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


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33 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. If Joe Biden is elected President then the carbon tax proposal I (and Greg Mankiw & Alan Greenspan and many others far more notable that myself) have supported for more than a decade will come into operation. Specifically, the US will tax carbon emissions on a consumption basis – ignoring carbon exports and levying border taxes on carbon imports. While this will be an important policy reversal for the US, it has, as Alan Mitchell points out in the AFR today, have important implications for Australia since Australia would almost certainly follow suit. More significantly, of course, China would have incentives to impose its own consumption-based tax since otherwise, this tax revenue would accrue to the US rather than being collected by the US government. Selecting this tax base has the correct dynamic incentive properties.

    The commonsense virtues of this proposal will become self-evident. All other countries which trade with the US will have incentives to follow suit. There will be no arguments about damaged import-competing industries since there will be a level playing field. Nonsensical proposals about closing down carbon-producing industries while simultaneously importing the products of such industries will vanish.

    The world will move inexorably towards a state where all carbon emissions are taxed. This is the objective too of the “production base” carbon tax supporters but they have no credible means of achieving it.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1883954

  2. Poor old Drew Pavlou, sentenced to 25 hours ‘community service’ as well as being suspended until the end of the year.

    Since when did Universities discipline students with community service? UQ is determined to humiliate Drew.

    Of course, the actual humiliation is of UQ senior management.

  3. Harry Clarke: There is a wide gap between “included in the electoral programme of the President” and “enacted into law by both houses of Congress”. Either Biden will be hostage to McConnell, or he will be a (better treated) hostage to centrist Democrats like Manchin, Kobuchar and Sinema. Biden is heavily favoured to win. I wouldn’t bet on a carbon tax.

  4. Update on EVs in Europe, from various posts at CleanTechnica.

    In the (disrupted) first six months of 2020, the market share of PHEVs (plug-in hybrids plus pure battery vehicles) was over 10% in four countries:
    Portugal 12%, Netherlands 16%, Sweden 26%, Norway 69%.
    The share is approaching 10% in several larger markets:
    UK 7%, Switzerland 8%, France 9%
    Germany is still below 4% for the half-year, but hit 8% in June.

    The split between hybrids and BEVs varies. For the long run it’s not significant, as the more complex hybrids will disappear along with the range anxiety that props them up.
    Rising market share should trigger positive feedback through network effects: visibility, expanding charger networks, more political leverage to maintain subsidies and solve regulatory problems like charging in blocks of flats. In the short run, the emissions reductions are almost as good as with BEVs, as most trips are short and within the battery-only range. Rising overall numbers generate economies of scale in production and marketing, a wider range of models on the market, and support rapid innovation in batteries. Customers can also expect V2G benefits in the next few years.

    Australia? Only 0.5% market share in 2019, but growing fast from this tiny base. There is no reason to think it won’t follow the European trend. Distances? Look at a map of Norway. Western Australia? Nobody – almost – lives there.

  5. I hope Australian readers (and J.Q.) will not mind me putting up a consumer warning here.

    CONSUMER WARNING!

    Be very wary if you are considering external works around your house such as landscaping, earthworks or pools. Be very wary also if considering internal renovations. In summary, be very wary of ALL builders and tradespeople. An extensive qualitative change or transition has occurred over the last 30 to 40 years in our society whereby the householder, for a number of reasons, is now much more at risk of getting a sub-standard or dangerous job done and being duped by unscrupulous persons and builders etc.

    Although my personal tale is anecdotal, my overall observations of Australian society, as it affects householder-consumers, are quite lengthy and broad. I am not a babe in-the-woods. I have a considerable life experience of over 40 adult years but I have just been stung by an attempted outdoor project of considerable scope.

    What I have learned is that our Australian society is now seriously decayed in honesty and competence. There are a lot, lot more incompetent and dishonest people in the trades and business now than there were 20 to 40 years ago. I believe I know this because over that time, I had our first house re-roofed and then had extensive kitchen remodelling plus interior renovations of that house done. Then we had our new house built from scratch about 25 years ago and another kitchen and laundry renovation here about 5 years ago. (We used a company my sister-in-law works for for that last work so it was more of a known quantity.) In summary, my wife and I have over this time, commissioned quite a bit of work, done our due diligence, research, signed contracts dealt with the trades etc. etc.

    Yet, this time around we have been stung. It’s either bad luck or senility or a symptom of a deeper and extensive change for the worse in out society. I believe it is the last. Supervision and certification processes for trades and building has, over the last 20 years or so, been declining and has been moved from state departments which once did a good job, to privatized certifiers who seem to be mostly corrupt, I would say, these days. Some indeed may taking kick-backs from builders to pass dodgy work.

    The work my contractor has done to date is absolutely disgraceful, dangerously unsound and would be certainly uncertifiable if the system were not corrupt. I have good circumstantial evidence now that the system is corrupt. We had an independent structural engineer come and take a look at the works to date and his verbal assessment on site was that the work should have involved a structural engineer from the outset and should be totally uncertifiable. He also stated essentially that he doesn’t know doesn’t how many contractors in certain fiels doing work for householder customers get their work certified. He wasn’t prepared to elaborate and I did not press.

    In my view, the entire system today nation-wide is extensively corrupt and there is a lot, possibly even a majority, of sub-standard work and corrupt certification occuring.

    My wife and I are seeking to get out of our contract by mutual agreement with contractor with no litigation on either side. It looks like our contractor will accept the deal to keep the deposit and just walk away from the job. Except, it seems he will want to hit us with costs for extra materials delivered if he can’t return them for credit. We will then, after that, have to pay another earth-moving contractor to come in and destroy the works and return our large backyard to its original shape and profile sans any grass. Total loss to us I estimate will be $10,000 to $15,000: not really big enough to get into a litigious dispute over.

    We thought we had done enough checking and due diligence and signed a reasonable contract but the empirical outcome proves we had not. More fool me for not doing more checking. I blame myself at one level. At another level, I can see our society has developed very serious systemic corruption issues under neoliberalism that go to the heart of everything that a worker and/or householder needs to do to live a tolerable life. I am not saying our society was perfect before but it is definitely very bad now: an absolute minefield for the worker and householder. Our so-called protections, licensing and government agencies are toothless these days. Expect no help from them. They do nothing, absolutely nothing for the consumer. Neoliberalism has pulled all their teeth and everything is rigged in favor of business, including inj favor of corrupt business.

    My advice to people is this:

    1. If you are considering contracted works in or around your home which will cost more than $5,000 then my first advice is simply, DON’T do it. If it is merely amenity spending then DON”T do it. It is not worth it. The project will likely destroy your equanimity and amenity, not enhance it.

    2. If you consider the works to be essential, then spend at least 6 months planning, researching and doing due diligence. You simply cannot trust anybody in this corrupt, decaying society except yourself. As a rule of thumb, for every $2,000 you are spending, the contract will need a page. It needs to be a long, watertight contract that covers absolutely everything. There are examples around if you research hard enough online. If the works are over $10,000 or you will need to pay a trustworthy solicitor (good luck finding one of those too!) to vet the contract for you. And only sign it if she/he approves.

    3. Don’t expect any government body, quango body, industry body or consumer protection body to give you the slightest help in any way whatsoever. They are all completely useless and toothless.

    4. So, if you can’t cleverly tie your contractor up in complex contract which is much more of your devising (and/or your solicitor’s devising) than it is of your contractor’s devising then do NOT sign it.

    5. In summary, beyond works absolutely necessary for you life, health and safety do not commission any works for your property. Oh, unless you are deca-millionaire or better, then you can do what you like with huge solicitor and lawyer written contracts because the world is your oyster! The rest of us need to be extremely careful in what is now a terminally dishonest, corrupt and collapsing society.

  6. Adani failures..

    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/lucas-dow-steps-down-as-adani-australia-chief-executive-20200710-p55awp.html

    “…Lucas Dow joined Adani Australia in April 2018 and under his leadership Adani Mining reshaped the Carmichael Project, achieved final approvals and completed the first critical 12 months of construction,” the statement said.

    “Mr Dow will continue to be involved in the business in a non-executive capacity and remains an integral part of the Adani Australia team.” …

    But on Friday he wrote an opinion piece for News Corp in which he criticised the “ferocious campaign against [Carmichael] by anti-fossil fuel activists” who had “thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Adani to try to stop our project, but they have failed”.

  7. James Wimberley says, July 8, 2020 at 4:59 am: “Elon Musk’s net worth is now three times that of Gautam Adani…”

    brisbanetimes.com.au/business/the-economy/elon-musk-soars-past-warren-buffett-on-world-s-richest-list-20200713-p55bfk.html

    The bottom line:
    drive.com.au/news/which-electric-car-has-the-best-battery-warranty–123904.html?trackLink=SMH3

  8. James Wimberley beat me to it: it isn’t enough for Biden to be elected, he needs a house through which legislation can be passed, especially legislation that restores some independence for investigation, and ensures that the executive is not able to flagrantly ignore congressional subpoenas. Unstitching Barr’s DoJ and the legal fantasy of the unitary executive. Without at least that much in place, Biden hasn’t a hope of getting climate change legislation passed and implemented. The degree of corrupting influence of the barrage of lies and the rest of it has left the US project in a state of sudden shock of appearing naked. Denuded.

    Even if legislation is passed, the opposition can force it to the court system, and that’s been getting stacked with right wing conservative judges. The political appointment of judges always struck me as weird, for it is daring a party to pick judges with political biases in the decision making, quite the opposite of what you’d want in a judge, I’d have thought. So, if climate change legislation is challenged in a conservative court, who knows how it could shake out, or how many years of legal process hold it up.

  9. JQ…Keynes deleted sentence…
    “”We require, therefore, to work out a more general theory than the classical theory”.  General theory (I want one please), non-Euclidean geometries, Lewis Carroll and…

    “The first extant complete table of contents of Keynes’s next book, then titled simply The General Theory of Employment, was found in a bundle of papers dated December 1933. (Collected Writings, Vol. XIII, p. 421). In the first proofs of that book there is a sentence, deleted from later proofs, that occurs exactly at the point where Keynes declares that the classical theory cannot be applied to the problem of unemployment, and just before this passage:
        “”The classical theorists resemble Euclidean geometers in a non-Euclidean world who, discovering that in experience straight lines apparently parallel often meet, rebuke the lines for not keeping straight–as the only remedy for the unfortunate collisions which are occurring. Yet, in truth, there is no remedy except to throw over the axiom of parallels and to work out a non-Euclidean geometry. Something similar is required in economics. (Collected Writings, Vol XIV, p. 366)

    “The deleted sentence reads, “We require, therefore, to work out a more general theory than the classical theory”” (italics added).
    https://prospect.org/economy/keynes-einstein-scientific-revolution/

    “In hyperbolic geometry, by contrast, there are infinitely many lines through A not intersecting l, while in elliptic geometry, any line through A intersects l.”

    “The existence of non-Euclidean geometries impacted the intellectual life of Victorian England in many ways[26] and in particular was one of the leading factors that caused a re-examination of the teaching of geometry based on Euclid’s Elements. This curriculum issue was hotly debated at the time and was even the subject of a book, Euclid and his Modern Rivals, written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832–1898) better known as Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Euclidean_geometry

    “The non-Euclidean theory
    of economics thus to be developed, as perhaps foreseen but not generally
    understood by Keynes and Davidson, will therefore explain both the economic and
    political oppression of workers in capitalist society, and also the effective resistance thereto by workers thereby oppressed by society. The significance of a fully developed non-Euclidian theory of economics to the 99% movement, regarding how to make the economic (and political) lines more parallel and thus
    less impacted by the collusion of capitalism’s much favored few (the wealthiest 1%), thus truly will be immense.”

    Rethinking Keynes’ non-Euclidian theory of the economy
    https://rwer.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/rethinking-keynes-non-euclidian-theory-of-the-economy/

    Where is your PhD thesis JQ? The above indicates topology may also be in vogue.

    What is the current state of “The non-Euclidean theory
    of economics thus to be developed”? 

    Will “Dealing with the Unknowable and Unimaginable” provide a link or support towards “non-Euclidean theory of economics” – whatever that may be!?

  10. Solar desalination update
    Really neat lab research from Rochester (NY) on self-wicking evaporation panels. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-020-0566-x
    These are made from cheap aluminium, turned black and textured with tiny grooves using femtosecond laser pulses. Stick the panel at an angle into water with salt, pollutants, or bacteria, the angle chosen to collect sunlight. The dirty water makes its own way up the grooves and evaporates, leaving the crud on the grooves. Collect and condense the water vapour and it comes out drinkable. The crud can be simply rinsed off the plate.
    it’s just a lab demonstration, and there may be snags in scaling up, but the work ticks an awful lot of boxes: simple principle, cheap and robust materials, no moving parts, high efficiency. Plus death rays!

    BTW, of the ten co-authors of the paper, one has a European name, nine variously Asian names.

  11. Musk is a horrible person who built two horrible companies in his image. No good for news for the world in that. Thanks to their overseiced batteries and general overseiced nature, the co2 footstamp of those Teslas can´t even compete with a moderate siced conventional car, much less a reasonable electric car. They have the worst thinkable production quality and are built and designed by a workforce that is hired/fired on a whimp and expected to work 80+hour weeks. They don´t even get a couple of days off to see the birth of their children. He has stolen over a billion from other shareholders now with his ridiculous ceo contract and been showered with government money. The only good news there is that companies like Tesla are more likely to be mispriced than others, so he might still go bankrupt or at least remain a niche of the Porsche type.
    The interesting stories are those of all the struggling companies in the competitive almost commodity like solar panel market. Those are doing real good. If it has to be an union hateing billionaire that has to be adored, how about Alois Wobben that one is at least a genuine technical genius, not just a narcissistic marketing bigmouth.

  12. hix,

    I don’t know if Musk is a horrible person or not but the rest of your post is correct in essentials. Luxury cars and rocket ships are not going to save the biosphere.

  13. “Sitting up in my ICU bed I noticed a Tesla pumping fluids into me” (us, in ten yrs time).

    Vaccines – made by Tesla. Like it or not Mr Musk is going to be around in one form or another for a long time.

    “Tesla teams up with CureVac to make ‘RNA microfactories’ for COVID-19 shot, Musk says

     “Even so, CureVac has reportedly snared a big partner to help build its game-changing RNA “printers” that could turn global interest back in its favor.

    “Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Thursday that the electric carmaker had signed on with CureVac to make portable molecular RNA printers—what Musk appeared to refer to as “RNA microfactories”—to help produce doses of the German vaccine maker’s COVID-19 shot candidate.”

    https://www.fiercepharma.com/manufacturing/curevac-teaming-up-tesla-to-make-rna-microfactories-for-covid-19-shot

  14. Let’s see if I can make another one of my incorrect predictions. I made one at the start of Victoria’s second COVID-19 outbreak. Harry Clarke posted a little while back about his concern at the start of that outbreak. I replied to the effect that I was hopeful it could be contained and shut down quickly. We knew what to do, I said. I was wrong.

    I will make another prediction and let us all hope I am wrong again. I think this outbreak, in Victoria and N.S.W., is now out of control. There are too many unknown community transmissions for it to be brought back under control without a complete hard lock-down to total eradication. Anything less will be a disaster for Australia.

    Victoria’s new lock-down is tough but not tough enough. N.S.W.’s response is a serious under-reaction and their Premier has indicated further lock-down is not on the cards. Queensland continues to actually open up its economy! All these moves are dangerously wrong and will lead to an explosion of the corona-virus outbreak in the three most populous states in Australia.

    Failure to lock-down hard to total eradication is fatal mistake, literally so for many people. Without total eradication we will continue to experience stop-start “ground-hog day” lock-downs, indefinitely. The economic damage and human casualties from that will be far greater. But our advisers, politicians and populace have not yet learnt their lesson. Given that failure to learn any lessons yet, there are many more hard lessons to come and months to years of disruption ahead. That’s my prediction. Let’s hope I am wrong again.

  15. Iko,
    I’m of the opinion (open to be educated however) that if you want eradication, you need to stop all OS travel as one of the conditions. You can’t have both whilst the virus is still so rampant OS.

  16. Iko and Troy, I think overseas travel should be subject to rigid quarantining. But now it is not the central issue. Community transmission is with us – over 100 clusters in Victoria – the vast bulk of those infected have no immediately identifiable infector. It has now obviously spread to NSW.

    Strong lockdowns are now essential to control spread. Still, people are casual about the virus. Everyone on the streets should be wearing masks, avoiding human contact, washing hands.

    In my view, the best technology for living with the virus effectively are the daily tests now developed in the US. Everyone can test themselves each day. This is economically low cost and technologically feasible. Why are we not pursuing this?

    There are now doubts about the longevity of antibody protection (and the Frijters-Foster approach) so, in the absence of a vaccine, the options are (i) living with controllable outbreaks – it seems this is incredibly difficult unless you can live with recurrent lockdowns, or, belatedly introduce the daily testing technology (ii) eradication – I don’t know if seeking eradication will work or simply leave the whole population, in a democratic society, perpetually liable to reinfection.

    No easy options.

  17. Harry Clarke,

    Re: Carbon taxes.

    I agree, but with an important caveat, that the US and Australia, should “tax carbon emissions on a consumption basis – ignoring carbon exports and levying border taxes on carbon imports.” I would put my proposition this way:

    1. Place a federal carbon tax on the consumption of all fossil fuels in Australia. Remove all subsidies for fossil fuel use in Australia. This would include removal of the diesel fuel rebate and all other subsidies. Roll all fuel excises, but not GST, into the carbon tax in a revenue neutral manner. Use revoked subsidies for fossil fuel use for social redistribution.

    2. Place an excise carbon tax on all imported goods equivalent to the deemed fossil fuel use involved in their manufacture and transport to Australia.

    3. Impose a carbon tax on all estimated and then deemed fugitive emissions from natural gas production and use. Even impose a carbon tax on estimated dust “emissions” or escapes from all coal operations. Apply this at the same per tonne of carbon rate as CO2 emissions based on deeming that the assayed carbon content of all coals is 100% even for brown coal for the puposes of the carbon tax.

    4. Impose a carbon tax on the export of coal and impose that at the real assayed carbon content of the exports.

    I assume it will be provision 4 and maybe parts or all of 3 that you disagree with. They could possibly price Australian coal out of the world market unless other countries adopt similar measures. The profit losses will largely accrue to overseas coal companies who own and export our coal. Why should we care about their profit losses when saving ourselves from extinction is what counts? I doubt that Australia (meaning the Australian public and Australian governments) get much benefit from coal exports. How much really are our government coal royalty and other payments from the coal industry? Would it really affect Australia very much? Honestly, I doubt it and if it does then that is the price we MUST pay to hopefully avoid human extinction by 2050. Yes, it is really due that soon at current rates.

    https://nypost.com/2019/06/03/climate-change-could-end-human-civilization-by-2050-report/

  18. hix, I disagree. Electrification of transport is going to be very important to achieving low to below zero emissions. Expecting EV’s to start from day one as cheap mass market vehicles seems unrealistic. The claims that Tesla’s batteries are somehow worse in emissions terms than either other EV’s or ICE vehicles is false – lifecycle emissions are shown to be less than equivalent ICE, and of all the vehicle makers, Tesla’s commitment to preferentially using Renewable energy may be unique, and includes significant amounts of self supply. I also note that their (existing) batteries (and drive trains) appear to be capable of very long life, longer than most ICE vehicles could be expected to last and even longer lasting versions appear to be in the offing.

    In any case embodied emissions from manufacturing are a consequence of the broader energy mix; Tesla batteries are already playing a significant role in the transition to low emissions. As the proportion of low emission energy goes up in that mix the embodied emissions go down.

    The SpaceX Mars ambitions on the other hand are pretty much all hope and hype, but I expect the wastefulness of that to be self limiting; there is no commercial opportunity for private enterprise in Mars other than servicing taxpayer funded contracts. Mars is not the economic opportunity, those contracts are. That is not conducive to growth.

  19. James Wimberley beat me to it: it isn’t enough for Biden to be elected, he needs a house through which legislation can be passed, especially legislation that restores some independence for investigation, and ensures that the executive is not able to flagrantly ignore congressional subpoenas.

    Biden winning the Presidency is by no means a certainty, but the chance of Biden being elected President and the Republicans winning a majority in the House is negligible: if the Democrats do well enough to elect Biden President it is practically certain that they will also retain their House majority. It’s not the House but the Senate which is the issue. There is a realistic chance (although, again, not a certainty) of the Democrats doing well enough to elect Biden to the Presidency but not well enough to gain a Senate majority.

  20. Love your article just published on ABC News, bringing forward tax cuts for high income earners is indeed the worst possible Government policy option for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic recession.

  21. KT2 The non-Euclidean example fits directly with an allusion to Einstein. It was his idea of curved space that changed the view of non-Euclidean geometry from a consistent set of axioms to a potential model of the real world.

  22. Well, call me a poor searcher but I cannot find any article by John Quiggin on ABC News, authored and posted recently and about the topic(s),”bringing forward tax cuts for high income earners is indeed the worst possible Government policy option for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic recession.”

    Where the heck is it? I’ll keep looking but so far no banana for me.

  23. No John, it was Minkowski who developed the idea of a curved space. Einstein apparently didn’t understand Minkowski’s mathematics and came to it late in order to develop General Relativity, with help from a friend, during which he also studied tensor mathematics. Non-Euclidan geometry is much older than Einstein and was already well-studied in the 19th century, I think. Minkowski published a paper in 1907 showing the non-Euclidean space, and Einstein adapted it after his death. I think Minkowski was one of Einstein’s teachers.

    Understanding non-Euclidean geometry was essential for the development of a range of topics outside of relativity, including the concept of metrics and all the ideas of measure theory, I think (don’t quote me on that!) While it might be fair to say it wasn’t understood outside of mathematics, it was hugely important in mathematics before Einstein. Keynes’s contrast of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometers is a cute idea but it has no basis in the history of mathematics as far as I can tell, since all geometers by his era would understand that Euclidean spaces are very simple and special cases of general principles.

    (This was a very pedantic aside! But Minkowski deserves more credit imo for his contribution to relativity).

  24. Well, Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian have decided we need to have a full covid-19 crisis right here in Australia with thousands and maybe tens of thousands of deaths. Many of these deaths will be front line service workers from the supermarket checkout operators to our doctors and nurses. This is in addition to all the elderly people and those with pre-existing conditions who will also die.

    Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian have decided that keeping money flowing to rich capitalists is far more important than saving thousands of lives and preventing tens of thousands of chronic health conditions arising from covid-19 sequelae.

    “Scott Morrison says Australia cannot shut down to contain second wave of Covid-19” – The Guardian.
    Gladys Berejiklian says “suppression is the only option” and her state “WON”T go into lock-down”.

    Australia, or at least our three most populous and eastern states, will not be able to contain and prevent a disastrous mass outbreak under these conditions. We will have at least a Germany level outbreak. For Australia that will mean about 200,000 more cases and 3,000 more deaths in the next six months. If we have a USA level epidemic we will have about 275,000 more cases and 10,000 more deaths in the next six months.

    This is what we are facing JUST for the next six months alone! When I see the rank stupidity of the Australian political class, the rank greed of the monied class and the rank gullibility, foolishness, improvidence, fecklessness, seflishness, thoughtlessness and arrogance of most of the Australian populace, I feel extremely concerned about our future in existential not just socioeconomic terms. We are in massive trouble now. The population are going to be sacrificed to the needs of capital just as in the USA and UK. This will destroy the West. The West is finished. I hope the northern and eastern Asian peoples will show more mercy to us than we ever showed to them. It’s almost impossible to imagine how bad all this will get.

    This will be Scott Morrison’s second and massive leadership failure after the bush-fire crisis. Scotty specializes in continuous leadership failure. Clearly, the capitalists are pulling all his strings. The capitalists don’t realize it yet but they will immolate themselves along with the rest of us. Absent a great disaster of some kind in China (which is not impossible), China has now won the geopolitical and geotrategic struggle and will very effectively dominate the world. heir reign won’t last long however, as the world climate, environment, ecosystems plus our economies and civlizations will all collapse in the next 30 years. We are very clearly not wise enough or ethical enough to save ourselves.

  25. @Ikonoklast try: The Conversation Cutting taxes for the wealthy is the worst possible response to this economic crisis

  26. John Street,

    Thank you, I found it. I first tried searching from within the ABC web site. My big bad mistake. The ABC’s menus, navigation and search facilities are poor and definitely user unfriendly. I simply should have done a standard Duck Duck Go search for the topic title. Far more powerful and effective. Ten points for Duckkindor! Minus 10 points for ABC Bumblepuff!

  27. Wundering what will happen in the US once people start dying in masses in the South in West. Right now, it seems at least a significant minority if not more are still more or less in denial mode. Italy got the message after the dramatic events in Lombardia. They are still very carefull now and their numbers are among the best in Europe. They keep a consistent downward trend intact at those low levels. New York was worse and still seems to have had zero impact on the rest of the nation. That the healthcare system breaks down now is no wunder, it would break down in the best organiced imaginable of nations. Those just never got to those bad levels in the first place. The only new shocking detail in that article was that even at a covid test station they can´t manage disciplined mask wearing.

  28. hix says “The only new shocking detail in that article was that even at a covid test station they can´t manage disciplined mask wearing.”

    You can’t get it wrong if you don’t wear a mask. Genius.

    Trying to hand out free masks in the good ol usa … the chaser team could not have scripted better replies! A laugh or cry story.

    Solving the Mask Shortage in Huntington Beach

  29. 286 cases in Tokyo yesterday, the 7 day average is near 200, 40 times the number when we reopened from lockdown. Good thing we’re all wearing masks, eh!

  30. Bad thing we’re not all wearing masks, eh!

    But it wasn’t really about masks as much as priors. Swap free masks for free beers or free pistal votes for trump. I like dirt.

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