Roughly two-thirds of U.S. residents don’t believe the CDC’s official tally for the number of Covid-19 deaths. This distrust, however, flows in opposing directions. A nationally representative survey conducted by Axios/Ipsos in late July 2020 found that 37% of adults think the real number of C-19 fatalities in the U.S. is lower than reported, while 31% think the true death toll is greater than reported.
In Life on the Mississippi Mark Twain wrote, “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” Unfortunately, conjecture based on limited facts has produced “research” trumpeting catastrophic fears of extinction. The “escalator to extinction” theory argues organisms must migrate to higher elevations where a cooler altitude will offset global warming temperatures. But there is scant evidence that is happening.
Gold has been consolidating high since early August, when it rocketed parabolic on colossal gold-ETF demand. That 6-week-old sideways drift has worked off some greed and overboughtness, but plenty still remains. So gold isn’t out of the woods yet for this essential sentiment-rebalancing selloff. With residual overboughtness still extreme, gold faces considerable downside risk heading into its biggest seasonal selloff.
Across the financial markets, absolute price levels usually don’t matter much in technical and sentimental terms. Though they are important fundamentally. Supply and demand always converge to drive prices to sustainable levels, and over time traders come to accept them as normal. But how fast prices surged or plunged to current prevailing levels is exceedingly important, greatly affecting their short-term staying power.
The recent CDC update contains some interesting insights. The big news being discussed is the following statement:
Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.
I’m a data junkie. So I downloaded the data to see what I could find out. Here’s the biggest news I found:
Figure 1. Stacked area chart showing deaths by age group from February 1st to August 26th 2020. It is divided into: deaths not involving COVID-9 (light blue), deaths where COVID-19 is a “co-morbidity” with other diseases (dark blue), and deaths from COVID-19 alone (red)
The gold miners’ stocks are mired in correction mode, which isn’t surprising after their mighty post-stock-panic upleg. Huge buying catapulting them higher left this sector extremely overbought. Corrections are normal and healthy after prices get too stretched technically. They eradicate upleg toppings’ excessive greed, rebalancing sentiment. That paves the way for bulls’ next uplegs, and offers great buying opportunities.
The most-popular gold-stock benchmark today is the GDX VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF. It includes the world’s biggest and best gold miners, dwarfing its peers in size. Launched way back in May 2006, GDX’s first-mover advantage has grown insurmountable. This ETF’s $17.9b in net assets this week are running 31.4x larger than its next biggest competitor’s in the 1x-long major-gold-miners-ETF space. GDX is king.
Over the past few days, there’s been a persistent media buzz over the National Hurricane Center’s prediction of two hurricanes to hit New Orleans. Jason Dunning, a TV meteorologist at NBC2 WBBH-TV in Fort Meyers, Florida posted on Facebook: “…it would be the first time in recorded history with two hurricanes in the gulf at the same time.”
The major gold miners’ stocks have skyrocketed since mid-March’s stock panic, attracting in a deluge of new capital inflows. That recently catapulted this normally-contrarian sector to extremely-overbought levels, necessitating a rebalancing correction. The gold miners are just finishing reporting their operating and financial results from the challenging last quarter. Was gold stocks’ huge upleg fundamentally justified?
The leading and dominant gold-stock benchmark and trading vehicle today is the GDX VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF. Launched way back in May 2006, GDX’s first-mover advantage has grown into an insurmountable lead. With $16.8b of net assets this week, GDX commands a staggering 31.7x more capital than its next-biggest 1x-long major-gold-miners-ETF competitor! GDX is really the only game in town.
Back in 2005, Ferguson claimed up to 200 million might die from the Avian flu, but in reality, only about 100 did. In March 2020, Ferguson was queried by The New York Times with the question: “what the best-case scenario was for the US during the COVID pandemic?”
A few weeks ago, we at GWPF published a paper by Ed Calabrese and Mikko Paunio, about the linear no-threshold (LNT) model as applied to the harms caused by nuclear radiation. The LNT model encapsulates the idea that there is no safe level of radiation exposure, no threshold below which exposure is not a problem. It is therefore the cause of all extraordinary levels of bureaucracy and safety measures that have all but killed off the nuclear industry in much of the western world.
The gold miners’ stocks have rocketed higher this summer, smashing out of their usual summer-doldrums sideways grind. That atypical strength has been driven by gold steadily marching to major new secular highs, fueled by strong investment demand. This has carried gold stocks and the metal they mine back to their traditional strong season, which begins with robust autumn rallies usually accelerating in late summers.
Seasonality is the tendency for prices to exhibit recurring patterns at certain times during the calendar year. While seasonality doesn’t drive price action, it quantifies annually-repeating behavior driven by sentiment, technicals, and fundamentals. We humans are creatures of habit and herd, which naturally colors our trading decisions. The calendar year’s passage affects the timing and intensity of buying and selling.
Both gold and silver surged dramatically higher this past week, propelled by torrents of investment capital deluging in. The resulting major new highs are really exciting, unleashing widespread fear-of-missing-out buying. But the precious metals’ blistering jumps have left them very overbought. They have come so far so fast they are at and above technical extremes that have proven unsustainable. So caution is in order here.
Gold and silver are powering higher on balance in secular bull markets that have been running for years. And their fundamental underpinnings are stronger than ever. The Fed’s astoundingly-epic money printing since mid-March’s stock panic has catapulted stock markets to dangerous bubble valuations. And the vast majority of investors have yet to diversify their stock-heavy portfolios with counter-moving precious metals.
Silver investment demand is exploding in recent months, skyrocketing higher in wildly-unprecedented fashion! That has catapulted silver sharply higher since mid-March’s COVID-19-lockdown stock panic. Accelerating even in this usually-weak summer season, the massive capital inflows deluging into silver show no signs of abating. This is very bullish for silver, yet most traders remain unaware it is happening.
While silver prices are fairly-widely followed, the data revealing the underlying fundamentals driving this metal is sparse. The best silver global supply-and-demand data is only published once a year by the venerable Silver Institute in its outstanding World Silver Surveys. The latest covering 2019 was released in April, and is essential reading for all traders interested in silver. One key trend is very relevant to today.
Last year global silver demand edged up an ever-so-slight 0.4% to 991.8m ounces worldwide. Every demand category fell except for two, net physical investment and net investment in exchange-traded funds. The former rose a respectable 12.3% to 186.1m ounces. It makes sense investors’ interest in silver should grow with its price climbing 15.3% in 2019. That translated into far faster growth in silver ETFs.
Here I take a detailed look at sea ice and polar bear population health information available for Western Hudson Bay and the Southern Beaufort compared to the Barents and Chukchi Seas. Data from the first two regions – but especially Western Hudson Bay – are used repeatedly to proclaim that a pronounced decline in summer sea ice since 1979 has caused harm to the health of global polar bear populations even though data from the second two regions strongly contradict such a conclusion, as I’ve pointed out in my fully referenced book, The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened.
Gold, silver, and their miners’ stocks suffer their weakest seasonals of the year in early summers. With traders’ attention normally diverted to vacations and summer fun, interest in and demand for precious metals usually wane. Without outsized investment demand, gold tends to drift sideways dragging silver and miners’ stocks with it. Feared as the summer doldrums, sometimes unusual catalysts short-circuit them.
This doldrums term is very apt for gold’s summer predicament. It describes a zone in the world’s oceans surrounding the equator. There hot air is constantly rising, creating long-lived low-pressure areas. They are often calm, with little or no prevailing winds. History is full of accounts of sailing ships getting trapped in this zone for days or weeks, unable to make headway. The doldrums were murder on ships’ morale.
The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.
The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.
The stock market promoting mainstream media this morning reported “U.S. Retail Sales Rose Record 18% in May” (e.g. the Wall St Journal). The S&P futures jumped from up 45 points to up 90 points.
But, as usual, the details are in the fine print of the report itself, and it’s apparent that nobody in the financial media bothered to look beyond the headlines.
In fact, the 18% rise is measured from April’s report, which was heavily depressed due to the shelter-in-place restrictions and the closure of many retail businesses. Funny thing about using the percentage change as the metric of measurement. If April had one dollar of retail sales and May had two dollars, the percentage gain would have been 100%.
It’s curious … SpaceX has all the money in the world, and they didn’t hire someone who could have accurately predicted the afternoon weather in Florida on May 27, 2020. Seems like a huge oversight, doesn’t it? And to think there are scores of nonprofit leaders and academics in Washington, DC who can accurately predict global temperatures 10, 15, even 50 years into the future.
Oh, stop it with the “climate isn’t weather” rebuttal. It’s trite and silly. The guys who says “food isn’t cuisine” is a food critic, and by default, haughty and obnoxious.
The Arctic and Antarctic regions are different and yet similar in many ways. The Arctic has ocean surrounded by land and the Antarctic is a continent surrounded by water. Both are cold, glaciated and located at Earth’s poles some 11,000 miles apart. While sea ice has been retreating in the Arctic, it has been relatively stable in the Antarctic. This post examines surface temperature trends, solar insolation, and CO2 at the polar Arctic and Antarctic regions during the Holocene interglacial period.
Holocene Polar Temperature Trends are Out of Phase
Disruptive Wind: The electrical grid operators provide reliable electricity with narrow tolerances. Generally, grid operators plan that power sources can be shut down for maintenance, usually in the spring and the fall. To keep costs down, grid operators desire to have maximum operating capacity in the summer (cooling) and in the winter (heating). According to the EIA’s description of electricity generating capacity:
To ensure a steady supply of electricity to consumers, operators of the electric power system, or grid, call on electric power plants to produce and place the right amount of electricity on the grid at every moment to instantaneously meet and balance electricity demand.
THE health establishment was looking away when the coronavirus struck; it had other priorities. If you look at the World Health Organisation’s list of health threats, number one is climate change. Pandemics were down in third place, behind ‘non-communicable diseases’ such as diabetes and obesity.
Wherever you look, you will find some of the biggest names in the public health establishment declaiming on the risks of climate change to world health. On the eve of the outbreak, the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene declared that we would be seeing ‘mass migration, emerging infectious diseases such as dengue and a shortage of food’. As the first people fell ill in Wuhan, the WHO announced that in ten years we would be seeing 250,000 additional deaths per year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress as a result of global warming. Epidemiologist Professor Andy Haines told readers of the Telegraph that ‘climate change is a threat to global and national security that is costing lives and livelihoods right now’.
Now that the media is fixated on fanning the flames of racial tensions, watch for them to completely drop all news about the virus. But the evidence against lockdowns continues to mount, whether the media discusses it or not.
On May 22, I publicized groundbreaking data from the CDC’s website suggesting that the bottom-line infection fatality rate of COVID-19 is just 0.26%, even assuming a likely low estimate that 35% of all infections are asymptomatic. What was viewed by the political and scientific “experts” as hearsay from right-wingers was confirmed by their own gold standard agency. Now we have corroborating evidence from a very large sample size in the state of Colorado.
Even worse than we thought ™ – global warming estimates have been raised, just in time for next year’s COP26 conference. But one of high end CMIP6 models, CESM2 (highlighted above), has already been invalidated by a paleo study.
Just how hot will it get this century? Latest climate models suggest it could be worse than we thought
Climate scientists use mathematical models to project the Earth’s future under a warming world, but a group of the latest modelshave included unexpectedly high values for a measure called “climate sensitivity”.
Red Team Vs Blue Team: Various organizations, such as the military, cybersecurity, etc. use a red team vs blue team conflict where the blue team uses the conventional thinking and tactics of the organization and the red team tries to break and / or exploit weaknesses in the conventional approach. Over the past several years there has been an effort to establish such a mental conflict to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the approach used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers. Thus far the effort has failed, and Washington is geared to the election cycle, making it unlikely such an approach will be used until after the elections, if ever.
Between 1990 and 2017, the cumulative age-standardized death rate (ASDRs) from climate-sensitive diseases and events (CSDEs) dropped from 8.1% of the all-cause ASDR to 5.5%, while the age-standardized burden of disease, measured by disability-adjusted life years lost (DALYs) declined from 12.0% to 8.0% of all-cause age-standardized DALYs. Thus, the burdens of death and disease from CSDEs are small, and getting smaller.
Figure 1: Climate-related deaths are a small proportion of all-cause fatalities (1990–2017). Based on data per IHME (2019).
But readers of the 2019 report of the Lancet Countdown (hereafter ‘the Countdown’), a partnership of 35 academic institutions and UN agencies, established by the prestigious Lancet group of medical journals and supported by the equally-esteemed Wellcome Trust to track progress on the health impacts of climate change, may well be left with the opposite impression, particularly if they do not delve beyond the Executive Summary, the section most likely to be read by busy policymakers or their advisors.
Not once does it mention that cumulative annual rates of death and disease from CSDEs are declining, and declining faster than the corresponding all-cause rates. The Countdown also fails to provide adequate context for the reader to judge the burdens of mortality or disease posed by CSDEs, individually or cumulatively, relative to other public-health threats. In fact, it even suggests that the health effects of climate change are ‘worsening’. But the data do not support that claim. Moreover, an analysis of the text makes it clear that the Countdown conflates estimates of increasing exposure, ‘demographic vulnerability’, and increased ‘suitability’ of disease transmission with actual health effects. These estimates are used as proxies, but trends in these estimates have not been verified to reflect, and do not track, long-term trends in deaths or death rates.
Figure 2: Burden of mortality from CSDEs, 1990–2017. The Forces of Nature group excludes deaths from geophysical causes per EMDAT (2019). Data per IHME (2019).
Summary:Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) continue to increase with no sign of the global economic slowdown in response to the spread of COVID-19. This is because the estimated reductions in CO2 emissions (around -11% globally during 2020) is too small a reduction to be noticed against a background of large natural variability. The reduction in economic activity would have to be 4 times larger than 11% to halt the rise in atmospheric CO2.
Changes in the atmospheric reservoir of CO2 occur when there is an imbalance between surface sources and sinks of CO2. While the global land and ocean areas emit approximately 30 times as much CO2 into the atmosphere as humans produce from burning of fossil fuels, they also absorb about an equal amount of CO2. This is the global carbon cycle, driven mostly by biological activity.
The CDC just came out with a report that should be earth-shattering to the narrative of the political class, yet it will go into the thick pile of vital data and information about the virus that is not getting out to the public. For the first time, the CDC has attempted to offer a real estimate of the overall death rate for COVID-19, and under its most likely scenario, the number is 0.26%. Officials estimate a 0.4% fatality rate among those who are symptomatic and project a 35% rate of asymptomatic cases among those infected, which drops the overall infection fatality rate (IFR) to just 0.26% — almost exactly where Stanford researchers pegged it a month ago.
One of the most important principles of epidemiology is weighing benefits and harms. A failure to do this can make virtually any medical treatment seem helpful or destructive. In the words of Ronald C. Kessler of the Harvard Medical School and healthcare economist Paul E. Greenberg, “medical interventions are appropriate only if their expected benefits clearly exceed the sum of their direct costs and their expected risks.”
Likewise, a 2020 paper about quarantines published in The Lancet states: “Separation from loved ones, the loss of freedom, uncertainty over disease status, and boredom can, on occasion, create dramatic effects. Suicide has been reported, substantial anger generated, and lawsuits brought following the imposition of quarantine in previous outbreaks. The potential benefits of mandatory mass quarantine need to be weighed carefully against the possible psychological costs.”
Around the world, both state and local governments looked at wildly exaggerated computer model projections of millions of virus deaths, declared a “State Of Emergency”, and foolishly pulled the wheels off of their own economies. This has caused pain, suffering, and loss that far exceeds anything that the virus might do.
The virus hardly affects anyone—it has killed a maximum of 0.1% of the population in the very worst-hit locations. One-tenth of one measly percent.
Ah, I hear you saying, but that’s just deaths. What about hospitalizations? Glad you asked. Hospitalizations in the worst-hit areas have been about three times that, about a third of one percent of the population. Still not even one percent.
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley – Re-Blogged From WUWT
This column does not constitute medical advice. Check with your doctor. Many nostrums are being recommended, with varying justification, to reduce the harm from the Chinese virus. Some, like hydroxychloroquine, have side-effects and should only be taken if prescribed; others, like remdesivir, work (if at all) only during the early stages of disease; others, like the BCG virus against TB, have not yet been subjected to clinical trials.
However, early studies showed an interesting result, which the Marxstream media lazily attributed to capitalism’s imagined failures: the darker your skin, the more your risk from the infection. In Britain, all of the first ten doctors to die from Covid-19 were dark-skinned.
A great deal of the recommendation that the world should modify its energy infrastructure to combat climate change, costing tens to hundreds of trillions of dollars, is based on computer simulations. While this author is not what is called a ‘climate scientist’, a great deal of science is interdenominational, and experience from one field often can fertilize another. That is the spirit in which this opinion is offered. The author has spent a good part of his more than 50-year scientific career developing and using computer simulations to model complex physical processes. Accordingly, based on this experience, he now gives his own brief explanation of his opinion, on what computer simulations can and cannot do, along with some examples. He sees 3 categories of difficulty in computer simulations, where the simulations go from mostly accurate to mostly speculative. He makes the case that the climate simulations are the most speculative.
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley – Re-Blogged From WUWT
One of the most frequently-asked questions about the Chinese virus is how many of those who die after becoming infected die of the virus, and how many merely die with it? The Office for National Statistics in the UK has now studied that question. Of the deaths occurring in March 2020 in England Wales in patients known to be infected with the virus, five-sixths were deaths of the virus and the other one-sixth were deaths with it. Of those who died of the virus, 91% had pre-existing comorbidities.
It is not particularly surprising that the overwhelming majority of virus-related deaths were caused by the virus, for it has a drastic effect on the respiratory systems of those whom it puts into intensive care, leaving little room for doubt as to the proximate cause of death.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government has been heavily influenced by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation’s computer model, which has projected from 60,000 to 240,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.
This epidemiological model is now being criticized as flawed and misleading as a source of public information and for government decision-making. Besides the institute’s model, all other COVID-19 models are grounded in important assumptions about which there is currently little knowledge.
I’ve been saying for some time now that the number of confirmed cases is a very poor way to measure the spread of the coronavirus infection. This, I’ve said, is because the number of new cases you’ll find depends on how much testing is being done. I’ve claimed that if you double your tests, you’ll get twice the confirmed cases.
However, that position was based on logic alone. I did not have one scrap of data to support or confirm it.
40. There has been essentially no global warming during the 21st Century. This reality has been called ‘The Pause’ by some, who claim that the real rise in temperature is actually going on, but that for some unexplained reason, has paused for a while.
There is debate about the ‘Pause,’ with some saying that there were gaps in data; the variations are too small to be statistically significant; etc. If this is so, how come climate change enthusiasts have been so utterly certain of their position and their figures for the past 20 years plus.
Because it is a destructive weapon that came from Communist China. This doesn’t mean it was an engineered bio-weapon or that it was intentionally used to attack almost every nation on Earth. Continue reading →
This morning I awoke to a mid-April morning temperature of -11F. The 1981 to 2010 climate normals indicate our average daily minimum temperature per this date as about 23F, and the standard deviation as 8F. Thus, our morning low temperature is a 4-sigma event. Surely something to evoke comment. Yet, it did not so far as I know.
This caused me to ponder something I observed two months ago. Ten minutes from my home, in the mountains to my east, is great nordic skiing. It was at one time home to what we call, the Norwegian olympics. There was unusually good snow this winter, and people came from near and far to enjoy it. What I heard often in conversation in the parking lot in February was that we were having an “unusually warm” winter. I thought not. I have lived in this area, off and on, for 40 years, and I thought this winter was pretty typical, even possibly slightly cool.
The recent economic reports show that the current coronavirus crisis will be bigger than the Great Recession. What does it imply for the gold market?
US Economic Data Paints a Gloomy Picture
This week was full of new reports about the US economy. And guess what, I don’t have good news… First of all, let’s start with the update about the weekly initial unemployment benefits. In normal times, the initial claims are not too keenly watched by investors. But in times of a pandemic, they are very informative. The spike in the initial claims may even become the symbol of this crisis. Anyway, the number of new claims for the unemployment benefits declined from 6.6 million in the previous week to 5.2 million in the week from April 4 to April 11, as the chart below shows.
Chart 1: Initial jobless claims from April 2019 to April 2020
The topic of global warming and climate change is far more scientifically complex than the public is led to believe.
Myriads of newspaper, magazine and TV items over decades have tended to simplify the science to the point at which the general public believes that it is all so simple that any fool can see what is happening. Public groups often accuse world leaders and scientists of being fools, if they do not instantly act on simple messages projected by individuals or public groups.
One often hears phrases like: ‘The science is settled.’ It is not. Even more worrying is that the reality of the correct science is actually very different to much of the simple public perception.
No planning is likely possible without calculations of what the future may hold, but such calculations are fraught with uncertainty when they also involve exponential processes. Indeed, as the author of one chapter in a recent book  states:
“One characteristic of an exponential growth process that humans find it really difficult to comprehend is how fast such a process actually is. Our daily experiences do not prepare us to judge such a process accurately, or to make sensible predictions.” [emphasis is mine.]
Quests to reveal a future governed by exponential processes, or what people guess to be exponential processes, run through many themes here at WUWT — future climate, energy demand, economics, epidemics. This guest contribution takes a selected look at exponential growth. Two examples are historical, and perhaps obscure, but pertinent. The third one, which comprises the bulk of this essay, is an examination of R0, which dominates the present imagination.
OMG! The world is going to end, and we caused it. This story, in one form or another, goes back to biblical times. According to Genesis (6:9 to 9:17) God decided that humans had sinned too much and must be punished, so he called up a great flood to destroy the world. A similar story also appears in the earlier Epic of Gilgamesh. End of the world predictions are very popular and recur regularly in human history.
More recently, prognosticators have predicted climate change disasters that are due to human actions (sins?). During the Little Ice Age (see Figure 3 in the link), the European public blamed the cold weather on witches and Jews, over 50,000 “witches” and tens of thousands of Jews were killed because they supposedly caused the cold weather and glacial advances. Thus, the idea that humans somehow control climate change is very old. We have no more proof that this is the case today than people had in 800AD, which is about when Archbishop Agobard of Lyons, France said:
“I’d expect that some probing by independent experts into the economic calculations, and the assumptions on which they are built, might bear fruit.” But where are these calculations, and who are the unbiased experts who have quality controlled them? I couldn’t find any such calculations, or the names of any such experts. Perhaps, I thought, I’d better take a look at this myself.
So, I set out to learn as much as I could about the economic calculations which – so we’re supposed to believe – justify the extreme measures proposed, all the way up to total de-carbonization of the UK economy, to avoid alleged catastrophic damage from global warming. This essay is the result of that exercise. If it reads like a cross between a layman’s guide to the economics of global warming and a political rant, that’s because it’s both!
OK, here are my questions. We had a perfect petri-dish coronavirus disease (COVID-19) experiment with the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”. That’s the cruise ship that ended up in quarantine for a number of weeks after a number of people tested positive for the coronavirus. I got to wondering what the outcome of the experiment was.
As you might imagine, before they knew it was a problem, the epidemic raged on the ship, with infected crew members cooking and cleaning for the guests, people all eating together, close living quarters, lots of social interaction, and a generally older population. Seems like a perfect situation for an overwhelming majority of the passengers to become infected.