Finally, at last, thank God! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Someone's written a book called "Global Warming and other bollocks" (sorry, slight pause while I clean up, I was so excited I wet myself).
And the authors aren't just angry old sods like us, they're real live scientists with degrees and white coats and thick glasses and everything. They are Stanley Feldman, Professor of Anaesthetics at London University, and Vincent Marks, a former professor of clinical biochemistry and Dean of Medicine at the University of Surrey.
Here are a few of their findings ...
The sun is behind global warming
The consensus view is that man-made CO2 is causing the lion's share of global warming. But natural changes in the Sun's power may be as much to blame. There is good evidence that the cause of at least some of global warming is an increase in the intensity of the Sun's heat. Indeed, global temperatures appear to be more closely related to solar activity, which is constantly changing, than to levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.
After all, the Earth warmed up more during medieval times than during the 20th century, and it cooled down considerably during the Little Ice Age of the 16th and 17th centuries - without any manmade event that would have affected CO2 output. Temperatures also dipped between 1940 and 1975 - a period of intense industrial activity. Meanwhile, data from between 1880 and 2000 shows a close correlation between increased solar activity and higher average temperatures on Earth. So couldn't it be that the Sun is responsible for heating us up after all?
The Maldives aren't sinking
It has become a key part of the climate change mantra that some of the world's most beautiful islands are at risk of sinking below the waves, thanks to sea level rises caused by global warming.
But so confident are property owners in the Maldives that the sea is receding, they are building a flurry of lavish seafront hotels. Meanwhile, Tuvalu in the Pacific - also cited as being most at risk - has actually seen a fall in sea levels.
CO2 levels are not at unprecedented highs
Today, about 0.038 per cent of the atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide, the main man-made climate change gas. This figure has certainly risen over the past 200 years or so - the 'pre-industrial' level of CO2 was closer to 0.02 per cent.
But what is often ignored is that in the Earth's past, carbon dioxide levels have often been as much as ten times higher than they are today. For example, during the Cretaceous era, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, CO2 levels were five to ten times what they are today. The planet was certainly warmer then, but life thrived and there was no runaway greenhouse catastrophe of the sort that the doom-mongers insist we face if we let levels rise further. They also, it should be noted, came down again naturally.
Polar bears are not dying out
The doom-mongers love showing us images of polar bears in peril, floating on isolated ice rafts. But most populations are doing very well, thank you. Despite the (limited) melting seen in the Arctic ice cap over the past 50 years, polar bear numbers have more than doubled since 1950 - and that's despite the fact that 50 to 100 bears are now shot every year. Indeed, polar bears aren't bothered by the odd stretch of open water - they are very capable swimmers.
In fact, it is not even clear that the Arctic ice is melting. The summer of 2008 was the coldest in Anchorage, Alaska, for 40 years.
(We aren't sure why everyone makes such a fuss about bloody polar bears. They're vicious bastards, and if it were up to us we'd shoot the lot. What's the point of being the dominant species if you still have to share the planet with the likes of polar bears, great white sharks, crane flies and Peter Mandelbum? - GOS)
... nor are the penguins
And it's a similar story at the South Pole. Although some Antarctic penguin colonies, especially those near human bases, have decreased in size, overall, penguin numbers are steady or increasing.
The Gulf Stream is not under threat
Some scientists have warned that if the Arctic ice cap melts, the resulting flood of cold water in the Atlantic could push the Gulf Stream - the warm current which keeps Britain relatively balmy - further south. If this happens, they have made dire predictions that northern Europe could become a frozen wasteland.
Unfortunately for them, there is no evidence to support this view. In fact, the Gulf Stream is as strong as ever - and is getting warmer, not colder. Nor is it changing direction.
Global warming might even be good for us
A warmer climate and an increase in CO2 will be a boon for farming and agriculture in general. One can even envisage returning to the warmer landscape of Roman times, when vineyards were common in England.
With less severe winters, it will also be possible to grow many crops that, because they are susceptible to the occasional frost, cannot be grown at present.
There are few "bad" foods
Received wisdom, repeated by many doctors and public health professionals, says we can remain fit and avoid disease by cutting out certain 'bad foods' from our diets. Indeed, it is variously claimed that 35-50 per cent of all cancers are caused by the food we eat.
But while they are despised by the culinary elite, readily available hamburgers, sausages and pizzas have provided good nutritional value for many low-income families, who in previous days could afford only low-protein, high-carbohydrate, high-fat meals such as bread and dripping, and chip butties.
In fact, fears about hamburgers and sausages in Britain are especially irrational. Most countries have a national dish based on minced or processed meat - and none is suffering from an epidemic of junk food-inspired illness. For example, meatballs are used in many guises in the Middle East, chopped meat on a bed of onions is a national dish in the Balkans, and mince is also used in countless Italian sauces. The terrines and pâtés of France and Belgium also contain processed chopped meat. Obesity is not caused by these foods, but by those who choose to gorge on them.
Studies claiming to show the negative impact of a 'junk food' diet usually have little scientific validity.
Organic food is no better for you
A widespread belief has emerged that organic foods are better for you than others because they do not contain 'chemicals' used in large- scale conventional farming. This dogma is wrong. All plant nutriment comes from the air, in the form of CO2, and from water-soluble chemicals in the soil.
The composition of these chemicals is the same, whether they come from a plastic bag or from 'natural' manure or compost. They are certainly the same by the time they are on your plate.
There's no need to cut back on salt
Salt is an essential food. Without it, we would die. Land-based mammals such as humans control their body temperature by sweating and panting. Sweating is impossible without sufficient salt. In fact, strenuous exercise in a person depleted of salt causes overheating and death.
The Government has caved in to the anti-salt zealots in its advice to reduce salt intake. However, there is, in fact, very little, if any, truly scientific evidence that cutting back on it will do you any good.
Turkey Twizzlers are fine
The much-disparaged Turkey Twizzler, bugbear of TV chef Jamie Oliver, is made of recovered turkey meat and provides the same amino acids as normal turkey breast.
Corned beef, now an unfashionable meat product, is also no less nutritious than any other beef, although, like Turkey Twizzlers, it is also a reclaimed meat product.
We don't know what causes heart disease
The medical (and social) consensus is that cardiovascular disease is caused by being overweight, by having a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet and by unhealthy activities such as smoking.
While being morbidly obese, eating nothing but lard and smoking 60 a day will probably lead to an early grave, there is nevertheless a lot of confusion about the precise link between lifestyle and this, the biggest killer of all. Many people with high cholesterol levels in their blood do not get heart disease. Many people with very low levels do.
The very low levels of heart disease recorded in some populations, notably the Japanese, may have more to do with cultural variation and prejudice than with medical reality (in many societies, what are, in fact, heart attacks are often listed on death certificates as 'strokes').
Furthermore, some of the lowest levels of cholesterol and arterial sclerosis are to be found in populations such as the Inuit and Siberian hunter-gatherers, who live on a diet which is incredibly high in saturated fat.
Take health advice with a pinch of salt
Everything seems to be bad for you these days, but there is also plenty of scientific evidence to the contrary.
Eggs seldom contain salmonella, even if some chickens do. Cholesterol in the diet does not cause fatty deposits in your arteries. There is probably little difference between the effect of saturated and unsaturated fats.
In those with normal kidney function, salt does not cause high blood pressure. Those with a body-mass index of between 25 and 32 live as long as or longer than those with a lower BMI. And avoiding the sun causes vitamin D deficiency; a suntan is nature's natural sun block, although sunburn is to be avoided.
Mercury fillings are probably harmless
Anti-mercury campaigners believe that the mercury used in dental fillings will make you ill (mercury is a potent poison). But a single amalgam filling provides just 0.03 micrograms/day of mercury, which is almost 3,000 times less than the safety level permitted for persons with occupational exposure to mercury, and is too small to be responsible for any symptoms.
These extracts are from "Global Warming And Other Bollocks: The Truth About All Those Science Scare Stories" by Feldman and Marks. Buy it here.
We wrote only the other day about Ben Goldacre's brilliant book Bad Science. I dunno, you wait ages for some common-sense and then two come along together ...
While we're at it, we appreciated this article by Peter Glover, European Associate Editor of the US magazine Energy Tribune, about the fraudulent reporting of climate change by the BBC ...
Lies, Damned Lies and BBC Climate Reports
When the global warming alarmist house of cards finally collapses, exposing the pseudo-science/scare-journalism axis that has perpetrated the world's greatest mass delusion, among the first led out into the public square for ritual humiliation ought to be BBC ‘science' and ‘environment' correspondents.
Firstly, for submitting fraudulent CV's to BBC Human Resources claiming they actually knew something about science. Secondly, for asserting, as public service (public-paid) broadcasters, that they were only reporting ‘what scientists were saying.'
No doubt they will also adopt the same mitigation Scoop's William Boot called upon - that they were really only Gardening Correspondents who took a wrong turn in the BBC corridor one day. They will claim that their news editors ‘water-boarded' destroying their ‘testicular fortitude' thereby forcing them to concoct a veritable cornucopia of journalistic drivel to feed the public angst. That resulting in warnings of global apocalypse via everything - everything from swine flu to SARS to the Mad Cow Disease (not to mention their ‘toxic' farts) - but, mainly by employing the daddy of all scare scams: warm-mongering.
So science is turned on its head. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is reported by the BBC as a ‘pollutant' and thus all exhaling humans are ‘toxic'. Faith, not science, now prophesies that ‘higher CO2 emissions cause global warming' - even though the actual data reveals global warming ended in 1998, while CO2 emissions continued to rise. Planet Gore-ism propaganda finds a ready home displaying its wares via the ‘world's broadcaster'. Next an epidemic of teenage sleep-denying stress is brought on by viewing science-fiction horror flicks entitled ‘An Inconvenient Bunch of Statistical Crap', as media-induced hysteria invades our schoolrooms. And the evening news presents us with a steady procession of reports warn us that if we don't sell our SUV's and buy dull light-bulbs, dire prognostications will befall us. We will see the end of the Gulf Stream, the demise of islands (various), the loss of both polar ice caps and the bulk of the world's population - not to mention the nightly re-showing of those cuddly polar bears floating about on a chunk of ice.
This June, in the wake of Japanese scientists disputing the UN IPCC's anthropogenic warming orthodoxy (which, needless to say, the BBC didn't report), the Japanese Government put forward what the BBC's Environment Correspondent Richard Black called "weak" carbon targets. Writer/blogger Maurizio Morabito helpfully provides us with stark ‘numerical evidence' of Black's - thus the BBC's - biased reporting. Morabito says: "The article is made up of 469 words. Of those, 249 make up "neutral" sentences (54%). Negative comments are made of 156 words (34%). Only 58 words (13%...a mere three sentences!!) are left to explain the reasons for the Japanese government's decision."
It wasn't so long ago - April 2008 to be precise - that the actions of the BBC's environment reporter Roger Harrabin epitomised the lack of integrity in the BBC news reporting. Having confirmed (for once) that global warming appeared to have peaked in 1998 Harrabin went as far ‘change the news' to accommodate the anger of a climate activist.
Then there is Susan Watts, BBC TV's Newsnight's science editor, who informed the British public that "Scientists calculate that President Obama has just four years to save the world". It was unclear whether she meant from climate catastrophe or a prospective Palin White House (I assume the former, liberal hand-wringing angst over Sarah Palin will come soon enough). Watts later confirmed, via her blog, that she was referring to comments by Dr James Hansen. For the uninitiated Hansen is the resident alarmist nut-job at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies - a man whose ‘science' his more serious NASA colleagues are queuing up to skewer publicly.
In ‘BBC Abandons "impartiality" on warming' Chris Booker provides other examples of Watts' "bizarre" reporting, including editing Obama's inaugural speech "to convey a considerably stronger impression of what Obama has said on global warming than his careful wording justified." Booker also reminds us that, "as late as August 28, 2008, it [the BBC] was still predicting the Arctic ice might soon disappear". By the end of the year, the Arctic ice was reported as having grown by 30 percent. Needless to say, those reports too were frozen out of BBC reports. Then there was the controversy over an ‘impartial' BBC devoting 15 hours of airtime to the Live Earth/Al Gore Propaganda Show in 2007. It featured at one point a giant poster of Michael Mann's famous computer modelled "hockey stick" temperature graph. As Booker points out, "one of the most discredited artefacts in the history of science".
Okay, so why pick on the BBC? Haven't they enough troubles playing down internal reports that confirm their ideologically left wing and liberal biases? True enough. But the BBC loves to call itself, as we have noted, the ‘world's broadcaster'. Fair enough. But its scientifically-challenged science/enviro correspondents, as Dr Richard North's excellent 2006 report ‘The BBC's Climate Change Meltdown' notes concerning those that know more science than they (mentioning Harrabin and Watts by name), they "give us every sign that they think sceptics are fools or knaves or both". Cometh the time then, only the highest profile ritual humiliation will do.
The BBC, replete with its increasingly shabby values, is now a growing player in the American and Canadian markets too, with shows including Dancing With The Stars - a programme, by the way, that cause celebrities to rush around expelling enormous quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. If I sound a tad peevish, it's with good reason. As a British citizen I am forced annually to subsidize the BBC (British Bias Corporation) via Britain's iniquitous TV licence fee ‘tax'. Fact is, there was a time in Britain when ‘end is nigh' placarders and other much-loved eccentrics, operated at the margins of society. Sadly, today they have moved indoors, gained a degree in journalism and become proficient at state of the art graphics. Novelist Graham Greene once wrote, "A petty reason ... why novelists more and more try to keep a distance from journalists is that novelists are trying to write the truth and journalists are trying to write fiction". We might add, given the BBC's appalling reporting record on climate issues, "mostly science-fiction, too".
Yeah, that's what we think too. For another example of the BBC's arrogant approach to factual science, see here.
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.
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