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Monday, July 11, 2016

Climate science deniers at WUWT diversify into human health

Sou | 3:03 PM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment

Not only are climate science deniers climate experts they are also human health experts. They are equally good at not reading articles about human health as they are at not reading articles about climate science. That's how one becomes an expert in deniersville. (Cue Dunning and Kruger.)

An occasional blogger at Curry's place and WUWT, Kip Hansen (who revels in straw man fallacies in climate science), has picked up on an article in the New York Times. Gina Kollata has written about how some ailments have shown a marked decline in the USA. They are still prevalent, but emerging in people much later in life than previously. Kip finishes with another straw man anti-environment throwaway to prove he is a well-trained WUWT monkey:

Kolata’s coverage is a breath of fresh air in science reporting, where we are more usually subjected to yet-another alarming report of impending personal disaster .  [Cue music:  “It Ain’t Necessarily So”] caused by vague “chemicals and toxins” [sic] in our environment.
The NY Times article specifies colon cancer, heart disease, stomach cancer, hip fractures, and dementia, and quotes Dr David Jones, a Harvard historian of medicine saying (my emphasis):
“It is really easy to come up with interesting, compelling explanations...The challenge is to figure out which of those interesting and compelling hypotheses might be correct.”
The reasons it cites for some, but not all, the decline include:
  • Colon cancer: screening, but that doesn't account for all the decline
  • Hip fractures: osteoporosis treatments, heavier people (better bone density)
  • Heart disease: better treatment, statins and drugs for high blood pressure, fewer people smoking, other lifestyle changes
  • Dementia: improved control of blood pressure and cholesterol levels reducing mini-strokes, better education (though without a reason)
  • Stomach cancer: less food preserved by smoking and salting, more anti-biotics hitting H pylori. 
There was little evidence that anyone except Kip Hansen bothered to read the NY Times article. That's as expected at WUWT whose fans show just how easy it is to come up with interesting and compelling hypotheses - well, hypotheses anyway.



As one example this was from the New York Times:
Then there are hip fractures, whose rates have been dropping by 15 to 20 percent a decade over the past 30 years. Although the change occurred when there were drugs to slow bone loss in people with, too few patients took them to account for the effect — for instance, fewer than 10 percent of women over 65 take the drugs. Perhaps it is because people have gotten fatter? Heavier people have stronger bones. Heavier bodies, though, can account for at most half of the effect, said Dr. Steven R. Cummings of the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute and the University of California at San Francisco. When asked what else was at play, he laughed and said, “I don’t know.”
That didn't deter ristvan, who spouted: "Except in these four specific examples we at least directionally really do know." and proceeded to tell everyone why, for example:
July 10, 2016 at 1:40 pm (excerpt)
...Hip fractures are closely related to osteoporosis. The last few decades a number of quite effective preventative drugs have been developed, together with bone density scans indicating who needs them. The first bisphosphonate was approved in 1969. Much better ones became available in the 1990s (Fosamax) once the mechanism of action was fully understood in the 1980s.
And even after Kip Hansen pointed out that "those advances do not account for the magnitude of the declines", Rudd Istvan added:
KH, sure. But to proclaim ignorance of first and second generation biphosphonate osteoporosous drugs is simply disingenuous– a low level inexpert doctor wrongly affirming a know nothing MSM assertion. 
Thus showing that he didn't bother to read the article or Kip's response to him. He was more interested in name-dropping and touting his science denial vanity publications.

There were other "interesting and compelling reasons" given by the Dunning and Kruger set at WUWT, mostly about how global warming has helped (global warming isn't a hoax today, apparently):
  • Hip fractures are falling (:) perhaps helped by a number of milder winters with less ice on the pavements, one more positive effect of the warmer climate. (Vukcvecic)
  • Global warming ! Less ice means less broken hips ;) (Greg)
  • It’s the increasing CO2… (csanborn)
  • It’s ’cause the Earth is warming! ;-) (Goldrider)
  • The reason is likely due to the general increase in food quality and quantity as a direct result of CO2 fertilization. (Bryan A)
  • Well, the timing seems to me to implicate tobacco use more than anything else I’m aware of . . ; ) (one of the few 'interesting' comments from JohnKnight)
  • How about the root cause of our increased, healthy lifespan is prosperity? (CommieBob)

As rbabcock said:
July 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm
Stupidity is still effecting [sic] a large number of humans. Hope they are working on a cure for it.

At least Anthony Watts didn't lead his headline with "claim", and deniers for the most part didn't deny there've been improvements in human health.

5 comments :

  1. I can conjure up hypotheses too: people who spend their time sat down are unlikely to fall over and break their hip.

    But I think Anthony would be wise to move away from publishing crap about climate change. There are plenty of other topics out there that he and his fanboys can pretend to know something about.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My hunch, it's the emergence of walkers and rollerators.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The comments at WUWT were surprisingly hostile toward Richard Tol's latest paper.

    Heller's minions were the loudest and most vicious...which begs the question, are they so programed to "doubt and deny" that they cannot resist the urge to feed off its own.


    https://archive.is/q55I3

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kip: Kolata’s coverage is a breath of fresh air in science reporting, where we are more usually subjected to yet-another alarming report of impending personal disaster . [Cue music: “It Ain’t Necessarily So”] caused by vague “chemicals and toxins” [sic] in our environment.

    I was disappointed by the NYT article. When you claim that there is no explanation why the decreases are so large, you would expect that they say something about reasons every lay-person would immediately think of.

    We have seen enormous improvements in the quality of food, air and water. Could well be that that cannot explain the decrease, but I would be something to write about.

    Another obvious candidate for this period would be the stress of the world war, which less and less people experienced directly and was passed on to children less and less. Together will likely decreases in child abuse as it has become less socially acceptable.

    Both are likely hard to study, but I feel the article should at least have said something about it.

    ReplyDelete
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