Updated: Apr 19, 2020
My best assessment of the coronavirus scenario; it is a replica of the climate change scenario. The features are, I think identical, as described below.
In the case of the theories of anthropogenic climate change, there is good reason for concern. It is certainly reasonable and appropriate to study the effects of humans, and other species, on this planet. It is also reasonable and appropriate to think some changes in our choice and management of energy sources and systems of waste disposal, as examples of worthy topics of study, will be of short and long-term benefit to every person and the world itself. So, there is truth in the call for attention to the sources of, and solutions for, possible climate change.
The problem comes, in the ongoing debate about anthropogenic climate change, not from the issue itself but from the approach some bring to the debate. The problem comes, I contend, from the models for the future of the planet that are built on outlandish, unsubstantiated theories based on truly fake science. Those models produce the opportunity for panic over the imminent demise of the planet unless drastic and immediate measures are put in place to reverse the disastrous effects of our current practices. Hysteria is manufactured and distributed in every manner possible, all part of a misinformation campaign designed not to make the truth known, but rather to obscure the truth through the use of hopelessly inaccurate information that may sound plausible, at least on the surface.
Many sincere people who care a lot about the planet and its long-term health buy into the propaganda and contribute in every way possible to the hysteria. They believe with all their minds and hearts that it is essential these issues be addressed in the proposed manner to save the world as we know it.
I contend a response to the issue of anthropogenic climate change is, therefore, reasonable and appropriate. The question that must be answered, of course, is what is a reasonable and appropriate response? That answer must come, it seems to me, from an accurate assessment of the risk attached to the issue. The higher the risk the more drastic and immediate must be the response to that risk. The lower the risk, the less substantial should be the response to the risk.
So, how does the scenario just described compare to COVID 19? I contend in absolutely every way. The illness (Have you noticed this coronavirus is always referred to as a disease? It is a virus, much like the common cold or the flu. Have you ever heard medical professionals or others refer to those illnesses as a disease? Probably not. Calling this coronavirus a disease, I suggest, simply makes it sound more dangerous than calling it an illness.) is so serious for some of those infected that there is cause for very significant concern. The source of the illness and its treatment definitely warrant serious study and some response to the issue, so concerns are certainly valid.
What has been the major source of difficulty with the management of COVID 19? My conclusion is that is comes from the original models for the spread of the illness and its mortality rate. Those models, it seems to me, have been proven not just false from the earliest days of this “outbreak” but catastrophically, egregiously in error. They are based not on science at all but on some concocted notions that are designed to create maximum panic, to develop a level of hysteria that will allow the disruption of every element of life as we know it. Those models have not helped the general public know the truth about this illness, but rather have obscured the truth through the systemic distribution of carefully developed false statements about the illness and its effects on the world. While they may sound plausible when delivered by some “expert” in the field they are actually misinformation designed to generate maximum fear.
Many sincere people who care about their families and friends buy into the propaganda and contribute in every way possible to the hysteria. They believe with all their minds and hearts that it is essential these issues be addressed in the proposed manner to save the world as we know it.
The question in this case, as with anthropogenic climate change, is what is the reasonable and appropriate response? That answer must come, of course, from an accurate assessment of the risk presented by the illness. When the accepted models for the risk presented are enormously inaccurate you can expect that the response to the risk will be equally out of proportion. I believe that will prove to be the case when all the facts are in with this “global pandemic”.
What would a reasonable, appropriate response to COVID 19 look like? First of all, it would not be the same for every part of any state, or for individuals within each part of any state. It is clear more substantial measures are called for in some parts of each state than others, and with some individuals than others. In many geographic areas and with certain groups of individuals nothing more than constant reminders to remove yourself from contact with others when you fall ill, maintain some distance between yourself and everyone else during times of possible transmission, and washing your hands and not touching your face are the extent of the reasonable response. Those are all measures we should take during cold and flu season every year. Perhaps they are adequate for most areas of the country for COVID 19 as they have always been adequate for cold and flu season. Some additional measures seem appropriate for some geographic areas, particularly larger metropolitan areas, and certainly for the individuals who are most at risk from this illness. I suggest, though, that if “shelter in place” for every person, closing all schools, and allowing essential travel only, are a reasonable and appropriate response to this coronavirus they are also reasonable and appropriate for cold and flu season every single year. So, I do not pretend to be in a position to understand the best and highest response to COVID 19, but do suggest a careful, thoughtful analysis has not been done, and in many cases the cure has been worse than the illness, as described by President Trump.
The calls for drastic alteration of our lives because of the claims about anthropogenic climate change has been reasonably successful in spite of the staggeringly false science behind the claims. The general public has not, though, responded with particularly strong emotion to the dire threats of catastrophe associated with climate change and demanded or accepted immediate and drastic change to their way of life. But the opposite has been true with this coronavirus. When threatened with an immense human toll from this illness people in every country have willingly given up the most basic human rights to, as much as possible, avert death from sweeping through every neighborhood. The fact that the number of illnesses and the number of deaths may well be fewer than from this year’s influenza, which produced no special precautions at all, is apparently beside the point. Those who are determined to reshape our country and our world found a winner in this coronavirus.
Therein lies my view that COVID 19 is a replica of anthropogenic climate change. There are many other aspects to this phenomenon. Future articles will address those elements.
Next: Training in Tyranny