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New Weekly Record Set at the Mauna Loa Observatory for CO2 Concentrations 417.43 ppm.

As I've indicated several times over the last two months as new records have been set for the concentrations the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide, I somewhat obsessively keep a spreadsheet of the weekly data at the Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide Observatory, which I use to do calculations to record the dying of our atmosphere, a triumph of fear, dogma and ignorance that did not have to be, but nonetheless is.

This week's reading is the first in the history of weekly average readings, going back, to 1975 posted by the Mauna Loa to exceed 417 ppm.

I will comment below on some remarks describing this state of affairs as "winning," where the word is used in the delusional Trumpian sense that "winning," is described, although I won't be quoting the orange ignoramus himself, but point to some rhetoric used by a person nominally on the left quite willing to ignore reality.

To appreciate and respect data is to appreciate science, and to deny data while claiming to respect science is, well, let's be frank, is to lie.

The data from the Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide Observatory:

Up-to-date weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa

Week beginning on May 24, 2020: 417.43 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago: 414.40 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago: 392.63 ppm
Last updated: May 31, 2020

The increase in carbon dioxide concentrations when compared to the same week in 2019 is 3.03 ppm. The week to week comparisons between 2020 and 2019 are averaging this year 2.56 ppm. This same average in 2019, as compared to 2018, was 2.90 ppm.

In my spreadsheet, I keep records of the increases over 10 year periods, in this case, a comparison of the reading this past week, with the last week of May in 2010. Using Excel functions, I can sort them by values high to low and do a lot of other things

In the week of January 1, 2000, the running 12 month average of comparisons of changes with respect to the same week ten years earlier, was 15.19 ppm higher than the figure ten years previous. In 2020, the same twelve month running average is 24.07 ppm over figures 10 years earlier.

One can see, even if one's mathematical is as low as say, a typical member of Greenpeace, that the difference between this week and the same week ten years ago, is 24.80 ppm. The weekly Mauna Loa data goes back to May of 1975. Thus the comparisons between the figures in a particular week with that of the figure ten years earlier begin in 1985. There are 1,875 such comparisons as of this writing. The figure for this week, again 24.80 ppm, is the 12th highest ever recorded. Of the top 20 such readings, 2 were recorded in 2018, 11 were recorded in 2019, and 7 were recorded this year, with this year approaching half over.

If any of this troubles you, don't worry, be happy. Head on over to Daily Kos, where you can read all about how wonderful so called "renewable energy" is "winning."

Renewable Monday: More Proof that We are Winning Comes Every Day


Years ago, when I was writing at Daily Kos, before I was banned there for telling the truth, I accepted the notion that the goal of so called "renewable energy" was to address climate change; and in fact, I was so poorly educated with respect to the details of so called "renewable energy" that I believed that this scheme could help to address climate change.

The climate is not the only thing that's changing, and let's be clear, it most assuredly is changing. I am an old man, but unlike many old men of my appalling generation, I can change my mind.

You will not find as strong a critic of so called "renewable energy," as you will find in me, but not because I think fossil fuels are even remotely acceptable, but because I, unlike my generation overall, care about the future, even though I will die soon enough. I want fossil fuels to be banned and my criticism of so called "renewable energy" is that it is experimentally been determined to be incapable of addressing climate change.

So if we're talking about so called "renewable energy" "winning," one might ask what it is that has been won.

I don't know why anyone else is a political liberal, but from time to time, I remind myself in writing here and elsewhere of why I am a political liberal, because of a document largely written by the woman who I regard as the greatest Democrat of the 20th century, Eleanor Roosevelt. That document is, of course, is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approved by the UN in 1948 but regrettably more honored in breach than in practice. In particular, I strongly support article 25, section 1:

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

It is of some note that the environment is not mentioned in the Declaration, but in 1948, perhaps it was not as much of an issue as it is today. However, truth be told, there was an environmental movement then, if obscure. The Sierra Club was founded by John Muir 1892 and as the last environmental battle in his life was to protect the Hetch Hetchy valley in Yosemite National Park from being converted into an industrial facility. He lost the battle. The Hetch Hetchy dam was built, the and valley lost.

The dam is still there, and it provides so called "renewable energy."

Today, of course, if you were to go to a Sierra Club meeting, and opposed the conversion of wilderness into industrial parks - here I'm referring - to wind farms and solar farms, you'd only get ignored or screamed at or both.

Go figure.

Speaking of figures, I looked at the profile of the person who declared, confidently, that so called "renewable energy" is winning, and to my surprise, I saw that he has a bachelor's degree in math, of all things.

Nevertheless, he seems to be pretty bad with numbers. This is unsurprising to me really, since I've spent my life around people with STEM degrees, advanced and otherwise. The range of competence varies. I once had a redneck colleague with a degree in Chemical Engineering from Rice University - a good school by the way - along with an MBA from the same institution and I had to explain to this right wing asshole what an ethyl group was.

I kid you not.

Here's some other remarks, which can be found here about our hero, the math major, who writes about how so called "renewable energy is "winning":

Nuclear: No. Just no. It costs multiples what renewables do, if it can get built at all, years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

Carbon Capture: A lie, plain and simple, at best.

Energy from carbon capture during natural gas production? What are they even talking about?

Hydrogen: OK. No, wait. Hydrogen from using excess renewable electricity to crack water, yes; hydrogen from coal gasification—Where's my pitchfork?

Let's talk about "years behind schedule."

Someone - I can't remember who regrettably - made a joke about Donald Trump that went like this: "Donald Trump accuses other people of the things he openly does that I expect to find out that he was born in Kenya."

Let's address this incredible statement about "years behind schedule," but let's not talk about billions of dollars, but rather trillions of dollars.

First, let's talk about the "schedule." So called "renewable energy" advocates endlessly, without stop, post "by such and such" a date statements wherein so called "renewable energy" will provide x, y or z "percent" of the world's energy supply. I've been hearing this crap since my early 20's (when I actually believed it) and I am now an old man reaching the end of his life.

Here is one of the earliest examples of "by such and such" a date written by the anti-nuke self declared "scientist" (move over Mary Baker Eddy) Amory Lovins in 1976:

And, at the further end of the spectrum, projections for 2000 being considered by the "Demand Panel" of a major U.S. National Research Council study, as of mid-1976, ranged as low as about 54 quads of fuels (plus 16 of solar energy).

It can be found here: ENERGY STRATEGY: THE ROAD NOT TAKEN? (Lovins, Foreign Affairs, pp 65-96, 1976, quotation from page 76.)

A "Quad" (Quadrillion BTU) is equal to (in SI units) 1.055 ExaJoules (EJ), so Mr. Lovins was citing a projection of approximately 17 exajoules in the United States. Elsewhere he notes that the world is going to run out of fossil fuels in the 1980s. (That, of course would have been a good thing.)

I frequently post a spreadsheet I've prepared from the data provided by the international Energy Agency's annual World Energy Outlook: I have PDF's in my files going back to 1995, although, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999 are missing.

Here is what I post again and again:

IEA 2017 World Energy Outlook, Table 2.2 page 79 (I have converted MTOE in the original table to the SI unit exajoules in this text.)’’

In this century, world energy demand grew by 179.15 exajoules to 599.34 exajoules.

In this century, world gas demand grew by 50.33 exajoules to 137.03 exajoules.

In this century, the use of petroleum grew by 34.79 exajoules to 188.45 exajoules.

In this century, the use of coal grew by 63.22 exajoules to 159.98 exajoules.

In this century, the solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal energy on which people so cheerfully have bet the entire planetary atmosphere, stealing the future from all future generations, grew by 9.76 exajoules to 12.27 exajoules.

12.27 exajoules is slightly over 2% of the world energy demand.

2019 Edition of the World Energy Outlook Table 1.1 Page 38] (I have converted MTOE in the original table to the SI unit exajoules in this text.)

Here is a table of sources of energy taken from the International Energy Agency’s 2017, 2018, and 2019 Editions of the World Energy Outlook:

On the whole planet, solar and wind combined, do not provide 17 exajoules of energy, never mind 16 in the United States "by 2000."

Let's talk about the cost of making "winning" with the 12.27 exajoules produced by so called "renewable energy."

The figures are not "billions" but "trillions." To wit:

The amount of money "invested" in so called "renewable energy" in the period between 2004 and 2018 is over 3.036 trillion dollars; dominated by solar and wind which soaked up 2.774 trillion dollars.

Source: UNEP/Bloomberg Global Investment in Renewable Energy, 2019 These figures were obtained from figure 21, on page 33, which is in table format. I manually transcribed the numbers therein to a spreadsheet.

The abysmally stupid claim that nuclear energy can be built only slowly ignores the fact - facts matter, or as my tee shirt from the AAAS says "facts are facts - has consistently been producing over 28 exajoules of primary since 1990, utilizing technology developed in the 1950's and 1960's. The United States built over 100 nuclear reactors in the period essentially between 1960 and 1985, the bulk of which still operate, this while providing the lowest electricity prices in the world.

But of course, there are people with degrees in Mathematics, of all things, who insist that what has already happened is impossible.

Of course, notes by anti-nukes like Mr. Lovins and our "Math guy" that nuclear energy has not grown significantly since 2000 - it hasn't, to repeat an analogy I use often - is rather like arsonists complaining about fires. The Western world has apparently bought into the crackpot idea that nuclear energy is "too expensive," "too dangerous," blah, blah.

Go figure.

The result of the trillions spent on so called "renewable energy" has been nil. It has not addressed climate change, is not addressing climate change and will not address climate change.

But it's "winning."

Let's look at another claim from the excerpt, this one:

Carbon Capture: A lie, plain and simple, at best.

As is typical of dogmatic beliefs, the assertion is made without reference, and is presented by our Math guy in an oracular fashion.

To be clear, I oppose carbon capture for use in dangerous fossil fuel plants, the kind of plants we must phase out as rapidly as possible under any and all circumstances. This said, I have frequently written here - with references to the primary scientific literature in which I spend most of my free time - about direct air capture of carbon dioxide as well as carbon capture from biomass streams. In this literature two scenarios are mentioned, CCS - carbon capture and "storage" (dumps) - and CCU - carbon capture and use. The latter is the only one that will work, since it will introduce an economic rationale for doing it.

Let me say this: My hero the "Math Guy" is among those who was willing to bet the entire planetary atmosphere on so called "renewable energy" - apparently without pausing to think about why so called "renewable energy" was abandoned in the 19th century, when the world population was a small fraction of what it is today. I would argue, if one considers this point, one should regard enthusiasm for so called "renewable energy" as reactionary rather than progressive, although I'm quite sure our "Math guy" regards himself as a progressive despite clearly - to my mind at least - being a reactionary.

The goals set forth Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will never be realized by embracing reactionaries.

I have been studying the chemistry of carbon dioxide for many decades. I do not believe for a New York minute that it is easy or cheap to capture, but the fact that carbon dioxide has been allowed to hit 417.43 ppm while assholes sat on their asses waiting for so called "renewable energy" to save the day, means that the responsibility for doing something that works to capture carbon from the atmosphere has been dumped on all future generations, as an expression of our bourgeois contempt for them.

By the way, I agree with our Math Guy about not trying to capture carbon from dangerous natural gas. However, it appears that our Math guy is unfamiliar with the fact that industrially, almost all of the world's hydrogen is currently made from dangerous natural gas, and yet, and yet, he has a paean to hydrogen:

Hydrogen: OK. No, wait. Hydrogen from using excess renewable electricity to crack water, yes; hydrogen from coal gasification—Where's my pitchfork?

Let's be clear on something, OK, because this hydrogen hydra has been rearing it's ugly head for many decades. Hydrogen is stored energy. If one studies mathematics, one might - I would argue "should be" - be exposed to the differential equations connected with thermodynamics. Storing energy wastes energy. Hydrogen, whether produced by electrolysis or from chemical processes, is stored energy. As for "excess 'renewable energy'" it doesn't exist. If it did exist, all of these people praising it while more than a hundred of millions of people have died from air pollution in this century while they prattle on about how nuclear energy is "dangerous" would be able to point to at least 600 exajoules of so called "renewable energy."

They can't, and they never will. We do not have energy waste on hydrogen pipe dreams that represent profound ignorance.

So what about this winning? Our math guy simultaneously objects to coal to hydrogen while saying nothing or knowing a damned thing about coal to steel. Steel is made using coke which is made by heating coal with fires that burn coal. That includes the steel requirements that would be involved in making this junk habitat destroying wind industry grow to a power level of 20 exajoules per year as opposed to the roughly ten exajoules per year at which it currently functions, this after half a century of cheering.

Maybe it's the steel industry that's doing all this winning with wind turbines that will be landfill in 25 years, and will need to be cleaned up by the same future generations we've charged with cleaning up our carbon dioxide dumping.

Let me be done with this.

My impression that I've been hearing all about how rapidly renewable energy has been growing since I began writing here in 2002, when the reading on April 14, 2002 was 375.14 ppm should not disturb you, since it is better to think everything is fine rather than focus on reality.

I have advised the reader to not worry and to be happy.

Clearly, I cannot do that. I am worried and I'm not happy. Clearly I am angry. If you think I enjoy writing these posts, week after week every April and May, year after year after year, you know zero about me.

To me, the growth of carbon dioxide concentrations to levels above 417 ppm is a crime against humanity, and a crime against all future generations, and a crime against the earth.

When I was writing at Daily Kos, before being banned for telling the truth, they used to bend over backwards saying how they loved science and scientists, one of the most beloved scientists back in those days, being the climate scientist Jim Hansen.

Then Jim Hansen wrote a very famous and highly cited and regarded paper saying that nuclear energy saves lives, and that nuclear is an essential tool for fighting climate change. Suddenly, he became persona non grata at Daily Kos. I was banned in the act of citing him.

The paper is here: Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power (Pushker A. Kharecha* and James E. Hansen Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013, 47 (9), pp 4889–4895)

Oh, and about that claim that so called "renewable energy" is cheap. Here from the IEA's 2019 Electricity Information Statistics

Denmark and Germany have the highest electricity prices in the world. You know what kind of people have the most trouble with high prices for electricity? Poor people. I guess it's "cool" to screw them and to screw the 25th article of the Declaration of Human Rights.

The fact that heavy reliance of so called "cheap renewable energy" can be detailed with a careful analysis, but that's for another time.

We on the left will not win anything unless we abandon our dogmas, and think anew.

History will not forgive us, nor should it.

I trust you'll have a pleasant Sunday evening. Be safe. Be well.

The generalizations are no reflection on particular individuals, but let me say this:

If I simply ask you to close your eyes and tell me who you see when I mutter the words, "Germany, 1942" who do you see?

I think most people would say - perhaps not you, but most people - would say, "Adolf Hitler."

Of course, it was the last full year in the life of Sophie Scholl. But if we think of Germany in 1942, almost no one will see her, a young woman of moral courage that few of us can even imagine. She was guillotined.

Over nearly 20 years here, I have changed my signature line multiple times, but I suspect that the one there now, which may have lasted the longest, the quote from Abraham Lincoln, which I have taken completely out of context, best summarizes how I feel about our times. It reads in part...

We... ...will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us.

Lincoln, perhaps the most significant person of his time, at least in the judgement of history, saw his personal responsibility to carry the weight of history not just for himself, but also for the "insignificant." He was concerned that the insignificant would be remembered poorly if he, and the other powerful politicians of his time, failed. He felt responsibility.

Who feels responsibility on the national stage now?

In the future, it is unlikely that anyone will know that you personally did noble things - and I'm not denying that they were noble - but still, in history what you did will not be noticed, except possibly in some obscure Ph.D. thesis in some history department somewhere on "the resistance." People who did what you did will still be painted with the broader brush of our times.

This buffoon in the White House may have successfully destroyed all that our country represents, and history will surely ask, how did this happen? How did a great nation commit suicide? If they examine the demographics of voters, what will they see? The Millennials on whom so many people of our generation heave supercilious contempt, or will they be looking at us, collectively?

People elected by us fought two brutal wars so we could have oil to drive our cars to Walmart. Now, led by support from baby boomers, we have Trump.

What can we take credit for? I really had to think about that. Maybe we can take credit - if due - for launching the information age - although, to be perfectly clear, it is also the (instantaneous) disinformation age.

Now, I have personally benefited professionally from the free flow of information, and so have many other scientists. However, as Shakespeare had it, "The good will be interred with our bones." The evil we've done will live after us.

You know, when we were kids, they started showing that (then) groundbreaking sci fi movie Forbidden Planet on television. Perhaps you've seen it; perhaps not.

Here's the plot: Some space travelers come across a planet that was once inhabited by a race of super technological geniuses that mysteriously went extinct just after their greatest achievement, the ability to manipulate the world through a kind of telekinesis. The punch line to the movie is that that superior race, the Krell, are destroyed by their own subconscious, the violent urges they suppressed. A character in the movie lay dying on having discovered the historical truth of what happened to the Krell, and as he dies he mutters, "Monsters! Monsters from the Id." They ripped each other to pieces because their subconscious took over their telekinetic powers and started to murder their fellow beings.

We have a vile, exceedingly stupid and evil person living in the White House, his path to it, laid out in twittering tweets consisting entirely of lies and dog whistles. He is clearly a monster from the id.

Today, in discussing that horror in Minneapolis, the murder of that fine man by the police, my wife and I told our sons, now young men in their twenties, how we marched in San Diego to protest the attack on Rodney King and the acquittal of the police officers who beat him mercilessly on video. On video!!! The cops were acquitted by a jury of white people of our generation. It's almost 30 years later. We have cops on video committing murder. And two days go by before the murderers are arrested, and only then because a city is burning. We marched, we chanted. We expressed our outrage. I myself gave a little speech downtown San Diego.

What did my marching, my chanting, do? We are a more racist country today than we were in 1965 and certainly more racist than we were in 1992.

Will history record me and my outrage when they review America's suicide? No, history will see Trump. For sure, history will revile him and all those who assisted him in the destruction of this country, ironically flag waving ersatz patriots. But as regrettable as it is, he will be the summation of all of us. I'm sure of it, because I read a lot of history.

Perhaps it isn't fair to you personally, perhaps not even me, but this is reality: One has to dig real deep into history to dig up, to discover, Sophie Scholl but everyone knows Hitler.

Association of Stay-at-Home Orders With COVID-19 Hospitalizations in 4 States

The paper from the Journal of the American Medical Association that I'll reference here is this one: Association of Stay-at-Home Orders With COVID-19 Hospitalizations in 4 States (Sen S, Karaca-Mandic P, Georgiou A. Association of Stay-at-Home Orders With COVID-19 Hospitalizations in 4 States. JAMA. Published online May 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.917)

Like all Covid papers in the primary scientific literature, the paper is open sourced; anyone can read it.

The unsurprising result of this formal study is that stay at home orders reduce the need for hospitalization of Covid patients and presumably save lives.

A brief excerpt:

In all 4 states, cumulative hospitalizations up to and including the median effective date of a stay-at-home order closely fit and favored an exponential function over a linear fit (R2 = 0.973 vs 0.695 in Colorado; 0.965 vs 0.865 in Minnesota; 0.98 vs 0.803 in Ohio; 0.994 vs 0.775 in Virginia) (Table). However, after the median effective date, observed hospitalization growth rates deviated from projected exponential growth rates with slower growth in all 4 states. Observed hospitalizations consistently fell outside of the 95% prediction bands of the projected exponential growth curve (Figure).

For example, Minnesota’s residents were mandated to stay at home starting March 28. On April 13, 5 days after the median effective date, the cumulative projected hospitalizations were 988 and the actual hospitalizations were 361. In Virginia, projected hospitalizations 5 days after the median effective date were 2335 and actual hospitalizations were 1048.

The scientists who wrote this paper are based in Minnesota.

It is horrible that at a time like this, our racist government, lead by an ignorant, racist, and spectacularly unintelligent fool, has chosen to make our once peaceful country into a powder keg of violence. (Only one branch of our government, the House of Representatives, racists do not rule, but racists lead our Senate, our courts, and many other places.)

The covid-19 crisis remains, however, real, as do other crises generated and exacerbated by inattention and stupidity.

A very moving account: Life or death still possible': 31 days at my dad's virtual bedside.

One of the most difficult things one can do is to preside of the extreme illness of one's parent or spouse, or son or daughter.

This account, on the CNN website, moved me to tears: Covid-19 Life or death still possible': 31 days at my dad's virtual bedside

(CNN)I wrote a draft of my father's obituary on the evening of March 30th.

He had been on a ventilator for 11 days. The attending physician at the intensive care unit had called that morning and asked whether they should include a Do Not Resuscitate order in my dad's chart. They had asked before. I had been indecisive. A successful resuscitation would extend his life. But it might also lead to brain damage.

Now multiple organ systems were failing. They needed an answer...

It's a beautifully written piece, a profound tribute to a father, written by his son.

Steven Chu and Yi Cui: Can N95 Respirators Be Reused after Disinfection? How Many Times?

The paper to which I will refer is co-authored by President Obama's first Secretary of Energy (the best Secretary of Energy, by the way), Nobel Laureate Steven Chu and Dr. Yi Cui, who is among the most cited authors in Materials Science.

This is the paper: Can N95 Respirators Be Reused after Disinfection? How Many Times? (Lei Liao, Wang Xiao, Mervin Zhao , Xuanze Yu, Haotian Wang, Qiqi Wang, Steven Chu, and Yi Cui* ACS Nano 2020, 14, 5, 6348–6356.

The paper is fully open sourced, and anyone can read it. It's not overly technical, but has a few words that might strike a non-technical person as obscure, like say, "triboelectric," which means "rubbing together to generate static charges, something most everyone has done.

Some excerpts:

...Although the precise mode SARS-CoV-2’s viral transmission is not known, a primary transmission mode in viruses such as SARS and influenza is through short-range aerosols and droplets.(11) When a person infected with a virus breathes, speaks, sings, coughs, or sneezes, micron-sized aerosols containing the virus are released into the air. Data gathered from influenza patients suggest that these aerosols are typically fine (<5 μm) or coarse (>5 μm).(11−13) Coarse particles can settle due to gravity within 1 h. Fine particles, however, especially those smaller than 1 μm, can essentially stay in the air nearly indefinitely. Droplets, or particles >10 μm, settle rapidly and are not typically deposited in the respiratory tract through means of aerosol inhalation. Particles larger than 5 μm typically only reach the upper respiratory tract, whereas fine particles <5 μm are critically able to reach the lower respiratory tract, similar to harmful particulate matter pollution (Figure 1). Although coughing and sneezing provide many aerosols, the size distribution and number of particles emitted during normal speech serve as a significant viral transmitter.(12) Singing has been found to be comparable to continuous coughing in the transmission of airborne pathogens,(14) which was demonstrated during a choir practice on March 10, 2020 in Washington state. Although the choir members did not touch each other or share music during the rehearsal, 45 out of the 60 members of the Skagit Valley Choir were diagnosed with the virus 3 weeks later, and two had died...

...The N95 grade is determined by the CDC’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (document 42 CFR Part 84), which designates a minimum filtration efficiency of 95% for 0.3 μm (aerodynamic mass mean diameter) of sodium chloride aerosols. In addition to N95, there are N99 and N100 standards, which correspond to filtration efficiencies of 99% and 99.97%, respectively. For oil-based aerosols (DOP), NIOSH also has created grades R and P (with filtration efficiencies 95–99.97%). Elsewhere around the globe, the equivalent filtration grades to N95 are FFP2 (European Union), KN95 (China), DS/DL2 (Japan), and KF94 (South Korea). Although the actual SARS-CoV-2 virus is ca. 150 nm,(18) commonly found N95 respirators can offer protection against particles as small as 80 nm with 95% filtration efficiency (initial testing, not loaded).(19) With the actual viral aerosols in the ∼1 μm range, the N95 FFRs’ filtration efficiency should be sufficient for personal protection...

...The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant shortage of N95 FFRs,(25) especially among healthcare providers. Although the virus will eventually become inactive on the mask surface and it is unlikely to penetrate fully to the user’s intake side, a recent study shows that 72 h were required for the concentration of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 viruses on plastic surfaces (40% RH and 21–23 °C) to be reduced by 3 orders of magnitude (from 103.7 to 100.6 TCID50 per mL of medium).(26) Assuming a similar longevity on FFR surfaces, it is important to develop procedures for the safe and frequent reuse of FFRs without reducing the filtration efficiency. The CDC has recommended many disinfection or sterilization methods, typically involving chemical, radiative, or temperature treatments.(27) In brief, the mechanisms of disinfection or sterilization of bacteria and viruses include protein denaturation (alcohols, heat), DNA/RNA disruption (UV, peroxides, oxidizers), and cellular disruption (phenolics, chlorides, aldehydes). Although none of these methods have been extensively evaluated for SARS-CoV-2 inactivation specifically, we tested methods that can be easily deployed within a hospital setting, and possibly accessible for the general population, with relatively high throughput for FFR reuse...

The caption:

Figure 2. Meltblown fabrics in N95 FFRs. (A) Peeling apart a representative N95 FFR reveals multiple layers of nonwoven materials. (B) Scanning electron microscope (SEM) cross-section image reveals the middle meltblown layer has thinner fibers with thickness around 300 μm. (C) SEM image of meltblown fibers reveals a complicated randomly oriented network of fibers, with diameters in the range of ∼1–10 μm. (D) Schematic illustration of meltblown fibers (left) without and (right) with electret charging. In the left figure, smaller particles are able to pass through to the user, but particles are electrostatically captured in the case of an electret (right).

I will skip my usual long winded commentary. Again, it's open sourced.

The paper is worth a look in my view.

An Interview with the Top Virologist at China's Equivalent to the CDC on Covid-19.

"The House Was On Fire..." Interview with Dr. Shao Yiming of the Chinese CDC.

I found the above, in a recent issue of Science to be intriguing. Some excerpts:

Q: What’s the situation in Beijing right now?

A: I can go out at any time of day, and I go to work regularly. There’s no restriction at all except on travel. If I visit other parts of China, I have to be quarantined for 2 weeks. I don’t want to stop working so I don’t visit other provinces. We have traffic again and air pollution. Restaurants are open, but you can’t use your own chopsticks when you share dishes...

...Q: China’s ahead of the rest of the world in terms of responding to COVID-19, so a big question outside of China is how do we best control this without lockdowns?

A: You have to do early finding of cases, which means measuring temperatures all the time, and you have to do an epidemiological investigation and contact tracing of each case within 24 hours. Prevention has to focus on old people and nursing homes, key personnel, larger factories, pregnant women, and university and school campuses. Scale up testing: Testing is going up in China, even though there are no more cases. In order to guarantee a safe opening, you need to test more people...

...Q: In the United States, we don’t like the type of intensive surveillance that China does. We think that takes away our individual rights and privacy.

A: But you have done that for almost 20 years because of 9/11. Whenever I go to the United States, I have to give your customs agent 10 fingerprints and two irises into the camera. I cannot understand why U.S. customs wants 10 fingerprints. Why not two? And including my two irises?...

...Q: When you look at the United States today, what do you think about the way we responded?

A: You have responded very badly. You didn’t really have a response at the beginning, or even for a few months in some states, for reasons I could not understand. In China, on the last day of last year there was a report of a pneumonia cluster in Wuhan, the first week of January it was identified as a novel coronavirus, and on 23 January, we locked down the city of 11 million people and soon the rest of Hubei—a province of nearly 60 million. Maybe because we experienced severe acute respiratory syndrome, the memories are still there. Maybe we saw that the people’s lives are more precious than the economy...

...Q: One big topic in the United States right now is whether the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the origin of this pandemic. What’s the reaction in China to the U.S. government blaming that institute?

A: Before your politicians began attacking the Wuhan institute, Chinese people were the first group to challenge the Wuhan institute scientists. There are conspiracy theorists in China too. The institute’s geographical location is very close to the seafood market [where an early cluster of cases surfaced]. And there also happened to be a biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) lab there. [BSL-4 labs are for the most dangerous pathogens.] For ordinary people with limited information and knowledge of science, when they are in danger, they are afraid, and they become curious about conspiracy theories. This is understandable. But for a government and top officials with lots of good information to say this? I can’t understand that...

I found this interview enlightening as it addressed cultural and ethical differences between our countries. In this inteview Dr. Shao Yiming was possessed of something we lack here at our highest levels, intellectual and insightful honesty.

A New Yorker Tells Why It's Important to Wear A Mask.

I thought it was pretty funny.

New Weekly CO2 Concentration Record Set at the Mauna Loa Observatory 416.97 ppm.

Portions of the text of this post are identical to the text I wrote in earlier posts I made over the last few weeks, with the numbers updated. The most recent such post is this one: New Weekly CO2 Concentration Record Set at the Mauna Loa Observatory 416.83 ppm. I feel it is in my rights to repeat myself much as the members of "renewables will save us" squad repeat themselves about how wonderful so called "renewable energy" is, even though it has a record over nearly half a century of over promising and not delivering, including the last 20 years, during which trillions of dollars have been "invested" in it.

The data near the annual peak in 2020 has been noisy.

As I've indicated many times before in this space, I somewhat obsessively keep a spreadsheet of the weekly data at the Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide Observatory, which I use to do calculations to record the dying of our atmosphere, a triumph of fear, dogma and ignorance that did not have to be, but nonetheless is.

I had the naive wishful thinking notion that restrictions on automobile traffic with all of the worldwide lock downs would lead to a slowing of carbon dioxide accumulations. Indeed, it does seem something a little bit unusual is going on. Some weeks ago, I reported that the annual maximum, which usually occurs in May seemed to have arrived early:

We May Have Hit The Annual Maximum CO2 Observatory at Mauna Loa Unusually Early This Year.

That record was set on April 5, of this year, about a month ago, at 416.45 ppm, and was followed by two weeks of lower readings, 416.27 ppm and 415.88 ppm, for the weeks beginning April 12 and April 19. Had values continued to decrease, it would have meant that this would stand as the second time, going back to 1975, that the peak was observed during the first week of April. Last week had a reading, 416.79, lower than the previous record set two weeks ago of 416.83. This week's reading, 416.97 ppm, is higher than both.

The data from the Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide Observatory:

Up-to-date weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa

Week beginning on May 17, 2020: 416.97 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago: 414.72 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago: 393.46 ppm
Last updated: May 24, 2020

The increase in carbon dioxide concentrations when compared to the same week in 2019 is 2.25 ppm. The week to week comparisons between 2020 and 2019 are averaging this year 2.54 ppm. This same average in 2019, as compared to 2018, was 2.90 ppm.

Let me say this: I am open to speculating that the Mauna Loa data does reflect the decline of automotive traffic owing to Covid-19. Over the last four weeks, the average weekly comparisons with the same week of 2019, is "only" 2.21. There is, however a far more depressing way to view this "only" 2.21 number. The Mauna Loa website posts data of this type, weekly year to year comparisons going back to May 25, 1975. Of the first 300 data points, 51 increases were greater than 2.00 ppm. Two were greater than 3.00 ppm. Of the latest 300 data points, 214 have been greater than 2.00 and 32 have been greater than 3.00 pm.

The 2.21 figure for the growth of carbon dioxide over a year earlier would have been upsetting in 1980; today it almost seems comforting.

Go figure.

In the week of January 1, 2000, the running 12 month average of comparisons of changes with respect to the same week ten years earlier, was 15.19 ppm higher than the figure ten years previous. In 2020, the same twelve month running average is 24.06 ppm over figures 10 years earlier.

If any of this troubles you, don't worry, be happy. Head on over to Daily Kos, where you can read all about how wonderful renewable energy is for 21 health care centers in Nigeria. The death toll in Nigeria among children under the age of 5 from diarrhea resulting from reduced breast feeding leading to reliance on Nigerian water supplies, is estimated to have been 22,371 in 2016. Ref: Diarrhoea deaths and disability-adjusted life years attributable to suboptimal breastfeeding practices in Nigeria: findings from the global burden of disease study 2016 (F Ogbo et al. International Breastfeeding Journal (2019) 14:4)

We've had trillions of dollars to spend on so called "renewable energy," the components of which will largely consist of electronic waste in 25 years - waste we may ship to Nigeria to "recycle," leading to more damage to Nigerian children similar to the damage electronic recycling has inflicted on Chinese children." We have not had trillions of dollars to provide basic sanitation to the two billion people who lack it.

The result of the trillions spent on so called "renewable energy" has been nil. It has not addressed climate change, is not addressing climate change and will not address climate change.

My impression that I've been hearing all about how rapidly renewable energy has been growing since I began writing here in 2002, when the reading on April 14, 2002 was 375.14 ppm should not disturb you, since it is better to think everything is fine rather than focus on reality.

In this century, the solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal energy on which people so cheerfully have bet the entire planetary atmosphere, stealing the future from all future generations, grew by 9.76 exajoules to 12.27 exajoules. World energy demand in 2018 was 599.34 exajoules. Unquestionably it will be higher in 2020, even with the Covid crisis.

2019 Edition of the World Energy Outlook Table 1.1 Page 38] (I have converted MTOE in the original table to the SI unit exajoules in this text.)

Still we on the left cheer for so called "renewable energy." Apparently our respect for data isn't as high as we seem to think it is.

Don't worry. Be happy.

Electric car! Wind turbine! Solar cell! So and so on, ad nauseum...

Heckuva job people, heckuva job. Let's ask Jared to declare a success!

History will not forgive us, nor should it.

I hope you stay safe and well and will, despite this crisis, be able to enjoy the spring, while avoiding crowding into beaches with disease vectors, on this Memorial Day weekend.

This kind of thinking has been the subject of research for decades. On scale, it will not work.

When my son was in junior high school, I took him to a lecture at Princeton University by Alissa Park of Columbia University. She was talking about the mineralization of carbon dioxide in rocks back then in magnesium rich granites.

My son is going to graduate from college this December.

That therefore represents a decade during which essentially nothing meaningful has been done.

A few localized cases wherein the energy to do this kind of thing has been performed have not prevented the 2nd derivative of carbon dioxide, the growth in the rate of growth, from growing to 2.4 ppm/year. In the year 2000, it was around 1.5 ppm/year.

For the entire time, there has been endless talk about carbon sequestration. The year 2000 started with carbon dioxide concentrations of around 368 ppm. This week, according to the daily readings, we're around 417 ppm.

Since the year 2000, we have dumped close to 700 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The atmosphere, not even counting the ocean absorption clearly contains, over three trillion tons of carbon dioxide.

Do we really believe that this sort of thing will work on scale?

This geothermal plant is merely reinjecting the carbon dioxide it was releasing, carbon dioxide that was already stored in geologic formulations. To say that it is making a difference is to discuss a perpetual motion machine, analogous to traveling a distance on a hamster wheel.

All this talk about carbon sequestration - building huge dumps with which future generations will have to pay - is not helpful. In fact, it's dangerous, since it substitutes wishful thinking for real action. Right now, there are no meaningful actions being taken, none.

Carbon sequestration is a non-starter, often utilized as lipstick on the fossil fuel pig, for example when dangerous fossil fuel companies advertise CO2 injections for EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery, i.e. "fracking" ) as "sequestration."

T cells found in coronavirus patients 'bode well' for long-term immunity.

This news item is in a recent issue of Science: T cells found in coronavirus patients ‘bode well’ for long-term immunity (Leslie, Science 22 May 2020: Vol. 368, Issue 6493, pp. 809-810)

It is, I believe, open sourced.

An excerpt:

T cells are among the immune system's most powerful weapons, but their importance for battling SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been unclear. Now, two studies show infected people harbor T cells that target the virus—and may help them recover. Both studies also found that some people never infected with SARS-CoV-2 have these cellular defenses, most likely because they were previously infected with other coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

“This is encouraging data,” says virologist Angela Rasmussen of Columbia University, who wasn't involved in the work. Although the studies don't clarify whether people who clear a SARS-CoV-2 infection can ward off the virus in the future, both identified strong T cell responses to it, which “bodes well for the development of long-term protective immunity,” Rasmussen says. The findings could also help researchers create better vaccines.

The more than 100 COVID-19 vaccines in development mainly focus on triggering a different immune response: antibodies. Researchers know our B cells make antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which vaccine developers hope can latch onto the virus and prevent it from entering cells. But T cells can also help thwart infections. Helper T cells spur B cells and other immune defenders into action, whereas killer T cells target and destroy infected cells. The severity of disease can depend on the strength of these T cell responses.

To determine whether the new coronavirus provokes T cells, a team led by Shane Crotty and Alessandro Sette, immunologists at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, used bioinformatics tools to predict which segments of the virus' proteins should stimulate T cells most effectively. They then exposed immune cells from 10 patients who had recovered from mild cases of COVID-19 to these viral snippets...

...The results have other significant implications for vaccine design, says molecular virologist Rachel Graham of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Most vaccines under development aim to elicit an immune response against the spike protein, but the La Jolla group's study determined that T cells reacted to several viral proteins, suggesting vaccines that incite an immune response to these proteins as well could be more effective. “It is important to not just concentrate on one protein,” Graham says...

The full paper to which this news item refers is also open sourced (Pre-proof) as of this writing is here:

Targets of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19disease and unexposed individuals

Bibliographic data:

Grifoni, A., Weiskopf, D., Ramirez, S.I., Mateus, J., Dan, J.M., Moderbacher,C.R., Rawlings, S.A., Sutherland, A., Premkumar, L., Jadi, R.S., Marrama, D., de Silva, A.M., Frazier, A.,Carlin, A., Greenbaum, J.A., Peters, B., Krammer, F., Smith, D.M., Crotty, S., Sette, A., Targets of T cellresponses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19 disease and unexposed individuals,Cell (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.05.015.

This is a PDF file of an article that has undergone enhancements after acceptance, such as the additionof a cover page and metadata, and formatting for readability, but it is not yet the definitive version of record. This version will undergo additional copyediting, typesetting and review before it is published in its final form, but we are providing this version to give early visibility of the article. Please note that,during the production process, errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legaldisclaimers that apply to the journal pertain.

Pretty good news I think.

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