Month: January 2021

Jennifer Francis: The Cold Weather Affecting The Eastern US now is Global Warming – ‘It’s Inevitable But Mysterious’

Each year that the US gets severe cold weather (which has happened a lot over the past 20 years), there’s always a few climate change fanatics who claim that it’s due to global warming. They have to you see. Snow, ice and severe cold are bad for business. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Winters were supposed to get warmer, shorter, spring was supposed to arrive earlier and summers were meant to be searingly hot. Severe cold weather at the end of January doesn’t fit the narrative, so they change the narrative. Simples.

I recall the good old days, when President Trump was around to troll the climate change fanatics with tweets like this:

In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017

They went into hysterics of course, on that occasion claiming that it was ‘just weather’ and that Trump was using ‘just weather’ to ridiculously claim that global warming wasn’t happening. ‘Experts’ and the Guardian laid into him lie a pack of hyenas:

US president again conflates weather with climate to mock climate change

Experts call comments ‘scientifically ridiculous and demonstrably false’

The president was reheating two favourite tropes: the conflation of weather with climate to pour scepticism on global warming, and the supposed cost to the American taxpayer of the Paris climate accord, from which he has confirmed the US will withdraw.

Climate scientists, however, have long warned against using individual weather events to ponder the existence or otherwise of global warming. Weather, they point out, refers to atmospheric conditions during a short period; climate relates to longer-term weather patterns.

“There is a fundamental difference in scale between what weather is and what climate is,” he said. “What’s going on in one small corner of the world at a given moment does not reflect what’s going on with the planet.”

But severe (often record breaking) cold weather has been happening so frequently, particularly in the eastern US, that climate change fanatics are now having to admit it’s not ‘just weather’ after all, as they previously shrieked and screamed in response to being trolled by Trump, it’s actually a bizarre and counter-intuitive result of global warming. Yep, the new global warming is . . . . . . cooling!

Hence, with Bidet now in charge, who made it his first task on day one of his fake Presidency to sign the US back up to the Paris Accord, and the upcoming COP26 meeting in Glasgow, climate alarmists are keen to keep the man-made global warming narrative going, even during severely cold winter weather.

So the NYT, noting the present cold weather in the US, has once again wheeled out Jennifer Francis along with her theory of how Arctic warming causes extreme weather, a theory which has been doing the rounds for several years now, which has been severely criticised by scientists, has little real evidence in its favour, but is all they’ve got, so they keep regurgitating it to explain inconveniently cold and snowy weather.

Disturbances to the upper-atmosphere phenomena known as the polar vortex can send icy blasts from the Arctic into the middle latitudes, chilling Europe, Asia and parts of North America. The disturbance and its effects have persisted for an unusually long time this year, said Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center, with two disruptions of the polar vortex so far this year and, potentially, a third on the way.

Research into the interplay of the complex factors that bring on blasts from the polar vortex is ongoing, but climate change appears to be part of the mix. While warming means milder winters overall, “the motto for snowstorms in the era of climate change could be ‘go big or go home!’ said Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, a company that provides information to clients about weather and climate-related risk.

The wild weather has its origins in the warming Arctic. The region is warming faster than the rest of the planet, and research suggests that the rising temperatures are weakening the jet stream, which encircles the pole and generally holds in that frigid air. In early January, a surge of sudden warming hit the polar stratosphere, the zone five to thirty miles above the surface of the planet.

But it’s not clear cut, as the NYT itself admits:

While the scientific evidence supporting climate change is indisputable, the connection between climate change and the disruptions in the stratosphere is not so settled. Dr. Cohen was an author of a paper last year in the journal Nature Climate Change, which looked at winter data from 2008 to 2018. The team found a sharp increase in Northeast winter storms over the previous decade. “Severe winter weather is much more frequent when the Arctic is warmest,” Dr. Cohen said.

Dr. Butler, however, said that across the full historical record, which goes back to 1958, “There is no indication of a long-term trend” in polar vortex disruptions. The weather patterns that affect the vortex “occur naturally even in the absence of climate change,” with some decades showing no disruptions and other decades with one in almost every year.

But Jennifer Francis is having none of it. There simply must be a connection she states; we just haven’t discovered it yet:

To Dr. Francis, a senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center, the influence of climate change on these phenomena is inevitable, if still somewhat mysterious. “We’re changing the planet in such dramatic and incontrovertible ways,” she said. “The atmosphere is different now. The Earth’s surface is different now. The oceans are different now. So there must be some connections that are yet to be discovered as we do more research on the stratospheric polar vortex.”

This is climate science for you. This is extreme weather attribution. If the data doesn’t fit the theory, if the theory fails, then just invoke the climastrologists’ Inevitability Principle, which states:

A must cause B, even though there’s no evidence that B is caused by A, simply because A ‘changes everything’ and A is ‘settled science’.

One Third of Vaccinated Residents at a Basingstoke Nursing Home Are Now Dead – BBC Calls it a ‘Covid Outbreak’.

Twenty-two residents of the same Hampshire care home have died after testing positive for Covid-19.

Owner Avery Healthcare said all the deaths at Pemberley House in Basingstoke occurred this month.

The number of deaths accounted for approximately a third of those living at the home, which provides care for people over 65.

They died after testing positive for Covid-19. Therefore it’s a ‘Covid outbreak’, naturally. They also died after being vaccinated.

“As a company we are supporting the vaccine roll-out and our focus remains on supporting the wellbeing of residents, families and staff as we work through this together.”

A spokeswoman for Hampshire County Council said the local authority did not comment on deaths within private care homes and offered condolences to the families affected.

She added that “protection from the vaccine takes time” so even people who have had the jab should continue to regularly wash their hands, use face coverings and stay two metres apart.

They didn’t wash their hands enough or stay 2 metres apart, obviously.

RIP you lovely people. So sorry for the grieving relatives.

Update 08/02/2021

This graph shows the immune suppression (lymphocyte count) shortly after the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine is administered. As you can see, it is very significant and this could possibly make a very old and frail person susceptible to a life threatening infection.

The Johnson Regime’s Travel Ban Will Devastate Endangered African Wildlife

It’s now effectively illegal to leave the UK. We are living on Prison Island. Supposedly, this is because of a ‘deadly virus’ and its ever changing ‘new variants’. It is to ‘protect us’. No, it is not, it is the dictatorial, fascist, globalist, Communist – call it what you will – UK government flexing its authoritarian muscles over us all using a flu like respiratory virus as a convenient excuse to crush our civil liberties and in particular our freedom to travel.

Why would the UK government want us to stop travelling and seeing the world? Because the peasantry have had it too good for too long and they have become enlightened and knowledgeable, freedom-loving, outward-looking, globe-trotting individuals who must be put back in their box if the Great Reset is to work.

Essential to the Great Reset of course is the destruction of society and the economy as we know it to enable our dictatorial governments to ‘build back better’ which is ‘build back greener’ which basically means eco-communism on a global scale in order to ‘save the planet’ from the world-destroying anthropogenic carbon-dioxide Thermageddon molecule.

To this end, the UK government has committed to reaching net zero by 2050. That will mean very drastic changes in our lifestyle. It will mean closing most airports and ending all ‘unnecessary’ international travel in the next decade. The plan is outlined here, in a report commissioned by the government. Patel’s arrogant curtailment of our most basic human rights has nothing whatsoever to do with a virus, everything to do with reaching the legally binding net zero emissions target. But that will entail huge collateral damage. I wonder if she cares. I wonder if the government cares. I doubt it.

They’ve only got 8 years to force the closure of all airports except Heathrow, Belfast and Glasgow. Destroying the international tourism industry and sending all budget airline operators into bankruptcy is the way they will do it. It’s so they can ‘save the planet’ remember, prevent mass extinctions, an environmental, ecological and climatological catastrophe. Yeah, right:

In addition to the human cost, she highlighted the impact that a loss of tourists is having on conservation efforts. “The 100,000-plus Namibians dependent on tourism are all hanging on by the barest of margins, and tourism is also vital in protecting species such as black and white rhino, elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, pangolin, and wild dog,” she said.

“Any further delay in allowing UK tourists to visit Namibia will directly result in increased poaching, habitat destruction and a humanitarian disaster. 

“We are already seeing the effects of this in terms of huge increases in poverty in remote communities which have traditionally relied on tourism; children are unable to attend school, families cannot buy food, villages are beginning to question the value of conserving wildlife when faced with the ongoing inability to meet their basic needs. 

“If we are not able to welcome UK tourists back to Namibia when this lockdown eases, many more companies will be forced into liquidation and the future of conservation here will be in serious trouble. We can never get back the iconic species that may be lost, and we must do everything in our power to prevent this catastrophe.” 

Her thoughts were echoed by Alexandra Matts, director of UK firm Extraordinary Africa. She said: “Each job in a safari camp supports 8-10 people. Without tourism those jobs don’t exist. There is little to no social security in any of the countries we work in so the people who rely on that income have no other fallback. In many companies, management have taken huge reductions in salaries to protect those at the bottom, and camp owners are trying to keep staff afloat out of rapidly dwindling savings. 

“Vast tracts of land, such as the conservancies around the Maasai Mara, are protected for wildlife only because of the income from tourism. In addition, almost every single lodge and camp we work with has outreach projects to support conservation and the local community – anti-poaching projects, school projects, HIV projects, water projects – the list goes on. Without tourism jobs, without tourist money to protect land, without tourism funding for vital projects, the consequences are devastating.”

Jane Palmer of Conservation Travel Africa, a small UK firm that specialises in volunteering breaks, said: “While we are all desperate to travel, we need to remember that the people and wildlife on the ground in Africa are even more desperate for us to visit. What is just a holiday for us means so much more to the people that companies like ours are trying to support. Does that make travel to Africa an unimportant luxury?”

Killing off iconic African wildlife and habitat and pushing millions of Africans into poverty to ‘save the planet’ by reducing our tiny contribution to global GHG emissions, whilst China, which gave us this ‘deadly pandemic’ – and its travel-destroying ‘mutant strains’ – in the first place, races away building thousands more coal-fired power stations. Ironic too, that it is mainly Chinese demand for exotic animal products which will now be contributing to the accelerated decline of African wildlife. Wasn’t it supposed to be the Chinese demand for exotic animals to eat which gave us this bloody world-destroying, most hyped ‘pandemic’ in human history?

Zeke Announces That The Holocene Climatic Optimum Has Been Cancelled

Forget the erasing of the inconvenient Medieval Warm Period, or the even warmer Roman Warm Period, the Klimate Konsensus are now coming for the entire Holocene, replacing it with a radically altered version which much better conforms to what their models say should have happened: a steady, linear rise in temperatures throughout after an initial steep rise at inception, followed by a glorious mann-made hockeystick at the end. Zeke loves it:

This means of course that we have broken through the glass ceiling of the Holocene with our demonic expellations of greenhouse gases and are now firmly within the new epoch of the Anthropocene. Not only that, we are probably well on our way to shattering the previous warm record of the interglacial preceding the Holocene, which will mean that we have indeed ‘broken’ the entire Quaternary Ice Age cycle.

Here is the abstract of the paper which has got Zeke so excited:

Proxy reconstructions from marine sediment cores indicate peak temperatures in the first half of the last and current interglacial periods (the thermal maxima of the Holocene epoch, 10,000 to 6,000 years ago, and the last interglacial period, 128,000 to 123,000 years ago) that arguably exceed modern warmth1,2,3. By contrast, climate models simulate monotonic warming throughout both periods4,5,6,7. This substantial model–data discrepancy undermines confidence in both proxy reconstructions and climate models, and inhibits a mechanistic understanding of recent climate change. Here we show that previous global reconstructions of temperature in the Holocene1,2,3 and the last interglacial period8 reflect the evolution of seasonal, rather than annual, temperatures and we develop a method of transforming them to mean annual temperatures. We further demonstrate that global mean annual sea surface temperatures have been steadily increasing since the start of the Holocene (about 12,000 years ago), first in response to retreating ice sheets (12 to 6.5 thousand years ago), and then as a result of rising greenhouse gas concentrations (0.25 ± 0.21 degrees Celsius over the past 6,500 years or so). However, mean annual temperatures during the last interglacial period were stable and warmer than estimates of temperatures during the Holocene, and we attribute this to the near-constant greenhouse gas levels and the reduced extent of ice sheets. We therefore argue that the climate of the Holocene differed from that of the last interglacial period in two ways: first, larger remnant glacial ice sheets acted to cool the early Holocene, and second, rising greenhouse gas levels in the late Holocene warmed the planet. Furthermore, our reconstructions demonstrate that the modern global temperature has exceeded annual levels over the past 12,000 years and probably approaches the warmth of the last interglacial period (128,000 to 115,000 years ago).

This looks like another classic case of ‘the models don’t fit the data, so let’s change the data’. In this case, they’ve refashioned the entire Holocene interglacial! That’s quite a historical/geological revision. The paper is pay to view but I imagine what they are arguing is that orbital forcings (which were at maximum during the Holocene Climatic Optimum) turn out to be a lot less important when determining average annual temperatures and are primarily a seasonal effect, with carbon dioxide dominating the mean annual temperature. The GHG-driven climate models must be right.

Update 29 Jan 2021

Nature have an explanatory article on this study now which provides further information. As I said, it was basically an exercise in making the data fit the models:

However, computational simulations of Holocene climate reveal only a long-term warming trend3Writing in Nature, Bova et al.4 report an analysis that effectively brings Holocene climate reconstructions in line with computational simulations.

The apparent temperature peak during the early Holocene (known as the Holocene thermal maximum) is a prominent feature in global syntheses of proxy-based climate reconstructions1,2 (Fig. 1). Its notable absence from computational modelling has been dubbed the Holocene temperature conundrum, and has puzzled climate scientists for years3

The authors calibrated their adjustment for seasonal bias using a period during the Eemian interglacial when orbital forcing exceeded those during the present interglacial:

Bova and colleagues’ new method identifies seasonal biases in SST records and enables the calculation of mean annual SST from seasonal SST. It takes advantage of the characteristics of the last interglacial period (128,000–115,000 years ago), which was marked by mild global temperatures, smaller ice sheets and higher sea levels than those of today7. This period is advantageous for the authors’ purposes in that the seasonal difference of incoming solar radiation (insolation) was greater than during the Holocene, whereas the effects of other factors that alter climate, such as greenhouse gases and ice, were weaker, making it easier to identify seasonal biases.

More specifically, the authors’ method involves identifying seasonal bias in the portion of an SST record that corresponds to the last interglacial, and in which there was a stronger correlation of SST with seasonal insolation than with mean annual insolation. The sensitivity of the SST record to seasonal insolation during this period is then calculated, and used as a benchmark to remove seasonal bias from the entire record, thereby allowing mean annual SST to be determined from that record. 

Bova et al. went on to create a synthesis of previously published SST records spanning the last interglacial and the Holocene periods. These records are based on two common proxies used for reconstructing SST: the chemical composition of the fossilized calcium carbonate shells of surface-dwelling unicellular marine organisms known as foraminifera; and organic biomarkers known as alkenones, which are synthesized by marine algae and settle into marine sediments. The authors found that the majority of the examined SST records are indeed seasonally biased.

After converting the seasonally biased SST records into mean annual SST records, Bova and colleagues infer that the climate has been warming since the early Holocene — that is, there is no evidence for a Holocene thermal maximum in mean annual temperatures (Fig. 1). They suggest instead that the Holocene thermal maximum is a seasonal feature driven by a peak in summer insolation in the Northern Hemisphere that occurred during the early Holocene.

Their explanation for the ‘new improved’ Holocene temperature reconstruction seems a bit lame to me. They assign the initial rise in temperatures during the early Holocene to the retreat of ice sheets, without bothering to say what caused the ice sheets to retreat and they blandly assert that the steady rise in Holocene temperatures during the last 6500 years has been due to increasing CO2.

This enabled Bova and colleagues to shed new light on the drivers of Holocene climate change. They find that the increase in global mean annual temperatures that occurred during the early Holocene (12,000–6,500 years ago) was a response to retreating ice sheets, whereas the continued increase in temperatures over the past 6,500 years is due to rising greenhouse-gas concentrations.

Only at the very end of the article does Nature inform us that the SST proxies used by the authors to correct for seasonal bias and to construct a new Holocene temperature profile were from an area of the globe spanning 40 degree north and south of the equator. It does seem a bit odd that they would exclude the high latitudes where seasonal insolation effects are so much greater in order to correct for significant seasonal biases . . . . . .

One limitation of the findings is that the new synthesis of proxy SST records is limited to the global region between 40° N and 40° S. Proxy records from higher latitudes were deliberately excluded because of the scarcity of such records for the last interglacial, and because of the proximity of those regions to ocean fronts, where ocean dynamics can affect SST. However, the inclusion of these regions might be needed in the future, given that processes at high latitudes have a substantial role in many climate feedback processes. Moreover, the new synthesis examines records based on only two SST proxies. Future work should include more records based on other temperature proxies. Nevertheless, by solving a conundrum that has puzzled climate scientists for years, Bova and colleagues’ study is a major step forward for the field.

Richard Betts Finally Gives Up On Science – Embraces Politics, Ideology and Pseudoscience

Over the years, Richard Betts of the Met Office, has been the ‘sceptic’s friend’; a down to earth, reasonable, approachable, pragmatic scientist who actively sought to present a balanced view on the risks associated with climate change and to counter the alarmism and hyperbole put out in the press and supported by some of his more enthusiastic peers, as well as overtly political climate activists. Sadly, he has now jumped the shark completely, even to the point of insulting sceptics by implying that they are ‘deniers’, a term he always refrained from using. He’s even, by the sound of it, helping Extinction Rebellion fanatics arrested for breaking the law defend their actions in court by providing them with scientific ‘evidence’ which supposedly justifies their unlawful activities.

So Richard thinks that extreme weather attributions are helping to put a dent in climate denial and prove the case for urgent political action and planning and adaptation policies. In his article for Nature he says:

Now that specific floods, heatwaves and more can be attributed to our actions, decision makers can act.

This is not true. No specific extreme weather event can be attributed definitely to man-made climate change; all that can be done is to calculate the the so-called fraction of attributable risk of such an event happening by using climate models with and without anthropogenic forcings to create two ‘worlds’ and estimating the likelihood of such an event happening in the ‘climate changed’ world compared to that of the hypothetical world where no anthropogenic forcings are present. A further estimate of likelihood is also obtained by examining historical weather records for evidence of similar extreme weather events and assessing their frequency of occurrence over years and decades. What these ‘scientists’ then come up with is a figure for the supposed increased probability of such and such an event happening due to man-made climate change.

Betts knows this, but he deliberately misleads his gullible Twitter followers and readers.

These are just a few of the specific heatwaves, floods and events that my colleagues who work on ‘climate attribution’ can now show were made more likely by human impact (these and more are showcased this week in a special issue of Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyS. C. Herring et al. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 102, S1–S112; 2021). Now, these techniques should be applied routinely to help governments, organizations and communities to act on their responsibilities and improve resilience to extreme weather.

For too long, weather’s randomness has kept events such as these from being blamed squarely on climate change.

He goes on to directly contradict himself by then saying:

Now, we can specify increased chances for specific events. This extends to forecasts: we can identify the places that are more likely to see wildfires, mudslides and fish die-offs. Such calculations dent both climate denial and a false sense of security. They take away the argument that ‘extreme weather happens anyway, so we don’t need to worry about it’. Extreme weather happens — and these metrics pinpoint what is becoming more likely, by how much and why.

You cannot blame a particular weather event squarely on climate change if all you are able to do is give an estimate of the increased probability of such an event happening. That is not ‘attribution’; it is guesswork based upon an assumption that the atmosphere and oceans have changed mainly because of the addition of man-made GHGs, using biased climate models to quantify that change and to compare it with a counterfactual world where no GHGs were released into the atmosphere.

As mentioned above, Betts also clearly thinks that this ‘scientific evidence’ of attribution is good enough to present to a court in defence of climate crisis fanatics who claim their lives and futures are being put at risk by government inaction on climate change.

Such evidence is also useful for legal proceedings when citizens call corporations or governments to account for their role in climate change, or are on trial for taking the law into their own hands. Although the courts, not climate scientists, make judgements on these matters, the legal process needs to be informed by objective, authoritative scientific evidence; published, peer-reviewed science is crucial. I relied on this to provide an expert-witness statement for the trial of an Extinction Rebellion activist arrested after obstructing the main road on Waterloo Bridge in London. For a case against 33 European countries brought by 6 Portuguese youth applicants, the non-profit science and policy institute Climate Analytics prepared an expert report (see go.nature.com/3qmv) centring on the evidence for climate change’s rising threat to their lives.

So, let’s take just one brief look at this latest peer-reviewed evidence which Betts thinks provides the scientific framework for holding governments to account and putting climate deniers back in their box shall we.

On page 44 of the report cited above by Betts, we find an attribution analysis of the extraordinary warmth which affected the UK in February 2019, when temperatures exceeded 20C in some places of the country. It is authored by Nikolaos Christidis and Peter A. Stott.

In stark contrast to the frigid close of the 2017/18 winter in the United Kingdom (Christidis and Stott 2020), daytime winter temperatures above 20°C were recorded for the first time in the country only a year later, with a maximum of 21.2°C at Kew Gardens on 26 February 2019. Strong anticyclonic conditions at the end of the winter season steered exceptionally mild tropical maritime air over western Europe and were identified by Kendon et al. (2020) as a key driver of the extreme U.K. temperatures. Their study suggests that the atmospheric state alone would be sufficient to raise U.K. temperatures above 20°C, even without the effect of human influence on the climate. Here, we carry out a complementary attribution study to investigate extremes in the warmest day in winter.

What they are in effect saying here is that the actual cause of the extreme temperatures has been identified as a peculiar dynamic weather pattern at the time but that they intend to do another attribution study anyway just to see if ‘climate change’ might have increased the chances of such extreme temperatures if natural weather patterns had not been the actual cause of the event! This attribution study, they make clear, does not take into account possible changes in dynamics forced by GHGs. It only considers thermodynamic (GHG) forcings. Thus, in attempting to provide an alternative attribution of the warm UK weather in February, it completely ignores the actual cause of that warm weather. This is apparently what Betts considers as a good example of the scientific ‘evidence’ for climate change impacts, good enough to present to a court of law. Any decent defence or prosecution lawyer would laugh it out of court!

The CMIP5 analysis reveals that winter CET extremes like in 2018/19 are rare even in today’s warmer climate, but still about 300 times more likely because of human influence. Moreover, they are shown to become decidedly more common in the future, expected to occur at least once a century by 2100, and probably more frequently underhigher emissions scenarios than RCP4.5. While the effect of the atmospheric circulation was key for the reference event, here we only consider an unconditional framing without explicitly assessing the effect of dynamics. Previous work has suggested that Arctic warming may impact U.K. extremes via dynamical changes (Hanna et al. 2017), although this link has not been robustly established (Blackport and Screen 2020). A possible strengthening of the Atlantic jet (Lee et al. 2019) may constitute another dynamical driver of winter changes. Taking the overall effect of anthropogenic climate change into account, milder winters are expected in the United Kingdom (Murphy et al. 2018), with less frequent cold extremes and new high temperature records.

Examining The UK Government’s Claim that the Kent Variant could be 30% More Lethal

After claiming that the Kent variant was 70% more transmissible – still yet to be verified – the UK government has now gone one step further at a public press conference to claim that there is ‘evidence’ it could also be 30% more lethal. Let’s look at that ‘evidence’ and how it found its way into a government press conference just hours before the conference was aired to the nation.

Firstly, what is bizarre and quite frankly outrageous is the manner in which this news was conveyed to the public. The chain of events which led to Johnson announcing to the nation that the new variant is more deadly is disturbing, as reported here.

The story initially emerged on Twitter after ITV’s Robert Peston reported: “The government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (or Nervtag) has concluded that the new Covid-19 strain may be a bit more lethal than the existing strain.”

He was briefed about the story by the infectious disease modeller Neil Ferguson, who told Peston: “It is a realistic possibility that the new UK variant increases the risk of death… So for 60-year-olds, 13 in 1000 might die compared with 10 in 1000 for old strains.”

Given the uncertainty of the data, it is unclear why Ferguson, a controversial figure, thought it necessary to brief Peston before the relevant information had been properly disclosed. Critics may say that in a public health crisis, transparency and predictability in government decision-making is absolutely vital both to preserve public trust and to ensure proper accountability.

How in God’s name does Ferguson – who is not even supposed to be advising the government at all after he got caught with his pants down breaking lockdown rules back in the Spring to see his girfriend – get to brief an ITV reporter on issues directly relating to government policy, who then splashes it on social media, which is then communicated in very alarming tones to the nation by a Prime Minister who looks more like the Grim Reaper as each week passes? It’s an outrageous chain of communication and the scare-tactics employed are contemptible in the extreme, essentially giving justification to keep us all locked up for much longer. As Robert Dingwall, also a NERVTAG member, says in the article referenced above:

The government’s frightening and unproven claim that the new variant of the Covid-19 virus is 30 per cent more lethal is challenged by a leading member of the key body monitoring the disease. He says it is wrong to “exploit it to increase public fear.”

Professor Robert Dingwall, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, told Reaction:

“The 30 per cent more lethal claim about the virus rests on a very fragile and uncertain base of evidence. NERVTAG has expressed limited confidence in this figure, which should not be the basis for public alarm.”

He continued: “It is right not to hide possibly bad news but it is also quite wrong to exploit it to increase public fear and to try to shut down debates about the exit strategy from the current restrictions.”

How can the public be expected to have any trust in the government and follow their ever changing rules ‘to save lives’ if they are being deceived and misinformed via such grubby collaborative exercises in spreading unjustifiable alarm occurring between two-bit journalists, discredited academics and Downing Street? They can’t. They won’t. They have surely gone over the top this time.

But let’s take a look at the NERVTAG report which forms the basis of Johnson’s press conference claim, but which he probably wasn’t even aware of at the time of the announcement.

The first point of the Summary is this:

The variant of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 appears to have substantially increased
transmissibility compared to other variants and has grown quickly to become the
dominant variant in much of the UK

Well, as it happens, the areas in which the ‘70% more transmissible’ variant first appeared (London, East Anglia and the South East) and ‘took over’ are now experiencing a sharp downturn in infections compared to other areas and it seems that the main reason for this is that the initial sharp rise in VOC infections appears to have gone into reverse, with now more pronounced declines in VOC compared to the ‘old’ variant! This doesn’t exactly fit the script of a more transmissible strain which is rapidly becoming dominant.

But what is most remarkable is that the fall in infections in London, the East and South East seems to be down principally to a fall in cases of the new variant discovered in Kent in December. Said by the government at the time to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible than previous variants, it seems to be reducing at a far faster rate.

In total, the NERVTAG review report references 10 studies, with highly variable results, as below:

PHE reports and CO-CIN do not find an increased risk of death and actually report a decreased risk, which would in fact be compatible with the changes in the ORF-8 region as pointed out by Professor Racaniello [14′.10” onwards] in late December when the UK government cancelled Christmas because of this new variant. Back then, the government was saying there was no evidence of increased mortality, but I guess they done went and found some! Gotta think about Easter coming up. It would be a tragedy if families were to get together at Easter and actually enjoy some human company. I expect the Welsh government will be taping off the Easter eggs section in supermarkets as well.

The references for the 10 studies mentioned above are as follows:

1. Public Health England, 2020. Variant Of Concern 202012/01: Technical Briefing

2. Investigation of novel SARS-CoV-2 variant. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 January 2021]. 2. Ferguson, N. 2021. Non-parametric analysis of fatal outcomes associated with B1.1.7. Imperial College London – unpublished analysis.

3. Davies, N., Diaz-Ordaz, K., Keogh, R. 2021. Relative fatality hazard in Pillar 2 tested individuals with VOC. LSHTM – unpublished analysis.

4. PHE, 2021. Unpublished analysis.

5. Docherty A., Harrison, E., Semple, C. 2021. Hospital case fatality and emergence of variant of concern B.1.1.7, rapid CO-CIN report to NERVTAG and SAGE. Unpublished analysis.

You’ll note that only the PHE analyses are published and accessible. All of the others are unpublished therefore not available for inspection by the public. That’s transparency for you! You will also note that Ferguson cites his own work in the review paper which he co-authors. It’s all rather incestuous and opaque, to say the least. It’s also anything but robust, definitive, conclusive. Here are some examples:

There are several limitations to these datasets including representativeness of death data (<10% of all deaths are included in some datasets), power, potential biases in case ascertainment and transmission setting.

It should be noted that the absolute risk of death per infection remains low.

An analysis of CO-CIN data has not identified an increased risk of death in hospitalised VOC B.1.1.7 cases. However, increased severity may not necessarily be reflected by increased in-hospital death risk.

Previously, preliminary results from a matched-cohort study conducted by PHE reported no statistically significant increased risk of hospitalisation or death in VOCinfected individuals compared to non-VOC [1]

The LSHTM paper used a Cox proportional hazards model to estimate change in risk of death within 28 days of test for individuals infected with the VOC [2]

The study was based on 2,583 deaths among 1.2 million tested individuals. 384 deaths were among SGTF individuals.

Focusing only on individuals with SGTF after 1 November 2020 (no adjustment for SGTF misclassification)

A PHE retrospective matched cohort study was also reported [4]:

The odds of SGTF cases being admitted was not significantly different to non-SGTF cases (OR = 1.07, 95% CI 0.86 – 1.33).

There are potential limitations in these datasets:

The dataset used in the LSHTM, Imperial, Exeter and PHE analyses is based on a limited subset of the total deaths. This includes approximately 8% of the total deaths occurring during the study period. Of all coronavirus deaths, approximately 26% occur in individuals who have had a Pillar 2 test, and only 30% of these have S-gene data. The results of all studies may therefore not be representative of the total population.

Some laboratories only report SGTF if the PCR cycle threshold (ct) value is <30, since target gene failure can occur with low viral loads. For the LSHTM paper, no such ct threshold was applied to non-SGTF positive samples.

If there is an increase in the severity of infection with VOC B1.1.7, we would also expect to see an increase in the risk of hospitalisation. Currently, we do not have evidence of an increased risk of hospitalisation in individuals with VOC B1.1.7 but data are limited due to lags in the availability of hospitalisation data.

You get the idea. The take home message is that these studies are based on a very limited subset of deaths, they use a proxy SGTF measurement for the presence of the variant which does not account for misclassifications made due to low viral load, and they reveal that hospitalisations have not increased, but somehow deaths have. But this did not stop the government from stoking up the fear yet again by announcing that there is ‘evidence’ that the new strain is 30% more lethal as well as being more transmissible. OMG, Boris the Red tells us, you’re going to kill even more grannies if you don’t stay locked up in your home (and “wear a bloody mask in the supermarket!”) until we tell you it’s safe to come out again – which may not be until summer, by which time you’ll all be insane anyway. Haha.

Even the Fail is not that impressed:

Experts today played down fears a UK variant of the coronavirus is more deadly than the original strain after a ‘scaremongering’ Downing Street press conference last night.

Public Health England medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle said it is not ‘absolutely clear’ if a mutation of the virus first found in Kent is more dangerous.

Graham Medley, professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it is an ‘open question’ but not a ‘game changer’ in terms of dealing with the pandemic.

And Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of SAGE subgroup the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, said it was still too early to be drawing ‘strong conclusions’ about the suggested increased mortality rate.

But evidence for increased mortality remains thin – Nervtag papers reveal the term ‘realistic possibility’ is used when scientists are only 40 to 50 per cent confident something is true.

The paper states ‘it should be noted that the absolute risk of death per infection remains low’. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said if the evidence is correct it would mean three to four more deaths per 1,000 cases.

Chief Scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance even admitted during the press conference evidence the strain is more deadly is still ‘weak’.

If this new variant was indeed more virulent, you would expect an increased viral load. This paper, published on January 15th, which finds that it is moderately more transmissible (nowhere near 70% more transmissible) also reveals that there is no evidence of increased viral load or of increased transmission among children (as was also claimed by Ferguson in late December, which no doubt influenced the horrendous decision to close down schools). Professor Pantsdown is going to have a lot to answer for when this all over.

The relative difference in growth rates of SGTF vs no -SGTF had a similar distribution in those up to high-school age (i.e . ≤15 /16 years, 5% excess (95% C I 1-8%) ) versus older (6% (4 -9 %)) (Supplementary Figure 11, Supplementary Table 2), with no evidence that SGTF positivity rates were consistently growing faster or slower in those under and over high school age.

Multiple lines of evidence support B.1.1.7 /VOC202012/01 leading to higher infection rates in adults and children, and adding to, rather than simply replacing, existing strains. However, we found no evidence that Ct values (a proxy for viral load ) were intrinsically substantially lower in SGTF-positives, in contrast to initial reports17,18, but consistent with observations that B. 1.1.7 / VOC202 012/01 infection is not more severe.

Commander-in-Thief Bidet Rejoins the Paris Accord

On the very day of his nothingburger inauguration ceremony which was so wildly popular with his 81 million voters that the White House You Tube video got 2.7k likes vs. 17k downvotes and they had to turn off the commenting, Bidet signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris Accord. He also managed to cancel the biological rights of American women in favour of men who declare themselves to be women. I’m not sure whether the evidence-based science for the Paris Climate Accord is better than that for men being allowed to compete in women’s sports; I’m guessing it’s about the same.

‘World leaders’ are ecstatic of course now that the US has climbed back aboard the international climate crisis scam. They really, really were most upset that Trump pulled out in order to protect the American economy and American jobs against unfair competition from China. Saving the planet from bad weather is so much more important than the health and prosperity of the American people – and the environment, as it happens. If you believe that wind turbines and solar panels are clean green energy and that electric cars are ecologically and environmentally superior to petrol and diesel, you need your head examining, quite frankly.

World leaders breathed an audible sigh of relief that the United States under President Joe Biden is rejoining the global effort to curb climate change, a cause that his predecessor had shunned.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron were among those welcoming Biden’s decision to rejoin the the Paris climate accord, reversing a key Trump policy in the first hours of his presidency Wednesday.

“Rejoining the Paris Agreement is hugely positive news,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. Britain, which is hosting this year’s U.N. climate summit, looked forward to working with the Biden administration on the issue, he said.

Macron likewise tweeted his joy at the U.S. rejoining the Paris pact, saying that with Biden, “we will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet.”

Of course Boris the Red is overjoyed. He now has a powerful partner in crime across the Pond to push his anti-democratic Green scam/Great Reset/Net Zero agenda for the hapless residents of Prison Island UK. Fighting the “giant tea cosy in the sky” aka man made atmospheric greenhouse gases will become his new pet obsession when he eventually tires of his Covid medico-fascist tyranny (presuming he ever does). Also, the girlfriend, Princess Nut Nuts, is well into that sort of thing so he can expect extra helpings of oats if he plays his cards right. I always thought it would have been wiser to leave Dilyn the Dog and the Downing Street cat in charge, but there you are. Expect at least one major climate love-in with Bidet ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November.