Coronavirus

Environmentalists Look on the Bright Side of COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has led to less air pollution...unless you count all the germs.

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Millions of people sheltering in their homes for fear of catching a deadly virus is not normally a sign of a healthy environment. Yet some environmentalists and members of the media think they've found a big silver lining in this whole global pandemic thing: Harmful emissions are down, and quarantine life is acclimating people to more sustainable ways of living.

"There's an unlikely beneficiary of the coronavirus: the planet," says a CNN headline about extreme quarantine measures in Wuhan, China. "It seems the lockdown had an unintended benefit—blue skies." Nice!

One Stanford professor, drawing on not-necessarily-reliable Chinese government statistics about COVID-19 deaths, has argued that the virus is saving lives in that country by causing this reduction in air pollution.

Here in the U.S., sharp declines in traffic caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns of economic and social life are being treated as a gleaming example of the way things could be.

Some have even argued that self-isolation might even be leading people to live better lives.

"It's ironic to me that it's a quarantine order that's getting people to do what public health experts have been advising for years—walking around the neighborhood," Bryn Lindblad of Climate Resolve told Curbed.

In The New York Times, science writer Meehan Crist tries to make the case that coronavirus-induced isolation and economic deprivation are forcing people to adopt planet-friendly behaviors that will hopefully become permanent habits:

Personal consumption and travel habits are, in fact, changing, which has some people wondering if this might be the beginning of a meaningful shift. Maybe, as you hunker down with cabinets full of essentials, your sense of what consumer goods you need will shrink. Maybe, even after the acute phase of the coronavirus crisis has passed, you will be more likely to telecommute. Lifestyles that include, for example, frequent long-distance travel already seem ethically questionable in light of the climate crisis, and, in an age irrevocably scarred by pandemic, these lifestyles may come to be seen as grossly irresponsible.

Some scholars have expressed a similar wish that extreme changes in individual behavior will be mirrored at the governmental level as states move from fighting the virus to fighting climate change.

"It's all about somebody else stepping in and forcing us to internalize the externality, which means don't rely on parents to take their kids out of school, close the school," climate economist Gernot Wagner told Yale Environment 360. "Don't rely on companies or workers to stay home or tell their people to stay home, force them to do so or pay them to do so, but make sure it happens. And of course that's the role of government." Of course.

Do not misunderstand me. These people are not claiming that the current pandemic is on net a good thing. But the fact that they view these developments as silver linings is a telling indicator of how little they value the normal course of American life.

After all, an equally plausible response to falling carbon emissions and clearer skyline views is that these improvements come at the expense of a lot of things that make life worth living, whether that's going to the bar, going on vacation, or even going to work. Most people are willing to make these trade-offs only in the context of preventing the spread of a deadly virus.

And yes, maybe some of these crisis-era changes could be permanent. If we learn that we can live just as easily with fewer regulations on the policy level and fewer commutes in our personal lives, then we should keep those lessons in mind after the pandemic is over. But COVID-19 should not be a shortcut to our preferred policy outcomes. We should eagerly hope for things to return to normal, so that we can have normal arguments about traffic mitigation and climate policy.

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  1. Personal consumption and travel habits are, in fact, changing, which has some people wondering if this might be the beginning of a meaningful shift. Maybe, as you hunker down with cabinets full of essentials, your sense of what consumer goods you need will shrink. Maybe, even after the acute phase of the coronavirus crisis has passed, you will be more likely to telecommute. Lifestyles that include, for example, frequent long-distance travel already seem ethically questionable in light of the climate crisis, and, in an age irrevocably scarred by pandemic, these lifestyles may come to be seen as grossly irresponsible.

    Not that I really have my finger on the pulse of society’s opinions, but I don’t think most people see the climate change issue as a major crisis. While I think some things will change (notably education), I actually think most people will be rather eager to get back to a social, gregarious, globetrotting lifestyle.

    1. Notice the dipshit says “maybe you will make these sacrifices,” not “I will definitely make these sacrifices.”

      1. And not a clue as to where the essentials in the cabinet came from.

        1. Right, the first-order thinking of “oh we’ll just keep those industries open” without realizing their connectedness to every other industry is crazy.

          1. “Right, the first-order thinking of “oh we’ll just keep those industries open” without realizing their connectedness to every other industry is crazy.”

            When grease-ball tells CA that ‘you can go back to work!’, and then finds the U/E rolls unchanged for months, it might dawn on him that Joe can’t go back to work. His employer’s revenue for the last couple of months is next to nothing and he can’t afford to buy the supplies required to put Joe back to work.
            Newsom owned a restaurant, co-owned by one of the Getty kids. He really did have a Jackson orchard out back, and has no idea how most businesses run.

        2. Or the cabinet… or the roof over their head…

  2. So , the earth cleans up pretty quickly after all!

    1. It is almost like the earth isnt fragile…

    1. Didnt robby and ENB just criticize trump for false hope?

  3. and quarantine life is acclimating people to more sustainable ways of living.

    Sustainable == unemployed.

    This is why the environmental movement is hated by normies when the hammer comes down.

    I just took a 20% pay cut and lost all my accrued vacation. And I consider myself one of the lucky ones because 1: I still have a job and B: I’ve got some reasonable savings and cushion to sustain me for a while should I lose my job. The guy washing dishes at the applebees, yeah, his sustainable lifestyle isn’t so awesome.

    1. I wonder if these people really don’t realize that we haven’t even seen the beginning of the economic storm from the shutdown.

      1. I’m hoping that if this lockdown stops that the theory that the economy will bounce back quickly turns out to be true.

        That theory being that unlike other economic crashes and recessions, this isn’t a contraction in demand but a forced squeeze on supply. Once that forced squeeze lets up, the demand will be there– pent up in fact and things will return to normal fairly quickly. But of course if this squeeze goes on for too long, then the supply goes away because no one will have a job when we come out of this shit.

        I’m really glad our health departments in the west spent so much time worrying about calorie counts and vaping. They really know how to handle a real outbreak.

        1. I am hoping the same. The more optimistic side of me says that as the pain begins to build, politicians will have little choice but to let up sooner rather than later. Of course, that is hopefully not followed by a mass casualty infection event.

          1. If Jenkins (Dallas County authoritarian) is anything to go by, they’re going to double down.

        2. To be fair, obesity is going to cause a lot more deaths this year and cost orders of magnitude more than coronacoof will. We just don’t shut down the economy for it.

          1. Thankfully, I can’t catch obesity from my coworker.

            1. Have you had Janice’s cookies? trust me you can./Sarc

              The real concern isn’t just the deaths/misery directly attributed to the disease but the effects of having something that will be fairly debilitating run through the country unchecked and force hospitalizations, straining resources to their limits and causing secondary problems

              1. The more time passes, the more I find this more of an excuse or rationalization that a legit reason.

                How long do hospitals need to gear up and be ready? It started with 15 days, now it’s up to a month or more. Logistics problems can be and are real, but they can also be reasonably planned. There is no sense that there is a plan. Just wait until government says you’re safe to leave the house. We’re not anticipating an end, because they haven’t planned for what the end is. It’s like Afghanistan. It’s all a guessing game based off of bad data.

                Our governor surely isn’t treating it like a “we just need time to prepare” situation. He says he has no idea when it will be “safe” to return to work, school, etc. Which means it has nothing to do with logistics and resources, which can be planned for methodically, but with not catching the virus, which is completely unrealistic.

                1. “…How long do hospitals need to gear up and be ready? It started with 15 days, now it’s up to a month or more. Logistics problems can be and are real, but they can also be reasonably planned…”

                  Ask JFree and Hihn. They’re both still waving those PANIC!!! chicken little flags.

        3. “That theory being that unlike other economic crashes and recessions, this isn’t a contraction in demand but a forced squeeze on supply. Once that forced squeeze lets up, the demand will be there”

          Really? You don’t think that no paychecks for a month for millions of people isn’t going to end with a contraction in demand?

    2. ” The guy washing dishes at the applebees”

      you don’t give a shit about him, shut up

  4. “Here in the U.S., sharp declines in traffic caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns of economic and social life are being treated as a gleaming example of the way things could be.”
    Good luck convincing a majority of Americans that this is the way they should live permanently.

    1. Even the patience of those who are patient is wearing thin.

      1. I’m retired and spend most of my day at home, but even I’m sick of this. One more month will have me bouncing off the walls.

        1. every day is Saturday

    2. Meme
      Image: A little puppet looking side eyed at you:
      Text: When you discover that your daily lifestyle is called “quarantine”.

    3. the government can fuck allllll the way off with that. Thankfully Trump seems to understand this isn’t sustainable, unlike some governors I could mention.

  5. “It seems the lockdown had an unintended benefit—blue skies.”

    “And when humans are finally wiped out, the beauty of nature will truly be a sight to behold!”

    1. Right? These are the people who think that Thanos was right, and that someone needs to come along and kill 50% of all humanity.

      1. They think Thanos was an optimist, if deep ecology screeds are any guide.

        Funny though, it’s never their friends, family, or themselves that need to be in the 95 percent die off. Weird, huh?

        Fuck these people with everything we can muster. They want a world that is just like this one, but without you in it.

        1. “Thanos was a centrist. “

        2. they’re a cult, nothing more or less. Don’t give them the benefit of the doubt by trying to even pretend that they’re science-based. Remember that plenty of zealots throughout history have decided the best way to save the unbelievers is to kill them.

      2. “Thanos got it half right.”

        People are being taught to hate civilization.

        Remember the Battlestar Galactica remake?

        Spolier: They struggle for years to escape the Cylons, and when they finally do, they dump their civilization to live as illiterate hunter-gatherers.
        Extra Spoiler: We are their descendants. Wooo, so deep, man.

        “Progressives”

        1. Yeah, the ding made no sense. And no Hollywood leftist would ever give up their wealth and luxuries to do the same.

          Those people are hypocritical trash. Like all progtards.

    2. This.

      The true “bright side” for Environmentalists is the hope of mountains of dead humans, the malignant cancer destroying the planet.

      1. Let’s start with them. Things will definitely be better.

    3. People are being taught to hate civilization.

      Remember the Battlestar Galactica remake?

      Spolier: They struggle for years to escape the Cylons, and when they finally do, they dump their civilization to live as illiterate hunter-gatherers.
      Extra Spoiler: We are their descendants. Wooo, so deep, man.

      “Progressives”

  6. I could document this golden light, this blue, this clear air all day long. Five years since emissions didn’t haze out sky by midday. There’s been a white haze around the earth seen from space last few years. Not visible in 1st pics from space. Are NASA pics now clearer again?

    Anyone else notice how the window muntins in that photo look like bars?

  7. Some have even argued that self-isolation might even be leading people to live better lives.

    Once the dust settles from this pandemic, I’m betting the suicide rate spiked up.

    1. Because of self-isolation or because of other factors related to the pandemic lockdown?

      I think a large amount of people are actually either introverted or are comfortable with an introverted lifestyle, and even though isolation in some cases can affect depression, stresses caused by social pressures are just as much a cause of suicide. A lot of people have ideas about high suicide rates in Scandinavia or Japan from old studies, but they’re currently lower than US suicide rates.

      Of course, I’d recommend people get off social media, too, and stop trying to get likes / argue with people you think are idiots.

      1. Grow up, or quit posting. That should be embarrassing to an adult.

  8. “There’s an unlikely beneficiary of the coronavirus: the planet,” says a CNN headline about extreme quarantine measures in Wuhan, China. “It seems the lockdown had an unintended benefit—blue skies.” Nice!

    Wuhan Resident: They look grey to me.
    CCP: That’s 100 points off your social credit score.
    Wuhan Resident: Blue! A beautiful blue sky!

  9. Maybe, even after the acute phase of the coronavirus crisis has passed, you will be more likely to telecommute.

    The fuck I will.

    1. My wife, who’d wondered why she can’t telecommute normally, is now of mind that telecommuting is bullshit.

      1. That’s how it’s going with my coworkers. At the beginning it was just me and one other guy in the office holding on with our fingernails to not be forced to telecommute. Now everyone who was super eager to telecommute at the beginning is praying we get to go back before another thirty days. Even the lack of a commute every day isn’t making up for the hassle of not being able to just turn around and ask a simple question.

        1. You’re the annoying coworker that won’t let me get my work done.

    2. In The New York Times, science writer Meehan Crist tries to make the case that coronavirus-induced isolation and economic deprivation are forcing people to adopt planet-friendly behaviors that will hopefully become permanent habits:

      “You” Who’s the ‘you’ in this equation? The gajillions of people coastal media jawboners are about to realize can’t telecommute? n Everyone’s a youtuber with a blue checkmark on Twitter, right?

  10. force them to do so or pay them to do so, but make sure it happens. And of course that’s the role of government.”

    Hey! An economist got something right!

  11. by coronavirus-related shutdowns of economic and social life are being treated as a gleaming example of the way things could be.

    By the by, they’re right, this is the way things “could be”. If the Green New Deal ever saw the light of day, this is…exactly what it would be like: mass unemployment and economic collapse.

  12. Gee, you mean the same people who have been trying to promote mass hysteria in order to terrorize people into destroying civilization for the past 60 years are happy now that they’re finally succeeding? Imagine that!

  13. Well, at least I will starve to death in a pristine setting – – – – – – – – –

  14. “… in light of the climate crisis”
    Indeed.

    https://youtu.be/7W33HRc1A6c

    1. Want a click on that? Give us a hint; no blind clicks.

      1. Goes to George Carlin doing a bit about saving the planet. I think it’s the one where he says that humanity’s purpose was to invent plastic.

        1. A classic

  15. This could be normal even without a crisis if we just had the courage to make changes to our roads!

    If only we had the courage! Unfortunately, most people foolishly prefer cash.

    “Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be, the pains that are withheld for me, I realize and I can see”…….I forget the rest of the poem, I don’t even remember if it was Walt Whitman or John Greenleaf Whittier that wrote it, I just remember it was quite an inspirational piece about Nature and the beauty of the world if only we could appreciate it the way environmentalists do.

    1. I just realized you were being sarcastic. Good one.

      For those like me who have to look it up, it’s called “Suicide is Painless,” and it’s the M.A.S.H. theme song.

      “Director Robert Altman had two stipulations about the song for Mandel: it had to be called “Suicide Is Painless” and it had to be the “stupidest song ever written”. Altman attempted to write the lyrics himself, but upon finding it too difficult for his 45-year-old brain to write “stupid enough,” he gave the task to his 14-year-old-son Michael, who wrote the lyrics in five minutes.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_Is_Painless

      1. “For those like me who have to look it up, it’s called “Suicide is Painless,” and it’s the M.A.S.H. theme song.”

        Having wasted a couple of hours in hopes of getting laid at the time, that was the most cringe-worthy part of the movie.

  16. The whole thing is shoddy thinking and makes me wonder how these writers get employed.

    “Personal consumption and travel habits are, in fact, changing, which has some people wondering if this might be the beginning of a meaningful shift.”

    Yes, people have now decided they need a lot of TP, which means cutting down more trees, and also stockpiles of food, which means more pollution from agricultural production and cow farts.

    But at least they’ve stopped drinking as much overpriced “environmentally friendly” coffee in Starbucks stores, and are purchasing overpriced “environmentally friendly” Starbucks branded Kuerig pods.

    “Maybe, even after the acute phase of the coronavirus crisis has passed, you will be more likely to telecommute.”

    What percent of the country has a job where they can telecommute? I don’t know, maybe they think Americans won’t want to do those out-of-home jobs, and we’ll need to import more Mexicans to do those jobs, which at that point “Americans won’t want to do” anymore. That some manufacturing worker will decide that his pay is too much, and he should become a data entry guy, while leaving a Mexican foreign worker to do his old job at lower pay.

    “Lifestyles that include, for example, frequent long-distance travel already seem ethically questionable in light of the climate crisis, and, in an age irrevocably scarred by pandemic, these lifestyles may come to be seen as grossly irresponsible.”

    What percent of the country has a lifestyle that includes “frequent” long-distance travel?

    1. Those who worked for 45 years, retired and bought a motor home to travel the country and enjoy the natural beauty of America.
      And now that fuel is very cheap, everywhere to go is closed, and the politicians have tanked the stock market.

      1. Alright, but you’re not talking about what she’s talking about, which is using airplanes.

        1. “…which is using airplanes.”

          You’re a regular laugh riot!

    2. “…Yes, people have now decided they need a lot of TP, which means cutting down more trees,..”

      You should probably do some reading before you make an ass of yourself, again. Your problem isn’t ‘shoddy thinking’, it’s a lack of thinking.
      Want more cows? Eat more beef. Want more trees? Use more paper.
      The rest of your idiotic rant isn’t worth comment; tell someone else that you “know” what something should cost; they can laugh at your stupidity.
      Fuck off, slaver.

      1. Sevo. Thank you for completely missing the point of anything I said, along with putting words in my mouth that I didn’t say.

        1. Redfish,
          Oh, NO!
          Thank YOU for being a fucking ignoramus.
          Fuck off, slaver.

  17. I’ll be happy to read, several months on, how everyone is thrilled that the government-run economy is now reporting huge unemployment and bankruptcy numbers.

    1. The truly wealthy should be able to weather the storm.

      1. “The truly wealthy should be able to weather the storm.”
        And assholes like you will post bullshit like that.

        1. Mentioning the unmentionable.

          1. More bullshit.
            Is your mommy proud of you?

            1. Thanks for your attention.

              1. No, no.
                Thank your mommy for lying to you that you that you aren’t really an insufferable idiot and an asshole besides!

                1. Ok. Anything else? I know you have more to say about me.

                  1. Ask your mommy; she must tell you how ‘clever’ an insufferable piece of shit you are.

  18. Environmentalists should recognize the lack of resilience in our economy. A pandemic is neither new or rare and if an economy is in crisis when one occurs it is a good indication that the methods of wealth distribution should be overhauled.

    1. Yes, everyone should recognize that if you want to be wealthy, you have to work for it.

      1. Resilience is not so much about wealth as it is about ability to sustain shocks to the system. A more resilient economy is not necessarily a wealthier economy. Incentivizing savings over spending on credit would arguably lead to a more impoverished economy and more resilient too..

        1. mtrueman
          March.30.2020 at 11:32 pm
          “Resilience is not so much about wealth as it is about ability to sustain shocks to the system. A more resilient economy is not necessarily a wealthier economy. Incentivizing savings over spending on credit would arguably lead to a more impoverished economy and more resilient too..”

          Trueman has a plan! You might consider it to be a ‘5-year-plan’, and thereby understand trueman posts bullshit and little else.

          1. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had our own two month plan. Just enough, if we’re lucky, to ride out a pandemic like this one without having to worry about shortage of toilet paper, unemployment figures etc.

            1. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had our own two month plan. Just enough, if we’re lucky, to ride out a pandemic like this one without having to worry about shortage of toilet paper, unemployment figures etc.”

              Want a pony with that, shitstain?

              1. You prefer the more fashionable spontaneous, unplanned, unprepared reaction to the pandemic. You’re a man of your time, Sevo.

                1. “You prefer the more fashionable spontaneous, unplanned, unprepared reaction to the pandemic. You’re a man of your time, Sevo.”

                  I prefer what has shown to work, rather than the idiotic proposals of fucking lefty ignoramuses who either have not read history or, in their stupidity, hope this time ‘will be different’.
                  So, are your unschooled or stupid?

    2. Perfect example of the misunderstanding of economy. It is not that wealth magically comes into being, followed by our choice of how to distribute the manna from heaven; rather, our choice of system profoundly affects how much wealth is actually created.

      1. “Perfect example of the misunderstanding of economy.”

        This is trueman; a pathetic piece of shit who thinks ‘posting bullshit is an end in itself’ is clever repartee.
        My guess is that trueman has business ‘experience’ in some coffee shop before trading connections to end up in a ‘non-profit’; the idiocy suggests such a ‘career path’.
        Hey, trueman! Give us an explanation of how the economy will ‘restart’! I need a laugh this evening.

        1. “Hey, trueman! Give us an explanation of how the economy will ‘restart’! I need a laugh this evening.”

          Hey Sevo! I think we could benefit with an economy that is capable of dealing with pandemics without needing to be ‘restarted.’ ie, a more resilient economy. One where people are incentivized to prepare for the inevitable.

          1. “Hey Sevo! I think we could benefit with an economy that is capable of dealing with pandemics without needing to be ‘restarted.’ ie, a more resilient economy. One where people are incentivized to prepare for the inevitable.”

            Hey fucking ignoramus trueman! We are certain that your ‘assuming’ is so much bullshit!

            1. ‘We are certain that your ‘assuming’ is so much bullshit!’

              Be sure to tell me if you change your mind.

              1. Be sure to post here if you find a second brain cell.

          2. The pandemic didn’t do shit to the economy you fucking retard.

            If idiots like you support hadn’t panicked and shut things down the economy would be doing worse than December but better than it is now.

            1. I think we should have a more resilient economy which is not so susceptible to the type of panicking that you claim to dislike.

              1. How do you create such an economy (unforeseen crisis are just that, unforeseeable)? And how do you measure how resilient it is? Just like the word sustainable, resiliency is a moving target with no clear definition. This seems like just a call for more control rather than an actual end goal.
                Humans by nature tend to live more in the moment, it is an evolutionary adaptation that in most cases has benefited us as a species. Yes, businesses will fail, but that creates opportunities as well as tragedies. If companies were resilient and safe from failure during crisis, you would end up with even more monopolies, as there would be little opportunity for newer companies to grow and compete. Much like protecting old growth trees diminishes bio-diversity, by choking out younger trees and plants, companies that are so resilient as to be impervious to crisis would choke out competition from newer businesses.
                This crisis, however, is less to do with pandemic then our overboard response to it. Maybe what you should be campaigning for is a more agile economy, one that is less hindered by government and more able to adapt. You can’t create resiliency, however you define it, but you can create agility and flexibility. We have destroyed agility and flexibility in our attempt at creating resiliency (which is something politicians have been trying to create since at least the Depression with no success). Central planning and wealth redistribution does not create resiliency, agility, flexibility and freedom do. Every day Reason has run stories on how companies have been hampered by regulations in delivering goods that we need currently. The companies have been attempting to retool to meet the demand for certain products, yet central planning has hindered them at every turn. If any lesson should be learned it is that true capitalism is far better at meeting the needs of the times then the government is. The government has created this problem, and the government continues to hinder any attempt to lessen the problem.
                I wish Trump would use this opportunity to point out the stupidity of many of these regulations, the way we have regulated our economy to such a degree that it is not “resilient” but hidebound. It is like that old joke “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”. You can’t plan for every eventuality, but you can be flexible enough to adapt to new situations.

                1. “How do you create such an economy ”

                  Good question. I suggested incentivizing saving over spending money we don’t have. A person or nation in debt will surely have more difficulties than having a comfortable buffer. Do you have any better ideas to make the economy more resilient, or do you think a lesser resilient economy is the answer?

                  “This seems like just a call for more control rather than an actual end goal.”

                  No, it’s a call for more resiliency. That might call for some planning, I admit. You might, for example, stockpile easily stored dry goods against the eventuality of a pandemic. You might open a bank account and set aside a small amount money every month. This takes self control. There is nothing wrong with self control and the ability to defer gratification. It is one of the hallmarks of most successful people.

                  1. No those are individual choices not economics. Economics are larger then personal choices. And resiliency is an ambiguous term. How much resiliency do you need, one month, two months, more?

                    1. I told you from now on I am using the wrong one because you can’t debate when faced with counterarguments so resort to sophomoric grammar corrections. And despite me telling you this, you can’t help yourself.

      2. I’m talking about resilience. Wealth is a different thing all together. Yet another example, even perfecter.

        1. You’re posting about some ‘planned’ economy, which only idiots like you, commie-kid, turd, tony and assorted random lefty ignoramuses who end up here are stupid enough to assume to be workable.
          It takes a certain sort of imbecilic hubris to ignore (or have failed to read) 20th century history to assume that is preferable.
          Can we accept you are an ignoramus who has read no history, or just a fucking idiot who thinks this time will be different?
          Fuck off and die.

          1. Do you honestly think only communists plan ahead for pandemics? Or that taking future pandemics into account in our plans is communistic and morally reprehensible?

            My advice, you say? Glad you asked. Lay off the history. Focus on what lies ahead. Even make a plan if you can stomach the comminess of the idea.

            1. “Do you honestly think only communists plan ahead for pandemics? Or that taking future pandemics into account in our plans is communistic and morally reprehensible?”

              Are you honesty stupid enough to think that central planning of an economy is preferable to the alternative?
              Gee, why do I bother asking; of COURSE you do. This time, it will be different, says every fucking ignoramus every time.
              Do you need to post here regularly to prove how stupid you are, or does mommy keep telling your that you’re really clever and the world doesn’t understand you?

              1. I think we could benefit from a more resilient economy that can withstand the inevitable shocks from pandemics and other disasters. You seem to agree with me but loathe to admit it.

  19. “…If we learn that we can live just as easily with fewer regulations on the policy level and fewer commutes in our personal lives, then we should keep those lessons in mind after the pandemic is over…”

    What ‘fewer regulations’?
    What seems to have been ‘learned’ regards the control of the economy.
    Formerly, it was largely driven by the actions of free actors trading with one another.
    Within the past month, we, the population of the US, have simply turned over control of the economy to the government, and this has happened with little editorial comment even here, where free markets are a claimed goal.
    We have JFree and that scumbag Hihn screaming for government control of, well, most everything, and the Reason editorial staff has but scant disagreement.

  20. Currently the world is faced with a difficult situation in dealing with the co-19 pandemic, then WHO as a world health organization provides advice in dealing with the spread of co-19 to each country. in each country have different economic abilities, capabilities of medical personnel and karaker. segara saudi arabia made a policy of lockdown his country, Maybe this policy was taken from Islamic laws that apply in this country of king salman. A history of the hadith says “if there is an epidemic in a country, you should not enter it. If a country is plagued by an outbreak, you should stay in it, then don’t leave the country. South Korea has adopted a social distancing policy. South Korea uses this policy because the government feels able to do so, the level of discipline of Nyang residents is high, and the readiness of the medical team This policy is also taken by the Indonesian state, but it is unfortunate that as of this writing the program has not succeeded in reducing the number of cases of the spread of the corona virus, plus the lack of awareness of its citizens worsens the situation, The government does not seem to understand very well the condition of the country, in terms of the readiness of its medical personnel is still inadequate, this is like a careless step.
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  21. The lockdown is surely great for the environment and people. Stay home!

  22. We’re consuming faster than we are producing thanks to these lock downs. This won’t end well.

  23. All it takes it crippling the global economy. Easy peasy.

    1. It wouldn’t be so easy if people and businesses were prepared for inevitable disasters like this. A more resilient economy wouldn’t be so easily crippled.

      1. How do you prepare for the unforeseeable? No, what you need is agility and flexibility, two things the government has basically regulated out of existence. Your quest for more resiliency, especially through centralized planning and regulations, will only make this problem worse. True resiliency comes from adapting not pre-planning.

        1. Evolution doesn’t reward resiliency, it rewards adaptability. The ability to adapt to a new environment, to a new crisis is what we lack today. In our quest to avoid crisis we have destroyed our ability to weather them and adapt to them.

          1. “Evolution doesn’t reward resiliency”

            I’m talking about a resilient economy. Economic systems are shaped by material circumstances, custom and law. They are not subject to natural selection. (The lack of sex organs should be a dead giveaway.)

            “In our quest to avoid crisis we have destroyed our ability to weather them and adapt to them.”

            Ultimately I agree, but over the short term, until medicines are developed that let us counter the virus, hunkering down and trying to avoid it might be the more prudent path. If you want to adapt to the new virus, maybe you should lose weight, avoid eating meat, and stop smoking/vaping/mainlining.

            1. But personal savings account have little impact on resiliency of a business or corporation. You are proposing shallow solutions to something that isn’t that easy to address.

              1. Businesses also should prepare for such eventualities. Maybe then they wouldn’t have to rely on government bailouts.

                “You are proposing shallow solutions to something that isn’t that easy to address.”

                I’m proposing people taking more personal responsibility to protect themselves from these pandemics. I’m not sure how you see this as shallow.

                1. No you are proposing a moving target and dressing it up as personal responsibility. It is an ambiguous goal therefore you can always trot it out whenever there is a crisis. By definition you can’t predict a crisis or what’s its impact on the economy will be.

        2. “How do you prepare for the unforeseeable?”

          Pandemic outbreaks are not unforeseeable. And you prepare for them as you would anything else. Planning and setting aside resources in advance of disruptions. Or ensuring that our is resilient enough to continue without the ‘restarting’ that Sevo mentions we will be needing.

          How resilient do you think the airline companies are? Are they adapting well to the billions of public funds coming their way? I never mentioned centralized planning. That was Sevo’s bag. You don’t need a government plan to prepare for troubled times. That’s true whether you’re an average joe blow or the owner of an airline company.

          The ability to adapt and thrive under adverse conditions is important and praiseworthy, but you don’t understand what resilience is. It’s not wealth, it’s not adaptability, it’s the ability of a system to sustain shocks and continue without needing to ‘restart.’ I think we should be aiming at a more resilient economy because of shocks like this. It’s even conceivable that environmentalists would see the benefits of a more resilient economy even if our self styled libertarians here won’t.

          1. So how much savings do they have to have? And pandemics are not foreseeable. They are a random act of nature, caused by a random mutation of a virus or bacteria.
            Define resiliency? How much do you need? Enough to last a six month outbreak? Or a years long, once in a century outbreak? A black death type event? It is easy to say they just need more resiliency because the word means nothing and everything. It means whatever you want it to mean. There is no way to plan for something that can’t be forecasted and has to many variables to plan for.

            1. “So how much savings do they have to have?”

              I’m not sure. Enough to see you through a couple months would be nice. Better than being in debt and having to pay monthly credit card bills.

              “It is easy to say they just need more resiliency because the word means nothing and everything”

              It does not mean nothing and everything. It means the ability to sustain and recover from shock. If you think that diminished capacity to recover from shock will benefit our response to the virus then make the case.

              “There is no way to plan for something that can’t be forecasted”

              Not true. There is nothing stopping you from opening a bank account and making deposits against the day when a pandemic may force you to leave your job and go into relative isolation. I prefer this to the situation today when everyone is deeply in debt and the first reaction is an enormous government bail out.

              1. If you can’t define how much savings you need than (just to piss you off) you can’t plan. It is by definition unforeseeable. Say you had two months worth of savings, but it is looking like you’ll need three months, is that inadequate planning? No, it is evidence that the length was unpredictable, ergo you couldn’t plan for it.

                1. “If you can’t define how much savings you need than (just to piss you off) you can’t plan.”

                  Avoiding debt is part of the plan. Having savings will give you more resilience than having debt. Savings give you freedom of action. Debt takes freedom away. When faced with something like a pandemic, freedom of action is what you want.

                  “No, it is evidence that the length was unpredictable, ergo you couldn’t plan for it.”

                  There is nothing stopping you from making plans to cover unpredictable contingencies.

              2. Also, consider small businesses. When starting a small business you are told not to plan on a profit for three years, at least. This would make saving enough to weather a crisis nearly impossible. Even after you begin to make a profit,the margins tend to be very slim for several years afterwards (even if you aren’t paying yourself a salary). Again, this makes it nearly impossible to have enough saved up to meet a long term crisis. That is why so many small businesses fail. But we need small businesses because they are a major driver of the economy and a major source of employment.
                Or consider a farmer/rancher. You might have only a single payday in a year. Say you are feeding long fed yearlings and you sell in February. Even if you hedge and buy contracts you would have lost big time this year. You bought a February contract in November, at a $1.20 a pound for 44 head of 1000 pound steers. But in February, because of the pandemic, prices dropped to $0.90 a pound. You did everything right, you planned ahead, you played it safe and hedged, you did everything you were supposed to do but now you are holding contracts that are worth $0.30 a pound more than you can sell your calves for. You do have savings, because you want to borrow as little as possible for yearly operating expenses, but last year’s note is due. So you have sell your contracts at a loss, pay your mortgage, pay your insurance and now your savings are gone or severely depleted. So, you are now going to have to spend the same amount in operating costs, without a cushion. This is going to require you to borrow more then you normally do. So your mortgage payment will be larger next year, and there is little guarantee that you will make enough profit to build back your savings. This will be fine but can you predict the next drought or flood or market crash? You survived one crisis but can you survive the next, even a small one?
                Resiliency is an empty word. So a small business had three months savings and the quarantine is lifted in June, but do people start spending right away? Highly unlikely. It will probably take twice as long for it to recover. So even though you can start to return to business after the quarantine, people have less money to spend (even if they had three months savings and go right back to work) and you’re unlikely to make a profit any time soon. So now how do you weather the long term impact? How do you weather a recession that is surely coming? How about next winter when a blizzard strikes and shuts the town down for three days? You spent all your savings this spring, but had little chance to rebuild those savings before the next crisis, even a localized one, struck. Were you not ‘reseleint’? Either way you are going to have to operate on credit at some point. And 9 months of little to no profit is going to severely hamper your ability to prepare for the next crisis. It is all good if you can work for three years without any interruption, to build back your safety net, but how realistic is that? No, your plan sounds good until it meets realty. This is a (government created) once in a century crisis (hopefully) but there will always be smaller localized crisis you have to deal with too. This isn’t quite so big a problem for corporation, buy a big problem for individuals and small businesses (and medium sized businesses).

                1. “Resiliency is an empty word.”

                  It isn’t. It refers to an ability to withstand shocks. A more resilient economy will return to normal faster than a less resilient economy when faced with a crisis.

                  But you’ve just outlined all the problems that come with an economy with low resilience. Living from pay cheque to pay cheque is no way to prepare for a crisis. I can’t see why you seem to prefer existing on such a narrow margin. Is it because savings require some austerity and restraint which leads to less material possessions?

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