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One of those reviews that makes you buy the book then and there

Mark Honigsbaum reviews Viral by Alina Chan and Matt Ridley in the Guardian:

The tragedy is that in their desire to make a plausible case for a lab accident, Chan and Ridley neglect the far more urgent and compelling story of how the trade in wild animals, coupled with global heating and the destruction of natural habitats, makes the emergence of pandemic viruses increasingly likely. That is the more probable origin story and the scenario that should really concern us.

Edit: The Guardian is not allowing comments to Mr Honigsbaum’s review. But his tweet about it is open to comments and is receiving them.

7 comments to One of those reviews that makes you buy the book then and there

  • James Higham

    Chan. Chan. Can’t quite place it. French, is it?

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    She was born in Canada but grew up in Singapore, according to this article in Technology Review. She is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Covid 19 came from the Wuhan lab – whether it was an “accident” or a deliberate release, I do not know. The idea that Covid 19 came from a “wet market” is only a “plausible origin story” if animals from the Wuhan lab (with the “gain of function” altered virus in them – due to Tony Fauci and Peter Daszak and his “EcoHealth Alliance”) were put in the “wet market”.

    As for the Guardian’s writings about “global heating” and the “destruction of natural habitats”.

    Well I did see a fox in London yesterday – no doubt the Guardian would take that as proof of its thesis. C02 is vital for plants and appears to be “greening” areas of the Earth – however, the BBC television presenter David Attenborough (at “COP26”) says that C02 makes the air “dirty” and kills plants – with a film running behind him with various children saying what they have been taught to say.

    David Starkey compares the fanatical children to the “Child Saints” of the Middle Ages.

    For example, Sweden has very real problems – but one is not allowed to discuss the real threat facing Sweden. So Greta Thunberg talks about C02 instead. Perhaps not so much a “Child Saint” an an example of “displacement activity”.

  • decnine

    ‘Perhaps not so much a “Child Saint” an an example of “displacement activity”.’

    There has never been a shortage of False Prophecy.

  • Franks

    I guess Mr Honigsbaum is so burdened by his ‘narratives’ that his head has been driven deeply into the sand.

  • John B

    Occam’s Razor.

    What is the simplest explanation, a lab leak of an experimental viral form or a complex coincidental interaction between ‘the trade in wild animals, coupled with global heating and the destruction of natural habitats’ which just happened to produce a coronavirus with gain of function like the experimental work that as going on?

  • Paul Marks

    Indeed decnine, yes indeed.

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