Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Warming Improves Our Health – part 1

What’s Natural

By Jim Steel | Watts Up With That? | March 22, 2020

It’s deeply disturbing to hear people uncritically regurgitate media misinformation suggesting global warming threatens our health far worse than the COVID pandemic. Scientific evidence unequivocally shows colder weather is the major killer. As Figure 1 illustrates, the percentage of all deaths attributed to weather and temperature increases during the cold months. In contrast mortalities rates fall during warmer months. Researchers examining 74 million deaths across the globe from 1985-2012 found 7.3% were caused by temperatures cooler than the optimum compared to just 0.4% attributed to temperatures above the optimum. Extreme temperature events, both hot and cold only accounted for 0.9% of all deaths.

Likewise, a 2014 National Health Statistics reports found, “During 2006–2010, about 2,000 U.S. residents died each year from weather-related deaths. About 31% of these deaths were attributed to exposure to excessive natural heat, heat stroke, sun stroke; 63% were attributed to exposure to excessive natural cold, hypothermia, or both.” Similarly, according to the CDC , from 1979-1999, a total of 8015 deaths in the United States were heat related while 13,970 deaths were attributed to hypothermia. So why aren’t people listening to the science?

clip_image002

Global warming fear is based on speculation regards what could happen in the future if global average temperatures rose 2°F to 4°F. But scary predictions are not scientific fact until their hypotheses are tested and verified. Without time machines we cannot directly test predicted outcomes for the years 2050 or 2100. But we can observe the effects of a similar temperature change.

In the United States people have steadily migrated away from the cold Northeast to the warmer Southwest. In the Southwest they are exposed to higher average temperatures, temperatures equal to or greater than what global warming predicts they would endure if they remained in the Northeast. The good news, scientists determined that “migration from the Northeast to the Southwest accounts for 4% to 7% of the total gains in life expectancy experienced by the U.S. population over the past thirty years.” We can infer a similar benefit from global warming. A complementary study determined people that migrated to colder climates suffered ‘greater cardiovascular mortality” than people who remained in their native country.

Because the two major U.S. government agencies that track heat and cold deaths – and the CDC – differ sharply on which is the bigger killer, the public is rightfully confused. In contrast to the CDC results, NOAA argues heat is killing twice as many people as cold, but NOAA’s researchers have also been heavily invested in catastrophic global warming claims. By statistically adjusting the data via “seasonal detrending”, they remove the greater number of winter deaths in their analyses and just focus on extreme temperature deaths. They justify their adjustments arguing factors such as increased winter deaths due to flu season are not directly due to colder temperatures. But that obscures the health effects of temperature.

Colder temperatures reduce the effectiveness of our immune systems, which promotes influenza epidemics that may kill 34,000 to 60,000 people in a year. Because influenza season ends when temperatures warm, scientists are hoping warmer weather will similarly curtail the novel COVID-19 pandemic.

NOAA’s adjusted data focuses on deaths from heat waves and cold snaps. Indeed, there is a greater spike in deaths during heat waves, but research suggests heat waves have a small long‑term effect due to a “harvesting effect”. Us elderly and health compromised people are most vulnerable to extreme weather and epidemics. The “harvesting effect” describes an event during which vulnerable people who would have likely died over the following months instead died “prematurely” during an extreme event. But mortality rates drop in the following months because the most vulnerable have already passed. Researchers have found because mortality rates fall during the months following a heat wave there is no long­‑term population effect. In contrast, cold snaps do have long-term effects as researchers found no such “harvesting effect”.

Although alarming models and media narratives suggest global warming causes more extreme heat waves, scientific data disagrees. As the EPA’s heat wave index illustrates (below), there has been no increase in heat waves as the worse heat waves happened during the 1930s.

Fortunately, heat waves are short‑lived and foreseeable. Weather forecasters detect approaching high-pressure systems that bring cloudless skies that increase solar heating. High pressure systems inhibit rising air currents that normally carry heat away. And high‑pressure systems draw warm tropical air poleward on one flank while blocking cooler air from moving south. By forecasting extreme heat waves, scientists believe we can prevent most heat wave deaths. Urban heat effects are 2°F to 10°F warmer than the countryside, thus urban dwellers should be most careful. And because elderly people who lack air conditioning are most vulnerable and less mobile, we can make sure they are moved out of harm’s way.

clip_image004


Jim Steele is Director emeritus of San Francisco State’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus and authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism

March 22, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Siegel Climate Data Movie

Cutting Through The Noise | February 11, 2020

This 45-minute video shows data from authoritative sources on climate and the claims made around carbon dioxide. Spend some time with this video and decide whether the United Nations and other government agencies are telling you the truth.

See Tony Heller’s videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/TonyHeller1

Recent scientific work on climate: https://medium.com/@pullnews/recent-s…

Global Warming for Dummies: https://medium.com/@pullnews/global-w…

The 97% consensus myth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewJ6T…

The Giordano Bruno Institute: http://giordano.institute

Update on Arctic sea ice extent: 2019 was a year of low sea ice, but this year is already tracking back to normal: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/202…

March 22, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

Western Journalists Really Want There to be a Huge Corona Epidemic in Russia

By Anatoly Karlin • Unz Review • March 21, 2020

The stream of articles suggesting that Russia is covering up its Corona numbers has increased from a stream to a veritable flood:

Let’s take a look at that last article, written by FT’s Henry Foy today, and one of the more balanced (read: less Putin Derangement Syndrome – afflicted) journalists doing the Russia beat (not to mention the most prominent in the above sample, having scored an exclusive interview with Putin in 2019).

“The present number of patients with coronavirus will be hidden from us,” said Anastasia Vasilieva, chairman of Doctors’ Alliance, a Russian lobby group affiliated with opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Now Foy, to his credit, at least has the journalistic integrity to acknowledge that this doctors’ group (which I have never heard of before now) is affiliated with Navalny, whose entire shtick is to oppose everything and anything the Kremlin does.

A political tilt that its chairwoman helpfully confirms:

“The value of human life for our president is nil . . . We don’t want to admit to any pandemic,” said Ms Vasilieva. “We know of hospitals that are completely full and nurses who are asked to sew face masks from gauze.”

***

But otherwise it follows the usual template on Russia COVID-19 coverage.

She claimed Moscow was instead classifying cases of the virus as pneumonia, the incidence of which increased by almost 40 per cent in January compared with a year previously, government data showed.

The aim here is to insinuate that there was a raging coronavirus epidemic camouflaged as the flu from as early as January 2020.

Oh Corona, where to start.

1. Flu mortality fluctuates wildly season to season by a factor of as high as 4x. So this is a perfectly meaningless fact from the outset.

2. Even China’s epidemic only broke 1,000 cases in January 25. Where were Russians getting infected??

3. If this was true, it is Russia, not Italy, that would be the center of the COVID-19 epidemic now – something that would certainly be noticed, e.g. in overflowing hospitals (no sign of that to date) or in exported cases (but that was all China in February, and predominantly Italy, Iran, and other EU nations now). It is Britons that Vietnam has started barring ten days ago, not Russians.

Here’s what I guess happened. People got agitated by reports from China, and were more likely to consult doctors, producing more flu diagnoses. Even though the actual chance of Russians having COVID-19 in January if they hadn’t been to Wuhan was on the order of a meteorite hitting them on the head.

While other foreign leaders have steeled their citizens for a long crisis and have spoken of a “war” against the pandemic, Mr Putin has played down the threat and urged citizens to remain calm in an effort to minimise panic — and ensure the nationwide ballot on April 22 takes place. …

“The virus is a challenge and comes at a very bad moment for him,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R. Politik, a political analyst. “Putin doesn’t want to postpone and is insisting that the referendum takes place as soon as possible . . . The longer they wait, the more risks will appear.”

LOL. Trump was saying Corona was fake news/nothingburger up until the end of February.

The US epidemic (22k cases) is about two orders of magnitude more advanced than Russia’s (306 cases), but most states have continued to hold primaries for the Dem nomination.

And in any case Putin has allowed the possibility that the April 22 Constitutional Referendum may be postponed. There’s no indication it’s a hard, immovable date.

At the same time, Mr Putin has sought to project an image of control, continuing with his diary of local visits and meetings with senior officials, shaking hands and never wearing a face mask.

Although it would be nice for Putin to set a better example, this is the rule, internationally – not the exception. Stressing this is so petty, LOL.

“No matter what happens in the next 35 days, they have to lie, hush up, and deny. It doesn’t matter at all what really will happen to coronavirus in Russia, whether there will be a moderate outbreak or tens of thousands are killed,” said Igor Pitsyn, a doctor in Yaroslavl, a city 250km north-east of Moscow.

“By Putin’s decree all information about this is declared a state secret until April 22 . . . This ‘nationwide vote’ will be held at all costs.”

First time I hear of this. Searching “путин коронавирус гостайна” doesn’t produce any relevant results. This doctor must have some very high placed sources.

Or perhaps Foy had to travel all the way to Yaroslavl to get a sufficiently juicy quote.

While officials have cited the low number as proof of the success of swiftly closing its border with China in January and steadily cutting flights to affected countries, experts have questioned how the country has proved far more immune than almost any other. … Neighbouring Belarus has five times more infections per capita than Russia, and France, which has roughly half Russia’s population, has more than 50 times the number of cases.

Russia doesn’t have large numbers of Gastarbeiters in the EU, unlike Belarus. Our Belorussian commenters also tell us that there are next to no control measures in place.

But Ukraine has perhaps 20x more Gastarbeiters in the EU than Belarus, and yet 2 days ago reported only 1/3 as many Corona cases (16 vs. 51). Which suggests where Western journalists covering Eastern Europe should really focus their attention. If they, you know, cared about the Corona situation in Eastern Europe. As opposed to promoting the US line that Russia bad and China bad.

***

Incidentally, an update on Ukraine, two days after my alarm-raising article, in which I suggested that it’s likely there’s a big cluster developing undetected in Ukraine.

Even though testing in Ukraine remains extremely patchy – even in per capita terms, its ~500 tests are two orders of magnitude lower than Russia’s ~150k, or for that matter Belarus’ ~16k – the past two days have seen a surge of new cases from 16 to 41. The majority of those cases, some 25 of them, are concentrated in Chernivtsi oblast, which also saw the death of a 33 year old woman from existing problems magnified by the coronavirus.

The unlikelihood of such a mortality profile, coupled with the flood of new cases despite continued low testing rates, strongly suggests that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and that a cluster is developing in Chernivtsi oblast.

This suggestion is backed up by an observation by Twitter user from_kherson:

There’s a reason Chernivtsi has so many cases – large # of people go to Italy for work.

An acquaintance of mine from there confirmed his business partner just tested positive for the virus.

But just in case you think I am piling on to Ukraine because of my own political obsessions you would be mistaken.

I will say that after Ukraine, probably the second biggest undetected Corona timebomb in Europe may be Serbia. Unfortunately, the Wikipedia page on COVID-19 testing doesn’t have information for Serbia. However, one of my Serbian friends on Thursday wrote me that:

We are still testing around 50 per day, with 1/5 being positive…

So both the intensity of testing and the rate of positives is similar to Ukraine.

This Friday, he continued:

We still have competent health care workers (the decision not to test the wider population is purely political, as was the decision not to close schools until 5 days ago), relatively functioning health care system, about 1500 respirators on a population that is 7+ million.

On the other hand, we have the second lowest reported total test volume anywhere in the world, after Malorossiya :), at 545 total as of this morning, one of the highest positive rates per 1000 tests (after Italy, Spain, Ecuador and the Philippines). We have seen an influx of over 250,000 gastarbeiters from Western Europe in the past 10 days… Many people are breaking the 14 day mandatory self isolation. When I say many, I’m talking about thousands every day…

We have 3 things potentially on our side. God, warmth, and Sun. Or it’s all just God? 🙂

And to think that Serbia was one of the first countries in the world to eradicate smallpox in the 1830s… Under the lifelong illiterate knyaz Miloš…

The large number of Gastarbeiters in Western Europe, most of whom are now going to be let go, is another similarity that Serbia shares with Ukraine. And is something that will be a very problematic issue going forwards.

Fortunately, it appears that China (and Russia) are going to bail Serbia out with test kits.

Despite their rather different geopolitical viewpoints, European attitudes to both Serbia and the Ukraine are quite similar. They are to be exploited to the extent they are useful; otherwise discarded as needed. It’s a lesson they should mull over.

March 22, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

The New York Times’ Insidious Ongoing Disinformation Campaign on Russia & Elections

By Gareth Porter | Consortium News | March 17, 2020

For the past three years the new narrative of Russian interference in U.S. elections has bound corporate news media more tightly than ever to the interests of the national security state. And no outlet has pushed that narrative more aggressively – and with more violence to the relevant facts — than The New York Times.

Times reporters have produced a series of stories that loudly proclaim the Russian election meddling narrative but offer no real facts in the body of the story supporting its most sensational claims.

The Times service to the narrative was introduced by its February 2017 story  headlined, “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts with Russian Intelligence.” We now know from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign that the only campaign aide who had contacts with Russian intelligence officials was Carter Page, and those had taken place years before in the context of Page’s reporting them to the CIA. The Horowitz report revealed that FBI officials had hidden that fact from the FISA Court to justify its request for surveillance of Page.

But the Times coverage of the Horowitz report in December 2019 failed to acknowledge that the calumny about Page’s Russian intelligence contacts, which it had published without question in 2017, had been an FBI deception.

Two more Times Russiagate stories in 2018 and 2019 featured spectacular claims that proved on closer examination to be grotesque distortions of fact. In September 2018 a 10,000-word story by Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti sought to convince readers that the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) had successfully swayed U.S. opinion during the 2016 election with 80,000 Facebook posts that they said had reached 126 million Americans.

But that turned to be an outrageously deceptive claim, because Shane and Mazzetti failed to mention the fact that those 80,000 IRA posts (from early 2015 through 2017), had been engulfed in a vast ocean of more than 33 trillion Facebook posts in people’s news feeds – 413 million times more than the IRA posts.

In December 2019, senior national security correspondent David Sanger wrote a story headlined, “Russia Targeted Election Systems in All 50 States, Report Finds,” and Sanger’s lede said the Senate Intelligence Committee had “concluded” that all 50 states had been targeted. But the Committee report actually reaches no such conclusion. It quoted President Barack Obama’s cyber-security adviser Michael Daniel as recalling that he had “personally” reached that conclusion, but shows the only basis for his conclusion was remarkably lame: the “randomness of the attempts” and his conviction that Russian intelligence was “thorough.”

The Committee reported that some intelligence “developed” in 2018 had “bolstered” the subjective judgment by Daniel. But all but one of the eight paragraphs in the report describing that intelligence were redacted, and the one unredacted paragraph suggests that the redacted paragraphs provided no conclusive evidence that Russian intelligence had scanned any state election websites, much less those of all 50 states. The paragraph said, “However, IP addresses associated with the August 16, 2016 FLASH provided some indicators the activity might be attributable to the Russian government…. [emphasis added].”

The Committee report also contained summary statements from six states that the Department of Homeland Security has continued to include among the 21 states it insists were hacked by the Russians in 2016, denying any cyber threat to their systems. Another 13 states reported only that there was “scanning and probing” by inconclusive IP addresses the FBI and DHS had sent them.  Sanger did not report any of those troublesome details.

In January 2020 the Times began its coverage of the theme of Russian interference in the 2020 election with a story headlined, “Chaos is the Point: Russian Hackers and Trolls Grow Stealthier in 2020.”  The story, written by Sanger, Matthew Rosenberg and Nicole Perlroth, sought to heighten the existing U.S. climate of paranoia about a Russian attack in regard to the 2020 elections. Once again, however, nothing in the story supports the sinister tone of the headline.

It reported Department of Homeland Security officials’ anxiety about the ransom-ware attacks on 100 American towns, cities and federal offices during 2019, which are clearly criminal operations aimed at large-scale payoffs by cities. The story informed readers that DHS was investigating “whether Russian intelligence was involved in any of the attacks,” on the apparent theory that the criminals were being used by the Russians.

Since those ransom-ware attacks had been going on for years, the obvious question would have been why DHS would have waited until 2020 to reveal that it was investigating Russian involvement.  Thus, the only fact underlying the story was the DHS desire to find evidence to support its accusations of Russian election hacking.

Still at it in 2020

The Times continued its advocacy journalism in a Feb. 26 report that U.S. intelligence officials had “warned” in a briefing for the House Intelligence Committee on Feb. 13 that “Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to get President Trump elected,” citing five people “familiar with the matter.”

The Times’ team of four writers proceeded to declare, “The Russians have been preparing – and experimenting – for the 2020 election… aware that they needed a new playbook of as-yet undetectable methods, United States officials said.” But instead of reporting actual evidence of any Russian action or decision for action, the Times writers again cited what their sources suspected could be done.

“Some officials,” they wrote, “believe that foreign powers, possibly including Russia, could use ransom-ware attacks…to damage or interfere with voting systems or registration databases.” The Times’ sources thus had no actual intelligence on the question and were merely speculating on what any foreign government might do to disrupt the election.

Three days after that report, moreover, the Times backed away from its previous lede after intelligence sources disputed its claim that Russia was intervening to reelect Trump, suggesting that the briefing officer, Shelby Pierson, had overstated the assessment. Sanger sought to limit the damage with a story labeling the problem one of “dueling narratives” in the intelligence community.

Then Sanger admitted, “It is probably too early for the Russians to begin any significant moves to bolster a specific candidate,” which obviously invalidated the Times’ previous speculation on the subject. But after The Washington Post published a story that the FBI had informed Senator Bernie Sanders that Russia had sought to help his campaign, Sanger quickly returned to the same narrative of Russian interference to advance its favorite candidates.

On the Times’ podcast “The Daily,” Sanger opined that the Russians were now supporting both Trump and Sanders – because Sanders, “like Donald Trump,” has “got a real aversion to interventions around the world.”

The most recent entry in the Times’ campaign to create anxiety about Russian interference in the election focused on race relations. On March 10, the Times headlined its story, “Russia Trying to Stoke U.S. Racial Tension before Elections, Officials Say.” In their lede Julian Barnes and Adam Goldman announced, “The Russian government has stepped up efforts to influence racial tensions in the United States as part of its bid to influence November’s presidential election, including trying to incite violence by white supremacist groups and stoke anger among Afro-Americans, according to seven American officials briefed on recent intelligence.”

But true to the modus operandi used routinely to push the Russian election threat narrative, the writers did not offer a single fact supporting such a story line. They even admitted that the officials who were making the claims provided “few details” about white supremacists and “did not detail how” blacks were being encouraged to use violence.

It turns out, in fact, that U.S. officials have found nothing indicating Russian support for violent white supremacists in America. The only fact that they could cite — based on a single source — was that the FBI is “scrutinizing any ties” between Russian intelligence and Rinaldo Nazzaro, the American founder of a “neo-Nazi group,” who lives with his Russian wife in St. Petersburg, Russia, but owns property in the United States. So, the Times’ single source had nothing but a suspicion for which the FBI was trying to find evidence.

The final touch in the piece was the accusation that RT had “fanned divisions” on race by running a story about a video of New York policemen attacking and detaining a young black man that Barnes and Goldman write “sparked outrage” and had also “posted tweets aimed at stirring white animosity.” But the RT article on the video merely reported accurately that the video depicted unprovoked police brutality and that it had already gone viral. The Times itself had published a much more detailed Associated Press story on the same incident that went into a discussion of the history of police brutality in New York City. By the Times’ own criterion, the AP was doing far more to stoke racial animosity than RT.

The opinion pieces that RT published attacking The New York Times for its coverage of a video at the University of Wisconsin that offended non-whites and for a Times opinion piece critical of the Apu character on “The Simpsons” echoed views on race and culture that most Americans find offensive. The idea that they were part of a Russian plot to generate racial animosity, however, is a very long stretch.

The descent of The New York Times into this unprecedented level of propagandizing for the narrative of Russia’s threat to U.S. democracy is dramatic evidence of a broader problem of abuses by corporate media of their socio-political power. Greater awareness of the dishonesty at the heart of the Times‘ coverage of that issue is a key to leveraging media reform and political change.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. His latest book, with John Kiriakou, is “The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup to the Brink of War.”

March 22, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

WUHAN OUTBREAK: CHINA DEMANDS AN HONEST ACCOUNTING

By Thomas Hon Wing Polin | March 22, 2020
  • It is now virtually certain that COVID-19 was brought to Wuhan by American troops taking part in the city’s World Military Games last Oct. 18-27.
  • The 300-strong US contingent stayed 300 meters from the Huanan Seafood Market where China’s outbreak began (see map below) at the Wuhan Oriental Hotel.
  • Five of the US troops developed a fever on Oct. 25 and were taken to an infectious-diseases hospital for treatment.
  • 42 employees of the Oriental Hotel were diagnosed with COVID-19, becoming the first cluster in Wuhan. At the time only 7 people from the market had been thus diagnosed (and treated before the hotel staff). All 7 had contact with the 42 from the hotel. From this source, the virus spread to the rest of China.
  • The American Military Games team trained at a location near Fort Detrick, the military’s viral lab closed down by the CDC in July for various deficiencies.
  • The big question now is whether the transmission was planned, or accidental.
  • Chinese authorities are awaiting an explanation from US authorities.

  • A few days ago, Mike Pompeo phoned Yang Jiechi, Chinese State Councillor for Foreign Affairs. Pompeo’s counterpart is actually Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Yang is Wang’s boss, so Pompeo wanted to talk about something urgent and important.
  • Pompeo wanted the Chinese not to publicize what they had found.
  • Yang’s reply: “We await your solemn explanation, especially about Patient Zero.”

China’s leaders have long suspected US military involvement in the Wuhan outbreak but were determined to stop the disease before pursuing the Americans for an honest accounting.

March 22, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 13 Comments