Sunday, January 24, 2016
Is The American Medical Association in the tank for global warming?
Below is a current article from JAMA. It's not an official pronouncement of the AMA but they published it. Most of the second paragraph is simply incorrect. The author, Dr. Koh, allegedly a Master of Public Health, appears to get his science out of New York Times editorials rather than checking the figures for himself. Is that how low American medical science has sunk? It seems so. And I am not surprised. The leading British medical journals are similarly Leftist. Lancet even attacked George Bush II during his Presidency.
And the scholarly standard of ALL medical journals is low. Do you think that's a sweeping statement? If so look at my health and medicine blog. For many years I put up there daily critiques of the brainless rubbish that infests medical journals. It was such a dismal task that I eventually gave it up. I now no longer update the blog. Its archives are still there to browse through, however, so the evidence is there for all to see
And the big surprise [NOT] in the article below is that it lists only harms from warming. It lists no benefits. And that is despite the fact -- known to just about everyone in the medical profession -- that winter, cold weather, is the season of dying. Warmth is clearly a lot more supportive of health than is cold. Dr Koh is is ignoring the nose on his face. A Master of Public Health indeed! He is a totally irresponsible global warming apparatchik. He has no personal integrity at all. He would have done well in Mao's China.
I reproduce the whole article so readers can see how little substance there is to it
As 2015 draws to a close, on track to be the hottest year ever recorded, global attention to climate change soared. (http://nyti.ms/1NUuRsV). The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), composed of more than 2000 of the world’s leading climate change scientists, has stated with confidence that the major driver of rising temperatures is human-generated greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) largely related to the burning of fossil fuels (http://1.usa.gov/1Nc8BI0).
These heat-trapping emissions have resulted in more frequent and prolonged heat waves, poorer air quality, rising seas, and severe storms, floods, and wildfires. Some extreme weather events, previously expected once in decades, are now being witnessed several times in one decade. These consequences fundamentally affect the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the environments in which we live, as a number of sources have pointed out (such as publications in The Lancet (http://bit.ly/1OTQzem) and JAMA (http://bit.ly/Zd7NyD), and Climate Change and Public Health (a collection articles on the subject) (http://bit.ly/1jOBYFG), and a report from the US National Climate Assessment (NCA) (http://1.usa.gov/1NMPYYn).
The IPCC’s most recent report, (http://1.usa.gov/1Nc8BI0), as well as the third US NCA (http://1.usa.gov/1NMPYYn ) (both from 2014), detail how global warming threatens human health by amplifying existing health threats and creating new ones. Everyone is vulnerable. Some experts contend that these profound harms rival the fundamental public health challenges posed by the lack of sanitation and clean water in the early 20th century (http://bit.ly/1vqjPyH).
The many adverse health outcomes include heat- and extreme weather–related conditions, infections, respiratory conditions and allergies, and mental health conditions. Heat waves promote dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke while exacerbating heart, lung, and kidney disease. Patients using widely prescribed classes of medications that impair thermoregulation (such as stimulants, antihistamines, and antipsychotic agents) may be particularly at risk. Heavy rains heighten the risk of waterborne infections.
Warming can also potentially affect the number, geographic distribution, and seasonality of vector populations, with the subsequent spread of diseases such as Lyme disease and dengue. Temperature-associated pollutants—ground-level ozone (smog) and fine particulate matter—can compromise outdoor air quality, and heavy downpours can dampen indoor environments thereby triggering growth of allergenic molds.
Trauma associated with extreme weather conditions can precipitate mental health conditions, such as stress, depression, and anxiety. Of note, vulnerable populations can suffer from multiple, synergistic threats such as extreme heat, air pollution, and stress.
Despite these risks, most people in the United States still do not recognize climate change, or the way it damages human health, as a serious threat. A 2015 Gallup Poll of 1025 US adults found that while a majority of adults (66%) acknowledge that global warming is happening (or will happen) during their lifetime, only a minority (37%) believe it will pose a serious threat to their way of life (http://bit.ly/1FWb8mM). A 2014 national survey of 1275 US adults (by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication) found that most adults (61%) have given little or no thought to the health consequences of global warming. Indeed, the image of climate change may be more likely one of stranded polar bears rather than asthmatic children struggling to breathe (http://bit.ly/1jOCpA7).
Clinicians have a powerful and unique opportunity to engage the nation by framing the crisis as a health imperative (such as articles in Family Medicine (http://bit.ly/1M3Fin9), BMC Public Health (http://bit.ly/1M3FqmG), Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, (http://bit.ly/1U4Qk1O), and American Family Physician, (http://bit.ly/1SOQNEr), and a report from George Mason University) (http://bit.ly/1W5Eypw). Doing so can educate and empower patients, policy makers, and the public. The above-mentioned Yale and George Mason University poll noted that when asked to rank various potential sources of information about health consequences of global warming, people in the United States were most likely to trust their primary care doctor, followed by family and friends and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Clinicians can fulfill that trust in a number of ways. Through their collective voice, they can broadly support a range of actions urged by policy makers to promote mitigation and adaptation.
Strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) include measures to reduce energy consumption at work and home, decrease reliance on carbon-intensive fuels, and improve fuel economy. Strategies to enhance resilience (adaptation) include identifying vulnerabilities by geography and population, improving early warning systems for weather hazards, targeting preparedness and response activities, and creating climate-resistant physical infrastructures (including hospitals) and prepared workforces. By supporting the growing numbers of medical and public health organizations promoting such strategies, health professionals can build and shape community resilience.
The health community can also promote individual actions that address global warming and benefit health (http://bit.ly/Zd7NyD) and (http://bit.ly/1jOBYFG). Suggesting that patients substitute walking or biking for car transport, for example, not only has the potential to reduce carbon and other air pollutant emissions but also encourages exercise.
Clinicians can also direct messages at specific groups, making issues concrete and personal that might otherwise seem abstract and remote. Such messages can convey that climate change threatens health now, not just in the future; that children, the elderly, the poor, and those with medical conditions and some communities of color may be especially vulnerable; and that individuals can promote preparedness as a way to shape societal action. A number of resources are readily available on the web to guide communication (http://bit.ly/1M3GQgV).
Clinicians can also offer specific medical guidance about adverse health outcomes to help individuals assess their vulnerabilities and take action. For example, guiding the elderly, parents and children, outdoor workers, and socially isolated individuals to track heat and weather trends can help them connect to early warning programs, such as those that offer people the services of air-conditioned community centers during heat waves. They can communicate risks of waterborne disease outbreaks after heavy rains and advise those in high-risk areas how to take precautions to prevent bites from insects and ticks.
Educating patients with conditions such as asthma can encourage added vigilance during heat waves and periods of poor air quality, such as monitoring of air quality indices and pollen forecasts, and maximizing adherence to appropriate medications. Clinicians can offer coping strategies for those facing stress and trauma related to extreme weather events. All these messages, and more, can help people link the often distant and unfamiliar theme of global warming to immediate and familiar medical concerns.
In the face of one of the major global threats of our time, health professionals can make a difference. Engaging people in a health frame of reference for climate change represents a potential life-saving measure that promises profound benefits for both current and future generations.
California Joins the Effort to Persecute, Suppress Scientific Dissent on Climate Change
California Attorney General Kamala Harris has joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in trying to prosecute Exxon Mobil for supposedly lying to its shareholders and the public about climate change, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times reported that Harris is investigating what Exxon Mobil “knew about global warming and what the company told investors.”
Neither Harris nor Schneiderman recognizes the outrageousness of what they are doing – which amounts to trying to censor or restrict speech and debate on what is a contentious scientific theory. In fact, they don’t want to just stop anyone who questions the global warming theory from being able to speak; they want to punish them with possible civil sanctions or even criminal penalties. As I said before about Schneiderman, Harris needs a remedial lesson in the First Amendment.
Perhaps we should investigate what Harris “knows” about global warming or climate change, which Harris (and Schneiderman) treat as if it is a proven, unassailable, incontrovertible fact. However, as the Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris has pointed out, “flaws discovered in the scientific assessment of climate change have shown that the scientific consensus is not as settled as the public had been led to believe.”
According to Loris, leaked emails and documents from various universities and researchers have “revealed conspiracy, exaggerated warming data, possibly illegal destruction and manipulation of data, and attempts to freeze out dissenting scientists from publishing their work in reputable journals.” Furthermore, the “gaffes” that have been exposed in the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports “have only increased skepticism” about the credibility of this scientific theory.
These investigations are reminiscent of the old Soviet Union, where Joseph Stalin persecuted those who he thought had the “wrong” scientific views on everything from linguistics to physics. Besides sending them a copy of the Constitution so they can review the First Amendment, residents of both New York and California might also want to include a copy of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book, “In the First Circle,” in which he outlined the Soviet government’s suppression of dissenting scientists and engineers.
What makes this even worse is the fact that other public officials also want those who question this scientific theory investigated, prosecuted, and punished. According to the Times story, this includes Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., who have sent letters to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Securities and Exchange Commission “calling for federal investigation of securities fraud and violations of racketeering, consumer protection, truth in advertising, public health, shareholder protection or other laws.”
But then, criminal investigations of climate change dissenters have been also called for by academics and other officials, among them, former Vice President Al Gore. Maybe these politicians and their allies would favor passing a modern version of the Alien and Sedition Act, perhaps renamed the Global Warming Sedition Act. Just like the 1798 law, it could punish “false, scandalous, and malicious writing” against the climate change theory.
The bottom line is that the state attorneys general of New York and California are not acting like level-headed, objective prosecutors interested in the fair and dispassionate administration of justice. They are instead acting like Grand Inquisitors who must stamp out any heresy that doubts the legitimacy of the climate change religion. Because they are treating an unproven, scientific theory as if it is a creed than cannot be questioned, probed, examined, or doubted.
NOAA says 2015 Was World's Warmest, But...
A few days before a blizzard threatens to shut down Washington, DC, probably isn’t the best time to make a major global warming announcement. Nevertheless, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today said that the 2015 global temperature finished 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit above average, which easily beat out 2014. According to the report, “This was the highest among all 136 years in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set [in 2014] by 0.29°F (0.16°C) and marking the fourth time a global temperature record has been set this century. This is also the largest margin by which the annual global temperature record has been broken.” An independent analysis by NASA found similar results.
However, satellite measurements were less daunting. NOAA says, “The 2015 temperature for the lower troposphere (roughly the lowest five miles of the atmosphere) was third highest in the 1979-2015 record, at 0.65°F (0.36°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). It was also third highest on record, at 0.47°F (0.26°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS).”
And that’s exactly what climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer predicted last month. In fact, he went a step further: “What is interesting is to consider the possibility that 2016 will indeed be a record warm year, even in the UAH (and probably RSS) satellite data. This is because the second year of El Niño year couplets is almost always the warmest, and 2015 is only the first year.”
Translation: Expect 2016 to be record warm, even among satellite measurements. And when it is, remember that it was forecasted using natural variables. Speaking of which, the current El Niño is expected to flip to La Niña later this year. How will NOAA respond when global temperatures then drop beginning in 2017?
"Renewables" are still expensive
We constantly hear how solar and wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels. Yet, they aren't.
Bloomberg just a couple of months ago, told us that "wind power is now the cheapest electricity to produce in both Germany and the U.K., even without government subsidies."
Now, a new study from the very same Bloomberg shows that if subsidies are phased out by 2020, the renewable industry will dry up and drop off a cliff.
Well, you can't have it both ways. This just simply shows that once again, renewables are *not* competitive and need subsidies for a long time. As the International Energy Agency shows, even in 2040, the average cost of renewables will be *higher* than the average cost of any other energy form, oil, gas, nuclear, coal and hydro, both in the developed and developing world. The subsidies we pay to solar and wind, even in 2040 will be about the same as the subsidies we pay today!
With formidable doublespeak, Greenpeace manages to say that renewables are both competitive *and* need subsidies for many years after 2020: "Wind and solar energy are at the point of becoming really competitive with fossil fuels, but failure to support them for another few years will result in huge losses of potential jobs.”
This is the story we've heard since the 1970s – just a few more years. In 1976 Lovins told us that "a largely or wholly solar economy can be constructed in the United States with straightforward soft technologies that are now demonstrated and now economic or nearly economic." And it still isn't.
Study: CO2 NOT causing climate change
Independent climate researcher Jef Reynen has submitted a detailed study for open peer review at the independent science body, Principia Scientific International (PSI). Titled ‘CO2 Has Hardly Any Effect on Surface Temperate’, the study is presented for full open peer review. Reynen, who has a strong mathematics background and relies extensively on numerical analysis, has also helpfully provided herein a layperson’s guide to his paper, paraphrased below.
According to the paper’s findings climate changes are due to other physical phenomena – not carbon dioxide – and such changes have always taken place and will continue to do so despite the recent claims at the UN’s Paris climate summit (COP21) to ‘limit’ global warming to two degrees.
‘CO2 Has Hardly Any Effect on Surface Temperature‘ tells us, “Besides CO2 is not a poisonous gas, on the contrary, it has beneficiary properties for mankind because it is a fertilizer: if the concentration would become less than half of the present 400 ppm (0.04%) the vegetation on the planet would disappear, and consequently animals and human beings. In nursery greenhouses the concentration of CO2 is augmented in order to ameliorate the production of plants.”
As witnessed at the Paris climate summit (December 2015) the IPCC (International Panel of Climate Change) under the auspices of the United Nations, continues to promote the increasingly discredited view that traces of CO2 are causing a dangerous increase in the planet’s temperature.
In Paris UN lobbyists succeeded in persuading nearly 200 nations to agree to sign up to limit the use of so-called fossil fuels. Critics have condemned the UN agreement as anti-industrial and a curb on global wealth creation enjoyed for the last 150 years.
In earlier papers the author has discussed the matter using mathematical techniques programmed on a computer. In ‘CO2 Has Hardy Any Effect on Surface Temperature’ Reynen avoids use of the complex mathematics so that more people will consider the message, which focuses on clear, concise facts.
The so-called greenhouse effect, a misnomer
The bulk of the atmosphere consists of 80 % nitrogen N2 and 19% oxygen O2. The remaining 1% are traces of other gases.
Gases consisting of molecules with three or more atoms are IR-active (infra red active): they absorb and emit IR-radiation, also called LW (long wave) radiation, related to not too high temperatures.
The sun at high temperature is emitting SW (short wave) radiation which is absorbed by the atmosphere and by the surface of the planet, and the heat is re-emitted as LW radiation.
In the so-called greenhouse effect it is assumed that the atmosphere with traces of IR-active molecules trap the heat of outgoing LW radiation.
A comparison is made with greenhouses in nurseries. That is a misnomer, those greenhouses stay warm because the glass roof is transparent to incoming SW solar radiation and the glass roof keeps the warm air inside the greenhouse.
Heat losses by convection are avoided due to the glass barrier.
Reynen, along with many scientists at Principia Scientific International (PSI) says the ‘greenhouse gas effect’ is a serious misnomer and we should henceforth speak about the atmospheric effect of traces of IR-active (infrared active) molecules
Going Green and Frankenfood
The world is going green – literally, in all kinds of places that were desert-like before
Have you ever been in an airplane crossing the semi-arid foot hills of the Rocky Mountains and looking down at the ground? You’ll have seen large green, circular patches between the miles of dry brown land. Those patches are irrigated fields sprouting vegetables and fruits of various kinds. They are providing the ample food for the supermarket near you – and the world at large.
What Plants Need to Grow
Plants need just a few things to grow, water, nutrients, and sunshine. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is just one of those vital nutrients. However that CO2 has become more readily available, thanks to mankind’s combustion of fossil fuels.
Just a couple of hundred years ago, with atmospheric CO2 down to 0.02- 0.03%, the globe’s plants were nearly starved of that vital CO2 nutrient. Its natural sources, volcanoes and fumaroles, just could not keep up supplying enough CO2 to the atmosphere to even maintain a steady state between production and consumption. You might say the consumption side took over – somewhat reminiscent of today’s economics.
Luckily for life on earth, nature (in the form of anthropogenic “carbon” emissions) came to the rescue. Ever since, the world has been greening, all around. From the ancient sequoias in California, to the vineyards in Canada, agriculture has experienced hitherto unforeseeable increases in production on all continents (excluding Antarctica). Especially in previous dry desert- and shrub-lands, irrigation, (synthetic) fertilizers, and increased CO2 in the airhave turned those parts of the world green. For example, the Sahel (region south of the Sahara desert in Africa) has seen a steady greening.
Apart from more stretches of arable land, the most significant agricultural gain is from increased yields.
Back in the 1800s, agricultural yields had begun to improve with intensive selection of better cultivars, research on soil and nutrient requirement and related methods to increase yields. Gregor Mendelssohn’s research work was of paramount importance for that development. It was successful and provided a slow but steady progress towards higher yields. Increased yields, in turn, enabled the diversion of human ingenuity to (then) more “esoteric” ideas, i.e. like inventions, like the Jacquard loom (1801) and the high pressure steam engine.
Yes, humans came up with another great advance to increase agricultural yields by leaps and bounds, namely genetically engineered varieties. By now, that invention has become so dominant that steadily more fruits and vegetables are becoming genetically engineered in some way.
Those genetically-modified (GMO) plants are commonly more resistant to adverse influences, from competition with all kinds of natural weeds (due to a higher resistance to herbicides), to insects or fungi that negatively affect the yields, storage and distribution of the produce. In fact, more than 90% of all corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. and Canada are now of that GMO variety. GMO organisms (not just plants), however, are still despised in many areas; some people call them “Frankenfood.”
GMO Organisms & Foreign Species
Despite its great increase in yields and established safety record for a couple of decades now, the German Agriculture Minister announced in August 2015 a ban on GMO crops. Some EU countries have opted out of that ban requirement, but the majority went along with it.
What’s so strange about all that, at least in my mind, is that Europe is absolutely dependent on plants originating from the American continents to feed their populations, with or without GMO-type plant varieties. Prior to the discovery of the Americas by Columbus, widespread famines were common place.
Without the introduction of potato, tomato, corn (in Europe called maize) and other plants from overseas, Europe’s population would still be starving and certainly not in a position to welcome millions of migrants from other continents. For example, the great (potato) famine in Ireland (in the 1840s) was caused by virus and fungus infections of the potato plant, by then a local staple, resulting in the death of a million people. But the list of introduced species does not end with important food plants; there are also other organisms of increasing importance.
Other introduced species include a variety of carp, i.e. “mirror carp.” Served in many restaurants especially around Easter, it also is an introduced species in Europe, having arrived there already a few centuries ago from Asia. Another (intentionally) introduced fish species, the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) also does well in many European creeks and rivers. Even a tree species currently planted in many “managed” forest plots in Europe is from the Americas, like the “Douglasia” spruce (Pseudotsuga menziesii), also known as Oregon pine. In short, Europe is full of alien species of various kinds and has become heavily dependent on them.
It should be recognized that the new abundance of food and fodder in the world is not only a result of introduction from other continents or the result of genetic modifications. Indeed, the greening of the world is also the consequence of the increased atmospheric carbon dioxide level that’s beneficial to plants worldwide.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here
Posted by JR at 1:36 AM