Monday Message Board

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Mastodon here

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.

30 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. “No one held back, no one left behind” is what Anthony Albanese declared a year ago on the night he led Labor to election victory. But with cost-of-living pressures being felt right across the country, this year’s federal budget has seen a concerted push to do something to help the millions of Australians living below the poverty line.

    The arguments about what should happen to JobSeeker or support for single parents have raged back and forth. Chief political correspondent Laura Tingle looks at how Australia ever got to the point where we accepted so many people struggling to make ends meet.”
    VIDEO: “Will the Government’s budget help Australians living below the poverty line?”
    Laura Tingle on the 7:30 report ABCTV
    Posted Wed 3 May 2023 at 8:08pmWednesday 3 May 2023 at 8:08pm, updated Wed 3 May 2023 at 9:07pm

    It seems inevitable that 3 million people, living in a state of relative poverty in Australia today, will be disappointed after tomorrow night’s budget. The Prime Minister had his “Bob Hawke moment” when he declared that they would not be left behind. Like Bob Hawke he probably now regrets saying what he did one year later. No politician, since 1983, has been able to stop more people sliding into poverty in this country. That has two structural reasons. One is that there is no will to do so among the majority of politicians. With a few exceptions, politicians are only focussed on their own careers and pet projects. The bigger picture of endemic poverty and wealth deficiencies escape their conscious hours.
    Tomorrow we will see an ALP government try to use a house hose to fight a poverty bushfire that has been raging now for decades. Some may be hauled out of the path of this economic monster, but not the majority of the working poor, the dispossessed, the disadvantaged and the downtrodden. Having listened to the federal Treasurer, the Prime Minister and other government ministers on the upcoming budget, I can forecast (a dangerous thing for any economists to do) another missed opportunity.
    The killer blow was when I learned that this will be a SURPLUS budget in the technical sense of that term. Now any economics textbook will tell you that a surplus budget is contractionary. With combined lagged effect of constant rate rises from the RBA ready to have their full impact felt over the next twelve months, the last thing our economy needs is a contractionary budget.

    That’s the problem. The second structural reason that people continue to slide into poverty is the political delusion that “dole bludgers” must be punished at all costs. Now Robodebt may have gone, but the mentality behind it very much alive in the public service and among politicians. It is amazing that as soon as an individual has a steady job and a high salary, they forget how hard some people are doing it out in the real world. The atmosphere in the halls of power in Canberra has a “Camelot” feeling. But no round table (discussion) or magic wand (single social welfare payment) will get poverty down in this country.
    The only answer is to re-educate politicians to face the realities of having three million people living in relative poverty in one of the richest countries in the world. No sports stadium, gas field, nuclear submarine or pious proclamations will make one bit of difference to the unequal distribution of income and wealth in this country. To change any of this then politicians must change their whole way of thinking about poverty and wealth distribution in this country.

  2. This caught my eye – actually old news from 2021, but another piece of the puzzle falling into place. A Norwegian research institute, Sintef, has developed a high-temperature industrial heat pump. Impressive photo:×676.jpg?width=1080&mode=crop&quality=80

    It can deliver process heat up to 180 degrees C, at a significant (ca. 50%) saving from straight resistance electric heating. This, and no doubt similar innovations from others, should open up a large chunk of the industrial market. Not all – Haber-Bosch reactors for instance run at 400 deg C. Still, the niche where you really have to use fossil fuels is shrinking all the time.

  3. James Wimberley: – Still, the niche where you really have to use fossil fuels is shrinking all the time.

    Yep. I understood industrial high temperature heat pumps (HTHPs) were able to produce heat outputs up to about 150 °C, but I’ve found a YouTube video published on Feb 27, titled 2023 High-temperature Heat Pumps Update with Dr Cordin Arpagaus – 22 February 2023, duration 1:02:53, that shows Kobelco SGH-165 units producing steam up to 165 °C.

    Dr Cordin Arpagaus, Senior Research Engineer, Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences (OST) presented an update on the latest high-temperature heat pump technology developments and applications happening in Europe – a great preview for what we can expect in Australia and New Zealand.

  4. On May 1, I posted a comment at this blog referring to statements by Australian Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Defence, Richard Marles MP on the ABC TV’s Insiders programme on Apr 30, and my simplistic take from the accumulating data re liquid fuel supply.

    Yesterday (May 9), Matt at posted a piece headlined Another 3 year warning on Australia’s fuel imports vulnerability. He refers to comments made by Defence Minister Richard Marles on the same ABC TV’s Insiders programme on 30 Apr 2023, then worked through some of the statements in this interview in detail, introducing data on Australia’s fuel supply vulnerabilities, including:

    * Fig 1: Australian imports of petrol, diesel & jet fuels by country: Mar 2022 – Feb 2023
    * Fig 3: Australia 1965-2021 Oil production vs consumption
    * Fig 4: Australian crude oil, condensate & LPG production: 2010 – Feb 2023
    * Fig 6: Australian petrol imports by country: 2004 – Feb 2023, 12-month moving average
    * Fig 7: Australian diesel imports by country: 2004 – Feb 2023, 12-month moving average
    * Fig 8: Australian jet fuel imports by country: 2004 – Feb 2023, 12-month moving average
    * Fig 9: Australian fuel imports by country: Mar 2022 – Feb 2023
    * Fig 13: Australian crude imports by country: Jan 2014 – Feb 2023, 12-month moving average, Impact of refinery closures, COVID
    * Fig 14: Australian monthly crude oil imports: Sep 2020 – Feb 2023
    * Fig 15: Australian crude oil imports by country: Mar 2022 – Feb 2023
    * Fig 21: Australian diesel imports from China, Taiwan and Brunei: Sep 2020 – Feb 2023

    Matt discussed some of the consequences of Australia’s liquid fuel predicament, including:

    If there is indeed only a 3 year window for fuel supply disruptions, there is no way that the introduction of EVs, electric buses and trucks will have proceeded sufficiently to make any material difference. For 20 years too many wrong decisions have been made. This cannot be corrected. The only thing which can be done is to not make the situation worse:

    * Reduce immigration to a minimum because additional migrants will consume more fuels, especially urban elites
    * Do not approve new oil consuming projects and structures like road tunnels, tollways, freeways and airports
    * Prepare to bail out Transurban with more than $30 bn debt

    I think Matt’s presentation of the data is very compelling.

    Yet it seems to me that governments, the media, and business are behaving as if our liquid fuel supplies are secure.

  5. Thanks for the good news, James!!

    I don’t know if you watched the coronation, but I really enjoyed some of the music. And I heard the morning concert before it was good too.

  6. Wellbeing in Australia 2023.

    I didn’t know “Authors are welcome to list their documents or publications on this page.” JQ or others may consider listing.

    Thesis also listed going back to start of Wellbeing Index. This one caught my eye:
    Michael Leary
    “Is Social Justice Possible? A critique of the responses of F.A. Hayek, John Rawls and Alasdair MacIntyre.”

    “Australian Unity Wellbeing Index – Results Reports, data, and data dictionaries

    Report 39 (2023). Australians’ subjective wellbeing in 2022: Climate change, mental distress, mood and social connection.

    a) Report (2023). Australians’ subjective wellbeing in 2022: Climate change, mental distress, mood and social connection.Download
    b) Appendices (2023). Australians’ subjective wellbeing in 2022: Climate change, mental distress, mood and social connection. Download
    c) Executive Summary (2023). Australians’ subjective wellbeing in 2022: Climate change, mental distress, mood and social connection. Download
    d) Data for Report 39 Download

    Open-Access Publications
    “Authors are welcome to list their documents or publications on this page. The aim of this site is to allow access to otherwise relatively-inaccessible documents. The criteria for acceptance of documents for publication are provided HERE.

    Higher Degree theses
    “Members are invited to send their theses for inclusion in the ACQol site. These theses may be at the level of Honours, Masters or Doctoral. The only caveat for inclusion is that the thesis informs some aspect of life quality.

  7. Four NSW public schools have reverted to ‘learning from home’ amid a rise in COVID cases.

    Schools include:
    * Braddock Public School – Cranebrook
    * Toongabbie East Public School
    * Pelican Flat Public School – Central Coast
    * Mitchells Island Public School – Mid North Coast

  8. Bill Mitchell over at his MMT blog has these titles for his latest two blog posts:

    1. “The climate emergency requires us to reset our understanding of fiscal capacity. It is already, probably, too late.”

    2. “A fiscal statement (federal budget) designed to increase unemployment and drive more jobless workers into poverty”

    This is basically what other top economists, like our host here, are saying.

    B.M. and J.Q. have different emphases, different rhetorical approaches and different methods of argumentation and publication. Yet, when we come right down to it, they are on the same page on the big issues.

    They make sense on the key issues and yet the neoliberal elite/politician/public discourse and consensus continues to ignore them and many of their colleagues. The power complex of neoliberal capitalism has no interest in good advice: economic, or scientific.

    I can’t see anything changing for a long while yet. Neoliberal capitalism still has a complete stranglehold on our (Western) nations. It is almost certainly going to destroy us.

  9. Peter Dutton’s budget reply speech last night included a renewed Coalition push for nuclear energy:

    We want to see emissions go down.

    Indeed, between 2013 and 2021, the Coalition Government cut Australia’s emissions by 17 per cent while growing the economy and creating jobs.

    Next generation, small modular nuclear technologies are safe, reliable, cost effective, can be plugged into existing grids where we have turned-off coal, and emit zero emissions.

    In the 21st century, any sensible government must consider small modular nuclear as part of the energy mix.

    Thirty-two countries – including Canada, China, France, the United States and the United Kingdom – use zero emission nuclear power today, including to firm-up renewables.

    Fifty countries are exploring or investing in next-generation nuclear technology.

    Where are these “safe, reliable, cost effective, can be plugged into existing grids … small modular nuclear technologies”, Mr Peter Dutton? Show us where they are, how reliable they are, how much they cost, and where can they be plugged into the grid? I want to see real evidence/data, NOT ‘hand waving’ fantasy.

    JQ tweeted earlier today (May 12):

    Dutton playing to base with claims about Small Modular Reactors. Reminders
    * These don’t actually exist and may never happen
    * On optimistic timelines might be option for Oz after 2040
    * Suppliers projected costs (almost certainly underestimates) way above solar+battery storage

    Meanwhile, Chris Bowen highlights three reasons why Peter Dutton’s nuclear plan is a dumb idea for Australia…

  10. Only 4 school closures Geoff?

    Anecdata: last week  1 school camp, 400+ attendees,  @50% infection rate – SarsCoV2 + common cold –  x 5 days = 1,000 days lost productivity / learning. Minimum.
    Multiplier “2,220 public schools across NSW”.

    I’d say the week away has had a 40-50+% rate of illness with minimum 3 school / work days missed + 2 days of weekend.

    These kids and teachers are from an online opportunity – gifted – school (online due to low funding in rural NSW). So the kids came from all over the state, and have spread infections back to schools, families and regions. Which makes this superspreader event also a geographically multiplying event, with 2nd 3rd order effects. No one now is even bothering with the 1st order!

    Last week 5 day residential camp. Accommodation you ask? After spending 6 hours on a bus,  the 11 buses pulled into either Narabeen Sport & Recreation or were dropped at Olympic Park.

    Then most into 10 person dormatories. Some 4 person. Ventilation? Ha! You must he joking. Kids closed all windows as they were cold in rooms. In my kids dorm, one window wouldn’t close properly and kids agreed a bit of fresh air in a sleeping bag ok. 2nd night, a teacher closed window!

    Repeated for 5 days and four nights  ANSTO visit &  surfing school were a hit with the kids.

    Of the 400+ students and teachers,  10-15% –  40 to 60 known to date – tested positive to Covid.

    I am not privvy to statistics, just vague email notifications which have been every day, alerting us to more infections. And playground and classmates missing.

    it seems infection rate of teachers  to be double to triple compared to the high school students.

    No proper ventilation or temperature control equipment. No PPE. No hand sanitizer.
    No escape.

    I am not as doomer / realist as Geoff & Ikon – apolgies if moniker inappropriate – yet as you say, we are a mutation away from serious Covid again. Yet we seem not to have learnt nor prepared infrastructure for a known future of flu + Covid every year for the foreseeable future.

    And the  other coronovirus – common cold –  as half the others who escaped Covid seem to have caught a serious cold. We both did RAT tests for 3 days. No Covid. Just a serious cold. 3 days of school missed. 1 test missed to be taken later. All lessons missed to be viewed online later.
    Multiply above  – “The NSW public education system – one of the biggest education systems in the world – has more than 823,000 students attending 2,220 public schools across NSW this year.”
    education nsw nsw-education-in-numbers-for-2021

    My kids school refused a community led ventilation investigation.

    So when I hear individuals accepting Covid yet acting individually, I get a bit perplexed. “I’ll protect myself” is not an answer to Covid. Not are unventilated dormitories. 

    We need circuit breakers. Not bus trips and 10 person 1950’s style dormatories at the beginning of winter.

    Any suggestions?  Sa la vie.

  11. The Covert Voice.
    Of coughing and lung cancer, enabled by greed of ex government staffers.

    “We found 48% of in-house tobacco company lobbyists and 55% of lobbyists acting on behalf of tobacco companies held positions in Australian state or federal governments before or after working for the tobacco industry.”

    Those voting No to The Voice, seem not to be voting No to covert Voices, whilst spreading bullcrap about defining everything before the referendum, eliding the process of parliment and the government of the day being able to completely control The Voice.

    Another referendum please. Can we enahrine in the Constitution “Ex Government members who lobby for products guaranteed to kill, to be prosecuted for manslaughter”. Captures military induatrial complex too.

    Now that would be a strong Voice & bold Constitutional change.

  12. There have been;

    (a) 59 deaths from COVID in NSW this reporting week, 53 last reporting week;
    (b) 56 deaths from COVID in Vic this reporting week; and
    (c) No count from Qld because Qld. has stopped reporting separately.

    The continuous changes and novel omissions in data indicate (IMHO) that all governments in Australia (state and federal) are deliberately obscuring/hiding COVID-19 deaths as much as possible without being obviously totally dishonest.

    The Qld CHO makes a big song and dance about flu season and flu shots (as transmitted as a talking head on TV) while saying nothing about COVID-19 and COVID-19 shots. This is when COVID-19 death stats are far worse than the current single digit seasonal flu deaths for the whole year so far in Qld. What could be behind this selective announcing and reporting?

    IMO, there is clearly a concerted campaign in Australia to remove COVID-19 awareness from the popular consciousness while raising decoy alarms about pathogens significant in themselves (season flu, RSV) but far less prevalent and far less dangerous currently than COVID-19. We need to be concerned about *all* notifiable respiratory diseases, *especially* the worst by far, namely COVID-19. Why are they doing the exact opposite and playing it down as if it is nothing?

    Something stinks in the state of Australia.

  13. Time to put your money in the spike protiens mouth

    Burnet Institute begging for a mere $200,000 for;

    “A universal COVID vaccine is within our reach

    “They introduced mutations into the spike protein that made it extremely stable. This stability resulted in antibody responses that were broadly effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants – in other words, it had the potential to be a universal COVID vaccine.

    “Now it’s time for the next step, validation trials, and this is where we need your help.

    “We are aiming to raise a total of $200,000 by the end of June 2023, which will entirely fund trials to validate the efficacy of the Burnet-engineered universal COVID vaccine candidate. From start to finish this process will take three months, and with your support, we aim to be finished by the end of 2023

    They can’t get $200k!

    As Ikon said “Something stinks in the state of Australia.”.

  14. Geoff Miell: The good news from your Swiss expert on high-temperature heat pumps is that a good many competent vendors are developing and marketing solutions to fit very different use cases, so we can expect broad progress towards decarbonisation of a broad range of industrial processes. The bad news is that a good many competent vendors are developing and marketing solutions to fit very different use cases, so none of them are likely to secure large economies of scale.

    Contrast the residential market. Houses differ in size, but their inhabitants all want the same things, within a narrow technical range: hot tap water, and comfortable space heating and cooling (20-25 degrees C). Besides, houses do not have access to interesting sources of waste heat, the sinks and sources are just the air and ground around the property, the same everywhere in a region. Heat pumps are a well understood and mature technology. We can expect significant economies of scale in both manufacture and installation.

  15. Scotland has moved to blatant forced mass infection of people with COVID-19. Of course, places like Queensland, Australia are not far behind. In Scotland’s case,

    TLDR? The key statement is:

    “In practice, for social care settings, this will mean that *the element of choice* to wear a mask outwith when it is recommended in the NIPCM/CH NIPCM *will no longer apply*.” (Emphasis added.)

    Even self-choice to wear an N95 mask or better is prohibited. The NIPCM guidelines permitting that are to be withdrawn on 16 May. After that, all health and aged care staff will not be permitted to wear such masks.

    The standard BS justification is:

    “The wearing of face masks can impact on the health and wellbeing of staff and users of social care, especially those with dementia or cognitive impairment. They can create communication barriers and impact negatively on relationships. Social care settings are peoples’ homes, and it is important that we continue to move towards more normalised living, with face masks only worn when there is a clinical need to do so as per the National Infection Prevention and Control and Care Home National Infection Prevention and Control Manuals.

    Wearing a mask outwith times where there is a clinical need can create a false sense of security. In some services blanket approaches to face mask wearing have been taken which are not recommended. Appropriate IPC practices are also not always being followed.

    In addition to the social harms of mask use, there are environmental and financial impacts with increased use.”

    You could not make this up, but neoliberal managerialists can.

    “The spring booster is being offered (ONLY) to people at greatest risk including adults aged 75 or over, residents in care homes for older adults, and people aged 5 and over with a weakened immune system.” (Emphasis in parenthesis added.)

    “While health and social care workers are not being offered a spring booster, they remain eligible for the primary offer (first and second dose) of COVID-19 vaccination.”

    So two vaxes and you are done for all aged care and health workers presumably, unless they fall into some other qualifying category.

    “In addition to the social harms of mask use, there are environmental and financial impacts with increased use.”

    So too bad about the social, health and financial harms of endless COVID-19 infection, which costs human and financial far outweigh the costs of N95 masks and “not seeing smiles”.

    It’s forced mass infection with a dangerous, mutating BSL 3 pathogen. Queensland and Australia are going down / about to go down this path too. If I was religious I would say “God help us!” Being of a more secular bent all I can say is, “Try to keep yourself and your family safe. The rich, privileged and their abettors in government and administration have abandoned us.

  16. Geoff asks me “Why” – “My kids school refused a community led ventilation investigation.”

    Cameras funded and now one camera to 10 students.

    Trying to effect Dept Education at any level is like trying shift boulders by hand. We said “use this” – to no effect!

    We asked to do this “How Brisbane Independent School prevented outbreaks of COVID-19, despite Omicron wave” for free with parents, community and kids curriculum. “No Covid!” we claimed. Crickets. Then Lead balloon. It pains me to remember. Excellent nuanced example & method to follow;

    “How Brisbane Independent School prevented outbreaks of COVID-19, despite Omicron wave”

    By Janelle Miles and Ciara Jones
    Posted Thu 31 Mar 2022

    And 2nd IAQ – Indoor Air Quality – method in Qld;
    “Study Fresh aims to increase productivity in Queensland schools through ensuring the healthiest possible learning environment. To do this, we run workshops with schools where students build their own indoor air quality (IAQ) sensors, monitor the air quality in their classrooms and learn ways through which they can improve it.”

    Head master, deputy x 2 are protecrors and have swallowed the Dept Education Koolaid. Threatened by teachers or P&C, the executive closes rank. Headmaster has never ever in 9 yrs allowed anyone else to write school newsletter.
    Teachers and kids just see bullies.

    We have been bitching for 20yrs for air-conditioning.

          “In NSW, teachers say the government’s policy to have schools open their windows for natural ventilation means some students have already been forced to learn in freezing conditions.

    “One teacher in the Blue Mountains said students currently in face-to-face learning were bringing in blankets.

          “It’s currently 13C here and raining,” she said on Wednesday. “We have been told that we can put the heater on, but the warmth is just blowing outside.

          “Summer will be interesting too. We often have days well over 40 and have been told we can’t use the air-con as it recirculates the air in the room,” she said.


    I, in 2020, was gobsmacked the DE – (Distance Educ students) room was still using Gas! heaters in winter. And an open windows policy! .

    The school put in 2 x column heaters to placate me and feel better.

    Just asked my kid re gas heater in DE room – “I turn off the gas heater most days in winter”.

    This page is just corporate speak.

    “Our independent advice confirms that even on a still day, the vast majority of our classrooms have sufficient air changes through natural ventilation.

    “To support thermal comfort, schools may use heating or cooling in conjunction with windows and doors remaining open to continue to allow natural ventilation.

    ABS says:
    “In Australia in 2022: 4,042,512 students were enrolled in 9,614 schools.”

    Say 10,000 schools.

    Last year Jim Chalmers delivered:
    “Government’s $270m push to make classrooms safer”
    by Brett Henebery
    01 Nov 2022
    “The Federal Budget handed down by Treasurer Jim Chalmers last week allocated $270m over two years for measures to upgrade school infrastructure across Australia.

    “The government’s Schools Upgrade Fund set aside more than $270m to support improvements to ventilation and air quality, as well as larger refurbishments to public schools.

    “Studies show that indoor air quality (IAQ) has a broad impact on students’ health and wellbeing, influencing factors such as cognition, productivity and fatigue, as well as avoiding allergies.

    “While not an extraordinary amount, this Federal Budget’s $270.8m million allocation to improve indoor air quality and ventilation at Australia’s public schools is instrumental to ensure more students and teachers have access to safer and healthier classrooms,” Nicholas Lambrou, CEO at Australian company Thinxtra, said.

    “We’ve been saying it since the start of the pandemic: there is no shortage of evidence showing proper ventilation and air quality not only reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 and other airborne diseases, but also make us more productive.”

    “Lambrou pointed to research from UNSW, which found high levels of CO2, humidity and particulate matter can lead to fatigue, a loss of concentration, and poor learning performance.

    “Air quality and monitoring go hand in hand. Schools have done a great job with opening windows and using the limited tools they’ve had, such as air conditioners and purifiers, to keep down CO2 levels and humidity, and maintain optimal temperatures,” he said.


    $279m / 2yrs / 10,000 =~
    $13,000. Per school.

    @$2000+ per unit (minus 4 here some days in winter so quality rating needed) plus install and maintainance, we could afford 4 air conditioners. Zero Co2 or purifiers. And remember, most infrastructure is aging, so by being austere, kids effected and backlog grows. You know the drill Geoff.


    And zero heat pumps – as yet.

  17. KT2,

    Yeah, but don’t you feel comforted by that $368 billion to be spent on obsolete subs? Which will probably leak and sink even if they are delivered and certainly will be sinkable by underwater drones and loitering torpedoes and smart mines costing a fraction of them.

    We can’t give kids clean, safe, circulated, warmed and hepa-filtered air in an energy-efficient classroom but we sure as heck can give the military industrial complex $368 billion for steel tubes and very well-off people tax cuts estimated at $243 billion over the next 10 years.

    So jolly and wonderful that we have our priorities right. Pity about the kids. I guess the next generation *isn’t* our future. They (neoliberals) talk that talk but they certainly don’t walk that walk. Nor will they fund it.

  18. The Tasmanian protest against the stadium boondoggle is a hopeful sign. The only way we are going to stop rampant neoliberalism, corporatism and elite capitalism (by and for the elites only) is to protest vote and also just plain protest. The protest votes need to become a permanent fixture, shifting mass support forever, away from the two neoliberal pro-rich, pro-oligarch, pro-corporate parties of Labor and LNP. Really, of course, they are Unlabor and Unliberal. They are stealing from the poor to give to the rich. This process is destroying the social fabric of Australia: destroying its people and its environment. The major parties must be stopped and removed from all power by democratic votes and legal protests. Our future depends on removing these thieving wreckers.

  19. Capital before kids Ikon.

    If you read the article “How Brisbane Independent School prevented outbreaks of COVID-19, despite Omicron wave” it shows that air, like water, can pool and stagnate… “Using a smoke machine, they studied airflow patterns in the school’s five classrooms and administration areas. ….”Carbon dioxide meters were also used to identify low-ventilation areas or “dead spots”.”

    By using smoke & Co2 meters, and then managing door / window / air blow from existing heating / cooling, the dead air spots are minimized. All air is then “fresh”.

    So simple!  So effective. .. “no in-school transmission has been identified.”.

    Schools are superspreader infrastructure. The losses are bourne by the children, families and community. 

    “… The exact economic cost of gaps in education is not easy to calculate, as it is based on projections and conjecture, but forecasts are bleak. A 2020 paper by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)states that:

          “students in grades 1 to 12 affected by the closures might expect some 3% lower income over their entire lifetimes. For nations, the lower long-term growth related to such losses might yield an average of 1.5% lower annual GDP for the remainder of the century.”

    “Other studies argue that school closures related to COVID-19 are likely to lead to a 0.8% drop in global economic growth. This is because a loss of learning makes future job candidates less competitive, reducing future earnings.

    “Psychological effects
    “But economic fallout is not the only consequence of COVID-19.

    “The psychological effects of school closure are significant. Research from the UK shows that behavioural incidents (for example antisocial conduct, hyperactivity, expressions of negative emotions) spiked after pandemic-related school closures. This behaviour can be explained by the lack of access young people had to age-like peers and the effects of stay-at-home claustrophobia.

    The psychological effects above
    “antisocial conduct, hyperactivity, expressions of negative emotions) spiked” are bourne out for my kid at school. The number of kids leaving school after yr 9, to me, is staggering. I don’t have figures to prove an increase.

    I’d say the above $ figures are worst case scenario yet illustrate the quantum of cash needed to minimise infections and bring public education infrastructure up to 21st C standards.

    Public not private school infrastructure. 

    Our children deserve better.

  20. No offence to Long Covid sufferers, but please warn me,  and keep your distance.

    “Association of SARS-CoV-2 infection and persistence with long COVID

    Chengliang Yang
    Hedi Zhao
    Estefanía Espín
    Scott J Tebbutt
    May 10, 2023

    “They found SARS-CoV-2 RNA widely distributed in 84 distinct anatomical locations up to 230 days after infection.3

    “Surprisingly, viral persistence was detected by high-sensitivity droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) across multiple tissue samples among all deceased with infection cases despite being undetectable in plasma.3

    “These findings suggest that the viral load in patients with COVID-19 might be low but still detectable in biospecimens with the appropriate assays following acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, the detection of subgenomic RNA, a marker of recent virus replication, and the isolation of replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 from respiratory and non-respiratory tissues, suggest that viral replication might occur for several months after the initial infection.3

    “Moreover, researchers in the USA and Austria found that viral RNA persisted in the stool of COVID-19 patients 7 months after diagnosis, which might imply that the gut of individuals with long COVID is a persistent viral reservoir.8, 9

    “Furthermore, a USA-based group reported that gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting) are associated with the persistence of faecal SARS-CoV-2 RNA, 7 months after diagnosis.8

    “Slovakian researchers reported the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with long COVID.10

    “The persistence of SARS-CoV-2 in the human olfactory neuroepithelium and associated inflammation were the cause of long COVID symptoms or relapses in post-COVID symptoms, such as loss of smell, as reported by researchers in France.11

    “Time from the first onset of symptoms to inclusion in the study ranged from 110 to 196 days. A USA-based group described the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and protein in the stools of 14 premature newborn babies delivered with negative nasal PCR results for SARS-CoV-2, whose mothers had been infected during pregnancy.12

    “The presented evidence suggests that the duration of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients can persist considerably longer than suggested by PCR-negative tests on nasopharyngeal swabs or bronchoalveolar lavage fluids. A US study including 40 947 participants with SARS-CoV-2 reinfection (two or more infections), 443 588 participants with a single SARS-CoV-2 infection, and 5 334 729 participants with no SARS-CoV-2 infection indicated that reinfection further increases risks of death, hospitalisation, and sequelae in multiple organ systems in the acute and post-acute phases.14  

  21. KT2: – “Better late than never.

    Is it any wonder that the CDC has set its first target for indoor air ventilation to prevent spread of Covid-19? Gregory Travis tweeted earlier today (May 14):

    Now that virtually every child has been infected at least once — and many are now going on their second, third and fourth infections — the endemic COVID death rate is 1.4 dead children a day, every day

    Over 500 dead children a year

    And Gregory Travis also posted a graph of Pediatric COVID & Influenza Deaths from Three Sources:

  22. Geoff, this needs to be shouted from the rooftops;
    “the endemic COVID death rate is 1.4 dead children a day, every day
    Over 500 dead children a year”

    More “Why?” Underfunded public schools…

    “… Labor’s $400m Education Future Fund, NSW will reach 75% of its SRS by 2025 – two years earlier than the target set by the former state government. While this takes NSW school funding to 95% of the SRS, Labor has pledged to go further and ensure all NSW public schools reach 100% of the established funding benchmark.”

    “Is NSW education in for big changes? Let’s hope so

    By Chris Bonnor
    May 11, 2023

    “One firm commitment she has made is to bring NSW public schools to 100% of the School Resourcing Standard. That’s fine, as long as the funding is for schools, and not for other costs that are only loosely related to schools – as is currently the case.

    “But there is a related problem that needs an early and structural fix. Currently the Commonwealth contributes 80% of the public funding going to private schools, and the states contribute 80% of publicschool costs. Hence there is a perverse incentive for stategovernments to support the establishment of private schools. Once set up, the running costs are met by the Commonwealth and parents, rather than by the states.

    “The Australian taxpayer doesn’t save by funding private schools but the state treasuries certainly save if someone else builds and runs them. This might help explain the expansion of ‘low fee’ private schools on the fringes of our cities.

  23. For the record. I’ve tested positive for Covid. I’ve been waiting 6mths for a minor procedure and hospital called with cancelation. No pricedure. So I’m back of the next queue now.

    Severe chills / fever. Lack of appetite. etc

    Note. 1 x teacher did 2x RAT tests with symptoms. Negative. PCR showed positive.

    No PCR test now unless for emergency surgery etc.

    Must be an appropriate song about flying blind.

  24. KT2, best wishes for a speedy and full recovery from the Covid infection.

  25. KT2,

    Sorry to hear your news. I seem to recall that you have reported having COVID-19 before. Forgive the question, but is this your second COVID-19 infection? Also, if it is not an impertinent question, has your teenage child had COVID-19 once or more times? I mean so far as is known from testing. Of course, you don’t have to answer these questions if you don’t wish to.

    I am becoming increasingly concerned about the near ubiquity of the virus, the increasing near-impossibility of anyone avoiding it indefinitely and the additive risks of long COVID and accumulated immune and other system damage. These are clear realities now. This is highly concerning as we know COVID-19 is very dangerous and that its dangers are additive and probably even multiplicative upon multiple infections. This forced infection policy has open-ended, long tail risks for everyone. No-one is safe. There is no telling where this might end but it won’t be a good place.

  26. Thanks Ernestine & Ikon.

    My second dose of Covid. Night sweats and chills receding. I’ll be fine.
    Fun fact.  After shivering before bed, and then waking, shivering, lathered in sweat at 2am, I swap clothing, have a cuppa and feel like I am over it. Hungry. Half an hour later I am asleep again for 3-5hrs. Our immune system to me, is as or more fantastic than our brains.

    My teenager has had 1 x Covid. 
    But I do NOT believe only once. 

    We have not even been counted this time!

    I was informed before the week long camp “I’ll be asleep for the weekend when I get back” as the kids in camp have only met via zoom. The residentual camp it is jam packed activites and classes and early mornings with late night talking. And lollies. 

    So. Packed like sardines with 1950’s ventilation. Worn out and susceptible. 

    Retuned Friday. Testing by Sunday. We RAT tested for next 3 days as ‘cold’ symptoms well developed in kid. One test, the positive line was SO faint I could not see it, yet even eagled eyed teenager decided it was a negative.

    But symptoms although ‘like a cold’, teenager said no school Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday.

    The school grapevine works well. One of the teachers had exactly the same RAT result – ‘if I squint maybe it is a positive test’. And went and got a PCR test which confirmed positive for Covid.

    My RAT test last weekend – 7 days to full infection frim exposure – came up positive before the liquid even got to the “test ok” line. It SCREAMED -YOU ARE POSITIVE. 

    I for one would love to know viral load vs test vs kid. No chance.

    Which makes me:
    1) very suspect of RAT sensitivity. Like pregnancy,  you’ve either got it or not. And yes asymptomatic / load  yada yada.

    2) I knew and was resigned immediately upon pickup,  even with 50 boosters, I’d get ‘it’ as we were stuck in a car for 3hrs after pickup – directly after 5hrs in incubator and transfer unit – aka a 40 person bus. Then as a loving parent looking after a kid with a ‘cold’ – continual interaction due to lethargy of kid. Who of course has recovered rapidly and fully. No escape unless totally draconian and utilitarian seperation. I’d take a bullet for the kid so I accepted my fate.

    3) zero PCR testing in my town now. GP said they do not even have PPE now! Go to hospital! Grrr. Liars. Only exceptions – risky patient needing urgent procedure. I offered to pay. Ah we don’t even have a Medicare shedule for it now for such as you!!! 

    4) I don’t qualify for antivirals. Antivirals will need to be continually updated as SARS CoV2 is still new to human immune system and the ability to mutate still a wide vector. 
    See me at:

    5) obvious burden on health system with continual retransmission and commensurate 1st order – transmission and mutations. 2nd order – reinfections and staffing. 3rd – community infections. Flying blind waiting for mountain of data for later ML/ AI analysis to prove up cost benefit for funding again.

    6) as with my comment above re long Covid and long term harboring of virus – me too!

    “KT2 says:
    May 14, 2023 at 9:34 am
    “No offence to Long Covid sufferers, but please warn me,  and keep your distance”, 
    … that actually applies to my kid and I!  Sorry!

    A nurse at local hospital has had every booster / PPE etc and has had Covid 4x in 3yrs. How long before she falls by the wayside with long Covid? What support and reparations will she get? 

    7) An aside – imported health workers!  Come to Oz. Get permanent visa after 2yrs! Yay! 

    At 5-20% with long covid the poor bastards will be shipped back home. We have the morals of a libertarian cat whilst preaching we are humanitarians! 

    Ha! Ruthless and all for 1.

    8) Covid policy now like first seatelts in USA. As no seatelt laws,  just make the airbags superpowerful. And decapitate your kid in the front seat. It’s ok, we priced damages into insurance.

    ” To provide crash protection for occupants not wearing seat belts, United States airbag designs trigger much more forcefully than airbags designed to the international ECE standards used in most other countries.”

    “… Even delayed inflation of airbags may be useless because of major intrusion into the passenger space, leaving occupants at high risk of major head trauma or decapitation in even low-speed collisions. Western European standards for underride guards have been stricter than North American standards, which typically have allowed grandfathering of older equipment that may still be on the road for decades.[130][132]

    “Typical airbag systems are completely disabled by turning off the ignition key.”

    We organised airbags. We can organise Covid.

    We have a great car – fancy, expensive health system and smarts.

    Yet we have now;
    i) forgone mandatory seatbelts – any suppression of virus – and
    ii) turned off the ignition – no deployment of safety as policy is set to “off”.

    Yep, Australia is back in the glibertarian heights of 70’s exceptions.

    Lucky we’ve got metallurgical coal to pay for the damages. Dig ‘n dumb we are.

    9) This exemplifies how wicked and captured we are. $250m for 3,000 extra seats in Hobart, but no $200,000 for:
    “KT2 says:
    May 12, 2023 at 3:43 pm
    “Time to put your money in the spike protiens mouth
    “Burnet Institute begging for a mere $200,000 for;
    “A universal COVID vaccine is within our reach”

    As per usual JQ says it appropriately “But ‘Living with Covid’ is misconceved”.

    Click on “8:34 Professor John Quiggin: is living with COVID a problematic concept?” takes you straight to JQ in:
    “Living with COVID-19?”
    16 December 2021

    Dr Stephen Griffin, Associate Professor in the School of Medicine, University of Leeds, said:
    “… However, from an ethical and moral standpoint, I would suggest that we remember Ghandi’s words, and not disregard those least able to help themselves, whether they are vulnerable for health or socioeconomic reasons.

    “These actions will inevitably prolong, rather than curtail the pandemic. Living with something is not the same as ignoring it.”

  27. KT2,

    A couple of thoughts. Of course it is easy for me to say what I would have done. We had twins and there were 16 years of age as at March, 2010. No Covid then, obviously. It’s easy for me to say the following now with all the benefit of even more life experience and more willingness to be tough (and unpopular) to protect everyone in the family as stringently as I believe necessary. Worth trying these stratagems I think.

    1. “No camp. Sorry, you are not going.”
    2. If you could not or did not wish to make point 1 stick then the ride home would be with N95 masks for everyone and open windows. Just wear big, warm jackets. Drafts do not cause respiratory disease, pathogens do.
    3. No contact nursing. Kid confined to ventilated bedroom. Meals left outside the door by masked parent. Kid and parent maintain communication by mobile phones. Kid has a way to raise the alarm if concerned, short of breath etc.
    4. Adult can steal in quickly and check at odd times when child sleeping, while wearing N95 mask *and* holding breath before retreating.

    I would absolutely be this fanatical. We know that many people will not be able to catch COVID-19 multiple times without serious repercussions sooner or later. We don’t know if we or another loved one will be one of those persons. An important principle is to not “take a bullet” unless you absolutely have to. If you really do take a bullet you will be gone and no use after that. Sorry to be so blunt and of course I cannot tell other people what to do.

    Another note: If you get a very tiny titre of COVID-19 (very few pathogens into your airway) you could possibly have an almost safe (but still temporary) vaccination update in this manner. I emphasize *possibly* and it is *not* something to seek because it is not a controllable event. It could occur by fortutiotous accident while masking and isolating from the sick person / asymptomatic person. This is another reason to mask and isolate. Don’t reject slightly imperfect protection like masks and isolation. These can still operate to essentially “save your bacon” while only being only about 95% effective.

    But I am not a medical doctor and neither do I have a science degree, so these opinions must be assessed according to your own knowledge, advice and situation.

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