Weekly round up: China’s mistake,extinction and hubris all round

a weekly look at stories that may be significant

China Crisis There are two ways to run a modern economy. The first is to make things that people want and export them. (the German model). The second is to borrow money and build flats (the British model), which always ends in tears. It looks like China has done a bit too much of the second one for its own good. Could a Chinese property crash drag us all into a bear market? Martin Farrer and Vincent Ni tell the whole tale for The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/17/chinas-lehman-brothers-moment-evergrande-crisis-rattles-economy

Repeating Old mistakes. Back in the Permian, 250 million years ago, the most advanced creatures were the mammal-like reptiles or therapsids. And if you were one , there must have been a lot to feel good about. “hey” you would have said to yourself “we’re doing alright! We’ve got the biggest brains, we’re well on the way to being warm blooded, we’re sorting out this locomotion on land thing, and all the continents are joined into one, making overseas travel unnecessary!” But like the proud and overreaching (or Chinese property developers) they began to make mistakes. They allowed greenhouse gases to rise. They let a huge toxic blooms of algae develop in the seas. They did nothing about rising temperatures because they were too busy having a good time. The result? The greatest mass extinction in world history, as every schoolchild will tell you. These are the exactly the same mistakes that we, their distant descendants are making today. Do you really think it will end differently?

Once again, the inimitable Stacy Liberatore tells all for the Mail:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10002015/Mass-extinction-252-million-years-ago-caused-toxic-soup-following-recipe.html

Not so wicked in Wuhan Evidence is piling that the Sars-Cov-2 virus was not the result of wicked scientists in a lab, but jumped several times from wild animals across the species barrier into humans. Just like many other respiratory viruses do. The moral is; if you want to avoid pandemics, be a bit kinder to the environment. Nature riffs in Did the Coronavirus jump to people twice?

SARS-CoV-2 might have spilled from animals to people multiple times, according to a preliminary analysis of viral genomes sampled from people infected in China and elsewhere early in the pandemic. If confirmed, the findings would add weight to the hypothesis that the pandemic originated in multiple markets in Wuhan. It would also make the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 escaped from a laboratory less likely. The data need to be verified, and the analysis has not yet been peer reviewed.Nature | 8 min read
Reference: virological.org preprint

Once again the gremlins have got into our computer, causing the most intractable technicl problems, so we’ll have to leave it there for now. Goodbye, and have a good weekend

#china #sars-cov-2 covid-19 #mass extinction #climate change

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