State of Science

What the pandemic showed is that scientific process is messy with humans facing difficult choices.  During the pandemic, we had two roads, the first was to slow down any government response until what we were truly facing and the second road was to act immediately even when we didn’t have all the needed information.  Both choices meant hundreds of thousands would die but one road will preserve much of society and allow it to recover quickly.  The second road led to more deaths, unemployment, children not educated, and did not stop the spread of the virus.

We chose the latter, and it was a disaster.  Those who favored the first route of slowing down the process proved to be correct.  They were more correct about the nature of the virus, the lethality and which age group most impacted, and understood the damage the lockdown would do.  Many of the supporters of the lockdown have accepted many of the skeptic’s views. Dr.  Leana Wen acknowledged that maybe the CDC overcounted actual deaths from Covid and many like Emily Oster that they were wrong on many of the key issues of the pandemic.

Tony Fauci and his associates have done more to undermine science than anyone could ever have and Dr. Fauci exposed the underbelly of our scientific class that politics and power plays a role in how science really works. It is not about science and even following science, but about continuing  to support the narrative that those in power wanted.   It could take a generation for people to believe in science as they saw big science destroyed scientific debate with many suffering as a result and careers destroyed or threatened.  Millions lost their jobs first as the result of bad policies including lockdowns and later due to vaccine mandates, children uneducated and how many people will die prematurely from cancer or heart diseases?

For those interested in some of the climate alarmist ideas, here they are.

  1. Create a race of small people, so you have eugenics, and will it stop at just size?
  2. Geoengineering funded by Bill Gates to reduce the sun’s impact on the planet and make the planet colder, what can go wrong.
  3. Jan Goodell once suggested that “climate change” would be relieved if we had the population of 500 years ago.  So, genocide has entered the climate debate for how do you get to this goal of reducing population this low without genocide? Nor has she been the only one.
  4. Elimination of fossil fuels and no return to nuclear energy, you are talking a 19th century economy.
  5. Restrict the yield of farming and the elimination of husbandry. So, we are talking meatless society and smaller yield means less food. Less food combined with no fossil fuels means billions die of starvation.  Goes with reducing population and ends up with genocide.
  6. Elimination or curtailing of capitalism combined with elimination of fossil fuels means less prosperity, more poverty, more starvation. Genocide.
  7. Restricting freedom of speech and more authoritarian government.

Capitalism allows us to find solutions to future energy needs and survive whatever nature hits us with We have lowered death by 90 percent in extreme climate crisis like tornadoes and hurricanes.

The reality is that the solutions are far worse than even the worst-case scenario they come up and those scenarios are the least likely to happen.  So, the climate alarmists have managed to combine elements of eugenics, massive starvation, extreme poverty and for the survivors, a less free society.

Watching Davos, I come to one conclusion everyone who showed up agreed on all the major issues.  There was no actual diversity of ideas but a lot of stupid ideas.  There is Siemens Chairman Jim Hagemann who says we need at least one billion people eating bugs to save the planet from our climate crisis.   I wonder who those billion people are and where they live.  If you are poor or live in a developing country in Africa, you will get a diet of bugs. 

Then there is this “Government must act as investors of first resort to invite wider private sector interest and investment in technologies and sector with the highest potential to build the markets of tomorrow.”  The government will direct investments. They added “ With global demand for industrial products projected to grow significantly by 2050, the decarbonization of industry  is fundamental to the global energy transition.  Just five industries (cement and concrete, iron and steel, oil and gas, chemicals and coal mining) together are responsible for 80 percent of industrial emissions.”  These businesses will either be restricted or eliminated, industries that provide jobs for millions.

Never have so many people have so much of high opinion of themselves to be our better but yet support or come up with so many bad ideas.

Climate change thoughts 11-7-2021 and 11-8-2021

No it is foolish thing to have economy based on 18 to 19th century technology. We have seen in the past 120 years, massive prosperity, and better health worldwide due to fossil fuels and yet in a slightly warming planet that is greener today than decades ago.

The question is that we are feeding more people better diets and no one can dispute that. As countries liberate their economy more freedom has happen to go with prosperity. The real lie is the “capitalist reset” that will mean less growth, less prosperity, more poverty.

I am not supporting economic stupidity or questionable science. There is one solution to any future climate issues that befalls us, innovations from free minds. We are seeing energy shortage and higher energy cost that is pushing many downward due to the bad policies.

Without fossil fuels, we don’t have our quality of life we have today and we won’t have our quality of life if we eliminates fossil fuels. Personally I prefer prosperity.

Trying to compare the tobacco industry to fossil fuels is plain stupidity. Without fossil fuels we don’t our quality of life. Fossil fuels produce wealth and improve our quality of life, allowed us to feed more people better diets and more people escaping poverty.

Issues with Pandemic defense.

Here is the problem with the Lockdown and economic restrictions argument. First my opponents have yet to come to grips of the damage our response to overall society.

I haven’t even touched on other impact including additional suicides, drug overdose increases, chronic diseases not being treated, delayed in screenings for cancer and other diseases. There are more than enough data to show more people have died or will PREMATURELY DIE.

One critic wants us to take New York out as outlier, now that is cherry picking. When reviewing bigger states run by GOP and Democrat governors, we found Demographics, density and age were similar. Not only that the Democratic states may have had slight advantages.

States like Illinois and Pennsylvania have similar per capita death data to similar Republican states like Florida, Georgia, Texas and Ohio. And they have higher unemployment due to their policies.

So unless you can defend the higher unemployment by Democrat states (we are talking 30% higher on the average, look at the data ) was worth the sacrifice or the delay in opening the schools, the increase suicide and drug overdoses, then you have no legitimate argument.

Lockdown and economic restrictions in the loss of freedom, loss jobs and businesses failed in stemming the virus. That is not even no longer debatable.

What a good exchange look likes

Had a great exchange with Jason twitter and here is the exchange.

Jason: You’re definitely in the league of cherry-picking and manipulating data to support your cognitive bias, and no I am not in that league with you…agreed. Yet, your rebuttal doesn’t actual address my point. Redirecting the argument is not a “rebuttal”. Try again

Tom: I did rebut your arguments and that others. You have failed to respond to my arguments that the cost of lockdowns have been worse that dealing with the virus. Thanks for the response and will use your shallow thinking on my timeline on the failure of your thought process.

From here the tone changes

Jason: That is a different argument, and one I actually agree with you on. My point was in your depiction of infection and death rates. You disingenuously discount the fact that comparing Dem states (that have the most densely populated cities) is a false equivalence to Rep states.

Tom: I referred to studies that dealt with density of population, noted that many GOP bigger states have density and demographics to bigger blue states. Illinois and Pennsylvania are similar to Florida and other red states in per capita death.

Jason: When you use misleading data to build toward your ultimate point, your intended argument loses it’s validity and credibility. It’s unfortunate because you make some valid points…but it seems you need to take classes in argument structure.

Tom: You have missed my entire argument namely lockdowns failed to stem the infection and had higher cost to society. That was my argument and your friends failed to see that. Since you agree with them on this We may not be far apart

Jason: I’m not sure who my friends are that you are referring to. I agree with you that draconian restrictions did more harm than good in the grand scheme of things, but I think it’s a more nuance argument than what you are presenting.

Jason: I hear you. Twitter wars are futile, but I think we all need to be careful when making “seemingly” ideologic points

Tom: I was referring to Sean and Dennis who fail to see my larger point or respond to it like you are now doing. Normally I avoid twitter wars but since you are willing to look at overall data, this was worth while exchange. But I will add there are individuals like Andy Slavett who have refuses to see the damage of the lockdown.

Tom: My data is not misleading, and my argument is sound. Trust me, I had others validate my overall data. How would you make the argument?

Jason My argument, specific to population density, is that you cannot aptly compare a city like New York or Chicago to even the largest cities in red states. And even if you could, then your data should compare those cities as opposed to the states, otherwise the data is diluted

Tom: Good point but I chose states and we compared them in different ways as to ensure the best numbers possible

Tom: I am going to apologize to you since you understood my arguments but had serious question about methodology and allowed me to flush it out. Have a good day.

Jason: I appreciate that and thank you as well.

Jason had serious question about the data and we discussed my methodology. Unfortunately, these discussion end up in name calling. Certainly when some of tweeters question your intellect, do you get into a pissing contest? Jason challenge me and decided to go for it. Interesting conversation went from insults to serious discussion on methodology. I defended my methodology and he understood what I was doing. He made reasonable recommendations but I stand by our methodology and the general point. For me, it is not about just death per capita but the overall impact of the lockdown and economic restrictions.

Tweet September 5th

eceived interesting comments from all sides but no one has bothered to discuss the wide difference in unemployment and ask or answer the question, was the trade off of the lockdowns and economic restrictions worth the higher unemployment?

Updated data on states: among GOP governors, the average death per capita was 184 to 180 for Democratic states. That represent 2% difference. Top 8 populous states, There is 221 deaths per 100,000 in Democratic states vs 204 in GOP states. This represent a 8% difference-GOP.S

No real statistic difference in deaths but major differences in unemployment. Proof the Lockdowns failed in saving lives but economic damage was far worse.

Democrat run states had 20 per 100,000 less death but 2300 per 100,000 more unemployed. Overall 2 per 100,000 more people died from Covid in GOP states but Democrats had 2000 per 100,000 unemployed. That is the trade off.212S

Updated data on states: among GOP governors, the average death per capita was 184 to 180 for Democratic states. That represent 2% difference. Top 8 populous states, There is 221 deaths per 100,000 in Democratic states vs 204 in GOP states. This represent a 8% difference-GOP.

Put it this way. Among 50 states, there was 1600 per 100,000 more people unemployed under Democrat governors, 2100 per 100,000 in most populous states, and among Democratic control states, 2300 per 100,000 more unemployed for an average of 2000 per 100,000 per unemployed.

In the first study, 4 per 100,000 died from Covid in GOP states but they had stronger economy with 1600 more per 100,000 employed. Among bigger states, the GOP governors have lower death and lower unemployment.

Political Science of Climate Change

We have seen through the the past 18 months, how science has become politicized. What we have also seen, bad policies still being pursued.

A few observations on Climate science

  1. Michael Shellenberger in his book Apocalypse Never, acknowledge that much of the doom day prediction was mostly B .S. (Shellenberger still believes in AGW and that man is responsible for climate change but he is also apologizing for the scare tactics.
  2. Shellenberger notes that wind and solar by themselves are incapable of powering a modern economy and advocate for nuclear energy.
  3. This recent piece details California failures in energy policy.
  4. Steve Hayward details the issues with the science.
  5. Changes in climate have happened in the past so what we are witnessing is what this planet witness in the past.
  6. What the alarmist can’t answer is why our planet has been greening (hint: the increase of C02 is one reason.) and
  7. Climate alarmist don’t understand how this planet has seen the middle class increased by hundred of millions, poverty has decreased by two thirds, we are eating better diet than ever before and all health indexes are better with a population double we had 60 years ago. The reason is simple: human ingenuity.
  8. So major predictions have proven wrong.
  9. The only way we will see the disaster that alarmist predicts is we adopt their solutions to “save the world.” Massive famine and poverty will occur adopting the “Capitalist reset”, socialism and more government interventionist policy. Think Venezuela.
  10. United States have lowered CO2 emissions due to technology like fracking and use of natural gas. I could go but you get the point. Bad science produces bad policies.

What we know and should know

For the past two weeks, we have had special programs on Corona Virus and what we should know about the virus including all the right lesson.

  1. This is a virus that the IFR is around .2 to .4 or 2 to 4 per 1000. The past decade the average flu season was 1 per 1000 with ranges from 3 per 10,000 to 1.7 per 1000 in 2018. The later is close to the IFR of Corona virus. The 1957 pandemic was at least 2 per 1000 and maybe 3 per 1000 so we have has seen flu pandemics similar to Coronavirus. We are talking a virus that ranges from 1 to 3 per 1000 more than past flu season and significantly lower than the 1918-1920 Spanish flu pandemic.
  2. Corona virus has high incidence of serious illness with the elderly, those with underlying condition as well as being overweight. The flu hurts the young more.
  3. The lockdown was complete failure and there should be no doubt on that. Our own data has shown that there have been no significant difference in deaths between Lockdown and non-lockdown states as well as Democrat versus Republican states but Republican states and non lockdown states have lower unemployment rates compared to lockdown and Democratic states.
  4. I have been vaccinated and would recommend others to do the same but I will not force anyone to get a vaccines. Contact your doctor and decide on the risk versus benefits. One example was the drummer Peter Parada, drummer of the Offspring. In his own words, “Given my personal medical history and the side-effect profile of these jabs, my doctor has advised me not to get a shot at this time. I caught the virus over a year ago, it was mild for me – so I am confident I’d be able to handle it again, but I’m not so certain I’d survive another post-vaccination round of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which dates back to my childhood and has evolved to be progressively worse over my lifetime. Unfortunately for me, (and my family – who is hoping to keep me around a bit longer) the risks far outweigh the benefits.” He has been kicked out of the band and he does have immunity due to having been exposed to the virus. No one should be forced to vaccinated.
  5. No vaccine passports. Denying some one access to restaurants, job opportunities, and other enjoyments impacts minorities and lower class who are less likely to be vaccinated. and This point was made by John Phelan on our show today.
  6. Delta virus according to British data is less lethal and with less hospitalization. We are talking 1/5th as lethal with 1/2 of the hospitalization. The lethal is similar to mild flu season. Hardly a threat and not enough of a threat to lockdown or mask mandates.
  7. There is no real data showing mask mandates or closing schools are beneficial to stopping the spread but there is enough data to show closing schools have a negative impact on students as they fall behind. A Democrat school board who happens to be a Doctor told me he saw no reason to force mask on children but he was out voted on mask and agreed to a mask mandates because he felt it was important to open the schools five days a week. Call it a compromise but unfortunately panic has produced bad policies.
  8. As one Biden advisor admitted, cloth masks are ineffective against the virus. It is nothing more than a placebo.
  9. This is no longer about science but control of the population. I made this point and I will make it again. Fauci is a mediocre scientist who has done more damage to the credibility of science. And those who support masking school children and lockdowns are ignoring the science. Period.

Fauci, is he really a mediocre scientist?

When I think of Fauci, I think of the line in Men in Black where Zed the leader noted, to candidates rejected as MIB agents: “Gentlemen, congratulations. You’re everything we’ve come to expect from years of government training. Now please step this way, as we provide you with our final test: an eye exam…”

That is Fauci, he is everything we have come to expect from government training and work. He has been a disaster as a public health officials but it hasn’t cost him anything, certainly not his job. Among his mistakes:

  1. He overestimated the IFR of the virus by a factor of 3 to 5.
  2. Propose the lockdown and never backed off
  3. His position on masks were confusing and often wrong .
  4. He should have known that the Chinese lab was the origin of the virus or he did but did nothing.
  5. He admitted to lying on occasion since we couldn’t have handle the truth.

He has been a disaster. Period.

Lessons that need to be learned

The most important lesson to learn is that lockdown were a complete failure! There is enough data to show that more people will die as result of the lockdown than lives saved. One study showed that over the next two decades 1.3 million will die prematurely or had already died, more than doubled what number died from corona virus. Below, we saw younger patients already suffered.

As our data has shown, the economic damage were worse in more restricted states without any decrease in deaths. With no difference in deaths among the less restricted and more restricted, the failure of lockdowns becomes obvious.

View it this way, the average flu season Infectious fatality rate over the past decade was .1 or 1 per thousands with ranges from .03 to .17. (3 per 10,000 in 2009 or 1.7 per 1000 in 2018) The pandemic of 1957 and 1968 were at least .2 or 2 per 1000 if not little higher. It is estimated on a per capita basis, 160,000 to 200,000 deaths today. (It should be noted that the population were younger and most likely healthier so that would explain some of the differences in death.)

While Fauci testify that this virus would be ten times the flu in March of 2020, he proved to be wrong. IFR proved to shown .2 to .4 (2 to 4 per thousands). Fauci was off by 2.5 to 5 times his testimony. This miscalculation laid the basis for the lockdown. The original lockdown was designed for 15 days and if they had happened, we were recovered quickly. This was more a natural disaster and our economy was strong enough to recover quickly. As I have shown, we should be around 4% unemployment and a strong recovery going more broader than what we are witnessing.

This virus was not the Spanish flu as the Spanish flu killed on a per capita basis at least three times the present deaths and IFR lower. Other than many of the elderly, most age group would be close or lower than the flu. Strange virus compared to the flu.

Bottom line you don’t crash an economy for a virus that at worse would kill 4 per 1000. And by concentrating on most vulnerable, lives will be save and we can get back to normal.