World after the COVID-19 Pandemic

SUBHEAD: The pandemic will changes the world. Here are the thoughts of several global thinkers.

By contributors to Foreign Policy Magazine on 20 March 2020 -
(https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/20/world-order-after-coroanvirus-pandemic/)


Image above: Illustration of fight against 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic. From original article.

Like the fall of the Berlin Wall or the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the coronavirus pandemic is a world-shattering event whose far-ranging consequences we can only begin to imagine today.

This much is certain: Just as this disease has shattered lives, disrupted markets and exposed the competence (or lack thereof) of governments, it will lead to permanent shifts in political and economic power in ways that will become apparent only later.

To help us make sense of the ground shifting beneath our feet as this crisis unfolds, Foreign Policy asked 12 leading thinkers from around the world to weigh in with their predictions for the global order after the pandemic.



A World Less Open, Prosperous, and Free

By Stephen M. Walt

The pandemic will strengthen the state and reinforce nationalism. Governments of all types will adopt emergency measures to manage the crisis, and many will be loath to relinquish these new powers when the crisis is over.

COVID-19 will also accelerate the shift in power and influence from West to East. South Korea and Singapore have responded best, and China has reacted well after its early mistakes. The response in Europe and America has been slow and haphazard by comparison, further tarnishing the aura of the Western “brand.”

What won’t change is the fundamentally conflictive nature of world politics.

Previous plagues—including the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919—did not end great-power rivalry nor usher in a new era of global cooperation. Neither will COVID-19. We will see a further retreat from hyperglobalization, as citizens look to national governments to protect them and as states and firms seek to reduce future vulnerabilities.

In short, COVID-19 will create a world that is less open, less prosperous, and less free. It did not have to be this way, but the combination of a deadly virus, inadequate planning, and incompetent leadership has placed humanity on a new and worrisome path.



The End of Globalization as We Know It

By Robin Niblett

The coronavirus pandemic could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back of economic globalization.

China’s growing economic and military power had already provoked a bipartisan determination in the United States to decouple China from U.S.-sourced high technology and intellectual property and try to force allies to follow suit.

Increasing public and political pressure to meet carbon emissions reduction targets had already called into question many companies’ reliance on long-distance supply chains. Now, COVID-19 is forcing governments, companies, and societies to strengthen their capacity to cope with extended periods of economic self-isolation.

It seems highly unlikely in this context that the world will return to the idea of mutually beneficial globalization that defined the early 21st century. And without the incentive to protect the shared gains from global economic integration, the architecture of global economic governance established in the 20th century will quickly atrophy.

It will then take enormous self-discipline for political leaders to sustain international cooperation and not retreat into overt geopolitical competition.

Proving to their citizens that they can manage the COVID-19 crisis will buy leaders some political capital. But those who fail will find it hard to resist the temptation to blame others for their failure.



A More China-Centric Globalization

By Kishore Mahbubani

The COVID-19 pandemic will not fundamentally alter global economic directions. It will only accelerate a change that had already begun: a move away from U.S.-centric globalization to a more China-centric globalization.

Why will this trend continue? The American population has lost faith in globalization and international trade. Free trade agreements are toxic, with or without U.S. President Donald Trump. By contrast, China has not lost faith.

Why not?

There are deeper historical reasons. Chinese leaders now know well that China’s century of humiliation from 1842 to 1949 was a result of its own complacency and a futile effort by its leaders to cut it off from the world. By contrast, the past few decades of economic resurgence were a result of global engagement.

The Chinese people have also experienced an explosion of cultural confidence. They believe they can compete anywhere.

Consequently, as I document in my new book, Has China Won?, the United States has two choices. If its primary goal is to maintain global primacy, it will have to engage in a zero-sum geopolitical contest, politically and economically, with China.

However, if the goal of the United States is to improve the well-being of the American people—whose social condition has deteriorated—it should cooperate with China. Wiser counsel would suggest that cooperation would be the better choice. However, given the toxic U.S. political environment toward China, wiser counsel may not prevail.



Democracies Will Come out of Their Shell

By G. John Ikenberry

In the short term, the crisis will give fuel to all the various camps in the Western grand strategy debate. The nationalists and anti-globalists, the China hawks, and even the liberal internationalists will all see new evidence for the urgency of their views.

Given the economic damage and social collapse that is unfolding, it is hard to see anything other than a reinforcement of the movement toward nationalism, great-power rivalry, strategic decoupling, and the like.

But just like in the 1930s and ’40s, there might also be a slower-evolving countercurrent, a sort of hardheaded internationalism similar to the one that Franklin D. Roosevelt and a few other statesmen began to articulate before and during the war. The 1930s collapse of the world economy showed how connected modern societies were and how vulnerable they were to what FDR called contagion.

The United States was less threatened by other great powers than by the deep forces—and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde character—of modernity. What FDR and other internationalists conjured was a postwar order that would rebuild an open system with new forms of protection and capacities to manage interdependence.

The United States couldn’t simply hide within its borders, but to operate in an open postwar order required the building of a global infrastructure of multilateral cooperation.

So the United States and other Western democracies might travel through this same sequence of reactions driven by a cascading sense of vulnerability; the response might be more nationalist at first, but over the longer term, the democracies will come out of their shells to find a new type of pragmatic and protective internationalism.



Lower Profits, but More Stability

By Shannon K. O’Neil

COVID-19 is undermining the basic tenets of global manufacturing. Companies will now rethink and shrink the multistep, multicountry supply chains that dominate production today.

Global supply chains were already coming under fire—economically, due to rising Chinese labor costs, U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war, and advances in robotics, automation, and 3D printing, as well as politically, due to real and perceived job losses, especially in mature economies.

COVID-19 has now broken many of these links: Factory closings in afflicted areas have left other manufacturers—as well as hospitals, pharmacies, supermarkets, and retail stores—bereft of inventories and products.

On the other side of the pandemic, more companies will demand to know more about where their supplies come from and will trade off efficiency for redundancy. Governments will intervene as well, forcing what they consider strategic industries to have domestic backup plans and reserves. Profitability will fall, but supply stability should rise.



This Pandemic Can Serve a Useful Purpose

By Shivshankar Menon

It is early days yet, but three things seem apparent. First, the coronavirus pandemic will change our politics, both within states and between them. It is to the power of government that societies—even libertarians—have turned.

Government’s relative success in overcoming the pandemic and its economic effects will exacerbate or diminish security issues and the recent polarization within societies

Either way, government is back. Experience so far shows that authoritarians or populists are no better at handling the pandemic. Indeed, the countries that responded early and successfully, such as Korea and Taiwan, have been democracies—not those run by populist or authoritarian leaders.

Secondly, this is not yet the end of an interconnected world. The pandemic itself is proof of our interdependence.

But in all polities, there is already a turning inward, a search for autonomy and control of one’s own fate. We are headed for a poorer, meaner, and smaller world.

Finally, there are signs of hope and good sense. India took the initiative to convene a video conference of all South Asian leaders to craft a common regional response to the threat. If the pandemic shocks us into recognizing our real interest in cooperating multilaterally on the big global issues facing us, it will have served a useful purpose.



American Power Will Need a New Strategy

By Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

In 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced a new national security strategy that focuses on great-power competition. COVID-19 shows this strategy to be inadequate. Even if the United States prevails as a great power, it cannot protect its security by acting alone.

As Richard Danzig summarized the problem in 2018: “Twenty-first century technologies are global not just in their distribution, but also in their consequences.

Pathogens, AI systems, computer viruses, and radiation that others may accidentally release could become as much our problem as theirs. Agreed reporting systems, shared controls, common contingency plans, norms, and treaties must be pursued as means of moderating our numerous mutual risks.”

On transnational threats like COVID-19 and climate change, it is not enough to think of American power over other nations. The key to success is also learning the importance of power with others. Every country puts its national interest first; the important question is how broadly or narrowly this interest is defined. COVID-19 shows we are failing to adjust our strategy to this new world.



The History of COVID-19 Will Be Written by the Victors

By John Allen

As it has always been, history will be written by the “victors” of the COVID-19 crisis. Every nation, and increasingly every individual, is experiencing the societal strain of this disease in new and powerful ways.

Inevitably, those nations that persevere—both by virtue of their unique political and economic systems, as well as from a public health perspective—will claim success over those who experience a different, more devastating outcome.

To some, this will appear as a great and definitive triumph for democracy, multilateralism, and universal health care. To others, it will showcase the clear “benefits” of decisive, authoritarian rule.

Either way, this crisis will reshuffle the international power structure in ways we can only begin to imagine. COVID-19 will continue to depress economic activity and increase tension between countries.

Over the long term, the pandemic will likely significantly reduce the productive capacity of the global economy, especially if businesses close and individuals detach from the labor force. This risk of dislocation is especially great for developing nations and others with a large share of economically vulnerable workers.

The international system will, in turn, come under great pressure, resulting in instability and widespread conflict within and across countries.



A Dramatic New Stage in Global Capitalism

By Laurie Garrett

The fundamental shock to the world’s financial and economic system is the recognition that global supply chains and distribution networks are deeply vulnerable to disruption. The coronavirus pandemic will therefore not only have long-lasting economic effects, but lead to a more fundamental change.

Globalization allowed companies to farm out manufacturing all over the world and deliver their products to markets on a just-in-time basis, bypassing the costs of warehousing. Inventories that sat on shelves for more than a few days were considered market failures

Supply had to be sourced and shipped on a carefully orchestrated, global level. COVID-19 has proven that pathogens can not only infect people but poison the entire just-in-time system.

Given the scale of financial market losses the world has experienced since February, companies are likely to come out of this pandemic decidedly gun-shy about the just-in-time model and about globally dispersed production.

The result could be a dramatic new stage in global capitalism, in which supply chains are brought closer to home and filled with redundancies to protect against future disruption. That may cut into companies’ near-term profits but render the entire system more resilient.



More Failed States

By Richard N. Haass

Permanent is not a word I am fond of, as little or nothing is, but I would think the coronavirus crisis will ​at least for a few years lead most governments ​to turn inward, focusing on what takes place within their borders rather than ​on what happens beyond them.

I anticipate greater moves toward selective self-sufficiency (and, as a result, decoupling) given supply chain vulnerability; even greater opposition to large-scale immigration; and a reduced ​willingness or commitment to tackle regional or global problems (including climate change) given the perceived need to dedicate resources to rebuild at home and deal with economic consequences of the crisis​.
I would expect many countries will have difficulty recovering from the crisis, with state weakness and failed states becoming an even more prevalent feature of the world. The crisis will likely contribute to the ongoing deterioration of Sino-American relations and the weakening of European integration.

On the positive side, we should see some modest strengthening of global public health governance. But overall, a crisis rooted in globalization will weaken rather than add to the world’s willingness and ability to deal with it.



The United States Has Failed the Leadership Test

By Kori Schake


The United States will no longer be seen as an international leader because of its government’s narrow self-interest and bungling incompetence.

The global effects of this pandemic could have been greatly attenuated by having international organizations provide more and earlier information, which would have given governments time to prepare and direct resources to where they’re most needed.

This is something the United States could have organized, showing that while it is self-interested, it is not solely self-interested. Washington has failed the leadership test, and the world is worse off for it.



In Every Country, We See the Power of the Human Spirit

By Nicholas Burns

The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest global crisis of this century. Its depth and scale are enormous. The public health crisis threatens each of the 7.8 billion people on Earth. The financial and economic crisis could exceed in its impact the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Each crisis alone could provide a seismic shock that permanently changes the international system and balance of power as we know it.

To date, international collaboration has been woefully insufficient. If the United States and China, the world’s most powerful countries, cannot put aside their war of words over which of them is responsible for the crisis and lead more effectively, both countries’ credibility may be significantly diminished.

If the European Union cannot provide more targeted assistance to its 500 million citizens, national governments might take back more power from Brussels in the future. In the United States, what is most at stake is the ability of the federal government to provide effective measures to stem the crisis.

In every country, however, there are many examples of the power of the human spirit—of doctors, nurses, political leaders, and ordinary citizens demonstrating resilience, effectiveness, and leadership. That provides hope that men and women around the world can prevail in response to this extraordinary challenge.

The Great Pause

SUBHEAD: While we can never fully go back, if we try something approaching normalcy will return.

By Albert Bates on 22 March 2020 for The Great Change -
(http://peaksurfer.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-great-pause.html)


Image above: Selfie by Albert Bates holding up in Mexico and wearing mask. From original article.

Fifteen years ago, when I began blogging, I called my page “The Great Change.” My premise was that the world was at the cusp of a phase shift in civilization.

The era of cheap oil had passed, and with it was gone the abundant energy that had created the growth-imperative economics everyone was so accustomed to.

Homo sapiens was going to be graduating, after a rite of passage, from an adolescent species, ever-expanding its niche by out-competing all others, to a mature adult species engaged in complex relationships to build a more stable steady-state within which to gracefully inhabit Earth.

What is coming will be wonderful, I said.

The manipulation of the price of energy — essentially issuing future government debt (to nature) to hide the real price of a commodity (shale, tar sands, or deep offshore crude oil, and fracked gas), using unbelievably expensive and wasteful corporate, military and clandestine means — fascism by definition — allowed our happy-go-lucky, motoring, consumerist society to keep on its merry way until dramatically catastrophic climate alteration began forcing us to notice what we were doing.

By then, we had overdrafted accounts with the planet to such an extent that foreclosures were cascading — floods, hurricanes, droughts, climate refugees, biodiversity crashes, fracking Ponzi busts, reactionary governments, and Coronageddon, to name a few.

The Great Change, over the course of all those years, gradually migrated from giving advice about prepping for the coming economic hardship (including recipes for tasty meals from your organic garden) to tracking changes in the weather, and then proposing solutions (biochar) that could increase the nutrient density of those homecooked meals while turning down the atmospheric thermostat over the course of the next century, employing a novel curative program we called the Cool Lab.

Enter Covid-19.

Those who have been following our recommended steps and have full pantries of canned goods, know where their water and power comes from and their sewage and plastics go, tend gardens even in winter, and have stockpiled books, DVDs, and a good assortment of sharp and well-oiled tools, will have little difficulty now sheltering in place, homeschooling their children, and caring for elderly relatives. 

For sure, the pandemic will be an emotional roller coaster for the next few years, and then we will all be trying to return to some semblance of normalcy. And, while we can never fully go back, with enough people trying, something approaching normalcy will return. Until we summit the coaster track and it plummets again.

It will be a roller-coaster if for no other reason than that it is now evident that full-on lockdowns, envisioned by government emergency committees as lasting a few weeks, or maybe a month, cannot realistically be extended for a year and beyond. 

That strategy is neither socially nor economically viable, even if it may be pandemic-control-appropriate from a medical standpoint. What may happen instead is that regional lockdowns will open and close as Covid cases rise and fall.

One bright spot: the discovery that smart thermometers build big datasets that allow rapid medical intervention, hotspot to hotspot, days or weeks before hospital admissions spike enough to advise CDC, WHO, or others attempting to monitor the outbreak. That technology is a real blessing. Smart thermometers should be distributed free-of-charge to every family and used daily. 

They can be uploading their data to number-crunching epidemiology centers that can dispatch health workers to the right places at just the right moments. Lockdowns, if needed, can follow in those discrete areas.

There is an assumption that immunity is conferred upon those who survive this disease. This has not been proven and nor has the notion that the disease cannot be spread by those who had the disease and then got well again.

Because of this uncertainty, we don’t know whether Covid-19 is a passing virus or one that will be with us until such time as an effective vaccine can be developed and tested, and hopefully, also, safe and effective treatments emerge. That will be at least a year from now and possibly much longer.

Anthropogenic aerosols in the atmosphere — the products of our industry that we exhaust to the air— bounce sunlight back to space. It is generally thought by science that this effect contributes a net cooling of between two-tenths and one-and-a-half degrees centigrade to the world’s average surface temperature.

In this video, Paul Beckwith provides some calculations for the temperature impact of the coronavirus closures as aerosol pollution is reduced.


Video above:Paul Beckwith talks about effects of coronavirus on climate-change. Part I of III. From (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y5X182LqFU).

Beckwith explains that the most widely cited estimates for the global dimming effect are between 0.25 and 0.5°C. Because coronavirus closures do not completely remove dimming (air traffic is reduced but coal plants still run), the reduction might be something like 0.03°C. According to ScienistsWarning.org:
There is also some question as to how long regional impacts might take to show up in the average global temperature (AGT) data. In any case, it is not likely that the temperature increase would be as much as 1.0°C. This is the number often given by those who exaggerate this effect. Paul Beckwith has called this a “completely absurd number.”
ScientistsWarning.org further cautions against putting too much faith in the 9/11 effect:
A US study by Dr Gang Hong of Texas A&M University has found that daily temperature range (DTR) variations of 1.0°C during September aren’t all that unusual and that the change in 2001 was probably attributable to low cloud cover.
Whether the virus affects the temperature or not, we are due for more extreme weather, and we could well see new high temperatures this summer and more global weirding next winter.

After sending my latest book, The Dark Side of the Ocean, off to my publisher, I had gone to Belize at the beginning of March to run a 2-week permaculture design course and continue work on the Cool Lab prototype planned for a small Mayan village there. When borders started closing, particularly singling out USAnians in the case of Guatemala and Mexico, I became concerned and cut my intended stay short.

Masked and gloved, I crossed the border into Mexico and retreated to my winter office off the north coast of the Yucatan. From this location I had authored The Post Petroleum Survival Guide in 2005 and thus it has always been well stocked with my prepper supplies, medicines, books and DVDs, and is a relatively secure place to self-quarantine for the next little while. Who knows? I may even write another book now.

In Albert Camus’ The Plague, written in 1947, Camus describes life under quarantine in a small village. With a well-founded fabric of trust, life was manageable, even joyful. What we should not lose under any circumstances, he said, is the decency that binds us.

Many unscrupulous officials will try to use this moment to stir passions against foreigners — Chinese and Europeans this month, USAnians next month, if you find yourself abroad like me

Camus said that after observing the misery, generosity, fear and nobility that people experience during quarantine, that “in the midst of so many afflictions” what one learns is that “in man there are more things worthy of admiration than of contempt.”

On January first, just as the virus was enveloping Wuhan, I reached the end of my 73rd year and embarked upon year 74.

They say it is not the years that get you but the miles, and in my case I have no shortage of scars and pains gathered from an active life, among them 3 of the 5 conditions that signal an elevated risk of mortality should a Covid cell lodge in one of my lungs.

Because of that, my intention now is to #StayHome and self-quarantine as best I can. If the internet gods smile upon this small thatched palapa, I should be able to keep posting from here, otherwise the blog may go silent for a spell. In either event, I wish everyone good luck, safe shelter, and all the benefits of this pause for reflection and renewal.
.

Banks are about to drown

SUBHEAD: The entire world has completely ‘misunderestimated’ the Corona Virus.

By Simon Black for Soverignman on 18 March 2019 -
(https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/banks-are-going-to-drown-in-an-ocean-of-defaults-27537/)


Image above: Banking district in lower Manhattan in a simulated rise in water in New York Harbor. From (https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/can-new-york-be-saved-in-the-era-of-global-warming-240454/).

On November 6, 2000, then US presidential candidate George W. Bush told a crowd of cheering supporters, “they misunderestimated me.”

Now, if English is not your native language, allow me to clear the air: ‘misunderestimate’ is not a word. But then again, George W. Bush was legendary for hilarious slip-ups like this.

There are entire books dedicated to his ‘Bushisms,’ the ridiculous made-up words and incomprehensible sayings that became routine for the 43rd US President.

‘Misunderestimate’ seems to be a conflation of the words ‘misunderstand’ and ‘underestimate’. And while that was utterly hysterical 20 years ago when Bush first said it, ‘misunderestimate’ may be the most appropriate word of today.The entire world has completely ‘misunderestimated’ the Corona Virus.

In terms of misunderstand– that’s obvious. There’s so much that we don’t know about the virus (officially known as SARS-CoV-2) and the disease that it causes (COVID-19).

For example, a group of researchers published a “peer-reviewed” research paper earlier this month stating that the virus had split into multiple strains.

(Peer-reviewed is a type of self-regulation among academics; it means the paper had been evaluated by other experts before it was published.)

But other specialists in the field strongly disagreed with the paper’s conclusions.

Swiss biologist Richard Neher described the research as, “wrong, misleading. . . downright dangerous inferences,” while Australian virologist Ian Mackay called it a “weak paper and poor science.”

Another peer-reviewed study released in the Journal of Medical Virology concluded that the virus originated from snakes. But plenty of experts disagreed with that assertion too.

The scientific community has learned so much about SARS-CoV-2 since it first surfaced a few months ago.

But there’s still so much that’s unknown– and that makes perfect sense given that this virus is brand new. They’re trying to figure it out as quickly as possible, but that’s naturally going to lead to some disagreements and conflicting conclusions.

But then the Internet takes over, and suddenly everyone’s an expert. People who have no background in medicine and biology Tweet with a level of certainty about the virus that’s just plain silly.

US television personality Jimmy Kimmel joked about this last week, saying, “I speak [about the virus] as if I’ve been a professor of immunology at Stanford for 35 years…”

There’s still so many things that the experts don’t understand, or don’t agree on. The answers are coming, but it’s still early days.

But in addition to misunderstanding, the world has also totally underestimated this virus… and continues to do so.

It started in China back in December, with the government trying to keep the outbreak quiet and taking steps to silence the first whistleblower.

As the virus began to spread, Western nations complacently shrugged it off and assumed it would remain in Asia.

Even the World Health Organization refused to call this a ‘pandemic’ until March 11… only a week ago.

Investors around the world ignored this for months, completely underestimating the massive, worldwide economic impact the virus would have.

Even now, after one of the worst stock market crashes in history, people are still woefully underestimating the effects.

And I’m not talking about the stock market (though there could easily be more losses ahead). I’m talking about something far more serious: banks.

Banks are about to drown in an ocean of defaults. I’ll talk about this a lot more in the coming days, but briefly:
  • There’s $250 TRILLION in global debt right now– mortgages, credit card debt, business loans, government debt, etc.
  • And banks own a large portion of that debt.
  • This virus crisis is going to trigger a wave of defaults from consumers, businesses, and even governments.
  • Think about it: tourism alone makes up 10% of global GDP. Revenue in that entire sector– hotels, airlines, cruise ships, etc. has collapsed, and many of those companies aren’t going to survive.
  • The crash in oil prices is going to wipe out countless oil companies.
  • Many large retail chains, which were already struggling in the age of e-commerce, will likely declare bankruptcy.
  • Countless businesses around the world have ‘temporarily’ closed due to public health policies, and many of them will go out of business entirely.
  • MOST of these businesses owe lots of money to the banks, whether it’s a small business working line, or the $34 billion in debt that American Airlines owes. So the defaults are going to be massive.
  • On top of that, millions of people are going to lose their jobs and be unable to make payments on their credit card debt, auto loans, and even mortgages.
  • Again, there’s $250 trillion in global debt right now. Total bank capital worldwide is less than $10 trillion.
  • So if the coming defaults trigger a mere 4% loss in total debt, it will exceed the entirety of global bank capital.
  • And this doesn’t even take into consideration the impact of the $1 QUADRILLION derivatives exposure.
Misunderestimate? Absolutely.

This looming wave of loan defaults over the next few months could spark a crisis in the global financial system that completely dwarfs what happened back in 2008.

I desperately want to be wrong.

And it’s possible that public health officials radically shift their positions in the coming weeks and tell all the young, healthy people in the world to go back to work, get infected, and start developing immunity.

They may be forced to do this to avoid destroying the global economy.

But at this point, every possible scenario is on the table. Nothing is out of the question… especially when the arithmetic is so obvious.

And continuing to misunderestimate the effects of this virus could be far more dangerous than the virus itself.

We’ll talk about this more in the coming days, along with some sensible suggestions to reduce risk.

Things Have Changed

SUBHEAD: Something old and played-out is limping offstage, and something new is stepping on.

By James Kunstler for Kunstler.com on 16 March 2020 -
(https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/things-have-changed/)


Image above: Painting by Mark Bryan2012  titled "The Causeway". From (https://www.artofmarkbryan.com/landscape/). Click to enlarge.

At least in wartime, the bars stay open. That’s how you know this is a different thing altogether from whatever else you’ve seen in your lifetime.

Even those of us who signed up for this trip — that is, who expected a long emergency — may be a little bit in cosmic awe at just how much shit is flying into the ol’ fan. I know I am. The gods must have glugged down a mighty draft of Dulcolax.

Did you get the feeling, as I did, watching the Sanders-Biden debate the other night — the inadequate versus the irrelevant — that the world they were blathering about possibly doesn’t exist anymore?

The world of institutions that actually function? Like, the ones that conjure up whatever sum of money you demand to keep all the wheels spinning? 

Remember that Hemingway line about the guy who went broke? Slowly, then all at once. That’s us.

Medicare for all now? Really? 

More like, a year from now every physician in America may be the equivalent of the old country doc toting a black bag around to home visits. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough horses left in America, and the few buggies we’ve got are all in the museum.

The mega financial bubble-of-bubbles is deflating with frightful velocity precisely because of the efforts since 2008 to artificially inflate it. The Federal Reserve gave it one final blast Sunday night — while everybody else was counting their rolls of toilet paper — and the effect was like blowing hot air into a shredded Zeppelin. Stock futures are “limit down” as I write, before the Wall Street open. 

Gold is getting pounded into the ground like a grape stake and silver is so low it looks like the hedge fund managers are down to pawning grandma’s table service. (Hint, the PMs will bounce back hard; the rest, probably not so much.)

Nobody really knows how deep and how harsh this gets (and perhaps the ones who have a clue ain’t sayin’). But the situation presents two salient questions: how much disorder is entailed in this ordeal? And what does the world look like when the convulsion phase of this thing is over?

Americans have never been through anything remotely like this. The disorders of the Civil War were sharp and horrendous military operations conducted mostly in cornfields, pastures, and woods (yes, and some small cities like Richmond, pop. 38,000, and Atlanta, pop. 10,000). When the smoke cleared, battered Dixieland emerged to numb civil order. 

Up in Yankeedom, the New York draft riots ran for a week around the small patch of Manhattan island, but everybody else went along with Mr. Lincoln’s program.

After all that, America got on quickly with the lively business of the 19th century: railroads, mines, factories, and all that. The world wars took place in foreign lands, and the home-front scene of the 1940s now looks nostalgically idyllic.

The stresses mounting on the national scene today reflect the extreme fragilities of the way-of-life we constructed since then, and an awful lot of bad choices we made in the process, like suburbanizing the nation and making everybody a hostage to happy motoring. 

I won’t belabor that point, except to ask how are those vast regions of the country going to manage daily life as the supply chains wobble? I’d say a shortage of toilet paper may only be the beginning of their problems.

The cities — at least, the few that didn’t already implode from the inside out — made assumptions about how big and tall they could grow which don’t jibe with the new circumstances chugging ferociously down the line.

Just think what a lockdown of the global economy will do to all those residential skyscraper projects lately hoisted up in New York, San Francisco and Boston? I’ll tell you: They are assets instantly converted into liabilities. 

And how will these cities even begin to pay for maintaining their complex infrastructures and services when the money for all that no longer exists and there’s no way to pretend that it will ever come back? Answer: They won’t be able to keep borrowing and they won’t manage. These cities will depopulate and there will be battles over who gets to live in the parts that still may have some value, like riverfronts.

I guess just about everybody can now see the idiocy of concentrating the nation’s commercial life in super-gigantic organisms like Big Box stores. It seemed like a good idea at the time, like so many blunders in history, and now that time is over. 

Any ecology thrives on redundancy — a lot of players doing similar things at the appropriate scale — and America’s chain retail model for a commercial ecology was an obvious fiasco waiting to happen. 

The people who run that, and other people who run other things in our society, must be wondering whether those supply-chains from China will come back. It’s no different than the cargo cults of the Solomon Islanders circa 1947, after the military airplanes stopped landing with all their magical goodies: time to go back to fishing from the dugout canoe.

The foolish, idiotic identity politics ginned up by the Left and their racially-inflamed, sexually-disturbed scribes in the Thinking Class have successfully destroyed the last shred of an American common culture that held the country together through earlier vicissitudes. So, one concludes that we’ll be left stewing in poisonous tensions, and perhaps some violent conflicts, before those matters head toward some sort of resolution.

Where does this all lead? Eventually, to a land and a people who operate their society in a very different way at a much more modest scale. The task of reorganizing our national life is immense. (There will be plenty to do, so don’t worry about that.) 

You can forget about the grandiose techno-narcissistic visions of electrified motoring and a robotic nirvana of perpetual sex-crazed leisure. Everything we do has to be downscaled, from whatever manufacturing we can cobble back together to rebuilding commercial ecosystems at a finer grain from region to region — in other words, what we now call small business, geared locally.

Expect giant AgriBiz to founder on a shortage of capital, especially, and expect smaller farms to organize emergently, worked by more humans working together. That is, if we want to keep eating. Expect the small towns in the well-watered parts of the country to revive while the groaning metroplexes spiral down into entropic sclerosis.

Consider the value of our vast inland waterway system and the opportunities to move goods on them, when the trucking industry unravels. Consider lending a hand at rebuilding the railroad system in this country.

There will be economic roles and social roles for all those willing to step up to some responsibility. Young people may see tremendous opportunity replacing the wounded economic dinosaurs wobbling across the landscape. It’ll be all about going local and regional and making yourself useful in exchange for a livelihood and the esteem of others around you — aka, your community.

Government has been working tirelessly to make itself superfluous, if not completely ineffectual, impotent, and rather loathsome in the face of this crisis that has been slowly-but-visibly building for half a century.

Something old and played-out is limping offstage, and something new is stepping on. Aren’t you glad you watched all those debates?

IB Editor Juan Wilson's note: I have admired James Kunstler from around 2005 when I read his book 'The Long Emergency'.  The subtitle of the book was "Surviving the converging catastrophes of the twenty-first century". The book changed my life as if I had found myself standing on a trapdoor and then realized it was about to open wide. Jim had kn the delicacy and weakness of our civilization's dependence on fossil fuels. Back then my wife Linda and I were visiting upstate New York each summer. One year, around 2007, we visited Jim in Saratoga, NY, near his home. I found him sharp, amusing, and observant. Back then I was earning part of my living as a movie script consultant. After Jim wrote his fictional novel 'World Made By Hand' in 2008, I talked to him about trying to turn the book into a movie. He had some interest so I connected with his agent and followed through with treatment that included a opening segment that described the experience of his protagonist, Robert Earle, in the fast transformation of his suburban lifestyle as the Grid brakes down and he relocates to upstate New York  Jim and his agent turned it down. We have remained friendly acquaintances   Following his publication of 'Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology And The Fate Of The Nation' in 2012 Linda and I visited Jim in his new haunt in upstate Greenwich, New York. He had bought some acreage not accessed by a public road and built a deer proof eight foot high fence all around it. The place featured a large vegetable garden and extensive arbor of fruit trees. He was hunkering down for an end of times. Well folks, the take away from his latest post to his website indicates that the time is ripe for a major breakdown. I'm hoping that if we can avoid a nuclear war, or other substantial suicidal behavior humans may end up with a smaller population in a more stable environment with less pollution. One can only hope. But as Betty Davis says in the 1950's movie 'All About Eve' - "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night!"
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Going Down with Books

SUBHEAD: It is getting clearer as to how the complex and poisonous system we are riding will fail. 

By Juan Wilson on 4 March 2020 for Island Breath -
(https://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2020/03/going-down-with-books.html)


Image above: View from a full wall home library. It's a start. From (https://images.app.goo.gl/634TXyX3moM2Fcvt5).

Don't count on a last minute reprieve, a bailout, or escape from our current condition. The impending failure of the system we depend on is an on-going process has been accelerated now by a worldwide virus pandemic.

We have become blind to our total dependence on "The System" (or "The Grid") that we see no alternative reality.

As we have discovered the "System" requires massive inputs of resources ans energy and, as a result, huge outputs of waste and pollution.  It also requires that we have no scalable substitutions or alternatives to this dependency but turning to total collapse.

There is simply too many of us and too much our stuff and too little of everything else. Kicking and screaming we will be dragged to the consequences.

How blind are we? Is the best we can come up with for our next president is a contest between Trump and Biden?

These are two fossils who either have no clue of the existential challenge we face or are counting on fleeing with the billionaires to the Alps or some inaccessible tropical island.

Three elements of the perfect storm we are sailing into are:
  • Loss of individual, family, or group knowledge of fending for one's own. 
  • Uncontrolled debt inflation to finance industrialization and economic growth.
  • Ravaging of the Earth for settlements, agland, resources, and places to toss garbage.
For the few who get through the breakdown of the delicate networks of interdependent systems providing us shelter, food, water, and energy it will be best you acquire skills in self-maintained off-grid living.

That would include skills growing food and procuring potable water; experience with building and maintaining the home; knowledge of medical care; and an idea of the principals of general science.

At some point in the not so distant future your iPhone will be about useful as a drink coaster for acquiring and storing these, instructions, and techniques in independent living.

Yes, fifty years ago young people were seriously considering getting "Off the Grid" and taking actions to get back to "The Land" and be self-sustainable. The mantra was from our guru Timothy Leary was "Tune In, Turn On and Drop Out!"

They almost made it but traded bluejeans for polyester bell-bottoms and LSD for cocaine.

It's a good idea to keep acid free paper books on the principals of all of these subjects.

Half a century ago this kind of information was widely published and identified in "The Whole Earth Catalog" and can still be found in  "Back to the Land" books and other publications from the Hippy-Trippy1970's.

Fortunately, not all has been forgotten of the knowledge of the earlier Urban Hippie diaspora.
This survival knowledge can still be obtained from bookstores and online.

Having a printed book library of basic techniques is a crucial resource, just as much as a toolshed of wood working, metal working and garden implements.

Vital information can be found in publications like the US Army Survival Field Manuals and tomes with specifics on the knowledge  required for basic survival, and sustained living independently of the sprawl of suburbia, office parks,  malls, hospitals and supermarkets.

Many libraries offers free older hardcover books of fiction and non fiction as they are rotated off their shelves. Many libraries are still getting rid of entire sets of hardcover encyclopedias.

I recommend that you start building a library of crucial information and reference books... but also collect classic reading material for entertainment. Much is available and there won't be any Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

Author's note:
One little book (3"x 5" x 3/4")  I would suggest everyone own is "Pocket Ref" by Thomas J. Glover by Sequoia Press. My version is the Third Edition (ISBN 978-1-885071-33-0). It is an encyclopedia of information showing everything from illustrations of a wide variety of rope knots and bends to a listing of all the phone area code numbers by state in North America to the friction loss in pipes of various materials, to the square, cubes, square roots, and cube root of all numbers from 1 to 1,000 to five place accuracy... plus much, much more. You'll be amazed what's in this tiny gem. I got mine at my local Ace Hardware Store.

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China's Fatel Dilemma

SUBHEAD: The corona virus can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for 9 days.

By Charles Hugh Smith on 10 February 2020 for Of Two Minds -
(https://www.oftwominds.com/blogfeb20/China-dilemma2-20.html)


Image above: Preparations for roll-out of single day Amazon Prime delivery service in 2019. From (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/03/amazon-starts-to-roll-out-free-one-day-delivery-for-prime-members.html).

IB Publisher's note: This is not something to panic over, but it is something to be aware of. China will become desperate as economy as corona virus spreads and economy tanks. They will become desperate.] 

Ending the limited quarantine and falsely proclaiming China safe for visitors and business travelers will only re-introduce the virus to workplaces and infect foreigners.

China faces an inescapably fatal dilemma: to save its economy from collapse, China's leadership must end the quarantines soon and declare China "safe for travel and open for business" to the rest of the world.

But since 5+ million people left Wuhan to go home for New Years, dispersing throughout China, the virus has likely spread to small cities, towns and remote villages with few if any coronavirus test kits and few medical facilities to administer the tests multiple times to confirm the diagnosis. (It can take multiple tests to confirm the diagnosis, as the first test can be positive and the second test negative.)

As a result, Chinese authorities cannot possibly know how many people already have the virus in small-town / rural China or how many asymptomatic carriers caught the virus from people who left Wuhan. They also cannot possibly know how many people with symptoms are avoiding the official dragnet by hiding at home.

No data doesn't mean no virus.

If the virus has already been dispersed throughout China by asymptomatic carriers who left Wuhan without realizing they were infected with the pathogen, then regardless of whatever official assurances may be announced in the coming days/weeks, it won't be safe for foreigners to travel in China nor will it be safe for Chinese workers to return to factories, markets, etc.

But if China doesn't "open for business" with unrestricted travel soon, its economy will suffer calamitous declines as fragile mountains of debt and leverage collapse and supply chain disruptions push global corporations to find permanent alternatives elsewhere.

Here's the fatal dilemma: maintaining the quarantine long enough to truly contain it (which requires extending it to the entire country) will be fatal to China's economy.

But ending the limited quarantine and falsely proclaiming China safe for visitors and business travelers will only re-introduce the virus to workplaces and infect foreigners who will return home as asymptomatic carriers, spreading the virus in their home nations.

Falsely declaring China safe will endanger everyone credulous enough to believe Chinese officials, and destroy whatever thin shreds of credibility China may yet have in the global economy and community. That will set off chains of causality that will destroy China's economy just as surely as a three-month nationwide quarantine.

Who will be foolish enough to believe anything Chinese officials proclaim after foreigners who accepted the false assurances of safety return home with the coronavirus?

Anyone planning to receive goods via air freight from China might want to digest this report:

Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and its inactivation with biocidal agents Endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV) can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days.

Air freight takes 12 to 24 hours, add another few hours for packaging, handling and last-mile delivery and that leaves 6+ days for the virus to spread to anyone who touches goods handled by an symptomatic carrier. 

Maybe the odds of catching the virus via surfaces are low, but maybe not. No one knows, including anyone rash enough to claim that the risk is negligible.

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Is Coronavirus a Bio-weapon?

SUBHEAD: Interview transcript with Professor Francis Boyle on coronavirus origins.

By Staff on 3 February 2019 for Great Game India - 
(https://greatgameindia.com/dr-francis-boyle-creator-of-bioweapons-act-says-coronavirus-is-biological-warfare-weapon/)

[IB Publisher's Note: Our first meeting with Dr. Boyle was on Kauai in 2004 when he addressed the issue of Hawaiian sovereignty. See http://islandbreath.org/2004Year/16-sovereign/sovereign01FrancisBoyle.html.]


Image above: A woman wearing a protective mask walks across the Yangtze River Bridge in Wuhan, China on Monday January 27, 2020. It seems that 5 million people left Wuhan, China, before it was quarantined. From (https://www.businessinsider.com/5-million-left-wuhan-before-coronavirus-quarantine-2020-1).

In an explosive interview Dr. Francis Boyle, who drafted the Biological Weapons Act has given a detailed statement admitting that the 2019 Wuhan Coronavirus is an offensive Biological Warfare Weapon and that the World Health Organization (WHO) already knows about it.
Francis Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He drafted the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, that was approved unanimously by both Houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.

In an exclusive interview given to Geopolitics and Empire, Dr. Boyle discusses the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China and the Biosafety Level 4 laboratory (BSL-4) from which he believes the infectious disease escaped. 

He believes the virus is potentially lethal and an offensive biological warfare weapon or dual-use biowarfare weapons agent genetically modified with gain of function properties, which is why the Chinese government originally tried to cover it up and is now taking drastic measures to contain it. 

The Wuhan BSL-4 lab is also a specially designated World Health Organization (WHO) research lab and Dr. Boyle contends that the WHO knows full well what is occurring.

Dr. Boyle also touches upon GreatGameIndia‘s exclusive report Coronavirus Bioweapon – where we reported in detail how Chinese Biowarfare agents working at the Canadian lab in Winnipeg were involved in the smuggling of Coronavirus to Wuhan’s lab from where it is believed to have been leaked.



Francis Boyle Interview on Coronaviris

By Staff on 5 February 2019 for Great Game India -
(https://greatgameindia.com/transcript-bioweapons-expert-dr-francis-boyle-on-coronavirus/)

A recent interview with Bioweapons expert Dr. Francis Boyle published by GreatGameIndia and conducted by Geopolitics & Empire, has been exploding across the world the past few days as the truth is emerging on the origins of the Coronavirus Bioweapon.

Francis Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He drafted the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, that was approved unanimously by both Houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
In the exclusive interview, Dr. Boyle touches upon GreatGameIndia‘s exclusive report Coronavirus Bioweapon – where we reported in detail how Chinese Biowarfare agents working at the Canadian lab in Winnipeg were involved in the smuggling of Coronavirus to Wuhan’s lab from where it is believed to have been leaked.In this bombshell interview (full transcript below), Boyle talks about: The bioweapons origins of the coronavirus
  • How the Deep State deployed anthrax on US soil to whip up publicity about biological weapons and increase funding for bioweapons labs
  • Why the WHO and CDC are both criminal organizations which are complicit in the covert development of biological weapons
  • The “death science” industry and why the US government has spent over $100 billion developing self-replicating weapons
  • Details about the Pirbright Institute and its ties to bioweapons, depopulation, vaccines and coronavirus patents. (It’s partially funded by Bill & Melinda Gates)
  • Why all BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs in the world should be banned and shut down.
Full transcript
Geopolitics and Empire: Geopolitics & Empire is joined by Dr. Francis Boyle, who is international law professor at the University of Illinois. We’ll be discussing the Wuhan coronavirus and biological warfare.

He’s served as counsel to numerous governments such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Palestinian authority. He’s represented numerous national international bodies in the areas of human rights, war crimes and genocide, nuclear policy, and biowarfare.

He’s written numerous books, one of my favorites being “Destroying Libya and World Order”, which I assigned as mandatory reading material for my own students when I taught at the Monterrey Institute of Technology.

But most important for this interview, he’s written a book called “Biowarfare and Terrorism”, and drafted the US domestic implementing legislation for the biological weapons convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 that was approved unanimously by both houses of the US Congress and signed into law by President Bush.

Thanks for joining us, Dr. Boyle.

Dr. Francis Boyle: Wow. Thank you so much for having me on and thanks for that kind introduction.

Geopolitics and Empire: Now let’s get to what’s been on the news recently. This coronavirus in Wuhan. There have been some reports recently, there’s a really interesting website called GreatGameIndia that has been reporting on this. They’ve been talking about China, which they say has been complying with biological weapons convention in recent years.

But then there are some people in the US and experts that have been saying that in reality, China isn’t complying with the weapons convention. And I think neither, perhaps the US as well. I’m wondering if China is developing its own biosafety level four lab in Wuhan and elsewhere, as you know, as a type of deterrence. Is it a type of a biological arms race that we have going on?

You told me in an email that you suspect China was developing the coronavirus as a dual use of biowarfare weapons agent. Also, what do you make of reports that Chinese scientists have been stealing research and viruses, including the coronavirus from a Canadian bio lab this past December?

And as well, Chinese nationals have been charged with smuggling vials of biological research to China from the US with the aid of Charles Lieber who was the chair of Harvard’s chemistry department. And he also happens to be in 2011 a strategic scientist at Wuhan University. So, can you tell us what’s going on with this recent outbreak in Wuhan?

Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, that’s a lot of questions. I guess we can take them one at a time, but if you just do a very simple Google search on “Does China have a BSL-4 laboratory?”, Wuhan comes up right away. It’s at the top of the list.

That’s all with the moment this type of thing happened I began to do that. So a BSL-4 is the most serious type. And basically BSL-4 labs, we have many of them here in the United States, are used to develop offensive biological warfare weapons with DNA genetic engineering.

So it does seem to me that the Wuhan BSL-4 is the source of the coronavirus. My guess is that they were researching SARS, and they weaponize it further by giving it a gain of function properties, which means it could be more lethal.

Indeed, the latest report now is it’s a 15% fatality rate, which is more than SARS at 83% infection rate. A typical gain of function travels in the air so it could reach out maybe six feet or more from someone emitting a sneeze or a cough. Likewise, this is a specially designated WHO research lab. The WHO was in on it and they knew full well what was going on there.

Yes. It’s also been reported that Chinese scientists stole coronavirus materials from the Canadian lab at Winnipeg. Winnipeg is Canada’s formal center for research, developing, testing, biological warfare weapons. It’s along the lines of Fort Detrick here in the United States of America.

I have three degrees from Harvard. It would not surprise me if something was being stolen out of Harvard to turn over to China. I read that report. I don’t know what was in those vials one way or the other.

But the bottom line is I drafted the US domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention that was approved unanimously by both Houses in the United States Congress signed into law by President Bush Sr. that it appears the coronavirus that we’re dealing with here is an offensive biological warfare weapon that leaped out of Wuhan BSL-4.

I’m not saying it was done deliberately. But there had been previous reports of problems with that lab and things leaking out of it. I’m afraid that is what we are dealing with today.

Geopolitics and Empire: We’ll be talking about the Wuhan and the coronavirus and China, but can you give us kind of like a bigger context. I know you’ve, previously, in interviews said that since 9/11, you think that the US has spent $100 billion on biological warfare research.

We know the Soviet Union, if I’m not mistaken, developed anthrax as a bioweapon. And you’ve also mentioned that UK, France, Israel and China are all involved in biological warfare weapons research.

And something interesting, I believe one or two years ago a Bulgarian journalist and the Russian government shared their concern of the discovery of a US bioweapons lab in the country of Georgia.

You’ve commented how in Africa, US has set up bioweapons labs to work on Ebola, which I think is illegal under international law. But they were allowed somehow to put those in Africa. Can you give us like a bigger picture? What’s going on with these different countries and what’s the purpose of this research?

Dr. Francis Boyle: All these BSL-4 labs are by United States, Europe, Russia, China, Israel are all there to research, develop, test biological warfare agents. There’s really no legitimate scientific reason to have BSL-4 labs. That figure I gave $100 billion, that was about 2015 I believe. I had crunched the numbers and came up with that figure the United States since 9/11.

To give you an idea that’s as much in constant dollars as the US spent to develop the Manhattan Project and the atom bomb.

So it’s clearly all weapons related. We have well over 13,000 alleged life science scientists involved in research developed testing biological weapons here in the United States. Actually this goes back it even precedes 9/11 2001.

I have another book, The Future of International Law and American Foreign Policy, tracing that all the way back to the Reagan administration under the influence of the neocons and they got very heavily involved in research development testing of biological weapons with DNA genetic engineers.

It was because of that I issued my plea in 1985 in a Congressional briefing sponsored by the Council for Responsible Genetics, I’m a lawyer for them. They’re headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. All the MIT, Harvard people are involved in that, the principal ones. And then they asked me to draft the implementing legislation.

The implementing legislation that I drafted was originally designed to stop this type of work. “Death science work”, I call it, “by the United States government”.

After 9/11, 2001, it just completely accelerated. My current figure, that last figure a 100 billion. I haven’t had a chance to re-crunch the numbers because I just started classes. But you have to add in about another 5 billion per year.

Basically, this is offensive biological weapons raised by the United States government and with its assistance in Canada and Britain.

And so other States, the world have responded accordingly including Russia and China. They were going to set up a whole series of BSL-4 facilities as well. And you know Wuhan was the first. It backfired on them.

Geopolitics and Empire: Would you basically consider what happened and Wuhan and just boil it down to ineptitude or incompetence on the Chinese part?


Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, it’s criminality. It does appear they stole something there from Winnipeg. This activity that they engaged in clearly violates the Biological Weapons Convention. Research development of biological weapons these days is an international crime, the use of it would be. That was criminal.

I’m not saying they deliberately inflicted this on their own people, but it leaked out of there and all these BSL-4 facilities leak. Everyone knows that who studies this. So this was a catastrophe waiting to happen. Unfortunately, it happened.

The Chinese government under Xi and his comrades there have been covering this up from the get-go. The first reported case was December 1, so they’d been sitting on this until they couldn’t anymore. And everything they’re telling you is a lie. It’s propaganda.

The WHO still refuses to declare a global health emergency. It said Tedros was over there shaking hands with Xi and smiling and yanking it up. The WHO was in on it. They’ve approved many of these BSL-4 labs., they know exactly what’s going on and that is a WHO research-approved laboratory. They know what’s going on too. You can’t really believe anything the WHO is telling you about this, either they’re up to their eyeballs in it, in my opinion.

Geopolitics and Empire: I’d probably agree with you that this outbreak in Wuhan was an accidental leak from the laboratory. But just your thoughts, it’s happening at quite an opportune time because namely we’re smack in the middle of a US-China new Cold War, which is currently characterized by economic warfare such as the trade war among other forms of hybrid and technological warfare.

And it seems the Wuhan outbreak will likely hit the Chinese economy hard. The Chinese are flat out dismissing any idea that the US is involved in. Like I said, it’s probably they made the mistakes in the Wuhan lab. What are your thoughts of any seemingly, this would benefit the US…

Dr. Francis Boyle: When the outbreak occurred, of course I considered that alternative too. When you have an outbreak, you’re never quite sure who or what is behind it. It certainly isn’t bats, that’s ridiculous. They made the same argument on Ebola in West Africa. I demolished that online. You can check it out. So I kept competing theories about this.

But right now, when you originally contacted me, I said I wasn’t prepared to comment because I was weighing the evidence. I’m a law professor and a lawyer, I try to do the best I can to weigh the evidence.

But right now, the Wuhan BSL-4 in my opinion is the most likely source, apply Occam’s razor, the simplest explanation. I’m not ruling out some type of sabotage. But right now, I believe that is the source here.

Geopolitics and Empire: And you mentioned WHO. I’d like to just get your thoughts on the WHO and the Big Pharma. There’s also some analysts who are downplaying this news media hype of the coronavirus.

You’ve just said that it seems to be lethal, but if we go back a decade to the 2009 swine flu, which I believe didn’t have too many casualties, but I think profited greatly the pharmaceutical companies. If I recall that back in 2009, many countries purchased great stocks of the vaccines and they ended up not using anywhere from 50 to 80% of the vaccines that they purchased.

You’ve previously stated in an interview that the World Health Organization is a front for Big Pharma if I’m not mistaken. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also agrees and he says, you know, 50% of WHO funding comes from pharmaceutical companies. And that the CDC itself is also severely compromised. What are your thoughts on the WHO? The CDC?

D. Francis Boyle: Can’t trust anything the WHO says because they’re all bought and paid for by Big Pharma and when they work in cahoots with the CDC, which is the United States government, they work in cahoots with Fort Detrick, so you can’t trust any of it.

However, the swine flu and yes, I agree pharma made a lot of money, but that swine flu which I looked at it, it did seem to me to be a genetically modified biological warfare weapon. It was a chimera of three different types of genetic strains that someone put it together in a cocktail. Fortunately, it was not as lethal as all of us fear. So fine.

But as I said, this figure I just gave to you was Saturday from Lancet, which is a medical publication, saying it’s a 15% fatality rate and an 83% infection rate. So it’s quite serious, I think, far more serious than the swine flu.

As for big pharma, sure they’re all trying to profit off this today as we speak. There was a big article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, all big pharma trying to peddle whatever they can over there in China even if it’s worthless and won’t help. We do know, if you read the mainstream news media they say there isn’t a vaccine.

Well, there is, it’s by the Pirbright Institute in Britain that’s tied into their biological warfare program over there. They were behind the hoof and mouth disease outbreak over there that wiped out their cattle herd and it leaked out of there. 

So it’s clear they’re working on a hoof and mouth biological warfare weapon, but the vaccine is there. I have the patent for it here, I haven’t had a chance to read the patent it’s about 25 pages long and my classes just resume. So eventually, I get some free time and I’ll read the patent.

You can’t patent a vaccine with the United States patent office unless the science is there. So there is a vaccine. Everyone’s lying about that, no one’s pointing this out – there’s a vaccine but instead big pharma wants to make money and the researchers say, well, it’ll take three months and we’re racing forward, you know. 

Everyone’s gonna make a buck off of this, that’s for sure. But there is a vaccine, I have the patent here. It’s been patented by the United States government.

So obviously, I don’t know exactly how workable it is, but it’s a vaccine. I don’t know why it isn’t out there now? Why isn’t someone saying there is a vaccine? Perhaps political leaders have already been vaccinated for all I know, I really don’t know. But there is a vaccine, Pirbright is well known there in Britain and it’s tied into Fort Detrick and CDC is tied into Fort Detrick too. So they all know there’s a patented vaccine.

Geopolitics and Empire: And just to get your comment on, I mean, something to related to this, which was my next question. So I think, I’m not sure if it’s that same Institute that you just mentioned that has the patent. I read somewhere that the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation maybe funds or has some connection to that Institute that has the patent.

Dr. Francis Boyle: I think they do. The Bill & Melinda Gates information, they fund this type of DNA genetically engineered biological warfare work. That’s correct. So you can’t trust anything they’re telling you that somehow they’re out there trying to make the world a better place. I mean, we have Bill Gates publicly admitting that the world be a better place if there were a lot less people. So the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing and they are funding this type of stuff. Sure.

Geopolitics and Empire: And just your comment, there was also the report that I guess it was a consortium of companies which included the Gates foundation that back in just two or three months ago in October of 2019 they held a pandemic exercise simulating an outbreak. I mean, what are the chances specifically of a coronavirus and it was called events 201. 

People can find this online online and they gave a list of seven recommendations for governments and international organizations to take. I also find that kind of interesting how they had this simulation.

Dr. Francis Boyle: That’s correct. It raises that question, the origins of what happened here. But right now, I’m just looking at the evidence I have and applying Occam’s razor and we know that Wuhan BSL-4 was research developing, testing, SARS as a biological warfare agent. 

So it could have been, they gave it this DNA genetic engineering enhanced properties gain of function which we do here in the West, in the United States all the time. 

We have all sorts of research that is clearly a bio warfare research that has been approved by the National Institutes of Health, it’s a joke. They know full well they are proving all kinds of biological warfare research and it gets funded by the United States government.

Geopolitics and Empire: And you’ve also mentioned in the email to me that what happened in the biosafety lab level 4 in Wuhan calls into question the safety of all of these level 3and 4four labs around the world.

Dr. Francis Boyle: They’re complete unsafe. BSL-3 and BSL-4 lab are only designed for research development testing of offense of biological warfare agents. In my opinion, they serve no legitimate purpose at all. They should all be shut down, every one of them. Even assuming, they’re simply too dangerous. 

If you want, there’s an excellent documentary called Anthrax Wars by Nadler and Coen and I’m in there. Repeatedly at the end, I say with respect to these labs, three and four, this is a catastrophe waiting to happen. Well, I’m afraid the catastrophe is now happened. So there it is.

Geopolitics and Empire: Yeah, I was just watching that documentary before we connected and I recommend the listeners go check that out. Do you see, in the future, any countries, if we come to a conflict between US, EU, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Russia, I mean you name it. Do you see any of these countries actually utilizing these biological weapons? I mean, it’s illegal under international law but we know like in the past that international law isn’t followed. Do you think that there’s a real danger of this escalating?

Dr. Francis Boyle: For sure. That’s the only reason they develop these biological weapons to eventually be used, sure. I mean, it’s like the Manhattan project, we put all that money into developing an atom bomb and even though it was not needed to end world war II they still knew Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

So, yes, I think that’s correct. And also these can be used covertly. Anytime you see an unexplained sudden outbreak of a disease like this anywhere in the world, both for human beings and or animals, I always suspect the bio warfare agent is at work. 

 I monitor the situation like I did at Wuhan until I can reach a conclusion. Yes, they can be used as the eyes for the United States government, today they are fully prepared, armed, equipped, supplied to wage a biological warfare with anthrax.

These other more exotic things I don’t know, but they have the weapons, there are stockpiles. We have to understand if you read Seymour Martin Hersh’s book published about 1968, he won the Pulitzer prize, he had the whole offensive US biological warfare industry in there back before it was illegal and criminal. 

Basically after 9/11, 2001, that entire industry – offensive biological warfare industry has been reconstituted here in the United States with all these BSL-4 BSL-3 labs, well over 13,000, alleged scientists sort of like Dr. Mengele working on these things. Other countries have responded in kind like Russia, like China, France is involved, Britain’s involved. Sure.

Geopolitics and Empire: I just wanted to get your thoughts on, in the last few years there was the Russian double agent spy Sergei Skripal who had been allegedly poisoned with Novichok out in Britain and I thought it was funny. 

It just so happened where he was allegedly poisoned, he was right in Porton down the British bio weapons lab, I guess the world’s first bio weapons lab that was created in 1916. I mean, I don’t know if you have thoughts on that whole incident.

Dr. Francis Boyle: Yeah, I was right down the street from Porton Down, so applying Occam’s razor who you think might’ve been behind this and it was not a nerve agent. A nerve agent would have killed him immediately. This is Novichok. It was something else like DX or something like that. So fine. 

But, I would just say that I don’t think that was a coincidence, but, you know, there you go. There’s the, obviously there’s a lot of speculation on that.

Geopolitics and Empire: Something else that’s kind of interesting. You’ve written in bio warfare and terrorism in your book and there’s also Graeme Macqueen, I think your colleague who wrote the anthrax deception the case for domestic conspiracy…

Dr. Francis Boyle: Everything you said in there. That’s correct.

Geopolitics and Empire: I’m wondering also if this new war for biotechnological dominance, whatever you want to call it, if it can also be used kind of as a pretext for the centralization of political power and the initiation of wars like I guess it did in the 2003 Iraq war. 

I mean, is this another danger that we get these events like now this coronavirus and then governments will call for a centralization of greater power and taking away some of our civil liberties?

Dr. Francis Boyle: Sure. If you look at the October, 2001 anthrax attacks here in the United States, that was clearly by elements of the United States government that was behind that. That was a super weapons grade anthrax with a trillion spores per gram and it floated in the air solely a very sophisticated biological weapons lab like Fort Detrick could produce that. 

And they use that anthrax attack including on Congress to brand through the USA Patriot act which basically turned the United States to a police state which is what we have now. 

You have to understand the Pentagon, Fort Dietrich made the dugway proving ground still has a stockpile of that super weapons grade anthrax that we saw in October of 2001 that they can use the next time they want to do something like that to further develop the American police thing. Right.

Geopolitics and Empire: Is there anything else you feel important to mention regarding this Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak or biological warfare or any other thoughts you’d like to leave us with?

Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, you just can’t believe anything the Chinese government, the WHO, the CDC are telling. They’re all lies because they know what’s going on here and so you’re going to have to figure it out as fast as you can. 

But in my opinion, as of this time and I’m fully prepared to consider further evidence on this, it does seem to me that this was a DNA genetically engineered biological warfare agent leaking out of Wuhan that has gain-of-function properties which can make it more lethal. 

 I think they are probably doing something with SARS to make it a lot more lethal and more infectious. 

And so for that reason, you have to take extreme precautions and they’re now finally admitted anyone within six feet can be infected, whereas with SARS that was about two feet. Well, that’s gaining a function right there and that should be a tip off.

So, I guess you’re gonna have to protect yourself. Laurie Garrett had a pretty good essay in a foreign policy yesterday and she was over there covering the SARS and she has very good advice in there except that she took the SARS figure out two to three feet and said well, you gotta stay to two to three. I think you’ve got to stay at least six feet away because this is gained function. It can flow through the air and infect and it can get you in the eyes. Any orifice, the mouth, maybe the ears, we’re not sure at this point.

Geopolitics and Empire: I’m here on the border of China in Kazakhstan and I was just reading yesterday – today that they’re no longer allowing Chinese citizens into Kazakhstan without a medical paper, a medical check to get their visas to enter Kazakhstan.

Dr. Francis Boyle: Those medical checks are worthless because this is just public relations by all the governments involved because there is a 14 day incubation period where people can still be infected. So someone could walk right through a medical inspection and passing a gate into your country and then they come down with the coronavirus. 

 So that’s all public relations in my opinion by governments and they know it and they’re just sending people out there with temperatures and things like that. It’s not like SARS, this is more dangerous than SARS. 

 As I said, I think that Wuhan lab, we know they had SARS in there that they were dealing with and I think they enhanced it at and I’m afraid that’s what we’re dealing with. 

But you know, I’m keeping an open mind as to what other sources that might have and I wasn’t prepared to say anything until that Wuhan lab is right there and it’s dealing with coronavirus. So again, apply Occam’s razor. It seems to me that’s the simplest explanation here.

Geopolitics and Empire: I guess my, one of my final question would be in the months ahead, apart of what you say staying six feet away from people. I’ve read taking high doses of vitamin C and other things like this can help you. But, if they come out as the situation develops and if it gets worse and they come out with a coronavirus vaccine, should people take it or not? What are your thoughts?

Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, what I would say is this. Right now, if you look at the article at the Wall Street Journal, big pharma is trying to sell all sorts of – they’re taking all their drugs off the shelf and say well let’s see if it works. Which is preposterous. Okay. 

The scientists are saying, well, we can get you a vaccine maybe two to three months but they’re not tested. So what we do know, however, is that Pirbright vaccine has been patented. So all I can assume is that that might work. But I don’t think I’d be taking any of these other vaccines. 

No, you have no idea what’s in there. You’ll be the Guinea pig for big pharma and everyone figures they’re gonna make a lot of money here. So I’ll keep my eye open on this and how it develop but I wouldn’t trust anything they’re trying to sell right now. They’re just pulling these things off the shelf.

If they do come up with something in two to three months, even that’s not going to be tested in accordance with normal scientific protocol. So it’s going to be a crap shoot. 

If it’s going to help you, indeed it might not help you because they’ll be using for this vaccines (these DNA genetic engineered vaccines) they’ll be using live coronavirus probably and sticking it in there and giving you some live coronavirus on the theory you’ll develop an immunity. 

That’s the way a lot of these vaccines worked out, that’s what happened with the Ebola vaccine that created the Ebola pandemic there in West Africa. They were testing out a vaccine on poor black Africans, as usual, and this vaccine had live Ebola in it so it gave them Ebola. 

So again, I’d be very careful even if they do come up with these vaccines two to three months from now, very careful. Why would you want to inject the live coronavirus in you?

Geopolitics and Empire: All right. I don’t believe you have a strong online presence. How can people best follow your work? I suppose to search for interviews as well as get your books.

Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, basically I’m blackballed and blacklisted off all the mainstream news media here on purpose. As far as I can figure out, the US government gave an order that I should not be interviewed by anyone, so I’m not. 

 I guess you could just put my name in there under Google, Google alert, and some interviews might come up. What happened was, right after the anthrax attacks of 9/11 2001, I was giving a lecture out at Harvard m Alma Mater. 

I was running a panel on biological warfare for the council for responsible genetics and it was at Harvard Divinity School and as I was going in, there was a Fox camera crew there from Boston and I said it looks to me like this has come out of the US government lab. We know they do research and testing on anthrax. 

Then I said the same thing there at Harvard then I gave an interview to a radio station in Washington, D C then I gave an interview on that to the BBC. So the whole world saw it and at that point I was completely cut off and I’ve been cut off ever since. 

So you probably not going to hear too many interviews from me here. As for my book. Biowarfare & Terrorism, you can just get it at amazon.com. That picks up the story pretty much from 9/11 2001 and until it went to press and then there are interviews I’d given to an investigative reporter, Sherwood Ross and a big one I just sent you and you might want to put that on your web page. That was pretty comprehensive.

Geopolitics and Empire: Yeah, I read that as well and I’ll include the link in the description of this interview so people can go check that out. You’re not the only academic I know and have heard of others that similar things have happened and that’s just I guess the price we pay for telling the truth. 

Again, for listeners, if people wanted to have a broader context and deeper understanding of what’s happening today especially with biological warfare as well as us foreign policy and international affairs, I urge you to get Dr. Francis Boyle’s books and listen to his interviews as well as his colleagues book. Graeme Macqueen, The Anthrax Deception, The Case For Domestic Conspiracy. Thank you for being with us, Dr. Boyle.

Dr. Francis Boyle: Well, thank you and again, please understand these are my current opinions. I could change my opinion here based on more evidence. 

So I’m just looking at the evidence out there as I see it and you have to understand there is so much disinformation, lies and propaganda that it’s kind of very difficult to distinguish truth from fact. I’m doing the best job I can here.




Dr. Boyle’s position is in stark contrast to the mainstream media’s narrative of the virus being originated from the seafood market, which is increasingly being questioned by many experts.

Recently, American Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas also dismantled the mainstream media’s claim on Thursday that pinned the coronavirus outbreak on a market selling dead and live animals.

In a video accompanying his post, Cotton explained that the Wuhan wet market (which Cotton incorrectly referred to as a seafood market) has been shown by experts to not be the source of the deadly contagion.

Cotton referenced a Lancet study which showed that many of the first cases of the novel coronavirus, including patient zero, had no connection to the wet market — devastatingly undermining mainstream media’s claim.

“As one epidemiologist said: ‘That virus went into the seafood market before it came out of the seafood market.’ We still don’t know where it originated,” Cotton said.

“I would note that Wuhan also has China’s only bio-safety level four super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus.”

Such concerns have also been raised by J.R. Nyquist, the well known author of the books “Origins of the Fourth World War” and “The Fool and His Enemy,” as well as co-author of “The New Tactics of Global War”. In his insightful article he published secret speechs given to high-level Communist Party cadres by Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chi Haotian explaining a long-range plan for ensuring a Chinese national renaissance – the catalyst for which would be China’s secret plan to weaponiz viruses.

Nyquist gave three different data points for making his case in analyzing Coronavirus. He writes:
The third data point worth considering: the journal GreatGameIndia has published a piece titled “Coronavirus Bioweapon – How China Stole Coronavirus From Canada And Weaponized It.”
The authors were clever enough to put Khan’s Virology Journal article together with news of a security breach by Chinese nationals at the Canadian (P4) National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, where the novel coronavirus was allegedly stored with other lethal organisms.

Last May, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called in to investigate; by late July the Chinese were kicked out of the facility. The chief Chinese scientist (Dr. Xiangguo Qiu) was allegedly making trips between Winnipeg and Wuhan.

Here we have a plausible theory of the NCoV organism’s travels: first discovered in Saudi Arabia, then studied in Canada from whence it was stolen by a Chinese scientist and brought to Wuhan.

Like the statement of Taiwan’s intelligence chief in 2008, the GreatGameIndia story has come under intensive attack. Whatever the truth, the fact of proximity and the unlikelihood of mutation must figure into our calculations.

It’s highly probable that the 2019-nCoV organism is a weaponized version of the NCoV discovered by Saudi doctors in 2012.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media’s narrative still maintains that the origin of the 2019 Coronavirus is the Wuhan Seafood Market. After GreatGameIndia published the story on Coronavirus Bioweapon – not only were our databse tinkered with and our reports blocked by Facebook on the flimsy reason that they could not find GreatGameIndia Facebook page, but the report itself was viciously attacked by Foreign Policy magazine, PolitiFact (known widely as Facebook’s propaganda arm) and BuzzFeedNews.

It is not GreatGameIndia alone which is being viciously attacked. Zero Hedge, a popular alternate media blog was suspended by Twitter for publishing a story related to a study by Indian scientists finding 2019 Wuhan Coronavirus to be not naturally evolved, raising the possibility of it being created in a lab. Shockingly, the study itself came under intense online criticism by Social Media experts resulting in the scientists withdrawing the paper.

In retaliation India has launched a full-scale investigation against China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Indian government has ordered an inquiry into a study conducted in the Northeastern state of Nagaland (close to China) by researchers from the U.S., China and India on bats and humans carrying antibodies to deadly viruses like Ebola.

The study came under the scanner as two of the 12 researchers belonged to the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Department of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and it was funded by the United States Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

The study, conducted by scientists of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in the U.S. and the Duke-National University in Singapore, is now being investigated for how the scientists were allowed to access live samples of bats and bat hunters (humans) without due permissions.

The results of the study were published in October last year in the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases journal, originally established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.