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Why I chose TMay as best PM to handle COVID – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 8,489
edited October 21 in General
imageWhy I chose TMay as best PM to handle COVID – politicalbetting.com

I was part of the YouGov sample for this polling question and when it was up on the screen I found myself taking several minutes rather than the usual few seconds to answer it.

Read the full story here

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Comments

  • BigRichBigRich Posts: 2,412
    first?
  • Stark_DawningStark_Dawning Posts: 7,197
    Maggie's an interesting choice. AIDS? The last major health crisis?
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 7,128
    Theresa May probably wouldn't have brought her party with her on need for lockdown?
    Obviously all of the above would have done better than Johnson, but my guess is Maggie T. might have done best. Not worried about being unpopular, better understanding of science, and prepared to make u-turns when needed.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 4,432
    Certainly agree that TMay would have been less focused on short term political gain.
    But I think if anything this government has been trying to resist short term political pressure for heavy handed measures - albeit unsuccessfully. Certainly all the pressure has been to do more, rather than less.

    I wouldn't have chosen her because I think her instincts too authoritarian, and for me an excess of authoritarianism has been the greatest failure of the last 18 months. But I know Mike has a different view on this.

    Who would I have chosen? Honestly - Boris. Not out of any faith in Boris - but I'm certain all the others would have been worse.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 20,675
    Cookie said:

    Certainly agree that TMay would have been less focused on short term political gain.
    But I think if anything this government has been trying to resist short term political pressure for heavy handed measures - albeit unsuccessfully. Certainly all the pressure has been to do more, rather than less.

    I wouldn't have chosen her because I think her instincts too authoritarian, and for me an excess of authoritarianism has been the greatest failure of the last 18 months. But I know Mike has a different view on this.

    Who would I have chosen? Honestly - Boris. Not out of any faith in Boris - but I'm certain all the others would have been worse.

    If Boris holds his nerve over the next few months, then at least his instincts will have served us well in this part of the pandemic.

    What we really needed was for @SandyRentool to be PM. :)
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,884

    Good call. I think Thatcher would have done a good job too - she would have taken the science seriously but also had the wherewithal to push back and challenge the scientists. I suspect Blair would have been good too, decisive and able to prioritise and delegate as appropriate. Brown would have been paralysed by uncertainty, Cameron complacent and lazy. Major might have been over-reliant on the scientists, lacking the confidence to form his own judgements. Johnson we know about, sadly.

    Can't disagree with that at all. Spot on.

    Did you mention May? Paralysed by indecision.
  • kjhkjh Posts: 4,437
    edited October 21
    Tony Blair, John Major or David Cameron for me. Theresa May and Gordon Brown I feel would be indecisive. I don't know about Margaret Thatcher. She wouldn't be indecisive but I would be concerned she could be too dogmatic but I could be wrong it may be it lends itself to her strengths.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 90,376
    May I think would have been like Merkel, taken a very cautious approach based on the evidence
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,715

    Maggie's an interesting choice. AIDS? The last major health crisis?

    Current. We are still in an HIV pandemic
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 20,675
    kjh said:

    Tony Blair, John Major or David Cameron for me. Theresa May and Gordon Brown I feel would be indecisive. I don't know about Margaret Thatcher. She wouldn't be indecisive but I would be concerned she could be too dogmatic but I could be wrong it may be it lends itself to her strengths.

    Part of the attraction of Thatcher is that, unlike Johnson, I consider her the least worried about being unpopular.

    But it's such a hard question to answer. PMs are of their time and it's hard to imagine them in today's world and it's even harder to imagine COVID during their time. If it had happened during the 1980s, WFH was not an option.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 5,162
    Difficult one.

    The qualities I would look for are:

    1. Willingness to face reality rather than try to bargain with it.

    2. Ability to focus on the most important things, and not to be distracted by minor controversies.

    3. Clear, consistent, convincing communication, so that the public are brought along.

    Not sure any of our recent PMs score well on all three.

    Strangely enough, even though I think Johnson has done very badly, he didn't mess up the vaccines (at first) and I can't say I'm confident of the hypothetical of whether the others would have managed the same.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 51,936
    Almost alone amongst current CON MPs TMay always wears a mask in the Commons chamber.

    That's true, but as a diabetic she's vulnerable.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 4,432
    kjh said:

    Tony Blair, John Major or David Cameron for me. Theresa May and Gordon Brown I feel would be indecisive. I don't know about Margaret Thatcher. She wouldn't be indecisive but I would be concerned she could be too dogmatic but I could be wrong it may be it lends itself to her strengths.

    Yes, good point about Thatcher's scientific training.
    Scientists haven't all covered themselves in glory this pandemic. But some have been right some of the time - whereas the politics, philosophy and economics lot have been consistently rubbish.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,884

    Difficult one.

    The qualities I would look for are:

    1. Willingness to face reality rather than try to bargain with it.

    2. Ability to focus on the most important things, and not to be distracted by minor controversies.

    3. Clear, consistent, convincing communication, so that the public are brought along.

    Not sure any of our recent PMs score well on all three.

    Strangely enough, even though I think Johnson has done very badly, he didn't mess up the vaccines (at first) and I can't say I'm confident of the hypothetical of whether the others would have managed the same.

    I think what is missing from that list is to look at society in the round, taking into account deaths from Covid, deaths from Covid crowding out eg cancer treatments, mental health, economic activity, the NHS, care homes, etc.

    A huge ask for anyone. Thatcher, Blair stand out as having the ability to corral all of these disparate elements. But then of course they stand out as being exceptional PMs over the past 40 yrs.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 20,675
    Cookie said:

    kjh said:

    Tony Blair, John Major or David Cameron for me. Theresa May and Gordon Brown I feel would be indecisive. I don't know about Margaret Thatcher. She wouldn't be indecisive but I would be concerned she could be too dogmatic but I could be wrong it may be it lends itself to her strengths.

    Yes, good point about Thatcher's scientific training.
    Scientists haven't all covered themselves in glory this pandemic. But some have been right some of the time - whereas the politics, philosophy and economics lot have been consistently rubbish.
    I think what we needed was an engineer rather than a scientist.
  • state_go_awaystate_go_away Posts: 3,628
    edited October 21
    Yet again the cheltenham festival seems to be blamed for covid in this country as if it did not go ahead we would not have had it . Even if you think banning large outdoor crowds made any difference the tube was still running at that tine. As King Cnut demonstrated some things cannot be controlled by government and covid is one of them - you can suppress it then it comes back - same with this ridiculous fetish to make everyone wear masks - it has no evidence it works in the real world (see Scotland) yet as it is something that can be done by government there are calls for it. Life is for living and it occasionally sucks and then you die (all of us at some point)
  • state_go_awaystate_go_away Posts: 3,628
    OTT he has not been perfect but Boris is my pick of best PM for covid given nearly all the others would have us trussed up in masks for two plus years
  • tlg86 said:

    kjh said:

    Tony Blair, John Major or David Cameron for me. Theresa May and Gordon Brown I feel would be indecisive. I don't know about Margaret Thatcher. She wouldn't be indecisive but I would be concerned she could be too dogmatic but I could be wrong it may be it lends itself to her strengths.

    Part of the attraction of Thatcher is that, unlike Johnson, I consider her the least worried about being unpopular.

    But it's such a hard question to answer. PMs are of their time and it's hard to imagine them in today's world and it's even harder to imagine COVID during their time. If it had happened during the 1980s, WFH was not an option.
    I had a discussion last year with a friend about this, my friend took the view that Mrs Thatcher, she of sound money, would never have approved furlough.

    I took the view she would have, she would have seen this like WWII, sometimes you have to get into debt for the greater good.
  • Andy_CookeAndy_Cooke Posts: 3,835
    Agree with Maggie T, for the reasons stated. Willing to face reality, understanding scientific arguments, could push back and when satisfied would change her mind, the strength to make unpopular decisions and damn the short-term popularity.

    Maybe Tony as well.

    I have the feeling that May and Brown would both have suffered paralysis by analysis.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,884

    OTT he has not been perfect but Boris is my pick of best PM for covid given nearly all the others would have us trussed up in masks for two plus years

    Thatcher would have had as little as possible of that nonsense.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,740
    HYUFD said:

    May I think would have been like Merkel, taken a very cautious approach based on the evidence

    Also a scientific background, albeit in the DDR.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,884
    edited October 21

    tlg86 said:

    kjh said:

    Tony Blair, John Major or David Cameron for me. Theresa May and Gordon Brown I feel would be indecisive. I don't know about Margaret Thatcher. She wouldn't be indecisive but I would be concerned she could be too dogmatic but I could be wrong it may be it lends itself to her strengths.

    Part of the attraction of Thatcher is that, unlike Johnson, I consider her the least worried about being unpopular.

    But it's such a hard question to answer. PMs are of their time and it's hard to imagine them in today's world and it's even harder to imagine COVID during their time. If it had happened during the 1980s, WFH was not an option.
    I had a discussion last year with a friend about this, my friend took the view that Mrs Thatcher, she of sound money, would never have approved furlough.

    I took the view she would have, she would have seen this like WWII, sometimes you have to get into debt for the greater good.
    And whatever she decided you would have been confident that it had been discussed and debated at length and there would have been sound and understandable reasons for it one way or another. That is the difference between her and today.
  • Pro_RataPro_Rata Posts: 2,774
    It's Thatcher for me on this one. She'd have given the scientists a hard time and asked many of the right questions and been determinedly ahead of it.

    It's actually TMay who I'd see as being too dogmatic, or better, rigid, by comparison.

    Blair - exhibit A - foot and mouth
    Brown would have been fairly decent.
    Major - really not sure how he'd have dealt
    Cameron would share many of Johnson's faults on this one.

    I had given this thought and the funny thing is how it turns a lot of your biases about b their politics on its head and gives a different perspective on leadership.
  • Agree with Maggie T, for the reasons stated. Willing to face reality, understanding scientific arguments, could push back and when satisfied would change her mind, the strength to make unpopular decisions and damn the short-term popularity.

    Maybe Tony as well.

    I have the feeling that May and Brown would both have suffered paralysis by analysis.

    Tony Blair, pre Iraq definitely, after Iraq, I'm not so sure.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,884
    BRING BACK MAGGIE!

    *sobs*
  • kjhkjh Posts: 4,437
    Although I think the current Govt has been hopeless on Track and Trace and the timing of decisions one should give credit where credit is due and they were very good on the Vaccine and of course there were the Nightingale Hospitals. They weren't needed, but if they had been it could have been the difference between complete meltdown and controlled chaos. Because they weren't needed we didn't really see how good a job they had done and on the face of it, it was good.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 4,432
    I know we should treat worldometers data with a massive pinch of salt - but a few things of note:
    - After two months of steady decline, worldwide infections and deaths are ticking up again.
    - I think this is driven by Europe - which is the most significant location in terms of recorded infections and deaths, due to size of population, age structure, and ability to test. There are upticks across Europe.
    - Some places looking particularly black - Romania, for example, which is recording what would be for a UK population 1000-1500 deaths a day. How is this possible in a country which has had even a perfunctory roll-out of vaccines?
    - Increases in Poland look striking - same point really: how is this happening when vaccines have been rolled out?
    - Russia also continuing to tick up, though I trust Russian data almost not at all - could be a genuine increase, could simply be more accurate recording.
    - The third world still seems relatively little-scathed. Why is this? Demographics, or different habits of the population, or simply less ability to accurately record?
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 4,477

    Yet again the cheltenham festival seems to be blamed for covid in this country as if it did not go ahead we would not have had it . Even if you think banning large outdoor crowds made any difference the tube was still running at that tine. As King Cnut demonstrated some things cannot be controlled by government and covid is one of them - you can suppress it then it comes back - same with this ridiculous fetish to make everyone wear masks - it has no evidence it works in the real world (see Scotland) yet as it is something that can be done by government there are calls for it. Life is for living and it occasionally sucks and then you die (all of us at some point)

    Without serious analysis (genetic sequencing and so on) its pretty hard to be certain where anyone actually catches covid. Sure if your kid comes home from school with it, and then you go down its most likely from there, but not absolutely certain. How anyone can know that Cheltenham Festival spread covid for sure is beyond me. And as you say the tube was still running, the schools were open, the universities were open.
    As a mostly outdoor event, and with the original covid variant there could well have been hardly any genuine transmission there. But we won't really ever know.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,519
    edited October 21
    I went for Gordon Brown, but thought seriously about May and Major. Brown and May for their attention to detail and concentration on the task in hand. I thought Major the one most in tune and at ease with all parts of Britain and able to balance conflicting interests. I went with Brown because I thought he would open the money bags better.

    Thatcher would have been reluctant to spend and would have allowed, even encouraged businesses to go bankrupt while their customers disappeared. I don't think she would have locked down, just let market forces work. This required central state action which would have been anathema to her.

    Johnson would have been the bottom of my list because of his failure to understand science and incompetent buffoonery.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 64,191
    May certainly has an authoritarian streak if you're into that sort of thing. But she also could never bring anyone with her.

    Surely if you're to go off past PMs Thatcher is the obvious choice? Willing to listen to science, but also willing to question it too. Most importantly able to understand it. Handled both AIDS and Climate (Ozone).
  • TOPPING said:

    BRING BACK MAGGIE!

    *sobs*

    As a Thatcherite free marketeer I have never felt so politically homeless.
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 4,357
    edited October 21
    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?
  • kjhkjh Posts: 4,437

    tlg86 said:

    kjh said:

    Tony Blair, John Major or David Cameron for me. Theresa May and Gordon Brown I feel would be indecisive. I don't know about Margaret Thatcher. She wouldn't be indecisive but I would be concerned she could be too dogmatic but I could be wrong it may be it lends itself to her strengths.

    Part of the attraction of Thatcher is that, unlike Johnson, I consider her the least worried about being unpopular.

    But it's such a hard question to answer. PMs are of their time and it's hard to imagine them in today's world and it's even harder to imagine COVID during their time. If it had happened during the 1980s, WFH was not an option.
    I had a discussion last year with a friend about this, my friend took the view that Mrs Thatcher, she of sound money, would never have approved furlough.

    I took the view she would have, she would have seen this like WWII, sometimes you have to get into debt for the greater good.
    Although I approve of furlough it was too generous at 80% and there were too many holes that people fell through. This was understandable to begin with, but nothing was done to correct this so I don't think it was ideal.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 31,742

    I voted for Mrs Thatcher in this poll.

    Just look at her handling of the AIDS crisis.

    She read every briefing paper, challenged and quizzed the scientists to understand things better, and crucially, she allowed her cabinet to overrule her as she and they understood how serious this was.

    As Sir Norman Fowler put it, she wasn't going to let hundreds of thousands of young men die from this, and she sold the message even if she wanted it to be a moral campaign.

    Just compare how badly France and America dealt with AIDS.

    Mrs Thatcher is the only real choice. She would have questioned the scientists and had a real understanding of the importance of vaccines and continued immunity. Her booster shot programme would be completely different to what we have now with a huge advertising blitz to her over 50s in the door asap for their third doses and getting kids immunised. I also think she would have popularised the word immunised instead of vaccinated. Make yourself immune to COVID would have been the overall message and it would have been more successful.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,519
    kjh said:

    Although I think the current Govt has been hopeless on Track and Trace and the timing of decisions one should give credit where credit is due and they were very good on the Vaccine and of course there were the Nightingale Hospitals. They weren't needed, but if they had been it could have been the difference between complete meltdown and controlled chaos. Because they weren't needed we didn't really see how good a job they had done and on the face of it, it was good.

    The problem of the Nightingales was staffing. This why they had next to no patients.
  • kjhkjh Posts: 4,437
    Foxy said:

    I went for Gordon Brown, but thought seriously about May and Major. Brown and May for their attention to detail and concentration on the task in hand. I thought Major the one most in tune and at ease with all parts of Britain and able to balance conflicting interests. I went with Brown because I thought he would open the money bags better.

    Thatcher would have been reluctant to spend and would have allowed, even encouraged businesses to go bankrupt while their customers disappeared. I don't think she would have locked down, just let market forces work. This required central state action which would have been anathema to her.

    Johnson would have been the bottom of my list because of his failure to understand science and incompetent buffoonery.

    I think Brown would have been paralysed.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 51,936
    The Daily Telegraph New Statesman

    Why Germany has less to teach the UK than most think
    Germany is afflicted by endemic corruption, antiquated infrastructure and geopolitical weakness.


    https://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2021/10/why-germany-has-less-to-teach-the-uk-than-most-think
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 38,749
    MaxPB said:

    I voted for Mrs Thatcher in this poll.

    Just look at her handling of the AIDS crisis.

    She read every briefing paper, challenged and quizzed the scientists to understand things better, and crucially, she allowed her cabinet to overrule her as she and they understood how serious this was.

    As Sir Norman Fowler put it, she wasn't going to let hundreds of thousands of young men die from this, and she sold the message even if she wanted it to be a moral campaign.

    Just compare how badly France and America dealt with AIDS.

    Mrs Thatcher is the only real choice. She would have questioned the scientists and had a real understanding of the importance of vaccines and continued immunity. Her booster shot programme would be completely different to what we have now with a huge advertising blitz to her over 50s in the door asap for their third doses and getting kids immunised. I also think she would have popularised the word immunised instead of vaccinated. Make yourself immune to COVID would have been the overall message and it would have been more successful.
    "Tell Sid to get his booster."
  • StockyStocky Posts: 7,025
    edited October 21
    Foxy said:

    kjh said:

    Although I think the current Govt has been hopeless on Track and Trace and the timing of decisions one should give credit where credit is due and they were very good on the Vaccine and of course there were the Nightingale Hospitals. They weren't needed, but if they had been it could have been the difference between complete meltdown and controlled chaos. Because they weren't needed we didn't really see how good a job they had done and on the face of it, it was good.

    The problem of the Nightingales was staffing. This why they had next to no patients.
    Is it feasible for there to be a specific new role - entitled Covid nurses or something - and fast-track a bunch of recruits who are trained to be expert in best-practice Covid patient management but lack any wider training? And staff-up the Nightingales with them.

    (This could be a random brain-fart, in which case sos.)
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 57,323
    As an aside, Gallienus, generally seen as a poor emperor (although some do rate his military reforms) was praised by many for, during the plague that was ravaging Rome, giving everyone a burial.

    If memory serves... it was a while since I read of it so I reserve the right to be completely wrong.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,519
    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    Yes, a more interesting question would be who would have been best PM to address the Climate Crisis?

    For this I would go for Blair. He would be best at coordinating international response, which is the key issue, and also he is the best communicator. Matched with his pragmatism and unideological approach he would be the clear winner.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 5,162
    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
  • Interesting question.

    Hip pocket response was Thatcher or Major, both of whom would have put the public welfare ahead of political considerations. On reflection, TM definitely a plausible choice.
  • state_go_awaystate_go_away Posts: 3,628
    MaxPB said:

    I voted for Mrs Thatcher in this poll.

    Just look at her handling of the AIDS crisis.

    She read every briefing paper, challenged and quizzed the scientists to understand things better, and crucially, she allowed her cabinet to overrule her as she and they understood how serious this was.

    As Sir Norman Fowler put it, she wasn't going to let hundreds of thousands of young men die from this, and she sold the message even if she wanted it to be a moral campaign.

    Just compare how badly France and America dealt with AIDS.

    Mrs Thatcher is the only real choice. She would have questioned the scientists and had a real understanding of the importance of vaccines and continued immunity. Her booster shot programme would be completely different to what we have now with a huge advertising blitz to her over 50s in the door asap for their third doses and getting kids immunised. I also think she would have popularised the word immunised instead of vaccinated. Make yourself immune to COVID would have been the overall message and it would have been more successful.
    she would have quoted st Francis of Assisi as well no doubt. Got the EU to pay for the vaccines as well surely?
  • Pro_RataPro_Rata Posts: 2,774
    Cookie said:

    I know we should treat worldometers data with a massive pinch of salt - but a few things of note:
    - After two months of steady decline, worldwide infections and deaths are ticking up again.
    - I think this is driven by Europe - which is the most significant location in terms of recorded infections and deaths, due to size of population, age structure, and ability to test. There are upticks across Europe.
    - Some places looking particularly black - Romania, for example, which is recording what would be for a UK population 1000-1500 deaths a day. How is this possible in a country which has had even a perfunctory roll-out of vaccines?
    - Increases in Poland look striking - same point really: how is this happening when vaccines have been rolled out?
    - Russia also continuing to tick up, though I trust Russian data almost not at all - could be a genuine increase, could simply be more accurate recording.
    - The third world still seems relatively little-scathed. Why is this? Demographics, or different habits of the population, or simply less ability to accurately record?

    I don't think Africa's lesser prominence from this is simply lack of recording. I've not seen a great amount of anecdote of health system collapse like there was for India, just the odd bit. We know SA and some of the southern tip have had substantial waves and Tanzania had some seriously bad handling and problems that were hidden to say the least.

    But the way the weather and lack of mod cons affects human behaviour, plus being further away from intensive seed infection seems to have helped. I'm sure it's been noted before that Africa doesn't seem overly vulnerable to flu either.

    To me the dog that really didn't bark was DRC, especially when compared to Amazon Brazil. Has knowledge around infectious diseases, a less advanced lifestyle (e.g. less air con) and further distance from international travel helped them?

    And again, comparing France's case rates to Mayotte's, where France should be doing the measuring pretty well, seemed to suggest Mayotte was a place that had far less infection a few months ago.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 5,162
    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    Yes, a more interesting question would be who would have been best PM to address the Climate Crisis?

    For this I would go for Blair. He would be best at coordinating international response, which is the key issue, and also he is the best communicator. Matched with his pragmatism and unideological approach he would be the clear winner.
    Blair was PM for 9 years after the Kyoto Protocol was agreed. I don't think his decarbonation record over those years was particularly good. Nor was his ability to convince international partners, like George W Bush, to respond much in evidence.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,519

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 7,025

    Interesting question.

    Hip pocket response was Thatcher or Major, both of whom would have put the public welfare ahead of political considerations. On reflection, TM definitely a plausible choice.

    I agree - those three. Or Brown possibly.
  • kjhkjh Posts: 4,437
    Stocky said:

    Foxy said:

    kjh said:

    Although I think the current Govt has been hopeless on Track and Trace and the timing of decisions one should give credit where credit is due and they were very good on the Vaccine and of course there were the Nightingale Hospitals. They weren't needed, but if they had been it could have been the difference between complete meltdown and controlled chaos. Because they weren't needed we didn't really see how good a job they had done and on the face of it, it was good.

    The problem of the Nightingales was staffing. This why they had next to no patients.
    Is it feasible for there to be a specific new role - entitled Covid nurses or something - and fast-track a bunch of recruits who are trained to be expert in best-practice Covid patient management but lack any wider training? And staff-up the Nightingales with them.

    (This could be a random brain-fart, in which case sos.)
    Agree. Foxy has much more knowledge than us on how staff was stretched but if we were in in complete disaster mode, even if completely unsatisfactory, an understaffed and under skilled operation is better than just dying at home, a bit like on a war footing. FYI my wife and her medical colleagues all approached her employer about being released to help and it was considered but it was decided they were more useful where they were. If things had got a lot worse things may have changed. She is a doctor but a pathologist, now involved in drug safety and has not been involved with the NHS and patients for decades, but I am sure she could have been useful if it was really needed in a nursing or junior doctor role.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,519
    edited October 21
    kjh said:

    Stocky said:

    Foxy said:

    kjh said:

    Although I think the current Govt has been hopeless on Track and Trace and the timing of decisions one should give credit where credit is due and they were very good on the Vaccine and of course there were the Nightingale Hospitals. They weren't needed, but if they had been it could have been the difference between complete meltdown and controlled chaos. Because they weren't needed we didn't really see how good a job they had done and on the face of it, it was good.

    The problem of the Nightingales was staffing. This why they had next to no patients.
    Is it feasible for there to be a specific new role - entitled Covid nurses or something - and fast-track a bunch of recruits who are trained to be expert in best-practice Covid patient management but lack any wider training? And staff-up the Nightingales with them.

    (This could be a random brain-fart, in which case sos.)
    Agree. Foxy has much more knowledge than us on how staff was stretched but if we were in in complete disaster mode, even if completely unsatisfactory, an understaffed and under skilled operation is better than just dying at home, a bit like on a war footing. FYI my wife and her medical colleagues all approached her employer about being released to help and it was considered but it was decided they were more useful where they were. If things had got a lot worse things may have changed. She is a doctor but a pathologist, now involved in drug safety and has not been involved with the NHS and patients for decades, but I am sure she could have been useful if it was really needed in a nursing or junior doctor role.
    There was a lot of redeployment at the peaks of the waves. We did have psychiatrists and pathologists working ICU at one point.

    One tricky thing is that severe covid is a complicated multi-system disorder that calls on a multiplicity of skills.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 5,162
    kjh said:

    Stocky said:

    Foxy said:

    kjh said:

    Although I think the current Govt has been hopeless on Track and Trace and the timing of decisions one should give credit where credit is due and they were very good on the Vaccine and of course there were the Nightingale Hospitals. They weren't needed, but if they had been it could have been the difference between complete meltdown and controlled chaos. Because they weren't needed we didn't really see how good a job they had done and on the face of it, it was good.

    The problem of the Nightingales was staffing. This why they had next to no patients.
    Is it feasible for there to be a specific new role - entitled Covid nurses or something - and fast-track a bunch of recruits who are trained to be expert in best-practice Covid patient management but lack any wider training? And staff-up the Nightingales with them.

    (This could be a random brain-fart, in which case sos.)
    Agree. Foxy has much more knowledge than us on how staff was stretched but if we were in in complete disaster mode, even if completely unsatisfactory, an understaffed and under skilled operation is better than just dying at home, a bit like on a war footing. FYI my wife and her medical colleagues all approached her employer about being released to help and it was considered but it was decided they were more useful where they were. If things had got a lot worse things may have changed. She is a doctor but a pathologist, now involved in drug safety and has not been involved with the NHS and patients for decades, but I am sure she could have been useful if it was really needed in a nursing or junior doctor role.
    The propaganda at the time was that people with first aid training - like air cabin staff - were being brought in to provide the bulk of the staff for the Nightingales, with a small number of hospital professionals to act in a supervisory role.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 7,025
    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    As keen as I am on re-wilding for habitat and biodiversity reasons, we should remember that climate-change wise this wouldn't be as beneficial as one might think because trees emit carbon dioxide at night - a fact which is often forgotten.
  • paulyork64paulyork64 Posts: 1,821

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    i stumbled across this but don't know if the website is biased or garbage. discusses the increased cost of getting fossil fuels out of the ground.

    https://bylinetimes.com/2021/10/20/oil-system-collapsing-so-fast-it-may-derail-renewables-warn-french-government-scientists/
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 31,742
    Jeremy Hunt reading PB? He's suggested that the booster shot gap be brought down to 5 months, it would make ~10m more people eligible overnight. It would allow us to do 500k vaccinations per day and really make a dent in transmission among older people.
  • But not terribly informative unless your divide by population, or possibly land area.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,519
    Pro_Rata said:

    Cookie said:

    I know we should treat worldometers data with a massive pinch of salt - but a few things of note:
    - After two months of steady decline, worldwide infections and deaths are ticking up again.
    - I think this is driven by Europe - which is the most significant location in terms of recorded infections and deaths, due to size of population, age structure, and ability to test. There are upticks across Europe.
    - Some places looking particularly black - Romania, for example, which is recording what would be for a UK population 1000-1500 deaths a day. How is this possible in a country which has had even a perfunctory roll-out of vaccines?
    - Increases in Poland look striking - same point really: how is this happening when vaccines have been rolled out?
    - Russia also continuing to tick up, though I trust Russian data almost not at all - could be a genuine increase, could simply be more accurate recording.
    - The third world still seems relatively little-scathed. Why is this? Demographics, or different habits of the population, or simply less ability to accurately record?

    I don't think Africa's lesser prominence from this is simply lack of recording. I've not seen a great amount of anecdote of health system collapse like there was for India, just the odd bit. We know SA and some of the southern tip have had substantial waves and Tanzania had some seriously bad handling and problems that were hidden to say the least.

    But the way the weather and lack of mod cons affects human behaviour, plus being further away from intensive seed infection seems to have helped. I'm sure it's been noted before that Africa doesn't seem overly vulnerable to flu either.

    To me the dog that really didn't bark was DRC, especially when compared to Amazon Brazil. Has knowledge around infectious diseases, a less advanced lifestyle (e.g. less air con) and further distance from international travel helped them?

    And again, comparing France's case rates to Mayotte's, where France should be doing the measuring pretty well, seemed to suggest Mayotte was a place that had far less infection a few months ago.
    A lot of African life is outdoors, so naturally better ventilated.

    I think there has been massive under recording too. My Nigerian colleagues have nearly all lost family members, albeit mostly cousins.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 2,806
    Foxy said:

    I went for Gordon Brown, but thought seriously about May and Major. Brown and May for their attention to detail and concentration on the task in hand. I thought Major the one most in tune and at ease with all parts of Britain and able to balance conflicting interests. I went with Brown because I thought he would open the money bags better.

    Thatcher would have been reluctant to spend and would have allowed, even encouraged businesses to go bankrupt while their customers disappeared. I don't think she would have locked down, just let market forces work. This required central state action which would have been anathema to her.

    Johnson would have been the bottom of my list because of his failure to understand science and incompetent buffoonery.

    Brown might have been good - I think he'd either have been great or dithered too long. Post-GFC actions suggest he'd have done well, I think. He'd have been a good person to have in government.

    Major is a tricky one. He might have been quite good, alone, but with his government he would have been a disaster. He didn't have the ability/the Tory party of his time didn't have the ability to be coherent on this, I think. It was dysfunctional.

    Thatcher - I tend to agree with most others. Good on the health response. Like you, not sure about the big-state action, which I think has been a good thing overall.

    Blair, I really can't decide. He'd have taken the country with him in whatever direction, but I can't work out how good that direction would have been.

    May, I don't see it. Also - like Major - for the inability to carry her party/parliament with her.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 31,742
    Stocky said:

    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    As keen as I am on re-wilding for habitat and biodiversity reasons, we should remember that climate-change wise this wouldn't be as beneficial as one might think because trees emit carbon dioxide at night - a fact which is often forgotten.
    They become long term carbon sinks though, the wood is a store of carbon that they have absorbed. Each tree planted contributes net negative CO2.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,017

    kjh said:

    Stocky said:

    Foxy said:

    kjh said:

    Although I think the current Govt has been hopeless on Track and Trace and the timing of decisions one should give credit where credit is due and they were very good on the Vaccine and of course there were the Nightingale Hospitals. They weren't needed, but if they had been it could have been the difference between complete meltdown and controlled chaos. Because they weren't needed we didn't really see how good a job they had done and on the face of it, it was good.

    The problem of the Nightingales was staffing. This why they had next to no patients.
    Is it feasible for there to be a specific new role - entitled Covid nurses or something - and fast-track a bunch of recruits who are trained to be expert in best-practice Covid patient management but lack any wider training? And staff-up the Nightingales with them.

    (This could be a random brain-fart, in which case sos.)
    Agree. Foxy has much more knowledge than us on how staff was stretched but if we were in in complete disaster mode, even if completely unsatisfactory, an understaffed and under skilled operation is better than just dying at home, a bit like on a war footing. FYI my wife and her medical colleagues all approached her employer about being released to help and it was considered but it was decided they were more useful where they were. If things had got a lot worse things may have changed. She is a doctor but a pathologist, now involved in drug safety and has not been involved with the NHS and patients for decades, but I am sure she could have been useful if it was really needed in a nursing or junior doctor role.
    The propaganda at the time was that people with first aid training - like air cabin staff - were being brought in to provide the bulk of the staff for the Nightingales, with a small number of hospital professionals to act in a supervisory role.
    It wasn't just talk. A friend of my wife's, who works as cabin crew, was contacted about this.
  • kjhkjh Posts: 4,437
    edited October 21
    Foxy said:

    kjh said:

    Stocky said:

    Foxy said:

    kjh said:

    Although I think the current Govt has been hopeless on Track and Trace and the timing of decisions one should give credit where credit is due and they were very good on the Vaccine and of course there were the Nightingale Hospitals. They weren't needed, but if they had been it could have been the difference between complete meltdown and controlled chaos. Because they weren't needed we didn't really see how good a job they had done and on the face of it, it was good.

    The problem of the Nightingales was staffing. This why they had next to no patients.
    Is it feasible for there to be a specific new role - entitled Covid nurses or something - and fast-track a bunch of recruits who are trained to be expert in best-practice Covid patient management but lack any wider training? And staff-up the Nightingales with them.

    (This could be a random brain-fart, in which case sos.)
    Agree. Foxy has much more knowledge than us on how staff was stretched but if we were in in complete disaster mode, even if completely unsatisfactory, an understaffed and under skilled operation is better than just dying at home, a bit like on a war footing. FYI my wife and her medical colleagues all approached her employer about being released to help and it was considered but it was decided they were more useful where they were. If things had got a lot worse things may have changed. She is a doctor but a pathologist, now involved in drug safety and has not been involved with the NHS and patients for decades, but I am sure she could have been useful if it was really needed in a nursing or junior doctor role.
    There was a lot of redeployment at the peaks of the waves. We did have psychiatrists and pathologists working ICU at one point.

    One tricky thing is that severe covid is a complicated multi-system disorder that calls on a multiplicity of skills.
    Yes I assumed so.

    I agree with the point you are making but I am not talking about ideal situations but when all hell has broken loose, eg like a MASH unit and someone with some skills is better than nothing. My wife is very negative about her ability now having been out of patient care for so long, however I saw her in operation at a motorway pile up and I suspect people were considerably better off with her than not being treated at all. I was in fact very impressed, but then I wouldn't know if she was killing them off or not :smiley:
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,017
    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    There is some interesting progress in steel and concrete production, actually.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 2,806
    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    I agree with Lostpassword's points.

    The other thing I would add is that there is a lot of uncertainty (or at least, there was a decade back when I was on the edge of this field). How the earth responds to heating still has a lot of unknowns, there are complicated feedbacks and it may be that X amount of carbon emissions lead to scenarios much worse or much better than we think. At that time there were regular discoveries of new oceanic problems and feedbacks, mostly on the negative side, but also a few positives.

    Mitigation planning should be a big part of what we're doing though.
  • I voted for Mrs Thatcher in this poll.

    Just look at her handling of the AIDS crisis.

    She read every briefing paper, challenged and quizzed the scientists to understand things better, and crucially, she allowed her cabinet to overrule her as she and they understood how serious this was.

    As Sir Norman Fowler put it, she wasn't going to let hundreds of thousands of young men die from this, and she sold the message even if she wanted it to be a moral campaign.

    Just compare how badly France and America dealt with AIDS.

    I have no hesitation in endorsing Mrs Thatcher not least because of her science background
  • RH1992RH1992 Posts: 533
    MaxPB said:

    Jeremy Hunt reading PB? He's suggested that the booster shot gap be brought down to 5 months, it would make ~10m more people eligible overnight. It would allow us to do 500k vaccinations per day and really make a dent in transmission among older people.

    Good idea but I imagine the stubborn attitude of the JCVI would cause a public spat, and we need the gov to be seen to be taking scientific advice on board to help keep up public confidence in the booster programme.
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 4,357
    edited October 21

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    Indeed. Your second para hits the nail. The catastrophe of ever rising CO2 levels, even if the rise is slowed a bit, (if the science is right) is already a certainty BUT carrying on as we are makes it even worse. It is exactly this which is the hard sell, most particularly if some countries don't buy any of it really.

    The line that if we are all going to hit a catastrophe we may as well enjoy the time we have got is a a very old one. It is hard to sell the line that though we are heading for catastrophe we need to change almost everything. Who is the leader for that? Greta?

    As to the rapidity of coal use decline? China building 40+ coal fired power plants to add to the 1000 in use. India saying it's all decades away. If the science is right that's no use at all. Yes, it will change, but too late.

  • StockyStocky Posts: 7,025
    edited October 21
    Learned something new from a medico yesterday. Africans' poos are different. I mean their big jobs, apparently, are BIG and fibrous affairs - due to the mega-high amount of fibre in their traditional hunter-gatherer diets. Things that ail us - for example diverticulosis - are rare.

    Consequently, he is an advocate of a high-fibre diet. I mean proper high. All-bran cookies and stuff, MUCH less meat and processed foods. (I guess this is where the paleo diet advocates are coming from.)
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 7,128
    Foxy said:

    Pro_Rata said:

    Cookie said:

    I know we should treat worldometers data with a massive pinch of salt - but a few things of note:
    - After two months of steady decline, worldwide infections and deaths are ticking up again.
    - I think this is driven by Europe - which is the most significant location in terms of recorded infections and deaths, due to size of population, age structure, and ability to test. There are upticks across Europe.
    - Some places looking particularly black - Romania, for example, which is recording what would be for a UK population 1000-1500 deaths a day. How is this possible in a country which has had even a perfunctory roll-out of vaccines?
    - Increases in Poland look striking - same point really: how is this happening when vaccines have been rolled out?
    - Russia also continuing to tick up, though I trust Russian data almost not at all - could be a genuine increase, could simply be more accurate recording.
    - The third world still seems relatively little-scathed. Why is this? Demographics, or different habits of the population, or simply less ability to accurately record?

    I don't think Africa's lesser prominence from this is simply lack of recording. I've not seen a great amount of anecdote of health system collapse like there was for India, just the odd bit. We know SA and some of the southern tip have had substantial waves and Tanzania had some seriously bad handling and problems that were hidden to say the least.

    But the way the weather and lack of mod cons affects human behaviour, plus being further away from intensive seed infection seems to have helped. I'm sure it's been noted before that Africa doesn't seem overly vulnerable to flu either.

    To me the dog that really didn't bark was DRC, especially when compared to Amazon Brazil. Has knowledge around infectious diseases, a less advanced lifestyle (e.g. less air con) and further distance from international travel helped them?

    And again, comparing France's case rates to Mayotte's, where France should be doing the measuring pretty well, seemed to suggest Mayotte was a place that had far less infection a few months ago.
    A lot of African life is outdoors, so naturally better ventilated.

    I think there has been massive under recording too. My Nigerian colleagues have nearly all lost family members, albeit mostly cousins.
    Median age of about 20 massively helps. Has hit politicians pretty hard though as they tend to be male, older and overweight. In DR Congo they reckon about 5% of parliament has been killed: https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/covid-19-kills-32-members-congos-parliament-2021-05-28/
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 9,575
    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    Mass tree planting really is not, for a variety of reasons.

    Did you know BTW there's a lot more foliage planet wide than there was 30 years ago, anyway? Ironically because CO2 is so good for plants. Or so Matt Ridley said in the Spectator the other day.
  • maaarshmaaarsh Posts: 2,594
    Latest study on boosters very encouraging, and even at just 250k per day everyone over 50 gets boostered by Christmas, which is barely an acceleration on the current much maligned levels which are clearly now being ramped up. With a 95% efficacy vs 2 doses, it's hard to see how the usual suspects will try to make a case for more NPI, but I'm sure they're manage.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 31,742
    RH1992 said:

    MaxPB said:

    Jeremy Hunt reading PB? He's suggested that the booster shot gap be brought down to 5 months, it would make ~10m more people eligible overnight. It would allow us to do 500k vaccinations per day and really make a dent in transmission among older people.

    Good idea but I imagine the stubborn attitude of the JCVI would cause a public spat, and we need the gov to be seen to be taking scientific advice on board to help keep up public confidence in the booster programme.
    It's past time to disband the JCVI or take COVID vaccines out of their remit. Their behaviour over vaccines for kids was pretty disgraceful and their advice has been out of step with other countries for quite a while on boosters and vaccines for under 18s.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 2,806
    edited October 21
    Cookie said:

    I know we should treat worldometers data with a massive pinch of salt - but a few things of note:
    - After two months of steady decline, worldwide infections and deaths are ticking up again.
    - I think this is driven by Europe - which is the most significant location in terms of recorded infections and deaths, due to size of population, age structure, and ability to test. There are upticks across Europe.
    - Some places looking particularly black - Romania, for example, which is recording what would be for a UK population 1000-1500 deaths a day. How is this possible in a country which has had even a perfunctory roll-out of vaccines?
    - Increases in Poland look striking - same point really: how is this happening when vaccines have been rolled out?
    - Russia also continuing to tick up, though I trust Russian data almost not at all - could be a genuine increase, could simply be more accurate recording.
    - The third world still seems relatively little-scathed. Why is this? Demographics, or different habits of the population, or simply less ability to accurately record?

    On vaccines and spreading, Delta makes herd immunity (where R < 1 in the absence of restrictions) through vaccination probably not achievable.* So, without restrictions, R>1 and it rips through the susceptible population (mostly unvaccinated, but also includes some vaccinated).

    *perhaps possible if pretty much everyone, including children vaccinated and boosted as required - depends on the exact R0 and average vaccine efficacy across the population at any given time.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 9,575
    Stocky said:

    Learned something new from a medico yesterday. Africans' poos are different. I mean their big jobs, apparently, are BIG and fibrous affairs - due to the mega-high amount of fibre in their traditional hunter-gatherer diets. Things that ail us - for example diverticulosis - are rare.

    Consequently, he is an advocate of a high-fibre diet. I mean proper high. All-bran cookies and stuff, MUCH less meat and processed foods. (I guess this is where the paleo diet advocates are coming from.)

    Someone did a PhD weighing the output of Tanzanians. If you mainly eat bananas, as you say it's a lot.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 7,025
    IshmaelZ said:

    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    Mass tree planting really is not, for a variety of reasons.

    Did you know BTW there's a lot more foliage planet wide than there was 30 years ago, anyway? Ironically because CO2 is so good for plants. Or so Matt Ridley said in the Spectator the other day.
    He's including farmed crops, such as the gigantic palm oil plantations.
  • For all the media pile on over plan B Sky have just said labour do not support moving to it at this time

    Interesting position from labour
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 64,191
    IshmaelZ said:

    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    Mass tree planting really is not, for a variety of reasons.

    Did you know BTW there's a lot more foliage planet wide than there was 30 years ago, anyway? Ironically because CO2 is so good for plants. Or so Matt Ridley said in the Spectator the other day.
    Temperatures have varied by more than 1.5C in the past so it makes sense that the planet has evolved life that is quite good at both adaption and self-correction.

    Despite knowing that the planet was warmed than it is now in the past, a lot of people have fallen for the notion that warming will become self-reinforcing as ice melts releasing trapped CO2 etc but the opposite is probably more likely. As CO2 levels rise, the planet becomes more habitable for greenery that processes that CO2.
  • maaarshmaaarsh Posts: 2,594

    For all the media pile on over plan B Sky have just said labour do not support moving to it at this time

    Interesting position from labour

    Odd given their policies in Wales, but probably keeping quiet helps to avoid comment that plan B style policies in Wales are generating a worse result than England.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 4,432
    Stocky said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    Mass tree planting really is not, for a variety of reasons.

    Did you know BTW there's a lot more foliage planet wide than there was 30 years ago, anyway? Ironically because CO2 is so good for plants. Or so Matt Ridley said in the Spectator the other day.
    He's including farmed crops, such as the gigantic palm oil plantations.
    Palm oil plantations replacing jungle is bad, of course. But by itself doesn't give us an increase in foliage. The increase in foliage, if I understand the issue correctly, is that the Sahara Desert is in retreat. As a result of increased CO2.

  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 46,226
    edited October 21
    I just had to dial 999 due to the Great Orme goats gathering on the dual carriageway down the Little Orme creating a very present danger for passing cars, and they have very big horns

    And they are not wearing masks !!!!!
  • squareroot2squareroot2 Posts: 4,654
    edited October 21

    I voted for Mrs Thatcher in this poll.

    Just look at her handling of the AIDS crisis.

    She read every briefing paper, challenged and quizzed the scientists to understand things better, and crucially, she allowed her cabinet to overrule her as she and they understood how serious this was.

    As Sir Norman Fowler put it, she wasn't going to let hundreds of thousands of young men die from this, and she sold the message even if she wanted it to be a moral campaign.

    Just compare how badly France and America dealt with AIDS.

    I have no hesitation in endorsing Mrs Thatcher not least because of her science background
    Undoubtedly the best PM post WW2.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 9,575
    Stocky said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    Mass tree planting really is not, for a variety of reasons.

    Did you know BTW there's a lot more foliage planet wide than there was 30 years ago, anyway? Ironically because CO2 is so good for plants. Or so Matt Ridley said in the Spectator the other day.
    He's including farmed crops, such as the gigantic palm oil plantations.
    As I said: gross foliage is the measure.

    But your point illustrates the problem with tree planting. What is it for, long term? Trees mostly take ages to grow, too long to help. They then fail to do what they obligingly did in the Carbonaceous and turn into coal, because that depended on the fungi which cause them to decay not being in business at the time. They unproductive occupy land needed for other stuff.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 7,025
    edited October 21
    MaxPB said:

    RH1992 said:

    MaxPB said:

    Jeremy Hunt reading PB? He's suggested that the booster shot gap be brought down to 5 months, it would make ~10m more people eligible overnight. It would allow us to do 500k vaccinations per day and really make a dent in transmission among older people.

    Good idea but I imagine the stubborn attitude of the JCVI would cause a public spat, and we need the gov to be seen to be taking scientific advice on board to help keep up public confidence in the booster programme.
    It's past time to disband the JCVI or take COVID vaccines out of their remit. Their behaviour over vaccines for kids was pretty disgraceful and their advice has been out of step with other countries for quite a while on boosters and vaccines for under 18s.
    One of the incentives to get vaccinated is international-travel wise. Being vaccinated has become very significant, as you know.

    There is/will be further chaos as families twig (perhaps only at the airport) that the one dose limitation for under 17 3/4 year olds in the UK means that for international travel purposes that only-one-jabbed child is classified as unvaccinated.

    Going to France? - the vaccinated adults no probs, child needs negative test within 24 hours of boarding! And when in France the child has to get tested every 48 hours or else cannot enter restaurants or other indoor spaces. Ridiculous.

  • CookieCookie Posts: 4,432
    rkrkrk said:

    Foxy said:

    Pro_Rata said:

    Cookie said:

    I know we should treat worldometers data with a massive pinch of salt - but a few things of note:
    - After two months of steady decline, worldwide infections and deaths are ticking up again.
    - I think this is driven by Europe - which is the most significant location in terms of recorded infections and deaths, due to size of population, age structure, and ability to test. There are upticks across Europe.
    - Some places looking particularly black - Romania, for example, which is recording what would be for a UK population 1000-1500 deaths a day. How is this possible in a country which has had even a perfunctory roll-out of vaccines?
    - Increases in Poland look striking - same point really: how is this happening when vaccines have been rolled out?
    - Russia also continuing to tick up, though I trust Russian data almost not at all - could be a genuine increase, could simply be more accurate recording.
    - The third world still seems relatively little-scathed. Why is this? Demographics, or different habits of the population, or simply less ability to accurately record?

    I don't think Africa's lesser prominence from this is simply lack of recording. I've not seen a great amount of anecdote of health system collapse like there was for India, just the odd bit. We know SA and some of the southern tip have had substantial waves and Tanzania had some seriously bad handling and problems that were hidden to say the least.

    But the way the weather and lack of mod cons affects human behaviour, plus being further away from intensive seed infection seems to have helped. I'm sure it's been noted before that Africa doesn't seem overly vulnerable to flu either.

    To me the dog that really didn't bark was DRC, especially when compared to Amazon Brazil. Has knowledge around infectious diseases, a less advanced lifestyle (e.g. less air con) and further distance from international travel helped them?

    And again, comparing France's case rates to Mayotte's, where France should be doing the measuring pretty well, seemed to suggest Mayotte was a place that had far less infection a few months ago.
    A lot of African life is outdoors, so naturally better ventilated.

    I think there has been massive under recording too. My Nigerian colleagues have nearly all lost family members, albeit mostly cousins.
    Median age of about 20 massively helps. Has hit politicians pretty hard though as they tend to be male, older and overweight. In DR Congo they reckon about 5% of parliament has been killed: https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/covid-19-kills-32-members-congos-parliament-2021-05-28/
    That's astonishing.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 33,931
    Spectacular footage of a volcanic eruption in Japan.
    https://twitter.com/ThePlanetaryGuy/status/1450710008363110402
  • AnabobazinaAnabobazina Posts: 10,924
    Stocky said:

    MaxPB said:

    RH1992 said:

    MaxPB said:

    Jeremy Hunt reading PB? He's suggested that the booster shot gap be brought down to 5 months, it would make ~10m more people eligible overnight. It would allow us to do 500k vaccinations per day and really make a dent in transmission among older people.

    Good idea but I imagine the stubborn attitude of the JCVI would cause a public spat, and we need the gov to be seen to be taking scientific advice on board to help keep up public confidence in the booster programme.
    It's past time to disband the JCVI or take COVID vaccines out of their remit. Their behaviour over vaccines for kids was pretty disgraceful and their advice has been out of step with other countries for quite a while on boosters and vaccines for under 18s.
    One of the incentives to get vaccinated is international-travel wise. Being vaccinated has become very significant, as you know.

    There is/will be further chaos as families twig (perhaps only at the airport) that the one dose limitation for under 17 3/4 year olds in the UK means that for international travel purposes that only-one-jabbed child is classified as unvaccinated.

    Going to France? - the vaccinated adults no probs, child needs negative test within 24 hours of boarding! And when in France the child has to get tested every 48 hours or else cannot enter restaurants or other indoor spaces. Ridiculous.

    Is this true??? I'm going to France in May... with my son!
  • darkagedarkage Posts: 927
    Thatcher is the obvious choice, but it is important to remember that she governed in a different era. There was no internet, social media, camera phones etc; just a relatively deferential mainstream media who the government could bargain with to control the flow of information. This meant that Thatchers public persona could be stage managed to a degree that is no longer possible. It is a similar story for Tony Blair. These are all characters in a world that no longer exists.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 9,575
    edited October 21

    IshmaelZ said:

    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    Mass tree planting really is not, for a variety of reasons.

    Did you know BTW there's a lot more foliage planet wide than there was 30 years ago, anyway? Ironically because CO2 is so good for plants. Or so Matt Ridley said in the Spectator the other day.
    Temperatures have varied by more than 1.5C in the past so it makes sense that the planet has evolved life that is quite good at both adaption and self-correction.

    Despite knowing that the planet was warmed than it is now in the past, a lot of people have fallen for the notion that warming will become self-reinforcing as ice melts releasing trapped CO2 etc but the opposite is probably more likely. As CO2 levels rise, the planet becomes more habitable for greenery that processes that CO2.
    Yes, the *planet* may have evolved life which overall is good at coping with shit, but you do realise 99% of known species have gone extinct because their niche disappeared? Life overall adapts, individual species don't. And we do occupy a niche, even if its quite a generous one. This is a parallel to your insouciance about business failures because "the market will find an equilibrium." Fine and dandy for the market, still not great for the businesses.

    Did you make that up about greenery saving the day? That redundant "probably" is a bit quixotic.
  • Nigelb said:

    Spectacular footage of a volcanic eruption in Japan.
    https://twitter.com/ThePlanetaryGuy/status/1450710008363110402

    Amazing footage
  • StockyStocky Posts: 7,025

    Stocky said:

    MaxPB said:

    RH1992 said:

    MaxPB said:

    Jeremy Hunt reading PB? He's suggested that the booster shot gap be brought down to 5 months, it would make ~10m more people eligible overnight. It would allow us to do 500k vaccinations per day and really make a dent in transmission among older people.

    Good idea but I imagine the stubborn attitude of the JCVI would cause a public spat, and we need the gov to be seen to be taking scientific advice on board to help keep up public confidence in the booster programme.
    It's past time to disband the JCVI or take COVID vaccines out of their remit. Their behaviour over vaccines for kids was pretty disgraceful and their advice has been out of step with other countries for quite a while on boosters and vaccines for under 18s.
    One of the incentives to get vaccinated is international-travel wise. Being vaccinated has become very significant, as you know.

    There is/will be further chaos as families twig (perhaps only at the airport) that the one dose limitation for under 17 3/4 year olds in the UK means that for international travel purposes that only-one-jabbed child is classified as unvaccinated.

    Going to France? - the vaccinated adults no probs, child needs negative test within 24 hours of boarding! And when in France the child has to get tested every 48 hours or else cannot enter restaurants or other indoor spaces. Ridiculous.

    Is this true??? I'm going to France in May... with my son!
    Yes. If he is over 12.

    I told you people haven't twigged.

  • darkagedarkage Posts: 927
    edited October 21
    I also have a theory that, were Covid to have hit us in the pre mass internet era; it could have been covered up or downplayed as a particularly bad flu season. It was only because of mass communication that the reality of the virus, and inability of governments to deal with it, became clear.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 9,575
    darkage said:

    Thatcher is the obvious choice, but it is important to remember that she governed in a different era. There was no internet, social media, camera phones etc; just a relatively deferential mainstream media who the government could bargain with to control the flow of information. This meant that Thatchers public persona could be stage managed to a degree that is no longer possible. It is a similar story for Tony Blair. These are all characters in a world that no longer exists.

    You exaggerate. Johnson’s persona is every bit as stage managed as ever. Social media is all secondary: what Johnson does and what he permits people to know is still up to him.
  • OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 6,406
    IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    Mass tree planting really is not, for a variety of reasons.

    Did you know BTW there's a lot more foliage planet wide than there was 30 years ago, anyway? Ironically because CO2 is so good for plants. Or so Matt Ridley said in the Spectator the other day.
    Temperatures have varied by more than 1.5C in the past so it makes sense that the planet has evolved life that is quite good at both adaption and self-correction.

    Despite knowing that the planet was warmed than it is now in the past, a lot of people have fallen for the notion that warming will become self-reinforcing as ice melts releasing trapped CO2 etc but the opposite is probably more likely. As CO2 levels rise, the planet becomes more habitable for greenery that processes that CO2.
    Yes, the *planet* may have evolved life which overall is good at coping with shit, but you do realise 99% of known species have gone extinct because their niche disappeared? Life overall adapts, individual species don't. And we do occupy a niche, even if its quite a generous one. This is a parallel to your insouciance about business failures because "the market will find an equilibrium." Fine and dandy for the market, still not great for the businesses.

    Did you make that up about greenery saving the day? That redundant "probably" is a bit quixotic.
    Global heating is not a problem for life on earth, it will adapt and evolve. It is very bad for human civilisation, however. That's what we are striving to protect via net zero etc.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 33,931

    IshmaelZ said:

    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    Mass tree planting really is not, for a variety of reasons.

    Did you know BTW there's a lot more foliage planet wide than there was 30 years ago, anyway? Ironically because CO2 is so good for plants. Or so Matt Ridley said in the Spectator the other day.
    Temperatures have varied by more than 1.5C in the past so it makes sense that the planet has evolved life that is quite good at both adaption and self-correction.

    Despite knowing that the planet was warmed than it is now in the past, a lot of people have fallen for the notion that warming will become self-reinforcing as ice melts releasing trapped CO2 etc but the opposite is probably more likely. As CO2 levels rise, the planet becomes more habitable for greenery that processes that CO2.
    I don't think you can easily make such assumptions.
    Life does indeed adapt and self-correct, but that doesn't mean there aren't short term (on geological timescales) catastrophes and extinctions. Human civilisation is the blink of an eye in those terms.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 7,025
    Stocky said:

    Stocky said:

    MaxPB said:

    RH1992 said:

    MaxPB said:

    Jeremy Hunt reading PB? He's suggested that the booster shot gap be brought down to 5 months, it would make ~10m more people eligible overnight. It would allow us to do 500k vaccinations per day and really make a dent in transmission among older people.

    Good idea but I imagine the stubborn attitude of the JCVI would cause a public spat, and we need the gov to be seen to be taking scientific advice on board to help keep up public confidence in the booster programme.
    It's past time to disband the JCVI or take COVID vaccines out of their remit. Their behaviour over vaccines for kids was pretty disgraceful and their advice has been out of step with other countries for quite a while on boosters and vaccines for under 18s.
    One of the incentives to get vaccinated is international-travel wise. Being vaccinated has become very significant, as you know.

    There is/will be further chaos as families twig (perhaps only at the airport) that the one dose limitation for under 17 3/4 year olds in the UK means that for international travel purposes that only-one-jabbed child is classified as unvaccinated.

    Going to France? - the vaccinated adults no probs, child needs negative test within 24 hours of boarding! And when in France the child has to get tested every 48 hours or else cannot enter restaurants or other indoor spaces. Ridiculous.

    Is this true??? I'm going to France in May... with my son!
    Yes. If he is over 12.

    I told you people haven't twigged.

    See below:

    https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210716-as-france-extends-use-of-covid-health-pass-what-are-its-eu-neighbours-doing

    "Starting July 21, the "health pass" (pass sanitaire) will be compulsory for access to leisure and cultural venues with more than 50 people, including cinemas and museums. From the beginning of August, it will be necessary to show your health pass to have coffee or eat lunch at a restaurant – even on an outdoor terrace – or to shop at a mall.

    Customers will have to provide either a QR code proving they are fully vaccinated, a negative PCR or antigen test that is less than 48 hours old, or proof that they have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months. According to the government's draft bill, restaurants could be fined up to €45,000 and proprietors face up to a year in prison if they fail to comply."
  • IshmaelZ said:

    Foxy said:

    algarkirk said:

    On a parallel subject who will be the leader to tell us that, if the science is correct, the climate crisis is already an absolute certainty, whatever steps are taken in some countries to emit less CO2 than before, and that mitigation planning is the only option, and that net Zero emissions, or anything close to it, cannot in practice (political and economic) in any foreseeable time scale and circumstance come about.

    I think the great Greta Thunberg may already be trying to work out the implications of this very obvious truth.

    My sense is that this is obvious to almost everyone but almost no-one is prepared to say so. Is that how it seems generally?

    It's a mistake to think of a climate crisis in on/off terms, which regrettably is how almost all the discussion is framed.

    However bad it is already unavoidably going to be we will still make it worse by burning more fossil fuels. Every bit of fossil fuel we avoid burning reduces the extent to which it gets worse.

    I also think that some of the transition away from fossil fuels might happen surprisingly quickly once technological tipping points are reached. Coal pretty much disappeared from the UK electricity grid surprisingly quickly. The transition to electric cars may also happen more quickly than expected.
    The difficulties with air travel, shipping, land freight and production of high energy products like concrete and steel will all remain.

    Mass tree planting seems the best way to manage the next decades alongside reductions in fossil fuels.
    Mass tree planting really is not, for a variety of reasons.

    Did you know BTW there's a lot more foliage planet wide than there was 30 years ago, anyway? Ironically because CO2 is so good for plants. Or so Matt Ridley said in the Spectator the other day.
    Temperatures have varied by more than 1.5C in the past so it makes sense that the planet has evolved life that is quite good at both adaption and self-correction.

    Despite knowing that the planet was warmed than it is now in the past, a lot of people have fallen for the notion that warming will become self-reinforcing as ice melts releasing trapped CO2 etc but the opposite is probably more likely. As CO2 levels rise, the planet becomes more habitable for greenery that processes that CO2.
    The main positive feedback effect from melting ice caps is the consequent reduction in the Earth's albedo (ice reflects solar radiation); they contain only a very small amount of CO2. However melting permafrost does release significant amounts of CO2, and there is the possibility of the release of large amounts of methane that is currently trapped in permafrost and clathrates.
  • darkagedarkage Posts: 927
    edited October 21
    IshmaelZ said:

    darkage said:

    Thatcher is the obvious choice, but it is important to remember that she governed in a different era. There was no internet, social media, camera phones etc; just a relatively deferential mainstream media who the government could bargain with to control the flow of information. This meant that Thatchers public persona could be stage managed to a degree that is no longer possible. It is a similar story for Tony Blair. These are all characters in a world that no longer exists.

    You exaggerate. Johnson’s persona is every bit as stage managed as ever. Social media is all secondary: what Johnson does and what he permits people to know is still up to him.
    Absolutely - it is just that it stage managed for the post truth era. He succeeds where Theresa May failed.
This discussion has been closed.