Friday, June 26, 2020

Friday Night Music: Johnny Cash - When The Man Comes Around

From the excellent HBO miniseries Generation Kill, which maybe isn't as popular as I assumed it was after watching it.

Here's a clean version of the song, if you prefer.

And, sure, I can like a religious song even if I'm an atheist -- even the words, too.

This HBO series is about one of the first Marine battalions to go into Iraq during the 2003 US invasion, based on the book by the embedded reporter Evan Wright from Rolling Stone. You should watch if you get a chance -- the verisimilitude is amazing, from what I've read. It's stirring, moving, and pulls you in, unlike few movies I've ever seen -- only ever Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan. It's that good, but doesn't seem that well known. Make it so.

Friday Krugman

South and West Didn't Learn

Where leaders took the coronavirus seriously, numbers have been decreasing. Where they scoffed at it, numbers are increasing.

The absolute numbers aren't yet the same. But it's clear and south and west learned little from the northeast, when they should have been in the front row taking copious notes. (I wish these graphs were per capita.)

EU No Longer Wants Americans

Under Trump the jokes make themselves: American exceptionalism shines so brightly it blinds:

NYT: Most U.S. Travelers Will Be Barred From E.U. When Bloc Reopens
Europe will allow outsiders to begin entering again on July 1, but the U.S. and Russia are among the nations considered too risky because they have not controlled the coronavirus outbreak.
Now watch for all the pathetic second grade responses, "Well then, we don't want them either!"

Arctic Warming is *Three* Times Global Warming, Not Two

In association with:

New Michael Mann Book Coming in January

Michael Mann has a new book coming out in January: The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet. You can pre-order it on Amazon here, and I'm sure other places as well.
In The New Climate War, Mann argues that all is not lost. He draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters--fossil fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petrostates. And he outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change, including:
  • a common-sense, attainable approach to carbon tax-- an overhaul of the flawed Green New Deal;
  • allowing renewable energy to compete fairly against fossil fuels
  • debunking the false narratives and arguments that have worked their way into the climate debate and driven a wedge between even those who support climate change solutions
  • how to combat climate doomism
With immensely powerful vested interests aligned in defense of the fossil fuel status quo, the societal tipping point won't happen without the active participation of citizens everywhere aiding in the collective push forward. This book will reach, inform, and enable citizens everywhere to join this battle for our planet.
This looks timely, and I'm sure a lot of people are going to read it, including me. And probably including President Joe Biden.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

You Can't Make Us

Cases Are Increasing and Not Because of Increased Testing

Updating a post from several days ago, about whether US COVID-19 cases are increasing because there's more testing or because there's really more cases independent of testing.

Most of what I read, other than about the Grand Epidemiologist, has the experts saying cases are increasing more so than testing is increasing.

First, here are some numbers on testing, US-wide. I'm not recording the numbers every day, so the number for a given date is the average for that date and the date with data before it. In other words, I just interpolate between the dates with data:

Here is the same interpolation for cases/test, which I think is easier to intuit than my previous tests/case:

So while cases were definitely declining relative to the number of tests administered, that decline had almost stopped, while the number of tests had been holding (about) the same.

I think this is good proof that rising cases aren't simply an artifact of increasing testing. And reading the news, it seems to coming from from Arizona, Texas, Florida and Georgia. And a few other states. All states that ignored the science a couple of months ago. Or rather, all states whose leadership ignored the science a couple of months ago. All states being let down (for example, by ending federal funds for testing, which is insanity) by federal leadership today, at the highest level.

So many have died and there are so many whose health has been permanently altered that there should be a Truth and Reconciliation process when this is all over. Or something.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

COVID-19 Rising in Arizona Beyond Extra Testing

Here's a retweet of a tweet showing hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Arizona since April 8th. They're rapidly increasing. Presumably you have to have a serious case of COVID-19 to seek hospitalization, not just a slight case that extra testing might pick up. So COVID-19 seems definitely on the rise in Arizona. Just the right time to hold a rally with 3,000 tightly packed, unmasked (in a city were masks were required) people cheering and shouting for a man who clearly does not care less how much damage he inflicts. It's criminal; even treasonous.

Steven Dennis, the original tweeter, is a Bloomberg reporter.

Saturday, June 20, 2020


What an absolutely horrible man -- Trump ordered less testing so there will be fewer cases on record (bottom video clip). He actually thinks that there are fewer cases if there is less testing. What a monstrous moron. And he's proud of that. And his idiot followers are proud of him for it. I'm too kind to hope they all get COVID-19. (But not so kind as to completely conceal my inner beast.) I bet they don't even understand what they're cheering about.

Here Reuters covered it.
A White House official said Trump was joking about his call for a slowdown in testing.

"He was obviously kidding. We are leading the world in testing and have conducted 25 million + in testing," the official said.
He didn't sound like he was kidding. But then I haven't listened to as many Trump lies as a White House official.

More Testing, More Cases (?)

Pertaining to yesterday's post on the rise in cases, especially David's comment, here's the data I have on testing, which I record intermittently [viz. when I get around to it] from the John Hopkins site. (It's in their right-hand box, one arrow click over.) I don't know where to find historical data -- does anyone?)

I'm not exactly sure what to do with this. Surely the increase in cases is in some part due to an increase in testing -- test/case have doubled a doubling since late April -- but I don't know how to account for that in the number of cases, or the number of cases per day, to get a cleaner trend. If you do, please point it out in the comments. US deaths aren't rising, and the rate is trending down, so that says something meaningful. Can the spikes in Arizona and Texas and Florida be explained simply by more testing? I'm dubious but can be convinced by data and analysis, whether here or elsewhere. Maybe this.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Friday Night Music - Southside Johnny

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes -- "I Don't Want to Go Home"

US COVID-19 Cases Now Increasing Again

Cases of COVID-19 are declining steadily in Canada:

but not in the US, perhaps because we are led by a moronic, narcissistic dumbass president who has lost all interest in the deadly pandemic and who thinks people are wearing masks to "signal disapproval of him."  US Cases increasing again:

(Why can't Trump and Pence get COVID-19 and get shuffled off the stage?) Still however, deaths in the US from COVID-19 continue to decrease

because, well, because of a lot of reasons, which Slate tried to write about but couldn't because it's complicated and again there there are a lot of reasons

Personally, I am wearing a mask everywhere I go, and Oregon's governor is requiring them again as of Wednesday, that everyone wear a mask in public places here in the populated counties of Oregon. Today there were people not wearing masks; come Wednesday, I will be a PITA and say something to them. Cases in Oregon are spiking, mostly because some workers in seafood processing plants on the coast contracted the disease and it quickly spread through their plants. I don't know what that means for the Willamette Valley here, and as someone with several leading indicators, I don't want to find out. I fear that if I get COVID-19 it will be lights out for me.

Russian Oil Spill and Global Warming

I'm pretty late on this, and it's likely something you all know -- as was quickly noted in the comments -- but the ultrawarm Russian temperatures I posted about the other day are directly related to the oil spill in Russia that's threatening the Arctic.

The spill, about 20,000 tons of oil, is the 2nd largest in modern Russian history.

By comparison, the Exxon Valdez oil spill was 37,000 (metric) tons of oil. So this Russian spill is quite serious.

It comes from "Norilsk Nickel, a Russian metals mining giant. The oil leaked into the Ambarnaya river that flows into the environmentally sensitive Arctic Ocean."

The cause? Melting permafrost.

This is exactly the kind of tiered disaster that scientists have been warning about for decades. Anthropogenic warming? So it's a few degrees warmer. Humans can tolerate that. But look closer and you can see systems go awry.
“The accident was caused by a sudden sinking of supporting posts in the basement of the storage tank,” the company said in a statement.
The oil spill now encompasses at least 135 square miles.

Oh, yeah:
One of the company's key co-owners is Vladimir Potanin who was listed as the richest man in Russia with the fortune of $25 billion. The billionaire has lost $1.5 billion due to the consequences of the accident, according to Forbes' Real-Time Billionaires ranking.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Dangerous Warming in Russia

For the first five months of the year, Russia has warmed about 4°C since 1850, with this year spiking another 2+°C. Not good. Robert Rhode says it's "the largest January to May anomaly ever observed in any national average." More on this later today.

Via Robert Rhode of BerkeleyEarth, on Twitter.


Friday, June 12, 2020

What Was Martin Gugino Doing?

I asked this question on Twitter but no one would touch it.

I don't condone or excuse any of the treatment of 75-year old Martin Gugino in Buffalo. He was assaulted, and, then, left to bleed out of his ear, which happened very quickly. At least one police was pushed on past him when he appeared to want to give aid. Granted, a second policeman did seem to be calling in for medical help. Here's the video in slow-motion. I have two questions:

1) Why did Gugino approach the police? That seems unusual in itself.

2) What was he doing with his phone? He appeared to be purposely waving it around the equipment on the mid-section of the police. What was he trying to do?

Again, I do not think anything he did deserves the treatment he received. That said, I'm curious about what he was doing.

Any ideas?

Record Temperatures for May

More record temperatures were just announced for May:

NOAA: this past May tied for the warmest May for 2016.

NASA: this May was the warmest May in their records, beating 2016 by 0.06°C. Northern Hemisphere and land-only also were record highs, the latter by 0.09°C.

Here's a figure from a monthly email James Hansen sends out when the GISS temperatures are announced:

Both years were coming off an El Nino, though the El Nino that just ended was literally almost the weakest possible:

ONI for last five months: 

The only way this just-past El Nino could have been any weaker was if Jan-Feb-Mar had an Nino3.4 anomaly of 0.5°C instead of 0.6°C.

Just yesterday the Climate Prediction Center in College Park said the rest of this year looked mostly neutral, with an equal but small chance of an El Nino or a La Nina:

Their collection of model predictions are:

I'm not good enough to make any predictions. Also, they only get you in trouble.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Turtles, Turtles and More Turtles

This is amazing -- the largest green turtle gathering ever seen in the Great Barrier Reef:

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

US COVID-19 By Region

COVID-19 cases are trending very differently in different parts of the country. This virus is by no means under control. By Peter Walker on Twitter:

Also from him:


End of John Oliver's Sunday Program

The end of John Oliver's weekly program Last Week Tonight, on Policing:

Monday, June 08, 2020

Warmest May Since (At Least) 1978

The Copernicus Climate Change Service in Europe says this May was the warmest May in their records, which I think starts only in 1979. [Yes]

The globe's surface was, on average, 0.63°C warmer than the average May from 1981-2010. But it was cold in places that have a lot of media: the northeastern US, eastern Canada, much of Europe, and Australia.

Surface Temperature Anomalies Map May 2020
Mean temperature anomalies May 2020

Perils of Statistical Mechanics

The beginning to David Goodstein's book States of Matter:

Interesting Dynamic Chart on Year-to-Date Causes of Death

This is a very interesting dynamic chart -- causes of all global deaths starting in January 1, 2020, going to May 26th. Watch COVID-19 race ahead starting in the middle of March.

The source page is here:

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Discussion: American Turmoil

I'm rather busy lately and anyway in more of a listening mode than talking or writing mode, but here's a post you can use if you want to discuss anything or everything that's going on in the US right now, and, impressively, all over the world.

Or, discuss anything else you want, such as COVID-19, police brutality, the protests, the rioting, climate change, face masks or the last five months of Donald Trump's presidency.