficial characteristics and impact of H2O absorption spectra, proves to be a highly stable moderator of global temperatures. There is no impending climate emergency and CO2 is not the control parameter of global temperatures, that accolade falls to H2O. CO2 is simply the supporter of life on this planet as a result of the miracle of photosynthesis.


Coe et al. confirm what Ångström showed experimentally a century ago. He stated in 1900:
“Under no circumstances should carbon dioxide absorb more than 16 percent of terrestrial radiation, and the size of this absorption varies quantitatively very little, as long as there is not less than 20 percent of the existing value.”  See Pick Your A-Team: Arrhenius or Ångström

Independently, W. A. van Wijngaarden, W. Happer published findings this year similar to Coe et al. in their study Relative Potency of Greenhouse Molecules

COVID-19 Status in US: Statistics vs. Hype

The complete report by statisticians Kevin Dayaratna and Norbert Michel is A Statistical Analysis of COVID-19 Breakthrough Infections and Deaths.  

Summary of Principal findings:

According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Delta variant represented more than 80 percent of new U.S. COVID-19 cases at the end of July 2021. This fact has almost surely added to Americans’ concerns about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines since coverage of breakthrough cases has permeated the news. The CDC has also sent mixed messages, creating confusion and unnecessary fear. The overall evidence remains clear: Vaccines provide people with significant protection against serious illness or death from the coronavirus, including the Delta variant. Public health guidelines should reflect this reality.

  • The CDC announced new COVID-19 guidelines for the vaccinated based on data that allegedly imply that vaccines offer little protection against the Delta variant.
  • The new data simply do not support such evidence, and the CDC’s latest move to re-impose mask mandates runs the risk of increasing vaccine hesitancy.
  • Health guidelines must reflect the reality that vaccines provide significant protection against serious illness or death from the virus, including the Delta variant.
COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, and Vaccines

Chart 1 presents new daily cases and deaths over the course of the pandemic.

As Chart 1 demonstrates, COVID-19 cases and deaths declined significantly for much of the first half of 2021 as more Americans were vaccinated. While the U.S. is experiencing a surge in cases due to the Delta variant, most of these cases are among the unvaccinated, and COVID-19 deaths are nowhere near the levels before vaccines were authorized.

Furthermore, as of August 4, 2021, more than 164 million Americans were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with 191 million people having acquired partial immunity through at least one dose. More than 80 percent of Americans 65 and older are fully vaccinated

Yet, among those fully vaccinated, the CDC reports 7,525 COVID-19 patients who either were hospitalized or died, a figure representing 0.005 percent of the fully vaccinated.  This CDC statistic reflects data as of August 2, 2021. 

According to the CDC, 74 percent of these cases were people ages 65 and older, 26 percent of these hospitalizations were reported as asymptomatic or not related to COVID-19, and 21 percent (316) of the 1,507 fatal cases were reported as asymptomatic or not related to COVID-19.

The CDC “Study” of Barnstable County, Massachusetts

According to The New York Times, the State of Massachusetts and Barnstable County have adult vaccination rates of 74.8 percent and 76 percent, respectively.  These statistics assume full vaccination.  The town of Provincetown itself (where many of the celebratory events took place) has a vaccination rate of 95 percent.  Although it is unclear what the actual vaccination rate was among the attendees, Dr. Ingu Yun, who attended the festivities and engaged in a similar analysis associated only with fully vaccinated people, suggests that the vaccination rate of attendees was well above 90 percent.

That is, assuming a 90 percent vaccination rate, only 1.21 percent of the estimated 54,000 vaccinated attendees, and 4.67 percent of the estimated 6,000 unvaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19. Of course, the festivities had many out-of-town visitors, making it difficult to ascertain the true vaccination rate among attendees.

What Are Your Odds Now

Of course, there will continue to be breakthrough cases, but the CDC’s own data indicate that the truth is the vaccines have had over 90% efficacy against hospitalization and death.

Not surprisingly, however, among the unvaccinated, COVID-19 can still be quite deadly, especially for the elderly and those with chronic conditions. The following chart puts those odds in perspective with other causes of death.

As the chart illustrates, however, the odds of dying of COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated, although not zero, are slim to none. In fact, those under 65 have significantly higher odds of getting struck by lightning.


Media Hype about “Long Covid”

Science Norway reports Poor studies on long Covid are sensationalized by the media  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Many recent reports in the media have given the impression that people are experiencing major long-term effects after having even mild Covid-19. This impression does not correspond with the knowledge we have accumulated so far.

We must dedramatise the long-term effects of Covid-19, often referred to as long Covid. The media have a responsibility in this regard. They must become more critical of the research methods used in the studies they refer to.

Most infectious diseases with severe symptoms will to some extent be accompanied by long-term effects. Most infectious diseases with mild symptoms will cause few short-term effects.

More and more studies are showing that this is probably also the case for Covid-19. It is vital that more high-quality studies are carried out to examine this problem.

Data from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s emergency preparedness register (BeredtC19) includes around two million Norwegians who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2. It shows a short-term and temporary rise in the number of contacts with general practitioners – GPs and emergency medical centres – after mild Covid-19.

The study suggests there has been no increase in use of the specialist health service when compared with those who have tested negative.

The media have overdramatised studies which have not included suitable comparison groups.

The fact that the effects can exclusively be investigated and treated by GPs means that most effects are likely to be mild, even though they might seem unpleasant for the people concerned.

This Norwegian data is supported by a major Danish register study, which found a low risk of serious complications after mild Covid-19.

Mental Health Problems Not Greater with Covid

An example of the importance of having a comparison group is that we find a sharp increase in mental health problems amongst those who have had Covid-19 in Norway between March and November 2020.

This would typically have led to a headline along the lines of “Mild Covid-19 causes mental health problems”. However, when we study a comparison group consisting of people who tested negative over the same period of time, we find an even greater increase.

This means that both those who have had and those who have not had Covid-19 may have suffered long-term mental health problems as a result of isolation and loneliness during lockdown, rather than of having had Covid-19. Instead, the headline would then be “Mild Covid-19 does not give rise to mental health problems”.

Comparison groups are useful precisely when they are comparable. In other words, the group that has had Covid-19 must be as similar as possible to the group that has not had it.

So, when the next study of long-term effects is published and journalists consider using the headline “Mild Covid-19 can cause death after six months”, perhaps they could start by asking themselves the question: Did the study also investigate deaths after six months amongst those who have not had Covid-19?

This is about the lives and health of many people. Intimidation and unnecessary fear are the last thing we need.

Footnote:  People with Severe Covid Illnesses Doing Surprisingly Well 3 months Later

Also from Science Norway People who were seriously ill with Covid-19 are doing surprisingly well today.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Three months after having been discharged from the hospital following serious Covid-19, researchers tested the oxygen uptake of 156 patients.

20 per cent of the participants had been treated in the intensive ward, 13 per cent needed ventilators.

“We were worried about the effects on those who were admitted to hospital with serious Covid-19 disease”, Ingunn Skjørten says to the Norwegian broadcaster NRK. She is a specialist in internal medicine and lung diseases at the LHL-hospital at Gardermoen.

“We were particularly worried that the patients might have long lasting damages of their lungs”, she says.

When they analyzed the results of the tests however, the researchers were positively surprised.

Of the 156 participants, only a third still had low oxygen uptake three months after being discharged from the hospital.

“Considering how ill they actually were when in hospital, we expected a lot more of them to still experience this problem”, Skjørten says to NRK.

And there is more good news:

For the majority of those who did still experience problems with oxygen uptake, the solution is seemingly easy: they have to work out.   Because this was the other positive surprise: among the majority of those who still had a low oxygen uptake, their lungs were not the problem.

When the researchers took a closer look at those who struggled with low oxygen uptake, the most important factor – observed in 63 per cent – was the fact that they were out of shape due to inactivity.

The fact that most of the participants still experience low oxygen uptake due to being out of shape is good news, according to Skjørten.

It means that exercise can be used in order to deal with some of the long-term effects of serious Covid-19, NRK writes. And it means that the illness hasn’t caused as large and as permanent damages as the researchers feared.

Biden Has the Destructive Touch

Victor Davis Hanson explains in his American Greatness article The Drossy Touch of Joe Biden.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

A cognitively challenged Biden is pulled in every direction, by left-wing politicos collecting their debts,
by his own spite, by his trademark narcissism, and by his hatred of all things Trump.

Almost everything Joe Biden has touched since entering office has turned to dross. None of his blame-gaming, none of his distortions, none of his fantasies and unreality can mask that truth.  

The Afghan Catastrophe

Seven months ago, Afghanistan was relatively quiet—with about 10,000 vestigial NATO troops, including 2,500 Americans, anchored by the Bagram Airfield. They were able to provide air superiority for the coalition and Afghan national army. With air power, NATO forces, if and when they so wished, could have very slowly and gradually withdrawn all its remnant troops—but only after a prior departure of all American and European civilians, coalition contractors, and allied Afghans.

The transient calm abruptly imploded as soon as Joe Biden recklessly yanked all U.S. troops out in a matter of days. Many left in the dead of night, leaving no one to protect contractors, dependents, diplomats, and Afghan allies. In Biden’s world, civilians protect the last Western enclave while soldiers flee.

Three weeks ago, Joe Biden and a woke and politicized Pentagon were assuring us that Afghanistan was “stable.” Now the country is reverting to its accustomed premodern, theocratic, and medieval chaos. It will likely soon reopen as the world’s pre-9/11-style terrorist haven—an arms mart of over $50 billion in abandoned U.S. military equipment. Thanks to the president of the United States, terrorists and nation-state enemies can now shop for arms and train there without hindrance.

The NATO coalition-builder Biden also dry-gulched his European allies, whose soldiers outnumbered our own. The humanitarian “good ole Joe from Scranton” deprecated the thousands of Afghan military dead who had helped the Americans. The families of the American fallen and wounded of two decades were all but told by Biden that the catastrophe in Kabul was inevitable—no other way out but chaos and dishonor.

Why did he not tell us that earlier, when he was vice president, so many dead and wounded ago?

“Get over it,” was Biden’s messaging subtext. If Americans want to hear the blame game, he told us to scapegoat Barack Obama, or all prior presidents, or especially Donald Trump, or the intelligence services and military, or the Afghan army, or we naïfs who somehow think things are a mess right now in Kabul—or anything and everyone but Joe Biden.

The Inflation Fiasco

In January, Biden inherited a rebounding economy that was fueled by $1 trillion in stimulatory federal red ink. Given natural pent-up consumer demand, why did Biden need to print yet another $1 trillion, seek to green-light another $2 trillion for “infrastructure,” and raise even higher unemployment compensation to the point of discouraging employees from returning to work?

At the same time, he has alarmed employers with braggadocio threats that higher capital gains, income, payroll, and estate taxes are all on the way. More lockdowns only further eroded small businesses. The result was price inflation of all the stuff of life—homes, lumber, gas, food, appliances—as well as historic shortages of everything from cars and houses to the work of contractors and electricians. Any increase in wages due to labor shortages was soon erased by spirals in the consumer price index.

So, what was Biden thinking or, rather, not thinking? By paying workers not to work he would be evening out the ancient score with employers? Did workers need a vacation from the quarantine? Printing money was a way to spread the wealth—and diminish what the rich possessed? Was a $2 trillion deficit and $30 trillion in aggregate debt a way of bragging to Trump that he doubled the Trump red ink in less than a year? Would he pile up more debt than both Barack Obama and George W. Bush in half the time?

The Border Disaster

Biden took a secure border, along with increasingly legal-only immigration, and then destroyed both. He stopped construction of the border wall, encouraged an expected 2 million illegal entries over the current fiscal year, promised amnesties, and resumed “catch and release.” He did all that at a time of a pandemic, exempting illegal aliens from all the requirements of COVID testing and mass vaccinations that he had hectored his own citizens about getting. With planned mass amnesties and millions more invited to cross illegally in the next three years, was Biden seeking to found a new American nation within the now passé old American nation?

Did he believe that Americans did not deserve their citizenship and newcomers from south of the border were somehow more worthy? Did he see the 2 million new residents as instant voters under new relaxed rules of balloting? Did he think in a labor-deprived economy they would supply nannies, gardeners, and cooks to bicoastal elites? We strain to imagine any explanation because there is no logic to any.

Energy Insufficiency

Biden did his best in just seven months to explode the idea of American self-sufficiency in natural gas and oil. He canceled the Keystone Pipeline, froze new federal energy leases, put the Anwar oil field off limits, and warned frackers their end days were near.

So, what drove Biden? Did he object that motorists were saving too many billions of dollars per year in decreased commuting costs? Or was the rub that we had slashed too many imports of oil from the volatile Middle East and no longer would launch preemptive wars? Or perhaps the transition to clean natural gas instead of coal as a fuel for power generation had too radically curtailed carbon emissions? Did Biden feel that Middle East producers, the Russians, or the Venezuelans could better protect the planet while extracting oil and gas than could American drillers?

The Race Calamity

Biden blew up race relations by greenlighting the new hunt for the mythical “whiteness” monster. Were a few buffoonish white rioters who stormed the Capitol the tip of the spear of a previously unknown massive white supremacy movement, the most dangerous, he swore, since the Civil War?

Biden took affirmative action and the Civil Rights-era “disparate impact” and “proportional representation” ideas and turned them into disproportionate representation and reparations on the cheap. Biden made it acceptable to damn “whiteness,” as if all 230 million white Americans are guilty of something or other in a way that the other 100 million “nonwhite” are not.

The Crime Explosion

After Biden entered office, violent crimes ignited from the embers of the 120 days of mostly unpunished looting, arson, and organized violence in the streets of America’s major cities during summer 2020. Under Biden, jails were emptied. Federal attorneys and emulative local DAs exempted offenders. Police were defamed and defunded. Punishing crime was considered a racist construct.

The result is that Americans now avoid the Dodge City downtowns of most of America’s crime-ridden blue cities. They accept that any urban pedestrian, any driver after hours, any commuter on a bus or subway can be assaulted, robbed, beaten, raped, or shot—without any assurance that the media will fairly report the crime, or that the criminal justice system will punish the perpetrators. In Biden’s America looters prance into drug stores and walk out with shopping bags of stuff, under the terrified gaze of security guards who guesstimate at least they did not steal more than $950 of loot.

So why does Biden so willfully exercise this destructive touch that blows up anything he taps?

There are several possible theories:

1) Biden is non compos mentis. He has no idea of what he is doing. But to the degree he is alert, Biden listens—sort of—only to the last person with whom he talks. And then he takes a nap. When Afghanistan blows up or inflation roars or the border becomes an entry door, his eyes open, and he becomes bewildered and snarly—like an irritable and snappy Bruce Dern waking up in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Biden has no clue about the actual destructive implementation of his toxic policies, and no concern upon whom these destructive agendas fall. He vaguely assumes a lapdog left-wing media will repackage every Biden incoherence as Periclean, and every daily “lid” as Biden’s escape for presidential research, deep reading, and intensive deliberation. Biden appears to be about where Woodrow Wilson was in November 1919.

2) Or is Biden a rank opportunist and thinking he will ride woke leftism as the country’s new trajectory? He resents his prior subservience to Obama, and now feels he can trump past signature leftist administrations as the one true and only socialist evolutionary. He is not so much the manipulated as the manipulator.

Biden fantasizes himself as a hands-on dynamic leader who bites at reporters, snaps from the podium, and issues his customary interjections. He is therefore “in command” for four or five hours a day. He enjoys acting more radical than Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or “the squad.”—and especially being far more leftwing than his old and now passé boss Barack Obama. Joe is in control and that explains the dross touch. For the first time in his life, such an incompetent has complete freedom—to be powerfully incompetent. Biden is then not demented as much as delusionally running things.

3) Biden is unfortunately what he always was: a rather mean-spirited plagiarist, liar, and nihilist, from his Clarence Thomas character assassination infamy and Tara Reade groping to his foul racist talk and his monumental habitual grifting. His disasters are the same old, same old Biden trademark, performance-art screw-ups.

Biden likes the idea of conservative outrage, of chaos, of barking at everyone all the time. Biden accepts that no omelets can be made without broken eggs, and sort of enjoys screwing up things, as Robert Gates and Barack Obama both warned. “Wokening” the Joint Chiefs of Staff, encouraging hundreds of thousands to pour across the border, and abandoning our NATO allies in Afghanistan—who cares when tough guy, brash-talking Joe on the move jumbles stuff up? The disasters in the economy, foreign policy, crime, energy, and racial relations? Biden is just shaking things up, stirring the pot, baiting people to watch Mr. “Come On, Man” in action, as he blusters and preens and leaves a trail of destruction in his wake.

4) Biden is nothing much at all. He’s just a cardboard-cut out, a garden-variety Democratic Party hack, who is against anything conservatives are for. He assumes he will undo all that Trump did, on the theory it is simple and easy for him in his lazy, senior moments. And he is tired anyway of thinking much beyond such Pavlovian rejectionism. A closed border is bad; presto, open borders are good. Improving race relations is bad; deteriorating relations must be good. Energy independence bad; dependency good. Biden works on autopilot in his minimalist day job: just cancel anything that Trump did and worry nothing about the effects on the American people

5) Biden is a hostage of both the Left and Hunter Biden. His task is to ram down a hard Left agenda, in the fashion of a torpedo that itself blows up when it hits the target. The Left ensured the base would not bolt in 2020. So, he owes them. Biden, more or less, signed his presidency over to the squad, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, and the Obama holdovers. They hand him a script; he tries to read it; and they follow up with the details. He is the old “Star Trek’s” tottering John Gill.

The Left may hope their own nihilist agenda sort of works. When it inevitably does not, then Joe, the delivery man, is blamed: so much more quickly, then, will be Biden’s necessary exit. They kept their part of the bargain by getting the basement denizen elected. Now he keeps the deal by handing over the presidency. Biden’s utility had about a six-month shelf life.

Now ever so slowly the leaks, the West Wing backstabbing, the furrowed anchor brows, and the unnamed sources will gently ease him out with 25th Amendment worries (e.g., “Perhaps President Biden might find taking the Montreal Cognitive Assessment of some value after all, for his own benefit, of course.”) Kamala Harris is not so inert as we are led to believe.

A cognitively challenged Biden then is pulled in every direction, by his own senility, by left-wing politicos collecting their debts, by his own spite, by his trademark narcissism, and by his neanderthal hatred of everything Trump was and did.

The problem for America is that theories one through five are not always mutually exclusive, but more likely force multipliers of the present insanity. At some point, some brave congressional representative or Senator will finally have to say to Biden, in the spirit of Oliver Cromwell and Leo Amery:

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

Arctic Ice Hockey Stick August 2021

Arctic2021235 w HS

The graph above shows August daily ice extents for 2021 compared to 14 year averages, and some years of note.

The black line shows during this period on average Arctic ice extents decline ~2M km2 from ~6.8M km2 down to ~4.8M km2.  The Hockey Stick shape refers to the 2021 cyan MASIE line starting ~227k km2 below average but matching average by day 230, and in the last five days produced a surplus of 414k km2.  The Sea Ice Index in orange (SII from NOAA) started with the same deficit and also matched MASIE average day 230, but tracking the downward average since.  2019 and 2020 were well below average at this stage of the summer melt.

Why is this important?  All the claims of global climate emergency depend on dangerously higher temperatures, lower sea ice, and rising sea levels.  The lack of additional warming is documented in a post Adios, Global Warming

The lack of acceleration in sea levels along coastlines has been discussed also.  See USCS Warnings of Coastal Flooding

Also, a longer term perspective is informative:

post-glacial_sea_levelThe table below shows the distribution of Sea Ice across the Arctic Regions, on average, this year and 2007.

Region 2021235 Day 235 Average 2021-Ave. 2007235 2021-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 5745634 5331499 414135 5309870 435765
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 872981 605537 267444 730813 142168
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 539676 329819 209856 178493 361182
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 508990 445221 63769 63523 445468
 (4) Laptev_Sea 61548 205077 -143529 295384 -233836
 (5) Kara_Sea 136181 58898 77283 155754 -19573
 (6) Barents_Sea 6047 24071 -18025 17998 -11951
 (7) Greenland_Sea 84815 202922 -118108 334622 -249808
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 40877 33602 7275 50303 -9426
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 465781 354257 111524 323329 142452
 (10) Hudson_Bay 64148 35761 28387 61078 3070
 (11) Central_Arctic 2964500 3035379 -70879 3097316 -132816

The overall surplus to average is 414k km2, (8%).  Note large surpluses of ice in BCE (Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian seas).  Meanwhile Laptev on the Russian coast melted out early, as has Greenland Sea.  Kara and CAA (Canadian Arctic Archipelago) are holding considerable ice.  We are about a month away from the annual minimum mid September, but at this point it appears that extents will be greater than the last two years.



Illustration by Eleanor Lutz shows Earth’s seasonal climate changes. If played in full screen, the four corners present views from top, bottom and sides. It is a visual representation of scientific datasets measuring Arctic ice extents.

What’s in a Name? Power.


Johathan Turley writes at The Hill The FBI comes up empty-handed in its search for a Jan. 6 plot. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

It may be true, as Confucius said, that “the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name,” but it can also be the end of politics. For politicians, labeling controversies is often more important than addressing the controversies themselves. Even well-defined terms used in legislation must change to fit political needs, such as like “infrastructure.” When its real meaning proved too restrictive, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) simply tweeted, “Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure.” Done.


The same is true with labeling political violence. When protests by Black Lives Matter and other groups turned violent last summer, some media employees were expressly told not to refer to “rioters” but rather “protesters.” Riots causing massive property damage were described by CNN as “fiery but mostly peaceful protests.”


Conversely, the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol could not be just a riot, let alone a “fiery” protest, but only an “insurrection.” Many in the media continue referring to “the insurrectionists” rather than the rioters. National Public Radio even ran a running account of the “Capitol insurrection.” The term was further driven home by House Democrats by impeaching former President Trump for “incitement to insurrection” despite undermining any chance for an actual conviction. Members of Congress such as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) are still in federal court claiming a conspiracy of “armed and organized insurrectionists.”

The characterization of the attack as an insurrection served myriad political and personal purposes. First, it painted anyone associated with challenging the 2020 election results as supporting sedition and the country’s overthrow. Second, if this was a protest allowed to turn into a riot, there would be more questions about the failure to properly protect the Capitol.


It is easier to excuse a response to an insurrection than a violent protest. That point was expressly made by former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who insisted, “This was not a demonstration. This was not a failure to plan for a demonstration. This was a planned, coordinated attack on the United States Capitol.”

Despite the adoption of the term by many in the media, there has been a growing disconnect with the actual cases in court. Indeed, a new report from Reuters disclosed that the FBI has apparently struggled to support the account of a coordinated “insurrection” on Jan. 6. Reuters’s FBI sources said that, despite months of intense investigation, they could find “scant evidence” of any “organized plot” and instead found that virtually all of the cases are “one-offs.” One agent explained, “Ninety to 95 percent of these are one-off cases. Then you have 5 percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”

In other words, they found a protest that became a runaway riot as insufficient security preparations quickly collapsed. While there clearly were those set upon trashing the Capitol, most people were shown milling about in the halls; many took selfies and actively described the scene on social media.

More than 570 people have been arrested, but only 40 face conspiracy charges. Those charges are often based on prior discussions about trying to enter Congress or bringing material to use in the riot; some clearly came prepared for rioting with ropes, chemical irritants and other materials. Those cases, however, are a small group among the hundreds charged and an even smaller percentage among the tens of thousands of protesters on that day.


After five months of dragnet arrests nationwide, a few reporters have noted that no one was actually charged with insurrection or sedition. The vast majority of people face charges such as simple trespass. For example, the latest guilty plea is from San Francisco real estate broker Jennifer Leigh Ryan, who posted an account on social media of how “we’re gonna go down and storm the capitol.” She pleaded guilty this week to “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building” and faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Yet the characterization of the “insurrection” has continued as a virtual article of faith for those reporting on or writing about Jan. 6. Moreover, the treatment of many has remained severe, if not draconian by design. Justice official Michael Sherwin proudly declared in a television interview that “our office wanted to ensure that there was shock and awe. … It worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C. because they’re like, ‘If we go there, we’re gonna get charged.’ … We wanted to take out those individuals that essentially were thumbing their noses at the public for what they did.”


That “shock and awe” included holding people without bail and imposing “restrictive housing” for no obvious reason. That includes some of the most notable figures from that day, such as Jacob Chansley (aka Jake Angeli), better known as “Chewbacca man” or the “QAnon shaman” for the distinctive horned headdress he wore during the riot. Angeli, 33, is not accused of attacking anyone while parading around the Senate floor in his bear skin. He always insisted he was not trying to overthrow the nation with his decorative outfit and spear-topped flagpole. While the government did not find that he engaged in sedition, it did learn that he has an array of mental illnesses, including transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. Yet he has been held since the riot and is charged with six crimes, including violent entry, trespass and parading, which collectively could yield up to 28 years in prison.

There is a fair distinction between those who tried to stop the certification of a presidential election and those who burn police stations or businesses during protests.

Yet there remains a striking contrast in how other riots are characterized or prosecuted. Most of those arrested for violent protests after the death of George Floyd saw their charges dropped by state prosecutors. For months, rioters sought to burn federal buildings or occupy state capitals and in some cases seized police stations and sections of cities or even a city hall. They were not declared insurrectionists; they were rioters before being set free after brief arrests.

Many of us remain disgusted and angered by the Jan. 6 riot — but it was a riot. It also was a desecration. These people deserve to be punished, particularly those who went with an intent to try to enter the Congress. The question is whether you can have an insurrection without anyone actually insurrecting. That Zen-like question may find its way into the hearings of some pending cases.

Calling these people “rioters” does not minimize what they did — or undermine the legitimacy of their punishment. However, there is wisdom and even the chance for resolution when we “call things by their proper name.”

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University.

For a tutorial in winning the naming game, see “I am Non-racial”


Family Doctor’s Plain Advice about Covid Vaccines

Amazing Vax Race

Buzz Hollander MD writes at Real Clear Science Let’s Stop Pretending About the Covid-19 Vaccines.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

As a family physician, I spend my days dispensing advice. I mean, there’s the occasional cast, skin biopsy, or shot, but most of my patients are seeing me for medical counsel. Never have I been asked about one subject so much as the Covid-19 vaccines, and never have I seen so much doubt and confusion among a group of smart, well-educated people. Interpreting the reality of the effectiveness of these vaccines is complicated: it is waning with time, weakened against delta, unknown when coupled with prior infection, and may not be improved with a booster – but there is new, often murky, data emerging every day. Speaking the truth about the vaccines, however, should not be that hard.

We have to be willing to adapt to new data, even when it does not fit neatly into prior messaging.

That’s where our institutions went astray. I understand the desire of our public health officials, spearheaded by the CDC, to instill confidence in the Covid-19 vaccines; they remain the most expedient path to minimize the suffering inflicted by this pandemic. However, by taking on the role of no-nuance vaccine cheerleaders, they left everyone in a worse situation.

Patients and doctors looking to the CDC for guidance in decision-making receive low quality or dated information. The mainstream media is stuck between reporting public health dictates as valid, while being unable to resist doom-and-gloom reports of vaccine “failures” that sell ad space. The obvious gap between “what the CDC says” and “what we see, hear and read” has left a large space for grifters, self-styled experts, and conspiracy theorists to thrive, especially among the large group of vaccine-hesitant (often vaccine-terrified) Americans. The whole thing might have gone better had we stuck to telling the truth as we knew it.

What follows is the truth about the Covid-19 vaccines, as I see it, from the data in hand right now. It is often inconvenient, especially for someone like me, who preferred the easy days of being a vaccine cheerleader when the initial trial data emerged. Do I still recommend a Covid-19 vaccine for the vast majority of my patients? Yes. It just takes a couple extra minutes to discuss now. Most importantly, if I speak the truth now, my patients will be more inclined to trust me later. So let’s see where we really stand:

Let’s stop pretending the vaccines are 90% effective and breakthrough cases are “uncommon.”

The real world effectiveness of the Moderna and Pfizer (mRNA) vaccines appears to be sinking like a stone. We started at 94+% within 2 months of vaccination and against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain. The Israel Pfizer data roughly confirmed this degree of effectiveness in initial real world studies. But, then… waning happened, and delta happened. Pre-delta, we see that Pfizer final efficacy data from their trials dropped from 97% at two months to 84% by 5-6 months after full vaccination; Moderna, with its higher doses, dipped more modestly to 92%, although we might expect this number to fall soon enough, since Moderna tells us their neutralizing antibodies are sagging by the 6 month point. Unfortunately, the real world data is far more damning.

Right now, we have two widely-cited studies claiming 87-88% effectiveness for Pfizer against symptomatic infection: from Canada and the UK. Both studies, however, ended in May, in countries that spaced their two doses out by 2-3 months, leading to a short window after full vaccination.

What about studies of total infection rates (including asymptomatic infections, so we are a bit apples-to-oranges here) concluding in July in places with only a 3 week lag between Pfizer shots? Qatar: 56%. Mayo Clinic/US: 42%. Israel: 39%. Interestingly, the Qatar (85%) and Mayo (76%) data for Moderna were more positive, and time will tell us more about Moderna’s durability. It’s important to note that real world data is inherently messy – vaccinated people might just be different than their unvaccinated “case controls” in a study – but when the same pattern crops up with different investigators in multiple countries, it’s probably real.

Some of this is likely due to the delta variant’s modest ability to evade immunity. Neutralizing antibody responses among both those with prior infection and vaccination are several fold less to delta than the original SARS-2-CoV strain. However, I suspect the dramatic drop in effectiveness now being seen is a product of this immune evasion being amplified by waning immunity.

The truth here matters. For one, on a personal level, if you went from hiding in your house in March, to cheering on the local hockey team in June after your second Pfizer shot, it’s time to re-assess. Look at the recent UK REACT data: vaccinated people in mid-July were three times less likely than unvaccinated people to test positive for Covid-19. Great. But… they were almost twice as likely to test positive as unvaccinated people did just a month before, in mid-June! If you reduce your odds of infection by a factor of three with vaccination, but increase your risk of exposure by a factor of five, either due to rising prevalence or shifting your behaviors, you’re still more likely to catch a case of Covid-19 than if you had skipped the vaccine and stayed fixed in time. Put simply, regular high-risk exposures to SARS-CoV-2 can overwhelm a very good but imperfect vaccine.

Remarkably, the CDC is still proclaiming that vaccine breakthrough infections are rare – but when normal people hear that their barber, their cousin’s husband, and seemingly half the New York Yankees’ starters have experienced breakthrough infections, they might assume the CDC is lying.

Let’s stop pretending that vaccinated people are far less likely to spread SARS-CoV-2.

We have made pariahs of the unvaccinated as menaces to the public good. Even if this might not be the most effective form of public health messaging, perhaps this made statistical sense, at least, when we believed the mRNA vaccines to reduce all infections (including asymptomatic) by some 90%. Coupled with limited data from a UK study which showed household contacts of someone with a vaccine breakthrough infection were about half as likely to develop covid-19 as contacts of an unvaccinated person who became infected, it was reasonable to estimate that vaccinated people were almost 20 times less likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 than unvaccinated people. This assumption led to the CDC’s recommendation that vaccinated people could drop their masks.

Unfortunately, the times, they are a-changing. The CDC famously reversed course on masks for the vaccinated. Data has been mixed, but several recent reports suggest the viral loads of those with vaccine breakthrough infections are akin to the unvaccinated. A thorough study from Singapore showed that vaccinated cases dropped their viral load faster — but viral loads were identical in days 1-5, when, logically, we might think most transmission takes place. Lacking a proper household transmission study post-delta, it’s simply not good science to assume the vaccinated spread less Covid-19 once they get infected.

From a societal perspective, is it reasonable to discriminate between the vaccinated and unvaccinated given this data? My second Pfizer shot was 7 months ago. An unvaccinated person without prior immunity is probably now only twice as likely to be infected as I am, but I can walk into a bar in New York City or Paris for a drink, and a VA hospital or Mayo Clinic for work — and they cannot.

Vaccine mandates and vaccine “passports” are often justified as necessary to reduce transmission of contagious diseases, but I don’t think the evidence is adequate at this point to make this claim for the Covid-19 vaccines. The substantial outbreaks in exceptionally well-vaccinated places like Israel, Malta and Vermont make it clear that pushing up vaccination rates does not guarantee control of Covid-19. Of course, the other justification for requiring Covid-19 vaccines is to limit the suffering and strain on society by reducing severe disease. Here, the legal and ethical questions are complex; and we must ask ourselves: is a potentially modest increase in vaccination rates worth the stress vaccine requirements entail?

Let’s stop pretending that it’s rare for vaccinated people to develop severe Covid-19 or die.

I cringe when I read Dr Anthony Fauci, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, or Surgeon General Vivek Murthy remind us that 97% of new covid-19 hospitalizations or 99% of covid-19 deaths are among the unvaccinated. I know the message is well-intentioned: “Vaccines will protect you from severe disease, so go get vaccinated!” The problem is when the message is not quite true.

We saw this in the UK, where deaths among the vaccinated went from “rare” to two-thirds of all delta variant deaths by July. We saw this in Israel, where literally no fully vaccinated people died of covid-19 for entire weeks in June, but by August over 60% of the severely ill were fully vaccinated.

This is not evidence of vaccine failure; but those commentators who willfully misunderstand the base rate fallacy like to portray it as such. The reality is that Israel is so heavily vaccinated, especially among the elderly, that severe illnesses and death among the vaccinated will not be “rare” or even “uncommon” during a heavy, high-prevalence wave like they are having now. They will, however, be less common on a per capita basis than among the unvaccinated; about six times less common, as I write this.

Here in the US, there should be no shock value to reports of fully vaccinated people falling gravely ill with Covid-19. No vaccine is perfect, and half our population is fully vaccinated. However, many vaccine cheerleaders helped create an aura of perfection when it came to their touting of the vaccine trials: “Not a single death or hospitalization in the vaccine arms due to Covid-19 in over 75,000 participants!” Even without the arrival of delta and the recognition of waning immunity, no reasonable person would imply that there would be no deaths or hospitalizations once applied to 200 million participants.

From this expectation of bulletproof immunity, much of the public now feels betrayed.

Should they, though? When it comes to preventing severe infection or death, this is the great promise of the vaccines, and the clear basis for why I recommend them to almost all my patients. In all the studies I cited above with worrisome vaccine effectiveness against infection, virtually all still showed 90% or better effectiveness against hospitalization; the Mayo study was the outlier at 75%. So, to the best of our knowledge right now, if you get vaccinated you will be about 10 times less likely to be hospitalized with covid-19!

However, in the interest of truthfulness, there might be one substantial exception to that claim.

Let’s stop pretending that prior infection should not influence the decision to vaccinate.

Much has already been written about the CDC’s willful decision to ignore the relevance of prior infection, as if natural immunity simply did not exist. Most are aware that prior Covid-19 infection allows some degree of protection from future infection, with most studies suggesting this protection is north of 80% relative to someone with no immunity. It also leads to a greater immune response with first vaccination, which, in theory at least, could lead to better long-term protection, but also a higher rate of adverse effects. We are often told to “follow the science.” In this regard, there really is not much “science” to follow to endorse vaccination after infection.

Real world data is mixed; a recent study from Kentucky found two-fold additional protection to those with prior infection after full vaccination, while a larger study from the Cleveland Clinic showed no difference in re-infection rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated health care workers with prior infection.

Fortunately, we do have randomized controlled trial evidence to help shed light on the question. Unlike Johnson&Johnson, both Pfizer and Moderna tracked outcomes in their trials of those who had a history of Covid-19 infection before entering the placebo or vaccine arms. Moderna efficacy could not be evaluated due to having only one case in the placebo arm, while Pfizer showed a very modest 19% vaccine efficacy in the immunized group (vs 95% overall).

So – what does the science say? It says: barring new evidence, there is no clear benefit to immunizing those with confirmed prior infection. Common sense suggests there is a good chance these people would benefit from at least one (and possibly only one) shot as a “booster,” especially after 6 months or more have passed since the time of infection, especially with a more transmissible variant on the loose – but that’s common sense, not good quality data.

As a physician, I do think all but my lowest risk individuals with prior infection would have appreciable benefit from a single man-made “booster,” especially if they did not show evidence of antibodies, given the fairly robust correlation between a negative antibody test and risk of infection. However, I would not push if a previously infected patient opted to pass. As a citizen, I find it troubling that someone with prior infection could face an employer mandate to undergo vaccination against their will, given the slender evidence available.

Since we’re wading into divisive waters now, let’s dig into an even more charged subject: kids and vaccines.

Let’s stop pretending that the vaccines are a no-brainer for adolescents and children.

We parents are a sensitive bunch. Throw politics and heaps of fear-mongering into the equation, and talk of required vaccinations for school or sports quickly turns the volume up to 11. Lost in the noise, though, is that once again, evidence-based science is lacking that universal vaccination is appropriate for kids.

Virtually every American by now knows that Covid-19 severity drops with age. What no one knows is how well a Pfizer vaccine given to an adolescent today will reduce transmission by winter, and the adult data already discussed is concerning. So, are mostly left considering whether the risks of covid-19 to the lowest risk segment of our population outweigh the risks of the vaccine (and future boosters).

Just as no vaccine is perfectly effective, no vaccine is perfectly safe. The world has watched the adenovirus vector vaccines (AstraZeneca and Jansen/J&J) lead to serious thrombosis events mostly in younger women, and the mRNA vaccines trigger myocarditis mostly in younger men, roughly in the 1/10,000-20,000 range. To clarify: not 1%, not 0.1%, but <0.01%. These adverse reactions need to be acknowledged openly, however, as they are terrifying, and lead to chilling newspaper headlines and social media posts that make the possibility seem very real for your own child.

I explain the numbers to concerned parents like this: about 35 per 100,000 kids <18 in the US required hospitalization with Covid-19 in the first year of the pandemic. Even if half those hospitalizations truly were “with” and not “because of” Covid-19, that is still around 1 in 5-6000 of every American under 18. Could we be missing so much myocarditis, thrombosis, and whatever other vaccine-triggered illnesses are severe enough to lead to hospitalization, that the risk from vaccination could actually exceed the disease? It certainly seems unlikely, although that has not stopped some from twisting data to make this claim.

I also observe that these Covid-19 hospitalization rates are unlikely to stay this low, given the arrival of delta and it’s markedly higher transmission rates. What’s more, this calculation neglects the real concern for persistent disease from a covid-19 infection, aka “long covid,” which appears, very roughly, to affect somewhere in the 2-10% range of infected kids.

We must allow for some very small chance the mRNA vaccines will be the first vaccines in history to have a hidden adverse effect we missed in their first eight months of study. However, we must also allow for the chance that the virus itself might have some yet-unknown future harm, like the ability of Human Papilloma Virus and Epstein-Barr Virus to trigger certain cancers later in life.

All in all, I do think honest consideration of risk and benefit favors kids getting the Pfizer vaccine, and especially those with risk factors like obesity, asthma or diabetes, who make up the majority of hospitalized children. However, I think it’s important to remember that we are talking about 0.05%-type risks of serious disease versus 0.01%-type risks of severe vaccine reactions here – slim margins of benefit versus harm. I would rather the trial for the 12-15 year old age group had been larger than 1131 subjects in the vaccine arm to help us quantify those risks better.

A rational parent — especially the parent of a healthy boy, given the far higher rates of myocarditis in boys with the mRNA vaccines — could decide against giving their child the Pfizer vaccine, especially given the utter lack of certainty as to how soon and how often boosters will be required. Sensibly, I think, the UK took this approach: optional for those over 15, recommended for those 12-15 only with immunocompromised health status or high-risk family members, and gathering evidence for future decisions. My home state of Hawaii is taking rather the opposite approach, in mandating vaccination for all student-athletes. This is the unfortunate playbook for how to maximize vaccination in the lowest risk population group (athletes) half of whom are at the highest risk for requiring hospitalization for vaccine-mediated myocarditis (high school boys).

I don’t want to appear dismissive about the potential importance of vaccination for kids. While pediatric cases are rising and still roughly only half their prior peak levels from January, hospitalizations are already approaching that January peak, and we hear reports of pediatric ICUs filling, especially those under the strain of the current high rates of serious RSV cases. However, sometimes “do everything possible” is not the best long-game response to a short-term crisis. I question whether the reward of adolescent vaccination is so great and conclusively demonstrated that we should shame parents opting against this vaccine, or take schooling options away from their children.

Let’s stop pretending that a third booster is definitely going to help.

With recent approval for booster doses for the immunocompromised, they are today’s hot topic. While I am asked many questions about them, the truth is: I don’t have many answers. Pfizer has finally started a trial in in the past few weeks with 10,000 prior vaccine recipients. Once we get that data, perhaps in just a few months, we will move out of the theoretical realm.

Right now, theories are all we have. Perhaps one more dose of the original vaccine, by boosting overall antibodies, will help fight off the large infectious doses of delta. Or perhaps, by only stimulating the same imperfect antibodies, it won’t. Maybe the delta-specific boosters Pfizer and Moderna are developing will be ready for arms before the next variant arrives — and maybe not. Maybe we find new adverse effects with repeat doses of boosters. Maybe the extra protection lasts 4 months, or maybe years. Little is clear now.

Given their muted responses, on average, to their initial vaccine doses, the immunocompromised are most likely to benefit, and the most obvious candidates for a booster. Again though, this is based on laboratory studies of improved immune response, not actual trial data. As to the rest of us, I suspect the benefit will be modest, and/or quite possibly fleeting (remember, our annual flu shot’s efficacy fades about 10% per month, too). Until we see more definitive evidence that protection against severe disease truly is waning, I will be reluctant to recommend a booster except for my highest risk patients.

Let’s stop pretending that these vaccines are “kill-shots,” cause sterility, spread disease, etc.

Obviously, this is not directed at the public health community, but rather those who have built their social media brand by alarming the masses about the covid-19 vaccines. Everyone should have the right to raise their doubts and concerns about a new medical intervention. However, it is an abuse of that right to cherry-pick or deliberately misrepresent data while pretending to be impartial, or to sensationalize case reports without giving their context, with the sole purpose of breeding fear.

I try to read everything my patients and friends send me from these misinformers. They sprinkle into their missives bits and pieces of truth — generally the bits and pieces the CDC and WHO failed to mention — which lend them currency with their followers as “the only ones telling it like it is.” They don’t help their followers make rational decisions about vaccination, unfortunately.

Let’s stop pretending that the vaccines are the only way to reduce the burden of Covid-19.

No, I am not going to talk about Ivermectin here, having already said more than enough on the subject elsewhere. Our federal fascination with vaccination, however, has led to a frustrating lack of definitive research into potential treatments for covid-19, especially early in the disease course. We know HCQ failed; and that Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatments appear effective but are hard to access, costly and untested against delta; and that remdesivir only works a bit, and dexamethasone a bit more, but only for the very ill. Whatever happened to colchicine, famotidine, inhaled steroids, quercetin, fluvoxamine, and all the other potential agents which had an appealing study or two but never a large, definitive RCT? Perhaps a small diversion of some of the billions spent on vaccines could have led to an actual, evidence-based recommendation for physicians like me after our patients have a Covid-19 exposure or positive test. We literally have no CDC/NIH-endorsed treatments to offer that do not involve a trip to the hospital.

It’s also time to get real about obesity in this country. The US has an obesity rate of 36%, highest among “large” nations; for comparison sake, European nations generally fall in the 20-25% range, and Japan, South Korea, and China are all under 7%. At what point in the “pandemic era” does this become a national security risk? Studies of overweight/obesity on covid-19 hospital and ICU admissions suggest a 2- to 5-fold increased risk for the obese. That makes a normal BMI about a 65-85% effective “vaccine” against severe infection – one that keeps people out of the hospital from a variety of diseases, including the flu, and probably the next pandemic virus. Approaches to slimming down Americans come in many shapes and sizes, from Blue Zones concepts to soda taxes – which could be extended to all sweetened, calorie-dense processed and fast foods.

This pandemic has been an utter disaster. The next one might be worse. Bolstering our national capacity to fight off viruses would be a wise investment.

[My Comment:  Hollander’s statement about HCQ is incomplete and thus misleading.  “We know HCQ failed when given as a last resort to Covid patients on their death beds.” (There, Fixed.)  No anti-viral works at that stage.  Treatment with HCQ or Ivermectin is very effective early after infection to prevent a viral load able to cause severe illness.  See Yes, HCQ Works Against Covid19 and Ivermectin Invictus: The Unsung Covid Victor    Let’s stop pretending there are no effective early home treatments against Covid-19]

And, finally, let’s stop pretending that vaccines alone will bring an end to Covid-19.

Predictions have largely been useless in this pandemic. However, some basic principles are likely to hold true. We do not get to go back to alpha or the original strain of SARS-CoV-2; we are stuck with delta, likely until a variant even more transmissible mutates along and outcompetes it. That next variant will not have much evolutionary pressure to be either more or less severe; but imagining a variant able to spread even more rapidly than delta is dispiriting enough.

As more and more people gain immunity from infection and vaccination, there will be more pressure for SARS-CoV-2 to find its next host by evading immune defenses. It’s not hard to envision an eternal cat-and-mouse game in which reinfections are a commonplace event for all of us, and trying to avoid them will involve either a cycle of ever-shifting boosters, or acceptance that most 3rd, 4th or 5th SARS-CoV-2 infections will be mild enough to deal with.

The inconvenient truth is that neither natural immunity nor vaccines are likely to protect well enough, long enough, to shift this disease from pandemic to endemic and have it look the way most of us would prefer: partying like it’s 2019, and free of worry about hospital capacity. That, unfortunately, is probably a fantasy in the immediate future. So, too, is the idea that if we could only convince a few more stubborn vaccine hold-outs to get one set of shots that this will all be over and New Zealand can open its borders.

No, the way forward is going to be choppier than that. The “Covid long game” will involve uncertainty, surprises, and many hard choices, both for individuals and society as a whole. I hope we can be honest with ourselves as we make them.

Buzz Hollander MD is a family physician on the Big Island of Hawaii with no ideological axes to grind. He tweets @buzzhollandermd.


Protocols with HCQ or Ivermectin plus nutritional supplements fill the need for early home treatment

Biden Plan for Pharma Profit Booster Shots a Bad Idea, Scientists Say


The politics and profits of the covic booster shot promotion is summarized by Tyler Durden at zerohedge in an article.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

“The Scientific Process Is Short-Circuited By Politics” – Startling Admission From Scientists Jeopardizes Biden’s Boosters

Dr. Anthony Fauci and his colleagues on President Biden’s panel of White House COVID advisors spend a lot of time talking about “the science”, but as the delta variant has spread across the US, most of their recent policymaking has been more focused on creating the illusion of safety: Like demanding everybody in the country get vaccinated when studies show natural antibodies already offer protection, while new evidence continues to emerge about dangerous side effects associated with the jabs (especially the mRNA jabs).

But apparently, the Biden Administration’s decision to do a complete 180 on approving a third booster jab, pushing them not just on the most vulnerable, but on every American, like they did with the first round of jabs, has finally prompted mainstream scientists in the field of epidemiology to speak up. Yesterday, we shared details from a Reuters report where several scientists questioned the societal benefits of doling out booster shots to Americans before most people in the emerging world have even had time to get one.

The Reuters report is Scientists question evidence behind U.S. COVID-19 booster shot drive.  Quotes below in italics.

“Endorsing boosters before FDA changes the EUA or grants full approval is actually endorsing something that is not currently permissible under the law,” said Holly Fernandez Lynch, a University of Pennsylvania bioethicist. “Any use beyond the specific terms of the EUA would be unauthorized.”

It would be very strange for the Biden administration to be the one calling the shots on boosters, according to Dorit Reiss, a professor who studies vaccine policy at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.  “This is not something that’s generally done by the administration or by political actors,” Reiss said. “If they are going to circumvent the process, then I’m very concerned.”

Stephen Hahn, who served under President Trump as FDA last commissioner, said that data on the vaccine boosters should decide who should get one, and that it’s possible that may not be immediately available for all populations.

While the Biden administration could be right to offer boosters widely, there isn’t enough convincing data to suggest that everyone needs one, according Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota epidemiologist and former Biden adviser. The concern of waning immunity is associated with the elderly and immunocompromised, he said.  “This isn’t about yes or no,” Osterholm said. “It’s about whether we need this for everyone.”


Durden continues:

Well, as it turns out, one day later, Bloomberg has followed up with a similar report quoting a different group of scientists and their reservations about Biden’s plan. And for the first time, it seems that the growing pushback from the scientific community might derail the Biden Administration’s push for booster jabs (which, remember, is contingent on the FDA giving its blessing).

It’s possible the backlash could even delay (or derail) approval of the vaccines, especially as new data about side effects continues to emerge.

Because Bloomberg has learned that a meeting of CDC advisors to discuss the benefits of booster jabs – a meeting that was supposed to have taken place last week – has been postponed until Aug. 30. Meanwhile, new reports have emerged suggesting the FDA could fully approve the Moderna and Pfizer jabs as soon as Monday.  But one scientist warned that it’s starting to feel like the Biden Administration’s political priorities have been “short circuited” by political concerns.

“This is what is really concerning to many of us,” said Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital in New York. “Because it feels like the scientific process is being short circuited by political concerns… It is almost science by popular demand.”

The problem is that the meeting of CDC advisors includes many voices who haven’t already been working closely with the Administration…and are thus less likely to simply go along with their plans. As another scientist pointed out, doling out booster jabs might ultimately be self-defeating. “The math doesn’t work,” they added.

While the U.S. has vaccinated just over half its population, the virus has been gaining in infectiousness. The two trends essentially cancel one another out, putting the country’s virus control efforts back to where they were in March 2020, according to Ellie Murray, a Boston University School of Public Health epidemiologist who said she has reviewed the data and is skeptical of the current need for boosters. 

“From a population level it, it doesn’t help us in controlling the pandemic,” she said. “The math doesn’t work.”

Another scientist added that doling out booster jabs likely won’t make much of a difference in states where vaccination levels are already low.

“If we give everybody third doses now,” he said, “Mississippi will still be hellish.”

Then there is the question of what is really behind the waning efficacy seen in some studies: Several other factors besides declining immunity over time may be driving the change. For example, the delta variant itself may reduce vaccine protection against mild disease, as it multiplies in the nose much faster, even as protection remains strong against severe disease.

Changes in public behavior and the opening of society may have exposed more people to higher doses of virus. And some people who got vaccinated early on, such as health-care workers, may be more likely to have heavier viral exposures through their jobs, further muddling comparisons.

“My worry is that all a booster might do is just prevent asymptomatic or mild symptomatic breakthrough cases in people whose immune systems would get the disease under control in a few days anyway,” said Jeffrey Morris, a biostatistician at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, “thus not affecting health outcomes in a meaningful way.”

And as more studies show a decline in vaccine efficacy, some scientists are questioning whether the issue is actually related to the vaccines themselves, or changes in behavior, like going out more.

Ultimately, the takeaway is this: resistance to President Biden’s booster jab push is building. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the FDA scuttle it entirely, knocking the wind out of Pfizer and Moderna, which have already promised their shareholders blockbuster profits on the back of more federally mandated jabs.


Reality Check on Extreme Weather Claims


CBS News headline was:  ‘Pacific Northwest heat wave would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change, experts say.’

Eric Felton provides a useful reprise of the campaign to exploit a recent Washington State heat wave for climate hysteria mongering.  His article at Real Clear Investigations is Does Climate Change Cause Extreme Weather Now? Here’s a Scorcher of a Reality Check.  This discussion is timely since you can soon expect an inundation of hype saying our SUVs caused whatever damage is done by Hurricane (or Tropical Storm) Henri, shown below approaching Long Island and New England. Excerpts from Felton’s article are below in italics with my bolds.

Henri 20210822

The Pacific Northwest was hit with a record-shattering heat wave in June, with temperatures over 35 degrees higher than normal in some places. On June 28, Portland, Ore., reached 116 degrees. Late last week the region suffered another blast of hot weather, with a high in Portland of 103 degrees. The New York Times didn’t hesitate to pronounce the region’s bouts of extreme weather proof that the climate wasn’t just changing, but catastrophically so.

To make that claim, the Times relied on a “consortium of climate experts” that calls itself World Weather Attribution, a group organized not just to attribute extreme weather events to climate change, but to do so quickly. Within days of the June heat wave, the researchers released an analysis, declaring that the torrid spell “was virtually impossible without human-caused climate change.”

World Weather Attribution and its alarming report were trumpeted by Time magazine, touted by the NOAA website Climate.gov , and featured by CBS News, CNBC, Scientific American, CNN, the Washington Post, USAToday, and the New York Times, among others.

The group’s claim that global warming was to blame was perhaps less significant than the speed with which that conclusion was provided to the media. Previous efforts to tie extreme weather events to climate change hadn’t had the impact scientists had hoped for, according to Time, because it “wasn’t producing results fast enough to get attention from people outside the climate science world.”

“Being able to confidently say that a given weather disaster was caused by climate change while said event still has the world’s attention,” Time explained, approvingly, “can be an enormously useful tool to convince leaders, lawmakers and others that climate change is a threat that must be addressed.” In other words, the value of rapid attribution is primarily political, not scientific.


World Weather Attribution was organized to quickly attribute extreme weather events to climate change.  World Weather Attribution

Inconveniently for World Weather Attribution, an atmospheric scientist with extensive knowledge of the Pacific Northwest climate was actively running weather models that accurately predicted the heatwave. Cliff Mass rejected the notion that global warming was to blame for the scorching temperatures. He calculated that global warming might have been responsible for two degrees of the near 40-degree anomaly. With or without climate change, Mass wrote, the region “still would have experienced the most severe heat wave of the past century.”

Mass has no shortage of credentials relevant to the issue: A professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, he is author of the book “The Weather of the Pacific Northwest.”

Mass took on the World Weather Attribution group directly: “Unfortunately, there are serious flaws in their approach.” According to Mass, the heatwave was the result of “natural variability.” The models being used by the international group lacked the “resolution to correctly simulate critical intense, local precipitation features,” and “they generally use unrealistic greenhouse gas emissions.”

WWA issued a “rebuttal” calling Mass’ criticisms “misleading and incorrect.” But the gauntlet thrown down by Mass did seem to affect WWA’s confidence in its claims. The group, which had originally declared the heatwave would have been “virtually impossible without human-caused climate change,” altered its tone. In subsequent public statements, it emphasized that it had merely been making “best estimates” and had presented them “with the appropriate caveats and uncertainties.” Scientists with the attribution group did not respond to questions about Mass’s criticisms posed by RealClearInvestigations.

But what of the group’s basic mission, the attribution of individual weather events to climate change? Hasn’t it been a fundamental rule of discussing extreme temperatures in a given place not to conflate weather with climate? Weather, it is regularly pointed out, refers to conditions during a short time in a limited area; climate is said to describe longer-term atmospheric patterns over large areas.

Until recently, at least, climate scientists long warned against using individual weather events to ponder the existence or otherwise of global warming. Typically, that argument is used to respond to those who might argue a spate of extreme cold is reason to doubt the planet is warming. Using individual weather events to say anything about the climate is “dangerous nonsense,” the New Scientist warned a decade ago.


Perhaps, but it happens all the time now that climate advocates have found it to be an effective tool. In 2019, The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago found that three-fourths of those polled said their views about climate change had been shaped by extreme weather events. Leah Sprain, in the book “Ethics and Practice in Science Communication,” says that even though it may be legitimate to make the broad claim that climate change “may result in future extreme weather,” when one tries “arguing weather patterns were caused by climate change, things get dicey.” Which creates a tension: “For some communicators, the ultimate goal – mobilizing political action – warrants rhetorical use of extreme weather events.” But that makes scientists nervous, Sprain writes, because “misrepresenting science will undermine the credibility of arguments for climate change.”

Which is exactly what happened with the World Weather Attribution group, according to Mass: “Many of the climate attribution studies are resulting in headlines that are deceptive and result in people coming to incorrect conclusions about the relative roles of global warming and natural variability in current extreme weather,” he wrote at his blog. “Scary headlines and apocalyptic attribution studies needlessly provoke fear.”

The blogging professor laments that atmospheric sciences have been “poisoned” by politics. “It’s damaged climate science,” he told RCI.


And not just politics – Mass also says that the accepted tenets of global warming have become a sort of religion. Consider the language used, he says, such as the question of whether one “believes” in anthropogenic climate change. “You don’t believe in gravity,” he says. The religious metaphor also explains why colleagues get so bent out of shape with him, Mass says: “There’s nothing worse than an apostate priest.”

That goes even for those who are merely mild apostates. Mass doesn’t dispute warming, he merely questions how big a problem it is. “We need to worry about climate change,” he has said. “But hype and exaggeration of its impacts only undermine the potential for effective action.”