Zika Virus Disease

Civil Defense Perspectives March 2016 Vol 32 No 3

The new public health panic, which the World Health Organization (WHO) elevated to the same level as Ebola—a Public Health Emergency of International Concern—(www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/en/) is a previously little known disease called Zika virus disease (ZVD). Zika virus (ZIKV) is carried by same mosquito, Aedes aegypti, as other Third World diseases, including dengue and chikungunya.

ZIKV is a flavivirus that was first identified in humans in 1947 in Uganda’s Zika Forest (http://tinyurl.com/hl3u53e). Other flaviviruses are yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis. Possible cross-reactivity of antibodies complicates diagnosis. There is also concern that previous infection with or vaccination against one flavivirus might mediate antibody-dependent enhancement of a second infection. (Haug et al. NEJM, http://tinyurl.com/hwfuh3b). Continue reading

War In Paris

Civil Defense Perspectives November 2015 Vol 32 No 1 [published March 6, 2016]

In November 2015, Paris, once the capital of a great world power, was the scene of two battles in the war on the West: one waged by Islamic jihadists, and one by wealthy globalist elites. Terror attacks were followed by the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change [global energy rationing and wealth redistribution].

Superficially, rampaging terrorists mowing down random civilians with assault rifles or knives do not resemble bathed, well-dressed delegates with briefcases, arriving by private jet and luxury limousine. But both have the same enemy: the West, especially the U.S. They despise the institutions that arose in Christian Europe: individual freedom, limited government, private property, and capitalism. Both aim for totalitarian rule: one under the will of Allah, as determined by the caliphate, and one by a global bureaucracy claiming to know what is best for the Planet and Society. Both have zero tolerance for apostasy. Jihadists inflict instant death; climate extremists so far just murder careers or businesses. The ultimate death toll from either could be massive, even if the Green socialists don’t follow the road of the Reds to mass purges, through wrecked economies and energy starvation. The West is guilty, and must pay for its sins. Continue reading

Banning Dust

Civil Defense Perspectives July 2015 Vol 31 No 5 [published Nov 30, 2015]

Claiming a “climate emergency” caused by atmospheric CO2,  the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is trying to impose the “Clean Power” Rule, which is supposed to save tens of thousands of lives because of decreasing “carbon”—not the life-giving gas but the elemental form, soot, that comes in small particulates less than 2.5 microns in size (PM2.5s). It happens that coal-fired electrical generating stations emit PM2.5s, as well as CO2, and health harm is said to come from the particle size, regardless of composition or source. It could be soot, diesel exhaust, or dust from storms or agriculture.

The reductio ad absurdum, used so brilliantly by 18th-century French economist Frédéric Bastiat, does not work well today, so accustomed are we, like the White Queen in Through the Looking Glass, to believing six impossible things before breakfast—as long as propounded by government-approved “scientists.” Continue reading

War Over Syria

Civil Defense Perspectives Sept. 2015 Volume 31 No. 6

While some U.S. presidential candidates (Hillary Clinton, John Elias Bush [JEB], Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina) have expounded on the U.S. establishing a “no-fly” zone in Syrian airspace, Russia has established that it is not our airspace. U.S. pilots, conducting bombing raids on ISIS, were ordered to change course to avoid coming within 20 nautical miles of a Russian aircraft (http://tinyurl.com/poepl2q). Syria and our supposed ally Iraq have both invited Russia into their airspace to help quell ISIS—and the U.S.-supported insurgency that is trying to oust duly elected president Bashar al-Assad.

Over one week, Russia claimed to have destroyed 19 command facilities, two communications centers, 23 depots with fuel and ammunition, six plants for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and several training camps (RT.com 10/7/15, http://tinyurl.com/nvl5u6l). The U.S has not been announcing comparable claims. In addition to the well-tried workhorses like the Su-24 frontline bomber and the armored Su-25 ground-support fighter jet, designed decades ago, the Russian air force used the new Su-34, which can hit targets from an altitude of 5,000 feet, far from the range of the militants’ anti-aircraft weapons. The bombs include sophisticated laser-guided Kh-25Ls and steerable KAB-250s, and bunker-busting BETAB-500s (ibid.). Continue reading

Unholy Fire

Civil Defense Perspectives May 2015 Volume 31 No. 4

The sharpest dividing line between hominids and all other organisms is the use of fire, wrote the late Isaac Asimov (A Choice of Catastrophes). There is evidence of fire having been used by Homo erectus in caves in China half a million years ago. A method of starting a fire from scratch was probably discovered by a member of Homo sapiens around 7000 B.C.

In Greek mythology, the Titan god Prometheus stole fire, which Zeus had withheld from men, and delivered it to mortals. In retaliation, Zeus ordered the creation of Pandora, the first woman, to bring misfortune to the house of man. Continue reading

Scandalous Civil Defense

Civil Defense Perspectives March 2015 Volume 31 No. 3

The U.S. long ago adopted the nonstrategy of deliberately leaving its citizens completely unprotected against nuclear weapons. For prevention it has depended on the concept of nuclear deterrence. This depends on the enemy being rational, concerned about its own survival, and identifiable—and the willingness and ability of the U.S. to utterly crush the foe.

Nuclear proliferation, unilateral U.S. disarmament, technological change, and the rise of many enemies willing or eager to die in the process of killing infidels mean that nuclear deterrence is much less reliable—or even impossible. Continue reading

A Choice of Catastrophes

Civil Defense Perspectives January 2015 Volume 31 No. 2

All the calls for people to work to “Save the Planet” suggest that the Planet could have eternal life if only we banished the demon carbon dioxide to the nether regions of Earth. But of course the Planet had a beginning, and it will have an end. For perspective it is worth reviewing the late Isaac Asimov’s 1979 book A Choice of Catastrophes: the Disasters That Threaten Our World.

The heat death of the entire universe would seem to be an inevitable, inexorable end to everything not already destroyed.  The Earth could be rendered uninhabitable by collision with an asteroid, or by changes in the sun as it became a red giant and eventually a white dwarf. But on a smaller than astronomic scale, the force with the greatest likely impact is climate.  There have always been droughts, and floods, and storms, but could the Earth become a planetary Sahara or a planetary Greenland? The popular press in the 1970s was filled with threats of global cooling, which were endorsed by all major scientific organizations (http://tinyurl.com/q7pkmp4). Continue reading

97 Percent Wrong

Civil Defense Perspectives November  2014 Volume 31 No. 1

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may claim 95% confidence in its predictions, but 111 (97%) of 114 runs of climate models predicted temperature changes greater than observed (TWTW 8/23/14). After a 35-year simulation, models over-predicted actual temperatures by 200% to 750%. Would a 300-year simulation fare better (TWTW 11/8/14)?

Previously, the climate-research establishment denied the existence of a pause in the inexorable warming, but admitted that it would invalidate their theories. A 2008 report from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said: “The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 years or more” (Matt Ridley, WSJ 9/4/14). Continue reading

Emerging Viral Disease

Civil Defense Perspectives September 2014 Volume 30 No. 6
[published November 2014]

In March, a devastating Ebola epidemic was building up in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, and was belatedly recognized as an international emergency by the World Health Organization only on August 6. At the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness meeting in Knoxville, Tenn., July 25-28, Steven Hatfill, M.D., gave an in-depth presentation on Ebola and other emerging diseases (http://tinyurl.com/mb3ftzo).

Some key take-home lessons: Continue reading