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Old 02-16-2020, 11:02 PM
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What would happen if China were asked to pay damages for the corona virus outbreak?


Hi

What would happen if China were asked to pay damages for the corona virus outbreak? If indeed countries like Singapore and Japan (now on the brink of recession) ever sought damages, would it happen and how would it be done?

I look forward to your feedback
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:14 PM
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You'd have a new mortality wave as a bunch of Chinese government officials died laughing?
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:17 PM
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Good question.
I think China has a decent defense in that they tried to contain the spread and were forthcoming to the rest of the world. Sure they were slow and not entirely honest but I think they have a reasonable case. Not to mention, good luck suing China.

I think that the passengers confined to the cruise ship in Japan are going to be much more successful in any possible litigation.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:18 PM
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You'd have a new mortality wave as a bunch of Chinese government officials died laughing?

Ding Ding Ding!
(right answer)
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:55 PM
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China's economy is large enough that they could probably tell any other nation to fuck off who asked it for reparations.

I do wonder if this virus combined with the trade war is what kicks off a global recession.
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:22 AM
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1. China would refuse to pay.

2. It would set a bad precedent. It would be like fining Japan because of Fukushima leaking radioactive water into the sea.
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:52 AM
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2. It would set a bad precedent. It would be like fining Japan because of Fukushima leaking radioactive water into the sea.
It's not obvious to me why that (Fukushima) is a bad precedent, given the negligence involved.

Last edited by Riemann; 02-17-2020 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:15 AM
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Has a state ever been found liable for an epidemic at the international level? I think historically, plagues have always been considered a natural part of life, like the weather - they're not anyone's fault.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:55 AM
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How much does the US owe for 2009's H1N1? Given 284,000 are thought to have died to this, there's a big bill for someone.

(Yes I know the virus started in Mexico, but why should the origin be the sole determining factor and not where the virus incidence spread out of control? If China showed evidence that, say, a visitor from Mongolia brought covid to Wuhan, would that remove any responsibility from China?)

In summary: bad idea

Last edited by Mijin; 02-17-2020 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:54 AM
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How much does the US owe for 2009's H1N1? Given 284,000 are thought to have died to this, there's a big bill for someone.

(Yes I know the virus started in Mexico, but why should the origin be the sole determining factor and not where the virus incidence spread out of control? If China showed evidence that, say, a visitor from Mongolia brought covid to Wuhan, would that remove any responsibility from China?)

In summary: bad idea
Your summary is right, but your analogy sucks. The US didn't try and cover H1N1 up, nor did we fuck up by the numbers in the early handling of it, substantially adding to it's spread not only across the nation but getting out to the world. Whether the virus started in Mongolia, it was the CCP that DID try and cover it up, down play it, stifle discussion about it, and basically tell countries like the US early in January that there wasn't any problem and they didn't need any help.

That said, there is little any other country could do to compel China to pay damages, and it WOULD set a very bad precedence. I think the shit the CCP is getting in China and with any news organization or health organization that doesn't have their nose so far up the CCPs ass is punishment enough, as this has seriously hurt their image going forward and has made a whole lot of folks on the Chinese mainland really, REALLY angry and questioning a lot of things. It's also made companies who manufacture stuff in China think that maybe it's not such a good idea after all, when this sort of thing could happen at any time if you have a government who does this sort of stupid, silly shit.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:08 AM
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Believe it or now, repressive government, and red tape notwithstanding, tourism is more than 10% of China's GDP. For comparison, it's less than 3% of the US's GDP. This fucks China up pretty bad, so it IS paying, and is going to continue to pay, because this is going to have repercussions for a while, even if the virus is tamped down, and tourism picks back up.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:54 AM
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That's laughable. China doesn't want the virus to spread - it's hurting them more than any other country. There are Chinese companies that are unable to operate right now because they can't let their employees into their offices. None of that is good for China. So even if there are things they aren't telling the rest of the world, that does not equate to them not trying their hardest to contain it.

Besides, what disease was it that originated in US? There was one that they believe formed in another country, but the first infected person was in Kansas.

Plagues and diseases have been happening since the beginning of time. They will continue to happen.
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:41 AM
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Your summary is right, but your analogy sucks. The US didn't try and cover H1N1 up, nor did we fuck up by the numbers in the early handling of it, substantially adding to it's spread not only across the nation but getting out to the world. Whether the virus started in Mongolia, it was the CCP that DID try and cover it up, down play it, stifle discussion about it, and basically tell countries like the US early in January that there wasn't any problem and they didn't need any help.
I don't think that's a fair summary. Yes, a couple of weeks were wasted by the government initially trying to censor, and even arresting some doctors. (The reason for this BTW is thought not to be to save face in any sense internationally, but to play down any bad news ahead of Chinese new year). Already some officials have been fired over this, but reforms are being put in place such that you can be sure that false positives will be more likely than censorship going forwards.

But since then the response has been as comprehensive and open as the world has ever seen; very fast sequencing and distribution of scientific information, statistics publically released, and extreme measures taken including quarantining tens of millions of people and a curfew on hundreds of millions.

I think it would take extraordinary mental gymnastics to claim that the US is not liable for utterly failing to contain the spread of a virus that has gone on to kill hundreds of thousands, but China is liable for covid, despite the extreme measures taken and the almost non-existent effect on other countries to date.

(And again, in case there's any misunderstanding: I don't think any country should be held financially accountable for damages caused by contagious disease. Unless one is used delibarately as a bioweapon)

Last edited by Mijin; 02-17-2020 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:47 AM
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Has a state ever been found liable for an epidemic at the international level? I think historically, plagues have always been considered a natural part of life, like the weather - they're not anyone's fault.
Your countryman, Yuval Harari had an interesting point in one of his books. That until the 19th century what passed for ordinary conditions in most countries on earth were so bad that if they occurred in a country today, that country would be occupied to general approval and its leaders shot.
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:42 AM
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Leave it to Tom Cotton to get to the bottom of all this:
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The rumor appeared shortly after the new coronavirus struck China and spread almost as quickly: that the outbreak now afflicting people around the world had been manufactured by the Chinese government.

The conspiracy theory lacks evidence and has been dismissed by scientists. But it has gained an audience with the help of well-connected critics of the Chinese government such as Stephen K. Bannon, President Trumpís former chief strategist. And on Sunday, it got its biggest public boost yet.

Speaking on Fox News, Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, raised the possibility that the virus had originated in a high-security biochemical lab in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak.
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by davidmich View Post
What would happen if China were asked to pay damages for the corona virus outbreak? If indeed countries like Singapore and Japan (now on the brink of recession) ever sought damages, would it happen and how would it be done?
What rationale would there be for holding China liable?

China is suffering more than anyone else from this, from the ill and those deceased to factories and businesses that have been shut down for weeks. Sure, they were slow to react in the beginning but that's the norm. Certainly now they have exerting efforts to contain this new disease.

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It would set a bad precedent. It would be like fining Japan because of Fukushima leaking radioactive water into the sea.
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Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
It's not obvious to me why that (Fukushima) is a bad precedent, given the negligence involved.
What neglience is that?

NO ONE anticipated the need for a nuclear plant to survive a major earthquake (which, by the way, it did just fine) and ALSO a 50 foot tsunami afterward. Even after that it limped along for a bit. With the benefit of hindsight we can plan and design for such double-disasters but what point to claiming "negligence" for an event absolutely no one foresaw?
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:25 PM
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I don't think that's a fair summary. Yes, a couple of weeks were wasted by the government initially trying to censor, and even arresting some doctors. (The reason for this BTW is thought not to be to save face in any sense internationally, but to play down any bad news ahead of Chinese new year). Already some officials have been fired over this, but reforms are being put in place such that you can be sure that false positives will be more likely than censorship going forwards.
And I don't think this is a fair or accurate account. It's come out that Xi knew about this on January 7th. And did nothing about it. Local officials not only did nothing but actually encouraged a business as usual attitude AND pushed for the continuation of a major outdoor event hosting 40,000 FAMILIES, when they KNEW about the virus. The fact that they went on to censor the news, modify the narrative and also rejected other countries such as the US (in the form of the CDC) offering assistance (then tried to lie about that and say the US has offered no help) really isn't even the major failure of their government at all levels. To really stop something like this you have to react quickly once the threat is identified. Had they done that, they probably would have contained this mainly to central China. Now it's all through China, all through the region and has gone global. We are lucky this thing isn't as deadly as, oh, say really virulent versions of the flu because if it was, the series of fuckups by the CCP at all levels would have some VERY serious ramifications for the world, let alone for their own country and the citizens they are supposed to be protecting.

Probably why the Chinese people are extremely angry. I seriously doubt that the almost symbolic scapegoating of some local officials and party members is going to assuage that, but I guess hope springs eternal. It's worked so well for them in Hong Kong, after all...

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But since then the response has been as comprehensive and open as the world has ever seen; very fast sequencing and distribution of scientific information, statistics publically released, and extreme measures taken including quarantining tens of millions of people and a curfew on hundreds of millions.
That sounds like what most of the media is selling. Look how quickly they built a hospital! Aren't they wonderful, and on tops of things!! And, frankly, they are STILL in cover up mode and still censoring information and comment, though a lot of really brave Chinese people still manage to get the word out despite the fact that many have and are still being silenced.

Quote:
I think it would take extraordinary mental gymnastics to claim that the US is not liable for utterly failing to contain the spread of a virus that has gone on to kill hundreds of thousands, but China is liable for covid, despite the extreme measures taken and the almost non-existent effect on other countries to date.
Horseshit. Seriously, just plain horseshit. Not really even worth addressing this as it really takes those mental gymnastics to say what you said earlier with a straight face (and presumably FROM FREAKING CHINA) and say this about the US response to a much earlier epidemic.

Quote:
(And again, in case there's any misunderstanding: I don't think any country should be held financially accountable for damages caused by contagious disease. Unless one is used delibarately as a bioweapon)
Just to end this on a positive note (), I agree with you. I don't think China deliberately shot itself in the foot. It's their government system and some cultural quirks that caused this to be such a disaster, not anything deliberate. I certainly don't see any way anyone COULD get China to pay damages or even to admit that the fuckup was their own and stemmed entirely from their failed government at all levels, from local all the way up to the Presitator for Life, Xi, and everywhere in between. This isn't some sooper sekrit bio-weapon the Chinese developed and that got out into the wild or was released on purpose for shadowy reasons. It's just a disaster that went global because of incompetence and the need of the CCP to control everything, and to try and brush any bad news under the rug, especially when it is inconvenient or might impact the bottom line.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:26 PM
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I think that China is already suffering enough to add monetary penalties. But they are responsible in a way that the US isnít for H1N1. The consumption of infected wildlife from a market in Wuhan is what started the outbreak. This isnít a new phenomenon either. Other viruses, including SARS and MERS, originated due to consumption of wildlife such as bats and snakes. Yet they continued to have markets where such wildlife was on offer for consumption.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:43 PM
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What neglience is that?

NO ONE anticipated the need for a nuclear plant to survive a major earthquake (which, by the way, it did just fine) and ALSO a 50 foot tsunami afterward. Even after that it limped along for a bit. With the benefit of hindsight we can plan and design for such double-disasters but what point to claiming "negligence" for an event absolutely no one foresaw?
Right, who could possibly have foreseen that a tsunami would follow an earthquake, what an unlucky coincidence!

The Tepco executives were (controversially) acquitted of criminal liability, but:

Quote:
Japanese government held liable for first time for negligence in Fukushima

The plaintiffs...based their claim on a 2002 report in which government experts estimated there was a one in five chance of a magnitude-8 earthquake occurring and triggering a powerful tsunami within the next 30 years.

At the time of the disaster, Japan’s nuclear regulator was severely criticised for its collusive ties with the nuclear industry...
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...clear-disaster

Last edited by Riemann; 02-17-2020 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:09 PM
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And I don't think this is a fair or accurate account. It's come out that Xi knew about this on January 7th. And did nothing about it.[...]
Which is 8 days after it had been announced in China and the WHO had been informed. The rest of your first paragraph is similarly ill-informed.

Quote:
That sounds like what most of the media is selling. Look how quickly they built a hospital! Aren't they wonderful, and on tops of things!! And, frankly, they are STILL in cover up mode and still censoring information and comment, though a lot of really brave Chinese people still manage to get the word out despite the fact that many have and are still being silenced.
So you use the dubious emoticon, mentioning nothing about what is supposedly incorrect about anything I said, and then talk about the hospital building which is perhaps one of the most verified events in history, being watched 24 hours by millions of people.

Quote:
Horseshit. Seriously, just plain horseshit. Not really even worth addressing this as it really takes those mental gymnastics to say what you said earlier with a straight face (and presumably FROM FREAKING CHINA) and say this about the US response to a much earlier epidemic.
It seems a lot of my points are "not worth addressing", as your profanity and ad hominem laced post seems devoid of actual arguments. But here we are all about fighting ignorance, so spit it out. What's the argument?

Quote:
It's just a disaster that went global because of incompetence and the need of the CCP to control everything, and to try and brush any bad news under the rug, especially when it is inconvenient or might impact the bottom line.
Mistakes were made in the early days, just like mistakes were made with H1N1. It's impossible to say the extent to which these actions caused deaths, you seem to be assuming that a perfect response would have completely contained the virus. Furthermore, China is now taking extreme measures, beyond which almost any other country would be able to. Why do they get blame for one thing, and not credit for the other? Or put it this way: China handles covid exactly the same way the US handled H1N1...do you think it would spread beyond China?
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:39 PM
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We (well, everybody but me) can choose a hypothesis.
  1. It was an intentional attack by a foreign interest.
  2. It was an accidental leak from a Chinese biowar lab.
  3. It was sloppy sanitation at an illegal wildlife market.
  4. Whatever the cause, an official coverup ensued.
The first two are exciting fodder for conspiracy theorists, who need very little (if any) actual facts from which to weave nervous webs. (Think of a garden spider given LSD.) #4 could cover the other three but it didn't happen, which won't dissuade conspiratorialists. Anyone with a calculator can estimate the damages that some element may or may not be liable for. Good fucking luck there. How about Chinese officials call the pandemic an "act of god" and fine domestic religious groups for damages? "YOUR god did it - YOU pay for it!"

It's always someone else's fault. I'm not responsible. Really. Well, I could have washed my hands better...
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:44 PM
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"How about Chinese officials call the pandemic an "act of god" and fine domestic religious groups for damages? "YOUR god did it - YOU pay for it!"

I like it! I would go after ALL religious groups though.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:51 PM
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Right, who could possibly have foreseen that a tsunami would follow an earthquake, what an unlucky coincidence!
Actually, there was the anticipation of a tsunami as a possible result of an earthquake. That was why a 30 foot defensive seawall was constructed to protect the nuclear plant. Unfortunately, the tsunami turned out to be 20 feet taller than anticipated. This phenomena of Japan building protective seawalls that turned out to be inadequate was repeated through the country. This was not some deliberate short-cutting or negligence, this was the worst-case scenario exceeding calculated worst-case events throughout the entire nation.

We now know that 30 foot seawalls are inadequate. Lesson learned.

Also, another lesson is that don't put back-up power generators in low-lying spots in places where tsunamis are a real possibility (or other flooding). If those generators had been elevated they might have continued to function well enough to provide adequate cooling. Not just nuclear power plants but many other facilities are now elevating back-up generators to guard against flooding.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:33 PM
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According to XT the evil Chinese are bad since they took some time to recognise a new and previously unencountered virus, whose initial symptoms looked just like that of a bad version of viral pneumonia, which is a somewhat common illness in that place and season. So,much so that there are random ALL CAPS.

Last edited by AK84; 02-17-2020 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:37 PM
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Besides, what disease was it that originated in US? There was one that they believe formed in another country, but the first infected person was in Kansas.

Plagues and diseases have been happening since the beginning of time. They will continue to happen.
Spanish Flu, aka Flu of 1918, aka Swine Flu, aka H1N1

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Old 02-18-2020, 10:59 AM
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Spanish Flu, aka Flu of 1918, aka Swine Flu, aka H1N1
Thank you
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:31 AM
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Right, who could possibly have foreseen that a tsunami would follow an earthquake, what an unlucky coincidence!
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Actually, there was the anticipation of a tsunami as a possible result of an earthquake.
You need to recalibrate your sarcasm detector.

Last edited by Riemann; 02-18-2020 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:31 PM
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I do wonder if this virus combined with the trade war is what kicks off a global recession.
Me too.

And in light of this thread, here's a confounding problem: on the brink of this being considered a pandemic, when international cooperation is paramount, people are seeing fit to vilify China.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:49 PM
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They would refuse, and I think they would have a good case for refusal. A viral outbreak is an "Act of God". No one has control over that. They reacted to it quickly and have done all the right things in terms of trying to bottle it up, so there isn't any negligence on their part. What would be the basis of the lawsuit?
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:47 PM
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Spanish Flu, aka Flu of 1918, aka Swine Flu, aka H1N1


https://www.history.com/news/why-was...he-spanish-flu
Who knows where it originated? There are lots of theories.
The Spanish flu originated somewhere in northern China in late 1917 and swiftly moved to western Europe with the 140,000 Chinese laborers the French and British governments recruited to perform manual labor to free up troops for wartime duty.
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:54 PM
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They reacted to it quickly and have done all the right things in terms of trying to bottle it up, so there isn't any negligence on their part.
At the risk of taking the thread down a different track, they have not. Not only did they threaten whistleblowers, but "individuals who organize relief efforts risk violating charity laws."
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:15 PM
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At the risk of taking the thread down a different track, they have not. Not only did they threaten whistleblowers, but "individuals who organize relief efforts risk violating charity laws."
It reads like a Soviet propaganda piece.
Opinion are not facts and anecdotes are not data.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:36 PM
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Good luck with letting Chinese own their mistake.
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:09 AM
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Forgot casual racism is kosher in this thread.
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Old 02-22-2020, 12:10 PM
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NO ONE anticipated the need for a nuclear plant to survive a major earthquake (which, by the way, it did just fine) and ALSO a 50 foot tsunami afterward. Even after that it limped along for a bit. With the benefit of hindsight we can plan and design for such double-disasters but what point to claiming "negligence" for an event absolutely no one foresaw?
I vehemently disagree with this. There has always been concern regarding the ability to safely shut down a nuclear plant in the event of natural disaster. And Japan had an entire infrastructure dedicated to dealing with earthquakes and tsunamis because of their location to fault lines. All that was needed in this case was the relocation of backup generators or a rewire for external connection to generators. had they put the generators on the roof it would have been a non-story. There was plenty of time to review the safety design of the plant over the years and upgrade it as needed.

to the op, the idea of being responsible for a viral outbreak would only make sense if they created virus or allowed it to escape from a lab. If that were true then I could see a legal case to be made.

I'm not saying this is what happened but it would explain the herculean efforts China has gone through to contain it.
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Old 02-22-2020, 12:30 PM
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My thoughts:

1. A country shouldn't be held liable because a catastrophe that originated from natural causes occurred in their territory. As far as I know, nobody sued Iceland after the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in 2010.

2. Some people are making the argument that China should be held liable because it didn't respond appropriately after the outbreak occurred. There may be an argument to be made on this point, but from what I have heard, China's response does not sink to this level.

3. Even if you accept the idea of liability and feel that the Chinese response justifies it, you're not going to enforce a judgement against China by any means short of a war. "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by davidmich View Post
https://www.history.com/news/why-was...he-spanish-flu
Who knows where it originated? There are lots of theories.
The Spanish flu originated somewhere in northern China in late 1917 and swiftly moved to western Europe with the 140,000 Chinese laborers the French and British governments recruited to perform manual labor to free up troops for wartime duty.
The reason Spanish flu was called Spanish flu is that the combatants in WWI considered the existence of the flu a military secret, and since Spain was neutral they didn't suppress the existence of the flu.

My wife wrote a book on the flu when we expected the avian flu to be a big deal. When it wasn't the publisher canceled the book though she still got paid. Every silver cloud has a dark lining ...
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Old 03-03-2020, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
Forgot casual racism is kosher in this thread.
Ah the racist card. I'm militantly unsurprising. I did see your 'According to XT the evil Chinese are bad ...', where you are equating my hammering of the CCP with 'the evil Chinese', as if the CCP represents the Chinese people and is interchangeable. Yes, 'the evil Chinese' in the form of the CCP fucked up...by the numbers. And to you, that seem to be racist.

At any rate, I think what I wrote is being born out, and we are finding that the coverups in China by their government continue. We really don't know the extent of how bad things are even now...
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That's what happens when you let rednecks play with anti-matter!
  #39  
Old 03-03-2020, 01:42 PM
RioRico is online now
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Have any yet asked China for recompense?
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