Thursday, October 02, 2014

The persistent perchlorate panic

The Greenies have been struggling for some time to produce evidence of harm from the ingestion of small quantities of perchlorate.  But various official enquiries have found nothing convincing.  Below however we have a new study which does indeed show a strong effect.  But it is not a study of normal people.  It is a study of people who already have serious thyroid dysfunction.  How that generalizes to normal people is therefore anyone's guess.  As the authors of the original journal article themselves conclude: "These results require replication in additional studies, including in the euthyroid population".  Where the "euthyroid population" is normal people

A chemical used in rocket fuel that is found in some regions' drinking water has been linked to significantly lower IQ's in the children of mothers exposed while they were pregnant, a new study has found.

Perchlorate, which is also found in fireworks, explosives and is a byproduct of using fertilizers, may cause this by disrupting the thyroid's normal hormone production.

'Our report highlights a pressing need for larger studies of perchlorate levels from the general pregnant population and those with undetected hypothyroidism,' the authors wrote.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, identified pregnant women in Cardiff, Wales and Turin, Italy who had iodine deficiency and thyroid dysfunction.

Researches then tested their perchlorate levels. Three years later they tested their children's IQ.  They found that women with the highest 10 percent of perchlorate levels were over three times more likely to have children with an IQ score in the lowest 10 percent.

Perchlorate is found in around 4 percent of the U.S. public drinking water, according to Scientific American. That affects 5 to 17 million people.  Perchlorate is most prevalent in the Western U.S., specifically near Las Vegas and Southern California.

A Canadian survey released in May reported that all samples of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and infant formulae analyzed for perchlorate were safe for consumption.

The CFIA tested a total of 611 samples, including 433 fresh fruit and vegetable, 89 dairy product , and 89 infant formula samples, collected from Canadian retail stores.

The 2010-2011 study found that 65 percent of fresh fruit and vegetable, 87 percent of dairy product, and 63 percent of infant formula samples analyzed were found to contain very low levels of perchlorate, in the range of 2 to 540 parts per billion.

EPA officials have long gone back and forth as to whether to cap the amount of perchlorate allowable in drinking water.

In 2002, an EPA draft risk assessment found that 1 part per billion should be considered safe. Six years later, the Bush administration decided not to regulate the chemical, instead recommending that concentrations not exceed 15 parts per billion.

At the time, federal scientists estimated that 16.6 million Americans could be exposed to unsafe levels through their drinking water.

California and Massachusetts in the meantime have set state-level drinking water standards.

Currently, the EPA plans to unveil new standards for perchlorate in water in summer 2015.


Maternal perchlorate levels in women with borderline thyroid function during pregnancy and the cognitive development of their offspring; Data from the Controlled Antenatal Thyroid Study

Peter N Taylor et al.


Thyroid dysfunction is associated with impaired cognitive development. Perchlorate decreases thyroidal iodine uptake, potentially reducing thyroid hormone production. It is unclear whether perchlorate exposure in early life affects neurodevelopment.

Historical cohort analysis.
During 2002–2006, 21,846 women at gestational age less than 16 weeks recruited from antenatal clinics in Cardiff, UK and Turin, Italy were enrolled in the Controlled Antenatal Thyroid Screening Study (CATS). We undertook a retrospective analysis of 487 mother-child pairs in mothers who were hypothyroid/hypothyroxinemic during pregnancy and analyzed whether first trimester maternal perchlorate levels in the highest 10% of the study population were associated with increased odds of offspring IQ being in the lowest 10% at age 3 years.

Main Outcome Measures:
Maternal urinary perchlorate, offspring IQ.

Urine perchlorate was detectable in all women (median 2.58μg/liter); iodine levels were low (median 72μg/liter). Maternal perchlorate levels in the highest 10% of the population increased the odds of offspring IQ being in the lowest 10% OR=3.14 (95%CI 1.38, 7.13) p=0.006 with a greater negative impact observed on verbal OR=3.14 (95%CI 1.42, 6.90) p=0.005 than performance IQ. Maternal levothyroxine therapy did not reduce the negative impact of perchlorate on offspring IQ.

This is the first study using individual-level patient data to study maternal perchlorate exposure and offspring neurodevelopment and suggests that high-end maternal perchlorate levels in hypothyroid/hypothyroxinemic pregnant women have an adverse effect on offspring cognitive development, not affected by maternal levothyroxine therapy. These results require replication in additional studies, including in the euthyroid population.


Is global warming weakening Earth’s gravity? Satellite finds variations where ice is melting fastest in Antarctica

"Exact figures of the shift in gravity are miniscule".  Typical of Warmist data.  If the figures mean anything, they mean that an ice mass contributes to the gravity above it, which is not much of a surprise.  And the correlation discovered is just a correlation.  And correlation is not causation

An Esa satellite has found an unusual consequence of the melting of ice in Antarctica.

While rising sea levels and changing global temperatures are already known to be a consequence of alleged manmade climate change, the GOCE satellite - which was not intended to study the effects of a warming climate - has found that gravity is weakening where ice is melting the fastest.

The results show that the thinning ice sheet from November 2009 to June 2012 caused local variations in gravity, measured by the satellite.

The GOCE satellite burned up in Earth’s atmosphere as planned in November 2013 after four years in orbit.

During its mission it measured Earth’s gravity in unprecedented detail, detailing where it was weakest and strongest on the surface.

But recently, the high-resolution measurements from GOCE over Antarctica between November 2009 and June 2012 were analysed by scientists from the German Geodetic Research Institute, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

Scientists found that the decrease in the mass of ice during this period was mirrored in GOCE’s measurements of gravity, even though the mission was not designed to detect changes over time.

The findings were made by combining GOCE’s high-resolution measurements with information from the Nasa-German Grace satellite, designed to measure change in ice mass.

The fluctuations observed are minute, however, and not enough for a living organism to sense.

The measurements from GOCE correlate with the Grace satellite and show how much ice is being lost each year.

While exact figures of the shift in gravity are miniscule, the results show how some parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet are losing up to 67 gigatones of ice per year.

This is contributing to a 0.51 mm per year sea level rise in the Amundsen Sea Sector.

And they found that that the loss of ice from West Antarctica between 2009 and 2012 caused the dip in the gravity field over the region.

In addition, GOCE data could be used to help validate satellite altimetry measurements for an even clearer understanding of ice-sheet and sea-level change in the future.

The high-resolution measurements from the satellite are further evidence of how manmade climate change will affect the planet in unknown ways.


California Becomes First State to Ban Plastic Bags

Thus igniting a war on trees, as paper bags replace plastic ones.  Greenies are no tree-huggers

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that makes the state the first in the country to ban single-use plastic bags.

The ban will go into effect in July 2015, prohibiting large grocery stores from using the material that often ends up as litter in the state’s waterways. Smaller businesses, like liquor and convenience stores, will need to follow suit in 2016. More than 100 municipalities in the state already have similar laws, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. The new law will allow the stores nixing plastic bags to charge 10 cents for a paper or reusable bag instead. The law also provides funds to plastic-bag manufacturers, an attempt to soften the blow as lawmakers push the shift toward producing reusable bags.

San Francisco became the first major American city to ban plastic bags in 2007, but the statewide ban may be a more powerful precedent as advocates in other states look to follow suit. The law’s enactment Tuesday marked an end to a long battle between lobbyists for the plastic bag industry and those worried about the bags’ effect on the environment.

California State Senator Kevin de Leόn, a co-author of the bill, called the new law “a win-win for the environment and for California workers.”

“We are doing away with the scourge of single-use plastic bags and closing the loop on the plastic waste stream, all while maintaining—and growing—California jobs,” he said.


Hershey Bars, Global Warming and Deforestation: a Sweet New Policy

Below is a sermon by a Warmist in praise of the Hershey company.  And if the Hershey company are indeed going to  reduce the clearing of tropical forest, I will praise them too.  Greenies, with their love of paper bags etc., are the big motivators behind trees being cut down.  And that is true in this case too.  Palm oil is widely used in food products now because Greenies and their ilk demonized saturated fat -- which is now known to be harmless.  It is the demand for palm oil created by Greenie and food-freak pressure that led to the removal of native forest and its replacement by palm oil plantations.  And the claim that palm oil plantations increase global warming is amusing.  If that is so, how come that there has in fact been no global warming for 17 years?

As I rode on the train back to Washington today, The Hershey Company announced its strengthened commitment to zero deforestation for all the palm oil it uses. This is another of the welcome corporate statements, over the last several months and indeed the last few days, that have recognized business’ responsibilities to reduce the damage that they cause to the climate. I’m particularly glad to see this one, for several reasons: because it’s a strong policy by almost every criterion; because UCS has been working with The Hershey Company for nearly a year, urging energetic and scientifically rigorous action; and because I’ve liked their chocolate bars for an awfully long time.

The policy that The Hershey Company announced puts it among the leaders in the industry in terms of eliminating deforestation, peat clearing and other kinds of climate damage from its supply chain. It applies to all its products in all its markets worldwide. It includes a commitment to tracing its raw materials back to their sources. It uses the High Carbon Stock (HCS) terminology, which clearly differentiates degraded land from forests that need to be preserved. It provides for monitoring of its progress by TFT, an independent third-party verifier. And it has specific target dates, in the relatively short term, for achieving these goals.

UCS—particular our Palm Oil Outreach Coordinator, Miriam Swaffer—has been talking with The Hershey Company for nearly a full year about this policy. We urged them to follow the science and the lead of the most advanced consumer goods companies, including competitors of theirs like Nestle and Unilever. And they have.

This has been another exciting week of important commitments by companies to end deforestation and protect the climate, including zero deforestation commitments from two major fast food brands, Dunkin and Krispy Kreme. Forty corporations (as well as UCS) are among the 150 signatories of yesterday’s New York Declaration on Forests, committing to cutting deforestation in half by 2020 and ending it by 2030.

With 10% of global warming pollution coming from tropical deforestation, decoupling the production of commodities like palm oil from tropical forest destruction is one of the most efficient ways to address climate change. We’ve said before that the tide is turning against deforestation in corporate supply chains, and today that’s even more evident.

The Hershey Company can still improve its policy by committing to tracing all its palm oil, from all its suppliers, to the plantation where it was grown (the current statement goes most of the way there, tracing palm oil considered most at risk to this level). But it has taken an important step forward, leading consumer goods companies toward a new relationship with our climate. Now it’s time for companies that are still lagging—for example, McDonald’s, Burger King and Yum! Brands—to move quickly to catch up. Tell McDonald’s, that for the sake of our atmosphere, tropical forests and endangered species – the time to act is now.


Latest Climate Idiocy: Global Warming Created ISIS

In recent weeks the Obama administration has blamed President Bush and/or the intelligence community for the creation of ISIS, others have blamed President Obama and his reluctance to get involved in another Middle East conflict, but apparently both positions are wrong. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, the reason why ISIS was able to form and grow so fast was global warming (note: do not check your calendar it's September not April fools day. They really believe this).

The authors of the piece; Charles B. Strozier Professor of History, The City University of New York; and Kelly A. Berkell Attorney and research associate, Center on Terrorism at John Jay College of Criminal Justice believe that ISIS formed because of a severe drought in Syria from 2006-2010 and that drought happened because of---you guessed it---Climate Change.

    "As the Obama administration undertakes a highly public, multilateral campaign to degrade and destroy the militant jihadists known as ISIS, ISIL and the Islamic State, many in the West remain unaware that climate played a significant role in the rise of Syria's extremists. A historic drought afflicted the country from 2006 through 2010, setting off a dire humanitarian crisis for millions of Syrians. Yet the four-year drought evoked little response from Bashar al-Assad's government. Rage at the regime's callousness boiled over in 2011, helping to fuel the popular uprising. In the ensuing chaos, ISIS stole onto the scene, proclaimed a caliphate in late June and accelerated its rampage of atrocities including the recent beheadings of three Western civilians.

    While ISIS threatens brutal violence against all who dissent from its harsh ideology, climate change menaces communities (less maliciously) with increasingly extreme weather.

    The drought that preceded the current conflict in Syria fits into a pattern of increased dryness in the Mediterranean and Middle East, for which scientists hold climate change partly responsible. Affecting 60 percent of Syria's land, drought ravaged the country's northeastern breadbasket region; devastated the livelihoods of 800,000 farmers and herders; and knocked two to three million people into extreme poverty. Many became climate refugees, abandoning their homes and migrating to already overcrowded cities. They forged temporary settlements on the outskirts of areas like Aleppo, Damascus, Hama and Homs. Some of the displaced settled in Daraa, where protests in early 2011 fanned out and eventually ignited a full-fledged war."

Although I am not a climate scientist (actually neither are the authors) it is easy to strike down their theory, both from a political and a scientific point of view:

    ISIS did not form in Syria it formed in Iraq. In fact one of the reasons each party has been able to blame the other for the rise of the terrorist group is that ISIS used to be al Qaeda in Iraq. They were thrown out of the Bin Laden group because the ISIS leaders did not play nice with the al Qaeda leaders.

    Perhaps the single most important factor in ISIS' recent resurgence is the conflict between Iraqi Shias and Iraqi Sunnis. ISIS fighters themselves are Sunnis, and the tension between the two groups is a powerful recruiting tool for ISIS. The Shia government of Iraq refused to share power with the Sunnis (who held power under Saddam Hussein). The Shia/Sunni fight began as a fight over who got to take power after the Prophet Muhammad's death and has been going on for almost 1400 years--way before ISIS.

    Most observers believe ISIS was able to grow because American troops pulled out of Iraq too early and didn't help out in Syria until it was too late.  Unless the drought happened in Washington DC, it couldn't have had any influence on the President's decision.

     Droughts? science  states there has been no increase in droughts world-wide. In other words if you believe the world is going to hell in a hand basket due to global warming, that climate change is not increasing the number of droughts in in the world.

    "It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally,” Professor Roger Pielke Jr. said in his testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

    In May of 2014 Professor Pielke  published a graph that shows the intensity of the planet's droughts from 1982 to 2012. The graph shows that neither droughts nor their intensity have seen a growth trend during that 30-year period.

    It's not getting warmer. Its incredible that almost every day the global warming hoaxers come up with another example of how the earth is being destroyed due to their hypothesis like the one being explored here. The truth is as of Sept. 1 the Earth hasn't warmed in the last 17 years and 11 months (new numbers, through October 1 will be out in a few days). Another way to look at it is the warming stopped approximately ten years before the drought in Syria...making it difficult for there to be a connection.

It is interesting that the authors contend "ISIS threatens brutal violence against all who dissent from its harsh ideology" which is true, ISIS not only threaten violence but they follow through with their threats. Also true is that the climate change proponents threaten violence. Thankfully they do not follow through with it, but they do attack people who question their unproven hypothesis as science haters and deniers of truth. Perhaps if they examined the facts instead of desperately trying to prove their hypothesis true climate change enthusiasts would realize the holes in their arguments.

Climate change helping to create ISIS is now #49 on the "official list," of stupid things global warming enthusiasts have blamed on their failed theory


Wind farms 'kill confused bats': New study

Endangered bats are being killed by wind turbine blades because the air currents are similar to those near tall trees, a study shows.

It’s feared the legally protected mammals are dying while hunting insects that are attracted by the heat generated by the spinning blades.

Thousands of bats have been killed by wind turbines causing a population decline that could cost the farming industry billions each year.

The nocturnal creatures are welcomed by farmers across the world as they eat large numbers of insects that usually damage crops.

This reduces the amount that farmers have to spend on pesticides and saves millions of new plants that could be obliterated by the creepy crawlies.

Over 600,000 bats were killed by wind turbines across the U.S. in 2O12 alone and in the UK the number of bats in areas where they are put up have fallen by 54 per cent.

The researchers say tree-roosting bats suffer higher fatality rates at the sites than other species and peak during low wind conditions.

They used thermal surveillance cameras situated on the ground, near-infrared video, acoustic detectors and radar to monitor bat behaviour at a wind farm in Indiana over several months.

During periods of low wind more bats were sighted near turbines than during gales. The frequency with which they approached from a downwind direction increased with increasing wind speeds - but only when the blades turned slower than normal.

When the blades moved freely the bats approached less frequently from a downwind direction as wind speeds increased.

The results published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest bats orient toward turbines by sensing air currents.

Around three quarters of British bat species are known to roost in trees. The remaining species tend to favour human-made structures because of a lack of suitable and available tree habitat.

Trees provide shelter and attract a diverse range of insect species for bats to feed on. Since bats are not able to bore holes or make nests they use whatever gaps are available.

The researchers believe tree-roosting bats are attracted to turbines because air currents are similar to those around tall trees that harbour insects on their downwind sides or provide sheltered roosting sites.

The findings could explain why they are more vulnerable to wind farms than non-tree-roosting species.

Dr Paul Cryan, of Fort Collins Science Centre in Colorado, and colleagies said: 'Bats are dying in unprecedented numbers at wind turbines but causes of their susceptibility are unknown.

'Fatalities peak during low-wind conditions in late summer and autumn and primarily involve species that evolved to roost in trees.'

He added: 'We discovered previously undescribed patterns in the ways bats approach and interact with turbines suggesting behaviours that evolved at tall trees might be the reason why many bats die at wind turbines.'



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1 comment:

Joseph said...

If perchlorate is liked to lower IQs, does that mean the victims scored badly on a culturally-biased, meaningless test?