Greens Love Covid-19


‘It’s shown us what a future with less pollution and more active wildlife could be like.’

Expect to hear a lot more of this environmental propaganda in the coming weeks and months: green activists and their celebrity useful idiots treating the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic not as a crisis but an opportunity to be exploited.


Neither Greenpeace, nor Greta Thunberg, nor any other individual or collective organization have achieved so much in favor of the health of the planet in such a short time…It is certainly not very good for the economy in general, but it is fantastic for the environment.” — Astrophysicist & Philosopher Martín López Corredoira

When it’s over they’re going to try to repeat it.

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17 Responses to Greens Love Covid-19

  1. Joe L. says:

    Authoritarians of all shapes and sizes love COVID-19. The boot-licking author of this opinion piece, Clare Foges, apparently served as David Cameron’s speechwriter, where she earned the nickname, “the Prime Minister’s larynx”:

    We need Big Brother to beat this virus

    “Hands in the air! Step away from the Easter eggs!” The Keystone Coppery of recent weeks has had some people muttering darkly that we are heading the way of a police state. Those who style themselves as defenders of ancient British liberties will soon have bigger fish to fry: the digital surveillance tools that government hopes to use to trace the infected. Prepare for dire warnings of state intrusion and an avalanche of Nineteen Eighty-Four quotes on social media warning that Big Brother is upon us.

    Yet if we are to beat a path out of this pandemic without destroying our economy, overblown concerns about threats to our liberties must be countered by pragmatism. To recover some semblance of normality before a vaccine is found, we must accept the need for the state to access more information about ourselves, our health and our whereabouts — and not waste precious weeks arguing about it.

    Look east to see how digital surveillance is an integral part of returning to “normal” life. Hong Kong has mandatory tracking wristbands for those in quarantine. In Taiwan the phone-tracking system is known as an “electronic fence”; those who are meant to be in isolation will be visited by the authorities if their phone is turned off. In South Korea the pooling of data from credit card use, mobile phones and CCTV cameras means that they can detail the movements of an infected citizen down to where they sat in the cinema and which bar they went for a beer in afterwards — and in less than ten minutes can trace and contact the woman who was sitting two stools down. Public support for these measures is high, for the simple reason that they are working.

    In the West, proposals nowhere near as strong as these are meeting serious opposition. Edward Snowden, patron saint of the paranoid, has warned the digital remedy for this disease will become a disease itself, remaining long after we have been given the all-clear for coronavirus. “Privacy advocates” across Europe are determined to thwart what they see as unacceptable levels of state intrusion. Last month there was an outcry in Germany over plans to require mobile phone operators to hand over customer data, forcing the government to pull the proposals and go back to the drawing board for a softer, voluntary alternative.

    Expect similar tussles in Britain, where civil liberties pressure groups are particularly noisy — as demonstrated a few years ago by their successful rebranding of a perfectly sensible piece of legislation as “the snooper’s charter”. Any moves to use our data for public health purposes is bound to stir up complaints. Indeed, when a new NHS contact-tracing app was announced last week, the former head of MI5 Lord Evans of Weardale said it was a “very intrusive set of proposals” that would be a “real intrusion into people’s private lives”.

    Such dark warnings seem strangely out of date in an age when we all endlessly volunteer data about ourselves, unthinkingly click “I agree” to the box that pops up with every website we visit, and send information about our wants and desires to big tech companies, who monetise this information. To be comfortable selling our digital souls to Facebook and co and not to our government — which has a clear and life-saving reason for wanting some basic information — would be nonsensical.

    The real problem with the NHS app as proposed is that it doesn’t go far enough. It has two major flaws. First, it relies on self-diagnosis, which — given the number of hypochondriacs out there — will be painfully inexact. Such a system needs to be paired with testing on a huge scale to be of any real use. The second issue is that this is voluntary. To be properly effective, over 80 per cent of smartphone users must take it up, a heroically ambitious target given that Singapore’s similar Tracetogether app only had take-up of 12 per cent.

    The government must explore less comfortable terrain, beyond voluntarily downloaded apps. Last week a draft memo was leaked suggesting that alternatives included “making use of existing apps and other functions already installed on people’s phones (eg Google Maps)”. Following the leak, the health service’s digital wing fell over itself to deny this: “To be very clear — there have never been [such] plans”.

    Why should such defensiveness be necessary? Using smartphone tracking, with all the expected caveats about ensuring anonymity, seems a perfectly proportionate measure given that thousands are dying and parts of our economy are being read the last rites. Indeed, last week an Ipsos Mori poll found that 65 per cent of people agreed with using smartphones to identify those who had been diagnosed, and work out who they had been in contact with.

    Another idea that may raise the heart rate of privacy campaigners but which would be useful in the UK’s recovery from this crisis is biometric ID cards. The health secretary has suggested that, down the line, immunity passports may be used to prove the status of those who have overcome the virus. Yet wouldn’t these be too vulnerable to forgery or theft? Far better to have an unforgeable, untransferable, unique document. ID cards would also provide a much richer source of data with which to trace the infected; South Korea’s comprehensive national identity system has been an important part of its success.

    The creation of a national ID card system would not exactly be fast work, but who knows how long this crisis will continue or if future pandemics will occur? Besides, this a good idea beyond the current crisis; a stone to kill multiple birds, from voter fraud to welfare abuse, identity theft to illegal immigration (once citizens need a card to access bank accounts, housing and healthcare it will be much harder to melt into anonymity). There will always be high-profile huffing and puffing about such measures, but under that noise is the quiet pragmatism of the British public, who understand that some mild incursions on our privacy may be necessary for the sake of public health. The most recent poll on the subject found that a majority would support even the compulsory carrying of ID cards.

    Britain has been too slow on many fronts in the first weeks of this crisis. We must now take seriously the example of other nations who have successfully restored some normality to life, and rapidly develop a system of digital surveillance that is comprehensive and useful enough to map and break chains of infection extremely quickly. Arch civil libertarians might not like it, but our health, prosperity and freedom depends on it.

    • Timothy Goodacre says:

      Yes !! I too was appalled by this article
      Subsequent letters in The Times have backed this misguided authoritarian. End the Lockdown NOW and stop trashing our economy !!!

  2. churchmouse says:

    Hello, Frank

    Hope you and your readers are well.

    Have you seen this article in the Daily Mail?

    French researchers think that smoking could prevent coronavirus. Nicotine patch testing going on:

    Here are the first several paragraphs. More at the link:

    ‘French researchers are planning to trial whether nicotine patches will help prevent – or lessen the effects of – the deadly coronavirus.

    ‘Evidence is beginning to show the proportion of smokers infected with coronavirus is much lower than the rates in the general population.

    ‘Scientists are now questioning whether nicotine could stop the virus from infecting cells, or if it may prevent the immune system overreacting to the infection.

    ‘Doctors at a major hospital in Paris – who also found low rates of smoking among the infected – are now planning to give nicotine patches to COVID-19 patients.

    ‘They will also give them to frontline workers to see if the stimulant has any effect on preventing the spread of the virus, according to reports.

    ‘It comes after world-famous artist David Hockney last week said he believes smoking could protect people against the deadly coronavirus.

    ‘MailOnline looked at the science and found he may have been onto something, with one researcher saying there was ‘bizarrely strong’ evidence it could be true.

    ‘One study in China, where the pandemic began, showed only 6.5 per cent of COVID-19 patients were smokers, compared to 26.6 per cent of the population.

    ‘Another study, by the Centers for Disease Control in the US, found just 1.3 per cent of hospitalised patients were smokers – compared to 14 per cent of America.’

  3. Rose says:

    Vietnam lifts lockdown: How a country of 95m bordering China recorded zero coronavirus deaths
    23 April 2020

    “The Communist country of 95 million has been an under-reported success story of the pandemic, which has had just 268 coronavirus cases and no deaths.”

    “Can you smoke in Vietnam? The answer is yes, you can smoke in Vietnam. Vietnam has a strong smoking culture along many of its middle aged and older residents. Because of this, cigarettes are rather inexpensive and easy to find. Most cigarette packs will cost less than $.150 USD in Vietnam.

    Vietnam is in fact among the top smoker-friendly countries in the world. Many of Vietnamese citizens smoke, including males and females. It was reported that nearly 45% of Vietnamese men smoke in 2018, meaning that 4 out 10 men you come across on the streets probably smoke. You will find that Vietnam is truly a paradise for smokers. Smoking is allowed at most the outdoor spaces, except for some particular places like kid zones. Cigarettes are also sold widely available on every street corner and small shop. In major cities like Ho Chi Minh, you can easily buy a pack of cigarettes at all convenience stores as well as at almost every vendor stall, cafe, or restaurant in the city. This is mainly because the legislation to sell tobacco products is not regulated in Vietnam like other countries.”

    Oh, Tobacco Control, what have you done?

  4. slugbop007 says:

    Is there less air pollution now because much of it has fallen to the ground? How much did the Australian Bush Fires and Comet Borisov, among other atmospheric events, contribute? And how has this confluence of events influenced the spread of COVID 19 in certain parts of the world?

    BORISOV CLOSE TO THE SUN The interstellar comet is expected to reach perihelion (closest approach to the sun) today, at which point it will travel about 2 astronomical units (AUs) from the sun. One AU is the average distance between Earth and the sun, about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers). The comet will then pass closest to Earth a few weeks later on Dec. 28.

    Dec. 9, 2019, photo (right) Hubble revisited the comet shortly after its closest approach to the Sun where it received maximum heating after spending most of its life in frigid interstellar space. The comet also reached a breathtaking maximum speed of about 100,000 miles per hour. Comet Borisov is 185 million miles from Earth in this photo, near the inner edge of the asteroid belt but below it. The nucleus, an agglomeration of ices and dust, is still too small to be resolved. The bright central portion is a coma made up of dust leaving the surface. The comet will make its closest approach to Earth in late December at a distance of 180 million miles.

    View Dec. 9 image (unannotated) The comet, now dubbed Borisov, first caught skywatchers’ attention in late August 2019. Repeated observations of the object traced its trajectory, and astronomers determined that its strange path meant that the comet could only have come from beyond our solar system and was just passing through our neighborhood. Borisov was an exciting discovery because — unlike ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar object that scientists spotted — astronomers identified the object with plenty of time, more than a year, to watch and study its journey through our solar system.

    EARTH DAY AT 50! The milestone comes amid a sweeping pandemic that has already killed tens of thousands of people, sprawling wildfire seasons, evaporating biodiversity, weather patterns that have unraveled to the point of becoming utterly unrecognizable and profoundly different versions of the human experience for those with riches than those without. Others in the series study the atmosphere. Sentinel-5P, for example, has found the spotlight recently for its measurements of falling nitrogen dioxide levels over cities shut down as a public health measure to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

     “There may be a danger that pollution may be increasing because pollution thresholds may be a bit more relaxed, but I think the opposite should take place.”

    Smoke from the Australian bush fires, which astronauts could see from aboard the International Space Station, has interacted with global weather. Smoke plumes have traveled around the globe, accelerating into the upper troposphere (the lowest region of Earth’s atmosphere) and even as high up as the lowermost region of the stratosphere (the second layer of Earth’s atmosphere, it sits above the troposphere and below the mesosphere).


  5. EG says:

    I do not understand how me wearing masks and disposing them daily helps with green agenda. More people here started driving cars or using cabs because they were afraid to catch something on public transport.
    Our city will be covered with piles of garbage and we had plenty before. We will all look at it and shake our heads, I think.

  6. slugbop007 says:

    This from Ontario, Canada:

    Premier Doug Ford driving Ontario over a cliff My headline, not Huff Post Canada

    TORONTO — Ontario is calling in military assistance and expanding testing as it battles the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes, where nearly 3,000 people have been infected and almost 450 residents have died.

    Premier Doug Ford said that he would make a formal request Wednesday for reinforcements from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Forces personnel.

    “We’re in the thick of a raging battle against COVID-19 in our long-term care homes,” he said. “When you’re in a fight like this you leave nothing on the table.”

    Long-term care homes? Not for me. Not when they are being operated for profit, cutting corners here and there, with an apparent lack of government oversight. Scandalous.

    This guy is the Premier of Ontario, Canada. He was elected because he has a great personality. And little else, it appears.


    • Joe L. says:

      I haven’t heard much about Doug, but there was a period of time around 2013 when his brother, Rob Ford, was constantly in the media here in the States for a series of ridiculous misdeeds while he was Mayor of Toronto, beginning with a leaked cell phone video of him smoking crack cocaine. It sounds like neither of the Ford brothers were dealt a full deck. Oh, Canada.

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