Transitioning to a Green Economy saves more than just lives

A Fossil Fuel Economy Requires 535x More Mining Than a Clean Energy Economy

While it may seem unbelievable, the concept is simple.

Fossil fuel economies need constant investment in raw materials for the construction and maintenance of infrastructure (everything from the drill bits to the engines that burn the fuel). The wear and tear on the equipment throughout the FF economy means regular replacement. The fuel itself is also mined. We also use oil products to try and reduce the wear and tear on the equipment. Think about your oil change in your car. Now magnify that by a billion and you won’t even be close to the cars on the road across the world.

Clean energy economies invest all of the mining in resilient infrastructure. Solar panels have no moving parts. Solar panels last years. The energy they produce is not mined, we are literally collecting free energy that’s landing all around us. If we move away from EVs, the wear and tear decreases further (an EV is a sop to car manufacturers- they’re overweight ICE car analogues).

So while clean energy skeptics may point at the mining needed to produce solar panels, they’re being disingenuous at best.

Remember: we cannot reason with the unreasonable. We cannot use evidence to debate with those who do not respect evidence. We will fail if we use logic to challenge those who have abandoned logic for greed.

Longing. A not quite poem.

Longing. That’s an odd word. I’ve been chewing it for a couple of days now like a dog worries a piece of cured hide. At this point, like the hide, the word is gnarled beyond recognition and, truth be told, a little soggy.

The problem is what it implies versus what it means. Chew some more. Longing. Longing. Lengthening.

That’s it, isn’t it.

Longing means to wish for something to come sooner but the implication is that the wait is lengthened. Just one more example of how human feelings just make the human condition worse. We want for something so much that it makes the wait even longer. Longing. Lengthened.

And when received, where does this feeling go? It flies unbidden into oblivion. We don’t notice its passing and we certainly don’t mourn it.

Longing becomes a state of being. Or maybe a stateless being. When you’re longing for something, it’s enveloping, all-encompassing. Like an infant screaming for care, ignorant of time, you cannot remember a time before the longing and all you know is how to end it. Longing has no tempo and pace. It is as inexorable as grief and maybe that’s it? Is Longing grief for lost moments, for shared experiences never birthed? Is it the silent loss of these unborn joys that makes longing feel so god-damned terrible?

So, I grieve for these missed delights. And as I grieve I cannot understand how long I have grieved or how long it will be until the grief is replaced. I just know with every cell of my being that at some point the inarticulate shrieking in my soul will cease moments before I touch you.

“will not manage to disrupt the market overnight.”

According to Reuters, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said that he’s “not afraid” of an ‌‌Apple Car‌‌ and that Apple will not be able to overtake the $2 trillion automobile industry overnight.

The problem with this thinking is that no industry is ever disrupted overnight. It takes years of preparation. The Palm CEO said much the same thing – and look what happened there.

And the car industry is incredibly diverse. Hundreds of manufacturers worldwide, and the “software” that they use, is the road so it’s open to anyone with the cash to produce.

Apple have never taken over the industry (with the possible exception of the iPod). They’ve always been happier as a niche player, making decent margins and shaping the direction of hardware and software.

Will they disrupt the industry? Of course. But not by selling the most. If they do their job right, cars will change.

Investment Underdogs

“… has a reputation as something of a bargain bucket for international investors. A relatively young tech ecosystem and a historic shortage of local VC money has led to smaller round sizes …, and plenty of space for opportunists from outside to swoop in.”

Sounds like Northern Ireland, doesn’t it? But it’s Spain, a country with a population of 47 million. This article is from Sifted.

We started Raise in 2018 because there was a need for someone to swoop in. The work that had been done in the past by the incumbent organisations was simply not working.

We’re entering the third year for Raise. Our portfolio has never been stronger and our startups are active and receiving investment and not just from Northern Ireland. Opening doors outside of Northern Ireland is vital to the growth of our ecosystem.

We’ve not had help from Invest NI, we’ve not had help from the incumbent government supported funds. We’ve had to go and source new investors from outside the region.

Northern Ireland will never change.

I found this exchange distressing.

Think about it. It’s the son of a murdered terrorist who’s now standing for a party that promotes “can’t we all just get along” which is pretty laudable when the whole world is going to shit. And believe me – I have little interest in the Alliance Party after their past shenanigans* but really, are we “cancelling” people because their fathers did a wrong thing? I mean, really, sins of the fucking father?

Anyway. This place is depressing as shit. Who could be bothered with this.

They think that I’m above all this. These are the same people who think I live in a mansion (er,….nope) or that I’m a son of North Down (errrr, nope – for those who don’t know, they’re talking about the Gold Coast of North Down, heavily populated by millionaires).

They may not realise that I’m much the same. Working class. Raised in a mixed marriage in Northern Ireland (which meant I was as much of target from both sides of the struggle). Never found a political home (until I did….and that went to shit). Lived in a Council house for many of my formative years (and left there about two years before they started burning “my kind” out of there).

However I made choices. I didn’t want to be teaming up with woolly faces to hurt people. I refused to get behind flags which made out that the other side was bad. I never had time for either side even though that ideology was pushed (Nationalism at school, Loyalism at home).

And this is the problem. Twenty years after “peace”, people are busy searching their rolodex-style memories for reasons to be offended. Is there a reason why Emmet can speak about bonfires? Sure. He isn’t his father and he’s taken steps to distance himself from his fathers idiocies.

Northern Ireland; you’re such a fucking bore.

*Alliance did every dirty trick in the book when I was briefly involved in politics and they currently support a Councillor who bullied my friend Lyra relentlessly. So, fuck them.

A Physician completely refutes Plandemic

From Facebook by Kat Montgomery

**KAT EDITED TO ADD: I wrote this post to help my friends sort through misinformation and did not expect it to go viral. Several commenters have asked me to cite sources, and I agree that this is important to do. I still have a day job, but I have edited to include primary sources for all points when possible.

**SECOND EDIT: People seem to not understand that PubMed (ncbi) is the international database for cataloguing medical research studies and instead think it only contains government-funded information or research. This is not the case. It is basically the Google of peer-reviewed research studies.**

*The following statements represent my personal informed views and not those of any institution*

First, background: I’m a physician (specifically a board-certified pathologist, which includes microbiology and laboratory medicine) with a master’s degree in epidemiology.

In the last day or two, several friends have shared or posted about a video “documentary” called “Plandemic”. The film depicts now-discredited former researcher Judy Mikovits who shares a plausible-sounding narrative about the current pandemic. The problem here is that nearly all of her scientific statements are demonstrably false. If you have more to add to this list, or credible data to the contrary, please start a discussion. I suspect there are many more false claims in this video, but these are just the ones that stuck out to me as a physician with epidemiology training.

– She states “There is no vaccine for any RNA virus that works.” Incorrect: Polio, hepatitis A, measles, to name a few. (Source:

– Her retracted paper was actually not about vaccines at all, even though she insinuates that it was. (Here is the article:

– She states that Ebola could not infect humans until it was engineered to do so in her laboratory. This is false. (Here is an article describing an outbreak of Ebola in 1976, long before Dr. Mikovits was conducting research: )

– Likewise, many other zoonotic viruses have been shown to gain mutations that allow them to infect humans. This would not be some kind of new, crazy idea. We actually predicted it years ago: we just didn’t know exactly which virus or when it would occur. (Here is an article from 2015 discussing the likely emergence of future coronavirus pandemics: )

– She states that the US was working with Wuhan to study coronaviruses years ago, like it’s a “gotcha” moment: yes, of course we were doing this – Wuhan is a coronavirus hotspot and it makes sense to study this family of viruses where it naturally occurs. (Same article as above: )

– She states that COPD lungs are identical to COVID-19 lungs. As a pathologist, this is ludicrous – any practicing physician would be able to tell COPD from COVID-19, both clinically and histologically. (One article discussing an overview of tools for diagnosing COVID19, one about CT specifically, and one about histology specifically

– The statement taken out of context from the CDC death certificate recommendation reads in full “In cases where a definitive diagnosis of COVID-19 cannot be made, but is suspected or likely (the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty), it is acceptable to report COVID-19 on a death certificate as “probable” or “presumed”. In these instances, certifiers should use their best judgment in determining if a COVID-19 diagnosis was likely. Testing for COVID-19 should be conducted whenever possible.”. My physician colleagues are not being pressured to put COVID-19 on death certificates when it should not be there. (Here is the actual document with instructions for
filling out death certificates from the CDC: )

– The idea that physicians are incorrectly diagnosing COVID-19 due to financial incentive is also ridiculous. Medicare sometimes bundles payments for some conditions (i.e. if you have a heart attack, medicare may pay XX for your treatment) – it’s possible the hospital could get paid $13,000 for your COVID-19 admission, but do you know what that’s based on? The fact that the average cost of a hospital admission for a respiratory condition is $13,297. (I can’t post a scientific study here, since this isn’t a scientific fact, but this article describes the procedure in detail: )

– She states that hydroxychloroquine has been “extensively studied in this family of viruses” – in fact, it has not been studied well in coronaviruses. It HAS been studied in malaria, which is not a virus. (Here is the one study that was performed that people like to cite, and it is an in vitro study (not in humans), of SARS (not COVID-19), and chloroquine (not hydroxychloroquine): ). And yes, it is considered an essential medicine for the treatment of malaria. Not for coronaviruses.

– Furthermore, the data on hydroxychloroquine are much weaker than they originally appeared: the small study that was highly publicized was not a randomized controlled trial, and the only patients who died were those who received hydroxychloroquine (and these were EXCLUDED FROM ANALYSIS!). This is terrible science. Even so, we want to investigate all possible treatments, so controlled trials are being conducted on hydroxychloroquine right now. (One study published on May 7 shows no benefit to using hydroxychloroquine )

– She insinuates that there is a hydroxychloroquine shortage as a result of reduced production. In fact, the shortage has resulted from an increase in demand: people who take this medication regularly are writing extended prescriptions and because physicians are using it for COVID19 patients because they have nothing else to try. (

– “All flu vaccines contain coronaviruses”. Nope, absolutely false. (In fact, it’s so false based on the way vaccines are made that there are no studies specifically stating this claim. It would be like trying to conduct a study to examine whether humans can live with zero oxygen. Nope, we can’t. No study needed.)

– The ideas that sheltering in place somehow harms your immune system or that you may reactivate a virus in yourself by wearing a mask have been thoroughly debunked in other posts and I won’t get into the details here. Both national societies of emergency medicine have condemned the statements of these doctors, one of whom is not board-certified. (Please refer to Dr. Kasten’s post and others about these)

– Lastly, private companies removing false information from their platforms does not represent repression or promotion of propaganda. It’s helping to promote the spread of sound scientific information. If you think lies should be permitted to circulate freely alongside the truth with the intention of reaching people who won’t be able to tell the difference, you are part of the problem.

The Great Pandemic of 2120

Between 1918 and 1920, the world was assaulted by an Influenza strain (H1N1) which infected an estimated 500 million people (almost a third of the worlds population). It’s reckoned there were probably in excess of 25 million deaths due to it. That’s a guesstimated 0.05% mortality rate. The parallels continue in the virus causing a cytokine storm (though Covid-19 is assaulting more than one type of T-cell so the storm is worse). But it’s thought that worldwide conditions of malnourishment, overcrowding of medical facilities and general poor hygiene resulted in bacterial superinfection (where the weakened immune system enabled a secondary infection from a bacteria to thrive in the victim). In comparison a second outbreak (know as Swine Flu in 2009) killed probably 250,000 people.

SARS-CoV-1 killed 8000 people in the early 2000s (with a 9.5% chance of death on a wider infection). This latest version SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, has killed 20 times as many. In January 2020, five different genomes of SARS-CoV-2 had been sequenced but it’s possible there’s more than 1000 different genomes at the time of this writing.

The thing is. We are lucky.

This new virus takes an average of 11 days to present symptoms after infection. The mortality rate is relatively low. Probably less than 2%.

Somewhere out there is a zoonotic virus which has a 14-30 day infectious period (where you’re running around spreading the infection without knowing you have it, and then it has a 50% mortality rate. (The Nipha virus from Malaysia had a 14 day onset with a 50-75% death rate. Ebola can take up to three weeks to show symptoms and has a 50-90% mortality rate.

We are lucky.

But we have to learn from this. This current pandemic is a warning shot. It’s telling us that our current liberties (travel everywhere) is potentially not sustainable. We worried about nuclear annihilation or pollution or a meteor killing us all, but this is something that we knew could happen. I mean, it’s essentially the plot device of “War of the Worlds” and it’s been well documented in Hollywood movies.

We have to prepare.

What can we expect in the new normality?

I love travel, but travel will be harder. And more expensive. Queues will be long and you can be expected to be turned away from a flight if you present with illness.

I had tickets to a gig in June. 50,000 people in a crowded stadium. They’ve just emailed to say the gig is postponed to June 2021. Do I really want to be in a crowded stadium with the great unwashed?

I think the last two months have certainly indicated that some jobs can be done remotely. And while many have mixed reactions to videoconferencing, I’m finding focus to be increased without daily distractions.

I’m thinking not just about what will go back to normal, but the things that I want to go back to normal and the things that I want to change.

Because the next great pandemic might not take 100 years to appear.