Tim Colebatch wrote an interesting article “There is an Alternative to Lockdowns” for Inside Story. The article compares the performance of various countries in their handling of the corona virus pandemic. Tim’s assessment is that the outstanding performer has been Taiwan. It has been the world’s most successful country in fighting the virus. In a land with almost as many people as Australia, only six people have died, and 426 have been infected. This has been achieved without the economic and social collateral damage that has been a feature of the Australian approach.
This post looks at what Tim has reported and asks whether Australia should change the way it is dealing with the epidemic. Continue reading WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM TAIWAN COV19
The wretched virus has stolen our conversation, so I decided to run with it and post some new material here in ‘salon’ style.
1. Can you catch the coronavirus twice?
The answer is that we don’t know yet, according to the New Scientist. Continue reading COVID 19 salon 3/4
Unless you were living under a rock you would know that Erin Brockovich was here in Oz earlier this week announcing a Landmark class action over PFAS contamination in Australia.
PFAS has notoriously been used by the defence institutions in firefighting foam across the country. The chemicals have leaked into the surrounding environment. Now Shine lawyers are about to file a class action on behalf of up to 40,000 people who live and work on land contaminated by PFAS, suing the Australian Government, arguing their property values have plummeted.
The focus is on eight defence bases in particular, but there are plenty of hotspots around, as this map shows:
As it happens, on the weekend I read an article in the New Scientist Takeaway food packaging may be source of synthetic chemicals in blood which in the dead tree version carried the more accurate title Eating out can bring a side serving of suspect chemicals, also fingering PFAS. Continue reading Health warning on PFAS
As linked by zoot on the last CC, pathogens are emerging as the permafrost melts, some capable of becoming active after long periods of time, even millions of years. There has been one case of anthrax becoming active after being frozen in a dead reindeer for 75 years. Continue reading Climate clippings 206
1. Do we need a new conservative party?
One Nation would tell us we’ve already got one, but Essential Report has now conducted a poll about an Abbott-based party, asking the question:
If a new conservative party was formed and included people like Tony Abbott, how likely would you be to vote for them?
Overall the answer is ‘not very likely’ with ‘Total unlikely’ at 58% and ‘Total likely’ at 23%. However the Lib/Nat preference is evenly split at 41% each way. Continue reading Saturday salon 17/12
1. Australian managers are second rate
Martin Parkinson, head of the PM’s department, told CEDA what we need to do to become truly innovative.
What caught my eye was what he said about Australian management in manufacturing:
“We are well below top performers like the United States, Germany, Sweden, Japan and Canada, but more similar to France, Italy and the United Kingdom. Continue reading Saturday salon 15/10
One of the reasons Mediscare worked, if it did, was because of the Abbott government’s record on broken promises. After being in government for eight months, by May 2014, the Abbott government had chalked up at least nine broken promises. Abbott had promised no cuts to the ABC or SBS, no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no shutting any Medicare locals, no one’s personal tax will go up, no changes to pensions, foreign aid would go up in line with the CPI, on Indigenous affairs Closing the Gap activities would be sustained at former levels, and ARENA (the Australian Reneweable Energy Agency) would have over $2.5 billion in funds to manage. Continue reading Moving beyond Mediscare
Back on 22 May I did a post Labor makes health central in its election bid:
In revving up his election spiel Shorten said spending on health was an investment, not a cost. He says investment in health is basic to economic growth. It would be an important battleground if Turnbull would engage. The pointy end is that Labor is choosing to invest in Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme rather than spending money on company tax relief. Continue reading The giant Medicare scare campaign
1. Brazil dam burst could devastate the environment for years
River Doce translates as “Sweet River”. After two tailings dams burst the focus was on the local town of Mariana, much of which was swept away. Now the concern has shifted to downstream where 500 km of river is becoming biologically dead, the silt is affecting nearby farmlands and is expected to contaminate fishing grounds when it reaches the sea. Continue reading Saturday salon 21/11
In a landmark public health finding, a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health finds that carbon dioxide (CO2) has a direct and negative impact on human cognition and decision-making. These impacts have been observed at CO2 levels that most Americans — and their children — are routinely exposed to today inside classrooms, offices, homes, planes, and cars.
Continue reading Climate clippings 155
Business, investor, environment, research and social groups have formed an unprecedented alliance to establish common ground on which the climate debate can be conducted, as the Abbott government finalises the position it will take to Paris climate talks later in the year.
The Australian Industry Group, the Business Council of Australia, Investor Group on Climate Change, the Australian Aluminium Council and the Energy Supply Association of Australia have joined forces with the Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF Australia, the Australian Council of Social Service and the Australian Council of Trade Unions to set down some basic markers on climate policy which they hope will allow for future political consensus on the issue.
Continue reading Climate clippings 144
1. Indian heat wave
At Climate Progress Extreme Heat Wave In India Is Killing People And Melting Roads. Temperatures have reached 122°F (50°C), that’s 1°F less than the all-time record. Continue reading Climate clippings 141