Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link


http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

24 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. This is what I want to see and have explained by experts, not politicians. Where are OUR models?

    “Simulating an epidemic
    Experiments with toy SIR models
    By 3Blue1Brown

    Excellent active graphing of each country’s current growth from Minutephysics and Aatish Bhatia. X axis replaced with log scale forcing countries to drop off curve when mitigation effects kick in.
    “How To Tell If We’re Beating COVID-19

    And “the Institute for Disease Modeling has a lot of models free for people to look at and play with. 3blue1brown is a channel about animating math, in all senses of the word animate.”
    Institute for Disease Modeling 
    http://idmod.org/software

  2. And now for a complete change of pace. An illuminating tribute to Ringo Starr by a great young drummer. Enjoy, 🙂

  3. I’ll have to raise you one Iko…

    RIP Bill Withers
    Copy & search… “Bill Withers / Lean On Me / Live 1972″ or Ain”t no sunshine”.

    I especially liked Bill as he walked away from the pr musician eating industry…

    “Bill Withers: The Soul Man Who Walked Away
    In 1970, the singer was a guy in his thirties with a job and a lunch pail. Then he wrote ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ and things got complicated”
    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/bill-withers-the-soul-man-who-walked-away-111535/

  4. Covid 19 is a white swan. It seems big biz will be big and little people left little -“will go to the federal reserve where they will lever it up 10:1 making it an effective 4.25 TRILLION of zero or effectively zero interest loans to large corporations”.

    “Corporate Socialism: The Government is Bailing Out Investors & Managers Not You

    “Bankers who lost more money than ever earned in the history of banking, received the largest bonus pool in the history of banking less than two years later, in 2010. And, suspiciously, only a few years later, Geithner received a highly paid position in the finance industry.

    “That was a blatant case of corporate socialism and a reward to an industry whose managers are stopped out by the taxpayer. The asymmetry (moral hazard) and what we call optionality for the bankers can be expressed as follows: heads and the bankers win, tails and the taxpayer loses.

    “Such bailouts punish those who acted conservatively and harms them in the long run, favoring the fool and the rent-seeker.

    “Not a Black Swan
    Furthermore, some people claim that the pandemic is a “Black Swan”, hence something unexpected so not planning for it is excusable. The book they commonly cite is The Black Swan (by one of us). Had they read that book, they would have known that such a global pandemic is explicitly presented there as a white swan: something that would eventually take place with great certainty. Such acute pandemic is unavoidable, the result of the structure of the modern world; and its economic consequences would be compounded because of the increased connectivity and overoptimization. As a matter of fact, the government of Singapore, whom we advised in the past, was prepared for such an eventuality with a precise plan since as early as 2010.”

    View at Medium.com

    NPR via…

    Maple Glazed Socialist  @Maple90750124
    Mar 28
    Replying to @timkmak
    “The problem with this is it doesn’t let people know that 425 Billion slotted for large corporations will go to the federal reserve where they will lever it up 10:1 making it an effective 4.25 TRILLION of zero or effectively zero interest loans to large corporations.”

  5. Michael Hudson on;
    How a debt jubilee could help the U.S. avert economic depression

    More immediately, some economists want more done to ease the debt owed by individuals, small businesses, cities, towns and states. Michael Hudson, a professor of economics at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and president of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends, is one of those economists.

    “Right now, America’s economy is strapped,” said Hudson, author of “…and forgive them their debts.” “America could have another economic miracle by writing down the debts.”
    https://www.marketplace.org/2020/04/02/covid-19-debt-jubilee-forgiveness-easing/

    Michael Hudson book – tsunduko!
    “…and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year (THE TYRANNY OF DEBT Book 1)”

    Serendipity led me to this, and I hope you don’t mind me quoting you Ikonoclast;
    …”Hudson is a hard-nosed realist who knows what business really does and what government really does (especially when they are in cahoots with each other) and also knows that much of academic economics is unrealistic, unempirical theory not related to what really happens in the halls of money and power.”
    https://johnquiggin.com/2019/06/30/opportunity-cost-mmt-and-public-spending-crosspost-from-crooked-timber/#comment-212029

  6. With frictional unemployment frozen out for six months by the wage subsidy and wage relativities to be dismantled by the LNP federal legislation, the Australian Labour Market will change dramatically. After over one hundred years of struggle to establish an awards system second to none, the LNP government seeks to dismantle award wages. The former “labour pool” where participants were allowed to swim freely, may become a cesspit of workplace dictatorship. Bosses will have the power to determine wages with only “slap on the wrist” clauses in any Liberal Party generated legislation. This is the same party that came up with WorkChoices that went into effect on 27 March 2006. It took an election defeat to remove that industrial legislation. .

  7. I would like to report some really good news. Initial indications are that the global average temperature for March 2020 was only .48° Celcius above the average for 1980-2010, or was it the 20th century average. Never mind because the good news is that it was a drop from the departure for Febuary 2020 which was like .79° C.
    There was a belief among many, myself included that there would be at least a short term spike in temperatures if airline travel was curtailed dued to the removal of the sulfure hydroxide in the higher level altitudes that aircraft emmit. It appears that did not happen. Why? Was there something wrong with the theory? If so was this accidental? Or, was it deliberate misinformation covertly put our by the airline industry?
    Also, it was believed that the reduction of cloud cover caused by aircraft contrails would cause day time highs to be higher and nightime lows to be lower. Did that happen? It might have happened. That would have had little effect then on average temperatures.
    Now for a more sobering thought. The average age of Europeans is higher than that of the USA, and of many other parts of the world. The average age of farmers in Europe is higher than the average age of the overall population of Europe. If farmers get effected at the same rates as the rest of the population we can expect them to die at far higher rates. As far as I know farmers need to go to the grocery store all most as often as everyone else. Unless of course they were also prepers. (Do I need to define prepers?) So it should not come as a surprise if food production in Europe gets disrupted at least somewhat by the deaths of large numbers of farmers all at the same time. Would it be surprising if such a thing happened around harvest time? (Murphy’s Law) (Murphy was clearly a loyalist)

  8. Might it not be too early for warming effects from SO2 and particulate removal from the atmosphere to become evident in the data measurements? In any case, there are many other cycles and circulations in the ocean and climate systems and current down-ticks could be masking the up-tick from SO2 and particulate removal.

    Anyway, the barrier reef has just suffered a third mass coral bleaching event in five years. This past southern summer there clearly has been no down-tick or pause in ocean warming in that region.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/25/great-barrier-reef-suffers-third-mass-coral-bleaching-event-in-five-years

    The environment and thus the human race are in deep, deep trouble. Our fatuous culture of having self-indulgent fun and letting the planet burn has to come to an end. Drinking, gambling, sporting events, concerts, car racing, tourism, private car ownership and much more are fatuous and lethal fun. Hey human race, get serious about saving the planet or go extinct! When will these fools ever learn? They are even too stupid to stay indoors and save the lives of themselves or their loved ones form COVID-19. I despair for the idiocy of the human race. In fact, I have done so for a long time.

    A 16 year old can see what’s happening (Greta Thunberg). Why can’t enough adults? Oh well, as I said severak times before, we needed a salutary demonstration from nature. Clearly we actually need several or a dozen salutary demonstrations from nature. We’ve had two in quick succession, the bush-fires (globally not just in Australia) and now COVID-19. There are many more in the pipeline. Mass deaths in the tens or hundreds of millions will be required to focus peoples’ minds, to shock them out of their shallowness and deepen their understanding of the grave seriousness of our position.This will undoubtedly happen from multiple causes in this decade or the next. I expect in the next decade or so tens of millions of extra deaths (at least) from multiple causes attributable to biosphere disruption by humans and the global economy.

    I called it ages ago based on the scientists’ warnings. Science: Usually right, seldom heeded.

  9. With regard to the global COVID-19 graph of country trajectories, I find China’s graph line NOT credible, especially as the outbreak occurred during the Chinese New Year travel period which they had to curtail. Neither China nor its data can be trusted. Certainly, the Capitalist and Imperialist West has its glaring faults including how it has failed to deal properly with COVID-19. At least the West has a somewhat free press and some openness and accountability. To accept the absolutist Chinese Communist Party dictatorship’s pronouncements and data as anything but outright propaganda would very naive and indeed a grave mistake.

    Sth. Korea’s data line presents the most credible data for a fully prepared and pandemic-fighting capable developed nation. China’s recent numbers are like those from dictatorship elections where the dictator gets 100% of the vote and are about as credible. We are to beieve they are only scores of cases in a nation of 1.4 billion people. It’s laughable and an insult to our intelligence. We really need to wonder what geostrategic “game” China is playing here. Of course, it’s not a game. It’s deadly serious with global supremacy as the goal. This is not China bashing. It’s realpolitik and geostrategic realism. No one superpower can be trusted with global hegemony. A multi-polar and pluralistic world is safer for all.

    This pandemic carries grave geostrategic dangers for the world. China is exploiting the pandemic for its own ends, particularly for propaganda wins to shine its image and appear incredibly better than the rest of the world in order to draw others into its orbit and influence. It’s a honey trap. China carries culpability for permitting wet markets where wildlife is butchered leading to zoonotic disease outbreaks. China hid the early outbreak, suppressed early news about it and persecuted the doctors who sounded the early warning. China played a real role in causing this crisis by its negligence and deception. No other powerful nation would be given a free pass by world opinion for this negligence. Neither should China be.

    China’s “help” has been non-existent to negative. China surreptitiously scoured the world for personal protective gear very early on and shipped as much as they could to China. This was done in ways to circumvent national export limitations. Australia was stripped of much of its commercially available protection gear via concerted operations by Chinese corporations operating branches in Australia. More fools us for being so naive and unprepared for these calculated fifth column operations. China has clearly been conducting fifth column operations in Australia for some time.

    Much of the gear later sent by China to the West (to appear benevolent) has been found to be faulty and has had to be returned. At best this is incompetence and carelessness by China. At worst it was a calculation to keep the best gear at home. some stripped from overseas in the first place) and to ship second-rate gear for propaganda purposes.

    Such calculations are not always malign. They can simply be the calculations of self-interest. Every nation and its elites put their own national interest first. Again this is realpolitik and can be viewed dispassionately; yet it must also be viewed with equal calculation on our own part. No superpower can safely be permitted to become a behemoth which by its natural self-interested nature can and will crush everything and everyone else in its path. A superpower with global hegemony becomes a rogue state. We have already had the example of the USA acting like a rogue during its period of real (and self-perceived) hegemony. Don’t fall for China’s honey trap.

  10. Science: Usually right, seldom heeded. That would be a good epitaph for someone’s tombstone.

    The positive point about a virus slowing down the world’s economy is that no one can be angry at a virus. Therefore no one will want to fight with or shoot someone because they are to blame for shutting down the world’s economy.*

    The negative thing about a virus slowing down the world’s economy is that it does so a very haphazard and entirely unartistic manner with no reguard for landscapes, still lives, or the efficient use of ink.

    *It is very possible that the leaders of the US and its subservient allies blame China for the damage that is being done right now to the world’s business practices. It would not surprise me at all if they try to retaliate.

    ° A reason that the leadership of the US might be unwilling to explicitly accuse the Chinese of being responsible for an attack is because they would have to explain why the Chinese launched this attack now, or should I say in late December 2019. Providing an explination might backfire because it could make the leadership look like idiots because they wrongly predicted that China would continue to appease the US and its subservient allies. Or it might backfire because it would force the US to launch a vigorous retaliation. Continuing a game of one upmanship brings the world closer to nuclear war which does not help the stock market very much.

    Someone might challenge my timeline and say that the timeline does not support my hypothosis.
    But I think that the timeline makes perfect sense is there is a high level Chinese or Russian mole in the US Department of Defence. The Chinese could have had all the preperations ready in advance of expected US attacks.

    Here is a bit of info that you all might find as fishy as I do. One of the first known cases in this area was an American. The official story is that this first American to come down with the virus was attending a conference is Budapest. But that is clearly a bullshit cover story. Hmmm that bullshit cover story could have been concocted to hide the fact that the story that a hazmat cleaning team had to disinfect a large building used by executive level employees in Erbenheim is itself a bullshit cover story, I imagine that the vector who brought the desease to the Budapest congregational conference has a cover story himself or herself as to how the virus was contracted.
    That BS story might even be a cover for the fact that he or she never even had the desease in the first place because it was actually someone else who brought it in. A person who has shown no symptoms because they can carry the virus symptom free due to some Chinese bioengineering. Of course the idea that he was part of a 5th column would seem absurd because why would the Chinese send an agent to infect a high ranking group of executives with a desease that has much less than a 1% chance of success of killing any of them, based upon thier ages and preconditions, and only randomly infecting a few of them? I have not figured out that one myself yet.
    When you get right down to it is it possible this place called China does not even really exist. I have never been there. If someone tells me that they have been there or even that they were born there they might be part of the conspiracy to convince us people in Europe that there is someone out to damage our economy.
    I have heard it said that the best bullshit stories are the ones that are 99% true. Well the US is sending a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf area. The story that gets reported to the public is that this second carrier is needed there to maintain the freedom of the seas in the area.
    No one has ever told me this before. But it is quite clear that everyone gets told a different story depending upon what those pulling the strings want their puppets to know.
    Am I a puppet of the Americans, the Chinese, the Cubans or the simulation administors? It is a difficult question to answer.

  11. The Pell story is important to the people it affects. Other stories, like COVID-19 are important to a whole lot more people. I just hope the relative amounts of reporting remain in proportion to overall real world importance. I doubt they will though.

  12. K2T,

    Excellent reference to the short article “Corporate Socialism: The Government is Bailing Out Investors & Managers Not You” (With Mark Spitznagel) – Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It is spot on.

    My son is a big fan of Taleb and has all his books. Taleb’s books appear to me to be somewhat derivative pop-philosophy on the strict philosophy side but clearly worthwhile on concepts like probability, risk, fat-tailed risk, white swans, black swans and so on.

  13. JQ said “we must find a way”. What is it? Politically difficult! So? “Citibank’s most profitable trader globally” says a “one-off emergency wealth tax”(^1) NOW.

    Ikon, I could have posted 10 others. Here is one, with an action which appeals and needs to be put to referendum LAST WEEK;

    “In Zombie Economics, John Quiggin explains how these dead ideas still walk among us—and why we must find a way to kill them once and for all if we are to avoid an even bigger financial crisis in the future.” (princeton press)

    Would someone here please explain specific methods to kill them once and for all. Implementation strategies, not just the instruments (ubi, jg, tax, inflation). We’ know the reasons. (Without the word socialism or capitalism. A separate thread? )

    I know, I know – win an election. So my quesrion therefore is; what will I stand up and say at my local when it opens, to the now 16% and rising one nation voters or the 40-60%+ national voters. 
    – UBI? – “what? Eff off”. 
    – Tax/cap gains/ frank? – “ouch! that bottle to my head hurt!”. 
    – Caring governmemt -“Socialist eh – you’re not gonna tell me what to do!”.

    The zombies on ventilators now, will rise and be out in force asap after lockdown – 6mths. The markets are wild now, as as the person who wrote this article below can attest. Alot of money will end up, up, not flooding down as it is currently due to the pandemic. And austerity will raise it’s ugly head.

    In the linked conversation article “Price-level targeting: how inflation-focused central banks can squeeze more from interest rates”, states the problem [always politics] with these suggested instruments “A downside, for some, is that when conditions are buoyant it would require the Reserve Bank to keep interest rates higher for longer, which the bank might find politically difficult.”
    https://theconversation.com/price-level-targeting-how-inflation-focused-central-banks-can-squeeze-more-from-interest-rates-127100#

    … which suggests an alternative to JQ’s extra nominal inflation totallling 7% providing in ten years for repaymet. (I assume ‘repayment’ is incorrect ). But this does place the problem – “might find politically difficult ” – top of my mind. JQ, is your inflation target based in political acceptance?

    Solutions aplenty – realisation rare.

    They need to be killed off now. “We must therefore urgently urge governments to introduce mechanisms that will ensure that the rich contribute to resolving this crisis, rather than simply profiting from it.”. How please?

    ^1. “Following the coronavirus money trail
    “Central banks are printing money on an unprecedented scale. Unless governments act, most of this will end up in the bank accounts of the rich.

    “… this sudden abundance of money, the obvious question is: why did we have to put up with a decade of austerity? The truth is: we didn’t. Austerity was always a political choice that was fuelled by right-wing ideology and bad economics.

    Governments, meanwhile, will be left largely indebted. The likely outcome of this will be austerity and decreased consumer spending, as both individuals and governments try to balance weakened budgets. Meanwhile, house and asset prices will skyrocket as the rich put their increased net income positions to work.

    A very similar dynamic to this occured after the 2008 crisis, which also saw large scale money printing by central banks to replace lost spending by the rich in the economy. This was followed by skyrocketing asset prices, while the real economy and wages stagnated. It is important we do not make these mistakes again.

    The most pressing issue at the moment is to provide support for those who need it. In times of crisis, we should be asking the rich to help pay for this response. But instead we are largely billing the poor, while consigning ourselves to a future of austerity, unaffordable housing and increased inequality.

    We must therefore urgently urge governments to introduce mechanisms that will ensure that the rich contribute to resolving this crisis, rather than simply profiting from it. The most effective policy would be a one-off emergency wealth tax. This would ensure that the sizable costs of this crisis are borne by those who have the capacity to pay them, as well as avoiding the huge increases in inequality seen after the 2008 crisis.

    A one off, emergency crisis demands a one-off, emergency response. We can’t afford to make the poor pay for another crisis.”
    By Gary Stevenson 
    In 2011 he became Citibank’s most profitable trader globally by correctly predicting that the aftereffects of the 2008 crisis would lead to a long term stagnation in interest rates and a rapid rise in asset values.
    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/following-coronavirus-money-trail/

  14. Boris Johnson is reported to be in intensive care. Yet it is also reported that he is not on oxygen and that his conditions is sabel. Wels if he is not on oxygen and his condition is stable why is he in “intensive care” then? Does this story sound fishy to anyone else? Why it even has a fish written in to the story.

  15. A new source, Climate Copernicus. eu, reports that the earth’s fever was .68° C above the 1981 to 2010 average.
    That is .2° higher than the other source, Dr. Roy Spencer. The anomoly for March was less than for February. But if it was .68 higher than the average of 1981-2010, which is already a goal post that has been moved. Although March did not clock in at a higher anomoly than Feb., which is what I would have expected, there is little cause for celebration, for now anyways.

  16. Corvid19 will pass. This WILL NOT. What effect will such a powerful tool have on economics and decisions?

    Clearview is THE unprivacy tool, owned by people who want to snapback harder than we can imagine. Thiel anyone? Minority Report for real. Who needs to worry about Russia when…

    “The Far-Right Helped Create The World’s Most Powerful Facial Recognition TechnologyClearview AI, which has alarmed privacy experts, hired several far-right employees

    “Clearview is the most powerful form of facial recognition technology ever created, according to the Times. With more than 3 billion photos scraped surreptitiously from social media profiles and websites, its image database is almost seven times the size of the FBI’s. Its mobile app can match names to faces with a tap of a touchscreen. The technology is already being integrated into augmented reality glasses so people can identify almost anyone they look at.

    “The movement’s high priest, Curtis Yarvin, is a programmer who goes by “Mencius Moldbug” and has a cryptocurrency startup funded by Thiel. Yarvin, who seemingly endorses slaveryand has written approvingly of apartheid, has argued the U.S. would be better off if ruled by a CEO-king. To make this happen, he advocates for a soft coup. Among neoreactionaries, Trump is often referred to as the “God-Emperor” who will restore order to an immigrant-flooded nation under the thumb of a progressive media-academic complex ― “global Jewry,” in neo-Nazi-speak. 

    Giesea, whose ties to Thiel go back decades, organized the dinner in Cleveland. As a student, he edited Thiel’s libertarian newspaper, The Stanford Review. He later worked for Thiel’s first hedge fund, and then for Koch Industries’ public affairs office. Thiel put up seed money when Giesea started his own company.

    Ahead of the 2016 election, Giesea worked closely with Cernovich to help organize a social media insurgency that could direct the far-right’s energy toward a singular purpose: getting Trump elected. Their network amplified extremists, besmirched opponents and disseminated Kremlin-boosted disinformation.”…
    https://huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/clearview-ai-facial-recognition-alt-right_n_5e7d028bc5b6cb08a92a5c48

    Australian police are using the Clearview AI facial recognition system with no accountability
    “Lack of accountability
    This development is particularly concerning as the Department of Home Affairs, which oversees the federal police, is seeking to increase the use of facial recognition and other biometric identity systems. (An attempt to introduce new legislation was knocked backlast year for not being adequately transparent or privacy-protecting.)

    Gaining trust in the proper use of biometric surveillance technology ought to be important for Home Affairs. And being deceptive about the use of these tools is a bad look.”
    https://www.startupdaily.net/2020/03/australian-police-are-using-the-clearview-ai-facial-recognition-system-with-no-accountability/

    “James was dumbfounded to see himself in so many photos on a stranger’s phone. Some of his social media accounts had been set to private, and he had been careful not to post too many photos of himself to the web. But the mysterious app had found him on his brother’s Instagram account within seconds.”

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/clearview-ai-trump-investors-friend-facial-recognition

  17. Economic easter eggs for economic nerds. Or is the geeks?

    Would someone here please recomend a playlist or two around a theme/s. I have posted just 3 of the first 10. Other themes and topics too numerous to list. See NYT article below.

    Missing: “Opportunity Cost”, “Economics in Two Lesson” & “Options are not optional” by John Quiggin. “Models, Observations & Questions” by Ernestine. “New Prescriptions” by Ikonoclast. “Oscillations & Economics” by KT2 – (Due about 2025). “The battle between zpg & no nett” – various. Other title suggestions welcome.

    Library of Congress 
    Search Films, Videos -7,000+
    Collections with Films, Videos

    Search “Economic”
    Results: showing 1-25 of 585   

    FILM, VIDEO
    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
    Contributor: Perkins, John
    Date: 2006-04-10

    FILM, VIDEO
    What To Do About Worsening Economic Inequality: The Rising Tide Tax System and Other Proposals
    Contributor: Shiller, Robert
    Date: 2006-12-06

    FILM, VIDEO
    Plunder : the crime of our time 
    Crime of our time Catalog Record – Electronic Resource Available

    Explores how the financial crisis was built on a foundation of criminal activity, uncovering the connection between the collapse of the housing market and the economic catastrophe that followed. To tell this story Schechter speaks with bankers involved in these activities, respected economists, insider experts, top journalists including Paul Krugman, and even a convicted white-collar criminal, Sam Antar.Contributor: Copyright Collection (Library of Congress) – Polarity/1 (Musical Group) – Globalvision (Firm) – Schechter, Danny – Disinformation Company – Nowosielski, RayDate: 2010
    https://www.loc.gov/film-and-videos/?q=economic

    “Film Treasures, Streaming Courtesy of the Library of Congress

    “The astonishment of riches includes up-close looks at our history in hundreds of films. And they’re all free.

    “Sneeze” [One of the world’s oldest films, “Sneeze,” Shot in 1894] is just one of many films that you can watch for free online courtesy of the Library of Congress, which partly acquires deposits through the United States Copyright Office. The biggest library in the world, it has an extraordinary trove of online offerings — more than 7,000 videos — that includes hundreds of old (and really old) movies. With one click, you can watch Buffalo Bill’s Wild West showparade down Fifth Avenue in 1902; click again to giggle at Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse in a 1916 cartoon. And while the library is temporarily closed to the public, its virtual doors remain open. It remains one of my favorite places to get lost in. ”
    nytimes .com /2020/04/03/movies/library-congress-streaming-free.html

  18. From today’s CoalWire:
    “A study by researchers at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health has found that an increase of just one microgram per cubic metre of PM2.5 fine particle air pollution in the US is associated with a 15 per cent increase in the death rate of those infected with coronavirus.”
    This is not from a sample but a survey of 3,000 counties including 98% of the US population.

    The crises are linked: coronavirus, air pollution, climate change.

  19. So the fact that Australia’s death rate from COVID-19 is low so far seems even more surprising given our coal fired pollution and recent bush-fires. But it is not surprising really. Having a small population spread out over a large area is a good thing. We should adopt a ZPG policy with a target of about 30 million max. and remain a low population nation indefinitely with a very low population by per overall area. This will be the only way to survive a future of climate change and limits to growth.

    Remember, the big dinosaurs died. The little mammals and birds survived. Gigantism is not a survival strategy under severe resource constraint conditions. Evolution and the processes of punctuated equilibrium demonstrate this fact over and over again.

  20. Ikonoclast,

    Dawkins long ago demolished punctuated equilibrium, and Gould agreed he had.

    What fascinating debates they were!

  21. JW – “The crises are linked:” … so too climate change, covid-19 outbreak, China break out.

    China extracts 861,400 cubic metres of natural gas from ‘flammable ice’ in South China Sea
    •Volume of fuel extracted from gas hydrates is a new world record, natural resources ministry says
    •Month-long trial also sets a ‘solid technical foundation for commercial exploitation’, it says
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3077156/china-extracts-861400-cubic-metres-natural-gas-flammable-ice

    What are gas hydrates?
    •The hydrate reservoir may have strong influence on the environment and climate, because methane is a significant greenhouse gas.
    https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/what-are-gas-hydrates?qt-news_science_products=0#qt-news_science_products

    The above linked in:

    China seizes Covid-19 advantage in South China Sea
    China ramps up military drills and energy exploitation in contested waterway while US military bogged down in virus crisis at home
    asiatimes.com/2020/04/china-seizes-covid-19-advantage-in-south-china-sea/

  22. Svante – “Recent work in developmental biology has identified dynamical and physical mechanisms of tissue morphogenesis that may underlie abrupt morphological transitions during evolution. Consequently, consideration of mechanisms of phylogenetic change that have been found in reality to be non-gradual is increasingly common in the field of evolutionary developmental biology, particularly in studies of the origin of morphological novelty. A description of such mechanisms can be found in the multi-authored volume Origination of Organismal Form (MIT Press; 2003). ” – Wikipedia.

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