Heartland Wisdom from Iowa

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Todd Blodgett writes at the Des Moines Register Biden paving the way for Trump to win again.  (Full disclosure:  My mother, Dagmar Henningsen was born near Des Moinres, and I am 1/2 Danish because of her.)  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Only a smidgeon of popular votes would flip the few states needed for Trump to net 270 electoral votes.

In 2020, had 23,000 votes, spread across Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia, flipped, the Electoral College would’ve been tied, at 269-269. And with Republicans holding a majority of the states’ congressional delegations, the U.S. House of Representatives would’ve chosen Donald Trump as president.

But after five months, Joe Biden’s agenda and actions on several critical issues are diminishing Democratic prospects for 2024, and even for 2022. If the GOP retakes the House next year, it will be disastrous for the Biden-Harris administration.

But even if that doesn’t happen, the border crisis that Biden singlehandedly created has already caused many of his voters to suffer a severe case of buyers’ remorse. Nixing the Keystone pipeline was stupid and killed tens of thousands of jobs and indicated to oil-producing nations that the United States is impeding domestic petroleum production — which, under Trump’s policies, made us net energy-independent.

Increasingly, many Americans now see that Trump was the kind of president that they always wanted — but they didn’t realize they had.

After all, most Americans appreciate straight talk from their elected officials and distrust career politicians, especially lawyers. Many voters prefer no-nonsense, business-style governance. Most Americans also favor “America First” policies and expect their president to prioritize their interests above those of foreign nationals — particularly lawbreakers. As well, most Americans despise clueless leftists who advocate defunding the police. Polls reveal that most likely voters want presidents to appoint judges who are pro-victim, not pro-perpetrator, and who favor taxpayers over indolent, able-bodied, welfare scammers.

Americans expect their leader to understand that China not only isn’t our friend, but represents a clear and present danger to us.

Trump, not Biden, was that president.

Most taxpayers also strongly oppose Biden’s unprecedented, irresponsible spending spree. Even some Democrats detest Biden’s planned tax hikes and his costly boondoggles, which includes fancy hotels for immigrants, bailouts that discourage employees from returning to work, and paying the disreputable World Health Organization $200 million to reinstate America’s membership. Biden’s absurd claim that Trump caused this border disaster only exacerbates the scorn which scores of millions of Americans have for this liar.

Biden even released Mexico from its agreement — negotiated by Trump — to post federales (troops) on Mexico’s side of the border, to block border-crashing immigrants. As the Washington Post reported on May 25: “Under new Biden administration rules curtailing immigration enforcement, ICE carried out 3,000 deportations last month, the lowest level on record. Biden has placed ICE deportation officers on a leash so tight that some say their work is being functionally abolished.”

As Biden and Kamala Harris foment this destructive insanity, many pro-USA citizens justifiably feel like horrified, handcuffed, blindfolded passengers in the back seat of a vehicle being driven by a drunkard at 100 mph. When Ronald Reagan visited Des Moines in the fall of 1980, he told me that his opponent, President Jimmy Carter, made it “easy” for him, “because of how badly he’s screwed things up.” Will Biden do the same?

Trump will be the same age (78) in 2024 that Biden is now. However, Trump moves, acts, and looks 15 years younger than Biden — who, in 2024, will be 82. By 2024, old Joe could easily look like Jimmy Carter. If so, his predecessor may well become his successor. Only a smidgeon of popular votes would flip the few states needed for Trump to net 270 electoral votes.

Biden is basically setting the stage for Trump’s comeback.

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Ordinary Arctic Ice Extents in May

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A previous post reported that Arctic Sea Ice has persisted this year despite a wavy Polar Vortex this spring, bringing cold down to mid-latitudes, and warming air into Arctic regions.  Now in May, the sea ice extent matched the 14-year average on day 144, tracking alongside until month end.  Surprisingly  SII (Sea Ice Index) is showing ~400k km2 more ice, which is also ~70k km2 higher than the 14-year average for SII on day 151 (not shown in chart).

Note that on the 14-year average, May loses ~2M km2 of ice extent, which 2021 matched, as did 2007.  Both 2020 and 2019 finished lower than average, by 300k and 400k respectively.  In contrast SII shows a May loss of only 1.3M km2.

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 Floodings

Also, a longer term perspective is informative:

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

Region 2021151 Day 151 Average 2021-Ave. 2007151 2021-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 11605537 11733260  -127723  11846659 -241122 
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1034779 992955  41825  1059461 -24682 
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 900868 861978  38891  894617 6251 
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1051959 1065828  -13869  1069198 -17239 
 (4) Laptev_Sea 738294 831217  -92923  754651 -16357 
 (5) Kara_Sea 824068 831440  -7373  895678 -71610 
 (6) Barents_Sea 325745 322981  2765  323801 1944 
 (7) Greenland_Sea 615174 567365  47810  591919 23255 
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 812548 908759  -96211  934257 -121709 
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 811040 811378  -338  818055 -7015 
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1084892 1098368  -13476  1077744 7148 
 (11) Central_Arctic 3232324 3219180  13144  3230109 2215 
 (12) Bering_Sea 89124 122512  -33388  112353 -23228 
 (13) Baltic_Sea 0 161 -161  0
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 83572 97612  -14040  83076 495 

The overall deficit to average happened yesterday, being an extent 1% lower, and two days earlier than average.  The largest deficits to average are in Baffin Bay and Laptev Sea, along with Bering and Okhotsk.  These are partly offset by surpluses elsewhere, mostly in Beaufort, Chukchi, and Greenland Seas.

 

 

Corona Cover Story

The sordid story is about big pharma aided and abetted by big media and tech protecting their pandemic payday by banishing mention or acknowledgement of ivermectin’s success fighting Covid19.  H/T Jo Nova article It’s the biggest medical scandal since 1850.  Excerpt in italics:

Michael Capuzzo, a New York Times best-selling author , has just published an article titled “The Drug That Cracked Covid”. … But unfortunately most reporters are not interested in telling the other side of the story. Even if they were, their publishers would probably refuse to publish it.

That may explain why Capuzzo, a six-time Pulitzer-nominated journalist best known for his New York Times-bestselling nonfiction books Close to Shore and Murder Room, ended up publishing his article on ivermectin in Mountain Home, a monthly local magazine for the people of the Pennsylvania mountains and New York Finger Lakes region, of which Capuzzo’s wife is the editor.

Michael Capuzzo writes at Mountain Home The Story of the Cover Story. Excerpts in italics with my bolds

When my daughter Grace, a vice president at a New York advertising agency, came down with COVID-19 recently, she was quarantined in a “COVID hotel” in Times Square with homeless people and quarantining travelers. The locks on her room door were removed. Nurses prowled the halls to keep her in her room and wake her up every night to check her vitals—not to treat her, because there is no approved treatment for COVID-19; only, if her oxygen plummeted, to move her to the hospital, where there is only a single effective approved treatment for COVID-19, steroids that may keep the lungs from failing.

The absence of treatments for COVID-19 is a global crisis, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said recently on 60 Minutes, for vaccines “are not enough.” Dangerous variants sweep the globe after mutating in the world’s poor and unvaccinated, lockdowns persist, and millions more are likely to die. The wondrous m-RNA vaccines need a cop buddy.

Fortunately, I knew of an early treatment for Grace. It’s a cheap generic drug, safer than Tylenol, FDA-approved to treat scabies and lice in children and the elderly, with many other uses that make Ivermectin a “wonder drug.” In fifty-five clinical trials with 445 scientists and 17,730 patients around the world, Ivermectin has been shown to be the most powerful drug to eradicate COVID-19 in all stages of the disease, including prevention and early treatment.

It’s what the world desperately needs now, according to Dr. Pierre Kory, a former professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison medical school, whose research group, the nonprofit Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, has developed the most effective non-vaccine treatments in the world from safe, FDA-approved generics. They have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, including eighty-year-old Judy Smentkiewicz of Buffalo, the star of this month’s cover story. Judy’s remarkable story is a “miracle,” her family says, thanks to Pierre Kory, science, and God.

Grace researched Ivermectin and was surprised that it is not FDA-approved as an anti-viral to treat COVID-19, although it is FDA-approved as an anti-parasitic agent. This would be an “off-label use,” a routine thing in medicine comprising some 20 percent of all prescriptions—aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke, for instance, is “off label.” This is called doctoring. And it was routine until COVID-19, when a big pharma-dominated health system tried to eliminate all generic competition to protect its biggest payday of all time.

Judy had the choice to fight back or die. A worldwide revolution that will determine the future of medicine and who lives and dies from COVID-19—the battle of Ivermectin—is fighting back, fighting for life. Grace, I’m happy to say, was prescribed Ivermectin and got better fast.

If you are interested in Ivermectin, check out http://www.flccc.net, and talk to your doctor. Here’s a help page on how to talk to your doctor: http://www.COVID19criticalcare.com/guide-for-this-website.

I got onto this story on Mother’s Day, 2020, when my wife Teresa, who many know as the publisher and editor of Mountain Home, and I watched Dr. Kory testify to the U.S. Senate about his group’s first breakthrough, a steroid treatment that was saving 95 percent of COVID-19 patients when 80 percent were dying in New York City and the world was in panic. To our surprise, as longtime journalists—we met at The Philadelphia Inquirer—Dr. Kory was cancelled by a global news blackout. Was not a treatment that could save the world news?

While Teresa puts out the magazine, I’ve written two New York Times-bestselling books, Close to Shore and The Murder Room, featuring some of the world’s most brilliant scientists. Now I’ve spent months interviewing Kory and his colleagues, and I’ve seen unthinkable things. When professor Joe Varon, a top critical care doctor and Mexican-American hero recently honored with “Joseph Varon Day” in Houston for his COVID-19 treatments that are saving the city’s sickest poor, black, Mexican, and immigrants, invited journalists from CNN, The Associated Press, and Reuters to his COVID-19 ICU to get out the news of his life-saving treatment, all the journalists fictionalized the story to make it seem like most everyone was dying when in fact most everyone was living. The happy story, the truth, didn’t fit the official government science.

We live in a remarkable media age where a positive story on CNN, perhaps more so than a peer review in The New England Journal of Medicine, will instantly encourage doctors in two hundred countries to use a perfectly safe and legal drug and save humanity. I call on my fellow colleagues, including former colleagues and friends at The Washington Post and The New York Times, to open their hearts and minds to legitimate, unreported doctors and therapies and write about all sides of the Ivermectin story, like journalists always have. It is a historic opportunity.

For the first time in the long journey from Gutenberg to Google, journalists may be the ones to save the world.

CCP Planned Pandemic

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All of sudden, legacy and social media are allowing suspicions about the origins of WuFlu.  For example, a Real Politics article Another ‘Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory’ May Prove Correct.  Excerpt in italics with my bolds.

If only we lived in fairytale land, where the little boy’s observation that the emperor has no clothes snapped the people back to reality. In modern America, however, the exposure of delusional prevarications is met with a shrug by the powers that be, who simply move on to the peddling of other untruths.

For more than a year, government experts and their stenographers at our most prestigious media outlets denied what was clear to anybody with a modicum of common sense – that the COVID-19 pandemic that had originated in Wuhan, China, could have originated in the Wuhan lab where scientists were performing dangerous research into coronaviruses.

And now a video from Dr. Lawrence Sellin:

Transcript from closed captions in italics with my bolds.

I am Dr Lawrence Sellin. First I would like to thank all the young anti-communist chinese men and women who have worked with me to expose the truth about the laboratory origin of covid 19. Yes, covid 19 was created in a laboratory and it was a product of the People’s Liberation Army’s bio warfare program. I no longer use the word leak to describe what happened because that infers negligence but innocence of intent. The Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army are not innocent so it does not matter how covid 19 was released because it was part of an evil plan with evil intent.

Together we have proven that covid 19 came from a laboratory, and because of our hard work, the world is beginning to accept that fact. The creation of covid19 was part of a process that has been underway for decades, but one that was greatly accelerated in 2016 by the fusion of military and civilian research as directed by the CCP’s 13th five-year plan.

Since the beginning of the pandemic it has been our goal to discover how covid19 was made and who made it. The answers to those questions reside in an analysis of the structure and organization of the PLA’s bio warfare program. As you know we have been using a technique I call virus research network analysis. It is a modification of traffic analysis, a method developed during the early days of world war II by Britain’s Gordon Welchman at Bletchley Park, which contributed to the breaking of Germany’s enigma code.

Let us now review what we know. The PLA’s biowarfare program has three levels: First there is a core secret military level layered on top of that are china’s universities and civilian institutions. It is that middle layer which gives the PLA access to the knowledge and skills of the international virus research community. Overall command and control of the PLA’s biowarfare program is done through the academy of military medical sciences in coordination with china’s ostensibly civilian academy of science and the Centers for Disease Control.

Over many years there has been a massive virus collection effort led by the PLA’s veterinary institute headquartered in Tan Chang. Other facilities such as the Wuhan Institute of Virology have been involved in the collection of viruses. Some bad coronaviruses were selected for further bio-warfare development based on their potential to jump from bats to humans that was a fundamental PLA bio-warfare criterion. That is the ability to blame nature for an actual bio-warfare attack.

Two bad coronaviruses isolated by the PLA were zcc 45 and zxc 2041 identified by Dr Lee Main Young as the coronavirus backbone for covid19. Laboratory manipulation of bad coronavirus backbones coordinated by the PLA was done at different centers focusing on different aspects of biowarfare weapon development. Virus recombination and gain of function research was undertaken at several sites including the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Pre-adaptation for human infection by serial passaging using genetically engineered humanized animal models occurred under the guidance of Tuwan King of the institute of laboratory animal science. Shibujang likely supervised the insertion of the fury and cleavage site with expertise provided by the southern medical university in Guangzhou.

Based on sources inside china a fully formed or nearly fully formed covid19 virus was ready for testing in the early months of 2019. The full extent of that testing is not yet known, especially whether or not there was a deliberate release into a human test community. Again based on sources inside china one covid19 sample was sent from Nanjing headquarters of the PLA’s eastern theater command to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for testing on non-human primates. In that time frame the only facility in Wuhan capable of undertaking such studies was the biosafety level 3 animal laboratory at Wuhan University. That facility also happens to be in the same district that was the epicenter of the initial covid19 outbreak. That test therefore is one potential scenario for the start of the pandemic

That is what we know but there is still more to do. Even though we know the covid19 virus was man-made, we need to understand all the details of how it was made and by whom. We need to describe the complete structure and organization of the PLA’s biowarfare program. We need to expose the extent of the PLA infiltration of international virus research programs, and which scientists assisted the PLA, either directly or indirectly in its biowarfare efforts.

Our investigation will continue.

Background from Previous Post

 

Update March 27, 2021 Ex-CDC Director Believes Wuhan Flu Escaped from a Lab

Live Science reports Ex-CDC director believes COVID-19 escaped from a lab, but cites no evidence

Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  A previous post is reprinted further on showing the evidence not discussed and hand-waved away by Fauci, whose NIH funded the Wuhan research facility from which the virus likely came.

Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN that this was his opinion on the origins of the virus.

“I’m of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, escaped,” Redfield told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “Other people don’t believe that, that’s fine. Science will eventually figure it out.”

Still, a number of scientists say the most likely explanation is that the virus emerged naturally, passing from bats to another animal and then to humans, Live Science previously reported. Recently, a team from the World Health Organization, which is investigating the origins of SARS-CoV-2, said that it agrees with this hypothesis — WHO officials said the virus likely passed from bats to animals on wildlife farms in China, and then to humans, Live Science previously reported.

Redfield said he didn’t believe the bat theory. “Normally, when a pathogen goes from a zoonosis to humans, it takes a while for it to figure out how to become more and more efficient in human-to-human transmission,” Redfield told CNN. “I just don’t think this makes biological sense.”

The former CDC chief wasn’t suggesting SARS-CoV-2 is an engineered virus — another theory with no supporting evidence — just a natural escapee. “In the lab, you think that that process of becoming more efficient was happening?” Gupta asked. [Note:  There is significant evidence of an engineered virus documented in the discussion below.]

“Yeah, let’s just say I have coronavirus that I’m working on. Most of us in the lab, we’re trying to grow a virus, we try to help make it grow better and better and better … so we can do experiments,” Redfield responded.

Why Wu Flu Virus Looks Man-made ( previously posted Sept. 2020)

A virologist who fled China after studying the early outbreak of COVID-19 has published a new report claiming the coronavirus likely came from a lab.  This adds to the analysis done by Dr. Luc Montagnier earlier this year, and summarized in a previous post reprinted later on.  Dr. Yan was interviewed on Fox News, and YouTube has now blocked the video.

If you are wondering why Big Tech is censoring information unflattering to China, see Lee Smith’s Tablet article America’s China Class Launches a New War Against Trump  The corporate, tech, and media elites will not allow the president to come between them and Chinese money

Doctor Li-Meng Yan, a scientist who studied some of the available data on COVID-19 has published her claims on Zenodo, an open access digital platform. She wrote that she believed COVID-19 could have been “conveniently created” within a lab setting over a period of just six months, and “SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus”.

The paper by Yan, Li-Meng; Kang, Shu; Guan, Jie; Hu, Shanchang  is Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Overview

The natural origin theory, although widely accepted, lacks substantial support. The alternative theory that the virus may have come from a research laboratory is, however, strictly censored on peer-reviewed scientific journals. Nonetheless, SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus. In this report, we describe the genomic, structural, medical, and literature evidence, which, when considered together, strongly contradicts the natural origin theory.

The evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 should be a laboratory product created by using bat coronaviruses ZC45 and/or ZXC21 as a template and/or backbone.

Contents

Consistent with this notion, genomic, structural, and literature evidence also suggest a non-natural origin of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, abundant literature indicates that gain-of-function research has long advanced to the stage where viral genomes can be precisely engineered and manipulated to enable the creation of novel coronaviruses possessing unique properties. In this report, we present such evidence and the associated analyses.

Part 1 of the report describes the genomic and structural features of SARS-CoV-2, the presence of which could be consistent with the theory that the virus is a product of laboratory modification beyond what could be afforded by simple serial viral passage. Part 2 of the report describes a highly probable pathway for the laboratory creation of SARS-CoV-2, key steps of which are supported by evidence present in the viral genome. Importantly, part 2 should be viewed as a demonstration of how SARS-CoV-2 could be conveniently created in a laboratory in a short period of time using available materials and well-documented techniques. This report is produced by a team of experienced scientists using our combined expertise in virology, molecular biology, structural biology, computational biology, vaccine development, and medicine.

We present three lines of evidence to support our contention that laboratory manipulation is part of the history of SARS-CoV-2:

i. The genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 is suspiciously similar to that of a bat coronavirus discovered by military laboratories in the Third Military Medical University (Chongqing, China) and the Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command (Nanjing, China).

ii. The receptor-binding motif (RBM) within the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which determines the host specificity of the virus, resembles that of SARS-CoV from the 2003 epidemic in a suspicious manner. Genomic evidence suggests that the RBM has been genetically manipulated.

iii. SARS-CoV-2 contains a unique furin-cleavage site in its Spike protein, which is known to greatly enhance viral infectivity and cell tropism. Yet, this cleavage site is completely absent in this particular class of coronaviruses found in nature. In addition, rare codons associated with this additional sequence suggest the strong possibility that this furin-cleavage site is not the product of natural evolution and could have been inserted into the SARS-CoV-2 genome artificially by techniques other than simple serial passage or multi-strain recombination events inside co-infected tissue cultures or animals.

Background from Previous post June 30, 2020:  Pandemic Update: Virus Weaker, HCQ Stronger

In past weeks there have been anecdotal reports from frontline doctors that patients who would have been flattened fighting off SARS CV2 in April are now sitting up and recovering in a few days. We have also the statistical evidence in the US and Sweden, as two examples, that case numbers are rising while Covid deaths continue declining. One explanation is that the new cases are younger people who have been released from lockdown (in US) with stronger immune systems. But it may also be that the virus itself is losing potency.

In the past I have noticed theories about the origin of the virus, and what makes it “novel.” But when the scientist who identified HIV weighs in, I pay particular attention. The Coronavirus Is Man Made According to Luc Montagnier the Man Who Discovered HIV. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Contrary to the narrative that is being pushed by the mainstream that the COVID 19 virus was the result of a natural mutation and that it was transmitted to humans from bats via pangolins, Dr Luc Montagnier the man who discovered the HIV virus back in 1983 disagrees and is saying that the virus was man made.

Professor Luc Montagnier, 2008 Nobel Prize winner for Medicine, claims that SARS-CoV-2 is a manipulated virus that was accidentally released from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Chinese researchers are said to have used coronaviruses in their work to develop an AIDS vaccine. HIV RNA fragments are believed to have been found in the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

“With my colleague, bio-mathematician Jean-Claude Perez, we carefully analyzed the description of the genome of this RNA virus,” explains Luc Montagnier, interviewed by Dr Jean-François Lemoine for the daily podcast at Pourquoi Docteur, adding that others have already explored this avenue: Indian researchers have already tried to publish the results of the analyses that showed that this coronavirus genome contained sequences of another virus, … the HIV virus (AIDS virus), but they were forced to withdraw their findings as the pressure from the mainstream was too great.

To insert an HIV sequence into this genome requires molecular tools

In a challenging question Dr Jean-François Lemoine inferred that the coronavirus under investigation may have come from a patient who is otherwise infected with HIV. No, “says Luc Montagnier,” in order to insert an HIV sequence into this genome, molecular tools are needed, and that can only be done in a laboratory.

According to the 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine, a plausible explanation would be an accident in the Wuhan laboratory. He also added that the purpose of this work was the search for an AIDS vaccine.

In any case, this thesis, defended by Professor Luc Montagnier, has a positive turn.

According to him, the altered elements of this virus are eliminated as it spreads: “Nature does not accept any molecular tinkering, it will eliminate these unnatural changes and even if nothing is done, things will get better, but unfortunately after many deaths.”

This is enough to feed some heated debates! So much so that Professor Montagnier’s statements could also place him in the category of “conspiracy theorists”: “Conspirators are the opposite camp, hiding the truth,” he replies, without wanting to accuse anyone, but hoping that the Chinese will admit to what he believes happened in their laboratory.

To entice a confession from the Chinese he used the example of Iran which after taking full responsibility for accidentally hitting a Ukrainian plane was able to earn the respect of the global community. Hopefully the Chinese will do the right thing he adds. “In any case, the truth always comes out, it is up to the Chinese government to take responsibility.”

Implications: Leaving aside the geopolitics, this theory also explains why the virus weakens when mutations lose the unnatural pieces added in the lab. Since this is an RNA (not DNA) sequence mutations are slower, but inevitable. If correct, this theory works against fears of a second wave of infections. It also gives an unintended benefit from past lockdowns and shutdowns, slowing the rate of infections while the virus degrades itself.

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Update May 29, 2021 India Doing Well with Ivermectin

As reported in the background post reprinted later on, much of the increase in Covid cases and hospitalizations occurred in two Indian regions that had rejected use of ivermectin or HCQ:  Delhi and Maharashtra.  Now Delhi has changed course, and the results against Covid are stunningly good.   At American Thinker Number of COVID cases in Delhi crashes after mass distribution of ivermectin.  

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Background Previous Post Media Distort India’s Success Fighting Covid

The image above confirms that despite what we’ve been told, India and other south Asian nations have much lower Covid fatality rates than the rest of the world, and the US, where the contagion was mismanaged for the political need to take down Trump.  Many of us have wondered what is going on with Covid in India and only have access to inflamed Western media reporting. Since journalists are math-challenged (thinking math is a white supremacist thing anyway) they write stories based on their biases, rather than delving into the facts and numbers.  Mathew Crawford sheds some light in his blog article The Chloroquine Wars Part XVII Why the Story About India’s April COVID-19 Spike is All Wrong excerpted below in italics with my bolds. He is a quant guy and gets statistics from Indian official sources, especially  covid19india.

You’ve probably seen the recent news out of India: Pandemonium. All the important media outlets are talking about it, and since they’re telling the exact same story, you can be sure they checked in with the exact same gatekeeper.

  • The NYT: India sets a global record for daily infections.
  • BBC: COVID in Uttar Pradesh: Coronavirus overwhelms India’s most populous state.
  • NPR: How India Went From A Ray of Hope To A World Record For Most COVID Cases In A Day.
  • Reuters: Oxygen gets armed escort in India as supplies run low in COVID crisis

There is something about phrases like “world record” and “unprecedented” that seem inappropriate for such a solemn topic, but right now I’m having a hard time getting the image of focus group testing out of my head. What kind of newsroom goes with a “It was a dark and stormy night” narrative as opposed to direct fact reporting?

Death is always with us. It is also important that we search for appropriate perspective. On the order of 60,000,000 people died last year around the world, and each was a light in the world. We do our best to serve human health to search for the best ways to support human health.

Now, let us look a little more closely at the portrayal of the story of India’s COVID-19 spike. Let us begin with some of the tweets (here and here) raising the alarm so that all of the [English speaking] world knows what is happening in parts of India. There is a focus on the quickly depleting oxygen supply. We might guess this is the primary variable in the equation.

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The CDC advises American citizens to avoid all travel to India.

Here is a gut-wrenching quote from Reuters news service:

Earlier in the day, the hospital’s chief executive, Sunil Saggar, choked back tears as he described the decision to discharge some patients because the lack of oxygen meant there was nothing his hospital could do to help.

Another Reuters article reminds us that any time an outbreak occurs, a lack of authoritarian measures is to blame.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose government has been criticised for relaxing virus curbs too soon, met chief ministers of the worst-affected states, including the capital Delhi, Maharashtra and Modi’s home state of Gujarat, to discuss the crisis.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said this week people had largely given up COVID precautions and “became very careless” before the surge.

Now, let’s take a look at the concentration of cases around India.

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The large Central-Western state of Maharashtra has a population of around 125 million people, which is around 9% of India’s massive 1.4 billion people. The second largest number of active COVID-19 cases is in Uttar Pradesh in the north, which has nearly twice as many people (240 million) and less than 40% as many cases. These state populations would qualify as large nations on their own, and we see wildly different results. The total number of deaths per million in Maharashtra is right around 500 per million. There have been only 44 deaths per million residents of Uttar Pradesh. These numbers are different by kind. Of the 221 nations listed in worldometers, India ranks 120th in deaths per million, Maharashtra would alone rank 72nd, and Uttar Pradesh would alone rank 148th. Of the handful of large nations that have suffered lower mortality (per million) than India, nearly all are near neighbors with similar statistics, African nations with low elderly populations, or island nations with less international traffic (and likely protective exposure to other coronaviruses).

In fact, Maharashtra and also Dehli are relatively unique in all of South Asia with such high COVID-19 caseloads relative to population size. It makes sense to focus in on why that might be the case. This leads us immediately to the story that the Western media refuses to talk about—and we have seen it before. One or the other of two drugs are used widely across South Asia: hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and ivermectin (IVM).

Okay, so I can make that claim. I do so after many conversations, emails, and electronic messages with doctors and researchers in India. But I will back it up here with a few sources.

Let us start with covexit.com, which has faithfully covered topics ignored by the larger media during the pandemic. Covexit invited a team of Indian doctors to tell the story of HCQ/IVM use as prophylaxis and medical therapy in India. While many doctors have recently moved to IVM usage, HCQ has been used broadly across most of India during the pandemic.

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Similarly, Pakistan chose to use HCQ early on during the pandemic and is one of the nations that has produced several studies on treatment results. The rest of South Asia made the same decision, acquiring stocks of the drug from large manufacturers India and Pakistan: Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar all use HCQ to treat COVID-19. Let’s take a look at how all these nations are doing relative to both the U.S. and the entire world (see graph at top).

So, what’s different between Maharashtra and Delhi with respect to the rest of India and South Asia? Instead of relying on HCQ and IVM, many doctors and health officials in Maharashtra and Delhi pushed the expensive and profitable remdesivir drug. Due to its cost and recommended time of usage, remdesivir is not used either as a prophylaxis or for early outpatient treatment. And unlike the cheap and easy-to-produce HCQ and IVM, remdesivir is difficult to replace when it runs out. During this wave in India, many hospitals in Maharashtra and Delhi ran out of the stocks of remdesivir. Perhaps…just perhaps…these contrasts in treatment philosophy make the difference between a substantial viral breakout, and one that is highly manageable.

Where HCQ and IVM are used widely as prophylaxis and to treat COVID-19 early, the outbreaks and deaths are far more manageable. The oxygen doesn’t run out. It’s much like a typical flu season, in fact.

It becomes harder and harder by the day to believe that health officials, pharmaceutical companies, and the media haven’t noticed.

On a positive note, the number of active cases in Maharashtra has begun to recede. Let us hope the trend continues or accelerates.

Here’s the trends bending down as of May 3, 2021

India cases May 3 2021

Footnote:  Media outlets like MSNBC and NPR are stoking Covid alarms generally, and base their stories about India from talking to people like Dr. Sumit Ray, whose hospital in New Delhi is struggling to deal with sick people requiring oxygen support.  As described above, Delhi and Maharashtra are two regions who denied frontline caregivers the use of anti-viral treatment protocols involving HCQ or Ivermectin.  The dire straits are not typical of the entire country, and elsewhere infection rates are coming down.

The Greatest Untold Environmental Success Story

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H/T to Daily Mail for reporting on this study in their article–Warming effect of greenhouse gases ‘has been overestimated’: Ice samples suggest pre-industrial air pollution was WORSE than we thought, and future temperatures will rise more slowly. Excerpts further on, but first I want to comment that Daily Mail missed out on a broader environmental story, where humans are the heroes rather than villains.

My title is based on the researchers’ conclusions confirming that humans deserve more credit than the blame usually dished out for the Modern Warm Period and ending of the Little Ice Age. The money quote from the study itself:

We show that BC (Black Carbon) deposition fluxes in most Antarctic ice cores were roughly constant from 1750 CE to the PD, despite the fact that other anthropogenic emissions—i.e., fossil fuel and biofuel emissions—increased markedly in the SH over the past century (21). This unexpected result can be explained by a large human-induced reduction in wildfire over the same period, as suggested by the fire modeling that we developed independently of the ice core records. The reduced biomass burning emissions largely compensated for the increase in BC emissions from fossil fuel and biofuels.

Thus, by focusing on soot (Black Carbon), researchers were able to compare historical periods when natural, uncontrolled biomass burning dominated, with periods when humans brought biomass burning under control and increasingly sourced their energy instead from underground: first coal, then petroleum and later gas. By cleaning the air of soot, humans removed a major climate coolant which allowed the sun to rewarm the planet. And technological improvements made the burning of coal, oil and gas much cleaner than biomass burning.

Daily Mail Article:

‘Soot deposited in glacier ice directly reflects past atmospheric concentrations so well-dated ice cores provide the most reliable long-term records,’ explained hydrologist Joseph McConnell of the Desert Research Institute in Nevada.

The researchers were surprised to find that the pre-industrial (here defined as 1750–1780) soot levels were considerably higher than was long thought.

‘While most studies have assumed less fire took place in the preindustrial era, the ice cores suggested a much fierier past, at least in the Southern Hemisphere,’ said atmospheric chemist Loretta Mickley, also of Harvard University.

Both the ice core data and the models conclude that soot levels were abundant before the industrial era and remained relatively constant across the 20th century.

As land use changed — and fire activity decreased — emissions from industry increased instead, the models suggest.

The study itself is  Liu et al,  Improved estimates of preindustrial biomass burning reduce the magnitude of aerosol climate forcing in the Southern Hemisphere.  Excerpts in italics wth my bolds.

Abstract

Fire plays a pivotal role in shaping terrestrial ecosystems and the chemical composition of the atmosphere and thus influences Earth’s climate. The trend and magnitude of fire activity over the past few centuries are controversial, which hinders understanding of preindustrial to present-day aerosol radiative forcing.

Here, we present evidence from records of 14 Antarctic ice cores and 1 central Andean ice core, suggesting that historical fire activity in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) exceeded present-day levels. To understand this observation, we use a global fire model to show that overall SH fire emissions could have declined by 30% over the 20th century, possibly because of the rapid expansion of land use for agriculture and animal production in middle to high latitudes.

Radiative forcing calculations suggest that the decreasing trend in SH fire emissions over the past century largely compensates for the cooling effect of increasing aerosols from fossil fuel and biofuel sources.

Introduction

Both climate variability and human activity drive changes in wildfire frequency and magnitude. During the past millennium, the human imprint on wildfire has become increasingly important because of landscape fragmentation through land use and, more recently, through large-scale active fire suppression

For the time scale relevant to climate change in the industrial era, a key uncertainty is where and to what extent human activity has altered fire activity

 As a major source of fire ignition, humans use fire for land clearance, thus introducing fire to areas that are unlikely to burn naturally, such as tropical rainforests or peatlands.  In contrast, recent analyses have suggested that anthropogenic land cover change and landscape fragmentation significantly reduce fire in savannas by affecting fuel load and fire spread, and the fire activity over human-managed land is lower than that under natural conditions.  For example, the global burned area observed by satellite decreased 24% over the past two decades, mainly driven by agricultural expansion and intensification

Before the satellite era, regional and global fire trends have been reconstructed using several types of proxy records, such as charcoal from lake sediments, fire-scarred tree rings, and chemical impurities or trace gases preserved in ice cores. However, large discrepancies remain among different records, and there is an especially large uncertainty in the trend of fire emissions over the past two centuries. On the global scale, the use of fossil fuel and biofuels has increased and become the major source of carbonaceous aerosols, methane, ethane, and carbon monoxide (CO) in the present day (PD), which may confound interpretation of fire activity from these proxies in ice cores. Chemical transport models considering these different sources are therefore needed for the interpretation of ice core records.

Dynamic global vegetation models have been used to simulate historical fire emissions. However, different models demonstrate quite different trends of fire activity from the late preindustrial (PI) Holocene to the PD, mainly because of divergent assumptions regarding the response of fire to human demographic growth and to changes in land use and land cover.

Discussion

Large uncertainty in the PI aerosol loading thus results from uncertainty in PI fire emissions. Knowledge of PI aerosol loading is, however, a key for global climate assessments that consider aerosol forcing. This forcing typically quantifies the PD aerosol effect on radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), relative to the aerosol effect in the PI (1750 or 1850 CE). Biomass burning emits both light-absorbing black carbon (BC) and light-scattering organic carbon (OC) aerosols, thus directly influencing the radiative balance via aerosol-radiation interactions. Physically and chemically aged smoke particles also serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), consequently altering cloud albedo and indirectly affecting the radiative balance via aerosol-cloud interactions. In addition, the cloud albedo forcing of other emissions, such as fossil fuel and biofuel emissions, is highly nonlinear and largely depends on the CCN concentration of the PI baseline, which is, in turn, determined by biomass burning in the PI. A recent work by Hamilton et al. suggests that a revised PI biomass burning emission scenario that is consistent with Northern Hemisphere ice core records can reduce the calculated mean global cloud albedo forcing magnitude by 35%, compared to the estimate using emissions prescribed in the Sixth Coupled Model Intercomparison (CMIP6).

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Figure 5A shows the time series of the cloud albedo forcing since 1750 owing to changes in both anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions. The shaded area represents the estimated uncertainty considering the error propagation from the variabilities in the input of emissions and meteorology. Simulation with the LPJ-LMfire emissions yields a less negative cloud albedo forcing than that with the BB4CMIP emissions. For the year 2000, the simulation with LPJ-LMfire predicts a mean cloud albedo forcing of −0.33 W m−2 for the SH, compared with a value of −0.52 W m−2 using the BB4CMIP emissions. These results indicate that cloud albedo forcing in the SH is very sensitive to the change in biomass burning emissions. The difference between BB4CMIP and LPJ-LMfire biomass burning emissions can also influence estimates of the PI CCN number concentration in the SH (fig. S7), thus changing the baseline of climate assessments. Under the relatively clean conditions of the PI SH, changes in the CCN number concentration have a greater impact on cloud albedo forcing than they would under the more polluted conditions of the Northern Hemisphere (fig. S8).

Figure 5B depicts the values of direct radiative forcing due to aerosol-radiation interactions calculated for total aerosol (i.e., including biomass burning, fossil fuel, and biofuel emissions) using different biomass burning emission inventories. To separate the contributions of fossil fuel and biofuel versus biomass burning aerosols, we also show the direct radiative forcing of anthropogenic emissions only (Fig. 5B). The increase of anthropogenic emissions alone from 1750 to 2000 has a direct radiative forcing of −0.05 W m−2. Over the same period, the increase in biomass burning emissions suggested by BB4CMIP has an additional negative forcing of −0.03 W m−2, and the total aerosol direct forcing is −0.08 W m−2. In contrast, the total aerosol direct radiative forcing calculated when using LPJ-LMfire emissions is just −0.02 W m−2, indicating that the positive forcing of decreasing biomass burning largely compensates the negative forcing of the increasing anthropogenic emissions. These results suggest that the difference in biomass burning emissions can dominate the magnitude of aerosol direct radiative forcing in the SH. Even so, the values of direct radiative forcing are generally one order of magnitude smaller than those of cloud albedo forcing, suggesting that the climate impact of biomass burning emissions is primarily caused by the cloud albedo effect.

In this study, we perform a comprehensive analysis of fire activity and its associated aerosol radiative forcing for the Southern Hemisphere (SH) over the past 250 years. We achieve this by combining an array of Antarctic ice core records of BC deposition, dynamic global vegetation and fire modeling, and atmospheric chemistry transport modeling. We show that BC deposition fluxes in most Antarctic ice cores were roughly constant from 1750 CE to the PD, despite the fact that other anthropogenic emissions—i.e., fossil fuel and biofuel emissions—increased markedly in the SH over the past century (21). This unexpected result can be explained by a large human-induced reduction in wildfire over the same period, as suggested by the fire modeling that we developed independently of the ice core records. The reduced biomass burning emissions largely compensated for the increase in BC emissions from fossil fuel and biofuels.

These records indicate that the CMIP6 biomass burning emissions widely applied to climate models may underestimate SH fire emissions in the late PI era and further affect estimates of contemporary aerosol radiative forcing. With the improved biomass burning emissions presented here, PI-to-PD aerosol forcing (direct radiative forcing + cloud albedo forcing) in the SH changes from −0.61 to −0.35 W m−2, indicating that large uncertainties in aerosol radiative forcing may stem from uncertainties in the historical trend in biomass burning. Similarly, on the basis of ice core records from Greenland, Europe, and North America, Hamilton et al. (18) suggest that the reduction in biomass burning emissions may also occur in the Northern Hemisphere.

Accurate estimates of aerosol radiative forcing are also crucial for better understanding the transient climate response (TCR) and equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) to increasing CO2 and more accurate projection of future climate change (40). The negative aerosol radiative forcing can, in part, cancel out the positive forcing of increasing greenhouse gases and contribute to the uncertainty of total radiative forcing. An overly large aerosol cooling implies that models might overestimate TCR and ECS to reproduce historical temperature response. A recent study using one of the latest-generation CMIP6 climate models (E3SM) suggested that reducing both the magnitudes of negative aerosol radiative forcing and climate sensitivity yields a better agreement with the observed historical record of the surface temperature. Ten in 27 of the CMIP6 climate models have an ECS higher than the upper end of the range (1.5° to 4.5°C) estimated by previous generation models. These high ECS values, however, are not supported by paleoclimate constraints. Modest aerosol forcing and climate sensitivity values have also been suggested by other observationally based studies (44, 45). Our improved fire emissions may help to bridge the gap between aerosol forcing estimates from current climate model simulations and the constraints from observations.

 

 

May Update: Why Wu Flu Virus Looks Man-made

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All of sudden, legacy and social media are allowing suspicions about the origins of WuFlu.  For example, a Real Politics article Another ‘Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory’ May Prove Correct.  Excerpt in italics with my bolds.

If only we lived in fairytale land, where the little boy’s observation that the emperor has no clothes snapped the people back to reality. In modern America, however, the exposure of delusional prevarications is met with a shrug by the powers that be, who simply move on to the peddling of other untruths.

For more than a year, government experts and their stenographers at our most prestigious media outlets denied what was clear to anybody with a modicum of common sense – that the COVID-19 pandemic that had originated in Wuhan, China, could have originated in the Wuhan lab where scientists were performing dangerous research into coronaviruses.

Background from Previous Post

 

Update March 27, 20121 Ex-CDC Director Believes Wuhan Flu Escaped from a Lab

Live Science reports Ex-CDC director believes COVID-19 escaped from a lab, but cites no evidence

Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  A previous post is reprinted further on showing the evidence not discussed and hand-waved away by Fauci, whose NIH funded the Wuhan research facility from which the virus likely came.

Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN that this was his opinion on the origins of the virus.

“I’m of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, escaped,” Redfield told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “Other people don’t believe that, that’s fine. Science will eventually figure it out.”

Still, a number of scientists say the most likely explanation is that the virus emerged naturally, passing from bats to another animal and then to humans, Live Science previously reported. Recently, a team from the World Health Organization, which is investigating the origins of SARS-CoV-2, said that it agrees with this hypothesis — WHO officials said the virus likely passed from bats to animals on wildlife farms in China, and then to humans, Live Science previously reported.

Redfield said he didn’t believe the bat theory. “Normally, when a pathogen goes from a zoonosis to humans, it takes a while for it to figure out how to become more and more efficient in human-to-human transmission,” Redfield told CNN. “I just don’t think this makes biological sense.”

The former CDC chief wasn’t suggesting SARS-CoV-2 is an engineered virus — another theory with no supporting evidence — just a natural escapee. “In the lab, you think that that process of becoming more efficient was happening?” Gupta asked. [Note:  There is significant evidence of an engineered virus documented in the discussion below.]

“Yeah, let’s just say I have coronavirus that I’m working on. Most of us in the lab, we’re trying to grow a virus, we try to help make it grow better and better and better … so we can do experiments,” Redfield responded.

Why Wu Flu Virus Looks Man-made ( previously posted Sept. 2020)

A virologist who fled China after studying the early outbreak of COVID-19 has published a new report claiming the coronavirus likely came from a lab.  This adds to the analysis done by Dr. Luc Montagnier earlier this year, and summarized in a previous post reprinted later on.  Dr. Yan was interviewed on Fox News, and YouTube has now blocked the video.

If you are wondering why Big Tech is censoring information unflattering to China, see Lee Smith’s Tablet article America’s China Class Launches a New War Against Trump  The corporate, tech, and media elites will not allow the president to come between them and Chinese money

Doctor Li-Meng Yan, a scientist who studied some of the available data on COVID-19 has published her claims on Zenodo, an open access digital platform. She wrote that she believed COVID-19 could have been “conveniently created” within a lab setting over a period of just six months, and “SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus”.

The paper by Yan, Li-Meng; Kang, Shu; Guan, Jie; Hu, Shanchang  is Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Overview

The natural origin theory, although widely accepted, lacks substantial support. The alternative theory that the virus may have come from a research laboratory is, however, strictly censored on peer-reviewed scientific journals. Nonetheless, SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus. In this report, we describe the genomic, structural, medical, and literature evidence, which, when considered together, strongly contradicts the natural origin theory.

The evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 should be a laboratory product created by using bat coronaviruses ZC45 and/or ZXC21 as a template and/or backbone.

Contents

Consistent with this notion, genomic, structural, and literature evidence also suggest a non-natural origin of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, abundant literature indicates that gain-of-function research has long advanced to the stage where viral genomes can be precisely engineered and manipulated to enable the creation of novel coronaviruses possessing unique properties. In this report, we present such evidence and the associated analyses.

Part 1 of the report describes the genomic and structural features of SARS-CoV-2, the presence of which could be consistent with the theory that the virus is a product of laboratory modification beyond what could be afforded by simple serial viral passage. Part 2 of the report describes a highly probable pathway for the laboratory creation of SARS-CoV-2, key steps of which are supported by evidence present in the viral genome. Importantly, part 2 should be viewed as a demonstration of how SARS-CoV-2 could be conveniently created in a laboratory in a short period of time using available materials and well-documented techniques. This report is produced by a team of experienced scientists using our combined expertise in virology, molecular biology, structural biology, computational biology, vaccine development, and medicine.

We present three lines of evidence to support our contention that laboratory manipulation is part of the history of SARS-CoV-2:

i. The genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 is suspiciously similar to that of a bat coronavirus discovered by military laboratories in the Third Military Medical University (Chongqing, China) and the Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command (Nanjing, China).

ii. The receptor-binding motif (RBM) within the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which determines the host specificity of the virus, resembles that of SARS-CoV from the 2003 epidemic in a suspicious manner. Genomic evidence suggests that the RBM has been genetically manipulated.

iii. SARS-CoV-2 contains a unique furin-cleavage site in its Spike protein, which is known to greatly enhance viral infectivity and cell tropism. Yet, this cleavage site is completely absent in this particular class of coronaviruses found in nature. In addition, rare codons associated with this additional sequence suggest the strong possibility that this furin-cleavage site is not the product of natural evolution and could have been inserted into the SARS-CoV-2 genome artificially by techniques other than simple serial passage or multi-strain recombination events inside co-infected tissue cultures or animals.

Background from Previous post June 30, 2020:  Pandemic Update: Virus Weaker, HCQ Stronger

In past weeks there have been anecdotal reports from frontline doctors that patients who would have been flattened fighting off SARS CV2 in April are now sitting up and recovering in a few days. We have also the statistical evidence in the US and Sweden, as two examples, that case numbers are rising while Covid deaths continue declining. One explanation is that the new cases are younger people who have been released from lockdown (in US) with stronger immune systems. But it may also be that the virus itself is losing potency.

In the past I have noticed theories about the origin of the virus, and what makes it “novel.” But when the scientist who identified HIV weighs in, I pay particular attention. The Coronavirus Is Man Made According to Luc Montagnier the Man Who Discovered HIV. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Contrary to the narrative that is being pushed by the mainstream that the COVID 19 virus was the result of a natural mutation and that it was transmitted to humans from bats via pangolins, Dr Luc Montagnier the man who discovered the HIV virus back in 1983 disagrees and is saying that the virus was man made.

Professor Luc Montagnier, 2008 Nobel Prize winner for Medicine, claims that SARS-CoV-2 is a manipulated virus that was accidentally released from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Chinese researchers are said to have used coronaviruses in their work to develop an AIDS vaccine. HIV RNA fragments are believed to have been found in the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

“With my colleague, bio-mathematician Jean-Claude Perez, we carefully analyzed the description of the genome of this RNA virus,” explains Luc Montagnier, interviewed by Dr Jean-François Lemoine for the daily podcast at Pourquoi Docteur, adding that others have already explored this avenue: Indian researchers have already tried to publish the results of the analyses that showed that this coronavirus genome contained sequences of another virus, … the HIV virus (AIDS virus), but they were forced to withdraw their findings as the pressure from the mainstream was too great.

To insert an HIV sequence into this genome requires molecular tools

In a challenging question Dr Jean-François Lemoine inferred that the coronavirus under investigation may have come from a patient who is otherwise infected with HIV. No, “says Luc Montagnier,” in order to insert an HIV sequence into this genome, molecular tools are needed, and that can only be done in a laboratory.

According to the 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine, a plausible explanation would be an accident in the Wuhan laboratory. He also added that the purpose of this work was the search for an AIDS vaccine.

In any case, this thesis, defended by Professor Luc Montagnier, has a positive turn.

According to him, the altered elements of this virus are eliminated as it spreads: “Nature does not accept any molecular tinkering, it will eliminate these unnatural changes and even if nothing is done, things will get better, but unfortunately after many deaths.”

This is enough to feed some heated debates! So much so that Professor Montagnier’s statements could also place him in the category of “conspiracy theorists”: “Conspirators are the opposite camp, hiding the truth,” he replies, without wanting to accuse anyone, but hoping that the Chinese will admit to what he believes happened in their laboratory.

To entice a confession from the Chinese he used the example of Iran which after taking full responsibility for accidentally hitting a Ukrainian plane was able to earn the respect of the global community. Hopefully the Chinese will do the right thing he adds. “In any case, the truth always comes out, it is up to the Chinese government to take responsibility.”

Implications: Leaving aside the geopolitics, this theory also explains why the virus weakens when mutations lose the unnatural pieces added in the lab. Since this is an RNA (not DNA) sequence mutations are slower, but inevitable. If correct, this theory works against fears of a second wave of infections. It also gives an unintended benefit from past lockdowns and shutdowns, slowing the rate of infections while the virus degrades itself.

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Biden Climate Agenda Heads into Perfect Storm

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Michael Shellenberger writes at Forbes Why Biden’s Climate Agenda Is Falling Apart.  He suggests that there are multiple forces opposing it,  not only political but also laws of physics. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The Gathering Storm

Since taking office in January, President Joe Biden and Democrats have projected confidence that they will be able to pass climate infrastructure and budget legislation to expand renewables.

But in recent weeks, that confidence has rapidly faded. “I don’t think the votes are there in a reconciliation bill for the climate infrastructure-type issues,” an insider told the Washington Post.

Senate Democrats are not likely going to be able to use this year’s budget resolution to put together what is known as a reconciliation package. “Senior Democrats privately don’t believe they can finish work on a second reconciliation package,” noted a political reporter, “using the 2021 budget resolution by the end of the fiscal year, which is Sept. 30.”

What that means is that “the debate over [climate] infrastructure could drag well into the fall, which will put it on a collision path with the government funding and debt-limit skirmishes.”

“Liberals and environmental groups are wary that a narrow infrastructure deal now may lead centrist lawmakers to lose interest in advancing other expensive legislation,” wrote the Post, “which could leave climate and other progressive priorities on the cutting-room floor.”

Biden and Democrats may win some federal money for transmission lines and electric car refueling stations, and declare victory, seeking to prosecute the rest of their 100% renewable energy vision at the state level. The White House and Governor Gavin Newsom announced earlier this week plans to build a massive industrial wind energy project along California’s coastline.

And there is strong renewables advocacy within large, multinational corporations. A Dutch court ordered Shell to cut its emissions by 45 percent by 2030. Chevron CVX -1.1% shareholders voted to cut customer emissions. And Exxon, worried about losing directors to a climate activist resolution, halted a shareholder meeting to count late votes.

But the court orders and shareholder activism are, like United Nations treaties, mostly noise. The U.S. reduced emissions more than any other nation in the world between 2000 and 2020, and more than President Obama had promised America would, because of the fracking revolution, not because of the Paris Climate Agreement, which Trump pulled out of.

Nations (and states like California) that cannot for economic reasons meet their climate commitments simply change the target to farther off in time, while adding targets that sound more aggressive to journalists with little awareness of history. Corporations will do the same.

green-jobs

If Shell, Exxon, and Chevron do anything that harms their bottom lines, then they will be punished by shareholders, and other companies will emerge to take over their markets. The vast majority of human beings want high rather than low economic growth, and so politicians ultimately choose policies that make energy cheap, not expensive.

And the limitations of weather-dependent renewables are more visible than ever. If California’s large wind energy project is built, it will provide less than half of the energy of California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant Newsom is planning to close in 2025, and it will be unreliable. During the heatwave-driven blackouts last summer, there was little wind in California or other Western states, meaning we can’t count on wind energy when we need it most.

In other words, the Democrats’ climate change and renewable energy agenda is rapidly falling apart, and the reasons have far more to do with physics than with politics.

The Democrats Plan to Increase Energy Dependence

The Biden Administration announced earlier this week that there would not be a significant expansion of lithium, rare earth, and other mining in the U.S. for electric car batteries and renewables, dashing the hopes of labor unions.

Already unions were upset since they stand to lose tens of thousands of members if Congress follows through on Democrats’ plans to switch the country from natural gas and petroleum-powered vehicles, homes, and power plants to ones powered by solar panels made in China and minerals imported from abroad.

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The trouble for Democrats in the U.S. and greens in Europe is that they are not only attempting to make energy significantly more expensive and less reliable, as California and Germany did, they are also proposing to make their economies more dependent on foreign nations. That position was problematic before 2021. Now, it is unethical.

It’s now obvious that China made solar panels cheap not through innovation but rather through heavy subsidies, dirty coal, and enslaved ethnic Muslims, the Uyghur (pronounced ‘we gur’), against whom China’s totalitarian government is committing genocide, according the U.S. State Department and Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag.

Republicans will have little trouble attacking the Democrats’ climate infrastructure agenda on 30-second TV and radio ads, perhaps even paid for by labor unions, in America’s heartland, during the 2022 midterm elections. Moderate Democrats like Pennsylvania’s Conor Lamb knows this, as does Nancy Pelosi.

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Democratic frustration spilled out into the open on Monday. “You cannot negotiate a climate bill with climate deniers,” tweeted U.S. Senator Edward Markey (D-MA). Markey’s tweet inspired an angry response from Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw. “You aren’t, you liar. We aren’t denying climate change, we are just pointing out that your ‘solutions’ will hurt people, and do nothing to prevent climate change.

I testified six times before Congress over the last year and not once did a Republican in one of the climate change, science, or agricultural committees deny the reality of climate change or humankind’s contribution to it. When I pointed this out on Twitter, people responded by posting articles claiming to offer evidence of widespread climate denial among Republicans in Congress. But what they call “climate denial” was often Republican denial that weather-dependent renewables can power America.

Without a doubt there are still some Republican climate skeptics in Congress. “Maybe perhaps we live on a ball that rotates around the sun, that flies through the universe, and maybe our climate just changes,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. But the vast majority of other Republicans, including all of the ones I interacted with through my testimony, accept the reality that humans are warming the planet.

More problematic for Democrats is that Greene’s energy message is far more popular than the Green New Deal with many Democratic voters. “Our ability to export oil and gas,” she tweeted, “gives the US great negotiating power in the world,” a statement that has the added benefit of being true.

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The Real Reason They Oppose Nuclear

Meanwhile, efforts by Democrats from Alexandira Ocasio-Cortez to Senator Ed Markey to California Governor Gavin Newsom to shut down nuclear power plants are increasing carbon emissions, which undermines their assertion that climate change is the most important problem in the world.

And conflicts of interest are becoming more visible. “BlackRock recently replaced one departing White House insider with another,” noted Bloomberg. “Paul Bodnar, an Obama-era climate-policy aide, is now the firm’s sustainable investing head, taking over from Brian Deese, who returned to politics as President Joe Biden’s National Economic Council chair. The firm has hired more than a dozen alumni from the Obama administration over the years.”

It is hard not to get the impression that the real reason Democrats, Blackrock BLK 0.0%, and Chinese solar makers don’t like nuclear power is because it means we don’t need renewables to address climate change. While Democrats could get away with using renewables to greenwash their anti-nuclear agenda in the past, those days are coming to an end.

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In November, the European Union’s watchdog ruled that the European Commission had failed to fully consider why BlackRock’s investments in Chinese solar, wind, and electric cars created a financial conflict of interest in its ability to create supposedly objective environmental, social, and governance criteria for so-called “ESG” investing.

It turns out that BlackRock manipulated ESG criteria to favor solar over nuclear, even though solar requires 300 – 400 times more land than nuclear, demands 18 times more steel, and produces 300 times more hazardous waste.

The dark truth about China’s solar panel production should have been enough to force Democrats to seriously reconsider their 100% renewables agenda, but it may require another highly visible defeat in Congress to make them appreciate why increasing America’s reliance on inefficient, weather-dependent, and made-in-China energy sources is bad politics, in addition to being bad physics.

zero-cents

 

Joakim Book Skewers Sacred Environmental Cows

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Joakim Book is an economist and social observer with a knack for pithy critiques of current governmental foibles.  He has pierced the fog of global warming/climate change hysteria in several articles, but his POV is best summarized in his AIER essay Climate Catastrophism and a Sensible Environmentalism.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  If you are familiar or not with his work, enjoy the read and do explore the links

Like many of us, I had an iconic and charismatic high school teacher who left a lasting impression. He used to say something memorable about asking for forgiveness: “Apologize if you’re in the wrong,” he said, “but double down if you’re not.”

As the pro-lockdown media poured its anger over the Great Barrington Declaration and other voices for human freedom and dignity have been silenced or viciously attacked, allow me to heed my high school teacher’s great advice ‒ and double down.

Much of the outrage over AIER’s sponsoring and hosting of the Declaration had nothing to do with what the scientists in it said, or even the topic of societal disagreement that it captures. Conspiratorial writers from Byline Times to The Guardian as well as editors at Wikipedia attacked AIER for a minor, inconsequential connection to the “evil” Koch Foundation, damning the Institute’s efforts in a laughable attempt of guilt-by-association.

As a carte blanche ‒ the ultimate “gotcha” in these unenlightened and confused times ‒ many of these outlets attacked AIER for “downplay[ing] the threats of the environmental crisis,” and linked specifically to a number of my climate change articles.

I don’t see how I have anything to apologize for regarding what’s in those articles ‒ so instead I’ll double down.

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How to do environmentalism, and how not to do environmentalism

A tragic dissonance has emerged in most popular climate arguments: a childlike refusal of accepting the lesser of two evils, of trading off one goal for another. The more ardently you push climate policies, it seems, the more strongly you hold romantic and unrealistic beliefs about how we can repent for our environmentalist sins. In impossibly short times, it is believed, we can effortlessly transition to 100% renewable energy; overhaul society completely, but at no cost whatsoever; and our restrictive climate policies will even boost our economies and create jobs!

You must presume that the world is a pretty sinister place if greedy capitalists, supposedly in it for the money, are all leaving these “obvious” opportunities on the table.

Never mind that renewables ‒ or more aptly called “unreliables” ‒ can’t power a modern civilization, that their intermittency problem is light years behind where its proponents assume it to be, that they’re not energy-dense enough to provide us with the energy and electricity we want. Without the amazing help of fossil fuels we couldn’t do half the things we’re currently doing ‒ living, eating, flourishing, helping, traveling (well…), producing.

None of that matters; we need to fix the climate, activists say, and quell CO2 emissions urgently. But while we’re at it we must also ensure equal gender representation on corporate boards, and shut down tax havens, and confiscate the rich’s productive assets. And naturally, end racial inequality, and most certainly regulate who may use a public bathroom carrying this or that gendered sign on it.

A cynic, perhaps reaching for a tin foil hat or the closest religious text to understand how this could possibly make sense, would conclude that catastrophists are not really addressing the problem they say they are. Alternatively, climate change can’t be that bad if the same Green New Deal bill that saves humanity is littered with minimum wage laws and paid maternity leave and a range of other social policies that just happen to align with what the hard-left has long wanted.

But we don’t have to be cynics to derive this conclusion: its proponents freely and openly say so. The British organization ‘Extinction Rebellion,’ whose infamous promoters chain themselves to trains and block London roads for media attention (or sling fake blood at buildings), happily confess that they do things that feel right rather than what would have material impact for their cause.

For years, people like Naomi Klein, the author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, have said that their goal is to destroy capitalism ‒ and climate change just happens to be the best tool and best argument she has found. Simon Hannah for OpenDemocracy describes capitalism as having a “’parasitoid’ relationship to the Earth.” Capitalism, he writes, “is simply incompatible with social justice” and the climate change issue offers a vivid illustration of this.

If you’re concerned about these other societal problems ‒ which you could be as they are serious concerns in their own right ‒ then you’re also unavoidably telling me that you don’t think the climate crisis is existential or even that bad. After all, if you think climate change will kill millions or billions of people, why would you bother, for instance, throwing everything and the kitchen sink at a coronavirus the mortality of which is a rounding error compared to the apocalyptic climate future you see? (When faced with claims of mass death, always ask how exactly that’s supposed to happen as we’re safer, richer, better fed, and better protected against the powers of nature than ever before).

The worse and more unavoidable the damages from a changing planet are, the more acute does a rapid transition to nuclear power look, and the greater the merits of geoengineering ‒ for instance, artificially spewing out sulfur into the high atmosphere, mimicking large volcano eruptions of the past.

Michael Shellenberger, a pro-nuclear environmentalist, writes

The problem posed by the existence of nuclear energy was that it proved we didn’t need to radically reorganize society to solve environmental problems. We just needed to build nuclear plants instead of coal-burning ones. And so the New Left environmentalists attacked nuclear energy as somehow bad for the environment.

[S]olar farms require hundreds of times more land, an order of magnitude more mining for materials, and create hundreds of times more waste, than do nuclear plants. And wind farms kill hundreds of thousands of threatened and endangered birds, may make the hoary bat go extinct, and kill more people than nuclear plants.

Nuclear energy should be the environmentalist’s greatest gift: in one fell swoop we could make a serious dent in CO2 emissions. But of course, the more ardent an environmentalist you are, the more fiercely you oppose nuclear, going nuts from just voicing the option (“Nuclear is awful, filthy, unclean, dangerous, and unsafe!”).

It’s like all the previous arguments about how devastating human civilization is for the planet, how desperately urgent it is for us to take action, that we “listen to the scientists” as Greta Thunberg urges us, just go out the window. Well, not those scientists, explaining how modern nuclear plants can safely power our societies. Or how unreliables give us higher electricity prices and more CO2 emissions in our electricity mix. Or how modern engineering can tame the sea. Or how modern information technology, large-scale supply chains, and construction of storm shelters have reduced Bangladeshi deaths from cyclones by 99% in a generation, even though Bangladesh has a much larger population today.

Sensible and Balanced Approach

We should deal with the threats of climate change, but we should do so sensibly and in conjunction with other threats. Because one thing is dangerous and potentially harmful, every other dangerous and harmful thing doesn’t just go away. Do things like the World Health Organization recommends here, things that help against the baseline danger of nature as well as the increased risk from climate change:

The development of a 500 metre coastal mangrove forest zone will further reduce the vulnerability to cyclones, which is especially important given the likelihood of a rise in sea level and an increase in tropical storm frequency and strength due to climate change.

In a special climate issue of the Scientific American from last year, climate scientist Jennifer Francis was accounting for recent extreme weather events. After several long paragraphs outlining how bad the record-setting heat waves of the 2018 summer had been in the U.S., Japan, Scandinavia, and in the Arctic, she wrote, “Worldwide, thousands of people without air-conditioning died.” (emphasis added)

Yes, exactly! Scorching heat waves are bad for people, with or without climate change. A sensible, effective, and direct way to fix that… is ensuring that people have access to air-conditioning! Instead of aiming for some elaborate government-mandated degrowth platform, circular economies, carbon tax, or subsidies for solar and wind ‒ how about just giving people cash for air conditioners? That should be much more effective in preventing deaths from inhospitable elements, even if climate change makes nature a little bit less safe for humans.

Most changes to the climate can’t be rolled back

What’s scary about the climate impact of the CO2 we’ve already emitted into the atmosphere is that it lingers there for hundreds of years. Unless we find a way to remove it from the skies, much of what will happen to the planet over the next century or so is already “baked in.”  That also means that we must prepare for those changes rather than muck about with blunt tools like carbon taxes or symbolic bans on plastic bags.

So let’s abandon fanciful and fleetingly ineffective climate policies.

  • Let’s rapidly transition to the cleanest and most reliable electricity source we have (nuclear).
  • Let’s build protective dams along vulnerable coastlines, and experiment with ways to raise and reclaim land from the sea.
  • Most importantly ‒ and globally just ‒ let’s make sure the poorest of the poor can enrich themselves enough so that they too stand a chance against the inevitable changes that we know will come.
  • Let’s stop torturing ourselves with totalitarian policies against a virus we can’t control.
  • Let’s stop injuring poor countries with our obstacles to their goods and services, and their migrating people.

Those are climate policies that a sensible, pro-human environmentalist could get behind. Blunt and small-impact carbon taxes, Paris Agreements with next-to-no effect, or symbolic gestures like recycling ‒ not so much.

How’s that for doubling down?

Joakim Book is a writer, researcher and editor on all things money, finance and financial history. He holds a masters degree from the University of Oxford and has been a visiting scholar at the American Institute for Economic Research in 2018 and 2019.  His AIER essays are here.  As readers can see from the above article, Book creates many provocative capsules.  Some examples from his work:

Reshuffling who owns the instruments that finance the physical assets that emit the byproduct CO2 doesn’t change anything about their emissions: the CO2 enters the atmosphere whether you, me, Warren Buffett, or Russian oligarchs own the facilities.

Still, none of the mainstreaming structures we had built over decades turned the tide as much as did an iconic, blonde, white(!) girl with Asperger’s. . . Following her popular success, the most powerful institutions in our fiat world – the central banks – have not resisted the pull of this inane black hole. They “want to become the guardians of the environment as well” begins Simon Clark’s recent article in the Wall Street Journal, identifying an eerie trend of mission creep and central bank activism. They can’t hit their own targets very well, but still wish to dabble in everybody else’s.

Years ago I suggested that climate activists pool their funds and go into the (re)insurance business, specifically to address their concerns about financial climate risk. With a longer time horizon and lower required rate of return, you might even have an edge over financial incumbents.

Politics is a game that shifts the natural and inherent relationship between human beings. Ordinarily, people in their commercial or civic engagements have strong incentives to harmonize, to avoid conflict, streamline, make efficiency gains, and reach workable consensus; they have skin in the game, bear responsibility and costs for the (negative) outcomes of their actions, and often simply want to get on with their lives. Politicians, involved in their sinister games, disrupt this harmony.

We have four centuries of evidence that, over time and on net, the market process that enriches us gradually overtakes the government power that impoverishes us. But during this time, we can have long periods where government power makes life worse, over and above what innovation, growth, and individual ingenuity could marshal.

Media coverage inundates us with a constant flow of catastrophes from one part or the world or another, while overlooking the great non-events of the world. When super cyclones kill 128 people instead of the hundreds of thousands they used to or would have, we don’t even hear about them. When hundreds of thousands of people are lifted out of extreme poverty a day, every day, that’s no longer newsworthy. The result is, Gapminder notes, that “people end up carrying around a sack of outdated facts that you got in school (including knowledge that often was outdated when acquired in school).”

Doctors abide by the “First, do no harm” promise. Maybe journalists should too.

Far from being settled, climate science is tricky: we don’t know well what happens to global temperatures when atmospheric CO2 doubles (“climate sensitivity”); we can’t properly model clouds and cloud formation, crucial for how much of the sun’s incoming heat will be reflected away; the range for best-guesses as to what the global temperature rise over the coming century will be is vast (maybe 1° Celsius – maybe 5° Celsius) – so vast, in fact, that it hardly warrants a quantification.

The sustainability crowd has managed to make this word mean a lot more things than that. So much so that the same Cambridge Dictionary lists a secondary meaning for ‘sustainable:’ “Causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time”(emphasis added). The secondary meaning of its opposite, ‘unsustainable,’ is similarly bonkers: “causing damage to the environment by using more of something than can be replaced naturally.”  Lots of things are wrong with these seemingly innocent lines, and I’ll focus on three: the environment as a friendly sentient being, the causal chain between environmental damage and sustainability, and the replacement rate of resources.

Human beings are the organism that has been the most successful at removing nature’s obstacles from our path, and protecting ourselves from its damaging forces. Even though there are six billion more of us today than in 1900, fewer people die at the hand of nature’s powers. That’s us impacting the environment and it is cause for celebration. Impact away!

For some reason, Joakim Book reminds me of Jimbob:

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Who runs education

 

jimbob 15M people

 

Dumb and Dumber Energy Advice from NYT

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Benjamin Zycher at Real Clear Markets takes the NYT to task for its stupid article about fossil fuel infrastructure, awarding it The Dumbest New York Times Op-Ed of 2021.  Of course there are many months left for NYT to publish even worse inanities this year.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds. I have reorganized the content to juxtapose the wild claims with sober facts.

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Summer still is weeks away, but already we have a winner in the fierce competition for the coveted title of “Dumbest New York Times opinion column of 2021.” The envelope please… and the winner is “Why Charles Koch Wins When Our Energy System Breaks Down,” by someone named Christopher Leonard. One really does have to read this column to grasp — actually, to marvel at — the inanity of Leonard’s argument, which can be summarized as follows.

Claim:
Our fossil-fuel infrastructure — pipelines in particular, and refineries as well — is “increasingly unreliable” and “dominated by a very small group of very profitable companies.”

Fact:  
Leonard does not tell us what he means in his assertion that U.S. pipelines are “increasingly unreliable” — it is easy to infer that he has no idea — but if we define “reliability” as the annual number of adverse pipeline incidents, there has been no trend since 2002, even as pipeline mileage increased almost 63 percent between 2004 and 2019.

Claim:
The Colonial Pipeline shut down in 2016, and again this month due to a cyberattack, but the five companies that own Colonial “profit handsomely off its operations and earn outsize profits in the face of the bottlenecks and supply squeezes caused by shutdowns.”

Fact:  
That is absurd: The pipeline generates revenue only when it is moving product; if it is not operational it is not generating revenue.

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Claim:
The 2016 shutdown “didn’t seem to hurt the owners’ earnings” in that afterward “Colonial boosted its annual dividends — at least in part because of the Trump administration’s 2017 tax cuts.”  The growth in Colonial’s investments in updating and protecting the pipeline have been “modest, while dividend payments have risen sharply.”

Fact:  
Apart from Leonard’s confusion about whether it is due to the 2016 shutdown or to the 2017 tax cut, he apparently has no concept of the factors addressed by corporate managers as they determine the appropriate dividend. In particular, a dividend change is driven by the evaluation of the after-tax return to shareholders from retaining more financial capital within the firm compared with that from distributing more to the shareholders. An increase in the dividend suggests that the latter has increased relative to the former, presumably in this case because of the nuances of the 2017 tax bill. Were the Kochs responsible for that?

Claim:
Charles Koch “has profited for years off similar energy bottlenecks in the upper Midwest” because of such infrastructure investments as the Pine Bend refinery, which “owes its profitability to its location in the middle of a broken fuel market.” Koch “buys cheap crude” in a market “oversupplied” with Canadian crude oil, after which “Koch then sells its finished fuel into an undersupplied gasoline market in the upper Midwest.”

Fact:  
And about that “oversupplied” (whatever that means) midwestern market for Canadian crude oil: The midwestern refinery market would be far less “oversupplied” had the Keystone XL pipeline been approved at long last, delivering heavy Canadian crude oil to the Gulf coast refineries designed to refine it. Did Charles Koch urge the Biden administration to reject the pipeline? Has Leonard criticized that decision? I can find no record of any such stance on his part.

And then there is Leonard’s assertion that the gasoline market in the upper Midwest is “undersupplied” (whatever that means). The Energy Information Administration divides the U.S. gasoline market into five regions (“PADDs”). As of May 24, Gulf Coast gasoline prices were the lowest, followed by the Midwest, and then (in ascending order) the East Coast, the Rocky Mountain states, and the West Coast, the last of which had the highest prices even excluding California. What is Leonard talking about?

Claim:
Regulatory hurdles have paved the way for these profits for decades.” “The Clean Air Act… made it nearly impossible for competitors to open a refinery near Pine  Bend” to increase competitive pressures.

Fact:  

The comedy highlight of Leonard’s column is the assertion that it is the Clean Air Act, regulatory obstacles to new pipeline investment, and general “regulatory stasis and dysfunction” that have yielded the “outsize profits” enjoyed by the Kochs. Leonard seems actually to believe this: “Just by letting the broken market limp along, Koch Industries reaps extraordinary profits from a broken system.” So the Kochs are vastly more powerful than anyone could imagine, responsible for the regulatory morass, for the ideological leftist political opposition to fossil infrastructure, for NIMBYism, and for allowing the “broken market” to “limp along.” Just as the pipeline owners win whether the pipelines are operating or not, Leonard clearly believes that they earn “outsize profits” whether the regulatory environment is light or dysfunctional. Who knew?

Claim: 
Regulatory fights benefit big refiners that can afford expensive legal experts and lobbyists: “Koch benefits from regulatory stasis and dysfunction.”

Fact:  

The utter stupidity of Leonard’s argument is illustrated by his assertion toward the end of the column that “new wind farms or solar installations could open up a whole new energy market.” Somehow, I was led to believe that Leonard’s argument was about pipelines and refineries and gasoline prices, and the ability of the Kochs to earn large profits no matter what. But no: An endorsement of unconventional electricity, expensive and environmentally destructive, just had to be shoehorned in as an exercise in virtue-signaling par excellence despite the reality that it has nothing to do with Leonard’s silly central argument. Or does he want to argue that more wind farms will reduce gasoline prices in the Midwest?

Conclusion

And so we arrive at the larger reality illustrated by the Leonard column. Misguided, illogical, and at odds with the facts, it is of a piece with the broad opposition of the environmental left to energy infrastructure generally, and pipeline investments in particular. Utter incoherence is the inevitable result of that ideological opposition to fossil fuels, one impervious to facts and analytic rigor, and dependent upon arguments fundamentally inconsistent. That opposition is anti-human at its core because it implies opposition to investment in human capital — education, training, health care, etc. — and the improved human well being that has the effect of increasing the demand for energy and its infrastructure. Forget the Kochs; they are a bogeyman and red herring the mere mention of which is intended to elicit a Pavlovian reaction from the enlightened invitees to the right cocktail parties.

The real bogeymen are the New York Times opinion editors who found such drivel fit to print, a measure of the intellectual depths to which they have sunk.

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See Also Shellenberger to NYT: Isn’t a correction merited?