The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Open Thread

Feel free to use the comments to this post to discuss topics unrelated to recent articles.


April 24th US Covid Data


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – April 26, 2020


  1. bruce wilder

    Anyone watch Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans on YouTube?

    He attacks greenwashing “renewables” delusions. The unpopular implication is population control and energy conservation great enough to change lifestyles.

    The initial counter propaganda apparently is that his solar panel footage is too old: sure solar panels in 2009 were crap, but now is completely different.

  2. scruff

    I watched it, and wasn’t particularly surprised by anything besides the scale of biomass incinerators using green wood. So-called “renewable” energy systems routinely show up as being insufficient in terms of how much demand they could satisfy.

    The actual problems faced go beyond what’s shown in the video, though. Tom Murphy’s Do The Math clears a lot of things up, although of course it was all written several years ago and will be subjected to the same “criticism” as the solar panel info in the doc.

    The other “trump card” the technotopians will pull out is nuclear, of course, and of course they will ignore all of the problems with it, including worst of all the problems that would come from nuclear actually being the panacea they want it to be. I try to talk about this all the time, but very few people are actually capable of even hearing it; the worst outcome of all would be actual clean and unlimited energy, because what this culture does with energy is ecologically destructive, and so even if nuclear was the StarTrek dilithium crystals of the next decade, all it would do is grow the human population, denude the forests, reduce biodiversity, and essentially bring on an ecological collapse.

    I’ve spent years in this doomed field, and even the sorts of people the doc portrays as being sensible enlightened folk don’t want to have to deal with this. I’ve pretty much lost hope for a political solution. The only way forward I see is a physical solution, one which will undercut the physical ability of the culture to destroy the world, and every single potential option that might do that will be widely politically criticized and not accepted, and they will all be the most illegal things anyone could ever think of doing.

    That’s where we are. And even Michael Moore won’t produce a documentary about that.

  3. Hugh

    In another example of how totally spineless and useless the EU is (except when screwing over some of their own, like the Greeks), the EU doctored one of its own reports based on publicly available sources. The report described by the NYT as not particularly “strident” was on government disinformation with regard to the coronavirus and unsurprisingly focused on China which had lied its *** off and still is. So we have a bland report which the PTB in Brussels watered down even more because Beijing was having a hissy over it, and thereby devaluing the lives of tens of thousands of its own citizens lost to the virus in order to curry favor with Xi whose lies did so much to cause them. Way to go, Eurocrats! Apparently Lysol doesn’t just cure the virus. It is also good for cleaning up reports on it.

  4. Zachary Smith

    Anyone watch Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans on YouTube?

    When I saw it was an hour and 40 minutes I went looking for reviews. After reading three of them, I became convinced this was a world-class turkey.

  5. scruff

    Hmmm… is the criteria which put my earlier comment in moderation the fact that I included a link but masked its URL behind other text? Because I’m seeing Zachary’s links just fine, though they are not masked. Just wondering if you know the exact requirements of the filter, Ian.

  6. Mojave Wolf

    Haven’t seen it, but assuming one of the reviews Zach linked to is reasonably accurate, sounds like it brings up points both good and stupid.

    The stupid: “Can tools of technology/industry save us from things caused by technology/industry?” That prima facie dumb. Yes, of course. Probably nothing else will so we better hope so. (“If a biotech lab invented Covid can we look to medicine which uses biotech to save us?”. At least no one is asking that.

    I *HOPE* it didn’t imply, as the article suggests, Because renewables are imperfect and can’t fix everything right way we should discard them. They still help, a lot, even now, and solar in particular is getting better all the time. According to various scientific types who understand the technology way better than I do, we can already power our cities vis renewables with existing tech, whereas this film seems to claim otherwise. I will point out how much solar and wind are already doing in places way less suited to them than the US, etc.

    On the other hand, yes, disengeneous monied interests are infiltrating the environmental movement and doing their best to muck it up.

    And absolutely we have way too many people and we waste too much. Even without global warming both these things would be true. By avoiding the human population bomb we’ve caused one among all the other species, who did nothing to deserve the horror we have inflicted on them. Even for those of you who think “worry about humans first and all else is an afterthought except as it impacts us”, we have a looming water crisis, as just one example. If bees go, we are in trouble as well. An ocean systems crash just might be bad for humans. Etc etc.

    We have to better and we have to be smarter. More willing to look honestly at things and less easy to manipulate, and more willing to consider multiple points of view and not just lock into the first position we stumble across.

    Whether we’re ever going to be any of these things I dunno. But if we keep letting a bunch of selfish just plain mean short sighted scumbags who are psychopathic in behavior even if not in interior emotional make up (shout out to Mark & Nihil discussion elsewhere) run things and guide us into the future, we are doomed and the best the rest of the planet can hope for is that Covid has a mortality rate in the high double digits for humanity, with lack of empathy being the single greatest risk factor.

    Dunno if the film looks at any of that.

  7. Zachary Smith


    Smallest Bird

  8. Benjamin

    Technology won’t save us. And I’m not just talking about cynical corporate greenwashing propaganda that doesn’t really do much of anything. Even something like Sanders Green New Deal is too little, too late. Far too many people seem to have the idea that we can basically preserve our current way of life but do it ‘smarter’. Most of us will still live in suburbs, but we’ll all have solar panels on our roofs, we’ll all still drive cars but they’ll be ‘better’ EV cars, etc.

    This is all fantasy. We need a fundamental, top to bottom reshaping of how our entire civilization [sic] operates, and there seems to be little acknowledgement that this is even the case, much less any firm plans for how to do such a monumental change, and exactly zero political will to actually carry out any substantial changes.

    A GNR is the bare minimum of what we should be doing, and we should have started doing it in earnest thirty years ago. I genuinely see only a widespread collapse of international industrial civilization in our future. What’s going on right now may be the first real blow.

    On the topic of population control specifically, there is even now still plenty of space and resources to comfortably provide for everyone on the planet, and probably billions more than currently exist. But that’s only if space and resources were remotely logically and equitably distributed, which they aren’t and which is something that capitalism is inherently incapable of doing. As things stand right now, and as they will likely remain for the foreseeable future, people need to stop fucking breeding. But this is something that will never happen until physical reality forces it to happen. Whenever I see people with young kids now, I genuinely ponder that most likely that kid will be killed in the coming decades by something climate change related. And if they don’t die outright, they’ll most likely be living in an unpleasant world. I don’t know what exactly that world will look like; it probably won’t be a Mad Max hellscape, but it also won’t look anything like the world us current adults grew up in.

  9. Zachary Smith

    Having some time on my hands, I started watching the Planet of the Humans video, but had to give it up after about 15 minutes. The sheer dishonesty of the narrator was really getting to me. This makes me wonder about Michael Moore. Why does he have his name on this slick bit of propaganda work? Big Fossil Fuels and Big Nuclear have LOTS of money. Sums they wouldn’t bother to fish out of the couch cushions is not chump change for ordinary people. A person has to wonder who was really behind this production.

    Last year I wrote a brief comment about an awful Naked Capitalism piece. Unlike with this video, I suspect that author was simply mistaken. But on the other hand, the errors were astonishing


    We could possibly still save ourselves from the chaos wrought by the changing climate, but probably won’t. The current mess with the Covid-19 pandemic is nothing compared with what’s coming.

  10. Zachary Smith

    Because renewables are imperfect and can’t fix everything right way we should discard them.

    Good point. Nothing’s perfect, but solar/wind are far better than oil/gas/coal. The taxpayer subsidies of Big Fossil Fuels are seldom mentioned in the Corporate Media, and they’re enormous. Coal is especially bad, for it kills miners quickly in the unsafe mines, and more slowly with Black Lung. Mountain Top removal destroys land by the thousands of square miles, yet the Moore video was whining about a few Joshua trees. Coal combustion produces gigatons of CO2 as well as all the microscopic “ash” particles which escape into the air. Hundreds of millions of tons of the “bottom ash” are left – very dangerous stuff in its own right. Out the coal plant smokestacks go the gigatons of CO2, Sulfur compounds, and thousands of tons of vaporized mercury.

    I’m constantly seeing references to wonderful nuclear schemes. The most recent involves some kind of Boron fusion. It has the upside of being (theoretically) almost clean energy with small or trivial amounts of radioactivity. Downside: the reaction will only work at temperatures much, much hotter than the center of the Sun. Maybe something like this will be made workable in the distant future. Our problem is NOW, not 40 or 400 years down the road.

  11. ricardo2000


    Renewables have destroyed coal, and crushed natural gas, and will now destroy the worst-quality, most expensive crudes on the planet.
    Google ‘Lazard LCOE’ and click on the links for Lazard’s 13th annual review of energy sources. Lazard is the world’s largest investment bank with a 170 year history for honesty. During the Panic of 1893, George Lazard and his partners , along with JP Morgan, used their personal gold to save the US Treasury. In the 60s this bank invented modern mergers and acquisitions investing. In 1975 Felix Rohatyn, senior partner, brought New York City out of bankruptcy. The latest news had them advising the Saudis on the ARAMCO IPO. Wikipedia ‘Lazard’ and read the list of influential alumni which include Rothschilds, Lords, and state ministers. If the Deep State is a building, Lazard is in the deepest basement, in front of the vault, with the combination save behind their smiles.
    Their annual reports will provide any reader with an authoritative analysis of the costs of various energy sources.
    Their 13th report on energy shows utility scale wind and solar to be far cheaper, with and without government subsidies, than other energy sources while returning similar profits. Report quote: “This analysis suggests that policies designed to shift power generation towards wind and utility-scale solar could be a particularly cost-effective means of reducing carbon emissions, providing an abatement value of $36 – $41/Ton vs. Coal and $23 – $32/Ton vs. Gas Combined Cycle.”

  12. Jerry Brown

    Yes Bruce, I watched it- what the hell- it was free and it isn’t like I got anything else to do. And I am a fan of Michael Moore.

    But it was too doom and gloom for me. Got the impression they were saying there are just too many people on the planet- well I don’t support reducing the population of any country nor do I support sterilization unless it is voluntary. Not that they suggested that in the movie- but they didn’t have any other solutions either.

    Too anti-economic growth also. Not enough imagination as far as what economic growth can mean. Growth does not mean everyone consumes more products whose manufacture damages the environment. Once people can obtain a level of necessities for living there are many unharmful ways that economic growth can continue. For example, you could write a book, and I would buy it, and we have economic growth without adverse ecological effects.

    I was disappointed with the movie even though I would generally support parts of the direction I think they are trying to call attention to. Plus there are all these scenes of them driving around the country while advocating the exact opposite that really bothered me. At least they weren’t shown getting on jet planes. I wonder if Michael Moore will promise not to fly in the future so as to show his environmental concern.

  13. Rudolf Wrobel

    Here is a proposal for recovery from the pandemic that will go a long way to correct society’s problems;

    Visit for more. Enjoy!

  14. Benjamin

    @Jerry Brown

    “But it was too doom and gloom for me.”

    Well, sorry, but that’s the reality of the situation. Frankly, if you aren’t in a permanent existential depression over the future prospects of the human race, you must not be paying much attention to the trend of climate news.

    “Got the impression they were saying there are just too many people on the planet- well I don’t support reducing the population of any country nor do I support sterilization unless it is voluntary.”

    There are too many people. And whether we want it or not is irrelevant; the human population is going to be reduced massively in the coming decades. Our industrialized civilization is not sustainable.

    Growth for the sake of growth (GROAF AND JAWBS) is the ideology of a cancer cell.

    “Once people can obtain a level of necessities for living there are many unharmful ways that economic growth can continue. For example, you could write a book, and I would buy it, and we have economic growth without adverse ecological effects.”

    Such a book would be pure fantasy.

    And your last paragraph is just trolling. “You want to reform society, and yet you take part in society. HMMMMMMMMMM.” Michael Moore could fly or drive a thousand times more than he already does and it would have no impact on climate change. The climate crisis is being caused by the actions of millions and billions. Moore using other forms of transport would merely be an exercise in virtue signaling. You need to think systemically, not on the level of individuals.

  15. bruce wilder

    Zach, I think “sheer dishonesty” applied to the film is unhelpful slander. Why would you use that kind of rhetoric? What in the first 15 minutes of the film is “dishonest”?

    The film’s director/narrator presents himself as a long-time environmentalist who has experienced a loss of innocence with regard to the promise of “renewables”.

    I think people like the opinions about politics that they have. Political opinions are a kind of consumer good. Jeff Gibbs strikes me as someone who wanted to believe a better world was not just possible, but coming.

    I think many thoughtful people have concluded the “jackpot is coming” (to borrow Yves Smith’s phrase) — including Zachary Smith, as far as I can tell. And, including Jeff Gibbs, the director of that film.

  16. Zachary Smith

    Zach, I think “sheer dishonesty” applied to the film is unhelpful slander. Why would you use that kind of rhetoric?

    -For the record, it was a deliberate slander. I chose “dishonest” because it was obvious the guy isn’t stupid.
    – Early on was a scene where he visited a bunch of hippy-types and relished their chagrin when their handful of demonstration solar cells were rendered useless.
    – Then he moved to the tale of Obama’s corruption and incompetent fumbling around. So far as I know, BHO didn’t do a thing in his 8 years which can be recorded as “good”. The man was primarily a Banker President, and secondarily a Big Deep Stater. I suspect his screwing up his “green” energy stuff had a deliberate element.
    – Then we learn the much celebrated Electric Cars are currently powered by coal plants. OMG!
    – Next is the loud-mouthed idiot telling a tour group how he is holding an 8% efficient solar panel, and he can’t afford the really good ones because they cost “about a million dollars a square inch”. The same tour guy makes a big point of saying his “football-field” sized batch of panels will power 10 homes for a year. (I began to suspect astroturfing at this point.) Make Solar look worthless. He goes on to claim that a 3 mile x 5 mile solar array would be needed to power Lansing, a town of about 115,000 people. Probably they are assuming extremely inefficient solar panels and the worst possible weather at a horrible site.
    – Next the narrator assembles a bunch of NIMBYs in Vermont. “Mountain Top Removal for Wind instead of Coal”.
    – Now for some straight-out lying. Hydrogen can be obtained from “natural gas” or “any petroleum oil-based product”. The speaker is counting them off on his fingers, and is interrupted in mid-sentence. A Big Energy propaganda movie wouldn’t want him to go on and mention using solar/wind electricity to break water into Hydrogen and Oxygen, would it?
    – There are a few seconds of laughter about how Elephant Poop isn’t a working plan.

    *** The show rightly dumps on “ethanol” as a totally losing proposition. *** A moment bit of truth.

    – Now it moves into the manufacture of one type of solar cells. How lots of coal is needed. That may be the way it’s done now, but there is some creative misdirection going on here. It ignores the fact steel, concrete, and most other simple materials can be produced in 100% Electric Furnaces. And yes, they could use sand as a starting material if necessary.

    Ok, I’ve overdosed on the nonsense at 31:24. The narrator implies super-expensive and short-life batteries are the only way to store the electricity. BS again. After that he moves into the impractical “Power Tower” theme of mirrors powering a tower boiler.

    This show is essentially a giant bowel movement on wind and solar. It’s deliberate. Why shouldn’t I label it “dishonest”? That’s what it is!

  17. Zachary Smith

    The Pentagon will have to live with limits on F-35’s supersonic flights
    Important parts of the rear end start falling off if it flies supersonic for more than a minute or two. What a great airplane!

    New Evidence Supporting Credibility Tara Reade’s Allegation Against Joe Biden Emerges
    Obviously I don’t know what happened so many years ago. That the woman’s mother was troubled enough to go on Talk Radio suggests Old Joe really ought to authorize the release of all his records. And that the DNC did not choose wisely when it used Biden as the figurehead to take down Sanders. Just as Hillary made a special exception for her hubby’s behavior with women who were not his wife, too many nominal Democrats are doing the same when they ignore the highly plausible claims against Biden.

    A constant theme of the Democratic “moderates” has been “How Are You Going To Pay For Single-Payer?”

    Something to think about when you hear that is these two headlines which can be googled if anyone is interested.

    1. Fed to Buy Junk Bonds, Lend to States in Fresh Virus Support
    The numbers involved here are in the Trillions. For Junk Bonds! This is rather like my crossing the street and offering to pay my neighbor $10,000 for his two trash bags sitting out by the road.

    2. How Ya Gonna Pay For It? Stop Giving Money to Israel
    Any proposal to do this in either house of Congress would be beaten down by at least 95% of the members. THAT is the degree the pissant state has them in its pocket. But it is a really good idea, all the same.

  18. Tom

    Folks I give you the official meme of 2020. Stay home or you dance with them to the grave.

  19. Jerry Brown

    Zachary Smith, as far as buying ‘junk bonds’ and lending to states- these aren’t connected at all. The US Federal Reserve can always lend whatever amounts of money Congress allows it to lend (or just basically give) to the states. That is only limited by the laws that constrain the Fed that were enacted by the US Federal Government.

    And if US Congress says the Fed can buy junk bonds- well it can buy all that are for sale in US Dollars if it wants to. I hope it doesn’t though.

    Loaning (or giving- as in buying tiny pieces of state land for astronomical prices) to states would be a good policy right now.

  20. Jerry Brown

    I gather that we disagree Benjamin. Why don’t you explain your strategy to eliminate the excess human population from the planet? Then I could criticize that.

    An economist I rarely agree with said there are two ways to look at people. You can look at them as stomachs that only consume or you can look at them as brains that produce and find better ways to produce. I take the second view. He did also. Maybe I’m just an optimist.

  21. Chuck Mire

    PBS Video: “Climate Change – The Facts”

    Scientists explore the impact of climate change and what could happen if global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees. Discover how the latest innovations and technology are posing potential solutions and what individuals can do to prevent further damage.

    Aired: 04/22/20

    Expires: 05/20/20

  22. bruce wilder

    “Discover how the latest innovations and technology are posing potential solutions and what individuals can do to prevent further damage.”


  23. Uhhmmm… guvna’, there are too many people on the planet. Seven and a half, ten in a generation, billion people on a severely resource depleted ball of mud that can barely sustain one. Why don’t you explain your strategy to eliminate the excess human population from the planet? Then I could criticize that.

    Yeah yeah yeah, happy kittens fart sunshine.

  24. Lex

    Unfortunately, we like to think of ourselves as different than regular animals. We’re “rational animals” … except nobody’s ever proved that we are. What we’re capable of (reason) does not define us in action. I don’t know of a system in nature that self-regulates its own destructive tendencies. To be sure, other systems in nature will regulate the destructive tendencies of related systems: predators will regulate herbivores that would otherwise denude their own environment leading to population collapse of left unregulated by predation. But that’s not the same as the herbivores collectively deciding to conserve resources. Life is a destructive force by definition; it exists on death. We’re smart enough to see the problems of our own existence but I doubt we’re smart enough to solve those problems because we’re not nearly as smart as we think we are. We’re deeply invested in the idea that we are separate from and better than the rest of nature. “I think therefore I am,” remains the most dangerous and destructive concept we’ve accepted as axiomatic. Likely the only solution for us is extinction but that’s just the way of Life. Something will feed off of our death because the circle cannot be broken. To believe we have the power to destroy that circle is the same intellectual and philosophical concept that got us into many of these messes. And no, there is no state of innocent integration with the natural world. Not for us or anything else. Conceptualizing nature as innocent is intellectually dishonest and dangerous. Life and death; creation and destruction cannot be pulled apart. That’s precisely why the aim of Buddhism is to exit their cycle of mutual dependency.


    Conceptualizing nature as innocent is intellectually dishonest and dangerous. Life and death; creation and destruction cannot be pulled apart. That’s precisely why the aim of Buddhism is to exit their cycle of mutual dependency.

    Great point. Nature is neither good nor bad because nature doesn’t judge, it just does. It’s the alpha and the omega. The end all be all, for humans at least. It transcends the spectral capacity of human understanding and it will outlast us. We were its progeny . Blacksheep, if you will. And now we are being called in.

    This is an excellent movie that grapples with the concept of nature and humans’ place in it. You may have to watch it three times for it to fully permeate and even then, you may not grasp it fully because it’s meant to make you think more than it provides any answers.

  26. Jerry Brown

    Ten Bears, I don’t have a strategy for ‘overpopulation’ if it is the problem. Malthus explained what would happen sometime back in the early 1800’s I think. He was very wrong for that time but maybe 200 years later he will be right. Or he could still be wrong. We are a pretty ingenious species at least so far. History kind of shows that- except for the times we start killing each other massively (WWI and II) I think we will figure something out. But then maybe I am just the optimist I said I was.

  27. Ten Bears

    The consensus ’round here is it is a problem. If you disagree with the consensus, well …

    Do the math.

  28. Jerry Brown

    Ten Bears, I often disagree with the consensus. I am sure you find you do also 🙂 Maybe not around here- but should that bother me? When a movie seems to suggest there are just too many people on the planet that triggers an alarm in me. I start worrying about idiots who would reduce the population if they could. It is reasonable to ask anyone who says there are just too many people well- what is your idea to do about it? Are they volunteering to off themselves to help the cause?- Not usually.

  29. Ché Pasa

    Interesting that a few tens or hundreds of demonstrators waving their stars and bars and their weaponry, honking their horns and yelling at health care workers and governors could — with the implicit backing of the president — force the ‘reopening’ of numerous states around the country in the midst of the Outbreak, damn the virus! Full-speed ahead, yee-hah! Whereas hundreds of thousands, nay millions of people taking to the streets over and over again could not budge any government off their determination to conduct wars of aggression, among other outrages. Interesting.

    Meanwhile, I see we’re still stuck on the problem of too many people for the poor old earth to sustain. We’ve been stuck on that problem for literally all my life, starting when global population was two billion or so. Prior to the Green Revolution famines and wars (and earlier, epidemics and genocides) were specific ways to keep populations in check. These means were all used by nation-states and empires to control specific populations — particularly rebels, would-be communists, and other undesirables — routinely, and while they worked in the short term, the long term was not positive for empires and capitalists in general. The Green Revolution was theorized as a stop-gap while nations and empires (The World if you will) pondered, planned, and ultimately acted in unity to permanently control global population growth.

    We’ve had almost 60 years to ponder it. No solution has been found, and global population has increased every year by a theoretically unsustainable number. There should have been massive die-offs by now, but no. So far, not even endless wars, repeated economic collapses and the current Outbreak have done the job of controlling global population growth. Natural disasters, global warming, environmental collapse, nuclear annihilation, a rogue asteroid, who knows, might reduce populations at some point, but it’s not clear even that would reduce human populations enough to meet the no more than one billion alive at any one time goal some have posited.

    What will it take?

  30. bruce wilder

    maybe rethink the usefulness of psychopaths in power? clearly not doing the job.


    What will it take?

    Time, that’s what it will take. It’s a matter of time. When and how is anyone’s guess. The guesses so far have been, well, wrong, at least to the timing.

  32. Z

    A couple of articles and some off-the-top-of-my-head COVID-19 theories …

    Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with covid-19, are dying of strokes:

    ARS-Cov-2 RNA Found on Particulate Matter of Bergamo in Northern Italy: First Preliminary Evidence:


    My wild ass COVID-19 theories of the day, from someone who knows little or nothing about viruses, are these:

    Could it be that the virus can move on electromagnetic waves and for people who use cellphones frequently for calls that the virus inside them is attracted towards their brains resulting in strokes?

    Could 5G actually be a transmission mechanism in the air for COVID-19? It has greater energy than the other cellphone spectrums,, you’d think if COVID-19 is on particulates in the air that 5G would circulate it around more. The virus is also lighter than most of other viruses I thought I’ve read and that could also make it more susceptible to be influenced by electromagnetic waves.

    -It hasn’t hit in Africa much and you’d expect it would due to their culture, overall health due to poor nutrition, and poor healthcare systems. Plus, other viruses have taken root there and have spread rapidly in the past. There could definitely be climate considerations involved in Africa’s relatively low amount of COVID-19 cases, but I wouldn’t imagine Africa would have a lot of 5G either.

    -Wuhan had installed 5G towers prior to the virus’s arrival.

    -Lombardy also has had 5G network launches.

    I do not know what the numbers and magnitude of 5G launches in Wuhan and Lombardy are compared to other places, but it could be that in the right climate with the right electromagnetic spectrum that the virus circulates in the air more, rather than evaporating or falling to the ground and dying there, and those factors therefore lead to greater transmission of it.


  33. nihil obstet

    Social stability and prosperity have led to birth rates below replacement. Let’s try it for everybody.

    What we can do is not the same as what we want to do. Settled agriculture resulted in a worse life for most people. It seems to have been adopted in unsettled times to get people through some natural disruption that made food less available, but resulted in a population too large to return to the more pleasant hunter/gatherer life.

    I’m not knowledgeable enough to know whether the earth can sustain a larger population. The examples we have of populations that exceeded their resource base were geographically isolated. It does appear to me that life will get less pleasant for most with increase and would improve with a significantly smaller population.

  34. Ten Bears

    We now have an opportunity to talk about it. Perhaps we should. Rather than, for example, bickering over whose imaginary dog has a bigger dick. Yes, Che, we’ve lived the same sixty years, and more, we’ve had this conversation before.

    Couple of months ago which is of course forever in Internet time, when all this started I cracked a couple of jokes here and there about viri and bacterei thawing out of the glaciers and tundra that haven’t seen a human since, well, before we were human. Moot in the generally accepted vernacular, it matters little whither or no it came out of the past, or if it came from space, a bioweapons lab in Cincinnati or Israel, or from someone who had eaten an undercooked dog who ate a raw bat. It’s here, killed hundreds of thousands and is projected to kill millions, if not more.

    I actually share your happy kittens farting sunshine about this pandemic, the Trump Plague. Through good luck and the efforts of the rest of the world we’ll contain it long enough to develop a herd immunity, perhaps even a vaccine, though millions will die. The Trump Plague is a harbinger, the next one, or maybe not the next one but the one after, is the one that will kill billions. Eighty percent of whom are living in squalor, high in temps and humidity low on adequate sanitation and clean water. And then there’s the whole closing out my academic career teaching not computer science to college kids but drumpf ucks who should learned as a child how to wash their fucking hands.

    Though, like a good nuclear war, it would be quicker than choking on our own flatulence.

    We have to get off the surface. That doesn’t necessarily mean space. If Elon Musk were worth a fuck he’d put that second-hand boring machine he bought from China (of course) to work building underground neighborhoods. Caves of Steel. We don’t have much time.

  35. krake

    A quibble, – ‘herd immunity’ kind of only has meaning in re: to broad and lasting vaccination. A lot of people infected, especially with coronaviruses, is no kind of immunity.

  36. krake


    More likely, re: strokes is the fact that the covid-19 virus invades via cells that regulate blood pressure.

  37. Zachary Smith


    “No evidence” that recovered COVID-19 patients cannot be reinfected: WHO

    Now a modest proposal:

    Why not institute a project to find out – one way or the other. Offer imprisoned criminals the chance to join a large trial. Perhaps divide them into two groups – those who had some serious Covid 19 symptoms, and those who had been without symptoms, but had blood indications of exposure.

    Give all of them whopping big exposures to multiple strains of the virus, and see what happens. Those who survive would be released with a modest amount of money to start their outside-the-prison life.

    As President Disinfection Injection might say – What’s to lose?

  38. Benjamin

    @Jerry Brown

    I don’t have a strategy for reducing the population, because I’m not a psychopath.

    My point is that the currwnt population is unsustainable and *will* be reduced as our systems begin to collapse in earnest.

    And why am I not surprised that an economist splits humanity into either units of consumption or units of increased production?

  39. Mark Pontin

    Just a thought folks here might like to consider: –

    If you talked to a citizen of the latterday U.S.S.R., especially post-Chernobyl, they’d almost all finally have been clear about what a dysfunctional shithole the Soviet Union was.

    And because they had no experience of anywhere else, many of them would have extrapolated their situation to the rest of the world and trenchantly expressed bitter, bilious views about the natural state of humankind.

    Similarly here. You’re almost all Americans, I think (with of course the exception of our Canadian host).

    Other than the Chinese, in my admittedly limited experience Americans are generally the most propagandized, miseducated population of a technologically-developed state on the planet. It’s not your fault, but primarily an artifact of the psy ops that America’s owners have carried out to enable their rule; Jay Gould’s dictum has been relentlessly applied here.

    As a result, as you’ve all become aware, the U.S. has become a shithole kleptocracy. While no society is perfect, I really wouldn’t extrapolate the unhappiness of life in the U.S. to all the rest of humanity, or even to most of it. Human life really doesn’t have to be like it is in America.

  40. highrpm

    “a lot of people infected…is no kind of immunity.” of course it is. leave nature alone. it does a far better job then human experts. and go after the weaklings who refuse to take ownership of their health. remember…the virus doesn’t kill. the dysfunctional immune system response does. read up on some judy mikovits. i think she’s got more hands on experience and knowledge than all of us here, combined by multiples. (btw, she and fauci don’t like each other.)

  41. krake

    “of course it is. leave nature alone. it does a far better job then human experts. and go after the weaklings who refuse to take ownership of their health. remember…the virus doesn’t kill. the dysfunctional immune system response does. read up on some judy mikovits. i think she’s got more hands on experience and knowledge than all of us here, combined by multiples. (btw, she and fauci don’t like each other.):

    1. Again, immunity and populations don’t work that way.

    2. Nature is not a being with agency. It’s a very, very broad category, functioning as a sentiment and descriptor. As a scientific term, it’s useless. As a moral or behavioral term, it is even more subjective – and, meaningless.

    3. ‘Herd immunity’ is not conferred by infection. It is a planned function of vaccinations, and specifically only those with confer broad and lasting immunization.

    4. Coronaviruses do not confer lasting immunity. Coronaviruses do not confer broad immunity. So widespread infection will not result in ‘herd immunity’.

    5. If ‘we’ let ‘nature’ take its alleged course, lots of people, many of them self-sufficient and healthy, will die; many more will kill friends, loved ones, neighbors and strangers.

    6. Immune systems are not indicators of morality, value or worth.

    7. This virus absolutely kills, they way all viruses kill, by hijacking body-systems in order to replicate.

  42. krake

    “Judy Mikovits has had a rough few weeks. On 22 September, Science published online a nine-lab study widely seen as the final blow to the theory, championed by Mikovits and colleagues in an October 2009 Science paper, that a recently detected mouse retrovirus might play a causal role in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). ”

  43. krake

    “In 2012 Dr. Mikovits was arrested and jailed under charges for theft of property from the lab she previously worked at.

    Mikovits is an anti-vaxxer, claiming in a book that “30% of vaccines are contaminated with retroviruses”.

    In 2011 Mikovits’ claim to fame, a paper supposedly linking an obscure virus to chronic fatigue syndrome (and manufacturing fear that such a syndrome can be spread from person to person), was retracted:”

  44. krake

    “…“We don’t need a vaccine,” proclaimed Dr. Judy Mikovits, a controversial former chronic fatigue researcher who now frequently makes anti-vaccine claims, in an April 15 YouTube video with more than 80,000 views. “All you have to do is have a healthy immune system.” (Mikovits has also been involved in the “Fire Fauci” campaign, claiming he sabotaged her research into a purported mouse virus that she says is the true cause of cancer.)

    These campaigners frequently reject the idea that there’s anything society can do, collectively, to slow the spread of any disease. In the same video, Mikovits rejected the notion of wearing a mask, since, she claimed, the coronavirus is actually secretly caused by a bad strain of flu shot that was circulating between 2013 and 2015. Masks will help “activate” the virus and reinfect a mask-wearer over and over, she claimed.”

  45. Z

    With the West salivating so much at the prospect of Kim Jong-un’s demise, if I was him and I was still alive, which we don’t know for certain, I’d have my media announce my death and let the West rejoice. I’d take a brief secret vacation in my private villa and then … after a few days of great sex, good meals, and soothing sleep … have a parade carrying my coffin down the main boulevard of Pyongyang. Then I’d pop out of it at the end of the procession beating my chest.

    That would be legendary stuff, never forgotten, youtube hits until humans cease to exist.

    Then, as a mic drop, I’d announce a flying fuck you to the West in the form of a new missile test …


  46. Chuck Mire

    MAGA = Make Another Grave Again (by listening to T..rump)

  47. highrpm


    what are your professional credentials to warrant you a virologist to dispute mikovits? a listener of the likes of talking heads ala andersen cooper, i might guess? nature supplies each of us with immune systems that firewall us to survive and thrive from untold viromes & biomes. it’s each of our personal choices as to how we choose to maintain and use those resources. if one chooses to not maintain body resources, it’s not another’s fault to be held accountable. or is it?

  48. highrpm

    your 7 point defense is utter nonsense. a credentialed scientist you are.

  49. highrpm

    1. it does not work that way. opinion, open to dispute.
    2. nature is meaningless. really. okay. you are a construct. i am a construct. context affects us. we react and interact. if i eat candy all day and don’t brush my teeth, they will eventually rot.
    3. herd immunity happens as a functioning of a healthy immune system response. a variety of antibody tests in populations show the majority of those populations with viral specific antibodies. the science of R naught.
    4. corona viruses mutate readily. which is why no hiv vaccine yet exists. the common cold and the common flu are coronas. many folks haven’t suffered outbreaks of either for decades. many others suffer frequent and even chronic bouts. why the difference?
    5.if we let nature take its course….collectives have been trying forever — centuries — to change course of nature. with varied outcomes. for certain, over the long haul, mandating — imposing either individual or collective wills on others without their consent fails.
    6.immune systems are resources. like operating systems to a computer. of course a computer operating system has value and worth. of course a human cell has value or worth. as well as larger systems composed of those cells. and computer applications that run on top of their computer’s operating system.
    7. viruses do not kill. illness and death results from a compromised immune system that malfunctions. an appropriate metaphor is a 6 cylinder gasoline engine that is only running on 3 cylinders; certainly, those 3 cylinders cannot pull the loads designed for all 6 cylinders.
    8. pedantics. geez.

  50. Ten Bears

    I used “herd immunity” because Trump and the Retards have been using it, it’s all over the propaganda networks, I thought it was something everyone would readily understand.

    That’s what I get for thinking.

    My take hasn’t changed since I posted eight weeks ago: we’re all gonna’ get it, to one degree or another. Some will die. It will be with us for the foreseeable future. Herd immunity.

  51. krake


    You follow an antivaxxer criminal quack whose work has been disproven and retracted (and who, instead of admitting error, proposes a vast conspiracy aimed only at her), and from whom you have “learned” that “nature” provides sufficient immunity that “weaklings” self-destroy. Suffice it to say health, immunity and illness just don’t work that way.

    Your woo and pseudoscience have been answered. Like all “wholeness” zealots and antivaxxers, you have shown an imperviousness to fact.

    Please do not ask for “credentials”. It is embarrasing.

    But, good luck with getting friends and strangers killed. I’m sure, somehow, that will be the fault of Dr. Fauci, epidemiologists, research scientists and freeberty-hating liberal statists.

  52. krake

    “…the best estimates put COVID-19 infection fatality rate at around 0.5-1 percent. If 70 percent of an entire population gets sick, that means that between 0.35-0.7 percent of everyone in a country could die, which is a catastrophic outcome.

    With something like 10 percent of all infections needing to be hospitalised, you’d also see an enormous number of people very sick, which has huge implications for the country as well.

    The sad fact is that herd immunity just isn’t a solution to our pandemic woes. Yes, it may eventually happen anyway, but hoping that it will save us all is just not realistic. The time to discuss herd immunity is when we have a vaccine developed, and not one second earlier, because at that point we will be able to really stop the epidemic in its tracks….”

    [written by an epidemiologist]

  53. highrpm

    the antivax movement is more religious than not. pick a side and pull a sword. (i’m an anti-war. the mandated vax and opposing antivax war will be bloody. no thanks. nature will have its say in time. just as it’s presently having for the good ole 1776 american revolution.)

    yours is an andresen cooper style, nice narratives, bad sciences. (in dr mikovits’ defense, as many or perhaps even more, of her peer scientists support her as oppose her. at best, not a draw. but, in andresen’s defense as a slinger of narratives, what one doesn’t say is as important as what one does.)

  54. highrpm

    attempting to discredit dr mikovits’ scientific integrity — her collection and reduction of data — by claiming her beliefs is a low ball narrator tactic of trying to make a case. her reputation as a good scientist — follow the data — speaks for itself. she learned well from her boss, ruscetti, who also suffered professional damage at the hands of the fauci trinity. ruscetti’s reputation as an observer, hypothesizer, data collector and reducer is outstanding.

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