Massive Wildfires in the West: Who Could’ve Guessed?

Sixteen years ago, the G.W. Bush White House suppressed for four years this report on global climate change impacts, which discussed, among other things, the increased prevalence of wildfires. This was discussed in this post, entitled “What the Administration Considered Too Dangerous to Release for Four Years”.

And released only under threat of a court order: “Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States” (summary).

SAcvr.jpg

From Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Bush administration released a climate change assessment on Thursday — four years late and pushed forward by a court order — that said human-induced global warming will likely lead to problems like droughts in the U.S. West and stronger hurricanes.

This is an encouraging development for those who believe knowledge-based policymaking is a good idea. Some day, I might even see this White House admit that mercury is toxic, and we are not on the right hand side of the Laffer Curve. But one day at a time.

Here’s the entire report (large PDF). [this link is non-operational – MDC]

The still-operational link to the report is here.

Just a reminder that the anti-science faction has dominated the Republican party for a very long time…I just couldn’t have imagined how much worse the anti-science tendencies would become.

112 thoughts on “Massive Wildfires in the West: Who Could’ve Guessed?

  1. pgl

    “Just a reminder that the anti-science faction has dominated the Republican party for a very long time”

    It still does. Trump actually believes that better “forest management” which is essentially is raking the leaves would have prevented these fires.

    1. Ivan

      What Trump doesn’t seem to understand is the HE needs to rake HIS national forests. The wast majority of the public land in the west is owned by the Federal Government. Maybe he can get his boys to pick up a rake – would be more useful than what they currently are doing.

  2. pgl

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/california-wildfires-trump-newsom-forest-management-oregon-b434744.html

    ‘On the eve of a visit to California as wildfires continue to rage across the state, Donald Trump doubled down on his claim that bad “forest management” is to blame for the recent devastation there. After repeating his false claim that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is “hiding” in his “basement” during the campaign, Mr Trump touted his busy travel schedule. “I’m all over the place. I’m going to California from here, going over to see some of our great people that are doing such a great job with these monster fires that they have,” he said at a roundtable with Latino voters in Nevada on Sunday. “And again, forest management. I keep telling them: forest management. And to manage your forests,” Mr Trump said.’

    Maybe Trump will give these Latinos jobs raking up the leaves.

  3. Bruce Hall

    An interesting perspective. The NPS has a slightly different one: nps.gov/articles/wildfire-causes-and-evaluation.htm

    This past year has been hotter and drier than usual in the west; however, much wetter in the east. Regional patterns shift constantly: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps/12/202008?products%5B%5D=statewidepcpnrank#us-maps-select

    The current 12-month temperatures were generally warmer/hotter than average: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps/12/202008?products%5B%5D=statewidetavgrank#us-maps-select

    However the prior 12-month temperatures were lower than average in large parts of the U.S.: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps/12/201908?products%5B%5D=statewidetavgrank#us-maps-select

    This is an excellent summary: https://www.azquotes.com/quote/360631

    Precipitation plays a major role in the presence or absence of wildfires.. after human activity: https://nationalpost.com/news/as-much-of-u-s-burns-western-canada-has-quieter-than-usual-wildfire-season-due-to-rain-and-covid-lockdowns Odd that Canada was left out of “climate change”.

    1. pgl

      “The NPS has a slightly different one”.

      The National Park Service does not once in this link deny the role of Climate Change. This is your usual weak tea intellectual garbage in a desperate attempt to deny reality. None of your links in any way contribute to this debate. But do waste our time like you usually do with your hysterically funny stupidity.

    2. 2slugbaits

      Bruce Hall Odd that Canada was left out of “climate change”

      Good point. In fact, not only was western Canada cool and wet, but precipitation set a record high. Of course, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Global warming doesn’t just predict higher global temperatures on average, it also predicts extreme volatility (both high and low) in isolated regions. Recall how a few winters ago North America and Europe experienced record setting cold temperatures as a result of global warming melting arctic ice, which created a vortex over land.

      However the prior 12-month temperatures were lower than average in large parts of the U.S

      True. Also irrelevant to the discussion about wildfires in the west.

      1. pgl

        Trump talks about raking leaves in Finland. Yes Canada is naturally cooler than California but Finland is colder still.

        I guess Bruce and Trump had the same geography teacher.

        1. baffling

          you would think that if somebody provides 6 links, they would have something important to say and simply state it. instead you get bruce hall’s version of the drudge report. he has resorted to analysis and discussion by click bait.

          1. pgl

            He’s been doing this nonsense for a long time. And when called on it – the little boy whines that we are not doing any analysis.

  4. pgl

    Nevada over the past 21 days has been seeing 12.1 COVID-19 deaths per day as compared to NY at only 4.9 per day. On a per capita basis, Nevada is seeing 4.2 deaths per million people as compared to 0.25 for NY. And now this?

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/reckless-selfish-nevada-gov-sisolak-slams-trump-holding-big-indoor-n1240001

    Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak slammed President Donald Trump Sunday night for violating state rules by holding a 2020 campaign rally indoors with thousands of people. In a lengthy thread on Twitter, the Democratic governor said that Trump “is knowingly packing thousands into an indoor venue to hold a political rally” and has “forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic.” “This is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves,” Sisolak said. “It’s also a direct threat to all of the recent progress we’ve made and could potentially set us back.” The governor said of Trump, “As usual, he doesn’t believe the rules apply to him” and accused the president of “reckless and selfish actions.”

    Huge crowd with no social distancing and no masks except for those near Trump. So it is quite possible that Nevada will see a rise in new cases and deaths thanks to Trump’s need for an indoor rally. Of course, Trump does not care about the lives of his supporters as long as he gets reelected. MAGA.

    BTW Trump is mad that the governor is not rushing life back to normal. Let them all die.

    1. Willie

      covid donnie is a superspreader all by himself. Who would have ever thought the President of the United States would be a disease vector.

  5. Manfred

    Typical Menzie.
    Anybody who disagrees with him, or his left wing Democratic talking points, is simply anti-science.
    It does not cross Menzie’s mind, that there are decent people out there, many of them scientists, that yes, disagree with Menzie.
    It does not enter into his Weltanschauung that there are scientists, many with stellar degrees (much better degrees than Menzie’s), who disagree with him.
    But no matter.
    Michael Schellenberger, in a recent article for Forbes [“Stop Blaming Climate Change For California’s Fires. Many Forests, Including The Redwoods, Need Them.”] , quotes – not paraphrase, quotes – a professor from UC Berkeley (Berkeley!):
    ” “When I hear climate change discussed it’s suggested that it’s a major reason and it’s not,” Scott Stevens of the University of California, Berkeley, told me.”
    ““There was severe heat before the lightning that dried-out [wood] fuel,” noted Stevens. “But in Big Basin [redwood park], where fire burned every seven to ten years, there is a high-density of fuel build-up, especially in the forests.”

    Also, there is an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS, February 2012), with title “Long-term perspective on wildfires in the western USA” (written by a whole host of co-authors, all scientists!!), that has this paragraph:
    “Analysis of climate reconstructions beginning from 500 CE and population data show that temperature and drought predict changes in biomass burning up to the late 1800s CE. Since the late 1800s , human activities and the ecological effects of recent high fire activity caused a large, abrupt decline in burning similar to the LIA fire decline. Consequently, there is now a forest “fire deficit” in the western United States attributable to the combined effects of human activities, ecological, and climate changes. Large fires in the late 20th and 21st century fires have begun to address the fire deficit, but it is continuing to grow.”

    But again, not matter. For Menzie, the Democratic ideologue, it is all about the ugly Republicans and their anti-science wing. Just like Gavin Newsom in California, there is no room for disagreement, no room for other ideas. All is just “anti-science”.

    1. pgl

      If Manfred is telling us that Michael Shellenberger is a climate change denier, he is either very stupid or a liar. Yes he co-authored something called the Ecomodernist Manifesto, which is reviewed here:

      https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/is-the-ecomodernist-manifesto-the-future-of-environmentalism

      Calling themselves ecomodernists and ecopragmatists, they argue that technology, supported and accelerated by government investment, can allow humanity to simultaneously mitigate climate change, protect land, and relieve poverty. They approve of urbanization, intensified agriculture, nuclear power, aquaculture, and desalination; they disapprove of suburbanization, low-yield farming, and forms of renewable energy with large acreage demands.

      That is NOT denying climate change. It is suggesting perhaps some smart ways of addressing it.

    2. baffling

      “It does not cross Menzie’s mind, that there are decent people out there, many of them scientists, that yes, disagree with Menzie.”
      actually, there are not many scientists out there that disagree with menzie on this issue. there are many people who have an unscientific position-but they are not scientists. please do not insult the scientist by placing them with populists.

      1. pgl

        Michael Schellenberger is a respected scholar who has written a lot on this issue. But I betcha Bruce Hall has not read a single thing he has published. And I bet Michael Schellenberger is far from a climate change denier.

        Of course what Michael Schellenberger has written is of no interest to lying trolls like Bruce Hall.

  6. sammy

    It’s more a question of which scientists to listen to. Are we to listen to the scientists that mandate wearing of masks outdoors? Because those scientists have determined that blowing breath out the side of a mask is so much less contagious than regular breathing in millions of cubic feet of fresh air? Those scientists?

    How about these scientists from UCLA and Stanford:

    “Among US counties with populations greater than 500,000 people, during the week ending June 13,2020, the median estimate of the county level probability of a confirmed infection is 1 infection in 40,500 person contacts (Range: 10,100 to 586,000). For a 50 to 64 year-old individual, the median estimate of the county level probability of a hospitalization is 1 in 709,000 person contacts (Range: 177,000 to 10,200,000) and the median estimate of the county level probability of a fatality is 1 in 6,670,000 person contacts (Range 1,680,000 to 97,600.000).”

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.06.20124446v2

    Is it more that if a person listens to the wrong scientists, that don’t agree with your Progressive political goals, that you are branded “anti science.” Progressives are just using science as a way to achieve their ends, which is a decidedly unscientific approach.

    1. pgl

      “It’s more a question of which scientists to listen to. Are we to listen to the scientists that mandate wearing of masks outdoors?”

      Did you have a good time at Trump’s crowded rally last night. Since you refused to wear a mask – do go get a COVID-19 test ASAP. At your age – the risk of death is rather high.

    2. Alan Goldhammer

      “It’s more a question of which scientists to listen to. Are we to listen to the scientists that mandate wearing of masks outdoors? Because those scientists have determined that blowing breath out the side of a mask is so much less contagious than regular breathing in millions of cubic feet of fresh air? Those scientists?”

      If you spent more time reading all the COVID-19 literature you wouldn’t say such stupid things. You are wildly taking things out of context as the big issue is population density and that is what dictates the need to distance and wear a mask. While it hard to do a controlled trial, the closes this has come is from Jena Germany. Here is the abstract along with my newsletter commentary:
      • Universal masking the health care setting and in the community to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has been recently recommended by the WHO, but supporting data are rare. The City of Jena was the first community in Germany to issue an order on mandatory public masking. Here, we report the development of the number of novel infections in our hospital and the city of Jena after implementation of universal masking in our hospital and the city.

      [note; this is from the moderately sized city of Jena in Germany who implemented a mandatory public masking law. They had a comparison city that implemented their own masking law four weeks later. Jena saw no new COVID-19 case whereas Erfurt continued to observe case until their citizens masked up. As the authors of the paper note, this is an observational study and an ethical controlled trial on mask use versus non-mask likely could not be done. I think this nice study closes out the question of whether masks work. I do not plan to cite any future papers on this topic as for me the question is settled!!! MASK UP WHEN YOU GO OUT. ‘Nuff said.] https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.02.20187021v1

      1. baffling

        this is what i find so frustrating. we have a simple and cheap way of dealing with the virus. it is not the magic bullet trump wants, but it is effective. we could send our kids back to school this fall if only the nation would follow some simple guidelines. but instead, folks seem to prefer to get drunk and spread the virus, rather than protect their community and restore the economy.

        our nation has been under assault, and when we look back on history we will see that many in this nation could not do their patriotic duty and protect the nation. we had the greatest generation, who gave their life to protect our nation. and now we have folks who cannot give up a beer and dinner at the local restaurant. i guess everybody views sacrifice differently. we lost over 400,000 lives to ww2. we will lose more than that to coronavirus by this winter, and that does not seem to bother some folks on this board. sad.

      2. sammy

        Alan,

        “I do not plan to cite any future papers on this topic as for me the question is settled!!! MASK UP WHEN YOU GO OUT. ‘Nuff said.]”

        That is not science. That is you being authoritarian.

        1. baffling

          sammy, the data is pretty clear. masks do help to control the spread of the virus. not sure what you are arguing about. you may not like the tone or attitude of being told what to do, but that does not make it false. but i shows you behave more like a toddler than an adult.

    3. baffling

      “Because those scientists have determined that blowing breath out the side of a mask is so much less contagious than regular breathing in millions of cubic feet of fresh air? Those scientists?”
      talking, especially loudly, outside directly at another person is a problem. this is why the meat packing plants and the church choirs were shown to be so contagious early on in the pandemic. if you are shouting directly onto somebody, even outside, you are going to have a problem. its a shame simple minds cannot understand this basic idea.

      1. sammy

        baffling,
        “if you are shouting directly onto somebody, even outside, you are going to have a problem.”
        You mean like what happens at BLM protests? Haven’t seen Progressives stifling those. BLM protests = OK, but Trump rallies = not OK. More science I guess.

        1. baffling

          you do not need to compare blm to trumpsters. it is a very simple question here. should trump continue to hold rallies that endanger the community? notice how he and his folks are tested and remain very socially distanced from the crowd? the crowd are what he calls marks in his con game.

  7. CoRev

    Menzie, Which link is not operational? Your knowledge based policymaking works is you rewrite it adding a space to “policymaking”. Or is there supposed to be something similar in your https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/ reference?

    Without a little more specificity in your references, I can find no support for your conclusion: “Just a reminder that the anti-science faction has dominated the Republican party for a very long time…I just couldn’t have imagined how much worse the anti-science tendencies would become.”

    Just wondering.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      CoRev: Hover your cursor above the link to the report as given in 2008, and you’ll see the original URL; if you click on it, you’ll see it leads only to the OSTP general page, and not to the report. That is what I meant by non-operational. I think most anybody else would understand what I was trying to convey (given I then provided a working link below). But I understand that you might have your own limitations to contend with.

      1. pgl

        All one has to do is to listen to Trump telling the citizens of the West that these fires were their fault for not doing more raking of their yards. Of course CoRev wants to pretend that this COVID-19 virus is about to magically disappear.

      2. CoRev

        Menzie, did you know this link is not working? “This is an encouraging development for those who believe knowledge-based policymaking is a good idea.”

        Just asking.

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          CoRev: Do you understand I’m quoting a 2008 post with the links I had at that time, and at that time, the link worked. I had to look up a new URL because the old link did not work.

          Man, you’re stupid.

          1. CoRev

            Menzie, I’m not accustomed to see a non-working link do a search on the Econobrowser server. Staying on the Econbrowser I thought you werer trying to reference the 2008 article.

            I went to each link in the article and understood you couldn’t at first find the original Report.

            So your big b$$ch is the Federal Government changed web a page changing/dropping a reference to a 12 YO document, and being inconvenienced you needed to do a search to find it? It wasn’t hidden. It wasn’t disappeared. From this you conclude: “Just a reminder that the anti-science faction has dominated the Republican party for a very long time…I just couldn’t have imagined how much worse the anti-science tendencies would become.”

            OK Got it!

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            CoRev: When I “quote” something, I quote verbatim. Long quotes — as this was of an entire post — are indented. This has been the convention for the 15 years I have been writing on Econbrowser.

          3. 2slugbaits

            CoRev I think we all understand that the point of linking to the study referenced in Menzie’s post is that the GOP should change its animal character from an elephant to an ostrich.

  8. pgl

    Oh my – Bruce Hall’s Lt. Governor is telling the truth:

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/michigan-lt-guv-torches-trump-as-a-liar-who-has-killed-people-straight-up

    Michigan Lieutenant Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II (D) flayed President Donald Trump and his sluggish response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the weekend. “Donald Trump is a liar who has killed people, straight up,” Gilchrist said during a virtual event with progressive Democrats on Saturday, per ClickOnDetroit. The top Michigan official asserted the country “cannot afford another four years of this man at the helm.” “There are literally millions of lives at stake,” said Gilchrist, who stated that 23 people in his life had died from the virus.

    You know Bruce – all your disinformation here is not saving your boss from these attacks. It is time to get out of your basement and go after those nasty leaders in your state. I hear RUDY G. might assist you in digging dirt on Garlin Gilchrist.

    1. Bruce Hall

      LOL!!!

      The Lt. Governor who never met an abortion she didn’t love is lecturing about COVID-19 deaths while her boss, Michigan Gov. Whitmer, is the only one in the U.S. still sending infected patients back to nursing homes.

      1. pgl

        Abortion? See Brucie – you are supporting letting 200 thousand people dying from this virus because you want to take away a woman’s right to choose whether to be an unwed mother? Are you going to help teenage moms raise their kids? Didn’t think so.

      2. 2slugbaits

        Bruce Hall As a Michigan voter you should really have a better grasp of the issue. Gov. Whitmer did not order elderly COVID patients into nursing homes. That’s just a flat out lie that was propagated by some GOP politicians fed their base. If you still believe that GOP lie, then give us the link to Whitmer’s executive order. You can’t because it doesn’t exist. You’ve been played for a sucker. The actual facts are that Whitmer vetoed a GOP bill that would have prevented COVID nursing home patients from returning to a nursing home. In fact, Michigan’s Senior Advocate Council supported Whitmer’s veto. In their words:

        Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens require unique medical care and living assistance to keep them safe and healthy. This legislation puts seniors at greater risk by failing to provide the enhanced and qualified staffing needed for their protection,” said Linda Cook MacDonald, Chairperson for the Michigan Senior Advocates Council. “We support the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 956 and express our gratitude to her for protecting the health and safety of all Michiganders during this difficult and unprecedented time.”

        Whitmer then restricted access to nursing homes in order to further protect the elderly (Executive Order 2020-136).

        If you plan on voting in November, then you really need to do a better job of understanding the issues and the facts.

        1. pgl

          “If you plan on voting in November, then you really need to do a better job of understanding the issues and the facts.”

          Actually – Bruce has given his mail in ballot to Kelly Anne Conway to fill out for him.

  9. sammy

    On the topic of Global Warming causing forest fires: it is customary for science to use more than one variable. An uneducated child, or a pet, will make a connection between one variable and an outcome. The missing variable here is forest management practices.

    Only a very stupid, or politically biased scientist comes to a conclusion based on one variable of a multi faceted issue. The idea that a minute change in CO2 is determinant in climate is ludicrous. Did you know that Earth historically has had massive temperature changes, from Ice Ages where glaciers reached Arizona, to warm periods where dinosaurs lived in Antarctica? All without a speck of man made CO2?

    CO2 levels in the atmosphere have varied greatly over time, from 7000 parts per million to the current approximately 400 parts per million. The average being maybe 2000 parts per million, and are not correlated with temperature. In fact we are at historic lows in CO2 levels:

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=Frn4%2bST%2b&id=37C68D4ABA66039F7896A24FF519073593DF6F66&thid=OIP.Frn4-ST-2HEafVOSPhaIwQHaE6&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fi.stack.imgur.com%2fHxERL.png&exph=352&expw=530&q=levels+of+co2+in+the+atmosphere+over+time&simid=608024531545886242&ck=7B31565B4D86989FC3B6940910DE69DA&selectedIndex=5&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0

    You’re going to buy what those guys are selling? Very unscientific.

    1. steve

      “CO2 levels in the atmosphere have varied greatly over time, from 7000 parts per million to the current approximately 400 parts per million. The average being maybe 2000 parts per million, and are not correlated with temperature. In fact we are at historic lows in CO2 levels:”

      Sure, but as someone noted we seldom look at just one variable. We note that at 7000 ppm mankind did not exist. Then we note that at very high levels of CO2 we can have a much denser cloud/smoke/dust barrier so there may not have been much sunlight getting through to warm the planet.

      Steve

      1. pgl

        “as someone noted we seldom look at just one variable.”

        But Sammy said you only look at one variable. Of course Sammy has this habit of lying about just about everything. Thanks for noting his statement here was false.

      2. John

        In fact, if you go back far enough in time, there was no CO2 in the atmosphere and the Earth was very, very hot!

    2. 2slugbaits

      sammy Congratulations. You somehow managed to post a comment that was even dumber than CoRev’s.

      Yes, we all know that there have been periods in earth’s history when CO2 concentrations were higher than today. Of course, humans weren’t roaming the earth back then, so I don’t understand your point.

      The idea that a minute change in CO2 is determinant in climate is ludicrous.

      and then in the very next sentence you said:

      from Ice Ages where glaciers reached Arizona

      No doubt that the Ice Age was very cold; however, the change in C02 relative to the preindustrial level was also “minute.” Just because 400ppm sounds like a “minute” number to you is irrelevant to whether or not it’s “minute” for purposes of climate change. Military grade toxins can kill you at far less concentrations than 400ppm. Hopefully you don’t consider those toxins benign in “minute” doses. There is nothing “ludicrous” about “minute” changes in C02 causing significant temperature changes. In any event, no one is overly concerned about 400ppm and holding at 400ppm. The concern is that we’re on track to hand our grandchildren something approaching 1000ppm.

    3. pgl

      “Only a very stupid, or politically biased scientist comes to a conclusion based on one variable of a multi faceted issue.”

      What a false accusation. Now we get that your colleague Single Statistic Bruce Hall does analysis this way but to suggest that analysis on the issue of climate change is either the dumbest thing you have ever written or a very disgusting lie.

    4. pgl

      “In fact we are at historic lows in CO2 levels”.

      Lord – a chart that goes back to when the dinosaurs ruled the world. Only you would drag this crap out.

        1. pgl

          A branch of physics developed in the 19th century to study the workings of steam engines. I’m sure in your perverted little mind this has something to do with the Climate Change debate so it would be lovely to see you mansplain all of this to us. After all – I need a good chuckle. Fire away blow hard.

        2. 2slugbaits

          sammy I doubt that you have a good handle on physics, but do you understand why CO2 concentrations lead to global warming?

    5. ulenspiegel

      Look Sammy, even for you as a citizen of Moronia it should be possible to follow basic scientific methodology. If you do not like the current model that explains without problems 80% of the observations you can provide an alternative that has at least the same quality – or you simply shut up. 🙂

      Your presentation of “facts” without useful context as substitue for substantial contribution may be sufficient in your family and circle of friends, however, here it let you look stupid, very stupid.

    6. noneconomist

      Global warming does not cause fires. But it does exacerbate them, Sammy.
      In 1860, fires in California were common. The census counted fewer than 400,000 inhabitants. Riders in the 1870’s on the new transcontinental railroad who could afford the fare to travel to California were often displeased when crossing the Sierra in summer and fall because of excess smoke from wildfires.
      By 1900, census records show there were fewer than 2 million residents. The grasslands and oak lands (which had undergone drastic changes when Spanish settlers arrived) were still largely the domain of cattle, sheep, and vineyards. Where the natives had used fire to rejuvenate these areas, the Spanish did so with livestock.
      Of course, that was before SUVs, diesel trucks and freeways for them to traverse, industrial and agricultural expansion (including massive dams and needed water projects) that’s hard to quantify, and a population explosion that may reach 40 million soon.
      Summers are getting hotter, winters warmer, and there’s growing concern over less snow, especially at lower elevations where snow has been normal and longer periods of drought. Most water districts in the north–whose boards are usually dominated by elected conservatives– are actively planning on countering the effects of, yes, global warming.

  10. baffling

    i am sad to report there are far more flat earthers out their than i realized. there was an old friend of my dads, who amazed me years ago when out of the blue he said he did not believe we had gone to the moon, and that the moon was flat. he was like an uncle to me, hard working truck driver. just amazed me with his point of view. as i have grown older, i realized he was not a minority perspective. at some point after middle school, people start to lose their fascination with science. and it impacts society.

    1. pgl

      “i am sad to report there are far more flat earthers out their than i realized. ”

      Yep! And our Usual Suspects have decided to attack on cue right here. Flat earthers is too kind of a description for this angry mob.

  11. macroduck

    In 1965, President johnson’s Science Advisory Committee warned of the risk of global climate change from rising CO2 in the atmosphere. Instead of taking that warning as a starting point for action, we let the coal and oil industries tell us pleasing lies (https://insideclimatenews.org/news/22122015/exxon-mobil-oil-industry-peers-knew-about-climate-change-dangers-1970s-american-petroleum-institute-api-shell-chevron-texaco). Bush simply used his office to carry on those lies.

    1. pgl

      Remember when Bush in 2001 told Cheney to write an energy policy? Cheney delegated this task to Big Oil. Go figure!

  12. pgl

    Yes the Climate Change deniers are on a rant here but nothing compared to this:

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/michael-caputo-scientists-sedition-cdc-hhs-facebook

    ‘Health and Human Services, claimed Sunday that there is a “resistance unit” of “seditious” government scientists at the CDC working to undermine President Donald Trump. They “haven’t gotten out of their sweatpants except for meetings at coffee shops” to plot “how they’re going to attack Donald Trump,” Caputo added. “There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president.” He made the claims, as recorded by the New York Times, in a histrionic Facebook livestream where he additionally claimed that his own life is at risk. “You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” he told his followers, building into a dramatic tangent about the “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.”’

    Of course Caputo is a Trumpian political hack with no background in health care. But there is more:

    ‘Over the weekend, reports surfaced Caputo’s attempts to massage weekly bulletins from the CDC — critical public health updates called Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports — to fit Trump’s insistence that the COVID-19 pandemic is subsiding. The reports, meant mostly for scientists and public health officials, are traditionally guarded as wholly apolitical and kept from political appointees until just before publication. Caputo was reportedly helped in these efforts by Paul Alexander, an assistant professor Caputo hired to assist him with pandemic-related matters, who has reportedly called the MMWRs “hit pieces on the administration.” The two recently tried to stop the publication of a report on the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, an unproven treatment Trump has heralded as a COVID-19 cure-all. Alexander has called for a complete stop in MMWR publishing until the process is amended so “someone outside of CDC like myself” can review the reports. The House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus announced Monday that they’re investigating the interference with the reports. In his livestream, Caputo also dipped into conspiracy theorizing about Trump winning reelection, but former Vice President Joe Biden refusing to concede.’

  13. Bruce Hall

    “Prof Stefan Doerr, a wildfires expert at Swansea University, points to the modern practice of total fire suppression, at the expense of allowing some limited fires to burn and create firebreaks.

    “For centuries, Native American peoples would burn parts of the forest… and that would thin out more flammable vegetation and make forests less dense.

    “But the emphasis has been on putting out any fires – and with climate change this has now created a tinderbox of vegetation,” says Prof Doerr.

    The US Forest Service has been trying to rectify this in recent years through setting fires in what’s called “controlled burning.”

    However, there are questions about whether enough resources are being devoted to this, and if it’s really come too late in the day to prevent major fires.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46183690

    The response:
    “The Governor of Washington State, Jay Inslee, has acknowledged that “there are places where it makes sense that we thin our timber. And we are doing that.”

    But he also criticised President Trump for highlighting this factor, rather than climate change: “These are climate [change] fires.”

    Sort of like the imaginary character that always causes the trouble instead of the child who got into mischief.

    1. pgl

      Once again Bruce Hall links to something he failed to read except to cherry pick quotes out of context. Bruce – if you had a shred of integrity (which you do not) you would note where this BBC account notes the role of climate change. But let’s see a bit more than you missed:

      In California state, the federal government owns nearly 58% of the 33 million acres of forest, according to the state governor’s office. The state itself owns just three per cent, with the rest owned by private individuals or companies or Native American groups. There’s a similar picture in Oregon, with significant proportions of forest land in federal rather than state hands, as well as under private ownership. And in Washington state, only 12% of forest land is in the hands of the state authorities, with 43% federally-owned and 36% in private hands. Federal agencies like the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Parks Service are responsible for the upkeep of federally-owned land, and as far as private forest land is concerned, it’s up to the owners to manage these areas. “But the emphasis has been on putting out any fires – and with climate change this has now created a tinderbox of vegetation,” says Prof Doerr. The US Forest Service has been trying to rectify this in recent years through setting fires in what’s called “controlled burning.” However, there are questions about whether enough resources are being devoted to this, and if it’s really come too late in the day to prevent major fires.”

      In other words, the Trump Administration should have done more to address forest management but it failed on this too. And check this out:

      “Two years ago, President Trump also criticised California’s forest management. He pointed to Finland, where he said they raked and cleared the forests to prevent fires. Finland is not directly comparable to California due to differences in climate, types of vegetation and land use.”
      Yes – Trump like you is an idiot.

      1. noneconomist

        It’s about time to stack firewood for the winter. We don’t the stove as much as we used to, but it comes in handy when the wet and cold combine. I could sure use help on how to build a proper fire too. Perhaps Trump can explain how and where to stack wood. I may have been doing it incorrectly;
        Maybe he can also suggest how best to cut up the 8 foot logs remaining from last winter’s clean up. Or the oak I removed from the power line and left in longer pieces. I’m sure he can give me some valuable tips on how best to sharpen and maintain my saw.
        i’m really hoping he can figure out how to have absentee owners of overgrown properties involved after, of course, they get approved rakes from Finland
        You be assured that when the oak leaves begin falling, the handy leaf blower will take care of the ones closest to the house.If it’s a normal year, it will have begun to rain ending fire season until next year and making burning leaves a non issue.
        Next year. Sounds good.

    2. 2slugbaits

      Bruce Hall This is an example of what political scientists would regard as the hallmark of a “low information voter.” The term doesn’t just apply to voters who don’t pay attention to the news, but the term originally referred to voters who have a hard time grasping abstract concepts like climate change so they seize on small, concrete examples that they imagine as being central to some problem. It is true that old forest management practices contributed to forest fires. It’s also true that PG&E’s transmission lines have contributed to forest fires. But those things, while true, represent a small part of the problem. By far the largest problem is one of less low level, slowly melting snow in the winter along with hotter, drier summers. And then there’s the irony that higher CO2 levels contribute to increased growth of combustible materials in the spring. The fire season is now nearly year round. That can’t be explained by Smokey the Bear commercials from 50 years ago. Trying pretend that there’s nothing to see here is just another case of rationalizing away an inconvenient fact. Basically just handwaving.

    3. Willie

      You are missing a big point.

      The forests were different. Old growth trees were much larger and would survive the fires. The trees out here now are smaller, closer together, and burn hotter and faster, like kindling. Controlled burns only work in forests that have not been logged off in the recent past and that have trees that are stout enough to handle the burn. Of couse framing lumber would be significantly more expensive, since the tree farms would no longer be viable.

      Inslee is correct.

  14. pgl

    Florida is saying new cases have declined but this is likely because they are following Trump’s lead and testing a lot less. This despite the fact that over the past 2 weeks, over 1500 people have died from COVID-19. Florida’s positivity rate is a really high 12.6%. Compare that to NY which has a positivity rate of only 0.9%.

    I guess this is why NY’s daily death rate has been less than 0.25 per million versus Florida’s 5 per million. Of course NY continues to test a lot more than Florida.

    1. pgl

      My God – you failed to read this one too:

      “Portland Fire and Rescue extinguished three of them while passing community members put out the other three. All were caught early. No one was injured and no structures were burnt. Officers located Domingo Lopez, Junior walking along the shoulder and arrested him. They seized a lighter as evidence. Lopez was transported to a hospital on a Police Officer Hold for a mental health evaluation. He was issued citations for 6 additional counts of Reckless Burning.”

      So none of these attempts to start a major fire did any real damage. Cool! And they arrested this person with mental problems. I guess Lopez is about as mentally unstable as you are. But not quite.

  15. noneconomist

    I will speak from experience here: years of experience.
    You would be hard pressed to find any properties in my neighborhood where the homeowner has NOT attempted to make his property as fire “safe” as possible. And, based on my knowledge of the wider area, many properties where that would also be the case.Almost every resident is in possession of a chain saw, weed whacker/trimmer, and mower. Or, if not, they hire someone who is. Not so much the prized Acme Forest Rake from Finland (ode to Wile Coyote).
    Burning is common in late fall, winter, and early spring. But you can’t burn too early or too late. Controlled burns are best between late November and mid-May. I burned between rains in late January. I burned LOTS of stuff. Family did most of the work.
    Weed cutting is more problematic. After a wet winter, you can’t cut too early. Otherwise, you have to cut the same stuff multiple times. I know. I cut the same areas 3 times (close to the house) before success. Nobody I know of allows weeds to grow untrimmed in close proximity to their house. It took a month–on bad knees–to complete the job.
    The constant Trump insistence of “raking leaves” is so silly that it’s become the stock joke re: his lack of knowledge about anything fire related. Northern California is home to plenty of native oaks (Black, White, Blue, Live, Coastal and more) where the deciduous ones fall in the fall.Raking them on larger properties (or those properties owned by absentee owners) is almost impossible.
    As is a bigger problem: pine needles. The western yellow pine (AKA Ponderosa) is a particular sore spot. Those on my property are located away from the house and not the problem of closer oaks. They’re all over Norcal (on private properties and in the forests) and unless there’s a massive cutdown) , will continue to cause problems, although their crowns are so high, they survive fire quite well. (See current pictures of Paradise for examples) . If you want to refer to these elegant giants as problems, that is.
    At the very least, Trump needs to refrain from telling homeowners here HOW to best manage their properties. And, if he wants to concentrate on forest management, he needs to make sure the 18 or so national forests within the state are properly funded and managed. Last data I saw, the feds control about 57% of California forested land, the state 3%, with the remainder privately owned.

  16. sammy

    I don’t think you all realize how small of a problem CO2 is. In fact, CO2 comprises only .03% of the atmosphere. https://papundits.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/carbon-dioxide-content.jpg

    Since 1940 atmospheric CO2 has increased from 310 ppm to 410 ppm. Ppm stands for parts per million, so, to visualize, we went from 310 black balls in a sea of 999,690 white balls, to 410 black balls in a sea of 999,590 white balls. .Does this seem significant to anybody? Bueller?

    Not only that, but this: manmade CO2 is only 3% of the total CO2, 97% is naturally ocurring: https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=pOgFtAgV&id=0E43F63ACA93AC4D90A5E355348A81C1352AD85F&thid=OIP.pOgFtAgVHmVGHy5DMvm3vwHaGe&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fwww.geocraft.com%2fWVFossils%2fPageMill_Images%2fimage270b.gif&exph=225&expw=257&q=percentage+of+manmade+co2+&simid=608003868463399836&ck=CB04F10889777EBCD3126C7FEDDC628F&selectedIndex=1&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0

    So yes, “minute” is an accurate word. Do you really think minute changes in a trace factor supercede other known/postulated causes of climate change such as, oh I don’t know, changes in the suns’ intensity, ocean currents, cloud cover, solar winds, changes in the Earth’s orbit distance from the sun, changes in the Earths’ axis, volcanos that have caused wild swings in the Earth’s climate in the past. It much more seems like fishing for a theory that coincides with a political agenda than science.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      sammy: I don’t think you all realize how small of a problem the Covid-19 virus is. In fact, covid-19 virus comprises only .000001% of the body mass of an infected individual.

      1. sammy

        Menzie,

        “covid-19 virus comprises only .000001% of the body mass of an infected individual.”

        You are confusing Biology with Physics. Two different sciences.

        1. pgl

          You are not a scientist. What Menzie noted – “using quantities without speaking to the impact”. That applied to physics, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and basic medicine. Concepts you will never grasp.

    2. ulenspiegel

      “I don’t think you all realize how small of a problem CO2 is. In fact, CO2 comprises only .03% of the atmosphere.”

      As long as this low amout of CO2 produces a large contribution to the green house effect, your argument is a stupid argument.

      1. pgl

        But it is physics not biology. Either way – you are right. This may be the dumbest argument in the history of time.

  17. pgl

    Trump’s war on science continues:
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trumps-new-noaa-hire-is-climate-science-denier-who-rails-against-thug-mainstream

    David Legates has made a career of denying the science behind climate change. And now the University of Delaware professor has a new high-profile gig at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as deputy assistant secretary of Commerce for environmental observation and prediction. Legates, the state of Delaware’s former climatologist, is known for attempting to undermine the science behind climate change. His hiring at the NOAA is yet another example of the Trump administration politicizing an agency that prioritizes science and is loathe to be roped into partisan politics.

  18. pgl

    Michael Caputo may be Bruce Hall’s latest guru on the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat this virus:

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/disastrous-why-its-so-damaging-for-trump-admin-to-doctor-the-cdcs-covid-reports

    Once again, the Trump administration is politicizing something it doesn’t understand. In this case, Trump officials have been pressing CDC officials to manipulate the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on the spread of COVID-19 to benefit President Trump politically as Election Day draws near. Scientists described the situation to TPM as “disastrous,” saying that it threatens to undermine a key tool spreading health knowledge around the country while also reflecting a profound lack of understanding about the CDC’s mission. Dr. Sussan Hassig, an epidemiologist at Tulane University, described the CDC reports to TPM as “accumulating information from all over the country, and collecting and answering questions that might not be answerable at the local level.” Politico first reported the changes over the weekend, which have been taking place throughout the summer. In recent weeks, HHS spokesman Michael Caputo and an assistant, Dr. Paul Alexander have reportedly pressured CDC scientists into delaying a report that stated the “potential benefits” of hydroxychloroquine does not “outweigh their risks,” after questioning the scientists’ political beliefs.

  19. sammy

    It Turns Out a Number of Fires on the West Coast Aren’t Because of ‘Climate Change’
    While the left is pushing their climate change theory, police are arresting arsonists for sparking these dangerous fires.
    Regardless of who started these fires or why, these need to be part of the conversation. Automatically attributing wildfires to climate change is irresponsible. And it’s a way for the left to push their Green New Deal agenda.

    Joe Biden
    @JoeBiden
    [email protected], you know what’s actually threatening our suburbs?

    Wildfires. Floods. Hurricanes.

    We need to act on climate. Now.

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bethbaumann/2020/09/14/it-turns-out-a-number-of-fires-on-the-west-coast-arent-because-of-climate-change-n2576193

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      sammy: Hmm. Are you denying that there are wildfires, floods and hurricanes striking suburbs? Are you denying that global climate change is increasing the likelihood of such events?

      1. CoRev

        Menzie, why such a silly question? “Are you denying that there are wildfires, floods and hurricanes striking suburbs?” HAVEN’T THERE ALWAYS BEEN SINCE THE ADVENT OF SUBURBS?

        Menzie, are you denying that police are arresting arsonists for sparking these dangerous fires? Are you denying that there are sources natural (lightning) and human-caused ignition (both deliberate and accidental) cause wild fires? Because that’s all Sammy pointed out. “It Turns Out a Number of Fires on the West Coast Aren’t Because of ‘Climate Change’…Regardless of who started these fires or why, these need to be part of the conversation.”

        I point this out because: “Humans and Wildfire

        Nearly 85 percent* of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. Human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, equipment use and malfunctions, negligently discarded cigarettes, and intentional acts of arson….” From here: https://www.nps.gov/articles/wildfire-causes-and-evaluation.htm
        *Source: 2000-2017 data based on Wildland Fire Management Information (WFMI) and U.S. Forest Service Research Data Archive

        I suspect these real world empirical data supersede model output data.

        1. noneconomist

          And now, fires with any cause get worse because of climate change. I’ve lived in Northern California for 50 years and we’ve had fires every year. But not fires of the intensities we are seeing, not to mention duration.
          Ignorant bozos doing what they shouldn’t ( using welding equipment outside near tall, dry grass, burning toilet paper, smoking where “No Smoking” signs exist in droves, a jilted lover burning her Dear John letter, an endless list) have been around forever. That includes arsonists too, including a coupleI recall who set fires because they would financially benefit from doing so.
          Big problems: warmer summers after warmer winters with either too much or not enough rain and snow.
          Too much rain will cause overgrowth of Valley and foothill grasses. Fires there will burn hotter as we’ve seen recently. Too little rain over long periods will be be harmful to forests as well as trees on private property. As been noted there’s plenty of private property that’s not well managed. Not far from me ther’s a creekside swath that looks medieval and foreboding. Absentee landowner no doubt.

    2. 2slugbaits

      sammy Ugh. The flood of ignorance coming from your keyboard is staggering. In an earlier post you confused stock variables and flow variables (see the link in my reply to your CO2 is “minute” nonsense), and here you don’t seem to understand the difference between starting fires and stopping fires. If someone or some company (e.g., PG&E) starts a fire, whether intentional or not, it is always the case that the fire is more likely to get out of control if the trees and underbrush are dry and if the temperature is hot, which makes trees and underbrush drier still. There’s no evidence that people are starting more fires than they have in the past. There have always been firebugs among us. And PG&E has operated with unsafe transmission lines for decades. The difference is that in the past most of those fires were brought under control very quickly. That’s not true today because forests are drier.

        1. pgl

          If you do not know this difference between a stock concept and a flow concept, you are not qualified to comment on things like economics, the difference between total deaths and the daily change in deaths, or anything else that requires analysis of something over time. And the Global Warming issue involves just that.

          Let me make it simple for you Sammy – you just admitted you have no clue what you are babbling about here or on any other topic. Congrats – you have finally accepted the obvious fact that you are the Stupidest Man Alive!

        2. 2slugbaits

          sammy Go read the skepticalscience link I provided you. It explains why your comment on “minute” quantities of CO2 is wrong. There’s even a picture. Note that there are carbon sinks, like the balancing between atmospheric CO2 and sea & land captured CO2. Those are stocks. Then there are the new flows of carbon that get added to the already existing and naturally balanced stocks. Your pie chart confused the two.

          I don’t know where you get a lot of this stuff, but you’re simply in way over your head. And people are laughing at you. Save yourself some future embarrassment and at least make an effort to read credible sources, whether the topic is economics or climate change or whatever. You seem to get a lot of your “knowledge” from sites that are just print versions of Fox & Friends.

    3. pgl

      Bruce Hall put up some story in this regard. Of course you fellow moron forgot to note that none of the 6 fires his vandal started went anywhere.

    4. pgl

      “police are arresting arsonists”.

      In your little world, they all flew to the West Coast on Antifi Airlines. Come on Sammy – have Law and Order Trump just seize the next flight before it takes off and problem solved!

  20. Dr. Dysmalist

    sammy: The debate is not about the sources of ignition. The debate, although not much of one remains in the scientific community, is about the contribution of climate change to the conditions that are favorable to wildfires. To the extent that climate change increases the frequency, size, severity, and/or duration of thunderstorms, it increases ignition of fires by lightning. Similarly, if it causes warmer, drier weather in some areas, it contributes to the amount of fuel (dry, combustible wood and grasses, etc.) available to feed a fire. These things will lead to more, larger, more dangerous, and longer lasting fires than would be the case without climate change even in areas with the most up to date forest management practices. In other words, any commentary claiming that climate change didn’t spark one particular fire, or that one particular fire in one area was made worse by poor land management, kind of misses the point.

    Discussion of the legal framework that leads to more people living in or near wilderness areas is a different debate.

    1. 2slugbaits

      In other words, any commentary claiming that climate change didn’t spark one particular fire, or that one particular fire in one area was made worse by poor land management, kind of misses the point.

      Well, missing the point is exactly the point. A lot of these popular conservative websites rely upon uncritical readers being easily distracted with some true or “truthy” fact that happens to be irrelevant to the larger discussion. As I mentioned in an earlier post, sixty years ago the political science profession understood that this was a deliberate tactic used to target low information voters. The original meaning of a “low information voter” wasn’t just that he or she didn’t follow the news, but that the voter was easily distracted away from complex and abstract issues by campaigns offering concrete and easily imagined but irrelevant examples. For example, we can all imagine a freeloading brother-in-law. A politician then frames a complex issue about poverty into one of imagining that poverty is just a case of freeloading brothers-in-law writ large. Or Reagan’s famous “welfare queen” driving a Cadillac, or Reagan’s “strapping young buck” buying T-bones with food stamps. It doesn’t have to be true, only something that can be imagined as true. The low information voter then uses that small but easily felt example to shut down further critical examination of the issue. That allows the low information voter to vote with his or her gut instead of his or her head. People who don’t have a lot of quantitative or critical skills (like sammy or CoRev or Bruce Hall) but do happen to have a lot of interest in politics are particularly vulnerable to the low information voter problem. They may not know much about a subject, but they feel intensely about it.

    2. noneconomist

      Hotter summers, warmer winters, less snow where it used to occur at lower levels, later rain(s) drier vegetation.
      As I noted above, most water districts in Northern California—many with majorities of conservatives on their elected boards—fully understand the threats caused by climate change and are engaged in planning to counter its effects.
      Climate change does not cause fires. But it does exacerbate them. Period.

  21. pgl

    Jared Kushner is one stupid little boy:

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/jared-success-story-kushner-history-will-show-who-did-their-job-appropriately-with-covid

    Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, on Tuesday swiped at state governors’ handling of COVID-19 while defending the administration’s feeble response to the virus … When Today Show host Savannah Guthrie brought up Kushner’s astonishing victory lap in April, in which he declared Trump’s handling of the pandemic to be a “great success story” (at that point the COVID-19 death toll among Americans had surpassed that of the Vietnam War), the White House official claimed Tuesday that the administration “rose to the challenge” and “worked with the governors.” Then Kushner made the following pronouncement: “Some governors performed better than others, and obviously history will look back and see who did their job appropriately.”

    OK! The governors that followed your and Trump’s lead will look bad in the context of history. The governors who did their jobs appropriately ignored whiny little stupid Jared and his father-in-law.

    1. noneconomist

      Less than a week after Trump told Woodward “…this thing is a killer..” , he was being cheered by Bruce Hall when he tweeted “Liberate Michigan” H was the Cheerleader in Chief” urging his supporters onward.
      Little did they know his cheer actually translated to “ I’ll give you a C, I’ll give you an O…” while lots of Bruces wished they had MAGA pom poms to assist him.
      Not a problem though. They got automatic weapons instead and decided to liberate the capital.
      “Gimme a V, gimme an I, gimme a D!”

  22. pgl

    Bill Gates discusses how this Administration bungled COVID-19 with Stat News:

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/09/14/bill-gates-slams-mismanaged-u-s-response-to-covid-19-pandemic/

    Philanthropist Bill Gates, who has long warned of the need to prepare for pandemics, is dumbfounded by how poorly the United States has responded to Covid-19. In an interview with STAT, Gates sounded exasperated at times as he described the badly bungled launch of Covid-19 testing, the enlisting of a neuroradiologist — rather than an epidemiologist or infectious diseases specialist — to help guide the White House’s response decisions, and the recent move to discourage testing of people who have been in contact with a known case but who aren’t yet showing symptoms. “You know, this has been a mismanaged situation every step of the way,” Gates said in the wide-ranging interview. “It’s shocking. It’s unbelievable — the fact that we would be among the worst in the world.” He leveled his harshest criticism at Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, who mischaracterized findings from a Mayo Clinic study on Covid-19 and said researchers had seen a 35% survival benefit with the use of convalescent plasma. “Many of you know I was a cancer doctor before I became FDA commissioner,” Hahn said at the time. “And a 35% improvement in survival is a pretty substantial clinical benefit.” “This is third grade math. I mean, are you kidding?” Gates said. “The head of the FDA got up and said it was a 35% death reduction where it’s not even a 3% reduction based on just a tiny little subset that was nonstatistical. This is unheard of.”

    I’m sure Sammy, CoRev, and Bruce Hall believed what Hahn said as they never got past 1st grade arithmetic.

    1. 2slugbaits

      pgl It’s actually worse than what Bill Gates said. It’s another case of the Trump Administration counting on an innumerate electorate. Here is how Stephen Hahn came up with that 35% improvement number. One group that received a high lgPlasma transfusion had a 7 day survival rate of 91.1% while the group that received a low lgPlasma transfusion had a 7 day survival rate of 86.3%. Note, these are survival rates. The way Hahn came up with the 35% “survival” rate was to actually look at the difference in the death rates. Since the survival rate in the hi lgPlasma group was 91.1% the death rate was 8.9%. And since the survival rate in the low lgPlasma group was 86.3%, the death rate was the complement, or 13.7%. Hahn then divided the hi lgPlasma death rate by the low lgPlasma death rate (i.e., 8.9% / 13.7%) to come up with a ratio of 0.65. He then took subtracted the 0.65 from 1.00 to arrive at a 35% improved survivability rate. Dishonest statistics? You bet.
      https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.12.20169359v1

      All the credit goes to Kevin Drum.

      1. baffling

        this is why trump is considered a magnet. he distorts the moral compass of those around him, even if they began life as a moral person. since he is pathological, none of this matters to him. but it tears the credibility of those caught in his influence to shreds.

      2. pgl

        Kevin Drum years ago read something written by Stephen Moore claiming people who own stock in C corporations pay 71% tax rates. You see they pay 35% of corporate profits into corporate taxes (assuming they have the dumbest accountants ever) and then pay 38% of their dividends in personal income taxes (again if they are really stupid). Of course if you get $100 in corporate profits and pay $35 in profits taxes, your dividend is only $65 so 3rd grade arithmetic shows the effective tax rate (for people who cannot do basic planning) is less than 60%. Brad DeLong read this Drum masterpiece and paid a compliment to Kevin only to realize his 9 year old daughter had figured this out with Kevin Drum.

        I hate to see Stephen Hahn reduced to the level of a Stephen Moore.

  23. Not Trampis

    It appears some myths on what we call bushfires are over there.

    more hazard reduction would mean less fires.
    Over here we had fires that went over gushing rivers, went up cliffs.
    you have fires that go over six lane highways.

    you can have hazard reduction until the cows come home. It won’t be enough if these events occur.

    Your fire season starts earlier and finishes later than it used to. It does down under as well.
    We had a myth that the fires started because of arson. nope. It was mostly lightning.
    We had two once in a 100 year droughts in less than 20 years which exacerbated the situation.

    glad to know scientists know nothing and it is starting to cool though.

    I

  24. Willie

    Baseball has now been postponed due to air quality. The Mariners Giants game will be played later. It must be 2020. This is getting Biblical.

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