Hysteriavirus

Does anyone remember necrotising fasciitis? An absolutely horrible disease that runs, very fast, under your skin using the lymphatic system. The only hope you had was to be literally skinned alive and face months of skin grafts afterwards – and that’s only if you survived it. It killed in a matter of hours once it took off so very early diagnosis was absolutely essential.

That was a bacterium. Antibiotics would work but you just didn’t have time for tests. It would take a couple of days to work out the best antibiotic and you’d be dead by then. There were tales of people literally dissolving on train journeys. Which never happened, of course.

That disease was a rare one and killed a total of eight people one year. The media frenzy was astonishing. People genuinely believed they would melt on the way to work.

Then we had swine flu, Ebola, and so many others that were going to end the human race and somehow didn’t.

Now we have coronavirus. It’s a virus. Antibiotics will do nothing at all to it. Antibiotics work by messing up some aspect of cell metabolism and viruses have no metabolism. There’s also no vaccine because there are so many variants. Basically, if it gets in, you have an infection.

This latest one started in China. It’s now global. This, like all the other infections blamed on climate change, has nothing at all to do with climate change. It has everything to do with modern human mobility – and no, I definitely do not advocate us returning to the horse and cart mode of transport.

It’s even appeared in Scotland. I live in Scotland. Am I terrified? Nah. I’m a smoker and a drinker and if you believe the hype, those things each give me a 50% chance of dying from them so I’m doomed anyway. This latest coronavirus is killing 3% of those that catch it. It’s an amateur. Diptheria, typhoid fever, many other currently extant diseases are laughing at it.

Oh I know it’s cold comfort if you happen to be one of the 3% but you know, you’re much more likely to be one of the 97% who catch it and survive.

Even more likely to be one of the very many who never get it at all. Like all these terrible pandemics, it’s being hyped as the End of Humanity. I doubt any other species on the planet takes such delight in imagining themselves being eradicated from existence. Still, as a horror writer, it’s a useful trait to have in the audience.

There are many videos of people wearing dust masks in the streets. Viruses are not dust. Viruses are so small you can’t see them with a microscope because they are smaller than the wavelengths of visible light. A dust mask, to a virus, is like driving a truck into the mouth of a large volcano. It’s not even going to touch the sides. Those dust masks serve only one purpose – to make people think they are safe.

Of course, you can’t provide people with filter masks that could stop viruses. The holes in the filter would be so small you would have trouble breathing through them. What you need is a multi-layer filter which would still not be perfect but which would be a hell of a lot better. A fluted, deep multi-layer filter fitted into a rubber mask that covers your nose and mouth would be the best thing here.

You know. The sort of thing an ex-microbiologist who’s spent a career working with pathogens and who has recently closed his lab might have lying about in his shed 😉

It’s a little sobering to recall that I visited China almost 30 years ago. It was work, not a holiday, so I was treated to genuine backstreet Chinese restaurants. When I came back, after ten days, I had lost ten pounds in weight and was, for one of the few times in my life, actually pretty trim.

Was I sick from the food? No. The food was wonderful. Not at all like the Westernised junk we get here. I lost weight because of the Chinese way of eating. The food is on plates on a lazy-susan in the centre of the table and all you ever have on the tiny plate in front of you is what you are about to eat right now. You stop when you’ve had enough. There is no mound of food on a plate that you have to clear. You take a little bit at a time.

Okay, some of the food was a bit strange. I tried it all anyway, even dog. Yes, I had to take rabies shots before going to China and they were pointless. They’d eaten all the dogs.

Of course, dogs aren’t the only carriers of rabies. Bats are another potent source. But I didn’t get offered bat, fortunately. Nor was I offered live baby rat nor the still-writhing remains of a squid. I have eaten most things, even steak cheval (in France) but bats, rats and the still wriggling seafood would have been a challenge.

I did manage to disgust them by eating a raw garlic clove and telling them what was in haggis. Yes, I managed to eat something that made the Chinese go ‘Ewww!’ I should have that on my gravestone, I think.

Now we are regaled by images of a Chinese man eating live baby rats and the tale of a Chinese woman who ate a whole bat. I don’t know why that’s remarkable, bats aren’t generally all that big. This dietary regime, apparently, is the cause of all ills. Well, as a smoker, I’m happy to have a day off from that particular blame game. Let the foodies have it for a while.

The Chinese have always eaten this way. With that size of population you eat what you can get and that has been true for a very long time. It really isn’t the fault of the Chinese people that coronavirus mutated into a new form. It does that all the time, and it’s not the only virus to do it. Rhinovirus is especially adept at it, which is why there is no cure for the common cold (that, and the fact it’s hardly up there with the ’cause of death’ crowd).

So yes, this is a nasty virus and it spreads easily, just like colds and flu. It’s going to be a horrible experience to get it and there is a 3% chance it might kill you. There’s also a 97% chance it won’t.

Take simple precautions, just as you would when there’s a cold or flu going around, and chances are you’ll never catch it at all. Don’t put your trust in dust masks, they won’t help in the slightest.

I think it might be time to put out an anti-hysteria infection book, perhaps with ‘Don’t Panic’ in large, friendly letters on the cover.

The Wood and the Trees

Well, the silliness has ramped up. Bozza has ducked out of being interviewed by Andrew Neil, which I think was a bad idea. Okay, Mr. Neil has a reputation as a hard interviewer and he did wipe the floor with Nicky the Fish and Jerry Cordite. No doubt he’d do the same to Bozza. It would be embarrassing.

However, running away is never a good look for someone who wants to be the leader of a country.

On the other hand, his and Smoky Nige’s decision to snub the Church of Climatology’s debate was the right one. It was just a circle jerk of ‘I’m greener than you’ daft sods, hosted by the propaganda channel for Extinction Rebellion. The ice blocks were the winners in that debate.

Jo Swindles said she doesn’t think her five-year-old has ever seen a hedgehog. Hedgehogs are nocturnal and hibernate in winter. Not too many five year olds get to stay up late enough in summer to even see the sunset. So he probably hasn’t seen any bats or owls either, since he’d be asleep when they were active.

Jerry Cordite plans to plant something like 150 trees a minute for 20 years. Estimates vary.

Well, he clearly hasn’t considered the total land area of this country since he plans to use as much land as Wales, with no regard to towns or cities. Nor indeed, farms. Incidentally, he also promises to build 100,000 new council houses every year. Presumably they will be tree houses.

There are large areas of the UK where almost nobody lives. Drive through the very north of England at night and you’ll experience total blackness. Not so much as a porch light. For miles. Large chunks of central Wales are the same. Drive through them in daylight and you’ll see why those areas are unoccupied. It’s because they are horrible places to live.

Mountains, steep sides, nothing but grass and gorse. Not even trees. Picturesque to look at but mostly inaccessible and really not much fun in winter.

Why no trees? Can’t Jerry plant all his trees there?

Nope. For the same reason nobody cultivates crops on those lands. They are basically rock with a thin layer of topsoil. Tree roots can’t get deep enough to hold up the tree. The soil supports grass and not much else. They are grazing lands for sure-footed sheep and really not much use for anything else.

This is one of the reasons turning the country vegan is a bad idea. You can’t just kill all the sheep and cattle and grow crops instead. An awful lot of UK land only grows grass – and even if the soil could support crops, good luck ploughing and harvesting a 45-degree slope!

I’d open a scrapyard at the bottom of it and wait for the battered tractors to come rolling in…

Those billion trees aren’t going to be planted on the wide open spaces. They’ll take farmland because that’s the only place they’ll grow. No more crops.

This trees idea is as daft as Boris reinstating the entire rail network for the price of a medium sized garden railway. I’m exaggerating? There is a G scale Coronation class engine on eBay, live steam, for £6,700. That will need coaching stock and track and that’s just one train. Yes, some people spend millions on their model railways. I would too, if I ever had millions.

I haven’t heard a single realistic promise yet. Come December 12th, it’s not going to be a case of which party to vote for.

We’re going to have to decide which fantasy we want to see fail.

Free Energy

First of all – the new Leg Iron Books publication. It actually came out on Sunday but as tradition dictates, this blog is silent for Remembrance Day. Both the Sunday and the actual 11th. So announcing the release had to wait.

***

Free energy. Turn the heating up to ‘equatorial’, leave the lights on all the time and have the oven eternally ready to bung in a roast. Pay nothing at all, or maybe pennies, for all that.

A pipe dream. Of course. If you did that now you’d probably bankrupt yourself in a month.

And yet…

Tesla had designed a free energy system based on the pyramids that dot the world. The pyramids were not burial mounds, not even the ones in Egypt, and it is becoming more and more clear that the ancient Egyptians didn’t build theirs. They found them already there. Already in the first stages of decline.

Gobekli Tepe is touted as the ‘beginning of civilisation’ but it clearly isn’t. It’s pretty advanced and ‘suddenly appeared’ from the nomadic hunter-gatherers who lived in the region. They took one step from animal-skin tents to advanced stonework. Really? It was deliberately buried. Were they embarrassed by their non-tent-based endeavours because other tent-dwellers laughed at them? Or did they not even know it was already there? Was it a beginning or an end?

Did Tesla’s system work? We might never know. Free energy is the ultimate horror to any energy company. Of course they are going to shut it down – and energy companies are very, very powerful. Imagine every oil, gas and electricity company saying ‘Yeah, okay, it’s all free now, we’re closing down’. Then try to imagine it again. If you managed to do it the first time you’re living in cloud cuckoo land. If you managed the second time you probably vote Green.

Those companies, just like any other companies in any other line of business, will not go quietly into that good night. If anyone comes up with a free energy system based on Tesla’s ideas or zero point vacuum energy or anything else, they will be made an offer they can’t refuse and be silenced.

It’s not ‘conspiracy theory’, it’s perfectly logical business theory. If someone is going to shut down your multinational business at a stroke and you can afford to offer them enough cash to shut up about it, of course you’ll do it.

Then you get them to sign a draconian ‘shut the fuck up’ contract in exchange for enough cash to drink themselves into a coma. It works in every field. The penalties for breaking the shut-up contract are beyond anyone’s ability to pay.

Renewables, eh? Why didn’t the energy companies shut down the bird chopping windmills and the solar panels?

Simple. Those things are bollocks. Fads. Inherent failures. Incredibly polluting and anti-environmental horrors that the Greens think are wonderful, because they believe every word of the Green God of Utter Destruction of Everything the Greens Pretend to Stand For.

They are not competition for coal and oil and nuclear. They are a joke not even worthy of being included in a Christmas cracker. All the energy companies have to do is wait, watch and snigger. Let then screw up all they claim to want to preserve. They’ll be back.

If anyone comes up with a real free energy system, the big boys will fight it. They have not bothered to fight the wind and solar nonsense at all, and nobody seems to wonder why. Some have even got in on the subsidy act. Free energy? The hell with that- here’s free money.

‘The love of money is the root of all evil’ is an old saying, but the truth of it is imminent. The sun is now entering grand solar minimum – not ‘in ten years’, right now. Yet all the money is in warming while the planet cools.

Soon we’ll see climate protestors carried along by the glacier in the high street, shouting ‘global warming’ through their snorkel Parkas. The Green God’s acolytes will still believe.

Energy is not going to be free in the coming years. It’s going to be very expensive indeed. The windmills and solar panels will be of no use at all. There is nowhere near enough infrastructure to cope with extended cold. It’s all fallen for the warming crap.

It is not a surprise. Science has warned about this for a long time but you haven’t heard about it because it’s not ‘warming’. You can’t legitimately tax cold. Oh, some scientists have been warning for a long time. Chinese and Russian scientists aren’t silenced by the scam and their governments have been building reliable energy supplies to cope with it. Meanwhile our Western governments still think it’s getting warmer. Idiots.

You’ll pay more for heating and they will charge more for global warning.

This year, the winter death toll will take far more than the pensioners. And yet, the same idiots will be voted into government once again.

This is why I have a large stock of firewood, a petrol stash, and will be getting a generator in the coming weeks. The time for preparations is nearly over.

Winter is here.

Greenland

I’ve never been there. It’s in the news a lot lately though.

It’s summer so there are glaciers on Greenland dropping icebergs into the sea, as they have done for a very, very long time. Suddenly it’s ‘a catastrophe’. What a pity it’s not actually a new phenomenon. If the Church of Climatology had a shred of credibility, if their claims were even remotely true, we’d still have the Titanic to sail around in.

Meanwhile the total tonnage of frozen water on Greenland has increased this year. No, I’m not going to bother finding the reference. If you want to pretend the world is warming when it’s rapidly cooling, you carry on. I’m not here to save you, I’m making preparations to save myself. You are free to believe whatever you like. Oh, and the obituary for the glacier on Iceland? That glacier was 700 years old. So, 700 years ago, there was no glacier there. Explain that in terms of SUVs, private jets and Elton John’s magic CO2-absorbing money.

Greenland was in the news with a bigger story this week. Coincidentally, CStM and I were in Denmark while the news broke that Donny Trumpton wasn’t joking – he really did want to buy Greenland from Denmark. Danish news responded with the story that since Greenland was discovered by the son of the man who discovered America, then according to inheritance rules, America belongs to Greenland’s founder. Greenland has therefore offered to buy America.

Donny was due to visit Denmark but has pulled out at the last minute. Why? Ostensibly because Denmark refuse to even consider selling him Greenland. Another possibility is that he realises the massive bollocks he’s made and knows he’ll get a poor – to put it mildly – reception.

I wondered if it was one of his ‘Art of the Deal’ games. ‘You won’t sell me Greenland? Then I’m not coming to visit until you do’. To which the Danes will respond with ‘Well fuck off then, fat boy’ and crack open another Carlsberg. Or maybe pour an Akvavit. They will not play that game. They have no intention of ever selling Greenland. Denmark is not a poor country – and no, it’s not socialist. It’s a kind of directed capitalism. You can set up any business you like, taxes are high but benefits are consequently plentiful. You never have to queue for bread. And there are tax breaks for all kinds of business related things.

These are Vikings, remember. They colonised Iceland and Greenland before anyone ‘discovered’ those places and there is some evidence they were the first Europeans to reach America. Oh, and they called it ‘Greenland’ because it was green. They had crops and cattle on there before most of it froze over. A little bit of history helps put the Church of Climatology in perspective, doesn’t it? That’s why they don’t like you looking at it.

You can’t just buy a country and its inhabitants. If you want it you have to invade and take over. And be ready for a lot of death and destruction and expense. Donny doesn’t seem to have considered for a moment that maybe Greenlanders don’t want to be Americans. Sure, he thinks it’s the greatest country on earth but there is a world outside the USA containing lots of other countries. The people in those countries mostly have them set out and organised the way they like them. They aren’t for sale.

The Trumper isn’t the first to try this. A previous American president – I am told it was probably Truman – tried to buy Greenland and had the same ‘*snort* no’ response. It’s not going to change.

There would be a definite military advantage to the USA if they owned Greenland. Between that and Alaska they could target almost all the northern hemisphere. Do we really want any country to have that kind of power? Sure, you might think of Trump as bumbling but basically benign, but twenty years from now, who will be in charge of all that strategic power? They could target all of Russia. Surely anyone can see that’s going to make Russia a bit edgy and start another arms race. Even though it’s militarily sensible from the USA military’s point of view, overall it is a very, very bad idea.

It is fortunate that Greenland is owned by the Danes. They don’t cave to outside pressure easily. They don’t give a flying fuck what the rest of the world thinks and they are not impressed by the posturing of either Trump or Putin. You don’t like it in Denmark? Leave. No hijab, no Halal, no Euros. They have kept their currency so they still have that option to walk away from the EU. There’s been no sign of them doing so, yet, but they have sensibly kept the option open.

If Donny Trumpton thinks he can worry the Danes by refusing to show up to some pomp and ceremony occasion, he really doesn’t understand those people at all. Denmark is a remarkably flat country, all the more remarkably flat to someone who grew up in Wales and now lives in Scotland. And yet I have never seen a golf course there. I don’t think Trump has anything they want. Not a thing. Not unless he can make a better Remoulade.

I love it there. I can buy whisky at lower prices than I can get it at the distilleries making it in Scotland – and I live a couple of hours’ drive from most of them. Cigarettes are half the price. Literally. And they don’t have the Doors of Shame (although I noted this week some supermarkets have started to install them, but the local shops don’t have them).

I have brought back a good supply of smokes. I didn’t bring whisky back – bringing whisky to north-east Scotland just seemed silly and anyway the price differential was enough to be amusing, not enough to be worth loading up. It’s really down to Scotland’s silly minimum pricing, which means I can get whisky cheaper in another country than I can in the distillery down the road.

Trumpy, no matter how good he thinks he is at manipulating deals, is not going to get Denmark to sell him Greenland. It is not going to happen. So will he refuse to let them buy Ford cars? Pffft. They prefer Volvos, for the most part. There aren’t all that many Ford drivers there.

Greenland is not going to be US State 52. He’d be better off shoring up Puerto Rico if he wants another state as his legacy.

_________

It has been a chaotic summer. CStM and I are just back from a week in Denmark where we visited her family and spent most of the time sitting around being all hygge and doing not much of anything. It was great. Even with Psycho Dog keeping us company and occasionally vanishing to shit on the neighbour’s drive. It was a long way back to the airport though…

We have had almost continuous visitors here since April. These visitors came from Wales and from Denmark (family, both sides) and all expected to be shown around a lot. On a map, Denmark is about the same size as Scotland but what the Danes never realise is that the uppiness and downiness of the Scottish landscape can at least double the driving distance shown on the map. Also, any Scottish long straight country roads always, without exception, lead to an unexpected and unsigned 90 degree bend at some point.

It’s been fun, I’ve seen things locally I hadn’t seen before and revisited some favourites but it has taken up a lot of time. Our week in Denmark was specifically intended to be a resting week (the highlight was CStM’s grandfather’s birthday). No tourism apart from a trip to the beach for a spectacular ice cream. We’re both all touristed out.

We even had a visit to the police station after one Scottish trip. There was a maniac driver who didn’t slow down for a roundabout, passed us, hit the chevron sign, rolled eight times and landed on the far side of the roundabout. He apparently survived but as we had front row seats and he was all on dashcam, we had to give a statement when we volunteered the footage. I’m not putting it online, that would just be sick. Last we heard he was alive, but only just.

Anyway, all of this has slowed down the work enormously. So there will be no more tourism until mid October when we will go to Wales to sit about doing bugger all for a week. Also no overnight visitors.

From tomorrow I have two books to finish work on for other authors, the Halloween Underdog Anthology (number 9) starting up in earnest and more of my own to write.

I also have to get the damn grass cut. And beat the grapevine into submission.

So, no more tourists this side of Christmas. And that’s final.

Reliance

I know, it sounds like the next Mark Ellott novel, following ‘Ransom’, ‘Rebellion’ and the almost-ready ‘Resolution’ and who knows? Maybe it will be.

Well, the replacement router arrived today and it’s much improved over the one I had before. Four years of technology can do that, I suppose. It linked much more easily to the wifi booster and it has a stronger wifi signal than the old one. So four days without internet was worth it.

Just in time – I had almost used up my data allowance on the mobile by using it as a mobile hotspot. I have been considering reducing the data package since I normally rarely use it, but I think I’ll leave it there. It was very handy in this emergency!

It’s amazing how much you can get done when your internet access is severely restricted. I have both Mark Ellott’s and Marsha Webb’s novels formatted and returned to the authors for last checks and I have a short story collection from another author that I can now start sorting out. I’m really going to have to limit my forays into the mad world of the internet in future.

These days in the Internet wilderness also showed me just how reliant I am on it now. Oh I remember when the only phone available was the phone box at the end of the street. I remember when I bought a mobile phone for the first time – I was in my early thirties and scoffed at them until a pheasant flew into my windscreen on a country road and shattered it. Suddenly they seemed like a potentially useful thing to have.

I was, of course, travelling at a perfectly sensible and sedate pace along that dead straight and empty road. It was entirely the pheasant’s fault.

I remember when it became law to fit front seat belts to cars so my father did. It was not yet legally required to use them, so he didn’t. I remember when I was sent, with my younger brother, to the corner shop to by my father’s cigarettes. I remember very well the day they couldn’t sell them to us any more. He wasn’t happy.

We used to buy things with money. Now we just wave a plastic card at a machine and soon we’ll have the card chips in our hands.

Now, of course, the Phone is God. You can use it to pay for things, watch films, browse the internet and if you can figure out how, you can even still make phone calls with it. That feature, once the only reason for a phone’s existence, is now buried in the mass of icons on the screen and in the 48 gigabytes of memory it contains. Ah, I recall fitting a 16 kilobyte memory pack to a ZX-81 and thinking it was amazing.

So many of us are absolutely reliant on the internet. Leg Iron Books could not function without it – the days of high street printers are pretty much gone and the thought of having to cut and paste with real scissors and paste is horrifying. And yet that’s how I wrote my PhD thesis. My mother typed it, on an actual typewriter, I cut and pasted pages together for the retype.

Money, as pretty much everyone knows, no longer exists. Well, you can still (so far) get cash but most of the money circulating in the world is just numbers on a screen with no physical reality at all. If everyone decides to withdraw their money form a bank they will soon find the bank doesn’t really have all that much actual cash. It’s mostly just binary digits.

And to think, these same banks poo-pooh the likes of Bitcoin. Their methods have been the same for years!

On it trundles, the world based on unreality, and it works, sort of. At least for now.

All it will take though is one solar flare, one coronal mass ejection, and it’s all gone. Wiped. Cleaner than a Hillary Clinton email inbox. All evaporated like the dew on a summer morning.

Heck, I was put on restricted access this week by a lightning bolt. To be fair, it was four hours of lightning bolts and a pretty intense blast at the end. It was enough to fry a router and a landline phone. I couldn’t do too much through the mobile phone. I could check and send emails but sending/receiving large documents or image files was a ‘no’.

If that had hit the bank computers I could have been wiped out along with a lot of other people. How could I prove how much money was in those accounts? It didn’t really exist in the first place!

I have been paying a lot of attention to the sun recently. It has three cycles that go from high activity to low and it is now entering what is called a ‘grand solar minimum’ where all three cycles go low at the same time. It’s nothing to get all worried about, it’s happened before. Humanity survived.

It does mean it’s going to get colder. That’s why the Climatologists have rolled out the Unassailable Weapon in the shape of a highly suggestible autistic child. Argue with what she’s been told to tell you and you are attacking an autistic child. I feel sorry for her. Autism does not equal stupid. One day she will realise how she was used and she is going to go through hell. You think the Church of Climatology cares? Once they are done with her they will discard her with not a single look back.

But yeah, it’s getting colder and it will get worse. So the push is on to get as much funding as possible for the pretend science of man made global warming before the lie becomes obvious. Millions will die but hey, the Climatologists will make a load of money so that’s okay with them. It also helps their depopulation agenda which naturally does not include them.

I, and many others, have tried to tell the Church of Climatology what’s really coming but that just makes me a ‘Climate Denier’ which is their new word for ‘Heretic’. I stopped bothering, let the buggers freeze. Anyway it’s too late now, it’s already started and there is not a damn thing humanity can do about it. Light up the fireplace, get the popcorn and watch them shiver while they complain about the heat.

There’s always a silver lining. Low sun activity means a much reduced chance of a solar flare or coronal mass ejection coming our way. It’s never zero, of course, but the odds are in our favour as long as we can keep ice off the wires.

A mass ejection or flare would have to be pointed right at us to have an effect. Well, actually pointed a little bit ahead of us since we’re a moving target. A flare on the opposite side of the sun won’t bother us at all. This means the chance of being hit by one are always reasonably low anyway.

The chance is never zero. Never. Probabilities go up and down but they never hit zero. One day it could happen – in fact it’s safe to say that one day it has to happen. When? Tomorrow? Next month? A decade from now? A century?

There is no way to know. And there isn’t likely to be much, if any, warning. Go to bed rich, wake up a caveman. Go to bed connected to the world, wake up alone and isolated.

As people rely more and more on online comunication, the latter is going to be the hardest to bear, I think.

We really should have a backup plan in case of such an event.

But nobody has.

Extermoonate!

Around 1990, I worked alongside some scientists who studied methane emissions from ruminants, particularly (but not exclusively) cows. I wasn’t directly involved, I was working on probiotics for pigs, but we are talking the same scientific group.

Their aim was to reduce methane emissions from cows, in the name of global warming, because otherwise we’d all be dead by 2000. Must have worked then, eh?

Nope. Not at all. The meddling kept getting funded but the cows farted and belched unhindered. My suggestion of adding a spark plug at either end to burn off emissions and simultaneously create double-ended dragons or self-cooking steaks was scoffed at. No imagination, those scientists.

Besides, the methane and CO2 belched and farted out of cows is as nothing compared to what comes out of mud flats, wetland, bogs, marshes, swamps… and when a subsea methane clathrate collapses, the cows become utterly irrelevant for that whole year. Sometimes you even get to see swamp methane as will-o-the-wisps when a bit of naturally-produced phosphine sets it off. Worrying about cow farts was, and still is, pointless but if you throw money at scientists they will find a way to use it.

To be fair, these days they have to accept funding. Their jobs depend on it. The days of pure research are gone and I count myself lucky to have been part of them. Now, you have to have a commercially viable aim for a project. Research for pure interest, and the inventions that came as byproducts of that, are gone for good.

Well, after a few decades of failing to stop cows farting (plugging the holes just makes them inflate and float away) the only solution left is the one that was obvious all along. In the name of conservation, in the name of ending animal cruelty, the plan is… kill all the cows.

The Amazing Occasional Cortex’s ‘Green New Deal’ is neither green nor new. There have been decades of research into stopping cows farting and belching methane and nothing has worked. Even if it did, all those wild ruminants would fill the void very quickly. So we’d have to kill all of them too.

If we do, their niche will be filled by other species and since most animals produce methane to some extent, and all of them produce CO2, the only way to save life on the planet is to exterminate all life on the planet.

Including insects and microbes. They represent an enormous biomass and they all produce CO2. They all have to go if we are to truly reduce CO2 emissions because shutting a few power plants is going to make no difference at all overall.

Makes sense? Has any of the ‘progressive’ claptrap ever made any sense?

No, it makes no sense. In the 70s we were heading into a global ice age due to rising CO2, then we were heading into a planet with a runaway greenhouse effect like Venus because of rising CO2, now we have ‘climate change’ because of rising CO2 so they can claim a win either way.

And they have an army of acolytes hanging on every word. Believe! Listen to our High Preists with their white coats and hockey sticks! Live as we direct or the Green God will smite thee! The End is Nigh!

I have tried to point out to these people that this is the basis of every major religion on the planet and that they are members of the Church of Climatology. Do they listen? Of course not. Who would willingly deny their own religion?

Now, the Occasional Cortex says we have twelve years to kill all the cows and abandon all technology. All those advances, all those innovations, must be discarded. Yes, she tweets this from an iPhone while drinking Starbucks and checking the time on a posh watch. And to think, people say Americans don’t understand irony.

Is that what happened to those who built the ancient structures we don’t know how to build now? Did they fall for the same scam? Did they abandon their technology because of farting cows and destroy all records of their inventions to make the world a safer place to bang rocks together and collect berries?

There are so many ruins under the Amazon forest that it is becoming clear that it’s not an ancient forest at all. It’s a runaway weed patch. The ‘lungs of the planet’ are not a discrete organ all in one place. It includes that lawn outside your window, the weeds growing in hte cracks in the pavement, the algae around your windows after a wet season. All of it is absorbing CO2 because all of it needs CO2 to live.

We are all to become vegetarian to save the planet by eating its lungs. Isn’t that a fun image? Well it can’t work. Those grasslands the cattle graze on are not used for crops because those areas are only good enough to grow grass. You can’t plough a field when the bedrock is six inches down but grass will grow there and cows will turn that into something you can eat. Vegetarianism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

There will be climate change, there always has been and always will be, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Not a thing. You adapt to it or you die. Nature doesn’t give a damn either way. If the human race is eradicated, another species will take our place. Just like the cows.

If you want to worry about humanity getting wiped out, you’d do better to worry about what’s currently happening between India and Pakistan than worry about half a degree of temperature change or a millimetre rise in sea levels. But hey, if that’s what floats your boat…

This planet has gone through changes that have put cities under the sea and the sea bed at the tops of mountains and humans have never, and will never, have any control over any of it. If the planet decides to have an earthquake or a tsunami or a volcano, the best you can hope for is getting enough warning to get out of the way. You cannot control this.

That is the part that the control freaks really cannot stand. We have absolutely no control over nature. None at all. So they have to pretend we do. They pretend we are ‘causing an ice age’ or ‘causing global warming’ or ‘causing climate change’ because they cannot stand not being in control. I’m surprised they haven’t blamed dinosaur farts for deflecting an asteroid so it crashed into Earth and killed them all.

We really don’t have hat much effect on the planet. Sure, we had cities with smog and some places still do but that’s a local effect. Not a global one. Cleaning up our cities to get rid of the smog is a Good Thing but really, only for ourselves. The planet does not care.

If we managed to get this planet to a state where we cannot live on it any more, nature will not care. It will replace us with species that can live on it in its new state and carry on going around the sun as usual.

Taxation will not affect that one jot. What does the rock we stand on care about our money? What does any other species on the planet care about it? Hell, there are whole populations of humans who don’t care about it.

Going back to living in huts made of dung and working dawn to dusk on subsistence farming is not going to make the slightest difference to climate change. It will only affect our ability to cope with it.

We really are not Gods. We do not control the weather and we have absolutely no control whatsoever over the planet. We are hairless monkeys with fancy toys and smugness and that is it.

The planet doesn’t care if we wipe out our species with our own self-importance. The loss of a species is nothing to Nature.

It can simply make another one.

Endgame

The Amazing Occasional Cortex is the best thing to happen to American politics. Her entertainment value trumps even Trump. I hear the senior Democrats plan to get rid of her ASAP because she’s too dim even for a career in politics. And she’s giving away the game.

She’s also quite pretty when she’s not doing the bulging eyes and catfish mouth thing. Dimmer than a five watt light bulb, even so.

I once bought a five watt (tungsten filament) light bulb when I was a student. I put it in the central light in the room I occupied. I swear the place got darker when I turned it on. The gloom level it gave was most delightful.

Occasional Cortex has rediscovered something science was bilking money for back in the 1990s. An impossible project with just enough hints of vague promise to keep the funds flowing. I wasn’t working on it but I was there.

I’ll try to keep to layman’s terms and not don the lecturer cap here. At that time I had just switched from working with ruminants to working with pigs. It was the time I developed the artificial pig gut so I could experiment without messy animals getting in the way. I still have its final incarnation, it’s in pieces in the garage. I doubt I’ll ever run it again though.

Anyway. A ruminant (cows, sheep, goats etc) has four stomachs. The last of these is a proper stomach like we non-ruminants have. Number 3 is for the lecture hall, I won’t bore you with it here. The first two are usually pretty much combined into one big fermenting bag. It doesn’t digest anything from the animal’s point of view but it digests things animals can’t digest. Namely, grass and other plant materials that would pass straight through us undigested.

They do this because the rumen, that big bag, is loaded with a massive population of bacteria and protozoa. My PhD was on the rumen protozoa, mainly Dasytricha and Isotricha, incidentally. Also, while I was doing my PhD, someone else discovered that the rumen was home to the only anaerobic filamentous fungi known at that time.

Back to the point. The thing about that rumen is that it is almost, (but not quite) totally lacking in oxygen. It is the perfect place for methane-producing bacteria to thrive and they do. Big time. You think you fart a bit of methane? Pfft. If dragons were ever real, they were cows with spark plugs in their noses.

So, in the 1990s, there was much funding available for reducing methane production by cattle. It can’t be done, of course. Mess with that microflora and you’ll show a result but when you stop meddling, it just goes back to its natural balance. Keep meddling and the cow gets sick.

The thing about ruminants is that they don’t have a single essential amino acid requirement in their diet. The bacteria and protozoa in the rumen make them all from grass and the cow digests the bacteria and protozoa later. You can, it is true, feed a cow urine-soaked newspaper and it will survive. Carbon source, nitrogen source, its rumen microbes will produce all it needs. However, it needs that microbial population in balance. If it goes out of kilter the animal can get lactic acidosis or bloat, both of which can be terminal.

I did have some fun back in those days. I had found methane-oxidising bacteria in pig guts. Yes, I was pressured in a most unfriendly way into handing those results to the cow meddlers and I put up just enough resistance to let them think I cared. Pig guts (like human guts) have way more oxygen than a rumen, relatively, but it’s still not much. Those methane oxidisers, which require oxygen, were growing incredibly slowly and having no discernible effect on the pig’s methane production. They had no chance in the rumen but it was fun to watch them try.

Later I ‘leaked’ ammonia oxidising bacteria to the same group. They are real, but again, they aren’t doing much in a low oxygen environment.

The only way to reduce the global production of methane by cows is to… kill all the cows. This is obvious and has been from the beginning. It will make no difference unless you kill all the wildebeest and deer and rhinos and antelopes and moose and reindeer and every other herbivorous animal on the planet. Oh, and you have to drain all swamps and estuarine sediment areas too. But reducing methane was never the point.

It’s incredibly silly anyway. Cows can live on grass, we cannot. Huge areas of land won’t grow anything but grass. Turn them into croplands and without many, many tons of artificial fertlisers they will grow… only grass. You grow meat animals or nothing at all on those lands.

The point was, as Occasional Cortex makes clear to even the dimmest of voters now, to stop you lot eating meat. It was to make you drain away your energies on tofu and beans. That’s going to reduce methane production? Really?

Man made climate change is a load of cobblers. We all know it, even those who promote it know it. If Al Gore really believed it he wouldn’t live in a mansion that lights up like a planetary Christmas tree. None of them really believe it. It’s just part of the plan.

The sun is entering a Maunder minimum and real science has known this was coming all along. They were scared to say anything because denying the ‘man made’ part is a career ender. Even those who tried to warn everyone always qualified it with ‘but man made global warming will continue afterwards’.

No it won’t. Most of you will be dead afterwards. Why do you think they are so keen to move people out of the future nature reserve called Africa and send them North? A Maunder minimum will kill them even faster than it will kill us. People adapted to tropical climates are not going to last long when the glaciers start to roll again.

It’s happening faster than real science expected. Sunspot activity is dropping sooner than expected. You don’t have 20 years before it hits, it’s already started. That polar vortex is just a taste. Hence the panic to move the Plan forward faster now.

So if you have been preparing for a meatless warm future, well good luck to you. I have many years of fishing skills and know how to set a rabbit snare, and how to prepare a rabbit and cure the skin for later use. Oh I haven’t done that for decades but it’s really not hard once you know. I’ve been getting ready for cold, no electricity, no mains water or sewage, and a meat based diet based on what’s likely to be left around here.

The Plan has been no secret for a very long time. This particular ‘conspiracy theory’ has been, quite literally, set in stone and put on on public display. Still, many deny it.

Many poo-poo it even now. However, most of those who scoff are avid fans of Bernie Stalinders and the Occasional Cortex and all the free stuff they promise that will be paid for by someone else. They are listening, not to the voices of reason, but to the voices of madness and disaster.

One of those voices is now telling them the links in the Plan.

I think the Democrats will get rid of her sooner rather than later. But I hope she stays for a long while.

She’s the best laugh I’ve had since the Benny Hill show.