A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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New huge study from Qatar shows the vaccine mandates were never justified

A new study shows natural protection still good at 50% after ten months, while vaccination protection waned after 4 months

The utter scandal here is that all those people who had natural protection were being forced to take vaccines to protect them from Omicron, when the vaccines were providing only a fairly limited benefit or no advantage at all.

A new study was based on the whole population of Qatar. It shows that people who caught the original older variants had about 50% immunity to catching Omicron — even ten months later. Those who were double vaccinated had so little protection six months later, it was effectively zero. Indeed, if they had Pfizer their effectiveness was minus 3.4% meaning they were ever so slightly more likely to catch Omicron that if they hadn’t had any vaccines. For moderna it was minus 10% at the six month mark, which sounds, well, not good.

Ten months later, those who had caught earlier variants of Covid still had 50% protection against Omicron:

Vaccination Increases Risk of COVID-19 Infection, But Infection Without Vaccination Gives Immunity: Study

Marina Zhang, Epoch Times

The authors of the study found that those who had a prior infection but no vaccination had a 46.1 and 50 percent immunity against the two subvariants of the Omicron variant, even at an interval of more than 300 days since the previous infection.

Immunity levels for two COVID-19 vaccines fell to negative figures 270 days after the second dose of vaccine. These numbers predict a trend of more rapidly waning immunity for vaccines compared to immunity from infections.

The findings are supported by another recent study from Israel that also found natural immunity waned significantly more slowly compared to artificial, or vaccinated, immunity.

The study found that both natural and artificial immunity waned over time.

Individuals that were previously infected but not vaccinated had half the risks of reinfection as compared to those that were vaccinated with two doses but not infected.

Natural protection was as good as three doses for outcomes that mattered

From the paper, the first box below compares people taking Pfizer or catching old versions of Covid and their later likelihood of catching Omicron BA1. Basically two doses were useless and once someone had caught covid they’d need at least three doses before there was much benefit above and beyond what they already had, and when we say “benefit” we’re only talking about a reduction in symptomatic Covid.

The box on the right shows just how useful any kind of protection was against severe, critical or deadly outcomes. Remarkable stuff. 100% everywhere.

Bear in mind that the third dose “boosted” people were usually were still in the seven week honeymoon period. If this study were done now, a few months later, the 3 doses numbers here might not look much different to the other options, or possibly, might resemble the “2 dose” poor results. We can’t tell from this study.

Omicron, vaccines

Fig 1. AB   NEJM   (Click to enlarge)

The numbers are similar for the newer variant of Omicron called BA2 but protection was a bit lower (below). Meaning the the newer Omicron version which took over the world in January was slightly better at evading protection than the December one. BA2 was definitely a bit nastier for some people though. And protection against severe, critical or fatal BA2 infection was lower from natural infection, though monster error bars neutralize all simple statements.

Omicron, vaccines

Fig 1.CD    NEJM   (Click to enlarge)

All the figures are slightly out of date though. We’re now up to Omicron 4 or 5 or so.

Tracking the slide

The honeymoon period for vaccination lasts for three months and then wears off quickly to the point where at six months the injectee might as well not have had a dose at all.


Omicron, vaccines

Fig 3. NEJM    (Click to enlarge)


It also has to be said we don’t know if catching Omicron protects a lot against catching Omicron. It does for a while, but we don’t know how long. It’s possible that a mild case of Omicron doesn’t set people up for long term great protection, which is what happens with other normal mild coronaviruses at the moment.

Keep reading  →

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Expert scientists immediately predict climate change causes triple La Ninas… right after they happen

ENSO is playing games with climate scientists — mocking their ability to predict the single greatest natural short term climate swing factor. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation drives floods, droughts, bushfires, and essentially pushes the planetary temperatures up and down on a year by year basis. Nothing determines the year’s climate headlines more than this one thing, yet climate scientists haven’t the faintest idea what drives it.

Imagine what it would look like if they could? They’d be able to say … blah… solar wind changes driven by, say, solar barycentric dynamics will lead to El Ninos in 2023, and ’25, a weak one in 2026. Farmers could plan ahead. Dam managers would know when water would be scarce. The UN would know which years to ask for even more money.

Instead we get this vague post hoc prophesy:

Rare ‘triple’ La Niña climate event looks likely — what does the future hold?


Meteorologists are forecasting a third consecutive year of La Niña. Some researchers say similar conditions could become more common as the planet warms.

On ongoing La Niña event that has contributed to flooding in eastern Australia and exacerbated droughts in the United States and East Africa could persist into 2023, according to the latest forecasts. The occurrence of two consecutive La Niña winters in the Northern Hemisphere is common, but having three in a row is relatively rare. A ‘triple dip’ La Niña — lasting three years in a row — has happened only twice since 1950.

Get ready: Matthew England predicts more triple events:

This particularly long La Niña is probably just a random blip in the climate, scientists say. But some researchers are warning that climate change could make La Niña-like conditions more likely in future. “We are stacking the odds higher for these triple events coming along,” says Matthew England, a physical oceanographer at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. England and others are now working to reconcile discrepancies between climate data and the output of major climate models — efforts that could clarify what is in store for the planet.

“Working to reconcile discrepancies” is climate-scientist-speak for “working to fix our broken models”. We note the get-out-of-jail clause on most climate news reporting, some scientists say this, some say that, so some climate scientists are always right.

How useful, exactly, are those models that predict a 51% chance of a La Nina seven months from now?

The latest forecast from the World Meteorological Organization, issued on 10 June, gives a 50–60% chance of La Niña persisting until July or September. This will probably increase Atlantic hurricane activity, which buffets eastern North America until November, and decrease the Pacific hurricane season, which mainly affects Mexico. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Centre has forecast a 51% chance of La Niña in early 2023.

When it comes to predicting what climate change will actually do to ENSO events — for years most scientists hedged and only say that both La Ninas and El Ninos may get more extreme, but not necessarily that one or the other will become more common.

Fortunately by 2019 the models were all converging….

El Niño happening more as climate warms

Review says the models of an increase in extreme weather events are agreeing.

According to Cai, extreme El Niño events happened roughly once every 20 years in the 20th century, but they’re now increasing in frequency. “It will almost double, to one in 11 years or so.”

He adds that there’s more consensus among the models they’ve examined than in previous studies, such as one he authored in 2015. “More models are saying the same thing. I think that it’s because we are now able to get more realistic models.”

And with exquisite timing just two months ago:

More Frequent El Niño Events Predicted by 2040

Cutting-edge models predict that El Niño frequency will increase within 2 decades because of climate change, regardless of emissions mitigation efforts.
Now, new research published in Nature Climate Change has used cutting-edge climate models to predict that by 2040, El Niño events will become more frequent because of changes to the climate. These events are already in motion and will happen regardless of short-term emissions mitigation efforts, according to the authors.
“This [finding] is another layer on a growing pile of work that is pointing quite conclusively to ongoing changes to ENSO related to greenhouse gases,” said Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology who was not involved in the new research.
Who knows? They might get lucky.
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Thursday Open Thread

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Australian Intelligence Chief to assess climate threat but ignore risk of running country on windmills and batteries

Cunning Plan: New Australian PM to set up an Office of Climate Change Threats, but not an Office to study the Threats of Climate Action

Admiral Chris Barrie will be paid to worry about how seas rising by 1mm a year might affect our supply chains, but not about how making electricity ten times more expensive might destroy manufacturing in Australia.

If we had to actually build our own nuclear submarines will China still be happy to sell us the steel? Will we have an aluminum smelter left in the nation, and how long can we run that on solar panels and batteries? Are 2,000 kilometer long high voltage lines an easy target for hostile forces? Will electric vehicles be easier targets for cyber hackers or EMF weapons? Could dust bombs sabotage 2GW of solar panels? Would paint bombs be worse?

If we managed to build one nuclear submarine by 2040, will it be the most reliable baseload generator left in the national energy market and should we plug it back into the grid so we can build another sub?

So many questions…

Anthony Albanese to order intelligence chief to examine security threats posed by climate crisis

The Guardian

Anthony Albanese will ask Australia’s most senior intelligence chief, Andrew Shearer, to personally lead a review of the security threats posed by the climate crisis.

In a document submitted to the UN outlining Australia’s new 2030 emissions target, the Albanese government confirmed it would order “an urgent climate risk assessment of the implications of climate change for national security, which will be an enduring feature of Australia’s climate action”.

The exact scope and terms of reference are currently being drawn up, but the assessment was expected to consider options such as setting up an Office of Climate Threat Intelligence. If created, that office would update the threat assessments on a rolling basis.

Threats will be updated as funds roll in. Imagine if someone was paid to find out if unreliable expensive energy made us an easy target?

Former Australian defence force chief, retired Admiral Chris Barrie… said climate threats and costs would affect Australia in many ways, including disruptions to vital import and export markets and supply chains. He also cited increasing demands on the health system, degraded and lost natural systems, and escalating adaptation needs.

Given that the only known mammal extinction in Australia so far was one brown rat on a 3m high sand bar in the Torres Strait, there might be bigger issues the Australian Defence Force needs to worry about.

“Globally there will be regional conflicts over shared resources, climate-change enhanced famine, breakdown in social cohesion, forced displacement of populations, and state failure, including in our region,” Barrie said.

Since no islands with people living on them in the South Pacific are actually shrinking how many refugees do we expect? Is that 50 million more or less than the 50 million the United Nations told us would come by 2010 but which never came? And since climate change apparently causes global hurricanes to not get worse in 40 years, can we just wait another 40 years, and worry about nations that already have hypersonic missiles, nuclear weapons, launch cyber attacks and start space wars instead?

The missing hot spot is still missing. The fingerprint distinctive threat from anthropogenic climate change is undetectable. The real threat to our national security comes not from our coal plants but from The United Nations, ABC, CSIRO and BoM which have been so wrong about so many things they are practically working for the enemy.

9.9 out of 10 based on 81 ratings

Cancel Culture bullies finally face some backlash

These small wins matter. Cancel Culture is about shutting people up — and even if it’s just a dumb joke being cancelled, the danger is that each minor win gives power to self-annointed Thought Police. The Grand Sacred Cows of our culture are created through a thousand irrelevant outrages.

Bill Maher, comedian, savages The Washington Post and Felecia Somnez and half the Millennial Gen:

For the Australians who missed it in our election week:

The Ministry of Truth was quietly axed in the US after just three outrageous weeks.

The New York Post Editorial Board, May 18th

Nina Jankowicz just quit and the Disinformation Governance Board is dead. It’s the best possible ending to a move that was demented from the start.

Whatever the Department of Homeland Security thought the DGB would do, the board’s ham-handed launch (and very name) could only feed the direst suspicions. The US government has no business determining what’s “disinformation” — certainly not via an Orwellian shadow department, housed within a national security agency.

Celebrate the wins.

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Europe wants coal: Austria, Netherlands, switch on old coal plants, Poland pays for coal to homes

In an emergency everyone wants coal

Just like that — Europe is hitting the panic button. Thank the Russians for demanding rubles for their gas and threatening supply. Not only has Germany decided to rescue old coal plants, but so has Austria, which had gone blissfully “coal free” two years ago. How long did that fairytale last? In the Netherlands coal power plants were forced for years to run at only 35% capacity by government ruling, but now, suddenly, full tilt is fine. Sweden and Denmark have both issued an “early warning” to flag potential energy shortages.

In Poland, energy prices are so expensive that three weeks ago the government told people to go and collect wood from forests to keep their homes warm. Last week they the government said it would pay a large part of the cost of buying three tons of coal for each household. It’s that bad.

Much of the EU rely on Russian gas for about 40% of their supplies. The Austrians have storage sites for gas so large they can hold an entire years worth, but they are only 39% full and they want to double that before November.

Germany is now calling this “an attack” by Putin to sow chaos in slashing Europe’s energy supplies.

Gazprom said last week it would reduce supplies of the fuel to Germany via the pipeline due to delayed repairs, but the German government has called the decision ‘political’ amid the widespread European support for Ukraine following Putin‘s invasion.

Germany has also mandated the filling of gas reserves to 90 per cent ahead of the European winter, to hedge against a further reduction in supply. ‘When we go into the winter with half full gas stores and the taps are turned off then we are talking about a difficult economic crisis in Germany,’ Habeck said. Currently, Germany’s gas storage capacity is just under 60 percent full.

Meanwhile Russia is calling it a blockade to stop deliveries to Kalingrad. The Lithuanian Prime Minister says it is not a blockade, only “sanctions”.
Major russian gas pipelines to europe.

Russian gas pipelines to Europe (Click to enlarge) |  Samuel Bailey

That’s a lot of countries suddenly looking for alternative energy:

Europe turns back to coal as Russia cuts gas supplies

EU Observer

Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom has turned off supplies to several EU countries for refusing to pay for gas in roubles — including Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, and the Netherlands.

But Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, and Slovakia have also faced reduced gas delivery volumes, raising fears over gas security supply.

Things people thought were set in stone can be turned on a dime:

Dutch lift coal curbs as Russia gas supplies drop

The Netherlands said Monday it will lift all restrictions on coal-fired power stations to counter a drop in gas supplies from Russia….

“The cabinet has decided to immediately withdraw the restriction on production for coal-fired power stations from 2002 to 2024,” Jetten told a news conference in The Hague.czech. “This means that coal-fired power stations can run at full capacity again instead of the maximum of 35 percent.”

The Austrian greens were very pleased Austria was only the second European country to go “Coal free” in March 2020. It was “historic” at the time.

Austria returns to coal era

State-controlled Verbund AG, Austria’s biggest utility and most valuable company, was ordered late Sunday to prepare its mothballed Mellach coal-fired station for operation. The plant, 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Vienna, was shut two years ago as Austria became only the second European country to eliminate coal entirely from its electricity grid.

Meanwhile, in Poland, a reminder of how desperate the situation really is:

Poles told to gather firewood amid soaring energy prices

June 3rd, Euronews

Authorities in Poland reminded citizens on Friday they can forage firewood from forests to keep warm amid soaring energy costs in the country. The government said it was taking steps to make it easier for people to collect firewood in an effort to ease the pressure created by sky-rocketing energy bills and shortages of coal.

Opponents of the ruling ‘Law and Justice party’ said the comments showed it had not got a grip on the wider economy. Inflation in Poland has climbed to 14 per cent in recent weeks, with fuel prices hitting 8 zlotys ($1.87) per litre. The average monthly wage in Poland is around 7110 zlotys ($1800).

Poland will subsidise coal for homes

The Polish government wants to subsidise coal for household and housing cooperatives amid rising coal prices and shortages caused by the Russian coal embargo, Energy Minister Anna Moskwa announced Tuesday.

Under the government’s plan, consumers can buy up to three tonnes of coal per household for a maximum price of 996 zlotys (€214). The sellers that keep the price at this level will receive up to 750 zlotys (€161) in compensation.

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More bad luck! Snowy Hydro can’t run much because it has *too much water*

Would you like blackouts or floods with your Green Burger?

Hydro power station no. 3 Snowy scheme

Tumut Generation Station No. 3 Snowy scheme | Joe “velojo” A

Here in Weather-Dependent Renewable World the chief crash test dummy is struggling because of yet another bit of terrible luck. We desperately need the only reliable renewable energy we have to generate while reliable but-badly-maintained-coal is breaking — and our national grid sits on the edge of blackouts.  But Lordy No! Oh the schadenfreude — the dams are all full. Seems we have too much water thanks to the La Nina we didn’t predict, and the excess rainfall that wasn’t supposed to happen, and the dams that weren’t supposed to fill. Now if Snowy Hydro releases too much water to make electricity they may flood lower areas.

You can’t make this stuff up. Hydroelectric dams serve two purposes and sometimes they conflict. If we are lucky, we might avoid both blackouts and floods, but we won’t avoid the bonfire of electricity bills that are coming.

Ponder the impossible quandry of the Green religion. Like the Escher puzzle of Energy — It’s always the weather’s fault. If only we could use enough renewables to get perfect weather we could solve this! And perfect weather is just a hundred trillion solar panels away…


Snowy Hydro’s water problem shows how weather is a driver of the energy crisis

ABC News

As Australia’s power crisis began to ramp up early this month, Snowy Hydro was called on to increase production.

But the hydro-electric generator remains significantly constrained by a surprising problem — too much water.

Oh woe is the journalist trying hard not to get the message about relying on weather dependent generation:

It’s only one example of how weather extremes have deepened the nation’s man-made power crisis.

Snowy Hydro’s biggest power station is Tumut 3. At maximum output, it can generate 1,800 megawatts of electricity.

The huge volumes of water used by Tumut 3 are either pumped back up the hill to an upper reservoir or emptied into Blowering Dam.

“Generation from Tumut 3 Power Station is significantly constrained by the current storage levels in Blowering Reservoir and the release capacity of the Tumut River. “In order to meet the predicted energy demands in the coming days, it is possible Blowering Reservoir will fill and spill, potentially exceeding the Tumut River channel capacity. “In this scenario, there is potential for the inundation of low-level causeways and water breaking out of the river channel onto agricultural land adjacent to the river.”

Green motto: If in doubt, blame the weather. Never ever admit it was your own arrogant damn stupidity, your fantasy plans, your lack of humility and your inability to add up.

The real world is so complicated

Ben Kefford at LinkedIn does an analysis that explains the dilemma for the generators bidding. In this case Snowy Hydro was afraid that when the Administrative price cap was forced on the system that many other generators would withdraw (which happened). That would leave them pumping far too much water — and risk the flooding in lower areas. To stop the flooding they would have to pay exorbitant daytime rates to pump water back up to the higher dam at blistering prices above $250/MWh. Normally, like a battery, they try to buy-low, sell-high, in terms of finding cheaper parts of the day to run the pumps. But at the moment, there are no cheap hours.

And then there was the possibility that those dollars would not be recouped for up to five months leaving them with a cash shortfall of millions:

While it is true that there is a compensation mechanism via AEMC for recovering opportunity costs lost via generating during administered pricing periods, the actual methodology for calculating storage opportunity costs is not clear, and the mechanism has been rarely used in the past. Notably, under the Rules there is also an upwards of 90 business day (4 – 5 month) delay in determining these costs, including public consultation plus draft and final methodologies.

With an average output capacity of 260 MW in the week leading into the APC, continuing to operate the same way and keep the same price spread would require $18.2 million* in revenue claims per week which are potentially being delayed up to 5 months. Over the unknown period of time which the price cap would remain in place, this turns into a massive liability.

So finally when the APC did hit, not only was Tumut 3 left with little viable economic options for releasing capacity from the upper reservoir, it became evident that the race for the exits from other limited fuel generators was going to put enormous pressure on the lower reservoir if they were called upon. Taking all of this into account – we begin to see that it made unfortunate sense to follow suit.

The bureaucrats designed a poor market then blame the market or the players when they fail. The Greens and renewable-delusionals were blaming the generators for greed and gaming the system — as if they were withholding generation during wildly high priced market times.

These people have no idea.

h/t David B in Cooyal

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Tuesday Open Thread

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It’s that desperate: Even bitter German Greens say we must “burn more coal”

German FlagAmazing how fast the Sacred Cows get pushed aside. Until a few months ago, Germany had been planning to close its last nuclear plants and gas production had been falling for 20 years. But the Russians are cutting back the gas feed and even the German Greens understand what will happen by winter if they don’t have enough energy. Though on twitter, a lot of commentators are wondering why they don’t reopen the nuclear plants they just closed first and why they still plan to shut the last three later this year?

It was never about CO2 was it?

Germany to fire up coal plants as Russia turns down the gas


As Russia reduces its supply of natural gas, Economy Minister Robert Habeck has said Germany must curb its usage. Otherwise, things “could get tight in winter,” he said. Germany must limit its use of gas for electricity production and prioritize the filling of storage facilities to compensate for a drop in supply from Russia, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Sunday.

In a move that goes against the principles of his environmentally-friendly Green Party, the country will also have to increase the burning of coal, Habeck said.

They are offering schemes and incentives for industry to save gas so it can be stockpiled ahead of winter. They’re talking about a cap on domestic heating too, but they know it won’t be enough. It hurts:

“That’s bitter, but it’s simply necessary in this situation to lower gas usage,” he said.

Yet they still claim they can go coal free by 2030. The fantasy olive branch to soften the pain:

The coalition government has made it its goal to make German energy production coal-free by 2030.

The third party in the government coalition, the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP), has also called for Germany to reconsider its 2017 ban on unconventional fracking…

Trump did warn them.

Is there any nation still shutting down coal plants left in the world?

h/t Old Ozzie, b.nice. Chris Uhlman.



10 out of 10 based on 61 ratings