Wednesday, April 29, 2020

State-by-State Transmission Numbers

Here's an interesting site by the cofounders of Instagram (according to The Verge), apparently still coding despite being super rich after being bought by Facebook for $1 B in 2012:

It gives the latest Rt numbers for each state, where Rt is "the average number of people who become infected by an infectious person." Only thing is, it can be a couple/three days behind. For example

Here is all states combined. By this view, things don't look too bad (I guess?).

There's better resolution on the site itself. (Of course, any site has better image resolution than Blogger. Too late to switch now.)

Monday, April 27, 2020

How the US is Failing

This graph from the Johns Hopkins site shows clearly how the US is failing to contain the coronavirus, compared to the nine other countries with the most cases:

The lines are the 5-day moving average.... In every other country new cases are on the decline. But not in the US. I don't mean that the US has more cases in absolute numbers, I mean the trend since the peak. There really isn't any evidence of a peak in the US, at least on the five-day scale. There's no evidence on the worldometers site either:

though maybe, perhaps, maybe in deaths. (But deaths are always going to lag cases, of course.)

Someone should use the data from the top graph, calculate the average trend since the peaks, and conclude how many extra Americans have died from our inadequate measures and from the idiots who think they have the right to take risks that can and will kill other people. And already are.

There appear to be more US deaths than can be accounted for from the Covid-19 data and actuarial data:

In the early weeks of the coronavirus epidemic, the United States recorded an estimated 15,400 excess deaths, nearly two times as many as were publicly attributed to covid-19 at the time, according to an analysis of federal data conducted for The Washington Post by a research team led by the Yale School of Public Health.
Of course, other countries may well have also missed some deaths -- and these aren't necessarily deaths from Covid-19, but would include deaths from those who died of other things but couldn't, or wouldn't, get to a hospital. But in a real sense these other deaths can be included as deaths due to the virus.

By the way, a few days ago the number of US deaths from Covid-19 surpassed the number of Americans who died in the Vietnam war (47,424). And now you can include deaths from the Gulf War, the war in Afghanistan and the Iraq war.

Funny how all those deaths bother the lockdown protesting right-wingers, but Covid-19 deaths don't to the same degree. Including the certainty that reopening too soon will cause even more deaths. It's just a flu!

PS: I do understand the many people are hurting economically and close to being out of money. Today Gallup said "COVID-19 Disrupts 30% of Americans' Jobs or Finances." But this points to the inadequacy of the federal response. Another $1200 per person would go a long way to getting us to the end of May, when reopening might be a real possibility, at least partially. But many "pro-life" Republicans simply can't stand helping ordinary people (the federal debt! which they had no problem with when they gave a $1.5 T tax break to the wealthy). F-ing unempathetic hypocrites, with McConnell the most soulless one of all. 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

This Doesn't Look Good (Maybe)


But OurWorldinData gives different view of recent case numbers:

In fact, the total number of cases is almost 61,000 higher in the top graph than in the second one. 

But you have to wonder if the protests and steps to reopen might not already be showing up in the data for new cases....

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Something Wrong With This Country

I'm not sure I'm going to write about Covid-19 anymore, or even about anything more for awhile. It's all turned too political, which it seems everything in America now must. I was repulsed when trump wrote "LITERATE MINNESOTA" and the like, last Thursday was it? Just when a day or two he was laying out his plan to protect the public. And yesterday he was complaining about the governor of Georgia opening up too soon.

Trump is clearly a very immature person, totally overwhelmed by this situation, who is now getting people killed. He takes no responsibility for anything, tries to bluff his way through everything, and at this point I have zero respect for him. Zero.

If you can't see his gargantuan problems, there is something wrong with you. There is something very wrong with this country. It's pretty clear now that it's too late to reverse the decline, that there's nothing any of us can do to repair the damage. Frankly I want absolutely nothing to do with anything from most of the red state governments. They do not have the country's best interests at heart. And honestly I don't even want to debate about it. I would like, honestly, for my state, or at least the part west of the Cascade mountain range, to peel away from the US, in what I think (and hope) will include western Washington and western northern California, down to a bit south of San Francisco. This would be a country, some have labeled it "Cascadia," with the intellectual capabilities of competing with any country on Earth. The rest of the country, and especially the red states, cab go their own way and devolve into the anti-government, anti-people territories they have been aspiring to since the early 1800s.

This probably sounds ridiculous, and by no means do I want to join up with the gun-loving, government-hating, khaki-wearing clans of anti-government quacks. I'd like something much more intelligent, much more deliberate, much more designed. Anti-government attitudes solve nothing good, and rarely have -- most of the good things we have, and that other wealthy countries have, like in Europe, come from a strong, central government that paves the way for democracy, for human decency, and for business. No assault rifles allowed, which are used only as a means of intimidation -- another sign of our failing government, of our failing society.

I might feel differently in the morning, but I don't think so. I'm tired of being held back by atavistic components in the US. We're now a country of 1/3rd of a billion people -- far too large for any kind of meaningful government a citizen can relate to or deal with. There's absolutely no reason why we should all be expected to agree on a form of government or of politics. We never will, and I don't see why we should pretend to wait for that.

Canada's Trend Reversing

I'm surprised to see this freveral from Canada -- from tonight's NY Times. What happened?

Though Canada's cases per capita is still only about 40% of the US's, and have been since late March....

Intellectual Vapidity

Nothing has revealed the intellectual vapidity of the climate denial community than their insistence they also know the truth of Covid-19's epidemiology, which they know but somehow all the experts don't understand.

You're all read it, same as I have. This is actually a very clarifying moment. Their denial is nothing but ideology and truculence.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Second Warmest March, Fourth Warmest Month

NOAA just released their global land+sea temperature anomaly for March 2020: +1.16°C above the 20th century average (1901-2000). That makes it the second warmest hottest March in their records, after only 2016, and the 4th warmest (most anomalous) of any month beginning in 1880.

This is the 4th consecutive month with an anomaly above 1.0°C. It brings the total amount of warming (slope*interval) to 1.05°C, rising at 0.025°C/yr or 0.25°C/decade.

But a quadratic model gives a total warming of 1.15°C, with an acceleration of +0.016°C/decade2.

No Noticeable Decrease in Atmospheric CO2

Despite many economies being partially shut-down due to Covid-19, there doesn't seem to be a decline in atmospheric CO2 beyond the usual gradual increase -- in fact, if anything, there's been a slight increase. Here are the changes in atmospheric CO2 compared to 52 weeks earlier:

Why would there be a slight increase over the last few months, when electricity use is down in the US and several other countries, and driving and public transportation surely are too? There are of course many variables and many things going on at once, so maybe no one knows. The only idea that comes to me is that we're on the border of short-term El Nino conditions (ONI of about 0.5), and El Ninos increase atmospheric CO2 because they bring heat the atmosphere, and especially the tropics, which causes more drought and fire there that kills plants that were taking up CO2. (Though it's not that simple.)

For example, here's the 52-week change in atmo CO2 over several decades:

The strong El Ninos of 1997-98 and 2015-16 clearly stand out.

Any other ideas?

PS: I saw a tweet the other day saying if a blood alcohol level of 0.08% is enough to impair driving and get you arrested, how can a CO2 level of 0.04% be considered a meaningless trace gas?

Friday, April 10, 2020

Climate Suffering Normalization

Unfortunately this strikes me as all too believable:
"Gazing out at the future from the promontory of the present, with the planet having warmed one degree, the world of two degrees seems nightmarish -- and the worlds of three degrees, and four, and five yet more grotesque. But one way we might manage to navigate that path without crumbling collectively in despair is, perversely, to normalize climate suffering at the same pace we accelerate it, as we have so much human pain over centuries, so that we are always coming to terms with what is just ahead of us, decrying what lies beyond that, and forgetting all that we had ever said about the absolute moral unacceptability of the conditions of the world we are passing through in the present tense, and blithely."

- David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Peaks Might Be an Artifact of Delays in Reporting

Just read/realized these apparent peaks for Canada and the US might be an artifact of ordinary delays in reporting cases and deaths. Beware.

Verge has a good article on data sources.

Canada Also Peaking

Here are the charts for Canada, where it seems cases/day has already peaked, and deaths/day is just about to. 

Canada's cases per capita is only 39% of the US's, and deaths per capita only 26%. Colder weather? Better citizens? Further back in the infection curve? Better health care system? Less traffic coming in from the rest of the world? Better leadership? 

A Hint of Good News

US deaths/day and cases/day seem to be about to peak:

and in Italy now deaths/day are on the decline:

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Fred Singer Has Died

...according to Judith Curry.

More: Also according to Marc Morana, 15 hours ago.

Singer was 95 years old, according to Wikipedia.

More: Don't like to speak ill of the recently deceased, but this isn't anything new so why not say it: History will remember Fred Singer as someone who did some some good work early in his career, but then turned to the dark side, denying the health effects of second-hand smoke and manmade global warming (and sometimes just global warming), paid by industry for both. He received a lot of money from them, while accomplishing epsilon, if that.

In 1962 Singer became the first director of meteorological satellite services for the National Weather Satellite Center (now part of NOAA), directing "a program for using satellites to forecast the weather." He left in 1964.

After various positions Singer settled into the University of Virginia, where increasingly he stopped doing science and started getting involved on the wrong side of emerging issues. You have to wonder why -- did he have real scientific objections (poorly presented), or was the money good? In any case, Singer didn't contribute anything meaningful to climate science (one way or the other), and was left to publish in right-wing, heavily biased, fringe, un-peer-reviewed outlets like American Thinker. These had little effect too, except perhaps to climate deniers who needed reassurance that someone else thought as they did. From what I read of his there and elsewhere, and what I saw at a 2011 seminar at Portland State University, Singer's arguments were poor and he ignored or denied any science he did not like, and made bad predictions.

Now it just seems like scientific talent wasted.

Added: Here's a letter to the editor by Andrea L. Dutton and Michael Mann, rebutting a 5/16/18 Fred Singer op-ed in the Wall Street Journal headlined “The Sea Is Rising, but Not Because of Climate Change”

Sunday, April 05, 2020

2020 cp 1918

My readers are smart so you've probably come across items like this, but I found this YouTube video on the 1918 flu pandemic interesting.

Some things I kind of knew before but learned for sure: 
  • the 1918 flu pandemic, often called the "Spanish flu," didn't originate in Spain, but (probably) in Kansas. Spain got saddled with the name only because they stayed out of WW1, and while all the countries in that war censored their media, Spain did not, so information about the disease got out first there. More proof that no good deed goes unpunished.
  • There were three worldwide waves to the pandemic.
  • The disease wasn't helped by the US continuing to send ships of troops to the European theatre, and crowded ship holds saw 3/4ths of recruits or more become sick. But feeding the war machine was paramount, because that's how stupid countries are.
  • Philadelphia's denialism made a real muck of things that killed a lot of people.
  • What's happening now is no comparison at all the the sickness and fear of 1918-1919.

(Sorry, can't figure out how to embed this with the new blogger software. They took a simple thing and broke it.)

The Leading Countries

After some Excel shenanigans I managed to extract the top 20 countries by cases per capita and death rate. (As these aren't desired quantities maybe this should be the bottom 20, but you know what I mean.) This list is for countries with 1,000 cases or more and 100 deaths or more. So this leaves out some countries, mostly in Africa, that only have a handful of cases but disproportionately large death rates. 

It's surprising how little we hear of countries outside Europe. (Or maybe I'm not reading the right news outlets.)

Deaths Coming Down in Italy

Daily death are now coming down in Italy. Still rising in the US, now over 1,000 a day, but if you look hard enough you can see a slight arc in the graph, concave down. Definitely a 10 out of 10 rating for Trump. He's been a disaster who just can't overcome his personal problems, even in the most important moment of his life.

You can see Italy's high death rate starting to peak too:

IMHE projection says US death rates will double in the coming days.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Faggots Song by Dire Straits

12:20 am PDT - I'm sitting here listening to the Tom Petty channel on Pandora, and this song comes up by Dire Straits: Money for Nothing. Here are part of the lyrics:

Seemed so innocuous then.... Even Sting was on the song. And I've listened to this a hundred times  and never really bothered me.... Of course no one would get by with such lyrics today.... I think. This song came out in 1985. With its many "faggots," I would hope it would never be released today except by some singer who had nothing else to say.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

March Rankings

Some of this month's statistics for March 2020,  already in:
  • March UAH global Lower Troposphere: 3rd-highest of 42 years
  • March RSS global Lower Troposphere: 3rd-highest of 42 years 
  • NSIDC March Arctic sea ice extent: 11th-lowest of 42 months
  • NSIDC March Antarctic sea ice extent: 21st-highest of 42 months
  • Hadley Central England Temperature: 65th-warmest March of 362 years
  • South Pole: 22nd-warmest March of 64 years.
  • Too tired to provide links right now. Ask in the comments if you need one or more.

Big Error in "The Uninhabitable Earth"

by David Wells-Wallace. Page 170 -

- David Wells-Wallace, The Inhospitable Earth, pg 170

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but 100 M units at $30 k/unit is $3 trillion, not $30 trillion. So then the last number is $30 T, not $300 trillion.

Big difference!!

Getting the arithmetic right means a lot to me, and the units, and the basic physics, etc. I'm baffled about why none of Well-Wallace's pre-publication readers or editors didn't see this error and correct it. I hope no one does this for my book.

The Red States Will Yet Drag Us Down to Their Level

via the NY Times. See also

"The Coronavirus’s Unique Threat to the South: More young people in the South seem to be dying from COVID-19. Why?," Vann R Newkirk II, The Atlantic. 


"Thus comes affliction to awaken the dreamer."

- Kierkegaard

Emissions Impact of the Top Ten Percent

"If the world's most conspicuous emitters [of CO2], the top 10 percent, reduced their emissions only to the EU average, total global emissions would fall by 35 percent."

David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth, pg 187
Though I have mixed feelings about this book. I might review it when I finish. If you've read it, let me know what you think.

4.9 Million Car-years Saved in a Month

Yesterday the US EIA published their This Week in Petroleum, as they do every week.

The data for the past four weeks show a significant decline in gasoline usage compared to a year earlier -- down 2.2 million barrels per day over four weeks, or 25%. There are 42 gallons in a barrel, so this represents (take the two...times two, times seven...four plus eight...carry the one...) a savings of 2.6 Bgal in about a month (four weeks), or 23 Mt CO2. That's equivalent (EPA says) to 4.9 M car-years. 

For comparison, the US emitted about 5,140 Mt CO2 last year, about 25% from transportation. Of course there will also be savings from the industrial sector and from aviation, but an increase from the residential sector, electricity maybe a wash. The total monthly CO2 emissions for February won't be out until late May, but I won't be surprised to see a drop in US emissions for the year just because of the coronavirus.  

Grim Graph of the Day

(Unless you're Italian)

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Trump At Yesterday's Press Briefing

If you didn't see yesterday's White House briefing on the coronavirus -- I didn't until this morning -- the first 10-15 minutes are worth a look. It was like there was a completely different president. Trump looked stunned, like he'd seen a ghost. Grim, no swagger, no arrogance, presidential. In a way I almost felt sorry for him.

After Trump, Dr. Blix shows the projections that must have hit Trump hard.

PS: With the recent changes to Blogger, now videos look stupid too.