- This topic has 63 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 1 year, 1 month ago by J.
March 23, 2021 at 03:47 #69359N_
This is from the same government that murdered thousands in care homes last year by having ambulance workers ignore calls about elderly residents suffering from respiratory problems, and which when it did deign to treat some of them on its holy “NHS” sent many back to the same care homes in an infected state, thereby finishing off many other residents. It was a kind of “Let’s get R as high as possible among those oxygen-sucking, bed-blocking coffin-dodgers” Tory death-dance, with minor supporting parts played by the Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green, Scottish National, and Plaid Cymru parties.
Note that the eckshpurts aren’t even claiming that a SARS-CoV2 vaccine stops a person from being infectious.
Soon there are going to have to be strikes on top of the rioting that has already started, not because the union leaders give a toss but because what else can a person do if they are told “You’re not coming to work unless you’re vaccinated”? I wrote “strikes”, but “lockouts” would be closer to the mark. Not every person in Britain is a white-skinned Daily Mail reader who wears Union Jack underpants, is obsessed with house prices and ISAs, and believes disease is rife on the continent because the governments there eat too much olive oil and couldn’t organise a p*ss-up in a brewery because they’re too busy lazing about, ceasing only occasionally to march up and down in funny uniforms. There will be some resistance to this, whether it’s reported or not. I meet many people including many young people who currently take the same attitude that I do, namely “if the b*stards want to vaccinate me against my will, they’ll have to send some damned strong policemen.” There should be food collections to support those who are sacked for refusing compulsory vaccination, because they won’t be receiving welfare payments and I imagine the cops and local councils will look the other way if they say their landlords are trying to evict them in breach of the legislation that supposedly gives more protection to tenants during the pandemic.March 23, 2021 at 11:15 #69376glenn_uk
My radio gets the news too. And I can do wild speculation if I fancied.
You’ve become tedious, Mystic N_eg.March 23, 2021 at 13:03 #69379ET
On January 18, 2021 at 12:17 (#65364), ET replied:
I don’t necessarily agree with all of what N_ says in his post but some of it isn’t far from the truth. [ … ]
It was always going to happen in my view and the relevant professional bodies will wade in soon enough. Any “leaked” reference now is testing the waters of reaction. If it is legislated so then a rubicon has been crossed, the banks of which have been camped by the wating forces of mandatory vaccination (for health care workers) for some time. If such legislation becomes enacted for care home workers it will establish a precedent that will roll out to other vaccines and schools. From the telegraph link:
“Care home workers will be required by law to have a Covid-19 jab under a historic legal change agreed by Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, The Telegraph can reveal.”
Personally, I support covid vaccinations and other vaccination programmes but making it mandatory is a big step with which I would not be too comfortable.
March 23, 2021 at 13:05 #69382ET
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Link was mean to be to my post 65364 in that thread here.
[ Mod: Duly amended. ]March 23, 2021 at 17:03 #69406SA
“Personally, I support covid vaccinations and other vaccination programmes but making it mandatory is a big step with which I would not be too comfortable.”
Mandatory is not the same as a condition of employment. Nobody is forcing someone to be a frontline healthcare worker but you would need some conditions to do the job. If you are unwilling to accept the concept that vaccination is very important in interrupting a cycle of transmission from the outside world to vulnerable care home residents, then maybe you are not suited to do the job. The big practical problem however will be that carers may vote with their feet and shortages of staff may become even more severe if this is not handled with understanding.March 23, 2021 at 19:00 #69411glenn_uk
SA: You make the point I was about to. Nobody is forcing people to wear a motorcycle helmet, but it’s compulsory if you want to ride a motorbike on public roads. I imagine certain hygiene precautions are required for surgeons, including masks, and so forth.
There are people who claim it’s against their religious beliefs to hand over the morning-after pill, or even contraception. Fine, they don’t have to. But a job in a pharmacy is probably not suitable for them.
Not really sure why Mystic N_eg is raving that “if the b*stards want to vaccinate me against my will, they’ll have to send some damned strong policemen.” – nobody is suggesting everyone faces a compulsory vaccination. That is a hysterical straw man.
This is what Mystic N_eg wants, though – to be a vaccine martyr. Ah well, if it makes his life meaningful, good for him. I trust that he has signed a waver, so the NHS will not have to treat his illness should he contract Covid-19.March 23, 2021 at 19:25 #69415SA
At least N_, unlike some of the others we had here acknowledges that many people have died of covid 19:
“This is from the same government that murdered thousands in care homes last year by having ambulance workers ignore calls about elderly residents suffering from respiratory problems,”March 28, 2021 at 08:27 #69513josh R
“Mandatory is not the same as a condition of employment”
No it’s not the same, but it’s not very different either.
Having an income & the means to support yourself is pretty “mandatory” in the real world, outside of semantic hair splitting. And, as I understand it, having any kind of job at the moment is a pretty fortunate situation to be in.
So whilst not mandatory in the strictest sense of the word, it is punitively coercive and I don’t see much of a practical distinction between the two.
Furthermore, we’d be fools to imagine that this doesn’t also lower the bar & “set the stage” for all the subsequent measures that will invariably follow, the ‘condition’ attached to going into a shop, a sporting event, a bus or train, getting an education, accessing hospital treatment – basically being allowed to partake in “Life”.
“Nobody is forcing someone to be a frontline healthcare worker….If you are unwilling to accept the concept…..then maybe you are not suited to do the job.”
No, nobody forced them to care for the elderly & infirm during what was presented as an unprecedented global health catastrophe, when they were having supposedly dangerously contagious folk dumped on them by a minority clique of politicians & institutional careerists of dubious qualifications.
But they did it, under torrid conditions and accepting the huge risks it apparently posed to them & their families.
But now, if they don’t “toe the line” and kowtow to the dictates of some horrendously discredited individuals & their flag waving cohorts, then “fk ’em!”
Do we clap and pat them on the back as they shuffle off to the dole queue? or simply spit in their eye and call them biological terrorists from the cosseted comfort of our disingenuous & barely informed concern for the community’s health & well being?March 28, 2021 at 08:30 #69514josh R
“Nobody is forcing people to wear a motorcycle helmet, but it’s compulsory if you want to ride a motorbike on public roads.”
What a load of tosh!
Wearing a motorcycle helmet is not at all equivalent to having a ‘permitted for emergency use’ but not ‘approved’ in the usual sense of the word, experimental gene therapy injected into your body.
Neither is being able to have a job &, ultimately, the ability to engage freely in all aspects of society equivalent to riding a motorbike on public roads.
hmmmmmm, how could your point perhaps be even mildly equivalent?
Perhaps if you had to agree to have a motorcycle helmet glued to your head for all time; using an adhesive that many industry insiders and eminently qualified professionals are concerned might be horribly toxic to many & not even do the job it claims to; produced & rushed to market by companies with no liability & a shocking history of criminal fraud, on the promise of riches beyond any dream of avarice; under the coercion of a political class you wouldn’t trust to feed your dog or change your baby’s nappy; when those expressing dissenting opinions are suspiciously & conveniently deplatformed, criminalised, lampooned or outright smeared & raided by state enforcers under spurious emergency regulations; where the mainstream narrative is swamped with vested interests with a track record of simply ‘echoing’ our master’s voice; with establishment & military “influencer” organisations enthusiastically engaged in “managing the narrative”…….
…..well, I guess you’d have to be a tin foil hat wearing, conspiracy theorist, domestic extremist, biological terrorist, anti-helmet’er lunatic not to ride your motorcycle on the public roads under those conditions?
“I trust that he has signed a waver, so the NHS will not have to treat his illness should he contract Covid-19”
And your last resort is to gleefully wish death on your self appointed “other”, fkn diabolical.
I suppose that person who drove home drunk and caused a car accident should just be left by the side of the road to die of their injuries? that smoker with lung cancer should be refused treatment and left to wither away as cancer eats through their flesh? regardless of who they are, what they’ve contributed to society or the fact that they are also a human being?
If you’re so convinced by the jab, good luck to you. If you think it protects you & your loved ones, I hope it does. But once your mind is at rest and you relax in the knowledge that you are safe from symptoms (irrespective of whether you’re actually still contracting and transmitting infections whilst flaunting your vaccine passport), give it a rest with the vitriolic hatred & name calling of those who might, quite legitimately, make a different decision to you.
for fks sake, it’s folk like you who’d have people wearing colourful patches on their shirts to denote their ‘admissibility’ in society…… or maybe you’re just spinning a line for a few shillings?March 28, 2021 at 11:37 #69517SA
Your post contains a glaring contradiction. First you bemoan the fact that they were exposed to danger and then that they are being offered appropriate protection to do hazardous work:
“No, nobody forced them to care for the elderly & infirm during what was presented as an unprecedented global health catastrophe, when they were having supposedly dangerously contagious folk dumped on them by a minority clique of politicians & institutional careerists of dubious qualifications.
But they did it, under torrid conditions and accepting the huge risks it apparently posed to them & their families. But now, if they don’t “toe the line” and kowtow to the dictates of some horrendously discredited individuals & their flag waving cohorts, then “fk ’em!””
Yes indeed they were thrown into the coalface with no protective gear and at a time when little was known of the virus and there was no effective vaccine. But now we know more, we also think that to be offered the safe vaccine would protect the workers as well as the care home residents. It is sometimes a mandatory part of the job to observe safety rules with regards to doing a hazardous job and in this case the hazard applies to both carer and those cared for.
Your main objection which you then go on to write to Glenn about is about questioning the vaccine itself. One hopes that those indulging in healthcare are able to differentiate between data about vaccine safety and efficacy and propaganda broadcasted by antivaxxers.March 28, 2021 at 12:24 #69518SA
And Josh R
“for fks sake, it’s folk like you who’d have people wearing colourful patches on their shirts to denote their ‘admissibility’ in society…… or maybe you’re just spinning a line for a few shillings?”
If you wish to survive in this blog, you need to be familiar with the rules. One of these requires you not to impugn other people’s motives. You are implying that Glenn is being paid to write this and I am afraid that is against the rules. The mods may have something to say.March 28, 2021 at 13:21 #69521mods-cm-org
‘josh R’, kindly respect the conventions of reasonable discourse. From the moderation rules for commenters:
Play the ball, not the man. Address arguments, not people. Do not impugn the motives of others, including me. No taunting.
In particular, unfounded allegations that an opponent is serving as a paid shill are not welcome here. As CM elaborated during a heated debate:
Will EVERYBODY please tackle the arguments commenters make, and not refer to their motives for making them – which you cannot know – or that people are paid, or their personality traits, or somebody else. What interests me is the arguments people put. I think most of the imputations made on all sides are probably inaccurate, but even if they were accurate they are irrelevant. A man or woman may be a one-eyed former contract killer with a cocaine habit in the pay of the state of Israel, but may still make an argument that is absolutely correct. Please address the argument, not the person. Posts which fail to do this will be deleted when seen.
Regards.March 28, 2021 at 14:09 #69528Clark
Josh R, I too am concerned about accepting a vaccine which has been so rapidly developed and for which data has been gathered over such a short time, and which may interact with new SARS-CoV-2 variants in ways as yet unknown.
But I am going to accept one, because vaccination is the best option, certainly for society and quite probably for myself, that my incompetent, corrupt and ideologically blinkered government has left me with.
You are clearly aware that we’re all constantly immersed in propaganda. Our challenge is more than knowing that information is biased and corrupted; we also have to work out how to achieve more accurate understanding, and crucially, to account for the propaganda’s multi-generational effects upon our own outlooks and assumptions. You wrote:
– “Having an income & the means to support yourself is pretty “mandatory” in the real world, […] So whilst not mandatory in the strictest sense of the word, it is punitively coercive and I don’t see much of a practical distinction between the two.”
Humans develop highly specialised skills compared with other species, and consequently we support each other far more than we each support ourselves. “Supporting ourselves” is a long-term propaganda term which really means earning money by taking orders from some (usually commercial) power structure. It deflects responsibility from the commercial system of employment onto individuals who aren’t currently employed. It’s a latent guilt-trip term. In the same sense, “in the real world” is a propaganda term for “in the current political-economic environment”; a false presupposition that no other systems of organisation are possible.
Propaganda controls us by infiltrating our very thinking.
Rightly, the pandemic should have made us transform the political-economic system, but so many of its tenets are so deeply indoctrinated into our thinking and even our language, collectively, and literally prior to each person’s infancy, that without deep reflection we cannot even notice them, let alone question or challenge them. So instead, many of us react on more consciously accessible levels, eg. we wonder, is covid-19 really as bad as we’re being told? Is vaccination really safer? Or are these claims just propaganda?
Vaccination is safer than covid-19 for society, and within the politically chosen covid conditions of most countries. There is a safer way, but most governments have not even considered it. And again we collide with our political-economic conditioning because individualism has become so pervasive that we think about both infection and vaccination individualistically, almost eclipsing the collective perspective.
Subliminal divide and conquer was doing so well, wasn’t it? And then came covid. Let’s turn towards each other rather than against.March 28, 2021 at 14:18 #69529josh R
Yawn! up pops that well worn & utterly predictable trope. Good that you waited till the end of your reply to slip it in, otherwise I’d have dropped off before reading the rest of what you had to type.
“First you bemoan the fact that they were exposed to danger…”
Perhaps I didn’t express my thoughts as coherently as I’d hoped, but I was not intending to “bemoan” their predicament, I had hoped to elevate it to something akin to a heroic & selfless effort under the conditions as they appeared, perhaps worthy of not writing them off if they subsequently express a reluctance to get jabbed.
I have no direct knowledge of what life has been like over there for you all or for care workers in particular. A more careful reading of the paragraph you quoted might suggest that I don’t even assert with any confidence this “danger” you assert I felt they’d been exposed to:
“…what was presented as…”
“…apparently posed to them….”
“One hopes that those indulging in healthcare are able to differentiate between data about vaccine safety and efficacy and propaganda broadcasted by antivaxxers.”
I readily admit that people in this field may, even more so than the average person, be able to differentiate between propaganda & safety & efficacy data. On that basis, I am particularly interested when such large numbers of people in the medical profession & frontline staff are expressing a reluctance to join the trials.
Of course, I’m assuming the premise behind your last paragraph is the myopic assumption that anything contradicting the demands to get jabbed is mindless “propaganda” and all the “data” is in support of the government diktat, which is a pretty hopeful & mindless presumption on both counts.
I don’t do Facebook or Twitter and, when it comes to such important questions of health & well being, I don’t take my cue from polemic comments on line.
But when VPs & chief scientific officers of the very companies bringing products to market raise concerns, I pay attention.
When someone within the very institutions & companies spearheading the rush to jab the lot of us, with a resume brimming full of “senior program officer-global health vaccine discovery (BMGF)”, “director, research program leader head of adjuvants”, “chief innovation & scientific officer”, “global project director influenza vaccines”, “program manager (GAVI)”, “head of adjuvant technologies (GSK)”, is jumping out of his skin urging caution & warning of inherent dangers, I listen.
That list goes on & on over the past 12 months, of people with no conflict of interest except their interest expressed through the Hippocratic oath, common sense and concern for humanity, backed up by lifetime careers in their respective fields. It’s science! and all about discussion, with some opinions eventually proving more correct or knowledgeable than others.
It should not be about political diktats, suppressing dissenting opinions & over paid behavioural scientists & perception managers trying to massage the public will, through fear & hatred, to conform to ages old, pre established aims set out in vainglorious efforts such as Event 201 or the WEF’s arse buggering Great Reset.
And perhaps those care workers you’d gladly cast on the scrap heap now they’ve served their purpose at the “coal face” might know something you don’t.
Like I said in my comment to glenn_uk, if you want to give it a go, good luck to you & I wish you well, but drop the “holier than thou” bullsh!t & stop regurgitating the facile ad hominem attacks at people expressing their perfectly rational concerns (I’ve seen them pop up regularly in the comments section).
Or don’t! it’s still a free world, in theory, so type what you want.
Personally, I won’t be suspending critical thought & placing my faith in some foppish, Bullingdon eejit & his assorted sycophants, or in utterly compromised, regulatory institutions staffed by revolving door, Pharma profiteers, financed by a specky twat who used to sell computers before getting caught indulging his faintly eugenicist leanings in India, Nigeria & Kenya.
I can say with certainty that I won’t be joining the experimental gene therapy (mRNA) trials, even when they are finalised in 2022 or 2023, quite possibly. I may consider one of the other more traditional ‘vaccines’, if they prove to be just that i.e they prevent infection & transmission rather than simply suppressing symptoms (& haven’t killed too many people in the meantime).
I’ve had any number of vaccines/medical interventions over the years & love the advances being made in these fields.
But I’ve also had any number of opportunities to see just how shockingly inept, disingenuous & depraved politicians, Pharma peddlers & other sociopathic profiteers can be over the past 20 or 30 years, so I wouldn’t bet my life on them.March 28, 2021 at 14:26 #69530josh R
not that it applies to me or the comments here in response to my vitriolic ranting, but can I assume this convention applies to labelling people “conspiracy theorists” or “antivaxxer” too?
just out of interestMarch 28, 2021 at 15:15 #69538ET
For the record:
I would recommend anyone who has the opportunity to have any of the Sars-Cov-2 vaccines to avail of it. I am not advocating a stance against these vaccines.
Whilst I think it is highly unlikely that these or any other vaccines will have serious long term side effects we just don’t and cannot definitively know that yet for these Sars-Cov-2 vaccines. There is simply no getting around that.
This is not the argument here. Making something mandatory is a whole other step. Mandatory training is one thing, mandatory vaccination is another entirely different thing. If I feel like running in ifront of the nearest bus whilst sitting through yet another manual handling mandatory training session it isn’t really affecting me apart from pure boredom. A vaccination or other treatment that affects the internal milieu of my own body and no one else’s is an entirely different thing. I am aware that were I to refuse vaccination and subsequently become infected with Sars-Cov-2 and infect others that my refusal to be vaccinated possibly contributed to that situation. keep in mind that no vaccine is 100% effective and I may have caught the infection despite being vaccinated.
That again is a separate argument. The vaccination, in and of itself, affects me and only me in terms of what it may or may not do to my body and, for the moment, putting aside it’s possible beneficial effects to me and others. It is a fundamental tenet of medical care that anyone, assuming they have the mental capacity to consent, has the right to refuse treatment even if such refusal is considered not to be in their best interests. Mandatory vaccination or mandatory any other treatment encroaches on that right. Regardless of any justification for doing so that it encroaches on that right is extant.
The argument then shifts. Under which circumstances is “society” justified to encroach that right? There is precedent in the medical profession. Despite no one in the UK becoming infected with HIV from medical treatment there was concern that those health care staff involved in high risk procedures could transmit HIV if they were infected. From 2003 all such staff had to be tested. Strangely, those employed before 2003 didn’t have to be tested. The new rules didn’t apply to those already in employment. Here is a Guardian article from 2003. Hep B vaccination is another example. I suspect military personnel also have to accept vaccinations and treatments. I am thinking here of “gulf war syndrome” if it exists.
“Mandatory is not the same as a condition of employment”
This is true as shown above with HIV testing for certain healthcare workers. However mandatory something as a condition of continued employment is a different concept. Again, same as the fact they didn’t test those employed before 2003.
Disregarding vaccines and the differing view points on vaccines alone making anything mandatory and specifically anything that affects your own body with a potential for harm, no matter how remote represents a fundamental shift in the framework for such things. Society needs to be very careful of such a step.March 28, 2021 at 15:58 #69540Clark
Josh R, what will it take to get you to calm down? You wrote:
– “when it comes to such important questions of health & well being, I don’t take my cue from polemic comments on line”
so by that standard, should I not ignore your comments too?
There most certainly is conspiracy theory and anti-vax propaganda; myself and SA have tried discussing with those who argue in such ways; it is exhausting and unenlightening and, I’m sorry to say, your discussion style, with its references to Event 201 and the Great Reset, and your apparent denial of the dangers of SARS-CoV-2, and your apparent confusion of opinion with evidence, seem to be tending in that direction.
So what does it take to get you to calm down?March 28, 2021 at 16:05 #69541Clark
Josh R, to save the moderators from posting a note, which they are reluctant to do, “conspiracy theorist” and “antivaxxer” are not imputation of motive, they are description of position, like “left wing” and “right wing”. An example of imputation of motive would be if I were to insinuate that you’re an employee of a foreign government agency, working from a boiler room of trolls trying to maximise the death rate in countries your government officially deems to be their enemies.March 28, 2021 at 17:47 #69550SA
Here we are arguing about whether society can ask someone to be altruistic enough to have a vaccine with so far good safety record and with some proven efficacy in a rather difficult situation affecting the health of a sizeable number in the population but also with a major effect on society. Altruism however seems dead. But we as a society are quite happy to ask many young people to be trained to kill and if necessary also die with little benefit to themselves other than a salary. So if we have a very highly moral society then why are all those protesting about vaccinating front line workers as a condition of employment, but I see no outrage against military recruitment.
E.T. it would be possible to ask those who do not want to be vaccinated not to be front line workers and have other less exposed roles in the NHS.
Josh R, apologies, you don’t sound like the classic antivaxxer but the use of such words as an experimental gene therapy vaccine, sounds very much like a phrase taken out from some of the websites that advocate antivaccine teachings.March 28, 2021 at 18:49 #69556ET
” it would be possible to ask those who do not want to be vaccinated not to be front line workers and have other less exposed roles in the NHS.”
In the case of hospitals doctors, nurses, porters, care assistants etc will all have some patient contact and for most patient contact will be the largest component of their job. For most doctors rotas their numbers reflect the bare minimum needed to fulfil the 48 hour max average week. Losing even one doc messes that up. Similarly for nurses and midwives, they are already short staffed. being realistic, as a doc or nurse/midwife you ain’t much use to anyone if you can’t see patients. Similarly for care staff in nursing homes etc, the majority of the work involves patient/resident contact.
Perhaps a handful could be accommodated but no more than that.
I don’t think it is an issue of altruism, those with altruistic view points will likely have their vaccine anyway. There is a good deal of push back even from the care home operators. Also, as I was trying to express in my previous post the question goes beyond the immediate considerations of the Sars-Cov-2 vaccines.March 28, 2021 at 18:52 #69557glenn_uk
Josh R: What a load of hysterical blather from you. Try to calm down and go for quality rather than verbosity. That way, if you actually have a point, we might be able to see what it is. Ever bothered trying to understand a point, when its maker is providing it in a spittle-flecked rant?
Where are you, anyway? It would be nice to know where your perspective is coming from. A small introduction before taking to the floor and blasting away would have been polite. Maybe there are no manners where you come from?
Nobody is being forced to work in a nursing home. If they did, they have a duty of care to their charges – and that includes not being subject to a deadly disease where it can be avoided.
What is your problem anyway – these rules to protect others? Vaccines generally, or just this one? The notion that Covid-19 itself exists or is deadly?
Try to explain yourself instead of coming across as you have done so far – and I’m far to polite to say what that is.March 28, 2021 at 18:56 #69558SA
Front line staff are those dealing intensively with patients in ITU for example. Others may have much less exposure to direct covid patients. I presume the NHS still has other than covid patients?March 28, 2021 at 19:03 #69559Clark
SA – “Altruism however seems dead”
That is merely the impression on social media such as this. Thankfully the majority have more moderate views. I suspect that small-scale, manually moderated websites such as this one are being turned to as those with more extreme views migrate from the major sites such as Facebook and Twitter where censorship is automated by algorithms.March 28, 2021 at 19:37 #69562ET
“Front line staff are those dealing intensively with patients in ITU for example. Others may have much less exposure to direct covid patients. I presume the NHS still has other than covid patients?”
Yes, to an extent, but most covid patients don’t end up on ITU. There is a potential for virus transmission from anyone you see. Keep in mind that mandating a vaccine for staff is mainly aimed at protecting patients/care home residents from staff and to an extent other staff. Also keep in mind that the telegraph article stated that this legal requirement is directed at care home staff and not hospital staff.
“Care home workers will be required by law to have a Covid-19 jab under a historic legal change agreed by Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, The Telegraph can reveal.”
“If the law change is voted through, it is likely that the vast majority of the 1.5 million people who work in England’s adult social care sector would be legally bound to have a Covid vaccination.”
Read through the whole article.March 28, 2021 at 20:37 #69565Clark
I suspect that there will not be a real need for compulsory vaccination of care workers. It would be needed mostly if infection prevalence were to again soar. Current infection prevalence is well under a tenth of its peak in January, it’s still falling, we’re still under restrictions and a majority of workers will get vaccinated voluntarily, many already are.
I know what went on in the care home where a friend of mine works. Staff were complaining of covid symptoms but management were insisting they continue to come in to work. Lateral flow tests were coming up negative until too late; the management may even have deliberately sourced tests with a bad false negative rate just to keep staff working.
The government are making a show of “doing something” when it was the government’s own delay in implementing restrictions, its own failure to control employers, its own failure to hold the press to account that created the problem. So now they’re acting all tough; it’s clear they never learned that effective discipline can only ever start with oneself.March 29, 2021 at 06:20 #69572SA
Altruism is not dead. I am sorry that in a moment of gloom I wrote that it was, but what I should have said was that the neoliberal capitalism doctrine of reliance on the hidden hand of the market, takes no consideration of altruism. But there are many examples in local communities that in fact altruism is thriving.
Also I have somewhere also said that the other big problem about trying to mandate vaccination where staff are under stress and there is a shortage, may lead to even bigger staff shortages due to resignations and difficulties in recruitment of the appropriate level of qualifications.
Of course it is best to vaccinate by consent and we do know that under the present government, legislations will be used for the benefit of money over people.March 29, 2021 at 08:23 #69574josh R
“One of these (rules) requires you not to impugn other people’s motives”
The “antivaxxer” & “conspiracy theorist” labels insinuate that the ‘motive’ behind a person’s comments are ideological & misinformed, therefore not rational or valid, effectively ‘impugning’ it.
I asked the question because, in the comments on the open (?) comment pages of Murray’s blog, I’ve been noticing a worrying prevalence of the use of these labels in pithy & formulaic responses to anyone expressing ideas contrary to the ‘official’ COVID/vaccination narrative.
These labels seem to conforms to a pattern over the past year of closing down debate & forcing the adoption of a narrow political agenda, at least in main stream media & online discourse.
This is not healthy & I think that’s reflected in the number of thoughtful commentators, high & low profile, who have been terrified away from expressing a dissenting or counter argument, except in whispered conversations between trusted & close confidants, or in more openly ‘rabid’ & polemic circles.
However, this does seem to be the ‘trend’ of the year, exemplified in attacks on people having opinions not officially sanctioned by the ministry of ‘woke’, in regards to gender, race, sexuality or any number of ‘isms’.
Only that, in relation to the corona virus conversation, not being ‘woke’ enough implies you are a potential murderer. I know that sounds melodramatic, but that does seem to be the inference & very strongly held. If you don’t “toe the line”, you are a potential ‘killer’.
Which is not a new put down, either. When the official narrative was that Saddam was 45 minutes away from bombing the country, to question the mainstream was to support terrorism and the “enemy at the door”. To condemn the destruction & looting of Libya or to question the support of ‘moderate’ terrorism in Syria was to condone murderous tyranny.
What has most struck me over these 12 months, viewed from afar, is the degree of hatred & name calling on both sides, which I have honestly found more horrifying than the perceived health crisis.
Yelling “anti vaxxer” seems no different to yelling “Covidiot”. The only difference being that the former adheres to the ‘official’ line of the day & is given a sheen of respectability, but both serve only to stifle debate & assume that motivations are ideological rather than possibly relevant.
I’m not suggesting that moderators need to adopt this into their “conventions” of permissible dialogue. Just exploring what feels like an inconsistency.
btw, I’m not “…an employee of a foreign government agency..” blah, blah, blah. Just in case anyone was wondering 🙂March 29, 2021 at 08:34 #69575josh R
By “supporting ourselves”, I’m merely referring to putting food on the table, today & tomorrow, for oneself/one’s family and keeping a roof over their head. Nothing so existential (if that’s the right word?) as “taking orders from some …. power structure”.
“..in the real world..” being the world people are waking up to today & tomorrow, not the world as it ought to or could be.
I would not disagree with your thoughts on how those two concepts could & most probably should be challenged. But in terms of care workers being able to exercise the strength of their convictions by simply abandoning the jobs they hold, in the short term, the idea of reimagining & changing “the current political-economic environment” is a luxury people do not have. Hence making the “mandatory” vs “punitively coercive” point as regards ‘get jabbed’ or ‘get sacked’.
“Let’s turn towards each other rather than against.”
A very laudable sentiment but there seems to be little room for ‘we can agree to disagree’, it feels more like ‘get on board or get to fk’ (not how I’m interpreting your comment, simply how the wider discourse seems to have been shaped).March 29, 2021 at 08:55 #69576josh R
I’m sorry Clark, but these issues don’t inspire me to feel calm when considering them directly.
I think that current events conform too readily to a pattern that is utterly redefining the world we live in, in an existentially & detrimental fashion that is hard to understate – the ‘wood for the trees’, if you will.
“….should I not ignore your comments too?”
By all means, do so. We all skim through the plethora of opinions & information presented to us by all and sundry, picking up on some thoughts & discounting others. Part of critical thinking, surely?
& on this particular subject I am entirely unqualified, so please don’t give any undue credence to what you see on your screen simply because I typed it.
As I mentioned previously, I look to inform myself through more qualified sources, wherever possible, whilst still being interested & concerned to know what any other people are thinking.
But personally, I have no interest in spoon feeding anyone else with how they should think. I am drawn to those who supply footnotes, references & professional expertise for truly informative writing, as I would imagine most other people are. I am not such a writer and that is not what I expect to contribute or get from a chat forum or comments section, although admittedly it can sometimes pop up in these places.
“There..is conspiracy theory and anti-vax propaganda”
Yep, without a doubt there is. There is also ‘pro-vax propaganda’, although it’s more usually called managing the narrative, or perception management.
As with those that Murray lists on his blog posts, the likes of Integrity Initiative & Brigade 77 are explicitly tasked with this job.
I’ve no idea what became of these discussions back in September 2020:
but I think that’s a case in point (I almost felt sorry for BoJo watching this?!? He looked decidedly uncomfortable).
There’re also conspiracies hinted at on both sides (a conspiracy simply being 2 or more people planning something bad or illegal out of the public eye), such as ‘foreign agent/state’ instigated disinformation campaigns, backed up by spurious reports from intelligence sources who’ve often been known to be ‘wrong’ (?), replete with unconvincing terms like “we judge”, “we assess”, “probably” & “likely”, echoed endlessly through the MS atop a ticker tape of discredited but horrifying statistics.
And let’s not forget confirmed conspiracies, such as deciding & planning to bomb a sovereign nation and it’s population back into the stone age, regardless of legality or international condemnation. Or discredited conspiracy theories such as OBL perpetrating the attacks on 911 in cahoots with Saddam Hussein.
And whilst conspiracy theories or theorists abound on both sides of the argument, almost to the point of obscuring that which is useful to know, there may be points of relevance buried away in the seemingly outlandish commentaries. A further instance where critical thought & an open mind is crucial.
“…references to Event 201 and the Great Reset…”
Event 201 happened. It was specifically aimed at preparation & planning for a viral epidemic. It’s not unreasonable to imagine that it is of interest, one way or another.
It named the very virus that was to later consume our world for 12 months; discussions held there on managing online & social media information/disinformation paved the way for the decisions we’ve seen play out ever since.
Simply mentioning it should not cause you to reach for the “antivaxxer” cut off switch.
The WEF are not shy about the Great Reset, with Klaus extolling the virtues of their proposal & releasing glossy PR videos of how we’ll all be ‘happy’ in his new world.
These ideas didn’t materialise out of nowhere & the implications should be somewhere near the forefront of all our minds, were we not ‘distracted’. Again, merely seeing those 2 words need not be a reason to fall into pigeon holing & dismissing a person.
However such events are discussed, I think it’s hard to argue that they should not feature in the discussion somewhere, whichever ‘side’ you’re presumed to be on.
“…your apparent denial of the dangers of SARS-CoV-2,..”
I gave up a long time ago trying to work out how dangerous COVID is or isn’t, it’s an exercise well above my paygrade. As such, I wouldn’t state definitively how dangerous it is, one way or another.
But there are other dangers associated with the response to COVID that are more readily digestible, whether that be the horrific increase in global poverty; the abrogation of basic human rights & freedoms; the reported fears of an ‘epidemic’ of child suicides; the almost predictable increase in wealth inequality, looting & profiteering; the unsurprising fiddling & misrepresenting of statistics, etc. etc. etc.
“So what does it take to get you to calm down?”
Thankfully, when the world closed its borders, I ended up stranded in a country where we can smile at one another freely, where we can potter about freely, where there are apparently no frightening numbers of corona virus fatalities, where we can socialise and do not keep one another at an anti social distance. So outside of this individual thread, my life is quite calm.
But we did lock down twice last year, for a month each time, so I got a taste of that horror.
And people here are exposed to all the global reporting on the subject that everyone else is so there is a degree of fear & anxiety. And as the economy crumbles, I have friends losing all their savings, homes & family land, their businesses, unable to eat properly or send their kids to school.
But I am relatively unscathed, at most inconvenienced, so ‘calm’ is not a difficult state for me, day to day.
But as I see this seismic & unprecedented event play out, as the inconsistencies & omissions become apparent, as the narrative becomes unquestionable ideology & dissent is quashed, as nefarious & long established objectives become realised by our benevolent ruling minorities under cover of protecting our well being, I worry that keeping ‘calm’ will come back to haunt us in the years to come.
“Keep Calm & Carry On” over the past 20 years of a fraudulent war on terror has left scars of death, destruction & horror across this planet that I am utterly incapable of comprehending in their fullness.
To consider that, in addition to endless military and economic aggressions, we must now accommodate an endless biological war is a bit disheartening.
“…it is exhausting and unenlightening…”
I couldn’t agree more. Opinions in many discussions on our current state of affairs, but by no means all, seem utterly & completely entrenched. Not something I’ve really encountered before & I can only surmise that it is down to the unprecedented levels of fear involved, fear of tyranny vs fear of death.
I don’t imagine either one of us is likely to be swayed by what is shared here. As I said, more meaningful information is unlikely to be found on a virtual face, twittering into the ether or on an online forum for people who only know what they’ve heard from other sources, which is most everybody (myself most definitely included).
I tend to imagine that the main difference between our positions is that you are convinced you are right and I just hope I am wrong. In this, I envy you.March 29, 2021 at 09:14 #69577josh R
you’re quite right about ‘verbosity’, hopefully I can do better.
“…if you actually have a point..”
I’m fairly confident that any point I might have to make would be entirely lost on you, sorry, just a gut feeling.
“A small introduction…would have been polite”
Human being, planet earth, that’s about all you need to concern yourself with.
This isn’t Tinder, is it.
And having come across any number of comments that seemed far from polite and which had your moniker attached, I’ll not be taking lessons on good manners from your good self 🙂
“…coming across as you have done so far – and I’m far to polite to say what that is.”
And I return the favour.March 29, 2021 at 10:50 #69578SA
Thank you for your detailed explanation of your position. You are quite right about the polarization that has beset society and has divided people who otherwise should be fighting the corrupt system that has been thriving on lies and on the support of the billionaire-controlled media. Most of those writing in this blog agree with you on the extremely dangerous creeping surveillance, disinformation and militarization. There is an overall prevailing narrative that is controlled by the system of world rule that favours the rich and the powerful, and governments that are simply working for these vested interests of the military-industrial-pharmaceutical complex.
But we need to separate facts and truths from how these are used by rulers and manipulated. The problem is now so serious that it is difficult for individuals to recognize these facts as absolute truths but to question everything. The major problem with SARS cov-2 is that from the outset, an essentially public health and medical issue has been heavily politicised. In many ways I agree with you, it is as if instead of the world uniting to fight the epidemic, the rulers have used this unprecedented opportunity to carry out a major consolidation of market capitalism in its ugliest form.
It is therefore important to separate a real event: a true pandemic, its implications and how it is usually handled, from the mismanagement of the pandemic. For example Event 201 was a real exercise which was meant to plan for a future pandemic. This is important to note, there is no conspiracy in planning such an event. What is appalling, is that certain governments, like the British Government for example, have reassured the population that they were fully prepared for the pandemic in January when they knew fairly well that they were not. Moreover, the answer suggested when the epidemic came, was to take it on the chin and wait for herd immunity. Later the government exploited the severe shortage of PPE to enrich its cronies under cover of dealing with an emergency which was ‘unprecedented and could not be predicted’. This is utter tosh, the fact is that this was all inevitable because that is the way the market capitalism that is the overriding system works, light government will inevitably lead to weak infrastructure, poor central professional coordination, and disaster. And we know from all previous disasters that that is what makes the rich richer. For example, the crash of 2007-2008 did not lead to reigning in of the banks, but bankers getting richer and the rest of us facing austerity.
Sorry for all this long expose, but what I am trying to say is that instead of Event 201 becoming interpreted in a conspiratorial way, much as 911 and the war on terror, the events were real but exploited by the establishment. Part of the exploitation is to get us all to fight each other rather than draw attention to the deliberate mismanagement. I would hope that indeed when there is an enquiry about the management of the pandemic, that it has sufficient integrity to actually quote event 201 as evidence of how the UKG ignored warnings and how criminally culpable all of them were in the way they reacted, too little too late.
Meanwhile, let us keep the science and ‘facts’ as much as they can be ascertained separate from politics and the way these have been manipulated.March 29, 2021 at 12:42 #69580Clark
Josh R, thanks for making matters clearer and a whole lot calmer. The fields you’ve mentioned are very diverse, which is appropriate because the pandemic has affected every aspect of everyone’s lives, globally. So to keep discussion manageable we’ll have to be disciplined in our approach. I suggest something like Wikipedia rules, which work well for subjects that have overwhelmingly large quantities of verifiable information available to the public eg. science, though they fail dismally when the only public information consists of brief and unverifiable assertions from often anonymous political and secret service sources, relentlessly amplified, exaggerated and recirculated by corporate “news” media.
What I’m suggesting is that we attempt to categorise the overall problem into subjects, working towards consensus within each, estimating the limits of what we can know as we go along, and cross-referencing between subjects to progressively narrow those limits. Also we should trace back through the “news” and social media echo-chambers to check against original sources. We’re not going to get it all done today!
Some words of introduction:
– “Thankfully, when the world closed its borders, I ended up stranded in a country where we can smile at one another freely, where we can potter about freely, where there are apparently no frightening numbers of corona virus fatalities, where we can socialise and do not keep one another at an anti social distance. So outside of this individual thread, my life is quite calm. But we did lock down twice last year, for a month each time, so I got a taste of that horror.”
I envy you. Most of the world did not close its borders, and that’s what turned an emergency in China into a global crisis. Here in the UK our first lockdown was implemented too late and consequently was prolonged for months. Eventually restrictions were relaxed somewhat, and we had two or three months before the pattern was repeated – “those unwilling to learn from history are condemned to repeat it” – infection prevalence again began to rise, the government again dithered permitting infections to soar, hospitals again overloaded as hundreds of thousands became seriously ill, and tens of thousands died, several of them connected to people I know.
– “I tend to imagine that the main difference between our positions is that you are convinced you are right and I just hope I am wrong. In this, I envy you.”
I am unusually fortunate in having a very close friend who has been an avid global catastrophe data-junkie for decades. Among his other interests he had been following virus-tracking web forums etc. long before this pandemic started. He is practised at finding good information and verifying it from diverse sources. He alerted me late January 2020; I didn’t pay enough attention until the 28th, the day that Wuhan locked down. From there he tracked its progress province-to-province and then Asian country-to-country, and I saw it do the same thing over and over again, so I was less surprised than most when it started doing the same in Europe. The UK government’s complacency and inaction were also depressingly predictable.
Covid spreads fast, and that’s a key characteristic in understanding its impact upon populations. It catches authorities unawares and under-prepared, and they let it get out of hand.
– “I gave up a long time ago trying to work out how dangerous COVID is or isn’t, it’s an exercise well above my paygrade. As such, I wouldn’t state definitively how dangerous it is, one way or another.”
The linked section of the COVID-19 Wikipedia page (above) seems very consistent with what me and my data-junkie friend have found for ourselves. I have linked to a specific revision rather than the main article so that my link in the context of this thread remains unchanged even though the Wiki page will get updated. I’ll explain and link the evidence I base my trust upon if you wish.
But the Infection Fatality Rate IFR really only conveys the personal, individual risk. The risk to and effects upon society as a whole are more to do with how fast covid-19 spreads. If we take a lower value from that link, say 0.5% as a convenient number, that equates to about 335,000 people in the UK. That’s around half the total usual number of deaths per year in the UK. Unrestricted, covid could kill that many over the course of a month or two, ie. for a month or two the death rate would be several times its usual rate. But almost certainly it would be worse than that. From the introduction of the Wiki page:
– “Of those people who develop noticeable symptoms, most (81%) develop mild to moderate symptoms (up to mild pneumonia), while 14% develop severe symptoms (dyspnea, hypoxia, or more than 50% lung involvement on imaging), and 5% suffer critical symptoms (respiratory failure, shock, or multiorgan dysfunction).”
The 0.5% figure for IFR is obtained mostly from populations for whom hospital treatment was available, but there is no way you can get 5% to 14% of any population into its hospital system, all in the same month or two. Without that treatment, at least twice as many would die, and quite probably the entire 5% suffering critical symptoms.
There are also the societal and economic consequences of so many falling ill at the same time and, with healthcare overloaded, people tending their loved ones instead of going to work. Infrastructure would probably start breaking down, leading to further disasters. We really can’t withstand widespread breakdown of systems such as electricity, gas, sewage, water supply, communications etc., each of which can adversely affect all the others.
Of course all the above assumes that the population would attempt to carry on precisely the same as usual, even as increasing numbers fell ill and started dying among them. They wouldn’t. They’d start avoiding infection; they’d effectively impose their own versions of lockdown conditions, slowing the spread and thereby mitigating my worst-case figures above. But having government and media is supposed to be an advantage, though I know the opposite proves true depressingly often, especially when they start bombing far away people. Governments are meant to serve populations by gathering data and understanding, making preparations, and informing the population. Locking down ahead of the arrival of the virus, while we change the way we do things to greatly impede its spread, would be a massive advantage to the people. If the UK government and media had done that, I might have experienced only two months of lockdown same as you.
This comment has so far taken me a couple of hours to compose, so I’ll just touch on one other thing you mentioned and then I have things I must get done. I was concerned about what you wrote regarding Event 201:
– “It named the very virus that was to later consume our world for 12 months”
That seemed too much to be coincidence, so I sought out the original source. The Wayback Machine at the Web Archive is a wonderful resource, and it started archiving the Event 201 website about three months before the pandemic started. At the top of the page, and encoded into the web address, you can see that the “snapshot” below was captured on 26 Dec 2019:
They were close:
They got the bat origin and relationship to SARS right, but they had the original human outbreak at a pig farm in South America, overestimated the time until vaccine development, and didn’t predict the name of the virus. But the scenario presented to business and government people was prepared by a section of the scientific community, and they’d been warning us about potential pandemics for decades – which is precisely why my data-junkie friend had been following the virus tracking forums. What immense tragedy that our governments are far less vigilant.March 29, 2021 at 12:58 #69581Clark
– “it is as if instead of the world uniting to fight the epidemic, the rulers have used this unprecedented opportunity to carry out a major consolidation of market capitalism in its ugliest form.”
Yes. That is precisely what neoliberal capitalism is entirely and deliberately set up to do – to capitalise upon any occurrence, disastrous or otherwise – but disasters can be particularly profitable, because they demand action, and action is “economic activity”, from which the richest always derive a percentage.
Conversely, civil society was woefully under-prepared – cuts to the public sector being another feature of neoliberalism, ironically further boosting profit when some disaster, any disaster, inevitably arrives.March 29, 2021 at 17:26 #69597Tatyana
To what extent capitalism is united, that’s what I’m interested in.
Today I received the first stage of Sputnik V. Before, I searched detailed info on it.
Its development was funded by the Russian Investment Fund, whose head is a graduate of Stanford and Harvard, ex-employee of Goldman&Sachs and McKinsey.
This Russian foundation has joint projects with Italy, France, Japan, China, Saudis and so on.
What made me think that “politics” is a kind of tip of the iceberg, a performance for ordinary citizens. In fact, for capitalism, the friendliness or hostility of states does not matter.
I believed that Russia is isolated, that no one was investing here, that we were really substituting imports with domestic goods – because of politics and sanctions.March 30, 2021 at 08:42 #69606SA
Capitalism is a doctrine and subscribers only care for advancing the cause of money as the only route to prosperity and advancement. Subscribers to the doctrine have no allegiance to any state or country or any other human grouping. They are quite happy to ditch their own if they are no longer useful. Capitalism also evolves and its latest invention, globalisation, is made to sound glamorous and inviting, but globalisation is only for those who can afford it and can benefit from it. There is no freedom of movement in this brand of globalisation, just freedom of movement of capital and for those who can afford it.
You mention Russia, yes the Russian state is the enemy because it will not obey the rules of market capitalism, the most recent form of rampant capitalism, and the state still practices a managed economy to an extent and Putin is hated because he saved Russia from the total claws of the market capitalists, yet manages to keep the oligarchs in check. Some of these oligarchs are favourites of the west as long as they can buy and develop football clubs and invest in the British housing market and contribute with donations to the Tory party. You understand that this really has nothing to do with ‘The Russian people’.March 30, 2021 at 11:31 #69609Clark
Tatyana – ‘“politics” is a kind of tip of the iceberg, a performance for ordinary citizens. In fact, for capitalism, the friendliness or hostility of states does not matter.’
I saw this coming several decades ago. Corporations grow by buying and thereby subsuming their smaller competitors. States cannot do this very much; they sometimes attack weaker states and then install a compliant government, or take over much smaller states, or grab a little territory or some small islands, but small states are allied to bigger states, the top of that hierarchy being the five Nuclear Weapons States and Permanent Members of the UNSC. Corporations are not restrained in this way, so the biggest can grow and grow, and are now as economically powerful as the nuclear weapons empires.
Corporations’ operations are subject to the laws of the states in which they operate, but by straddling the globe they play off states against each other, eg. US Apple manufactures in China to pay low wages and bypass unions; Google’s UK operations pay tax in the Republic of Ireland because the tax rate is much lower, etc. This way, the corporations hold the states to ransom, forcing down wages, tax and protection of workers. Unless all the states were to elect socialist governments at the same time, the corporations can always penalise the more socialist states by moving their operations elsewhere.March 30, 2021 at 12:03 #69615Clark
SA, I agree with all of your comment, but would add this:
– “Capitalism is a doctrine and subscribers only care for advancing the cause of money as the only route to prosperity and advancement”
Yes, but capitalism is also a system. “Macrocosm dominates microcosm”, ie. species adapt to the environment. In companies whose stocks are traded on the stock exchanges, there aren’t really even any “subscribers” who “care” about anything much. The “investors” just put money into portfolios, and software does the trading, because it has much faster reaction times than humans.March 30, 2021 at 12:58 #69616SA
” Unless all the states were to elect socialist governments at the same time..”
I hate to be gloomy but I think this door has been shut as we saw in UK and US and movements that show some semblance of paying lip service to socialism or even wish to maintain welfare elements in their governance are under constant attack on all sides. Even in the interwar years capitalism has survived because it adapted by tinkering and went along with the powerful swell of demand for a welfare state, partly because at the time this also helped capitalism recover because it needed consumers. The open hostilities became obvious when workers and trade unions got too powerful for the interests of capital.
The situation will only get worse because of not only globalisation making corporations above national laws, but because computerization and advances in robotics will make many jobs redundant and those few who can afford it will have vast powers. The only use for the 99% will be as consumers of the products that will keep the 1% getting richer. Maybe the focus of the new industry will be to manufacture robotic consumers to replace the consumption by the then unemployed and useless to capital majority.
Unless there is a new revision and someone can reverse these trends I can see no easy way out of this gloomy future of market capitalism.March 30, 2021 at 13:46 #69618Tatyana
my country tried to build socialism. From the experience of my parents, who were born in the end of 40s, the task was to feed people and educate children. Teachers and doctors were highly respected. The meals for the children were organized in the most careful way. Permanent medical supervision, annual health improvement of children at resorts at the expense of the state. Many schools had gardens, or the school was patronized by a factory / collective farm. I saw the echoes of that system myself as a child.
I felt the care of adults and understood that I also need to become useful to society, if I want to be treated on an equal footing.
I am terrified of commerce in modern schools. Parents pay for school lunches, and those simply suck. Ugly, unhealthy overpriced food delivered through a chain of agents, each of whom adds their share to the price. The teaching job is no longer about developing children, but about preparing them for the final test. Paid services, paid competitions, and paid textbooks are constantly being imposed. Recommended school uniform manufacturer. Preferred events to attend. This is a real manifestation of capitalism. Competition among children.
They are already growing up without a sense of real care. They already understand that they will have to gnaw and punch their way in adulthood. The model of society is different, much more indifferent.March 30, 2021 at 15:10 #69619Clark
Tatyana, that is similar to my own experience in the UK. The utility companies – electricity, gas, telephone, railways etc. were owned by the government. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher began selling them off in the 1980s. And as you say, it has changed people’s attitudes, for the worse.
It was the people who changed things after WWII, but bit by bit they have been changed back. And the people can change them again. They have to be changed; we have only twenty years before the Arctic has no ice in summer, first time in 130,000 years, and species are becoming extinct at hundreds of times the usual rate. The world is racing to disaster.