Unintended Consequences and The Texas ‘Big Freeze’ Energy Disaster

22-02-21 04:07:00,

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Unintended Consequences and the Texas ‘Big Freeze’ Energy Disaster


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    Last week Texas experienced a cold snap that resulted in serious statewide damage, death, and destruction. The collapse of the state’s energy grid left millions of Texans in the dark and freezing for days at a time. Tragically, at least 30 people died.

    There are many reasons why Texas became like a Third World country, and we should be careful not to pin all the blame on just one factor. But it seems clear that the disaster was to a large degree caused by political decisions to shift toward “green” energy generated from solar and wind and by Governor Abbott’s authoritarian Covid restrictions.

    Abbott, who won a “wind leadership” award just this month, oversaw the near-collapse of wind energy generation last week. Yet the politicization of energy generation in favor of “green” alternatives over natural gas and other fossil fuels has led to the unintended consequences of freezing Texans facing multiple millions of dollars in property damage and worse.

    Additionally, federal emissions and other restrictions forced Texas to beg Washington for permission to generate power at higher levels in anticipation of unprecedented demand. Governor Abbott finally received permission from the Department of Energy on February 14th, but by then many facilities found themselves off-line due to freezing conditions.

    Why should the Federal government be allowed to freeze Texans to death in the name of controlling emissions from energy generation plants? It’s a classic example of politics over people. I guess if you want to make a “Green New Deal” omelet, you have to break a few eggs.

    While Governor Abbott was quick to blame energy generators and even the state Electric Reliability Council of Texas, NBC News in Dallas reported that ERCOT “did not conduct any on-site inspections of the state’s power plants to see if they were ready for this winter season.

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    To Get Their Lives Back, Teens Volunteer for Vaccine Trials

    22-02-21 04:04:00,

    Immunizing teenagers is a critical part of slowing the pandemic and reaching herd immunity. But enrolling them in clinical trials poses challenges that are very different than wrangling adults.

    In Houston, Isabelle King, 14, got her second shot from Jallesse Flores during a Moderna vaccine trial this month, as her twin sister,  Alexandra, looked on.In Houston, Isabelle King, 14, got her second shot from Jallesse Flores during a Moderna vaccine trial this month, as her twin sister,  Alexandra, looked on.Credit…Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times

    To get out of ninth-grade science period one recent Friday, the King twins had an excuse that is so very 2021.

    Alexandra and Isabelle, 14, had to miss class — including a test — because they were participating in an actual science experiment: a clinical trial of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine to evaluate whether the shot is effective and safe in children ages 12 through 17.

    “In science we’re learning about, like, genetics and stuff like that,” said Alexandra during the monitoring period after they’d gotten their shots at a Houston clinic. “So maybe the teacher will say, ‘Oh, you really shouldn’t have to take the test, because you’re contributing to science already.’”

    Teenagers contract the novel coronavirus almost twice as often as younger children but vaccines authorized in the United States are mostly for adults — Moderna’s for 18 and older, Pfizer’s for 16 and up. While teenagers don’t become severely ill from the virus as often as adults, research suggests that because they are often asymptomatic and casual about social distancing, they can be efficient spreaders — to one another as well as to adults like parents, grandparents and teachers. Although vaccinating educators will be an important factor in keeping schools open, vaccinating students will also be a key element.

    Bottom line: If widespread immunity to the coronavirus is to be achieved, adolescents are critical links. They need a Covid vaccine that works for them.

    But teenagers are harder than adults to enroll and keep in clinical trials. They are difficult to wrangle and not so great with compliance, which includes keeping a symptom diary and keeping appointments, as many as six a year, that include blood draws (for some, an instant deal breaker).

    To reach students, some researchers have tapped school connections, local pediatricians and social media campaigns. While waiting for appointments in the vaccine research clinics,

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    Scientists: Vaccination Before EVERY Holiday May Be Needed

    22-02-21 02:15:00, Coronavirus

    Fact checking the fact checkers.

    Published

    3 days ago

    on

    19 February, 2021

    Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

    Newsweek published a “fact check” which labeled claims that India had banned the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as “mostly false” despite admitting in the article that India has in fact temporarily banned the vaccine.

    Last week, discussion around the issue intensified after it was revealed that Indian health authorities had refused to give permission for the vaccine to be distributed.

    “On February 3, 2021, India’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC), a panel that advises the nation’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), a national regulatory body focused on pharmaceuticals and devices, ruled that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should not be recommended for an EUA in the country “at this stage,” reports Newsweek.

    The report quotes India’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC), which ruled, “The committee noted that incidents of palsy, anaphylaxis and other SAE’s have been reported during post marketing and the causality of the events with the vaccine is being investigated. Further, the firm has not proposed any plan to generate safety and immunogenicity data in Indian population.”

    In response, after the meeting with the regulator, Pfizer Inc. withdrew its application for the vaccine’s use in India.

    “The committee noted that incidents of palsy, anaphylaxis, & other serious adverse events have been reported during post marketing… Further, the firm has not proposed any plan to generate safety & immunogenicity data in Indian population.#PfizerVaccine https://t.co/QKDQcV6vYF

    — jholmie (@jholmie89) February 16, 2021

    The Newsweek report admits all this, including but then asserts that that the claim India banned the vaccine is “mostly false.”

    Indian authorities refused to allow the vaccine to be distributed in India. That’s also known as a “ban”. The ban might be lifted at a future date, but it’s a ban nonetheless.

    For Newsweek to claim that this is “mostly false” is completely erroneous. The Newsweek fact check itself is “mostly false.” The fact checkers have been fact checked.

    Fact check: Did India ban the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine? https://t.co/MUtRKI9r5m

    — Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 18,

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    Fauci: Masks On Into 2022; Return to Normality “Depends What You Mean By Normality”

    22-02-21 02:15:00,

    Newsweek published a “fact check” which labeled claims that India had banned the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as “mostly false” despite admitting in the article that India has in fact temporarily banned the vaccine.

    Last week, discussion around the issue intensified after it was revealed that Indian health authorities had refused to give permission for the vaccine to be distributed.

    “On February 3, 2021, India’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC), a panel that advises the nation’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), a national regulatory body focused on pharmaceuticals and devices, ruled that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should not be recommended for an EUA in the country “at this stage,” reports Newsweek.

    The report quotes India’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC), which ruled, “The committee noted that incidents of palsy, anaphylaxis and other SAE’s have been reported during post marketing and the causality of the events with the vaccine is being investigated. Further, the firm has not proposed any plan to generate safety and immunogenicity data in Indian population.”

    In response, after the meeting with the regulator, Pfizer Inc. withdrew its application for the vaccine’s use in India.

    “The committee noted that incidents of palsy, anaphylaxis, & other serious adverse events have been reported during post marketing… Further, the firm has not proposed any plan to generate safety & immunogenicity data in Indian population.#PfizerVaccine https://t.co/QKDQcV6vYF

    — jholmie (@jholmie89) February 16, 2021

    The Newsweek report admits all this, including but then asserts that that the claim India banned the vaccine is “mostly false.”

    Indian authorities refused to allow the vaccine to be distributed in India. That’s also known as a “ban”. The ban might be lifted at a future date, but it’s a ban nonetheless.

    For Newsweek to claim that this is “mostly false” is completely erroneous. The Newsweek fact check itself is “mostly false.” The fact checkers have been fact checked.

    Fact check: Did India ban the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine? https://t.co/MUtRKI9r5m

    — Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 18, 2021

    But it gets worse.

    Bill Gates owns stock in Pfizer Inc. and his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated significant sums of money to help Pfizer’s development of vaccines.

    Interesting to note therefore that a message which originally appeared at the bottom of the Newsweek ‘fact check’ article has now disappeared.

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    Understanding the Dangers of Innovation Zones and Smart Cities – Activist Post

    22-02-21 01:16:00,

    By Derrick Broze

    Following the news that Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak plans to launch so-called “Innovation Zones” where tech companies can create their own cities and governments, privacy advocates are responding with fear and concern.

    During his State of the State address in mid-January, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak noted that the state is suffering because of the COVID-19 restrictions and the effect on tourism. Sisolak called on the launch of “Innovation Zones”, a plan aimed at bringing companies working on “groundbreaking technologies” to Nevada and turning the state into the “epicenter of this emerging industry and creating the high paying jobs and revenue that go with it.” However, in these Innovation Zones, corporations are given the power to collect taxes, and essentially, operate as a quasi-independent government.

    While the full plan for the Innovation Zones has yet to be released, The Las Vegas Review-Journal obtained a draft copy of proposed legislation which would grant tech corporations previously unheard of powers within the jurisdiction of these zones. The draft of the legislation states that traditional local governments are “inadequate alone to provide the flexibility and resources conducive to making the State a leader in attracting and retaining new forms and types of businesses and fostering economic development in emerging technologies and innovative industries.” In response, the draft calls for an “alternative form of local government”.

    This “alternative form of local government” will be built around the use of innovative technologies, including:

    • Blockchain
    • Autonomous technology
    • Internet of Things
    • Robotics
    • Artificial intelligence
    • Wireless technology
    • Biometrics
    • Renewable resources

    While the zones would at first operate under the authority of the county in which they are located, the legislation describes how tech companies could use Innovation Zones to form their own separate government that would act as the equivalent to a county authority. These zones would have the ability to impose taxes, form school districts and local court systems, and provide government services. The zone would have a board of supervisors with the same powers as a board of county commissioners.

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