The First Arctic Blue Ocean Event: What Computer Simulations and Statistical Trend Analysis Tells Us

Paul Beckwith

Apr 6, 2020

In this video and the next, I continue my examination of Arctic sea ice data which gives us a clear picture of its present state and clearly shows the relentless downward trends in extent, thickness, and volume that allows each of us to draw our own conclusions about when it will vanish in a Blue Ocean Event (BOE). It is just a matter of time before the ice vanishes, but how much time are we talking about? I give my own educated opinion (guess), and draw on some recent peer-reviewed scientific papers that attempt narrow down the timing of the first BOE, from both computer modelling simulations and statistical trend analysis.

Wall Street Wins, Again: Bailouts in the Time of Coronavirus | Common Dreams Views

 

Central banks remain the dealers of choice for addicted big corporations, private banks, and markets. In other words, given congressional (and Trumpian) sponsored bailouts and practically unlimited access to money from the Fed, Wall Street will, in the end, be fine. (Photo: Phillipp/cc/flickr)

To say that these are unprecedented times would be the understatement of the century. Even as the United States became the latest target of Hurricane COVID-19, in “hot spots” around the globe a continuing frenzy of health concerns represented yet another drop down the economic rabbit hole.

Stay-at-home orders have engulfed the planet, encompassing a majority of Americans, all of India, the United Kingdom, and much of Europe. A second round of cases may be starting to surface in

China. Meanwhile, small- and medium-sized businesses, not to speak of giant corporate entities, are already facing severe financial pain.

I was in New York City on 9/11 and for the weeks that followed. At first, there was a sense of overriding panic about the possibility of more attacks, while the air was still thick with smoke. A startling number of lives were lost and we all did feel that we had indeed been changed forever.

Nonetheless, the shock was momentary. Small businesses, even in the neighborhood of the Twin Towers, reopened quickly enough while, in the midst of psychic chaos, President George W. Bush urged Americans to continue to fly, shop, and even go to Disney World.

Think of the coronavirus, then, as a different kind of 9/11. After all, the airlines are all but grounded, restaurants and so many other shops closed, Disney World shut tight, and the death toll is already well past that of 9/11 and multiplying fast. The concept of “social distancing” has become omnipresent, while hospitals are overwhelmed and medical professionals stretched thin. Pandemic containment efforts have put the global economy on hold. This time, we will be changed forever.

Figures on job cuts and business closures could soon eclipse those from the aftermath of the financial collapse of 2008. The U.S. jobless rate could hit 30% in the second quarter of 2020, according to Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard, which would mean that we’re talking levels of

unemployment not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Many small companies will be unable to reopen. Others could default on their debts and enter bankruptcy.

…(read more)

‘A Really Chilling Moment’: Trump Refuses to Allow Dr. Fauci to Answer Question on Dangers of Hydroxychloroquine | Common Dreams News

 

During a press briefing Sunday night purportedly aimed at providing the U.S. public with crucial information amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump refused to allow the nation’s top infectious disease expert to answer a reporter’s question about the efficacy of an anti-malaria drug that the president has recklessly touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment despite warnings from medical professionals.

Before Dr. Anthony Fauci could respond to the question about hydroxychloroquine, Trump—who was standing back and off to the side of the podium—complained that Fauci had already spoken about the drug “15 times.”

“You don’t have to ask the question again,” said Trump, stepping forward and moving closer to Fauci as another reporter began asking a separate question.

“This is a really chilling moment from a science standpoint, with Trump having just pushed an unproven COVID treatment and Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., getting muzzled on live TV,” tweeted Andrew Freedman, a climate reporter for the Washington Post. “Was clear Trump didn’t want to be contradicted.”

Dr. Lucky Tran, a biologist, said Trump’s interruption was “unacceptable.”

“Dr. Fauci, one of the world’s top infectious disease scientists, was just censored live at a White House press conference,” tweeted Tran.

The exchange came just hours after Fauci, in an appearance on CBS‘ “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, said that “in terms of science, I don’t think we could definitively say [hydroxychloroquine] works.”

“The data are really just at best suggestive,” said Fauci. “There have been cases that show there may be an effect and there are others to show there’s no effect.”

During a press briefing Saturday evening, Trump said “I really think they should they should take it,” referring to coronavirus patients and hydroxychloroquine. Three people in Nigeria overdosed on the drug last month after the president said, without evidence, that the drug may be able to combat the novel coronavirus.

In a joint statement on March 25, the American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists said “there is no incontrovertible evidence to support off-label use of medications for COVID-19.”

“What do I know?” Trump asked during the press briefing Sunday night. “I’m not a doctor.”

…(read more).

WHO slams ‘racist’ calls for Africa to be vaccine testing ground

FRANCE 24 English

Apr 6, 2020

In tonight’s edition: The World Health Organization chief angrily slammed recent comments made by scientists suggesting a vaccine for the new coronavirus should be tested in Africa as “racist” and a hangover from the “colonial mentality”. Ivory Coast police on Monday clashed with protesters who had begun dismantling a half-builtcoronavirus testing centre, afraid that people using the facility would spread the epidemic through their district. And finally children in Burkina Faso are being encouraged to watch TV as school lessons are broadcast on the small screen.

Minimizing Fear

Commonwealth Club

Apr 6, 2020

Monday Night Philosophy understands that we have explained life to ourselves in ways that have scared us silly for so long that it has become an engrained habit. Ironically, it’s a habit we rather enjoy because fear often keeps us more alert than we’d otherwise be. But there are other ways to remain intellectually alert to the nuances of life that are not so debilitating. So tonight, join us via live stream, and we’ll sort through those fears with the goal of understanding how unlikely it is that these fears are justified, eliminating those that are highly irrational and minimizing those that are merely ridiculous.

Speakers:
George Hammond
Author, Rational Idealism and Conversations with Socrates

Massachusetts governor gives coronavirus update — April 6, 2020

PBS NewsHour

Streamed live 3 hours ago

UK PM Boris Johnson taken to intensive care after health worsens

FRANCE 24 English

Apr 6, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital after his coronavirus symptoms worsened Monday, just a day after he was admitted for what were said to be routine tests.