Effect Measure

Mrs. R. and I visited Australia a number of years back. She was the one attending a scientific congress while I was the accompanying spouse. Quite nice, really. I enjoyed not having to work on a foreign visit. And Australia was terrific. We loved it. I was surprised at how good the food was (a baseless prejudice I had about Commonwealth Cuisine) and the people hospitable and friendly. Much like America, really. Unfortunately the Australian government is becoming too much like the US government when it comes to interfering in science:

A paper recently published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health has raised concerns over significant suppression of public health information by the Australian government. Its results come following a survey of 302 academics across 17 institutions, covering most of the significant university-based public health research groups in Australia.

The results were astounding:

  • They reported 142 witnessed suppression events, including 85 separate instances where 64 respondents (21%) had their own research affected.
  • Suppression took place where a government agency that provided data or commissioned the research put conditions on the release of the results, or where government employees were part of the research team and were restricted in what they could do.
  • Governments most commonly suppressed research by sanitising the results or by delaying or prohibiting the publication of results (66% of events), but no part of the research process was unaffected.
  • In 48% of cases, the affected researchers believed their work was targeted for suppression because it drew attention to failings in health services. Another 26% of cases related to the health status of a vulnerable group (such as Indigenous Australians, refugees or people with mental illness), while in a further 11% the research had pointed to an environmental harm.
  • In 87% of instances, the government agency succeeded, leaving the public uninformed or giving it a false impression. (From Editorial, Medical Journal of Australia, April 2008)

(From The ImpactED Nurse, a terrific Australian ED blog)

If you want to be an important player in the world of science, this is not how to go about it. The US has seen its position as a scientific power slip drastically in the last 7 years and Bush administration policy is one of the major reasons. Frankly I don’t care about that much since science isn’t (or shouldn’t be) an exercise in national pride. But the things that harm the prestige of a nation’s science are also bad for science.

And Australia is joining the US with policies that are bad for science.

Comments

  1. #1 Shelly
    May 5, 2008

    I agree, the suppression of real science by government is indefensible. The following is a perfect example of such suppression in the name of politics.

    ———————————————
    Climatologist Fired for Telling the Truth

    Recently, another incident of man-made global warming ideologues suppressing the scientific facts about global warming occurred in Washington State. Associate State Climatologist and climate scientist Mark Albright was fired because he sent e-mails to other scientists containing the true scientific facts about the Cascade Mountain snow pack. These facts refuted the publications of his boss, State Climatologist Philip Mote and the speeches of Seattle�s Democrat Mayor Greg Nickels who claimed the Cascade Mountain snow pack declined 50% from 1950 to 2000 due to man-made global warming.

    Before the firing, University of Washington atmospheric scientist Dennis Hartmann tried to referee and resolve the dispute between Albright and Mote by doing an objective analysis of the data, but this failed when Hartmann found that Albright was right and Mote was wrong. This led to Mote trying to censor Albright�s e-mails. When Albright refused to allow this censorship, he was fired.

    The whole story will be published in the June 1 issue of �Environment & Climate News,� a publication of the Heartland Institute at:

    http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=21207

    This entire article would make an excellent educational lesson that teaches how any ideological hysteria like banning DDT or man-made global warming can destroy scientific objectivity, intellectual honesty, moral behavior, and soon thereafter human life. Many 10s of millions of people worldwide have been killed by malaria since the 1970s because of the negligent or malicious demands of radical environmentalists for the 1970s bans on DDT, malaria’s best eradicator. Today, the DDT bans are recognized as being based on the grossly flawed science and the invalid claims of radical environmentalists.

    Quotes from the article appear below –

    �At most, according to reliable datasets, the Cascade Mountains snow pack declined by 35 percent between 1950 and 2000. Moreover, even that number is misleading. [Seattle�s Democrat Mayor Greg] Nickels and other global warming alarmists deliberately choose 1950 as the “baseline” for Cascade Mountains snow pack because 1950 was a year of abnormally heavy snowfall resulting in an uncharacteristically extensive snow pack.�

    �In early March Albright was told he would have to submit any emails connected with his associate state climatologist position to Mote for pre-approval prior to distribution.

    �When Albright refused to submit to Mote’s censorship, Mote stripped him of his associate state climatologist title.�

    �Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, told the March 15 Seattle Times, �In all my years of doing science, I’ve never seen this sort of gag-order approach to doing science.� ”

    The enormous advances in health, life expectancy, technology, prosperity, freedom, and happiness that mankind has enjoyed since the 1750s were created by the Enlightenment, capitalist nations. The reason for this is that the freedom in these nations released the best thinking of the best minds, no matter how economically poor they were. These free thinkers solved mankind�s problems and found the most rational, efficient solutions in a free market of ideas and goods. These enormous advances can be reversed and destroyed if today�s man-made global warming ideologues are allowed to suppress the best minds and to prevent the best thinkers from speaking or publishing the facts of reality.

  2. #2 Rich
    May 5, 2008

    For the last 10 years, Australia had a Bush-like government, so none of this is surprising. What is interesting about Australian academia is that segments of it are quite hostile to US research and the US domination of research paradigms. However, Australian researchers have proven to be better at whining than at coming up with competing paradigms in those areas.

  3. #3 Phila
    May 5, 2008

    banning DDT

    Time to play DDT Ban Myth Bingo!

    Also, Shelley’s friends at the Heartland Institute were previously funded by the Tobacco Industry, ExxonMobil, and the Scaife Foundation.

    Currently, they refuse to divulge the names of their corporate funders. Go figure!

  4. #4 pauls lane
    May 5, 2008

    what is surprising to me is that not only governments of various nations attempt to impede, censor, stop, block, science but universities too!!! My GOD, institutions of higher learning, of all that we hold holy in the name of science, attempt to punish scientists for being, well scientists! When will this end??!! Please see:

    http://redmaryland.blogspot.com/
    dated April 29th
    titled: but what about the independence of scientists

    Oh this scientist committed THE cardinal sin didn’t he?

  5. #5 revere
    May 5, 2008

    pauls: I think you need to make your point clearer. I don’t understand what you are saying here.

  6. #6 Tasha
    May 5, 2008

    Direct (or indirect) public agency pressure to not publish is only one of the various types of suppression seen in academia…

    A few years back when I was still a psychology Ph.D. student, that National Institute of Heath (NIH), one of the primary sponsors of academic research in the field, changed its research priorities. NIH decided that it would no longer prioritize grant proposals that could not show a viable link to practical outcomes. In other words, they wanted applied research.

    This may not sound like such a bad idea… after all, what’s wrong with insisting that academic research have implications outside of academia? If your research doesn’t lead to a usable treatment or therapy, help the world at large, what’s the point?

    However, this change in priorities pointed out a major flaw in viewing academic research. Research that does not appear to be directly related to applied outcomes (i.e. “pure science”) is not useless. It is the building blocks upon which applied science is built. Taking away that foundation would leave the applied scientists with nothing more to use that anecdotal evidence or worse when formulating the hypotheses for their research.

    The NIH decision also created a bit of a catch-22. In a very simplistic explanation, each grant proposal went through two types of reviewers. One set would rate the proposal based on it’s applied uses. Another would rate it based on it’s scientific merit. The system made it a very realistic possibility that a “pure science” proposal would be rejected for not being applied enough, while an “applied science” proposal would be rejected for not being scientific enough!

    The NIH’s decision sent rippling waves of panic through the academic community. At the time I worked in Social and Personality Psychology. The only other source of funding was the NSF, with a budget that was miniscule compared to the NIH funding budget. Some areas of research were worried that their entire programs would go belly-up.

    I have since left the area, so I do not know what the current status is on NIH funding. But I do know that there are very many subtler ways to direct what research does and does not get out. And money is a very powerful way to dictate science.

  7. #7 revere
    May 5, 2008

    tasha: I agree with much of what you say, except the two perspective review you mention is not my experience, either as a proposer and PI or as a member of an NIH study section (reviewer). It is possible this was done in some institutes and I didn’t know about it but I don’t think it was a regular practice, the “road map” notwithstanding.

  8. #8 pauls lane
    May 5, 2008

    my point being revere is it is not only governments that impede (not sure if this is the right word) scientists but universities do as well. Colorado State Univeristy and William Gray in this example. William Gray committed the cardinal sin of being a skeptic about global warming.

  9. #9 pft
    May 5, 2008

    Universities rely on government funding and the tax free foundations grants. The tax free foundations have been a tool of the invisible hand behind the globalization and depopulation agenda. Any research which threatens this agenda is suppressed.

    Science could allow us to develop our planet and increase living standards of the global population, which would allow population to increase and live longer, and solve the energy and food woes that are said to be unable to sustain populations above current levels. Science would eliminate the possibility that people will accept Totalitarian One World Government out of fear and despair, and the crush the myths such as peak Oil and man made Global Warming which are the tools of the globalization movement.

    Those in charge of the funding of science and pretty much everything else, are neo-malthusians who taught Hitler everything he knew about Eugenics. Over the last 60 years, the genocide has continued, with famines, disease and civil wars funded by Anglo-American globalists. Since the 1970′s, science and technology has been suppressed, except for military and homeland security technology, and biotechnology that seems never to lead to any cures of disease, just treatment of chronic conditions, but it has been implicated in harmful food and drugs, and increases in chronic diseases.

    Manufactured energy and financial crisis has been a tool to reduce living standards in the developing world and inhibit development in the 3rd world. Using WTO and free trade policies to make countries dependent on imported food, the manufactured food crisis will create famine in the 3rd world.

    As for the next pandemic, take a look back in time when you ponder the origins of the virus.

    July 1, 1970Senate Appropriations hearings are held for the Department of Defense and refer to eminent biologists who believe that within 5 to 10 years it would be possible to produce a synthetic biological agent (infective micro-organism), an agent that does not naturally exist and for which no natural immunity could have been acquired.

    Tentative plans to initiate a program to develop such an agent were discussed by the National Research Council .

    Hearings in the British House of Commons from April 8 to May 13, 1987 regarding AIDS : Every biological scientist who has dispassionately studied the virus and the epidemic knows that the origins of the virus could lie in the developments of modern biology.Some who know perfectly well what has happened are deliberately fudging scientific data to keep the heat off them and fellow members of their molecular biological club.

    2000-Project for New American Century issues publication calling for – I) Biological warfare (and other new arms) could become a politically useful instrument. This point is particularly frightening if one considers the sudden spreading of the incurable SARS, which started in China, at the same time as the war in Iraq. Also stated: New methods of attack electronic, non-lethal, biological will be more widely available.combat likely will take place in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes.advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.

    Rather than prepare for a pandemic that is inevitable, manmade or natural, we do nothing, and instead will rely on planning and setting criteria for who will get access to treatment due to an overwhelmed health care system that would be unable to cope. The elderly, mentally deficient and disabled will be out of luck. Perhaps even certain “inferior” races.

    We socialized the military to ensure we could defend against an attack, we have socialized education to ensure we could brainwash and drug our children, yet we do not socialize our health care system to ensure we will be protected in a pandemic which could easily kill more Americans than all of the wars combined have killed, or provide for treatment many can not afford due to lack of insurance or insurace that refuses to cover the treatment required, or which is inadequate.

    The agenda is depopulation via globalization. Science has been suppressed, except where it facilitates the agenda.

    Australia is a British Commonwealth nation, and America is a defacto Commonwealth Nation, so no wonder science is being suppressed in both nations. The ideas of Thomas Malthus, Darwin and Eugenics took hold in London at the same time Cecil Rhodes developed a plan to recover the US and establish British rule over the world. The 20th century was largely a battle for globalization and population control via depopulation, wars and genocide. The 21st century will conclude the march, and the the culling of the herd will commence big time, and we will enter the Dark Ages and end of history.

  10. #10 revere
    May 5, 2008

    pauls: I don’t know where this was on the link you sent but here is the science response to William Gray:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/04/gray-on-agw/

    Maybe you’d care to refute it.

  11. #11 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 5, 2008

    Well its all about the funding and none of the above means a thing unless its in a court of law. If Mote and Albright had a gig going on it sounds personal and was before it got to the level it did. The other guy tried to mediate and may have found something different. Okay, so what? The other guy is the head of the department and unless I read the tea leaves wrong, you do what your boss says.
    That is not suppression if its his department.

    That is to say that you are not gagged if someone tells you not to send something out without his okay. That is an administrative rule and it has held time and again in court. It doesnt matter whether he is right or not, only that he was told not to send out positional stuff as fact from his office without the head honcho’s okay. It would be like some research assistant publishing without his prof’s okay.

    Whats the answer? They go get some deeply left wing biased guy in there to replace the head honcho if they want but this guy cant even go as a whistle blower because he isnt stating something thats provable. Its an interpretation thing. If he wants to do a paper on this then he should publish, rather than perish. He tried to back channel media this thing and the boss right or wrong told him not to. That is completely within the purview of the office.

    There is a fine line between scientific suppression and sometimes getting to the bottom of things. It may or may not be true about the snowpack. What is true is that his superior told him not to.

    As for OZ. Surprises about healthcare in OZ possibly not working? Lets take a look at what the paper really said:

    “Background: It is cause for concern when a democratically elected government suppresses embarrassing information by hindering public health research or the publication of research findings. We conducted a survey of Australian public health academics to estimate the level of acts of suppression of research by Australian governments, to characterise these events, and to gather views on what interventions might be effective in curbing them.

    Methods: A total of 302 academics in 17 institutions completed a postal questionnaire in August 2006 (46% of 652 invited). The instrument sought details of suppression events they had witnessed since 2001.

    Results: There were 142 suppression events, including 85 personally experienced by 21.2% (n=64) of respondents. The rates were higher in 2005/06 than in earlier years. No State or Territory was immune from suppression. Although governments most commonly hindered research by sanitising, delaying or prohibiting publications (66% of events), no part of the research process was unaffected. Researchers commonly believed their work was targeted because it drew attention to failings in health services (48%), the health status of a vulnerable group (26%), or pointed to a harm in the environment (11%). The government agency seeking to suppress the health information mostly succeeded (87%) and, consequently, the public was left uninformed or given a false impression. Respondents identified a full range of participative, cognitive, structural and legislative control strategies.

    Conclusion: The suppression of public health information is widely practised by Australian governments.

    Implications: Systemic interventions are necessary to preserve the integrity of public health research conducted with government involvement.”

    Now this is a mail out questionaire. Suppression? In what capacity can they make the conclusional statements. Just because they believe it doesnt make it suppression. Pretty shitty paper if all they have is a questionaire.

    But I dont doubt the findings… Oz’s healthcare is heading towards the shitter and they cannot produce more beds and if they could, they dont have the staff to administer to them. Thats UHC for you and its all about the money in the till. No money means you sit and wait for it to come available. Its an implosion starting to make itself known. They will simply do what they always do…raise taxes to cover the shortfalls and maintain their level of care at what it is now.

  12. #12 pauls lane
    May 5, 2008

    revere that certainly wasn’t my point whether Gray is correct or whether he is not correct or whether he is partially correct. A university (taxpayer funded) is or was attempting to silence him because of his views on global warming.

  13. #13 Rieux
    May 5, 2008

    The suppression of scientific results (particularly at the CSIRO) became a serious issue through 2007. It was mostly because of ministerial directives emanating from the Coalition government and its staffers in parliament. It was a fact of life for all government departments and bodies during the last few years of the previous government that their results and work would be ‘sifted’ by their respective Minister’s office.

    The new Minister for Science, Kim Carr, has promised that scientists will be able to speak their minds on all manner of issues without fear of government retribution. See:
    http://minister.industry.gov.au/SenatortheHonKimCarr/Pages/CHARTERTOPROTECTSCIENTIFICDEBATE.aspx
    Hopefully, the change of government should likely see an end to the previous culture of suppression..

  14. #14 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 6, 2008

    Rieux- The opposite of suppression could be considered to be bias too. E.g. Global Warming and my pal Al Gore. Not to say that Sen. Carr would swing it too far to the left, but it has happened before and more than once in recent history.

    Imagine the chagrin of the GW people who were using all of the temp monitors around the world for the warming theory and then found out that 40% of them were unreliable and unreliably placed. So, caution… just caution. I have no doubt its a bit warmer, but I believe its more of a cycle than generated by man. Even if it is, the situation will clear itself in human dieback and return it to the oscillations we are familiar with.

  15. #15 Magpie
    May 6, 2008

    To back up Rieux, the previous Australian government was possibly the most deceitful in our nation’s history. With some luck we’ll see a reversal of these policies, though it’s still a little early to tell.

  16. #16 Magpie
    May 6, 2008

    Oh, and (sorry for the double post) MRK, I’d direct you to a previous climate change post, where the devlishly witty SmellyTerror (ok, that’s me, but my old gamer name causes too much confusion, so I’m Magpie now since I’m easily distracted by shiny things) attempted to put some of your misconceptions right.

    http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2008/04/the_climate_change_disease_tra.php

    Climate change denialism is beneath you, sir. You are better than that.

  17. #17 Jonathon Singleton
    May 6, 2008

    I’d like to add my two cents to this posting by relating a personal story from 2004. For the record, let me just say that Perth, Western Australia, is still very much like a gossipy little country town — hence, a GenX gay dude like me can’t fart without the gas being monitored and scrutinized for exploitative entertainment ie. bored and arrested developed predators in need of “fun”!

    Anyway, I believe the 9/11 thang fracked AmericanOz federal governments to the core — the overcompensation was a widespread across the board cultural crackdown on “original thought” from administrative officials in pretty much all gov agencies…

    Independent thinking on the dangers of genetically engineered products containing unstable viral-based promoters — ie. the event-specific creation of an brand new evolutionary paradigm called “accelerated horizontal gene transfer and recombination” — inconveniently blocked the road where BIG BOYS had planned to make shitloads of piss easy money:*)

    There has been a significant change in Western Australia vis a vis the issue of GMOs — the state is completely hostile to the introduction of genetically altered products being grown by WA farmers,etc… Other states, unfortunately aint as forward thinking as the current State government.

    Anyway, just like my attempts at gaining FOI documents showing the names of the police officers who fabricated charges and queerbashed me in late 97 and early 98, I was ignored by Perth City Public Library staff… Their rude stonewalling and arrogant silence makes me laugh now when reading this EM posting:

    C21 *S*E*Research — Re: “Living with the Fluid Genome” By Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

    From: “Mae-Wan Ho”
    Date: Thursday, March 11, 2004 9:40 AM
    To: A section of Jon Singleton’s 2004 E-list (including Perth_Library@cityofperth.wa.gov.au)

    Please ask them to order directly from ISIS’ website. I am surprised at the “trade restriction”, because it is neither out of print nor do we have problems supplying it. I hope it isn’t being censored. If so, I wish to advertise it as such! maewan

    From “jon singleton” ,
    Date: Thursday, March 11, 2004 5:17 AM
    To: My then 2004 e-list
    Subject: C21 *S*E*Research — Re: “Living with the Fluid Genome” By Dr.
    Mae-Wan Ho

    Hi there,

    Re: City of Perth Library hardcopy letter (envelope dated 5th March, 2004) indicating that the science text, “Living with the Fluid Genome” By Dr. Mae-Wan Ho is still unavailable within the WA public library system.

    Reservation Report states: “We have received a report for the item you requested. Order cancelled due to trade restrictions, supplier problems or publication out of print or cancelled.”

    It’d be most appreciated to know the specifics as to why this science text is still unavailable within the WA public library system…

    Cheers:*)

  18. #18 victoria
    May 6, 2008

    I am of the opinion that Australia dropped the ball on Science because, the Howard government, adopted the American user pays system. It seems as though, under Bush and Howard governments, public institutions were sold off to the highest bidder. Corporations don’t develop for the common good, corporations develop for profit, and little else. When an infrastructure project can not be predicted to provide the required rate of return the project will not go ahead. Well, that is my opinion……

  19. #19 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 6, 2008

    Magpie-Again, as I always say to the GCC people….Prove it! No, not consensus because right now there are three camps. Global Climate Changers, those that think we are just fine and those that say its a crock. I think its warmer myself. But I dont think we are going to go spinning out of control if we dont “do something”. Fact is that if its this bad and you add another .5 billion and there is a tip over as suggested, it wont matter. Natural population control for something we wont do.

    We have gotten to where we are with just about everything via Politically Correct. This will go away soon and we will go back to name calling, killing the shit out of each other, and above all being able to fight wars the old fashioned way. We are 6 billion people on a planet designed to take care of maybe 2/3rds of that. Something will surely change in the very near future….GW? Least of my worries.

    Now two carrier battlegroups on station in the Persian Gulf..that bothers me.

  20. #20 Tasha
    May 6, 2008

    Can I just say, I get so frustrated by the arguments regarding climate change. Why are we still arguing about it? Who cares if it exists or doesnt exist, if its man-made or a natural event In the end that part doesnt matter. We still consume too much, pollute too much and are doing serious damage to the planet and our own personal health. If there are solutions out there – ranging from using fluorescent light bulbs to setting up wind power plants – why are we fighting it?

  21. #21 pauls lane
    May 6, 2008

    Tasha – your final question puts you firmly in the ‘believes that it exists’ and ‘care’ category.

  22. #22 Tasha
    May 6, 2008

    Pauls, it appears that you’ve missed my point entirely.

    What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter whether or not you do believe in Climate Change, or the Climate Crisis, or Global Warming, or whatever term you want to use for it… It’s practically a straw man argument at this point.

    There are certain things that I believe most people do believe in… For example, we should try to conserve energy. Your reasons can be your own, ranging from saving the spotted owl to dependence from foreign oil to decreasing demand to lower prices, but regardless the results are still the same. Or we should reduce pollution. Again, your reasons can be entirely your own. If you don’t care about the ozone layer or polar bears in the arctic, you can at least care about your 8 year old kid with asthma.

    As far as I’m concerned the “Global Warming Controversy” is a completely moot point – not because I think it’s been resolved, but because I think it doesn’t matter. If you want to continue to argue about it, fine, whatever… But please keep it at a philosophical level. Don’t use it as an argument to not implement conservation.

  23. #23 John
    May 7, 2008

    We need to be careful of simplistic judgements of the left verses the right in this matter. It has been claimed that we live in a “Post Fact” environment. It is said that the truth can be what you feel in your heart not what we know in our heads. For all of the vilification of the Howard government both correct and not, the following link http://www.sciencealert.com.au/opinions/20080901-16770-3.html illustrates that the new centre-left government in federal parliament is not about to have a free press from science.

    I work in Health in NSW, a Labour governed state. We have a complex and expensive event reporting system called “a reportable incident brief” or RIB. It exists solely so the minister of Healthy has ‘the jump’ on journalists so they can suppress negative health news of importance. This is separate to the IIMS system going to the Hospital administration for managing, controlling and preventing adverse outcomes. Money is wasted and information and suppressed in a suffering Health system under the weakest, most incompetent and corrupt administration since the Rum Corps.

    I am not leaning to the right or in any other political direction but seek to point out that bad government comes in many colours and it always moves to quiet dissenting voice. Science and Medicine must remain free and independent of government. We have an ethical duty to be so.

  24. #24 pauls lane
    May 7, 2008

    John, science and medicine cannot be free and independent of government when science and medicine comes calling to the government with their hands out.

  25. #25 revere
    May 7, 2008

    pauls: It’s not either/or. There are government science agencies that support pure science and pretty much keep their hands off (NSF, for example). Not completely, but relatively. If we think basic research is good, if only because it supports and is the basis for applied research that solves important problems), then it is wise science policy to keep hands off of it. If you think that government (or corporate or other) support automatically gives both the right and the responsibility to meddle in the science, then we won’t have much basic science done and should abolish NIH, NSF, USGS, etc. So it’s a matter of degree and that varies with administrations and governments. The current US administration is particularly meddlesome and odious with respect to science.

  26. #26 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 7, 2008

    One mans hammer is another mans sword Revere. You dont think this happens under the liberals too or that its less? Shit. I sure as hell dont want my tax money paying for abortions if for no other reason than I didnt get to have the fun of getting them pregnant.

    The previous administration happily sold specifically declassified military space technology to the Chinese, the DoE under Richardson “lost” hard drives from Los Alamos during a very interesting and convenient fire. Suppression of science? Revere, its all about the money whether you are trying to get a grant, someone is trying to keep you from getting it, or if someone is holding it out as a carrot to produce a viable finding for that Administration or head honcho.

  27. #27 Phila
    May 7, 2008

    First: We are 6 billion people on a planet designed to take care of maybe 2/3rds of that. Something will surely change in the very near future….GW? Least of my worries.

    Then: I sure as hell dont want my tax money paying for abortions if for no other reason than I didnt get to have the fun of getting them pregnant.

    Brilliant.

  28. #28 pauls lane
    May 7, 2008

    Revere, as a taxpayer I don’t mind some government ‘meddling’ in whatever or with whoever they are giving my money too. You are correct about the amount of meddlesomeness(?), it can be a burden. I’ve played both sides, the government side and a private lab side. I am not positive, for example, that if a lab received a government grant to study fruit flies, hoping to find the means to control the damage they do, and what I find as a government meddler is scientists trying to figure out if fruit flies have free will, I’d be happy. I am not saying any taxpayer money went into the study I saw the other day, where they have found out that alcohol leads to agression. Well, as my daughters used to say, Duh! Haven’t these researchers ever been to a bar on a Friday night?

  29. #29 Monado, FCD
    May 7, 2008

    My worst example of tht was Canada’s Royal Commission on the Status of Women. The government commissioned it and it was written at government expense, but when the report was done the government put some parts under wraps (the child-care situation springs to mind) for ten years. I knew where that was leading. In ten years, they’d release the results, announce that they were out of date, and think about doing another study. I don’t know why people weren’t rioting in the streets. (One single mom does not a riot make.)

  30. #30 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 7, 2008

    Magpie/ST-That same kind of crap came rolling out in the 70′s when they said we were going into a global cooling period…the cause? Co2.

    A lot of those names that are on all of those reports made to the UN were the same bozo’s that said we were going to get colder. Even Gore tried yesterday to blame the damned T. Cyclone in Myanmar on G.W. Not that they had ever had a T. Cyclone before there huh? It wasnt even intense by latest standards. 120 mph. Shit, I have had AF guys ride out 160 in fighter bunkers out on Guam. Where was Al “My Pal” Gore when that was happening in the 70s, 80′s and 90′s?

    Such a good poster child you guys have in him. Not that GWB is better on my side of the fence but 1 degree doesnt make it man made. At four degrees if its man made you wont have to worry about it…most of us will be dead or nearly. If its naturally caused we are in deeper shit than anyone could imagine. We would be damned sure hungry.

    I read a great one a week ago. Worldwide flooding caused by GW invades the marsh and swamplands causing more Co2 to arise as it rots below the shallow surface. Me, I am waiting for the water to rise. Beach front property in Nevada… Can hardly wait.

    Understand I that I fully understand what you are saying. I just disagree with most of it. Its not denialist…. Lets call it skepticist and an informed one. I honestly dont know and for all of their bluster, they dont either. I have also stated more than once that disagreeing isnt denialist, just that I want incontrovertible proof before we go and kill our economy when other countries around the world wouldnt have to comply with the same regulations for 40 years. Thats a pure blown crock of crap and one of the reasons that this would never work. We would simply shift the problem to an area that is already generating more greenhouse gases by a region than the US would in five years.

    Always with the US is doing wrong the lefties are. We are the problem of the world, we are this and we are that. We keep up with this politically correct crap and the gloves will come off and people will stand up and say they aint going to take it anymore. Our national interests are no longer being met by either party and thats a travesty of the highest order. The idea that some guy in SE Asia should have the same standard of living as we do is great… Let them earn it and see how long that lasts if they have to comply with this ambiguous global warming stuff. It would never happen because the costs. I bear them no ill will but this country keeps giving away the farm and we will be on third world nation status soon. IMO.

  31. #31 Magpie
    May 9, 2008

    Really? They said that there was Global Cooling in the 70′s? WOW! That must be a nail in the coffin of science in general. Or maybe it’s yet another misrepresentation wheeled out by the denialists. Let’s go check.

    First hit, Wikipedia: “This hypothesis never had significant scientific support, but gained temporary popular attention due to press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understandings of ice age cycles and a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s.”

    Well that wasn’t hard to find, was it? Along with literally thousands of descriptions of this chronically misrepresented story. Yes, the media often reports fringe science, or tentative conclusions requiring further examination, as hard fact. They do it frequently. Read, say, Effect Measure for more examples. That’s not the same as the overwhelming wight of scientific opinion.

    Reports to the UN? REALLY? Care to reference those reports? Care to reassess your position after being shown that the scientific position was only ever speculative? No, of course not. You know it all. Scientists are idiots. People at home with MANIFESTLY no idea what they’re talking about are far more reliable.

    Regarding tropical cyclones: I take it you think smoking doesn’t cause cancer, right? Because, you know, people got lung cancer before smoking was invented, didn’t they? The difference, sir, is the number and intensity of severe weather events, which are clearly increasing. It is a very long bow to draw to say that this particular cyclone was caused by GW, and Gore is wrong to do so – but who the hell cares about Gore? As I said in the previous thread, your ad hominem is utterly irrelevant. That should be a tautology, but apparently not… Point is, there are more cyclones now than there used to be, and they’re worse than they used to be. This is an easily verifiable fact. Go look. Oh, and the Myanmar cyclone “wasn’t even severe”. Hmmm, maybe a hundred thousand dead. Yeah, that happens every fricking week, doesn’t it? o.0

    How can you think that only the degree makes it man made? How does that make sense, where 1 degree is natural, and 4 manmade? How can we get to 4 degrees without going through 1? And if we slow enough to stop at 1, then… I just don’t know how to argue against such an illogical statement. Or your position which seems to be “we aren’t causing it, nothing is wrong, but if it is happening we’re screwed. Which is a good thing, because there are too many people anyway”. Honestly, that’s the most inane argument I have EVER seen, and I’ve argued politics at university.

    You have shown yourself to be a sceptic, but an ILL-informed one. How many talking points have I shot down? And you’ve not bothered to defend a one of them, since they’ve all been bullshit. And yet, no many how many of your beliefs are shown false, you persist in believing what you want to believe. That, I think, shows just how irrational the denialist position is.

    Quite frankly, what you think of the political situation has NO BEARING on the science. Great, maybe it’s an insurmountable problem, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Great, maybe greenies are idiots and Gore eats babies, but that makes NOT ONE TINY SHRED of difference to the science. And that really sums up the denialist screed, doesn’t it? There are a range of reasons why you don’t WANT to believe it’s happening, so you pretend it isn’t. Honestly, how else was the crap about lefties and politics and economics and other countries and Gore relevant in any way at all to the issue of suppressed science or the reality of global warming? It’s not, unless you think they’re good reasons to do nothing, and want to use denialism to justify it.

    ” …the gloves will come off and people will stand up and say they aint going to take it anymore.”

    Wait, so the US completely ignoring the global movement on climate change, screwing even friends and allies over with trade subsidies, wars of aggression, torture and illegal detention of foreign citizens, support of terrorist organisations and dictators, overthrow of unfriendly democratic governments, that was all with the gloves ON? What are you going to do with them off? Throw nukes? Look, I’m not one to think international politics is a flower-fest or that any nation would necessarily act differently in the same position, but to suggest that the US has been some shrinking violet is absolutely risible.

  32. #32 revere
    May 10, 2008

    Randy: Regarding the alleged Gore statement. Your friends at Drudge/Fox were pulling a smear: http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/5/9/154426/7163

    They played you for a sucker.

  33. #33 Jonathon Singleton
    May 11, 2008

    Revere, as well as concerns expressed in my previous posting (above), I’d also like to point out a simple fact… If I were some poncey hetero Aussie or closet-queer suck-ass male who went to a cultish pay-per-use private religious educational institution, well… I’m sick & tired of emailing Oz government employees with scientifically valid questions and concerns, only to find myself being perpetually ignored by these taxpayer funded folk. Excuse me you Oz government bastard religious cultists, but… I exist in your religious cult country and expect a courteous reply when I contact state and/or federal government employees.

    To: “Christine Thomas, Department of Immunology, Allergy and Arthritis, Flinders University”
    Web @ http://som.flinders.edu.au/FUSA/immunol/

    Friday 25 April 2008

    Howdy Christine,

    Could you possibly assist me in tracking down the source of a news report shown last nite on Channel Ten late news re: Flinders University researchers making a realworld application breakthru in plant-based viral adjuvants (with non-toxic properties and, apparently, reducing the need for antigen by a factor of ten)…

  34. #34 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 11, 2008

    Revere, I visited both NPR and your link above. I cant find any difference between the two and any editing. His assertion is and was IMO that he stated that the reason behind the T. Cyclone was that it was due to GW. What other possible conclusion could anyone take from the NPR site?

    No one doctored it on the skeptical side. In tact it was on the leftist NPR site. If it was doctored, it was done by them. In any event, “worst storm in 50 years”. Well Hell brother, it means they had some bad ones in the past too, right?

    Now here is something I can buy into right now. I have looked for the last three years at the trends of the La Nina and El Nino and to me, its looking like its going to be cooling off for a while in the N. Hemisphere. The eastern parts of the EU and Asia are going to sizzle. GW? I dont and that emerging consensus doesnt either. Ask them to retire if they are wrong. If they are right, it will be a self correcting error on the part of man. Reduction of carbon footprint? Shit, reduce the number of carbon feetprints. If they are right and we add another 500 billion people this is going to be a moot discussion.

    I noted yesteday on one of the Discovery Channel GW movies about what is happening to the ice as its calving off in Alaska… Down some 90 feet you see a huge line of what is obviously soot …and then 80 or so feet of rock solid ice. There are little shots here and there of soot but the big black ones you can see from a mile are the ones I like. Big black soot, then huge lay downs of ice. If we are accounting for 3% of Co2, then where in the hell is all of that other stuff going? Why do we have huge laydowns of ice in periods where its obvious that it should have been warmer? I dont know, nor can they tell me either conclusively. Hey Revere, you could be right but it used to be colder when we had acid rain too as it ate up the GHG’s… Bring back the smoky smelters in the NE as it might help to cool us down a bit.

    Magpie-You have shot nothing down old friend because you STILL haven proven anything. You make statements just as I do and I can only say that if you are right then you will get the bragging rights in 10 years and we will be cooked over a slow flame, food will become scarce and we will die like flies at an Ortho convention. If not and it cools as the Russians are indicating it will, then you gotta go get the barbie fired up so you can have your crow well done.

    You guys really kill me. If its not bullshit then go call up the Chinese, Indian and Pakistani governments and tell them that they have to sign up immediately and everyone can comply all at once… else your arguments are going to fall on deaf ears. You can have all sorts of clean air, water and everything else all at once and then they’ll start a war because we wont have jobs, we wont have food, and we wont have compliance anywhere then.

    ST/M’pie you assert you have shot this stuff down. Indeed by making a statement you say this is so. I totally disagree with that. Are the worlds waters really warmer? SST’s say maybe. There is an indicative trend, but each one of those trends smoothed out show less than 1 degree across the entire time they have been monitoring it. Monitoring has gotten better but in the recent same past there have been periods where it rocketed downward too. So wheres the PROOF? Its a trend, its not so far stopping humans from populating which is one of the major things about a show stopper in weather and climate prediction. The Earth comes in and kills 100,000 and someone says there has to be a reason…and that is agenda based GW.

    How about being less than 15 feet above sea level? How about knowing about it for two weeks and not evacuating? Now we have seen that right here in the US of A and goddamn, it cant be that a politics rotten levee failed or that people were just toooo stupid to leave. Moves towards Category 5′s. You probably didnt know that weather radar didnt even go to 6 until the Delta crash in Dallas a few years ago. We also might be “over instrumenting” ourselves into our beliefs. And we might also if you read the below link, find that the superperfect USA has a whole lotta splaning to do about that instrumentation. In fact, a review now says that the weather stations around the world are off more than 70% of the time and that they are improperly placed. This is by international weather specialists who establish the criteria. More than 2000 were checked in the EU and all but something like 50 failed to meet one or more of their criteria. So are we being suckered as Revere puts it, or is it just good old fashioned human neglect.

    Recently, and I expected it we have seen them come from left field with the “Weather and disease” as yet another adjunct to the argument. Right now its an argument and thats all. PROVE IT!!!! Weather changes and you get a cold or bird flu. It has to be global warming. Seems to me that another consensus says that we were knocked back to about maybe 25,000 people when Toba blew… Global Warming, Global Cooling… we adapted.

    There have been dozens of Cat 5′s that never touch land or when they do, its only briefly. We didnt even know about hurricanes until the 1960′s so 47 years ago we didnt have Cat 5′s. We had hurricanes and thats just a lable too. If it was a bad one I didnt hear anything about global warming… Scuse me BWTF what was Camille that passed over my house the next day? Was it global warming?

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=56875

    If you post up Mag, please do always because I am open minded about this but I want as I have repeated more than once, incontrovertible proof and not proffered up things that anyone can shoot holes in. E.g. if the temps are warmer, has anyone calibrated the instrumentation recently to be sure? I think you’ll find that is the case more often than not. We are taking snapshots about a trip that we are on. It might let us see that there is a Coliseum in Rome, but that doesnt mean that the guy looking at it knows how its built.

    Even the polar orbiter series of satellites that are taking pics of the ice has a disclaimer on it that they cannot be held for the accuracy of the information presented.

  35. #35 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 11, 2008
  36. #36 Jonathon Singleton
    May 12, 2008

    Cheers Randy:*) I really don’t know where you get the time… You supplied the cover page of Leen Verbiest’s year 2000 “EXPRESSION STRATEGIES FOR PLANT-BASED PRODUCTION OF A VACCINE ADJUVANT”, so I gotta get off my ass and do some Google surfing to find out what it’s all ’bout.

    You see, even tho I know what an “adjuvant” and “antigen” are in relation to vaccines, I aint gotta clue how you produce ‘em and fit ‘em together in the one unit. Randy, the Flinders uni research is supposedly recent — yes, working off what’s been done before eg. Verbiest’s research… But the Oz television news report was rah, rah, cheerleader emphatic ’bout the adjuvant’s non-toxic properties and that massive reduction in antigen levels for the vaccine.

    I just gasped at that fuck-I-may-just-live-to-be-an-old-man-yet thought, “Wow! Here is a practical chance at efficiently creating a prepandemic vaccine for average Joe-citizens like us and our families!” You and I both know the lowdown on here and now antivirals — their future efficacy is highly questionable…

    As Madonna would say, “So, now what!?!” Where is the public health application from our governments…

    If a transgenic pandemic is to happen — and recent data shows that’s the general direction with more countries reporting fresh outbreaks eg. India, South Korea and Vietnam!?!

    My patience is wearing thin, Randy. I don’t know what your coping mechanisms are in not losing the plot — mine are exercise and watching “up” music videos like “The Good Life” By Kanye West featuring T-Pain ( October 2, 2007). But, in the mode of “tamiflu resistance”, it’s all beginning to fail my 40 year old psyche… I feel frustrated governments aint doing more in pragmatic terms of mortality prevention — a trivalent H5N1+ prepandemic vaccine would confer a level of immunity, a fighting chance…

    I don’t wanna be re-enacting scenes from Stephen King’s THE STAND TV movie — you know where the primary characters load tens of thousands of plague corpses into lorries for mass-burial (imagine the smell in areas where daily temps are elevated?)…

  37. #37 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 12, 2008

    Ever tagged a Sandinista in the woods and had to pass by it in a rain forest for two months Jonny.

    Your previous post was good about the vaccine gig but here is some news and it aint good for OZ. A Chinese boat captain was intercepted by Thai officials packing multiple shipments of the new flu vaccine. Its destination of course he said he had no idea but he had agreed to move it to points south. Funny thing? It was the newest version of human vaccine the trivalent bugger you guys are supposed to take down there for flu season which is rapidly approaching. Now where in the hell did he come up with that? The same shipment apparently contained some sort of veterinary needles that yeah I guess you could use it on people too IM but likely very short ones. So, it was obvious they were planning on using the latest and greatest on chickens and ducks. I am currently trying to find out through some sources where this guy was really headed. Was it Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia? Dont know, but we pretty much have a good idea what the viruses do when you vaccinate them two legged walking bio bombs. They get better and we get sicker.

    As with others Jonny it would be bad if you got whacked in this deal. In your situation it could be devastating so watch what and who you are with. And make sure you are prepared for flu season down there this year.. It may have already been compromised by guys trying to make a buck.