Sunday, February 20, 2011

Environmentalist Fraud and Manslaughter

Many chemotherapy drugs for treating cancer have highly unpleasant side effects – hair loss, vomiting, intense joint pain, liver damage and fetal defects, to name just a few. But anyone trying to ban the drugs would be tarred, feathered and run out of town. And rightly so.

The drugs’ benefits vastly outweigh their risks. They save lives. We need to use chemo drugs carefully, but we need to use them.

The same commonsense reasoning should apply to the Third World equivalent of chemotherapy drugs: DDT and other insecticides to combat malaria. Up to half a billion people are infected annually by this vicious disease, nearly a million die, countless survivors are left with permanent brain damage, and 90% of this carnage is in sub-Saharan Africa, the most impoverished region on Earth.

These chemicals don’t cure malaria – they prevent it. Used properly, they are effective, and safe. DDT is particularly important. Sprayed once or twice a year on the inside walls of homes, DDT keeps 80% of mosquitoes from entering, irritates those that do enter, so they leave without biting, and kills any that land. No other chemical, at any price, can do this.

Even better, DDT has few adverse side effects – except minor, speculative and imaginary “risks” that are trumpeted on anti-pesticide websites. In the interest of saving lives, one would think eco activists would tone down their “ban DDT” disinformation. However, that is unlikely.

Anti-DDT fanaticism built the environmental movement, and gave it funding, power and stature it never had before. No matter how many people get sick and die because health agencies are pressured not to use DDT, or it is totally banned, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network, US Environmental Protection Agency and allied activist groups are unlikely to reform or recant.

Worse, they have now been joined by the United Nations Environment Program, Global Environment Facility and even World Health Organization Environmental Division – all of whom share the avowed goal of ending all DDT production by 2017, and banning all use of DDT in disease control by 2020.

A recent GEF “study” demonstrates how far they are willing to go, to achieve this goal, no matter how deadly it might be. The study purported to prove DDT is no longer needed and can be replaced by “integrated and environment-friendly” alternatives: eg, mosquito-repelling trees, and non-chemical control of breeding sites and areas around homes that shelter insects.

The $14-million study claimed that these interventions resulted in an unprecedented “63% reduction in the number of people with [malaria], without using DDT or any other type of pesticide.” However, as analyses by malaria and insecticide experts Richard Tren and Dr. Donald Roberts clearly demonstrate (see Research and Reports in Tropical Medicine and AEI Outlooks), the study, conclusions and policy recommendations are not merely wrong. They are deliberately misleading and fraudulent.

GEF did its 2003-2008 study in Mexico and seven Central American countries – all of which had largely ceased using DDT and other pesticides years before the GEF project. Instead of chemical sprays, these countries now employ huge numbers of chloroquine and primaquine (CQ and PQ) pills to prevent and treat malaria: 2,566 pills per diagnosed case in Mexico; 22,802 pills (!) in El Salvador; 50 to 1,319 pills per case in the other countries, according to 2004 health records.

It was these powerful drugs, not the “environment-friendly” GEF interventions, that slashed malaria rates. Indeed, they had begun to do so before GEF even arrived. This terribly inconvenient reality was further underscored by the fact that malaria rates were the same in “study” areas and “control” areas, where GEF did nothing – and that the number of malaria cases increased when the number of pills per case decreased. In other words, GEF could have gotten its same results using one bed net or one larvae-eating fish.

GEF’s fraudulent claims were then compounded by its insistence that the results and conclusions are relevant to other malaria-endemic regions. They are not. Malaria parasites in Latin American countries are Plasmodium vivax; in Africa and Southeast Asia, they are the far more virulent P. falciparum.

CQ and PQ are effective in preventing and treating vivax; they rarely prevent or cure falciparum malaria. Moreover, the eight Latin American countries have 140 million people. Sub-Saharan Africa has 800 million and a woeful medical and transportation infrastructure; Southeast Asia has 600 million people. Both have infinitely more malaria. Getting adequate medicines that work (far more expensive Artemisia-based ACT drugs) to 1.4 billion people would be a budgetary, logistical and medical impossibility.

But apparently none of these facts occurred to the bureaucrats who did this study. That’s hardly surprising, since the project was designed and directed, not by disease control experts, but by the UNEP and radical environmental groups – which also spent millions distributing and promoting the study and other anti-DDT propaganda all over the world, ensuring that it received substantial media attention.

The anti-pesticide fanatics know this “study” is fraudulent. They just have a very high tolerance for how many malaria cases, brain-damaged people and dead babies are deemed “acceptable” or “sustainable.” They just don’t care enough to bother learning the basic facts about malaria, CQ versus ACT, vivax versus falciparum. They need to get out of the malaria control policy business and let medical professionals do their jobs.

(To learn more facts about malaria, see Tren and Roberts’ book The Excellent Powder, Dr. Rutledge Taylor’s documentary film “3 Billion and Counting,” and the website for Africa Fighting Malaria.)

The final report claims its authors submitted manuscripts to prominent peer-reviewed medical journals. However, nothing was ever published. That suggests that they lied, and never submitted any manuscripts; or they did submit papers, but they were rejected as being shoddy, unscientific, unprofessional, or even on par with Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent vaccine-and-autism work.

To cap it all off, the bogus GEF project appears to have been conducted using funds diverted from already insufficient malaria control budgets. The GEF, UNEP, Stockholm Convention Secretariat and radical environmental groups are using money intended for malaria control to launch anti-pesticide programs in countries plagued by malaria, and gain control over public health insecticides, policies and programs.

Overall, the GEF has spent over $800 million on efforts to eliminate DDT and other “persistent organic pollutants” (POPs). It budgeted nearly $150 million in 2007 alone on its campaign to ban DDT production and use – but spent a lousy $22 million researching alternatives to DDT for vector control.

Until an equally effective and long-lasting substitute for DDT is developed – one that repels, irritates and kills mosquitoes – this vital weapon needs to remain in the disease control arsenal.

The GEF, UNEP, POPs Secretariat and WHO need to withdraw the study; discipline the people who perpetrated this fraud; retract World Health Assembly Resolution 50.13, calling for malaria-infested countries to slash their use of public health insecticides; and issue a statement making it absolutely clear that this “study” was erroneous and deceptive, and should not be considered in setting malaria policies.

Donors to the GEF and radical groups should be exposed. For any activists to continue promoting this study or demand that malaria-endemic countries stop using DDT and insecticides, and adopt the bogus “eco-friendly” GEF “solutions,” is gross medical malpractice – and deliberate manslaughter.

Malaria can be controlled, and even eradicated in many areas. We simply need to use every available weapon – including DDT, pesticides, nets, window screens, drugs and other interventions – in an orderly, coordinated and systematic manner; and ensure that mosquito infestations, disease outbreaks, malaria control successes and problems are monitored and evaluated accurately and honestly.

If we do that – and end the anti-pesticide hysteria – we can get the job done.


U.S. Has Cut Emissions ... Without Cap and Tax

While the federal Environmental Protection Administration is about to impose regulations and taxes on carbon emissions by executive fiat -- in the name of stopping global climate change -- the United States has already dramatically cut its emissions and probably has already complied with the Kyoto/Copenhagen goals for reduced emissions. And this has been done without taxes, without regulations and without government intervention.

In 2007, the U.S. emitted 6.12 billion metric tons of carbon. In 2008, emissions fell to 5.92. In 2009, while President Obama was promising that the U.S. would cut its emissions to 5.0 by 2015, the American economy and public -- on their own -- cut the emissions to 5.5 billion. Most likely, by the time the 2010 measurements are in, we will have reached the Obama goal.

While many attribute the cut to the recession, which presumably will end sometime, the fact is that emissions dropped before the recession hit and have continued to fall. A big part of the reason is the reduction in the use of coal to generate electricity.

As we explain in our new book, "Revolt!" (to be released on March 1), coal accounted for 52 percent of electric generation in 1996 but only for 45 percent today. In the past 12 months, coal's share has dropped form 49 percent to 45 percent. Natural gas has almost doubled its share from 13 percent in 1996 to 23 percent in 2009, while renewables have risen from 2 percent to 4 percent.

Source ------- 1996 ----------- 2009

Coal ------- 52 percent ---- 45 percent

Natural gas 13 percent ---- 23 percent

Nuclear ---- 20 percent ---- 20 percent

Renewable --- 2 percent ---- 4 percent

Source: US Energy Information Administration

The free market, free enterprise system has responded to persuasion and incentives like it does in free societies without the heavy hand of taxation, government regulation and coercion.

These data expose the basic truth: Cap-and-trade or carbon regulation is not necessary to lower U.S. emissions. The government bureaucratic/environmentalist alliance wants these measures to increase public control over our economy, not to fight global warming. Just as the Obama stimulus package was designed to increase public spending, not to stimulate anything, so the environmental regulations are exploiting public concern over climate change to ratify a growth in government power and oversight.

And that's the inconvenient truth!


Credulous people fall victim to con-men

One could see a certain justice in that

CO2 Tech Ltd, a publicly traded company that lured investors with claims about products and services to fight global warming, was full of nothing but hot air, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday.

It said the U.S. Justice Department had filed criminal fraud charges against six men, including stock promoters and traders, involved in a so-called "pump-and-dump scheme" built around shares of the company, which was purportedly based in London but had no significant assets or operations.

Pump-and-dump is a form of stock fraud in which promoters "pump up" or artificially inflate a company's share price, usually through false or misleading press releases or other public statements, and then "dump" the stock at a profit.

According to an SEC civil complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the CO2 Tech scheme generated more than $7 million in illicit profits from sales of CO2 Tech stock, traded in the Pink Sheets, between late 2006 and April 2007.

The scheme was perpetrated through Red Sea Management Ltd, a Costa Rican asset protection and offshore investments company founded and led by Jonathan Curshen, the SEC said.

It said Curshen, a dual U.S.-UK citizen who lives in Sarasota, Florida, was free on conditional release pending his sentencing in another, unrelated, securities fraud case.

Curshen was instrumental in establishing the business plan that allowed him and his co-defendants to sell CO Tech stock at artificially inflated prices and bilk unsuspecting public investors out of millions, the SEC said.

An attorney for Curshen, 46, could not be reached for immediate comment. But the SEC said entities affiliated with Red Sea, which was founded in 1998, included Sentry Global Securities, a broker-dealer licensed by St, Kitts and Nevis, and Sentry Global Trust, Ltd, a St. Kitts-incorporated trust.

Red Sea had true global reach, as it used a web of nominee brokerage accounts to sell massive quantities of stock in a firm supposedly set up to save the world from greenhouse gas emissions, the SEC said.

It said the company had opened bank accounts for shell corporations in countries including the Republic of Seychelles, Cyprus, Panama and Tanzania as part of its fraudulent stock scheme.


Congress to NASA: Study Space! (Not Climate)

Members of Congress are asking something novel of NASA: to actually study space, not global warming. Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL), Sandy Adams (R-FL), Rob Bishop (R-UT) and others have sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) and Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) asking for NASA to launch their efforts in a new direction — the old one.

For many years, NASA has been spending vast sums of money to study global warming, despite the efforts already undertaken at other federal agencies where such research is more appropriate. The letter asks that NASA refocus on what it was created to do, which is to maintain and develop our space program.

The amount of money being spent to study global warming, as a percentage of NASA’s budget, is startling — especially when one considers this is not part of NASA’s original mission. In budget year 2010, NASA spent 7.5% of its funding — over $1B — to study global warming. On top of that — the vast majority of federal stimulus money given to NASA in 2010 was spent on studying global warming.

As a whole, the U.S. federal government has spent $8.7 billion dollars on global warming studies — just in the past year! Many of the sixteen separate agencies doing this work were performing redundant research. In a time of federal spending cuts that are sure to come, much of this redundancy certainly can and must be eliminated, saving taxpayers billions. Certainly NASA should be one of the first to see funding drastically cut, or eliminated entirely, in this area.

The principal arm of global warming research for NASA is the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). That’s “Space” Studies, not climate. The Institute is located in New York City on the campus of Columbia University. The homepage of GISS states:

Research at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) emphasizes a broad study of global change.

No mention of anything to do with space exploration. How odd. The overview continues:

… which is an interdisciplinary initiative addressing natural and man-made changes in our environment that occur on various time scales — from one-time forcings such as volcanic explosions, to seasonal and annual effects such as El Niño, and on up to the millennia of ice ages — and that affect the habitability of our planet.

Under the section titled “More Research News & Features,” there are seven different news items, all dealing with global warming. Nothing about space or manned space missions or anything at all up there. It’s as if GISS has launched itself into an entirely different orbit, unrelated to its founding documents. The Goddard Institute for Climate Studies would be a much more accurate representation, though I think Dr. Robert Goddard would be surprised to learn how much influence he must have had in the field of climate research, rather than in developing liquid fueled rockets.

The shift of the GISS research effort is mysterious, but so is the trend of their long-term temperature records. In the late 1990s, GISS published a graph of the United States yearly average temperature from 1880 to 1998. From the graph it is clear that 1934 is nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit warmer than 1998, a very substantial amount. In fact, the graph ranked the four warmest years in order as: 1934, 1921, 1931, and 1998. But by 2009, an updated version of the graph shows some dramatic and remarkable changes: 1934, 1921, and 1931 are all now cooler than 1998!

Somehow in the past decade, these three years that concluded seven or eight decades ago managed to cool themselves, and 1998 found a way to warm itself, despite this all requiring time travel and maybe a volcano and a second sun.

How could “climate change” of this nature and magnitude take place when the readings were already determined? Apparently GISS found a way to “adjust” the temperatures of the past and present, by “changing” them. The obvious result of the change is twofold. The warmest decade of the last 130 years in the United States, the 1930s, has been “cooled” to make the current time period appear warmer. Another result of the change is that the years after 1970 have been adjusted warmer, to make the slope of temperature rise since then appear steeper and more significant.

Not only is GISS studying global warming, they are actually creating it! I guess all those billions of dollars were enough to buy a few degrees here and there.

This interesting interpretation of temperature by GISS is not limited to the United States data. The differences between the GISS global average temperature and the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) satellite-derived average global temperature is revealing. Since 1998, the difference in the global temperature anomaly between GISS and UAH has increased to .72 degrees Fahrenheit, with GISS being the warmer. This difference is 70% of all the global warming anomaly since 1850! Some of this difference is due to the fact that GISS uses the period from 1951 to 1980 as its base period to calculate its anomalies. The period from 1945 to 1976 was a period of global cooling. By using this colder period as its base for calculating anomalies GISS gets larger warm temperature anomalies in its current evaluation of global temperature. The UAH uses the last 30 years as its base period.

As a consequence of these differences we get conflicting trends. The UAH data shows a decline of average global temperature of .34 degrees Fahrenheit during January 2011. On the other hand GISS found an increase of .27 degrees Fahrenheit during the same month. From March of 2010 to January 2011, UAH data shows a substantial global temperature drop of 1.01 degrees Fahrenheit. GISS was showing a downward trend in global temperature of 1.03 degrees Fahrenheit from March 2010 to December 2010, but then reversed the trend in January. It was almost as if GISS had enough of this temperature drop, and called a halt to it.

It appears that the climate in Washington is changing. We may see a significant drop in funding and a refocusing of NASA’s mission back to where it belongs, in space. The Goddard Institute for Data Adjustment may find that climate change does indeed have significant implications for the future, but those changes could be in a direction that GISS did not anticipate, and this time their attempts to change that direction may be out of their control.


John Holdren might be in for an unpleasant surprise

If he IS interrogated by a House committee he might discover that weather isn't climate

The US president's chief science adviser says the nation's current efforts to tackle climate change are insufficient in the long-term. Speaking to BBC News at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Washington DC, Professor John Holdren said the current US Congress was unlikely to pass new legislation to put a price on CO2 emissions.

President Obama's administration's efforts, he said, would instead have to focus on developing cleaner technologies, expanding the use of nuclear power and improving energy efficiency.

But he admits that in the long term, these initiatives on their own will not be enough. Professor John Holdren: "We didn't get as much done as the President had hoped for" "Ultimately, we will have to look to a future Congress for the more comprehensive approach that climate change will require," he said.

For the time being, Professor Holdren faces a more sceptical Congress than he would like, and one that proposes a series of congressional hearings to assess the science of climate change.

Professor Holdren says he is relishing the opportunity. "Any objective look at what science has to say about climate change ought to be sufficient to persuade reasonable people that the climate is changing and that humans are responsible for a substantial part of that - and that these changes are doing harm and will continue to do more harm unless we start to reduce our emissions. "If Congress wants to have a series of hearings to illuminate these issues, they are going to get illuminated."

Professor Holdren accepts that confidence in climate science has been dented by recent scandals. But he believes public reaction was temporary and short-lived. "I'm not so sure there's a lot of new scepticism in the climate change debate," he said.

"People are seeing the impact of climate change around them in extraordinary patterns of floods and droughts, wildfires, heatwaves and powerful storms. "I think it is going to be very hard to persuade people that climate change is somehow a fraud."


The latest time-wasting from Europe

Many aspects of gender inequality are well known and well documented. But there seems to be little awareness that male behaviour leads to greater emissions of climate-changing gases.

That is the conclusion of two independent studies by separate teams of European scientists, both based on statistical data on consumption and daily activities of men and women in industrialised countries.

Frédéric Chomé, a French consultant on environmental and sustainable development issues, stated that a typical French woman causes emissions of 32.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day, on average, while a man causes 39.3 kg of CO2 emissions.

"The estimates are based on a study of human activities separated by gender, conducted by France's National Institute of Statistics and Economics (INSEE)," Chomé told Tierramérica. "Although our calculation method is very approximate, I believe the results are a good indicator of the differences in environmental contamination resulting from the different behaviours of men and women," added the author of the study titled "24 Hours Exactly: Your Personal Carbon Account."

Similar conclusions resulted from a study by Annika Carlsson-Kanyama, of Sweden, and Riita Räty, of Finland, about the behaviours of men and women in 10 daily activities in Germany, Greece, Norway and Sweden.

According to their study, "Comparing Energy Use by Gender, Age and Income in Some European Countries," men consume more meat and processed beverages than women do, use automobiles more frequently and driving longer distances, resulting in greater CO2 emissions.

Commenting on the two studies, Corinna Altenburg and Fritz Reusswig, of Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, noted that some of the more polluting habits attributed to the male population are the result of the social roles they usually play in society.

In transportation, for example, men make more trips in airplane and automobile, raising considerably their ecological footprint, according to the two experts.

That difference could be balanced out in the future, "to the extent that equal opportunity allows women to climb the labour ladder, while men take on more household duties."

Meanwhile, eating habits follow the gender line: men tend to eat more meat, and women eat more fruits and vegetables -- habits that are difficult to change, according to Altenburg and Reusswig.

They suggest that a policy aimed at reducing the male portion of CO2 emissions should focus as much on environmental objectives as issues of urban development, traditionally male jobs, and deeply rooted social customs.

"The goal in eating should be to trade quantity for quality. Reducing the consumption of meat reduces mass production of meat, and that helps fight CO2 emissions from livestock, for example," said the experts.

Chomé found that in France, in eating habits alone, one man is responsible for 7.98 kg of CO2 emissions per day, while one woman is responsible for 6.79 kg per day. The scientists found similar gender differences in nearly all 11 activities analysed.

The only case in which women cause greater greenhouse gas emissions is in carrying out household tasks like cooking and cleaning and washing clothes, according to the study released Nov. 24.

Carlsson-Kanyama, meanwhile, explained to Tierramérica that their research found that, apart from the substantial gender differences in transportation and eating habits, it is the consumption of alcohol and tobacco products that drive up the portion of emissions for which men are responsible. "For the study, we looked at the total use of energy per household in the four countries, and then we divided the individual consumption of men and women by activity," she said.

But the activity with greatest environmental consequences is transportation, stressed Carlsson-Kanyama. "In that rubric alone, men consume between 70 and 80 percent more energy than women in Germany and Norway, 100 percent more in Sweden, and up to 350 percent more in Greece."

Blah, blah, blah....



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


1 comment:

John A said...

Professor Holdren - "People are seeing the impact of climate change around them in extraordinary patterns of floods and droughts, wildfires, heatwaves and powerful storms... I think it is going to be very hard to persuade people that climate change is somehow a fraud."

While his examples of what people are seeing are flim-flam, I certainly do not believe that the global climte is changing. I do, however, think the dismissal of all possible causes other than increased human output of CO2 is at best mistaken and more probably agenda-driven fraud whether or not intended as such.

Yes, I do accept that not all the AGW proponents are really conscious of their extreme bias. It is natural, if unfortunate, that someone who has studied CO2 measurements, tried (with vague "success") to tie it to temperature ranges, and noted that humans are increasing their output of it (though still putting out less than termites, among others) will not want to hear that other causes may well be more significant.

But what it seems to amount to may be summed up by something someone (I think Arthur Clarke) once wrote: "Repeated scientific experiments have conclusively shown that the beating of tom-toms serves to end an eclipse."