Pangolins in the News

I started a Substack to publicise the threat to pangolins. And now the news has overtaken my intentions. So here is the current story: 

Why are pangolins poached?

They are poached for their scales and other body parts that are used in traditional medicine in China and Vietnam and China. And as luxury dishes on the menu.

What does ‘the most trafficked’ mean?

Pangolins account for about 20% of everything that is poached. A million pangolins poached and killed in the last decade.

Why are they in the news today?

Well, it’s tempting to say that Pangolins bite back against the cruelty done to them. They are in the news because investigators think they may be an intermediate stage in the transmission of coronavirus from bats to humans.

Here’s what Reuters says:

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese researchers said the pangolin, a mammal illegally trafficked for its scales and meat, is a potential intermediate host for the coronavirus that has killed more than 600 people in China.

“This latest discovery will be of great significance for the prevention and control of the origin (of the virus),” South China Agricultural University, which led the research, said in a statement on its website.

Which To Resolve

Some things, you don’t resolve them. You don’t get an answer and you accept that and you move on and you leave the thing unresolved because it’s okay to do that in this imperfect world.

And other times it’s not okay and you have to resolve it and if you don’t resolve it then you know that that’s a problem and that it should be resolved, that leaving it unresolved is going to cause you a problem later in life. You’re going to feel bad; maybe others are going to feel bad. It’s something that has to be done.

The question is, how do you decide whether a particular problem should be left alone or resolved?

Labour and Religious Fervour

I thought anti-Semitism was incidental to the extreme left in Labour. I thought anti-Israel sentiments were a convenient peg on which to hang a general ‘we are for the underdog’ policy.

But over the last months I’ve come to realise that anti-Semitism is not incidental to their thinking at all.

Rather, it’s part of the extreme Left’s understanding of world history, of the political classes, of the class struggle.

The evil, grasping exploiting Jew is a real figure in their understanding of how the world works.

Even when it is pointed out them that the world is full of exploiting non-Jews, they believe there are bigger more villainous Jews behind them, secret groups who pull the strings.

It’s religious, really, the belief in this hidden hand that controls world history and that they are the saviour of the downtrodden masses.

How can one decide whether this description of the hidden hand of world history is true or a delusion? Really there is no way, because the ‘hidden hand’ is by its nature hidden. And that is so convenient for them, so convenient to have a hidden foe.

Prince Harry on Social Media

In the news a couple of weeks ago:

Prince Harry raged about social media at today’s meeting on youth mental health: ‘Growing up in today’s world, social media is more addictive than drugs & alcohol. Yet it’s more dangerous because it’s normalised & there are no restrictions to it. We are in a mind-altering time.


One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

This is from: 

“Je crains […] que l’âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins.” (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

The Moving Circle

The position of the Arctic Circle is not fixed; as of 27 July 2018, it was 66°33′47.2″ north of the Equator. Its latitude depends on the Earth’s axial tilt, which fluctuates within a margin of 2° over a 40,000-year period, due to tidal forces resulting from the orbit of the Moon.

Currently, the Arctic Circle is drifting northwards at about 15 metres (49 feet) per year.