What I’ve been doing and saying

My latest Substack newsletter, a report on what I’ve been up to in June and early July. My biggest news is that I’ve decided to take a break from commenting on day-to-day politics. Even starting with low expectations, I’ve been deeply disappointed by the Albanese government. That feeling seems to be widely shared, especially as regards Covid and Climate. Perhaps the public response will turn things around, but I don’t have anything much to add beyond what I’ve said already.

Instead, I’m trying to think about longer term issues, making the case that we need a utopian vision as an alternative to the current dystopia.

2 thoughts on “What I’ve been doing and saying

  1. On climate change, the Greens have announced a willingness to shift ground in order to allow agreement to be reached between the Albanese Government and the Greens on climate change policy, but Labor has been adamant that its target of 43% emissions reductions by 2030 is not negotiable. It has also not indicated an interest in the proposal from Teal independent Zali Steggall for amendments to allow the target to ratchet up over time.

    The Greens’ position is outlined at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jul/17/greens-open-to-backing-labors-43-emissions-target-but-demand-ban-on-new-coal-projects

    Steggall’s proposal is at https://www.zalisteggall.com.au/good_climate_laws_should_not_be_bare_minimum

  2. Re COVID-19, broadcast on Radio 2GB this morning (Jul 18), NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet told Ben Fordham:

    In many cases, Ben, in many cases at the moment, the current strand of influenza, um, is more severe than the current strands of COVID, so we need to look at it.

    It seems to me a dramatic change must have occurred in the last few weeks since The Conversation piece by Paul Glasziou & David Henry, dated Jul 4, titled Flu may be back, but COVID is far from over. How do they compare?. It includes a comparison table titled COVID and flu cases and deaths in Australia. Key points include:

    * COVID has been far more infectious and spreads more rapidly than influenza.
    * Seasonal influenza has a reproduction number of about 1.3 , compared with 4.2 for Omicron.
    * As a result, we have had nearly 100-fold more COVID than influenza cases this year, and COVID will likely remain the major cause of hospitalisations and deaths over winter.

    And a COVID-19 infection can lead (to a 1-in-5 chance, regardless of vaccination status) to a so-called ‘long-COVID’ chronic longer-term disablement, whereas a flu infection doesn’t.

    So I’m puzzled how influenza is more severe than COVID. Does anyone know what Premier Perrottet is on about?

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