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Messages - etienne

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The politics / Re: The Alt Right
« on: Today at 07:01:10 AM »
I don't understand how some people can link political non religious actions with a specific religion. We are not talking of the crusades, but of Political Propaganda. I find it very chocking.
I hope nobody thinks that religion could be a vaccine against being an a......

The politics / Re: The Alt Right
« on: January 25, 2021, 10:36:14 PM »
This is not exactly right. The two co-founders are both Americans, and it happened that they first discussed about it in Jerusalem, but excepted for the fact that they were in Israel, there is no other link with that country. I believe that Breitbart already hat the concept before leaving the US.

The way it is presented here could make people think that Israeli where involved in the conception.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: January 24, 2021, 08:21:33 AM »
I just looked what I could get here in Luxembourg, and it was quite disappointing. Prices went down, it's getting affordable, the cheapest model was around 20'000 EUR, but I still need a car where I can put 4 adults and 2 dogs that is small enough to be able to park easily, and cheap because I hate spending money for cars. These models are only available in the category "future car", like the electrical R4.
Generally speaking, I'm happy my cars aren't to old and that I don't have to buy a new one this year. I really don't know what I would buy.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: January 22, 2021, 07:08:51 PM »

The politics / Re: Cold War II
« on: January 21, 2021, 10:28:59 PM »
Music break:
Do to you mean yellow submarines coming down the yellow river, all singing

Added: It is surprising that no right wing politician ever used yellow fiever for Covid-19.

The politics / Re: Cold War II
« on: January 21, 2021, 06:20:21 PM »
If I had to compare with the past, I would compare the Spanish flu that originated from Kansas and the Covid from Wuhan.

After the flu, the main superpower where the US and after the Covid, I guess it might be China.

Looks like when a country is rising, common interest and individual interests go more or less the same way, which is probably not the case when you arrived at the top of your power.

Where Mr Biden is right, is that Energy is one of the key pieces to become or stay a superpower, and renewable energies could be the energy of the future.

The politics / Re: Cold War II
« on: January 21, 2021, 04:47:58 PM »
I believe that the main difference between the cold war and what we have right now is that West and East only had very few economical ties during the cold war.

Right now, we have a situation were we are totally dependent of one another. No smartphone without China, but no economy in China without exports. It's like when we had no more hard disks because of flooding in Thailand in 2012.

So a war is quite difficult for all sides, even a cold war, but economically speaking, the west has to be very careful.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 17, 2021, 04:30:26 PM »
I wouldn't say that it is trolling, and Pfizer is not the only one that should be ashamed.

Normal discussion should be possible. There is an issue with the vaccine and it is important to share the information.

Trolling is for me providing false information in order to achieve an objective.

Pfizer is not the only ones that should be ashamed, but also the people who organize vaccination without extended testing. If I'm right, Vaccines had only been tested on healthy people under 55, so it is not a surprise that it can create problems for people that are almost at the end of their life, but the issue is that you need so many death before that the problem is identified.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 17, 2021, 08:37:05 AM »
If reinfection is milder than first infection then it does not matter. Someone quoted excellent research about this upthread. Then, even if covid becomes endemic it won't be more dangerous

But what if there is accumulative damage with each reinfection?

 What about the age bias? Covid hits harder the older you are. Reinfections happen on more vulnerable subjects every year.

That is why we need to vaccinate the 60+ cohort fast. Once they are vaccinated there is no reason to keep up the restrictions as 2/3 of hopsitalizations and more than 2/3 of mortality is in that cohort. This will be done by April/May in Europe and America. Also, positive seasonality will kick in. Restrictions will be very quickly lifted at the end of spring. After that the general population will be vaccinated until autumn. This thing is almost gone, there is only 3-4 months left - much less than the 10 months since the start of lockdowns

Norway has some trouble with the vaccine.
The findings have prompted Norway to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines may be too risky for the very old and terminally ill, the most cautious statement yet from a European health authority.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health judges that “for those with the most severe frailty, even relatively mild vaccine side effects can have serious consequences. For those who have a very short remaining life span anyway, the benefit of the vaccine may be marginal or irrelevant.”

Pfizer and BioNTech are working with the Norwegian regulator to investigate the deaths in Norway, Pfizer said in an e-mailed statement. The agency found that “the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations,” Pfizer said.

It seems to be only a problem for people who are really in bad conditions.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Freeform season chatter and light commentary
« on: January 15, 2021, 03:13:22 PM »

Extent down from 2nd lowest to 8th lowest in just 8 days.


First of all, it is better to look at years of life lost (YLL) instead of just lives lost. I know nobody is doing that, because the media don't tell them to, but it really is better.


I agree, just that it is a metric that is quite complicated to evaluate.

It's like for the sea ice, extent is the easy metric.

Another example of why we need to end the lockdown a.s.a.p.
Lockdown is a quite flexible concept. What is sure is that there are many examples of why strong regulations (masks, number of people in the shops...) are extremely important.

The fact that Switzerland decided a lockdown was very surprising and probably shows that it is needed, but they keep many businesses that can't go online/on phone orders open.

In find it a shame that governments haven't been able to limit traveling during the Christmas holidays.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 10, 2021, 08:50:58 PM »
I don't think we can do any valid statistics right now. The number of people healed since more than 6 months is too low, and 6 months seems to be the minimum immunity. At the beginning we had a few fast reinfections, but it could have been positive people who had a false negative.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 10, 2021, 06:08:35 PM »
I don't think all reinfection are well documented. I don't even think that the WHO asks anything about it. It doesn't appear in their reports :

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 10, 2021, 02:39:09 PM »
After 8 months, I believe that it could also have occurred with any other strain. There have been many examples of reinfections.

The politics / Re: The Alt Right
« on: January 10, 2021, 09:19:49 AM »
All lives have the same value, but for example if you drink and drive, the press can't say that you are unlucky, it can only say that you should be careful.

Entering in the context of a mob inside governmental buildings it putting your life at risk. It is a known fact that government usually don't react a non violent way.

The rest / Re: Masks
« on: January 09, 2021, 06:12:02 PM »
In Luxembourg, insecurity is more related to empty towns because of the curfew, than to masks.

Consequences / Re: Origins of COVID-19
« on: January 09, 2021, 05:54:20 PM »
Maybe the lab was in Wuhan because the risk also was there. It's the story of the egg and the hen. Which was there first ?

Consequences / Re: Origins of COVID-19
« on: January 09, 2021, 05:49:46 PM »
It looks like everybody is right, the virus could be natural but escaped of a lab.
Looking at the time it took for the English mutation to become mainstream, the wet market  could really just be a super spreader event. It seems that the Covid was already in Italy since September 2019.

We can't rule out the lab, but I wouldn't say that the lab should not have existed. Coronaviruses are a problem and it is good to study them.

Thanks for the video. Very interesting.

The politics / Re: The Alt Right
« on: January 09, 2021, 09:03:52 AM »
Well, Trayvon Martin was just a Kid

On the evening of February 26, Martin was walking back to the fiancée's house from a nearby convenience store. Zimmerman, a member of the community watch, saw Martin and reported him to the Sanford Police as suspicious. Several minutes later, there was an altercation and Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in the chest.

It is not exactly the same situation. Ok it was not the Police.

In the case of George Floyd, it was the Police, and the situation was also quite different.

A report was made on the evening of 25 May, when Mr Floyd bought a pack of cigarettes from Cup Foods, a grocery store.

Believing the $20 bill he used to be counterfeit, a store employee reported it to police.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: January 08, 2021, 08:58:49 PM »
I love that title :
Trump Concedes, Throws Minions under Bus

Consequences / Re: Origins of COVID-19
« on: January 08, 2021, 05:00:22 PM »
It is a little bit out of topic, but I heard so many things... always somehow related to conspiracy theories, for example that cancer would be easy to cure if big pharma would just provide the cheap drugs they hide instead of the expensive stuff we get...

Ok, we have known labs, but no one is saying "it was me" or "I have been working on how to create viruses" or whatever similar, so this would at least require a hidden program, which allows a flow of creative conspiracy thinking.

The truth is that it is much easier to live with the idea that some bad or clumsy man or woman did it, so we would now be on the safe side because clumsy people realized that they have to be careful, and bad people will now be better controlled (or that we could vote for a super strong leader that would control them).

In the Covid thread, there were few links to articles saying that we don't have yet the technology to be able to develop DNA without scars (I mean here without signs allowing to identify the origin of the sequences), and that the virus doesn't have any such scars, so it can't be a man made virus. I've tried to find it back with the search engine of the forum, but didn't find anything.

There is a German philosopher who said that the impact of COVID is difficult for us to conceive because it is the first time since more than one generation that we have a world wide problem without solution. In normal cases, we really had time to handle the problems, and in many cases, the problem disappeared before the discussion was over.

Some people say that with the AGW, we don't have a problem, but a predicament.


A fundamental premise of the work at this site, the book and the blog is that we face predicaments, not problems. Problems have solutions, predicaments do not. When faced with a predicament we can respond and adapt, but we cannot make it go away.  It is this way of thinking that lies at the basis of the second theological point, Accept and Adapt.

I believe that this is also true for Covid19. We shouldn't talk about how to continue our living with Covid, but look at what we need to change in order to go forward.

I would go in this direction.


Consequences / Re: Origins of COVID-19
« on: January 08, 2021, 07:14:45 AM »
I find it interesting that in earlier civilizations, what could not be explained was the work of nature or of gods. In our civilization, looks like what can't be explained must be the work of some hidden laboratory.

People used to pray gods or nature (the spirits of the see...) for help, now we hope to find the hidden laboratory so that it can explain us what was done and what could be the miraculous cure. 

Consequences / Re: Origins of COVID-19
« on: January 05, 2021, 10:54:56 PM »
I suggest to discuss findings of the virus in blood samples from Italy and elsewhere taken a month or two before the Wuhan outbreak. Perhaps Covid-19 was identified in Wuhan because the Chinese were better at identifying the problem?
I agree, just that I don't think we could find much information.
Looks like the virus already was in a few places and mutated in Wuhan, just like this just happen in London and South Africa.

Consequences / Re: Origins of COVID-19
« on: January 05, 2021, 09:13:15 PM »
I appreciate the minds here that share the information available. I also appreciate evidence of origin, but this is not the place for it.
I agree, and am sorry I used inappropriate vocabulary. I would move it near the mask thread, it has nothing to do with AGW.

Consequences / Re: Origins of COVID-19
« on: January 05, 2021, 07:06:52 AM »
For John Palmer and Harpy, please stop publishing BS about the virus origin. I know it would be reassuring if it was produced by humans, because it would means that with a better control of humans, we would be on the safe side, that we don't need to change our way of life.

Pandemic viruses are a normal evolution, because mutations happens all the times, but most of the mutations can be controlled directly by our body, some can be controlled by our health care system, and once in a while, like every 100 years, probably even less, there is one mutation that just can't be stopped.

Our globalization makes it worse because we mix our populations constantly, if the plague took years to go to most part of the world, few weeks were enough for the Covid19. Furthermore, using each piece of land available on earth is like searching for forgotten viruses.

Until Covid19, we have been very lucky that other viruses like Ebola didn't go all over the world.

It's not so easy. Who said that letting Covid expand would be good for the economy? Not everybody thinks this statement is right. China seems to do better than the EU and the US.  The issue is unsettled. We also have a democratic issue, but I also don't know how to solve it. Many people live in a self imposed lockdown and they would be very happy if the others would stop moving around for a while, and others feel that they are already above what they can do and still go on holidays or have parties.

Well, I would translate it this way :

There are two parts :

Upper part:

- 60'000  Reichmark costs this sick man to the health insurance (or Obamacare) during his life. Volksgenosse means community.

- Health insurance (or Obamacare) is also your money.

Lower part :
You should read "New People", the monthly paper written by the racial political office of the NSDAP Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP)

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 02, 2021, 01:15:45 PM »
Australia verse Covid

Sydney has had a cluster outbreak that just keeps of sputtering along. The State Premier is resistant to putting in the rules that would stop it entirely and only does it in the last minute.
For example, the New Year fireworks across the harbour bridge was only cancelled a few days before hand because people were complaining.
There is an International cricket match to be held there soon, she isn't cancelling it... 20K people all together.
She has been strict with lockdowns, more like strongly worded suggestions, which led people to leave the cluster regions to visit Melbourne, who is now getting its own Sydney fed cluster as well.

This recent outbreak is producing 15 to 30 cases a day for two weeks now, and with Sydney siders having filled malls to do Christmas shopping, I am wondering how long the luck will last in Sydney.... it is beginning to give me the feeling next week will see numbers increase a fair bit in Sydney.

Sounds like Luxembourg last summer, very few cases after the lockdown. It was summer so it was easy to control, and than it was much harder to organize a second lockdown in the fall.

Numbers have been going down quite a lot, it must be a mix between the closing of the restaurants and pubs, partial closing of schools then Christmas holidays, and people being abroad for the Christmas holidays, we are lucky that people not worried about Covid are in Spain, Portugal... for two weeks. The government was smart enough to organize one week of distance teaching after the holidays.

In red, the number of people in ICU, in black, the cumulative death cases, and in blue the positive tests and 7 days average.

Walking the walk / Re: Heating with wood or pellets ? and air heat pump ?
« on: January 02, 2021, 10:59:46 AM »
And what about candles, incense... I also read that churches had a very unhealthy air, but priests don't die younger that the rest of the population.

Walking the walk / Re: Heating with wood or pellets ? and air heat pump ?
« on: January 02, 2021, 10:41:45 AM »
Is there a lobby against wood heating ? The Guardian has a new article about how dangerous it is because each time you refuel the stove, particles enter in the room.
Wood burners triple the level of harmful pollution particles inside homes and should be sold with a health warning, says scientists, who also advise that they should not be used around elderly people or children.

The tiny particles flood into the room when the burner doors are opened for refuelling, a study found. Furthermore, people who load in wood twice or more in an evening are exposed to pollution spikes two to four times higher than those who refuel once or not at all.

The particles can pass through the lungs and into the body and have been linked to a wide range of health damage, particularly in younger and older people.

The research was conducted in 19 homes in Sheffield over the course of a month at the start of 2020. The wood burners used were all models certified by the government as “smoke exempt appliances”, meaning they produce less smoke. But this and the new EcoDesign standard, due to become compulsory by 2022, only assess outdoor pollution.

If you follow the link and read the original article
you also can read that :
All participants used dried and seasoned logs, but the sizes varied. There was also a diversity of kindling used, taking the form of firelighters, newspapers, balls of paper, twigs, sawdust, packing cardboard, greeting cards, and even empty egg boxes. Echoing the findings of existing studies [20,35,52]. This means that the same wood burner may emit different levels of indoor air pollution depending on the quantity and type of fuel and kindling used.


While the findings point to the opening of the stove door as the origin for indoor PM emissions, further lab-based research is required into how this might relate to duration, timings, and the point in the burn cycle at which the opening occurs.

So they clearly didn't try to explain to the people how to reduce the quantities of PM when using the stove. When I bought my new stove, the salesman clearly told me that I should never open it when there still are flames. I should wait until there are only embers left to refuel it. By the way it is also what is said when you're doing a Barbecue, wait for the embers before putting the meat on the grill.

There is also the top down kindling that greatly reduce fine particles. I guess impossible with egg boxes.

There is also a point that is never discussed, I'm sure that biomass smoke particles are less harmful than the ones from fossil fuels combustion (at least petrol), otherwise nobody would have survived going to a pub before smoking was forbidden inside. 

Another aspect with new modern stove is that the air is often taken outside, so you loose the effect that the stove renews the air in the room. Maybe it is a good concept regarding safety (the smoke can't enter in the room in case of pressure problems) and heat conservation (no cold air enters in the room), but I couldn't install such a system and am happy I didn't because I find that it provides a good ventilation in the house, so it probably helps to brings the concentration of fine particles down.

Of course there is more dust in the house when we heat with the stove, but dust is not fine particles, it is much bigger.

The forum / Re: Arctic Sea Ice Forum Humor
« on: December 31, 2020, 09:07:32 PM »
Technology was more often the problem than the solution. We are always dealing with Jevons' paradox, it's hard to make it better without making it worse.   

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: December 31, 2020, 08:46:45 PM »
   I like the visual alliteration of the street lights with the moon.  I hope the guy with the open door house is snuggled in bed with his Yeti girlfriend.
If you like arctic girlfriends stories, I recommend to read Jorn Riel.  It looks like the only books translated in English are :
- The Shipwreck: The Inuk Quartet, Volume I
- The Raiders: The Inuk Quartet, Volume II

These two are for teenagers, but I enjoyed very much the French version.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: December 31, 2020, 08:39:02 PM »
I also appreciate very much their work. Thank you very much and happy new year.

The politics / Re: Brexit...
« on: December 31, 2020, 08:34:35 PM »
Hello Alexander,

Sorry, i don't understand what you mean with the map and your comment.

I see the map as a proof that the UK are in Europe and should be integrated in the EU.


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 29, 2020, 08:46:32 PM »
We had a funny political event in Luxembourg. The law imposing the lockdown was signed in Biarritz.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 28, 2020, 06:29:26 PM »
I am more in a slow hurry to get it. If more people had it before, the better the side effects are known and it could be known for how long it will be effective, if it is still efficient with the new mutations. End of the spring might be fine. Since I'm in no way a front line worker, this might even work out.

If you add the positive cases, the quarantine cases and the "at risk" cases, you get a few % of the population reducing their consumption, enough to have an economic slow down.
So you can add all the people who lost part of their incomes and you get a bad situation, with or without lockdown. A lockdown might allow a quicker return to normality.

That is the theory at least.  The only real question is how much the lockdown hurt the economy.  Does bigger pain over a shorter term outweigh smaller pain over a larger term?  How many businesses were forced into bankruptcy that may have been able to weather a lesser recession?  We will probably never truly know.
Well, I wonder if the impact of covid-19 is not anecdotal compared to the one of AGW. Maybe this is a one in a lifetime opportunity to look for another economic system.

If you add the positive cases, the quarantine cases and the "at risk" cases, you get a few % of the population reducing their consumption, enough to have an economic slow down.
So you can add all the people who lost part of their incomes and you get a bad situation, with or without lockdown. A lockdown might allow a quicker return to normality.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 27, 2020, 01:44:51 PM »
Officials in LA county estimated that one in 95 residents were currently infectious, and that two residents were dying of Covid every hour. More than 6,000 Covid patients are in the hospital, and intensive care units (ICU) are filled to capacity.

Luxembourg peaked on November 12th with 11 532 active cases. That's about 1.7% of the population, one out of 59 if all cases would be resident, which we don't know. We have now 7177 active cases.

It was chosen to wait until December 26th to start a new lockdown, but some measures like closing the restaurants and reducing the number of kids in the school helped to stop the increase of cases.

Christmas was no fun this year.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 26, 2020, 08:01:05 AM »
Less heating could mean that some people can't afford to heat anymore. The curve goes quite fast down. It could also be related to home office. In that case, it is no problem.

I can't imagine that during 2020 a major effort would have been done to de-carbonize heating systems.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 23, 2020, 09:38:18 PM »
Also less heating. That's not so good.

In Luxembourg, on public buildings, we see an increase of the need for heat because of aeration needs in the context of COVID. But maybe the US have more home office and home schooling.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 23, 2020, 07:48:36 PM »
I've been wondering about the relationship (if any) between the British and the South African (SA) strains of the coronavirus that are highly contagious.  For example, were they the same thing.  It appears they are not the same thing.
From Fox News
UK detects another 'highly concerning' coronavirus variant in cases linked to South Africa travel

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said new [SA] variant is 'highly concerning” because it 'is yet more transmissible'

Well, the SA variant is also in the UK

And another link

The politics / Re: Brexit...
« on: December 23, 2020, 06:44:28 PM »
Well, I just heard on the radio that we might have a deal tomorrow.

The politics / Re: Brexit...
« on: December 23, 2020, 03:25:44 PM »
Well, France and England had always a complicated relationship. The relation between the UK and the other EU members was also sometimes difficult. Maybe the deal was not possible because the EU was scared that the UK would be better off outside of the EU, and of course if the UK wanted to leave, it's because some people thought they could find a deal where they would be better off outside of the EU.
I don't think France would harm the UK on purpose, but frustrations don't help when flexibility is required.

The politics / Re: Brexit...
« on: December 23, 2020, 09:30:18 AM »
This really is an unfair joke. Brexit was a British choice, and it seems that it is the British government that doesn't want any delay. Covid19 would have been a sufficient reason to push it 6 months or a year backward.

During the spring, many European countries were controlling borders again, this is Covid19, nothing to do with Brexit, it would have happened also without Brexit. London is an International City, a place where everything get mixed, including Viruses.

The hard truth is that Britain is a part of Europe and that 5000 years history and evolution can't be changed in just a few years. I always thought that there would be a U-Turn and that the UK would reintegrate the EU.

Countries like Norway or Switzerland have a very long history of cooperation with the EU. It is just not possible to create a new model of cooperation in such a short time. I feel that the Brexit should have been cut in slices, each slice discussed and applied separately, but this could have meant that the fishing slice never would have been accomplished. Anyway, I'm not in a position where I could decide anything, and imagining other path for history doesn't help solving problems.

Somehow, I feel that the major problem of the EU is democracy, that national governments use it to push an economical agenda, but this could be changed if there would be a will. Why is it a french company that pick up trashes in so many EU countries ? I don't feel that leaving the EU will changes the Agenda for the UK.

Let's hope that the worst doesn't happen. The best doesn't seem available right now.

Below a tee I made a few years ago.

The politics / Re: Brexit...
« on: December 21, 2020, 07:40:23 AM »
Totally out of topic, but maybe nice in case of lockdown :

I replaced oats flakes with sesame and it tastes great. I cook it in a cake form.

Walking the walk / Re: Pat yourself on the back
« on: December 16, 2020, 09:16:15 PM »
To centralize the trash of the local school, we just installed a new container with a PV/Battery lightning system. It was the best option because we need to build a new school at that place and it is not possible to know now how things will be placed in the future. So we have a flexible container that we can put anywhere and that can be easily used for something else or sold.
This solution also means that nothing special had to be done to prepare the ground, excepted to get it flat and put some gravel/sand mix so that people don't have to walk in the mud when it is raining.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: December 13, 2020, 10:37:37 AM »

Does anybody knows what happens with the onions this year ? The place where I buy it is sold out, and I didn't find any organic one. I bought what I found in a supermarket, but there were only 3 pack left.



The rest / Covid, AGW, peak oil and expatriates
« on: December 05, 2020, 08:49:17 PM »
I just read the french version of the book Kløften (La faille) written by Jørn Riel. It's a story about expatriates living with Papuans in Indonesia. Most don't have kids, but one has, the girl was educated the traditional Papu way, but learns English and some elements of occidental culture.

It doesn't end well, and it's a little bit like if the generation moving abroad can manage it, but that the kids would have some identity problem.

I have been moving a few times as a kid, and am now living and working in a village where many people already went in elementary school together.

Somehow, I have friends all over the world, but not so many here at home. I used to move around to meet them, but now with Covid it has become much more difficult.

I wonder how the life of expatriate will be in the future, there are so many threats on that way of living, like AGW and the limits of growth that might make transportation more difficult.

It is somehow complicate to integrate in a community were people have been together almost forever because part of the history is missing, but on the other hand, having no common history means that people are not angry at you because of things you did before.

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