Michael Francis
Michael Francis

Global warming, more than a heated debate

It is a really important topic but has evoked some really bizarre responses and comment. I personally see the climate has changed in the north since my childhood. I do find it remarkable the number of people who deny the existence of global warming. And these are not credible scientists, but laypeople who would defer to an electrician or plumber where appropriate but commit to an ideological position that will damn the globe with views contrary to the experts.

As I said I am not a climate scientist but I had started my academic career in forestry before switching to environmental science and then to anthropology with a botany minor, before I moved to graduate level anthropology, but even then I did a mixture of development studies, media studies and so forth in trying to understand what the hell we humans are up to. So I do have an understanding of science as a process and how it is constructed. I also know “real” scientists and I know how consensus is created in the natural sciences.

The scientific consensus is really there on global warming. It is an inescapable fact that the earth is getting warmer and that humans have played a large role. All the media hype about “Climategate” and other denialist positions are premised off of a solid base of ignorance. A small group of scientists fudged some data, but this does not throw global warming into doubt as it is represented. That is media misrepresentation and spin-doctoring of a rather blatant kind. Please do not supply links to random non-peer-reviewed websites at this point as “proof”. And definitely do not supply YouTube videos as even more proof.

But of course that is what will happen. I may even get statistics to show how many people do not believe in global warming or that because many people do not believe in it then politicians better listen as if the heating globe is subject to democratic whims. I also find it really strange that my experience with denialists of global warming always seem to be rather right wing of some sort or at least rabid individualists.

Global warming needs to be treated with urgency. Global warming is happening and faster than we expect. And we are not doing enough.

Canada is one of the worst contributors on a per capita basis. While we can expect that our energy needs are greater as we need heating to survive our harsh winters, we must also acknowledge that we have the resources to make a greater contribution to the fight against man-made climate change. Instead we are currently doing the least and our boring Prime Minister Steven Harper is still dabbling with denialist theories. And Canadians can selfishly afford to do this as we will not suffer the worst of the climate changes. We have massive amounts of water and it is really *%$#ing cold so a few degrees will not damn us in the way it will the Sahel regions of Africa that will become full deserts.

I spend my life studying humans and sometimes I feel a sense of despair as we destroy the natural environment around us, deny the humanity of those around us, engage in horrific wars, brutalise our neighbours and continue to commit the same errors again and again.

And we really do treat each other badly. I was watching a documentary and in the film there were whole villages of people living off of a garbage dump in India. They were paid a pittance to recycle plastic, tin and steel. I still feel like crying when I think of it. Little children were digging through the dump looking for little bits that they could eat, sell or use. There were no schools, no health clinics and the dump was now marked as carbon capture site for methane that was to be harvested, which really means burnt off. Methane is 20 times worse than carbon dioxide so it was burnt off to convert it to carbon dioxide. Some of these dumps just burn it and sell the credits they gain from doing so instead of using the methane (let alone questioning why there is a huge garbage dump creating so much methane). Other dumps were using the energy to create electricity that was being sold locally. So it did not benefit the poor who lived off of other people’s rubbish.

But again I digress from what I was saying about global warming being a strange topic online. I am really puzzled why global warming denialists always seem so right wing. Videos abound that link ideas on global warming to global governance. As if a global will to fight a global problem will lead to global government based on socialism.

I don’t know, maybe I am spending too much online and get exposed to stupid views far too often.

As for Africa and the rest of the global south there seems to be a strong view that because of poverty in the south pollution and industrial standards do not matter. Issue of rampant population growth are downplayed as the poor have a small carbon footprint. The real problem with this view, no matter how accurate, is that to maintain this level of population requires the world to maintain the current levels of inequality.

The lack of environmental controls is also dismissed due to the level of industrialisation. It is argued that a factory in the south can be allowed to emit more pollution because of the small number, yet these plants and factories poison the people that work on them and live near them. Global strategies to combat global warming must be global in scope without compromises over past inequalities or we will continue to destroy the only earth we have.

  • Steven Douglas

    @Michael Francis

    You wrote: “When did we become civilized? Wars, famine, violence and increasing intolerance and hatred all increasing as we ‘progress’…Civilized is not how I would describe humanity as a whole.”

    Michael, that revealed far more about you than it did the world, I think. I am quite confident that if you could take a time machine ride into the past, you would grow absolutely progressively more mad with disillusionment, as you became entirely dispossessed of your notions that the past was somehow more peaceful, tolerant, loving, non-enslaving, etc., A casual glance at even recent history should dispel those thoughts. WHy haven’t they? That mind of yours must be a very frightening place to live.

  • Havelock Vetinari

    @Michael Francis

    I didn’t say that energy made us civilised, only that energy brought prosperity to civilisation. I could have just as easily said that energy brought prosperity to our barbaric attempt at civilisation, or to our global battleground… it would have been just as valid – the point being that energy brings prosperity, not that we are civilised (another argument entirely). Naturally, being a rabid greenie, you saw what you wanted to see, just as you see what you want to see in the dissenters’ arguments.

    By the way, the discworld (in its literary universe) IS flat. To ridicule that would be the same as to ridicule the notion that the Earth is round.

    Agriculture (as it is currently practised) may or may not be healthy for the earth, but it is what has allowed us our “civilisation” – where enough food can be produced by a few people to allow the rest to diversify their interests, knowledge and skills. It is the very basis of specialisation and separation of labour. Without agriculture we would still be more concerned with finding food every day than with the things that make modern life good.

  • http://thoughtleader.co.za/michaelfrancis Michael Francis

    @Steven Douglas and Alan – I am actually a supporter of small-scale agriculture and my remarks were tongue in cheap even as they are true. If you look at archaeological remains from prior to the agricultural revolution humans lived into their 70s in small bands very little disease etc. It was with the advent of agriculture we dropped our life expectancy by a third through contact with new diseases (TB, influenza), population pressures, wars, famine etc.

    I do not hate people just the way we treat each other. What has been done in the name of civilization is truly horrific. We need to think of alternatives that work towards a common future. The business as usual model is premised off of cheap resources from the periphery and accumulation at the core.

    And as for industrial nations looking after their environment look at all the lush forests of England and what Canada is doing to the Arctic through Tar/oil sands developments.

  • Clean Air

    @Alan

    If the capitalist system has pushed people into incredible poverty how can they take care of the environment?

    1) Oil industry has brought poverty and pollution to Niger Delta
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/oil-industry-has-brought-poverty-and-pollution-to-niger-delta-20090630

    2) Who is consuming this palm oil and destroying rainforests? Greedy capitalists not locals who have lived there for millenia: – Ecological Impacts of Oil Palm Indonesia and Malaysia have, concomitant with the destruction of enormous tracts of tropical rainforest, some of the world’s … http://www.cspinet.org/palm/

    3) Argentina – Wealthy meat eaters in Europe feed cattle on GM soy imported from Argentina, the locals lived there sustainably for millenia until the superrich came along – Soy suppliers accused of rainforest destruction … Soy imports delayed as Argentina fights Monsanto over GM · Certification boost for ethical food makers …
    http://www.foodnavigator.com/…/Soy-suppliers-accused-of-rainforest-destruction

    This list can go on and on.

  • Clean Air

    @Alan again

    Agriculture is incredibley destructive but it does not have to be:

    1) Example – China’s Soils Ruined by Overuse of Chemical Fertilizers
    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/chinasSoilRuined.php

    2) There is a solution – Please support this unique Global Initiative to make our food production system sustainable, to ameliorate climate change and guarantee food security for all
    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/SustainableWorldInitiativeF.php

  • Clean Air

    Someone asked further up where to apply for denialist money from Big Oil.

    See the Guardian/UK yesterday: US Oil Company Donated Millions to Climate Sceptic Groups, Says Greenpeace. Report identifies Koch Industries giving $73m to climate sceptic groups ‘spreading inaccurate and misleading information’
    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/03/30-5

  • Jane

    @Michael Frances

    Unfortunately you are now getting the full vitroil from industry spin doctors who are paid troll the internet and attact anyone that threatens vested interests.

    Don’t let this put you off writing good articles, we need rebels like you. . eep fighting the good fight.

  • Steven Douglas

    @Michael Francis

    Michael, I am also a supporter (staunch, in fact) of small-scale agriculture, but we are on that same page for entirely different reasons. For me it is only because I believe we should not ever be so entirely dependent on collectives and large infrastructures of any kind, and that includes Big Agriculture.

    But your quote about archaeological remains, pre-agricultural life expectancy, and agricultural attribution to introduction or spreading of diseases, population pressures, wars, famine etc., all news to me. I don’t know about pre-agricultural, but in the past several hundred years, agriculture and civilization in general have statistically, dramatically, improved life expectancies, as well as addressing hosts of diseases.

    But I’m open. Reputable source?

  • Havelock Vetinari

    @Jane

    “…we need rebels like [Michael Francis]”

    Alarmists are mainstream, not rebels. This is the party line you’re spouting.

    Later guys.

  • Clean Air

    @Steven Douglas

    Reputable source: the 2,500-page International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development [IAASTD]

    Sixty countries backed by the World Bank and most UN bodies have called for radical changes in world farming to avert increasing regional food shortages, escalating prices and growing environmental problems such as anthropogenic global warming.

    Robert Watson, director of IAASTD and chief scientist at the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “Business as usual will hurt the poor. It will not work.”

    The report – the first significant attempt to involve governments, NGOs and industries from rich and poor countries – took 400 scientists four years to complete. The present system of food production and the way food is traded around the world, the authors concluded, has led to a highly unequal distribution of benefits and serious adverse ecological effects and was now contributing to climate change.

    Guardian/UK More read
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/16/8327

  • Clean Air

    @Steven Douglas

    Right, you caught out really badly this time.

    You accused Commondreams of deleting your posts re-“They keep the poorly framed arguments around for a hollow, easy straw man victory, while maintaining the illusion of balance.”

    Guess what, ha, ha, Kock Industries who have been secretly funding climate change denialists groups are erasing some of our posts from their Facebook page as we talk. Ha, ha, you denialsts caught red handed.

    Best form of defense is attack I suppose, accuse someone else of something underhanded and then practice it yourself.

    Read the full article published by Greenpeace and posted guess where, on the Commondreams web site. I look forward to seeing your comments in the comments section on the Commondreams page, full article:
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/31-7

  • Jane

    @Havelock

    We need intelligent level headed well educated rebels like Michael, not denialist rif-raff that are a pest on the blogophere, no names mentioned.

  • Steven Douglas

    @Clean Air wrote: “Guess what, ha, ha, Kock Industries…are erasing some of our posts from their Facebook page as we talk. Ha, ha, you denialsts caught red handed.”

    Are you that daft? I’m not Koch, nor am I associated with them in any way.

    You wrote, “Best form of defense is attack I suppose, accuse someone else of something underhanded and then practice it yourself.”, as if I was indeed Koch, and as if I was the one actually taking part in deleting your entries (on a FACEBOOK PAGE?!).

    It’s only a hive-minded, group-thinking “we’re-all-in-this-together” thought process that could make such a strange illogical leap. But that pretty much sums up the kind of fear-based amplify-and-connect-anything pile-it-on mindset that got human-generated CO2 indicted and convicted as a pollutant, let alone the principle culprit as a (future) catastrophic planet scorcher.

    What a strangely credulous world we live in.

  • Steven Douglas

    Clean Air, your “reputable source” (Common Dreams again?), which I take is in lieu of the one I asked Michael cite, had absolutely ZERO, nothing, nada to do with Michael’s assertion that “…archaeological remains from prior to the agricultural revolution [revealed that] humans lived into their 70s in small bands very little disease etc…” that “…with the advent of agriculture we dropped our life expectancy by a third through contact with new diseases (TB, influenza), population pressures, wars, famine etc.”

    If you’re going to interject, you might want to at least pay attention.

  • http://www.vegansociety.co.za Aragorn Eloff

    @Steven Douglas: On life expectancy in gatherer-hunter and forage-horticulturalist societies: http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/gurven/papers/pdrdraft04182006.pdf

    Also at: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-166092448/longevity-among-hunter-gatherers.html

  • http://thoughtleader.co.za/michaelfrancis Michael Francis

    @Steven Douglas – The reputable source I am referring to is the archaeological record of the upper paleolithic era. Sorry I do not have a youtube video as proof for you. Maybe you could try Biological Changes in Human Populations with Agriculture by Clark Spencer Larsen found in the Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 24, (1995), pp. 185-213.

    It discusses the erroneous assumption that life got better through agriculture. Evidence from bone deformities, density, teeth wear patterns, and etc show a decline in overall health and longevity.

    This is now fairly well established in anthropology and archaeology. Just think of your own health if you went from eating a mix of vegetables, nuts and meat to eating only bread with rare bits of meat thrown in.

  • Clean Air

    @Steven

    You anthropogenic climate change denialists are so funny when you get caught out, he, he.

  • Steven Douglas

    @Michael Francis

    Michael, definitely stick with scientific citations, as a youtube would probably do little to persuade me.

    I read Larsen’s paper, and found the arguments interesting, but his conclusions unpersuasive, as they admit little other than nutrition associated with a transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies. I see far more to it than that. Government itself, for example, and people’s psychological dependencies thereon. Look at the difference between wolves and dogs to see striking differences. Lupine brains are far and away larger, and more intelligent, than the most intelligent canines found anywhere today. That is not because of diet and nutritional requirements, but rather a result of long term subjugation for survival. Dogs no longer need the same intelligence as wolves to survive. Likewise with the hive-minded in our society, who would like to become as dogs, persuading others to defer to a separate (elite if you will) class of those perceived as having higher intelligence… not understanding that intelligence and wisdom do not, of necessity, go hand in hand, and without considering that their desire for such dependencies is a form of voluntary slavery that will take a physiological toll on future generations. And not because because of food selections, or the sources thereof.

  • http://thoughtleader.co.za/michaelfrancis Michael Francis

    @Steven Douglas – You are rather arrogant in dismissing Larson’s article that if you bothered to look at the citations is based on the best and most up to date peer-reviewed science on the subject. But of course you dismiss anything that does not fit with your world view.

    And your wolf/dog analogy is strained at best. Wolves are pack animals and like humans require others to survive. Your assumption that humans working together is detrimental is odd and at odds with humanity and human endeavor.

  • Eve Stevens

    An interesting but at times rude, which is not needed, discussion. We are talkng about carbon dioxide induced global warming, however. There is no proof that carbon dioxide causes the planet to warm. There has been no statistically relevant warming for the past 150 years. For three quarters of this planet’s history temperatures were 8 to 15 degrees C higher than they are now. There is no problem therefore there is nothing to fix. The only people calling for carbon emission reduction are people who will profit from it.
    Biofuel produces airborn paticulates and the increased price of grains because they are now used in biofuel is starving 10 to 20 Million people a year.
    So we have a non problem being fixed by methods which do harm.
    Nce going environmentalists.

  • Steven Douglas

    @Michael Francis

    I did not dismiss the peer reviewed science on the subject – only found Larsen’s interpretations and conclusions about that literature (which are not the same as ‘the science’) “strained at best”, to use your words. To equate anyone’s conclusions about the science to “the science” is the arrogance worthy of dismissal.

    And I stand by my analogy. Hunter-gatherers grouped together and relied upon one another for practical survival reasons, just like wolves. Packs, tribes, essentially the same thing. Small groups with defended territories. It’s not until the advent of larger governments (and agriculture) that humans invented slavery en masse, and we have been practicing slavery in various forms, subjugating, siphoning/stealing other peoples’ labors for some “greater good”, be it a plantation, a corporation, or some larger societies machinations, ever since, even to this day.

    That is why Al Gore, Rush Limbaugh, Al Sharpton, Glen Beck, Oprah and I are so fat and you are so terribly skinny.

  • Froggie

    @Eve Stevens

    Your above post refers; and I suppose the earth is flat as well, and I suppose there is no proof smoking causes cancer either.

    Governments and corporations who undermine mainstream science on climate change without a shred of credible science to back up their conspiracy theories should be put on trial for genocide like the Nazi’s were.

  • Alan

    “..should be put on trial for genocide like the Nazi’s were.”

    First, it is commonly accepted that the first to bring up Nazis in a net debate loses…

    Secondly, my first thought was “What about that Rachel environmentalist who got DDT banned, leading directly to the deaths of millions of Africans from Malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases?”

    (since DDT was banned AFTER Europe and the US had used it to effectively remove malaria, leaving Africa and Asia unprotected, to protect birds – I am also reminded how wind turbines kill literally millions of birds every year.)

    Be careful what you wish for. How about suitable fines and punishment for those caught manipulating data in order to scare the world population into poverty, taxation and “redistribution” (AKA communism), at the cost of billions, if not trillions, of dollars?

    What sort of punishment should they, the warming alarmists, get?

    How many billions have already been spent on this mindless drive to control the weather, when the science is not, by any means, settled?

    They’re using computer models that they admit cannot accurately predict clouds, at any time, let alone decades into the future. That’s why they insist near-term forecasts are “weather” and long-term is “climate” – but they’re the same models. That was admitted recently in the farce of an “investigation” into Climategate.

    Weather “experts”, modelling weather, admitting they can’t predict next week because they can’t figure out clouds!

    Good grief.

  • Froggie

    @Alan

    Now you trotting out the old industry DDT ban caused deaths propaganda. Speak to experts in pesticides and malaria to find out superior alternatives.

    Where is the solid scientific evidence to challenge the IPCC, other than snyping by a bunch of crackpot scientists who got laughed off the stage by mainstream science on climate change.?

  • http://www.crimethinc.co.za Aragorn23

    @Alan: I agree with Froggie. When you start waffling on about DDT you expose yourself as a mindless sycophant of conservative free market thinktanks like CEI, Heartland Foundation, etc.

  • Eve Stevens

    “old industry DDT ban caused deaths propaganda” ?
    You do not know that 1.5 million people a year have died from malaria and continue to die at that rate, a preventable death if DDT was available? There no superior alternatives and none as inexpensive as DDT. Where have you been hiding?
    As for the IPCC, they have shown what they are by citing references from the WWF and Greenpeace. These are not peer reviewed scientific papers and when reviewed were found not to be true.

  • Alan

    Propoganda? Are you denying that in order to receive “aid” (I use the term loosely) most countries in Africa have accepted a defacto ban on DDT? Are you denying the massive death toll from malaria? Are you denying the well-established effectiveness of DDT as a mosquito killer in residential areas?

    If “more effective” pesticides are available, what is their price? Because DDT is affordable, even in Africa.

    Back in 2006 even the WHO did a U turn:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6083944

    But anyway, let’s stick to the topic – the loonytoon idea that man’s tiny contribution to the trace gas of CO2 (plant food) will bring about an increase in global temperatures – and that such an increase would be a Very Bad Thing, despite previous warm periods being highly beneficial and certainly a lot better than previous ice ages…

    And this from the people who can’t figure out clouds.

  • Froggie

    @Eve Stevens

    Well lets have some Neuromburg trials and lets put both the IPCC on trial in the one instance, and the oil corporations on the other hand, and see who hangs for genocide.

    Lets also put those who banned DDT on trial as well as the corporation that sells DDT it on trial and lets see who hangs for genocide.

  • Froggie

    @Alan

    GENEVA, Switzerland, May 6, 2009 (ENS) � In an effort to rid the world of the pesticide DDT, used to fight the mosquito that transmits malaria, 40 countries are set to test non-chemical methods to combat the deadly disease, three United Nations agencies announced today.

    Full report:
    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/may2009/2009-05-06-02.asp

    AND DIFFERENT REPORT:

    We cannot allow people to die from malaria, but we also cannot continue using DDT if we know about the health risks,” said Tiaan de Jager, a member of the panel who is a professor at the School of Health Systems & Public Health at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. “Safer alternatives should be tested first and if successful, DDT should be phased out without putting people at risk.”
    http://www.earthportal.org/news/?p=2834

    Your climate change denialsm goes hand in hand with promoting DDT, which corporate think tank pays you?

  • Wise Old Joe

    @Alan & Eve (not Adam and Eve)

    Mexico: Fighting Malaria Without DDT…..Better management of the environment a key to disease control……..As a result of this integrated approach, Mexico was able to abandon DDT ahead of schedule.
    http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-29136-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html

    If Mexico can do it, Africa can do it. We don’t need to kill Africans with DDT.

    There needs to be international courts to hold corporate CEO’s and government leaders accountable for this type of genocide.

  • http://www.vegansociety.co.za Aragorn Eloff

    @Eve: References please.

    @Alan: It’s like free market fundie 101 with you, isn’t it?

    DDT is a nuanced issue. People stopped spraying it all over the place not just because of Silent Spring, but because entomologists discovered that mosquitoes were becoming resistant to it. There are also serious health and environmental implications, especially when it is diverted to general agricultural use, something the recent push by lobby groups to reintroduce DDT was obvious intended to encourage, given that said groups were paid by the manufacturers of DDT.

    I think this is a reasonably balanced article on the subject: http://www.alternet.org/environment/75346/

    Now, about your tired, long-since-debunked denialist rubbish:

    1: Weather != climate…if you don’t understand the difference, and how the models differ, how on earth can you expect anyone to take your criticisms seriously? Here’s a very brief introduction to the subject. Please feel free to read more *objective* information on the subject: http://www.grist.org/article/we-cant-even-predict-the-weather-next-week/

    I won’t even bother with the ridiculous CO2 = plant food joke, except to suggest that you all go to Youtube and do a search for that hilarious CEI video, ‘CO2: they call it pollution, we call it life.’

    You also misunderstand complex systems, by the way: in non-linear systems, tiny contributions matter greatly. Another reading project for you :-)

  • Alan

    Nobody pays me.

    The non-chemical experiment looks promising – but if the max’ reduction in Mexico was only 60% that leaves 40% left to suffer or die.

    DDT has a far higher success rate, virtually eleminating the disease.

    As far as I know, to date there has never been a single case of human death from DDT. If you know of any, show me? Not the kerosene solvent, the DDT iself?

    I left the UK 6 years ago and now live in the tropics. The threat of malaria here is very real – and would be vastly less so if DDT were available. Not to mention other mozzie-borne diseases.

    Anyway, back to the topic – plant food as a deadly pollutant, killing the planet via some vague hint of some possible warming, from what’s left of the tattered data that’s been fudged, manipulated, deleted, cherry-picked and censored.

    Someone mentioned the more obvious blunders of the IPCC. Let’s not forget the manipulation of the “peer review” process, the deliberate hiding of the urban heat island effect, the faux “hockey stick” and desperate attempts to pretend the MWP never happened…

    Not to mention NASA has now admitted they get much of their data from the CRU and it’s in an even worse state.

    Let’s also not forget they managed to somehow not notice thousands of squar miles of ice, too.

    It’s like pulling a thread on a wholly jumper…

  • Steven Douglas

    @Aragorn Eloff, who wrote: “You also misunderstand complex systems, by the way: in non-linear systems, tiny contributions matter greatly.”

    That is overly simplistic, but also presumptuous. It is certainly not axiomatic, as that can cut both ways in non-linear systems, especially systems laden with feedbacks, as the effects of tiny contributions can be even tinier, and matter much less than they would in a purely linear system. And that brings us to the houses of cards upon which catastrophic alarmist hypotheses rest. CO2 alone cannot account for large temperature variations (either way). That is why climate sensitivities are both invoked and heavily weighted in models that assume several variables at once, including incredibly high sensitivities (amplifying feedbacks), with high population and corresponding CO2 increases (not observed), among other things, without which the hypotheses miserably fail.

  • Wise Old Joe

    @Alan

    You sprout climate change denialist nonsense for nothing when you could be paid? That worries me, you are not as sharp as I thought. And you can be paid to lobby for the DTT lobby as well, don’t go out there making an ass out of yourself for nothing.

    DDT has caused chronic effects on the nervous system, liver, kidneys, and immune systems in experimental animals. But of course no lobbyist would ever admit that if someone died as a result of this, it was related to DDT. Like tobacco lobbyists argue smoking never killed anyone, they died from lung cancer.

    The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that ‘DDT may reasonably be anticipated to be a human carcinogen’. Work carried out by the US National Cancer Institute correlates breast cancer in women with increased levels of DDE in blood serum.

    Teratogenic effects (birth defects). Again there is evidence that DDT causes teratogenic effects in test animals. In mice, maternal doses of 26 mg/kg/day DDT from gestation through to lactation resulted in impaired learning in maze tests.

    So its OK to have people dying of cancer caused by DDT, poeple with birth defects caused by DDT, chronic effects on the nervous system, liver, kidneys, and immune systems caused by DDT?

    Tough choices, but it looks like people who work in the fields of health and malaria choose to no longer tolerate the DDT option.

  • http://www.crimethinc.co.za Aragorn23

    @Steven: I agree – we don’t know ‘which way it will cut’, to use your phraseology; invoking the precautionary principle is therefore the rational thing to do.

    Please supply references for your claim, ‘CO2 alone cannot account for large temperature variations (either way)’ and the comments you make about weighting in contrast to observation.

  • Alan

    Lab rats fed massive doses do not equate with human harm.

    Consider the vastly larger volumes of DDT used throughout Europe and the US, for decades, with no noticable ill effects (and the total elmination of malaria). But DDT is so toxic we should ban the stuff, leaving people to die or suffer horribly from this dreadful disease?

    Trust me, if you ever get malaria you’ll change your mind on this issue.

    Happily, it seems some sane middle ground is being found, with limited spraying of home interiors. That’s enough to prevent the spread of disease, as after biting mozzies look for a flat surface to rest and digest. Spray the walls with DDT and they may bite you – but you’ll be the first and last person they bite.

    Now, I hear “denialist nonsense”, yet everything I mention is out there and can be verified. Heck, much of it comes from their own emails and websites – these people are pretty much making up the “science” as they go along.

    I found this blog via having a “google alert” for the word “climategate”. It’s been an eye-opening experience over the last few weeks. It’s literally a struggle to keep up with the revelations and exposures of wrong-doing.

    Things seem to be dying down now, leaving a hardcore of “denialist” skeptics like myself – and your lot, true believers, despite the evidence of faked and flakey “data”.

    You believe because you want to, not any evidence.

  • Wise Old Joe

    @Alan

    Your selective comments come across as a typical industry think tank blogger. Who employs you?

  • Alan

    Which part of “Nobody pays me” was a strain on your intellect?

    Considering the mass funding behind “AGW”, how do we know YOU aren’t some paid shill for the warmist brigade?

    Here’s an idea, answer the points instead of trying to obscure the issue by calling the messenger silly names. What do you think?

  • Clean Air

    @Alan

    I have finally worked out the synergy between the DDT lobby and the climate change denialist lobby.

    More malaria from global warming means more DDT needs to be sprayed, good for profits for DDT company, so keep that globe heating up and live in denial.

    However:

    Lancet Medical Journal: Managing the Health effects of Climate Change
    Launched in London, UK, May 13, 2009

    A collaboration between The Lancet and University College London, UK, resulting in the first UCL Lancet Commission report, setting out how climate change over the coming decades could have a disastrous effect on health across the globe.
    MORE:
    http://www.thelancet.com/climate-change

    Strange you so want to save African lives by spraying DDT but could not give a damn about “Climate change to force 75 million Pacific Islanders from their homes” MORE:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/5915829/Climate-change-to-force-75-million-Pacific-Islanders-from-their-homes.html

    Yes your argument of dousing Africans with DDT to save lives while climate change ravages the continent does not make sense, unless you lobby for the fossil fuel and DDT industry.

    Climate Change to fuel hunger in poverty struck Southern Africa:
    http://www.nowpublic.com/environment/climate-change-fuel-hunger-poverty-struck-southern-africa

  • Wise Old Joe

    @Alan

    Ah, so you work for industries that benefits from the spin you put out but you deny they pay you.

    Produce some credible science to back your arguments intead of ‘points’, and the answers will be clear.

  • Alan

    You sum up your ignorance with the opening line “More malaria from global warming…”.

    Is there anything you wouldn’t blame on “global warming”? In point of fact, mozzies don’t mind the cold. Ask someone living in Canada.

    One of the worst ever outbreaks of Malaria occured in Russia, you know, the cold place? DDT got rid of it.

    Temperatures have little to do with malaria or mosquitos.

    Since unfounded accusations seem to be the norm here, are you sure you’re not just keen on the idea of “population control” in Africa, by any means necessary?

    It often strikes me that for many environmentalists the real ‘enemy’ is simply humanity itself. The more you can reduce populations and subject the survivors to poverty the better, huh?

    Ignoring of course, that wealthier countries can afford to do a better job of looking after said environment…

    Well, I’m unsubbing from the comments here, as I’ve never found arguing against religion to be productive. Believers just believe, regardless of facts or how often their leaders are exposed as charalatans.

    I’m reminded of Phil Jones (who recently admitted there’s been no statistially significant warming for 15 years), stating he wished there was more catastrophic warming, just to prove him right.

    What a swell guy!

    Instead of doom and gloom, why can’t you people celebrate the fact that your “scientists” and leaders have been fudging the data to suit their theories?

    Relax, climate changes. Always has.

    Goodbye.

  • Steven Douglas

    @Aragorn23

    While the amount of climate sensitivity remains controversial, the question as to how that sensitivity is defined is not.

    The following is excerpted from http://www.physorg.com/news188220613.html

    Climate Sensitivity — defined as how much the average global surface temperature will increase if there is a doubling of greenhouse gases (expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents) in the air, once the planet has had a chance to settle into a new equilibrium after the increase occurs.

    According to the IPCC it is 3 deg. C, with a range of uncertainty from 2 to 4.5 degrees.

    * My comment: in other words, the range of uncertainty, which is larger than the projected amount, means the earth could cool by up to 1.5 deg. C as well – and that according to the IPCC, which I consider a dubious source.

    Contd': This sensitivity depends primarily on all the different feedback effects, both positive and negative, that either amplify or diminish the greenhouse effect. There are three primary feedback effects — clouds, sea ice and water vapor; these, combined with other feedback effects, produce the greatest uncertainties in predicting the planet’s future climate.

    With no feedback effects at all, the change would be just 1 degree Celsius, climate scientists agree. Virtually all of the controversies over climate science hinge on just how strong the various feedbacks may be — and on whether scientists may have failed to account for some of them.

  • Judith

    Well malaria happens like most diseases. DDT results in lung diseases. How do we achieve balance? By researching and working with the problem. We are not stupid just arrogant

  • Clean Air

    @Alan

    “Well, I’m unsubbing from the comments here,”

    Mission accomplished, don’t come back either.

  • Froggie

    @Judith

    Yes arrogance and stupidity are is a terrible things.

    Important document: Safe Malaria Solutions – Beyond DDT – http://www.panna.org/ddt