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Messages - John of Wallan

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1
Environment / Re: Crazy Weather: hot hot hot
« on: Today at 02:21:28 AM »
While everyone is distracted by trivial issues, like trying to stay sane, the elepant in the room continues to fart loadly....

JOW

Link:
https://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/annual-heat-records-tumble-as-global-warming-trend-continues-20210115-p56ub4.html

Text:
Annual heat records tumble as global warming trend continues
Miki Perkins
By Miki Perkins
January 15, 2021 — 1.32pm

Was 2020 the record hottest year on earth or did it tie with 2016?

The answer lies in tiny differences in how scientific agencies collect data, but their results all reveal the same urgent reality: the past seven years on earth have been the hottest on record, a global warming trend that is driven by climate change and set to continue.

Data shows 2020 was a year of record temperatures.

New temperature analysis from NASA reveals Earth's 2020 global average surface temperature effectively tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record, despite the cooling La Nina weather pattern.

The globally-averaged temperature last year was 1.02 degrees warmer than the NASA baseline (1951-1980) and edged out the record set in 2016 by a tiny amount.

Earth's average temperature has risen more than 1.2 degrees since the late 19th century, according to NASA.

"The last seven years have been the warmest seven years on record, typifying the ongoing and dramatic warming trend," said Gavin Schmidt, the director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA.

"Whether one year is a record or not is not really that important – the important things are long-term trends. With these trends, and as the human impact on the climate increases, we have to expect that records will continue to be broken."

In a slight contrast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its own results, which show the rise in temperature for 2020 was just 0.02 degrees shy of 2016's record.

NOAA scientists use much of the same raw temperature data in their analysis as NASA, but have a different baseline period (1901-2000) and methodology. Similarly the United Kingdom Met Office ranked 2020 as the second-warmest year on record.

Climate change is driving rapid global warming and worsening the impacts of natural variability, said Climate Council expert Will Steffen.

China has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2060.

"Right now, we are on track for catastrophic climate change of 3 degrees celsius of heating and maybe more. At just over 1 degree of heating, we are already paying a serious price, as we have seen with the recent Black Summer bushfires, prolonged drought and the third mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in five years," Professor Steffen said.

"Year after year, decade after decade, temperature records continue to tumble because we continue to burn coal, oil and gas. It must stop."

In 2020, the Australian bushfires burned 46 million acres of land, and smoke and particles in the atmosphere blocked sunlight and probably cooled the atmosphere slightly, NASA's analysis found.

Year after year, decade after decade, temperature records continue to tumble because we continue to burn coal, oil and gas.

However, the agency also said global shutdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic reduced air pollution in many areas, allowing more sunlight to reach the earth's surface and producing small but potentially significant warming.

Overall, carbon dioxide concentrations continued to increase, and since warming is related to cumulative emissions, the overall amount of avoided warming will be minimal, according to NASA.

Professor Steffen said he was encouraged to see state and territory governments stepping up their climate commitments: "2021 needs to be a year of climate action because failure is not an option."

2
Energy / Re: Oil Glut... Oil supply crunch
« on: Today at 01:18:05 AM »
Interesting video.

Link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PjXDrP5OG0&feature=emb_logo

Related text:
SCHEDULE YOUR FREE PORTFOLIO REVIEW with Mike & John and the New Harbor Financial team here: https://www.greylockpeak.com/
Like it or not, our modern way of life remains extremely dependent on oil. And even using the rosiest of forecasts, that's not going to change anytime soon.
Which is why petroleum geologist Art Berman's prediction of a 30% spike in oil prices later this year is so worrisome.
If it indeed occurs, it will be another painful gut-shot to a global economy still struggling to recover from the damage inflicted by the pandemic.
When the price of oil rises, the price of everything goes up. And there are many vulnerable businesses that simply won't be able to withstand this double-digit increase to their cost structure in today's environment.
The ripple effects will be severe and widespread.
More company closures. More lost jobs. Lower stock prices. But higher prices at the gas pump and the grocery store.
Which is why now, more than ever, is the time to partner with a financial advisor who understands the nature of the risks and opportunities in play, can craft an appropriate portfolio strategy for you given your needs, and apply sound risk management protection where appropriate.
Anyone interested in scheduling a free consultation and portfolio review with Mike Preston and John Llodra and their team at New Harbor Financial can do so by clicking here:
https://www.greylockpeak.com/
And if you're one of the many readers brand new to Peak Prosperity over the past few months, we strongly urge you get your financial situation in order in parallel with your ongoing physical coronavirus preparations.
We recommend you do so in partnership with a professional financial advisor who understands the macro risks to the market that we discuss on this website. If you've already got one, great.
But if not, consider talking to the team at New Harbor. We've set up this 'free consultation' relationship with them to help folks exactly like you.
https://www.greylockpeak.com/

3
Knarfs Knewz / Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« on: Today at 12:35:51 AM »
As many states enter a new wave of more stringent measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, users on social media have been sharing posts that question the purpose of so called “lockdowns”. Some posts falsely claim that these measures “don’t save lives”. This article examines some of the reasons why lockdowns have been called, and how effective they have been.

An example of a lockdown-sceptic post circulating on social media features the screenshot of an entry in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary on the word “lockdown”, which includes a definition that reads: “the confinement of prisoners to their cells for all or most of the day as a temporary security measure”. The image has an overlaid text that reads: “Never forget where the word LOCKDOWN comes from… A loving government isn’t trying to save you from COVID…it is using COVID to justify MARTIAL LAW”

While this definition is indeed included in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary entry https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lockdown , the screenshot fails to show two further definitions. According to Merriam Webster, the term also stands for a “temporary condition” imposed by authorities, for example, during the outbreak of an epidemic disease, “in which people are require to stay in their homes and refrain from limit activities outside the home involving public contact (such as dining out or attending large gatherings)”.

An article by The Guardian delves into the evolution of the meaning of the word lockdown https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/apr/02/changing-meaning-of-lockdown .

In April, Reuters debunked a similar claim that the U.S. coronavirus response was “slowly introducing” martial law and found it to be false https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-coronavirus-introducing-mar/false-claim-u-s-coronavirus-response-slowly-introducing-martial-law-idUSKCN21W250 .

LOCKDOWNS

Reuters has reported on international studies that have determined that lockdowns potentially have saved millions of lives https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-lockdowns-idUSKBN23F1G3 .

However, it is also true that some lockdown measures may have a direct impact on a person’s income and mental health. Further reading about short, mid and long-term effects of lockdowns are visible https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-cost-special-r-idUSKBN21L20C .

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/herd-immunity-lockdowns-and-covid-19 that such measures can have “a profound negative impact on individuals, communities and societies by bringing social and economic life to a near stop”, something that according to the organization, disproportionately affect vulnerable groups.

But evidence also suggest that stringent but temporary restrictions, could actually benefit the economic recovery because they reduce the spread of the disease. The International Monetary Fund, for example, determined https://blogs.imf.org/2020/10/08/covids-impact-in-real-time-finding-balance-amid-the-crisis/ that while lockdowns “impose short-term costs” they may lead to “a faster economic recovery. The organization states that “by bringing infections under control, lockdowns may thus pave the way to a faster economic recovery as people feel more comfortable about resuming normal activities” ( bit.ly/2UXoIUy page 74).

Reuters contacted two experts, Dr. Elizabeth Stuart, Associate Dean for Education at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health ( https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1792/elizabeth-a-stuart ) and Dr. Stuart Ray, infectious disease expert with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine ( https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/profiles/results/directory/profile/0005222/stuart-ray ) . Both confirmed that lockdowns do reduce transmission of the SARS-Cov-2 and highlighted that a more “targeted” or “proportional” approach of restrictions can mitigate the risk of infection, while balancing other concerns about the economy and mental health.

WHY LOCKDOWNS?

Without a treatment or vaccine available, Stuart said, the world had to rely on “really core behavioral factors”, such as physical distancing, hands washing, wearing masks, that have been used as “effective ways” of preventing transmission of infectious diseases in the past. “They do help”, she said.

Ray pointed to evidence ( https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2765665 and https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/222/10/1601/5879762 ) that has suggested that the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is mitigated by “progressively stringent measures”, such as stay-at-home orders.

A MORE TARGETED APPROACH

“In March we had all had to lockdown because so little was known”, Stuart said. But she added that as experts have learnt more about the disease and how it spreads, it has appeared there are ways to implement a more targeted approach to this measure.

“I wouldn’t even call them lockdowns, but more ‘targeted interventions’, that restrict the higher risk activities but allow lower risk activities to precede”, Stuart said.

Stuart referred to Michigan as an example. On Nov. 15, in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced new restrictions for the state and asked people to be cautious, to avoid a stay-at-home order ( youtu.be/WQi001dquQo?t=751 ) . As reported https://detroit.cbslocal.com/2020/11/30/whitmer-says-she-has-authority-to-authorities-new-stay-home-order-in-michigan/ by CBS Detroit, the new order states that “high schools and colleges must halt-in person classes, restaurants must stop indoor dining” as well as limitation of gathering sizes and a temporary closure of entertainment businesses. See new emergency order bit.ly/39eb0oS .

Ray dismissed the need for a national stay-at-home order but rather referred to “staged or proportional” measures depending on the risk, in which “things are more restrictive when the prevalence of new infections is higher”. He highlighted the need for “really clear national messaging” and said that not all places needed the same measures at the same time. To limit the impact of this pandemic, he said, “we have to have everyone understand the status where they are and where transmissions are happening nearby”.

SURVIVAL RATE

Some posts that attempt to dismiss the role of stricter measures to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus argue that COVID-19 has a survival rate of over 99% ( https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4122265084455396&set=a.304775402871069&type=3&theater).

While the exact mortality rate of COVID-19 is still not known, a hypothetical rate of 1% would still result in a massive number of deaths if left to spread unchecked.

When asked about this claim, Stuart told Reuters that one out of a hundred was still a “high mortality”, adding that there was a “ripple effect of consequences” for a lot of people, not just the deceased individual. “If there are reasonable preventive strategies that we can take in order to reduce that even further we should do that”, she said.

While it appears that a high percentage of people recover from the disease, Ray noted that “there are also non- lethal complications of COVID-19 that are important, so it is challenging to relax control measures when the spread is high”. Further reading about the lingering known effects of COVID-19 is visible https://health.ucdavis.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-information/covid-19-long-haulers.html , https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-tragedy-of-the-post-covid-long-haulers-2020101521173 and https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-effects-idUSKBN23X1BZ .

MENTAL HEALTH

Other posts also argue that these restrictions “don’t save lives”, citing an alleged increase in suicides https://www.instagram.com/p/CH3zY-Zg8t4/?utm_source=ig_embed.

Earlier this year, experts warned https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(20)30171-1/fulltext that COVID-19 might increase suicide rates, citing adverse effects on people with mental illness and the population in general “might be exacerbated by fear, self-isolation, and physical distancing” and “well-recognised risk factors for suicide” like loss of employment and financial stressors.

Richard Dunn, associate Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Connecticut ( https://are.uconn.edu/person/richard-a-dunn-2/ ), who has studied the relation between mental health and the economy, told Reuters by email that arguments for why lockdowns may increase suicide risk present valid arguments, but that “they are selective” and that some of these arguments “ignore important countervailing effects”.

According to Dunn, such countervailing effects include technology that facilitates social contact ( https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/neuroscience-loneliness-technology-lockdown-coronavirus-covid-quarantine ), and a “locus of control” ( https://dictionary.apa.org/locus-of-control ) through which individuals can take proactive steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. “Suicide risk increases as individuals feel they lack control over their life and what control they do have is without worth,” said Dunn.

In addition, Dunn said, is the concept of “social connectedness”, which tends to increase in the face of a communal threat, such as a pandemic. “During wars and natural disasters, despite their great economic upheaval, suicide rates tend to drop because people rally to a common cause,” he said. To exemplify this, Dunn referred to the numerous scenes from around the world of people cheering health workers from their balconies ( https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1266205120037031937?s=20 , https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-applause/new-yorkers-sing-lean-on-me-to-honor-essential-workers-during-coronavirus-pandemic-idUSKCN226086 ).

VERDICT

Some posts on the issue of lockdowns are missing context, and some present information that is contradicted by international studies. While it is true that more restrictive measures that aim to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 can have an impact in income and mental health, multiple studies suggest that stay-at-home orders and other nonpharmaceutical interventions have a determining role in reducing the transmission of the virus. Experts highlight that a more “targeted” approach rather than a “nationwide” lockdown, can limit the impact of the pandemic while balancing other economic, mental health and social concerns.

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-lockdowns/fact-check-studies-show-covid-19-lockdowns-have-saved-lives-idUSKBN2842WS

Thankyou.
A good source of information without politics or outrage.
No response to Covid is perfect, but misinformation will get people killed.

JOW

4
Knarfs Knewz / Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« on: January 15, 2021, 06:41:01 PM »
Here is the text of the article the troll in resudence is quoting to tell us all how stupid we are for going along with lockdowns.
When you actually read it it is in no way definitive as they would have you believe. Just sensational headines relying on people to not actually investigate. Sloppy, irresponsible and outright imoral when it comes to health outcomes from this pandemic.

Who the fuck says it was "definitive"? Nothing is definitive in science. But only someone with shit for brains would think that dozens of studies tending in the direction of "lockdowns DON'T work", means absolutely nothing. Or that the Newsweek editorial staff covering their asses in an era where social media outlets are censoring articles at will when it questions their preferred narrative weighs against the findings of the study cited.  Note: here I include the ideologically possessed who wallow in other peoples' misery as "shit for brains".


Hmm. Backtracking now are we?

Sticks and stones troll.
Sticks and stones.

JOW

5
Knarfs Knewz / Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« on: January 15, 2021, 05:56:08 PM »
Here is the text of the article the troll in resudence is quoting to tell us all how stupid we are for going along with lockdowns.
When you actually read it it is in no way definitive as they would have you believe. Just sensational headines relying on people to not actually investigate. Sloppy, irresponsible and outright imoral when it comes to health outcomes from this pandemic.

Some highlights from the full text below which was labelled as:
"COVID Lockdowns Have No Clear Benefit vs Other Voluntary Measures, International Study Shows"

....A study evaluating COVID-19 responses around the world found that mandatory lockdown orders early in the pandemic may not provide significantly more benefits to slowing the spread of the disease than other voluntary measures, such as social distancing or travel reduction.

....For additional context, other studies have oppositely determined that lockdown orders have effectively saved millions of lives.

....A study published in the journal Nature by researchers at Imperial College London in June found that some 3.1 million deaths had been averted due to lockdowns across Europe early on in the pandemic.


Best to read the whole text or you might swallow troll bullshit.

JOW

Original posted Link:
https://www.newsweek.com/covid-lockdowns-have-no-clear-benefit-vs-other-voluntary-measures-international-study-shows-1561656

Read Full Text below:
NEWS
COVID Lockdowns May Have No Clear Benefit vs Other Voluntary Measures, International Study Shows
BY NATALIE COLAROSSI ON 1/14/21 AT 11:41 AM EST
01:23What Is Herd Immunity? How To Achieve It And Why It Can Be Controversial Amid COVID-19

HEALTH AND SCIENCE
Astudy evaluating COVID-19 responses around the world found that mandatory lockdown orders early in the pandemic may not provide significantly more benefits to slowing the spread of the disease than other voluntary measures, such as social distancing or travel reduction.

The peer reviewed study was published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation on January 5, and analyzed coronavirus case growth in 10 countries in early 2020.

The study compared cases in England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the U.S. – all countries that implemented mandatory lockdown orders and business closures – to South Korea and Sweden, which instituted less severe, voluntary responses. It aimed to analyze the effect that less restrictive or more restrictive measures had on changing individual behavior and curbing the transmission of the virus.

The researchers used a mathematical model to compare countries that did and did not enact more restrictive lockdown orders, and determined that there was "no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country."

"We do not question the role of all public health interventions, or of coordinated communications about the epidemic, but we fail to find an additional benefit of stay-at-home orders and business closures," the research said.

However, the researchers also acknowledged that the study had limitations, and noted that "cross-country comparisons are difficult," since nations may have different rules, cultures, and relationships between their government and citizenry.

The study was conducted by researchers affiliated with Stanford University, and was co-authored by Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine and economics who has been a vocal opponent of coronavirus lockdowns since March.

Bhattacharya was also among a group of scientists who wrote The Great Barrington Declaration, a controversial statement that encouraged governments to lift lockdown restrictions to achieve herd immunity among young and healthy people, while focusing protections on the elderly.

For additional context, other studies have oppositely determined that lockdown orders have effectively saved millions of lives.

England Lockdown
A new study shows that mandatory lockdown orders may not provide more significant benefits to curbing the spread of COVID-19 vs voluntary measures such as social distancing and travel restrictions. Here, one pedestrian walks on the pavement in central London in the morning on March 24, 2020 after Britain ordered a lockdown.
JUSTIN TALLIS/GETTY
A study published in the journal Nature by researchers at Imperial College London in June found that some 3.1 million deaths had been averted due to lockdowns across Europe early on in the pandemic.

"This data suggests that without any interventions, such as lockdown and school closures, there could have been many more deaths from COVID-19. The rate of transmission has declined from high levels to ones under control in all European countries we study," Dr. Samir Bhatt, an author of the study from Imperial College London said in June, according to the university.

"Careful consideration should now be given to the continued measures that are needed to keep SARS-CoV-2 transmission under control," he added.

A second study published alongside that report in Nature, and led by scientists in the United States, found that 530 million coronavirus infections had been avoided due to early lockdowns in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and the United States, according to the news outlet.

Mandatory lockdown orders have also been a highly politicized issue across the U.S.

Some Republican leaders, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, have vehemently opposed state or nationwide closures to curb the spread of COVID-19. In Democratic states, including New York and California, lockdown orders have been a consistent part of the coronavirus response since March.

According to a poll released by Vox and Data for Progress on December 24, more than half of Americans said they would support a nationwide lockdown for one month.

But President-elect Joe Biden said in an interview in November that he had no intention of implementing a national shutdown when he takes office on January 20.

"I'm not going to shut down the economy. I'm going to shut down the virus," Biden said. "There is no circumstance which I can see that would require a total national shutdown. I think that would be counterproductive."

As of Thursday, the United States had recorded over 23 million COVID cases and 385,178 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Newsweek reached out to an author of the Stanford study for comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.

6
Knarfs Knewz / Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« on: January 15, 2021, 05:24:00 PM »
Lockdowns have and still do work in Australia and Unzud. Thats why we still implement them when needed. We have a good healthcare and social welfare system here, neither are perfect. We rely on expert opinion not trolls on blog sites. We have a very low case count and while some restrictions are still in place right now around local hot spot lockdowns we are controlling the virus. They will vary in effectiveness based on many factors, known and unknown. Cultural, geographical, political and ecconomic factors all no daubt play a part.

We have had around 30000 cases Australia wide so far for around 1000 deaths in a population roughly 25 milion.
Figures I have seen put Merika at 23 million cases and 400,000 deaths in a population of around 325 million.
13 times the population for around 750 times as many cases and  400 times as many deaths.
We are seeing orders of magnitude differences in figures, not small statistical variations and noise.

You can debate whether lockdowns work or not as much as you like. They probably never will work when you have morons screaming about how it infringes their freedoms and liberty and not following good pandemic hygeine practices. There are plenty of people spreading misinformation to suit their own agendas; Its not a pandemic, it the 5G I tells ya. No, its just another flu strain and not damgerous, All the deaths are from other causes and hospitals are not seeing increased mortality. Those who die were old and frail and were going to die anyway. The virus is not very contageous.
 
Our health departments disagree with all these statements as well as all the other arguaments from self appointed experts. Its a virus. It does not care about politics, opinions or beliefs. It spreads from person to person and makes people sick. Some die. Most recover.

See the link below to a story about an aged care facility up the road from me. This is what happens when you dont take adequate infection control.

A lot of ecconomies, particuularly in the EU and Merika are screwed up because of very bad ecconomic policies fro the last 40 years. That is what is making lockdowns painful.
Hysterical screamers dont want to lock down?
No problem, what is the alternatives when herd imunity = throwing grandma under the bus?
That is morally unacceptable to me in a first world country. Others obviously think its ok.

JOW

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-21/victoria-coronavirus-aged-care-report-contains-damning-findings/12996532

7
Environment / Re: Crazy Weather 2020 tied for hotest year on record
« on: January 15, 2021, 02:34:06 AM »
Its not your imagination; this year was hot.

JOW

Link:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/climate-change-2020-record-nasa_n_60007606c5b6efae62f6b73e?ri18n=true

Text:

SCIENCE
15/01/2021 4:57 AM AEDT | Updated 14 hours ago
2020 Tied As Hottest Year On Record, NASA Confirms
As the coronavirus brought economies around the world to their knees, global climate change raged on.
By Chris D'Angelo
The Bay Bridge in San Francisco is seen under an orange sky darkened by the smoke from California wildfires...
STEPHEN LAM / REUTERS
The Bay Bridge in San Francisco is seen under an orange sky darkened by the smoke from California wildfires on Sept. 9, 2020.
NASA announced Thursday that 2020 tied 2016 as the hottest year in recorded history ― the latest in a constant stream of sobering reminders about the global climate change threat.

The annual analysis found that Earth’s global average temperature last year was 1.84 degrees Fahrenheit (1.02 degrees Celsius) warmer than the baseline average between 1951 and 1980. That slightly tops 2016, but NASA researchers said the margin is so small that the two years effectively tie each another.

A blistering 2020 ― marked by extreme heat in northern Siberia, devastating wildfires in the American West and Australia, and a hyperactive hurricane season in the Atlantic ― caps “the warmest decade in the historical record, without any question whatsoever,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said during a video briefing Thursday.

ADVERTISING

A separate study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also released Thursday, ranks 2020 as the second hottest year on record behind 2016, with global temperatures over land and sea 1.76 degrees Fahrenheit (0.98 degree Celsius) above average. In its calculation, the NOAA noted that 2020 is the 44th consecutive year that the global temperature has topped the 20th-century average.

The trend paints a clear picture of the dramatic impacts human carbon emissions are having across the globe. The last seven years are the seven warmest in Earth’s recorded history, the agencies determined.

“The planet is closing in on 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming” above pre-industrial levels, NOAA scientist Russell Vose said during Thursday’s briefing. “It’s certainly warmer now than at any time in the last 2,000 years at least, and probably much longer. And there’s a pretty good chance that the rate of increase in the past 50 years is faster than at any time in the past two millennia.”

The Paris climate accord set an aspirational goal of keeping global warming below the 1.5-degree target, beyond which scientists warn that climate impacts could become catastrophic and irreversible.

The two federal analyses come in the waning days of the Trump administration, which has largely ignored the threat of climate change as it has worked to increase domestic production of the fossil fuels that are driving the crisis. This week, two known climate change contrarians were reassigned after posting debunked climate denial talking points to a blog using the White House logo and without obtaining approval.

President-elect Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated Jan. 20, has vowed to reenter the U.S. into the Paris climate agreement his first day in office and has rounded out what environmentalists have celebrated as a “all-star” team to lead his administration’s effort to combat climate change.


Suggest a correction
Chris D'AngeloEnvironment Reporter, HuffPost

8
Knarfs Knewz / Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« on: January 14, 2021, 05:47:15 PM »
These antifa guys are GENIUSES. Able to provoke thousands of guys in MAGA hats into committing seditious acts....posing as protesters....breaking a few windows and shouting a few slogans.....and BAM...those dumb rednecks just took the bait.

Antifa is so incredibly clever. The alt right has no chance against such masters of manipulation.


Its a conspiracy I tells ya!
JOW

9
Geopolitics / Re: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« on: January 14, 2021, 05:45:28 PM »
I dont think Trump is the worst president Merika has ever had.. Definately the worst I have seen though. Been a steady downhill slope for the last 5, probably coinciding with ecconomic decline and military over reach of the land of the free.
All the while we have people yelling from the rooftops, particularly Trump himself, how he was the best there ever was...

JOW

Link:
https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/is-donald-trump-the-worst-us-president-ever-historians-say-so-20210115-p56u9w.html

Text:
Is Donald Trump the worst US president ever? Historians say so
Scholars say Trump's efforts to overturn his election defeat, as well as his response to COVID-19, have cemented his place as America's worst president.

By Matthew Knott

JANUARY 15, 2021
SaveShareNormal text sizeLarger text sizeVery large text size
Washington: It was not until 1948 – more than 150 years since the first US presidential election – that anyone tried to create a systematic ranking of American presidents.

At the request of Life magazine, Harvard University historian Arthur M. Schlesinger polled 55 historians and asked them to rank the men who had held the presidency from first to last.

Schlesinger’s survey found that historians rated Abraham Lincoln, who led the US through the Civil War, the best president of all time. George Washington, the nation’s first president, was ranked number two. The most recent ex-president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, came in third thanks to his success steering the country through the Great Depression and World War II, as well as his ambitious New Deal program.

In last place was Warren Harding, who served in the White House from 1921 until his death in 1923. Although popular while in office, Harding's legacy was damaged by scandals that came to light after his death – including one of his cabinet members being convicted for bribery for leasing out oil reserves at below-market rates.
hat emerged after his death. CREDIT:AP

Presidential ranking surveys have since proliferated, with historians and political scientists deploying increasingly elaborate methods to try to assess presidents' track records as objectively as possible.

The Siena College Research Institute in New York, which has conducted regular presidential surveys since 1982, asks experts to assess presidents based on 20 categories ranging from integrity, intelligence, willingness to take risks, management of the economy, foreign policy achievements and their relationship with Congress.

Even so, these surveys have their critics. Schlesinger's survey was accused of being biased towards Democrats - a common complaint about subsequent surveys given political scientists and historians tend to be significantly more left-leaning than the population at large.

The early presidents have also largely been given a pass for acts of racism that would destroy the reputation of their modern-day successors.

FDR consistently ranks among the top presidents, despite his decision to place Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II. Washington and Jefferson rank highly despite owning slaves, as does Woodrow Wilson despite segregating the federal bureaucracy based on race.

Abraham Lincoln is usually ranked the best president in the United States across most surveys.
Abraham Lincoln is usually ranked the best president in the United States across most surveys. CREDIT:GETTY IMAGES

The rankings have bounced around over time, and usually have slight differences depending who conducts the survey. But when it comes to the best and worst presidents in history, there has had been little change since Schlesinger's first list in 1948.

Washington, FDR and Lincoln nearly have always dominated the top three slots. Harding has been consistently placed at the bottom, alongside Andrew Johnson (President from April 15, 1865 to March 4, 1869) and James Buchanan (who served from March 4, 1857 to March 4, 1861)

That all changed when Donald Trump came along.

Already ranked among the worst presidents ever, top historians and political scientists told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that Trump's efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 election, on top of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, have cemented his place as America's worst president.

High marks for luck
In February 2018, political science professors Brandon Rottinghaus and Justin Vaughn published the second iteration of their Presidential Greatness Survey.

Almost 200 experts were asked to grade all presidents on a "greatness scale" from zero (failure) to 100 (excellence).

Lincoln came in top with a score of 95. Trump, who had just completed the first year of his presidency came in dead last with a score of just 12.3.

That compared to a score of 40.4 for George W. Bush and 71.1 for Barack Obama, his most immediate predecessors.

Such a low ranking for Trump – so early in his presidency – irked some, including data guru Nate Silver. At the time unemployment was at near-record lows and there had been no national security crises.

"It speaks poorly to the field of presidential scholarship that political scientists have Trump ranked as the worst president of all time after only one year on the job, below presidents who e.g. helped blunder us into the Civil War & Great Depression," Silver wrote on Twitter.

Even when taking ideology into account, Trump did poorly in the survey, ranking 40th out of 44th among the Republican-leaning scholars who participated.

The most recent Siena College survey, released around the same time, was sightly less damning for Trump. Trump entered that survey at 42nd place out of 44, above only Buchanan and Andrew Johnson.

Buchanan is widely reviled for failing to prevent the outbreak of the Civil War while Johnson was the first president to ever be impeached after proving unable to work with Congress after the war had ended.

The experts consulted by Siena rated Trump last among all presidents when it came to integrity and intelligence. They ranked him highly in only one category – luck – reflecting their view that the strong economy and relatively benign foreign policy landscape was due to good fortune rather than Trump’s leadership.

By contrast Ronald Reagan (ranked 13th overall) scored highly on communication but low on intelligence; Bill Clinton (ranked 15th) was rated among the worst for integrity but among the best at handling the economy. George W. Bush was ranked 33rd, reflecting the fact he oversaw the ill-fated Iraq War and global financial crisis.

From bad to worse

When it comes to historical greatness, confronting a crisis is often a boon for a president. Clinton complained that he had never had to respond to a sufficiently substantial disaster during his presidency to allow him to rise to the ranks of the truly great presidents.

Bill Clinton has said he didn't face a big enough crisis to rank as one of the truly great presidents.
Bill Clinton has said he didn't face a big enough crisis to rank as one of the truly great presidents. CREDIT:GETTY IMAGES

University of Houston professor Brandon Rottinghaus, one of the political scientists who runs the Presidential Greatness Survey, says: "Presidential greatness tends to be moulded in times of adversity. That doesn't seem to apply to Trump in his last two years of office. In fact, it seems to be the opposite."

Rather than helping him to move up the leaderboard, he says Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has only pushed him further down. As well as downplaying the seriousness of the virus, Trump has promoted unproven cures, instigated feuds with scientific experts and shown a remarkable lack of empathy for the almost 400,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 so far.

Then came Trump's months-long efforts to sow doubts about the legitimacy of the election result, culminating in the riot at the Capitol last week that saw five people lose their lives. This week he became the first president in US history to ever be impeached twice.

Timothy Naftali, the founding director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, says: "After his first impeachment and dereliction of duty during the COVID crisis Trump was already America's worst modern president.

"I think, as a result of his responsibility for the insurrection on January 6, he has edged out James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson as the worst US president ever."

Donald Trump was already the worst modern President by the time his first impeachment trial was over.
Donald Trump was already the worst modern President by the time his first impeachment trial was over. CREDIT:BLOOMBERG

Howell says: "I'd put him right alongside Andrew Johnson – who laid the groundwork for the roll-back of reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow – as the worst. What he has unleashed in our politics is horrifying."

In defending their decision to vote against impeaching Trump this week, several congressional Republicans pointed to his policy achievements such as moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and his record on the economy.

But Howell says this is a threadbare record compared to his predecessors – including other presidents who left office in disgrace. While he believes Richard Nixon (ranked 29th on the Siena survey) committed criminal acts during the Watergate scandal, he says Nixon achieved significant milestones such as re-opening relations with China and creating the Environmental Protection Agency.

Historians have given Richard Nixon extremely low marks for integrity for his behaviour during the Watergate scandal.
Historians have given Richard Nixon extremely low marks for integrity for his behaviour during the Watergate scandal.CREDIT:AP

"What has Trump accomplished in terms of policy achievements?" Howell asks. "Not very much. He certainly appointed lots of conservative justices and reduced taxes but any conservative worth his or her salt could have accomplished that.

"Things that a year or two ago, Trump's defenders could have pointed to as signs of real success have evaporated. We've had the pandemic and his utter failure to deal with it as well as his unending assault on democracy."

A reassessment?

In Schlesinger’s first presidential ranking survey, Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, came in sixth place. But over the years, as more attention was given to Jackson's harsh treatment of native Americans, he has fallen down the leaderboard - ranking 19th in the most recent Siena College survey.

By contrast when Harry Truman left office in 1953 he had a job approval rating of just 22 per cent, making him one of the most unpopular presidents in history. But history viewed him more kindly as the years went on, thanks to his foreign policy innovations such as the Marshall Plan, which helped rebuild western Europe after WWII, and the creation of NATO. Most expert surveys now rank him in the top 10 presidents of all time.

US Presidential inaugurations throughout the years
From Franklin D Roosevelt to Donald Trump, a look at the ritual that is the US Presidential inauguration.

Could Trump, who is leaving office with an average approval rating of 39 per cent according to FiveThirtyEight, hope for a similar resurgence in future years?

Brandon Rottinghaus says this is extremely unlikely.

"I don't see any way Trump could move up from the bottom of the list of our survey," he says.

William Howell says: "Being impeached twice is not solid ground to rise in the rankings. I don't think there is any chance of the kind of ascension Truman has had over time for Trump."

He says future events will determine just how poorly Trump is regarded. "Is it the story of him being a narcissist and a clown – or as an aspiring autocrat who did fundamental and enduring damage to our democracy?"


10
Environment / Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« on: January 13, 2021, 09:07:26 PM »
Ice is disappearing pretty quickly.
Is a big concern if you want to live in, oh say, the whole world....
Or then again its probably just another left wing, satanist, commie, feminist, vegan conspiracy to reduce our freedom like covid, insect declines, peak EROI and last but not least the dreaded limits to growth. (We all know we can grow infinitely on a finite planet silly!)

JOW

link:
https://www.livescience.com/arctic-ice-arches-melting-fast.html

Text:

Towering ice arches in the Arctic are melting, putting 'Last Ice Area' at risk of vanishing
By Harry Baker - Staff Writer 3 days ago

The potential implications are alarming.

 The world's thickest and oldest sea ice is at risk of being lost as the towering ice arches holding it in place experience rapid melting, twice as fast as the rest of the Arctic.

The stretch of multiyear sea ice between the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Greenland — which can stay frozen for more than one melt season — is known as the "Last Ice Area" by scientists. Like all sea ice, it grows and shrinks with the seasons, but has so far lasted through even the warmest summers on record and was expected to endure warming temperatures longer than anywhere else in the Arctic.

It was previously hoped the area would become a vital refuge in the coming decades for polar bears, walruses and other animals that depend on sea ice, according to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).

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But that may not be possible.

"The Last Ice Area is losing ice mass at twice the rate of the entire Arctic," Kent Moore, a professor of atmospheric physics at the University of Toronto Mississauga and lead author of a new study, said in a statement. "We realized this area may not be as stable as people think."

Related: In photos: A conveyor belt for Arctic sea ice

Moore and his team have been focusing their research on the ice arches that connect the Last ice Area to the mainland and hold it in place. Such arches form seasonally as the weather cools in the early winter and multiple ice flows converge at a narrow channel of water, creating giant structures that look like "bridge supports turned on their sides," according to the statement. The arches generally melt when summer comes around.

In particular, they monitored arches that form along Nares Strait, a 25-mile-wide (40 km) channel that runs for 373 miles (600 km) between Greenland and Ellesmere Island. Two decades of imagery collected by the Sentinel-1 satellite showed that the ice arches in the strait stick around for shorter and shorter periods



"Every year, the reduction in duration is about one week," Moore said in a statement. "They used to persist for about 200 days, and now they're persisting for about 150 days. There's quite a remarkable reduction."

He added, "We think that it's related to the fact the ice is just thinner and thinner ice is less stable."

With the ice arches forming later and melting earlier, the Last Ice Area is becoming less stable and could start to break up more in the coming years. If the arches become so thin that they start to collapse during the winter, then the entire patch of sea ice could start to move south.

This would have massive implications, not just for photogenic animals like polar bears that rely on the ice. Blooms of algae below the sea ice, as well as in salty seawater channels that run through its cracks and fissures, supply carbon, oxygen and nutrients that underpin an entire ecosystem.

Not to mention the potential damage caused by the ice on its journey southward — which could have similar implications to the Iceberg A68-a in the Southern Ocean, which nearly collided with the island of South Georgia, as recently reported by Live Science — as well as its contribution to rising sea levels.


In 2019, Canada designated part of the Last Ice Area as a Marine Protected Area — ironically named Tuvaijuittuq, which is Inuktut for "the place where the ice never melts" — in an attempt to help protect it. (Inuktut is the Inuit language spoken by the people of the Nunavut territory). But Moore believes a global solution is needed.

"The scale is so huge and the region is so remote," he said in the statement. "The only thing we can do is cool the planet down. Then the arches will hopefully naturally form again."

The study was published Jan. 4 in the journal Nature Communications.

Originally published on Live Science.

11
Environment / Scientists Sound Alarm About Insect Apocalypse
« on: January 13, 2021, 08:13:23 PM »
One by one small foundation stones in the ecosystem and being taken away.
What could possibly go wrong?

JOW
Link:
https://www.ecowatch.com/insect-population-decline-2649925146.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

Text:
INSECTS
Scientists Sound Alarm About Insect Apocalypse
 Common DreamsJan. 13, 2021 09:49AM ESTSCIENCE
Scientists Sound Alarm About Insect Apocalypse
Many insect populations are dropping about one to two percent a year. Raung Binaia / Getty Images
By Jessica Corbett

A collection of new scientific papers authored by 56 experts from around the world reiterates rising concerns about bug declines and urges people and governments to take urgent action to address a biodiversity crisis dubbed the "insect apocalypse."

"The Global Decline of Insects in the Anthropocene Special Feature," which includes an introduction and 11 papers, was published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences alongside a related news article. "Nature is under siege," the scientists warn. "Insects are suffering from 'death by a thousand cuts.'"

The set of studies—resulting from a symposium in St. Louis—comes as the body of research on insect declines has grown in recent years, leading to major assessments published in February 2019 and April 2020, as well as a roadmap released last January by 73 scientists detailing how to battle the "bugpocalypse."

As the new package and below graphic explain, human stressors that experts have tied to bug declines include agricultural practices; chemical, light, and sound pollution; invasive species; land-use changes; nitrification; pesticides; and urbanization.


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Emphasizing the consequences of such declines, University of Connecticut entomologist David Wagner, the package's lead author, told the Associated Press that insects "are absolutely the fabric by which Mother Nature and the tree of life are built."

According to Wagner, many insect populations are dropping about 1-2% per year. As he put it to The Guardian: "You're losing 10-20% of your animals over a single decade and that is just absolutely frightening. You're tearing apart the tapestry of life."

While most causes of declines are well known, "there's one really big unknown and that's climate change—that's the one that really scares me the most," he said, warning the crisis could be causing "extinctions at a rate that we haven't seen before."


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Roel van Klink of the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research told The Guardian that "the most important thing we learn [from these new studies] is the complexity behind insect declines. No single quick fix is going to solve this problem."

"There are certainly places where insect abundances are dropping strongly, but not everywhere," he said. "This is a reason for hope, because it can help us understand what we can do to help them. They can bounce back really fast when the conditions improve."

The package's introduction points out that while much recent research and resulting news coverage focused on drops in bug populations, "four papers in this special issue note instances of insect lineages that have not changed or have increased in abundance."

"Many moth species in Great Britain have demonstrably expanded in range or population size," the paper notes. "Numerous temperate insects, presumably limited by winter temperatures, have increased in abundance and range, in response to warmer global temperatures."

Pollinators such as the western honey bee in North America, "may well thrive due to their associations with humans," the introduction adds. "Increasing abundances of freshwater insects have been attributed to clean water legislation, in both Europe and North America."


12
Doomsteading / Re: The new 'Stead
« on: January 13, 2021, 03:35:10 PM »
Nice work, y’all. This country boy is impressed.

I’ve decided to strip the new (to me) Harley frame back to bare metal and coat it with POR 15 and a topcoat. I’m in paint mode at the moment. Trying to gather up my tools. I haven’t painted anything in a long time. I painted the chassis of the MGA with POR 15....terribly messy stuff, but a good really tough base coat for metal. Never used it on a motorcycle frame. I will be applying that and then the POR-15 brand of gloss black topcoat on top of that. It’s an experiment, but it has to work.....too hard to take off if it doesn’t.

Send MGA pictures!
Getting old now. Every one I have seen is Brittish racing green.
Mate had an MGB I helped put a clutch in many years ago.
Still a few around and a lot cheaper compared to MGA's.

Now have new "MGs" floating around. (Assume you have them in US) Chinese SUVs with an MG badge.Unbelievable. By all accounts they are very ordinary.
https://mgmotor.com.au/car-models/

JOW

13
Knarfs Knewz / Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« on: January 12, 2021, 10:16:43 PM »
Yeah, let's discuss why that isn't as fucked up and fascist as it appears to be... or, you can just get a grip on yourself.

I thought the "Radical Left" & "Socialism" were the problem?  Rebranding doesn't simplify this, it makes it  worse.               

RE

 Socialism + Totalitarianism = Fascism. A hint is when the biggest corporations are so intermingled with government policy that you can no longer tell them apart.

In that case, both sides are fascist.

RE
Its been apparent as an outsider for years that Merika is merging corporate and state affairs. You have a nominal 2 party political system consisting of radical right and even loonier more radical right, both on the payroll of big corporations. Lobbing they call it.  Privatise profits and socialise losses. Thats what "Too big to fail" is. Corporate social welfare. Stoped being a capitalist country 30 years ago at least, and is definately not a democracy.

Facism definition from Wikipedia (Must be correct its on the web!)
One common definition of the term, frequently cited by reliable sources as a standard definition, is that of historian Stanley G. Payne. He focuses on three concepts:
1. the "fascist negations": anti-liberalism, anti-communism, and anti-conservatism;
2. "fascist goals": the creation of a nationalist dictatorship to regulate economic structure and to transform social relations within a modern, self-determined culture, and the expansion of the nation into an empire; and
3. "fascist style": a political aesthetic of romantic symbolism, mass mobilization, a positive view of violence, and promotion of masculinity, youth, and charismatic authoritarian leadership.

All three seem to fit your Dumorats and Repulsivekins to a varying degree.
Trump is just less shy about wanting to be a dictator.
Populism is the 21st century facism. The dumbing down of society along with social media its the easiest way to get elected. Just promote nationalism, find someone to blame for all the ills of society and incite violence all from your mobile phone.

Works every time....

JOW

14
Knarfs Knewz / Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« on: January 12, 2021, 07:09:37 PM »
Europe is full of free speechers who call the Twitter ban a blow against free speech. It isn’t, and we should discuss why it isn’t. I think people should have a voice.....but keeping Trump off Twitter is a good idea....he needs to be kept off it until something happens to lessen the threat he represents. (Which is real and immediate.)

You mean Twitter deleting over 70,000 accounts since Friday, or Amazon/Google effectively destroying a competitor (Parler) because they were becoming more successful? Blaming their unconstitutional behavior (yes, they are now intertwined with government enough to violate free speech) on Trump and "radical conservatives" that they made billions off of over the last 4 years? Yeah, let's discuss why that isn't as fucked up and fascist as it appears to be... or, you can just get a grip on yourself.

It’s a social media site. Your right to free speech doesn’t necessarily entitle you to reach out to millions of people on Twitter. Twitter is what I’d call “speech amplification”. Nothing to do with free speech.It’s mostly a tool for organizing bad behavior, as far as I can see. We’d be better off if it didn’t even exist.

Nobody is getting disappeared. Nobody is getting locked up fo their political beliefs...Nobody is getting their right to speak publicly taken away.

These companies are doing damage control. They know they fucked up big-time, and they want to figure this out so they stay in business.I could give a shit. I don’t use Twitter or FB. Social media is a sewer.







Just more Bread and circus distractions.

I dont do any social media... Other this blog site, which is a form of social media I suppose.

Enough trolls here. Dont need to open up to criticism from the whole world. 
I tend to agree with you eddie that twitter and facebook etc... are not a plus for society. They are a big time waster and distraction from reality, which amplifies the worst type of free speech; Hate speech.

Free speech was not free of consequences until recently. Online you can pretend to be anyone and get away with all sorts of half truths, lies and vile messages which harm others without any fear of being held accountable.Like telling people climate change, or vacines, or election results, or covid 19 are fake news conspiracy theories. Putting doubt into peoples minds actually causes harm in these instances. Ashvin... Previously if you went around telling blatant lies or inflaming situations which harmed others you were held accountable.

JOW
 

15
K-Dog Off Leash Newz / Re: Interesting videos
« on: January 12, 2021, 06:45:00 PM »
Stop messaging me Ashvin,
I dont need to see your bullshit in duplicate.

JOW

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