Iranian researchers have produced a nano-drug which has proven effective in battling treatment resistant cancers.
The Cancer Research Center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences produced the polymer-based nanocarrier for the targeted release of the anti-cancer drug curcumin, ISNA reported on Sunday.
“This nanocarrier was made without the use of poisonous catalysts and has proven successful in clinical trials on a number cancer patients,” said Dr Ali Mohammad Alizadeh from the Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council.
Research has proven that curcumin, which is found in turmeric, has anti-cancer and cancer preventing properties apart from its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, he added.
When curcumin is prescribed in its edible form, it has a low effect on the targeted tissues because of its low absorption rate and fast metabolism which causes it to be flushed from the body, he noted.
However, by capsuling curcumin in nano-emulsions (nano curcumin) its medical properties increase, Alizadeh noted.
Even if prescribed in high dosages, the drug is proven not poisonous during first-stage clinical trials and is currently near the end of stage two clinical trials on drug-resistant breast and digestive tract cancers.
Alizadeh added that because all the basic materials required to manufacture nano-curcumin are available in the country it can be domestically mass-produced as an anti-cancer drug.
According to evidence unearthed from the archives of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the United States, it has been established that Monsanto was fully aware of the potential of glyphosate to cause cancer in mammals as long ago as 1981.
Recently the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a statement in which glyphosate (the main component of Roundup herbicide) was classified as “probably carcinogenic” to humans and as “sufficiently demonstrated” for genotoxicity in animals (1). This announcement of a change to toxicity class 2A was given vast coverage in the global media, causing Monsanto to move immediately into damage limitation mode. The corporation demanded the retraction of the report, although it has not yet been published! Predictably, there was more fury from the industry-led Glyphosate Task Force (2). This Task Force also sponsored a “rebuttal” review article (3) from a team of writers with strong links with the biotechnology industry; but because of the clear bias demonstrated in this paper (which suggests that glyphosate has no carcinogenic potential in humans) it is best ignored until it has been carefully scrutinized by independent researchers (4).
With Monsanto continuing to protest that glyphosate and Roundup are effectively harmless (5) if used according to instructions, in spite of accumulating evidence to the contrary, we undertook a search through Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) records with a view to finding out what was known about glyphosate at the time of its initial registration. This followed up earlier investigations by Sustainable Pulse which highlighted a sudden change in the EPA view on toxicity in 1991. What was discovered was very revealing. There were many animal experiments (using rats, mice and dogs) designed to test the acute and chronic toxicity of glyphosate in the period 1978-1986, conducted by laboratories such as Bio/dynamics Inc for Monsanto and submitted for EPA consideration. Two of these reports relate to a three-generation reproduction study in rats (6) (7), and another is called “A Lifetime Feeding Study Of Glyphosate In Rats” (8); but like all the other older studies they were and still are treated as Trade Secrets and cannot be freely accessed for independent scrutiny. That in itself is suggestive that the studies contain data which Monsanto still does not wish to be examined by experts in the toxicology field. It is also deeply worrying that EPA acceded to the routine Monsanto requests for secrecy on the flimsiest of pretexts.
However, archived and accessible EPA Memos from the early 1980’s do give some indications as to what the rat studies contain (9). Although the studies predate the adoption of international test guidelines and GLP standards they suggest that there was significant damage to the kidneys of the rats in the 3-generational study — the incidence of tubular dilation in the kidney was higher in every treated group of rats when compared to controls. Tubular dilation and nephrosis was also accompanied by interstitial fibrosis in all test groups and in some of the lumens the researchers found amorphous material and cellular debris. Less than a third of the control rats showed signs of tubular dilation. In the rat study results, the changes in the bladder mucosa are significant because metabolites, concentrated by the kidneys, have led to hyperplasia that could be considered as a very early and necessary step in tumour initiation. EPA was worried in 1981 that these indications were sinister, and at first declined to issue a NOEL (no observed adverse effect level) — it asked for further information and additional research. In its 1982 Addendum, Monsanto presented evidence that minimised the effects and confused the data — and on that basis EPA accepted that glyphosate was unlikely to be dangerous. But Monsanto knew that scrutiny of the data in the studies would potentially threaten its commercial ambitions, and so it asked for the research documents concerned to be withheld and treated as Trade Secrets. So there was no effective independent scrutiny. Monsanto and EPA connived in keeping these documents away from unbiased expert assessment, in spite of the evidence of harm. (It is clear that EPA was thinking about carcinogenic effects — it knew in 1981 that glyphosate caused tumorigenic growth and kidney disease but dismissed the finding as “a mystery” in order to set the NOEL for the chemical and bring it to market.)
In the rat studies, the glyphosate doses fed to the test groups were 1/100 of those used in a later mouse study (9). It is unclear why these very small doses were decided upon by Monsanto and accepted by EPA, since there must be a suspicion that the studies were manipulated or designed to avoid signs of organ damage. In its 1986 Memo, EPA remarked on the very low doses, and said that no dose tested was anywhere near the “maximally tolerated dose.” Then the Oncogenicity Peer Review Committee said: “At doses close to an MTD, tumours might have been induced.” A repeat rat study was asked for. However, BioDynamics (which conducted the research for Monsanto) used data from three unrelated studies, which they conducted in house, as historical controls to create “experimental noise” and to diminish the importance of the results obtained by experiment.
In a 1983 mouse study conducted by Bio/dynamics Inc for Monsanto (10), there was a slight increase in the incidence of renal tubular adenomas (benign tumours) in males at the highest dose tested. Malignant tumours were found in the higher dose group. However, “it was the judgment of two reviewing pathologists that the renal tumors were not treatment-related”. Other effects included centrilobular hypertrophy and necrosis of hepatocytes, chronic interstitial nephritis, and proximal tubule epithelial cell basophilia and hypertrophy in females. The EPA committee determined there was a “weak oncogenic response” — so evidence was suggestive of early malignancy. The EPA Science Advisory Panel was asked for advice, and they said the data were equivocal and called for further studies in mice and rats. A further report was delivered in 1985. Part of the reason for this dithering was the prevalent but false EPA belief that all physiological effects had to be dose-related: namely, the higher the dose, the greater the effect.
Even though pre-cancerous conditions were imperfectly understood 35 years ago, and cortical adenomas in kidney were not thought dangerous at the time, the evidence from the Memos is that Monsanto, BioDynamics Inc and the EPA Committees involved were fully aware, probably before 1981, of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate when fed to mammals. In the Memos there are references to many more “secret” animal experiments and data reviews, which simply served to confuse the regulators with additional conflicting data. Thus EPA publicly accepted the safety assurances of the Monsanto Chief of Product Safety, Robert W. Street, and the status of the product was confirmed for use in the field (11). But behind the scenes, according to a later EPA memo (in 1991), its own experts knew before 1985 that glyphosate causes pancreatic, thyroid and kidney tumors.
On the EPA website (last updated 31.10.2014) reference is made to five Monsanto studies of 1980 – 1985, and it is noteworthy that these studies have not been made public in the light of current knowledge about malignant tumours and pre-cancerous conditions (12). Neither have they been revisited or reinterpreted by Monsanto and EPA, although one 1981 rat study and one 1983 mouse study are mentioned in the recent review by Greim et al (2015) (3). Following the conclusion that glyphosate was “not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity” nothing in the EPA advice about this chemical has changed since 1990. Given the recent assessment by the WHO Panel, and given the flood of scientific papers relating to health damage associated with glyphosate (13) the EPA attitude smacks of complacency and even incompetence.
Speaking for GM-Free Cymru, Dr Brian John says: “The evidence shows that by 1981 both Monsanto and the EPA were aware of malignant tumours and pre-cancerous conditions in the test animals which were fed small doses of glyphosate in the secret feeding experiments. Although concerns were expressed at the time by EPA committees, these concerns were later suppressed under the weight of conflicting evidence brought forward by Monsanto, some of it involving the inappropriate use of historical control data of dubious quality. None of these studies is available for independent examination (14). That is a scandal in itself. There has been a protracted and cynical cover-up in this matter (15). Glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen”, as now confirmed by the WHO Working Group, and no matter what protestations may now come from Monsanto and the EPA, they have been fully aware of its potential to cause cancer for at least 35 years. If they had acted in a precautionary fashion back then, instead of turning a blind eye to scientific malpractice (16), glyphosate would never have been licensed, and thousands of lives might have been saved.”
Retired Academic Pathologist Dr Stanley Ewen says: “Glyphosate has been implicated in human carcinogenesis by IARC and it is remarkable that, as early as 1981, glyphosate was noted to be associated with pre neoplastic changes in experimental mice. This finding was never revealed by the regulatory process and one might therefore expect to see human malignancy increasing on the record in the ensuing years. John Little (personal communication) has demonstrated an unexpected and alarming 56% upsurge in malignancy in England in those under 65 in the past 10 years. Presumably British urinary excretion of glyphosate is similar to the documented urine levels in Germany, and therefore everyone is at risk. The effect of glyphosate on endocrine tissue such as breast and prostate, or even placenta, is disruptive at least and an increased incidence of endocrine neoplasia is likely to be seen in National Statistics. The Glyphosate Task Force denies the involvement of glyphosate in human malignancy despite their knowledge of many reports of lymphomas and pituitary adenomas in experimental animals dosed with glyphosate. On the other hand, Prof. Don Huber at a recent meeting in the Palace of Westminster, has warned of severe consequences if rampant glyphosate consumption is not reined in. I feel sure that the suppression of the experimental results of 1981 has enhanced the global risk of malignancy.”
Toxico-pathologist Professor Vyvyan Howard says: “”The drive towards transparency in the testing of pharmaceuticals is gathering pace with legislation in the EU, USA and Canada being developed. All trials for licensed drugs will likely have to become available in the public domain. In my opinion the case with agrochemicals should be no different. At least with pharmaceuticals exposure is voluntary and under informed consent. There are several biomonitoring studies which demonstrate that there is widespread exposure of human populations to glyphosate, presumably without informed consent. Given the clear level of mistrust over the licensing of this herbicide and the emerging epidemiological evidence of its negative effects there can, in my opinion, be no case whatsoever for keeping the toxicological studies, used to justify licencing, a secret. They should be put in the public domain.”
Research scientist Dr Anthony Samsel says: “Monsanto’s Trade Secret studies of glyphosate show significant incidence of cell tumors of the testes and tumorigenic growth in multiple organs and tissues. They also show significant interstitial fibrosis of the kidney including effects in particular to the Pituitary gland, mammary glands, liver, and skin. Glyphosate has significant effects to the lungs indicative of chronic respiratory disease. Glyphosate has an inverse dose response relationship, and it appears that its effects are highly pH dependent. Both Monsanto and the EPA knew of the deleterious effects of this chemical in 1980 at the conclusion of their multiple long-term assessments, but the EPA hid the results of their findings as “trade secrets.” Monsanto has been lying and covering up the truth about glyphosate’s harmful effects on public health and the environment for decades. The increases in multiple chronic diseases, seen since its introduction into the food supply, continue to rise in step with its use. Monsanto’s Roundup glyphosate based herbicides have a ubiquitous presence as residues in the food supply directly associated with its crop use. Nations must stand together against Monsanto and other chemical companies who continue to destroy the biosphere. We are all part of that biosphere and we are all connected. What affects one affects us all.”
(1) Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate (2015)
Kathryn Z Guyton, Dana Loomis, Yann Grosse, Fatiha El Ghissassi, Lamia Benbrahim-Tallaa, Neela Guha, Chiara Scoccianti, Heidi Mattock, Kurt Straif, on behalf of the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group, IARC, Lyon, France
Lancet Oncol 2015. Published Online March 20, 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ S1470-2045(15)70134-8
International Agency for Research on Cancer 16 Volume 112: Some organophosphate insecticides and herbicides: tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon and glyphosate. IARC Working Group. Lyon; 3–10 March 2015. IARC Monogr Eval Carcinog Risk Chem Hum (in press).
(2) Monsanto seeks retraction for report linking herbicide to cancer
By Carey Gillam, Reuters
The response by the pesticide industry association, the Glyphosate Task Force, is here:
(3) Helmut Greim, David Saltmiras, Volker Mostert, and Christian Strupp (2015) REVIEW ARTICLE: Evaluation of carcinogenic potential of the herbicide glyphosate, drawing on tumor incidence data from fourteen chronic/carcinogenicity rodent studies. Crit Rev Toxicol, 2015; Early Online: 1–24 DOI: 10.3109/10408444.2014.1003423
(4) Not only is this paper written by authors who have strong industry links, but the 14 carcinogenicity studies assessed are carefully selected industry studies which have not been peer-reviewed and published in mainstream scientific journals. All of the studies were conducted for clients (like Monsanto) who would have experienced gigantic commercial repercussions if anything “inconvenient” had been reported upon, with glyphosate already in use across the world. Therefore the possibility of fraud and data manipulation cannot be ruled out. The 14 studies are all secret, and cannot be examined by independent toxicology experts. The fact that the review article in question reproduces (as online supplementary material) a series of tables and data sets is immaterial, since the data are useless in the absence of clear explanations of the laboratory protocols and practices of the research teams involved.
(6) “A Three-Generation Reproduction Study in Rats with Glyphosate” (Final Report; Bio/dynamics Project No. 77-2063; March 31, 1981) — submitted by Monsanto to EPA
(7) “Addendum to Pathology Report for a Three-Generation Reproduction Study in Rats with Glyphosate. R.D. #374; Special Report MSL-1724; July 6, 1982″ EPA Registration No 524-308, Action Code 401. Accession No 247793. CASWELL#661A” — submitted by Monsanto to EPA
(8) “A Lifetime Feeding Study Of Glyphosate In Rats” (Report by GR Lankas and GK Hogan from Bio/dynamics for Monsanto. Project #77-2062, 1981: MRID 00093879) — submitted by Monsanto to EPA
and Addendum Report #77-2063
(9) Archived EPA memos from 1982 and 1986:
The 1991 EPA Memo is accessible via:
(10) Knezevich, AL and Hogan, GK (1983) “A Chronic Feeding study of Glyphosate (Roundup Technical) in Mice”. Project No 77-2061. Bio/dynamics Inc for Monsanto. Accession No #251007-251014 — document not available but cited in EPA 1986 Memo.
Follow-up study: McConnel, R. “A chronic feeding study of glyphosate (Roundup technical) in mice: pathology report on additional kidney sections”. Unpublished project no. 77-2061A, 1985, submitted to EPA by BioDynamics, Inc.
(11) Glyphosate was first registered for use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) in 1974, and after various reviews reregistration was completed in 1993.
Glyphosate (CASRN 1071-83-6)
Classification — D (not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity)
Basis — Inadequate evidence for oncogenicity in animals. Glyphosate was originally classified as C, possible human carcinogen, on the basis of increased incidence of renal tumors in mice. Following independent review of the slides the classification was changed to D on the basis of a lack of statistical significance and uncertainty as to a treatment-related effect.
(12) Monsanto Company. 1981a. MRID No. 0081674, 00105995. Available from EPA. Write to FOI, EPA, Washington, DC 20460.
Monsanto Company. 1981b. MRID No. 00093879. Available from EPA. Write to FOI, EPA, Washington, DC 20460.
Monsanto Company. 1985. MRID No. 00153374. Available from EPA. Write to FOI, EPA, Washington, DC 20460.
Monsanto Company. 1980a. MRID No. 00046362. Available from EPA. Write to FOI, EPA, Washington, DC 20460.
Monsanto Company. 1980b. MRID No. 00046363. Available from EPA. Write to FOI, EPA, Washington, DC 20460.
Key studies showing toxic effects of glyphosate and Roundup. Ch 4 in GMO Myths and Truths
Antoniou, M. et al. Teratogenic Effects of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides: Divergence of Regulatory Decisions from Scientific Evidence J Environ Anal Toxicol 2012, S:4
(14) That having been said, Monsanto has allowed access to selected later reports to selected researchers (Greim et al, 2015). It is still uncertain whether these selected reports are available in full, for detailed independent scrutiny — even though there can now be no possible justification for “trade secret” designation, following the lapse of the US glyphosate patent in 2000.
In 1985 the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate was first considered by an EPA panel, called the Toxicology Branch Ad Hoc Committee. The Committee then classified glyphosate as a Class C Carcinogen on the basis of its carcinogenic potential. This classification was changed by the EPA in 1991 to a Class E category on the basis of “evidence of non-carcinogenicity for humans”. Mysteriously this change in glyphosate’s classification occurred during the same period that Monsanto was developing its first Roundup-Ready (glyphosate-resistant) GM Crops. Not for the first time, commercial considerations were allowed to trump public health concerns.
The EPA scale of cancer-forming potential of substances:
Group A: Carcinogenic to humans
Group B: Likely to be carcinogenic to humans
Group C: Suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential
Group D: Inadequate information to assess carcinogenic potential
Group E: Not likely to be carcinogenic to humans
(16) Wikipedia 2012: Internal EPA Memos Document Fraud
1983 EPA Scientist on EPA’s public stance: “Our viewpoint is one of protecting the public health when we see suspicious data.” Unfortunately, EPA has not taken that conservative viewpoint in its assessment of glyphosate’s cancer causing potential.”
“There are no studies available to NCAP evaluating the carcinogenicity of Roundup or other glyphosate-containing products. Without such tests, the carcinogenicity of glyphosate-containing products is unknown.”
“Tests done on glyphosate to meet registration requirements have been associated with fraudulent practices.”
“Countless deaths of rats & mice are not reported.”
“Data tables have been fabricated”
“There is a routine falsification of data”
The giant spider climate story is making the rounds again. The story is, if we don’t mend our wicked ways, we’re going to end living a real life version of the blockbuster movie Arachnophobia.
According to The Telegraph :
Forget floods, droughts, sea-level rise and even the melting polar ice caps. Here’s a really compelling reason to worry about global warming. Spiders.
Research has already suggested that there will be more of them – and they will grow bigger – as temperatures rise. Now a new study, published in the journal Experimental Biology, has concluded that they are likely to be able to run faster and therefore, be harder to catch. …
The study on which all this nonsense is based, didn’t actually say we will all be overrun by giant super spiders. The researchers just wanted to know what happens, if you put a tarantula on a hot plate. The answer – surprise – is they run around really fast, but they fall over a lot.
So what is it really like to live in a place which is infested with giant tropical spiders? As someone who lives on the edge of a tropical swamp (described by real estate agents as a “delightful tropical lagoon”), I feel qualified to answer this question. I love the spiders. The spiders don’t bother me. What I find annoying is the horse flies, like the huge half inch monster which just bit my ankle. The mosquitoes can be annoying as well. At dusk, the mosquitoes stop pretending they care about insect repellent.
Don’t get me wrong, I love living here. There is no such thing as winter, and the sea is as warm as bathwater, for almost half the year. But with my ankle stinging from that horse fly bite, times like this, I really wish there were a lot more spiders.
New source of methane discovered in the Arctic Ocean
Methane, a highly effective greenhouse gas, is usually produced by decomposition of organic material, a complex process involving bacteria and microbes.
But there is another type of methane that can appear under specific circumstances: Abiotic methane is formed by chemical reactions in the oceanic crust beneath the seafloor.
New findings show that deep water gas hydrates, icy substances in the sediments that trap huge amounts of the methane, can be a reservoir for abiotic methane. One such reservoir was recently discovered on the ultraslow spreading Knipovich ridge, in the deep Fram Strait of the Arctic Ocean. The study suggests that abiotic methane could supply vast systems of methane hydrate throughout the Arctic.
The study was conducted by scientists at Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) at UiT The Arctic Univeristy of Norway. The results were recently published in Geology online and will be featured in the journal’s May issue.
“Current geophysical data from the flank of this ultraslow spreading ridge shows that the Arctic environment is ideal for this type of methane production. ” says Joel Johnson associate professor at the University of New Hampshire (USA), lead author, and visiting scholar at CAGE.
This is a previously undescribed process of hydrate formation; most of the known methane hydrates in the world are fueled by methane from the decomposition of organic matter.
“It is estimated that up to 15 000 gigatonnes of carbon may be stored in the form of hydrates in the ocean floor, but this estimate is not accounting for abiotic methane. So there is probably much more.” says co-author and CAGE director Jürgen Mienert.
Life on Mars?
NASA has recently discovered traces of methane on the surface of Mars, which led to speculations that there once was life on our neighboring planet. But an abiotic origin cannot be ruled out yet.
On Earth it forms through a process called serpentinization.
“Serpentinization occurs when seawater reacts with hot mantle rocks exhumed along large faults within the seafloor. These only form in slow to ultraslow spreading seafloor crust. The optimal temperature range for serpentinization of ocean crust is 200 – 350 degrees Celsius.” says Johnson.
Methane produced by serpentinization can escape through cracks and faults, and end up at the ocean floor. But in the Knipovich Ridge it is trapped as gas hydrate in the sediments. How is it possible that relatively warm gas becomes this icy substance?
“In other known settings the abiotic methane escapes into the ocean, where it potentially influences ocean chemistry. But if the pressure is high enough, and the subseafloor temperature is cold enough, the gas gets trapped in a hydrate structure below the sea floor. This is the case at Knipovich Ridge, where sediments cap the ocean crust at water depths up to 2000 meters. ” says Johnson.
Stable for two million years
Another peculiarity about this ridge is that because it is so slowly spreading, it is covered in sediments deposited by fast moving ocean currents of the Fram Strait. The sediments contain the hydrate reservoir, and have been doing so for about 2 million years.
“This is a relatively young ocean ridge, close to the continental margin. It is covered with sediments that were deposited in a geologically speaking short time period -during the last two to three million years. These sediments help keep the methane trapped in the sea floor.” says Stefan Bünz of CAGE, also a co-author on the paper.
Bünz says that there are many places in the Arctic Ocean with a similar tectonic setting as the Knipovich ridge, suggesting that similar gas hydrate systems may be trapping this type of methane along the more than 1000 km long Gakkel Ridge of the central Arctic Ocean.
The Geology paper states that such active tectonic environments may not only provide an additional source of methane for gas hydrate, but serve as a newly identified and stable tectonic setting for the long-term storage of methane carbon in deep-marine sediments.
Need to drill
The reservoir was identified using CAGE’s high resolution 3D seismic technology aboard research ressel Helmer Hanssen. Now the authors of the paper wish to sample the hydrates 140 meters below the ocean floor, and decipher their gas composition.
Knipovich Ridge is the most promising location on the planet where such samples can be taken, and one of the two locations where sampling of gas hydrates from abiotic methane is possible.
“We think that the processes that created this abiotic methane have been very active in the past. It is however not a very active site for methane release today. But hydrates under the sediment, enable us to take a closer look at the creation of abiotic methane through the gas composition of previously formed hydrate.” says Jürgen Mienert who is exploring possibilities for a drilling campaign along ultra-slow spreading Arctic ridges in the future.
NOT THE GREATEST POTENTIAL THREAT TO HUMANITY
Global warming is often presented as the greatest potential threat to humankind and as the greatest environmental and ecological threat on the planet. It is also presented as a problem that could be solved or contained by determined international collaboration – by political will if it were present.
I argue: (1) that global warming (climate change, climate chaos, etc.) will not become humankind’s greatest threat until the sun has its next hiccup in a billion years or more (in the very unlikely scenario that we are still around), (2) that global warming is presently nowhere near being the planet’s most deadly environmental scourge, and (3) that government action and political will cannot measurably or significantly ameliorate global climate in the present world.
I also advance that there are strong societal, institutional, and psychological motivations for having constructed and for continuing to maintain the myth of a global warming dominant threat (global warming myth, for short). I describe these motivations in terms of the workings of the scientific profession and of the global corporate and finance network and its government shadows.
I argue that by far the most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might; and that the global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth. In my opinion, activists who, using any justification, feed the global warming myth have effectively been co-opted, or at best neutralized.
ERODING THE VENEER
Since the global warming myth is presently the dominant environmental paradigm in the First World middle class mainstream, let us put it into the relevant perspective of planetary warming mechanisms.
One should first recognise that the atmospheric greenhouse effect is a well known natural phenomenon, mostly caused by atmospheric water vapour, that keeps our planet warm and habitable whereas (anthropogenic = human-made) global warming refers to a small extra greenhouse warming (0.5-1 C/33 C; 1-5 %) allegedly arising from an increase in atmospheric concentration of the minority greenhouse effect gas CO2 (carbon dioxide) – the later increase in turn possibly arising from fossil fuel burning (see below).
This means that the global greenhouse effect gives earthlings a needed and much appreciated base warming of 33 C (degrees Celsius), whereas the alleged “global warming” would contribute an extra 0.5 to 1 C of warming (a 1 to 5 % increase), on a planet that has seen a dozen or so ice ages since human kind has appeared.
The most often cited reconstructed global average temperature curves (themselves somewhat tenuous, see below) show increases in global mean temperature of approximately 0.5-1 C in the last 100 years. Let us compare this to the extremes of temperature to which humans routinely adapt. Humans have thrived in every possible ecological niche on the planet, from deserts to tropical forests to the North Polar Regions, since well before present technological advances. These environments show mean temperature differences of as much as 50 C or more. Many of these environments also show day to night and seasonal differences of as much as 20-50 C. A sudden 0.5-1 C increase in mean annual temperature (not spread over 100 years) would be imperceptible to any human and indeed could barely be detected using all of the methods of the modern scientific enterprise.
In addition, whereas there is evidence of negative consequences to populations from sustained regional cooling (e.g., Europe’s Little Ice Age, 1300-1850 AD) and whereas global ice ages (occurring every 40-100 thousand years or so) clearly have significantly affected human populations, there is no known case of a sustained warming alone having negatively impacted an entire population. If it were not for the global greenhouse effect, the planet would on average be 33 C colder and inhabitable. As a general rule, all life on Earth does better when it’s hotter: Compare ecological diversity and biotic density (or biomass) at the poles and at the equator.
Humans have already adapted to dramatically different regional climates occurring in every corner of the planet and the alleged future global changes are very small compared to these existing variations. There are more displaced refugees from wars and from economic aggression than there will ever be displaced inhabitants from rapid climate-induced habitat transformations. In both cases, the solution is to accommodate those losing their homes and communities, not to attempt to control planetary processes and unpredictable events.
IS THERE GLOBAL WARMING?
Before ‘climate chaos’ became cliché, many scientists advanced evidence for detected amounts of global average Earth surface temperature increases occurring in the post-industrial age. These reports, taken as a whole, were the main original catalysts towards constructing the global warming myth, so it is useful to critically examine their validity.
It was no easy task to arrive at the most cited original estimated rate of increase of the mean global surface temperature of 0.5 C in 100 years. As with any evaluation of a global spatio-temporal average, it involved elaborate and unreliable grid size dependent averages. In addition, it involved removal of outlying data, complex corrections for historical differences in measurement methods, measurement distributions, and measurement frequencies, and complex normalisations of different data sets – for example, land based and sea based measurements and the use of different temperature proxies that are in turn dependent on approximate calibration models. Even for modern thermometer readings in a given year, the very real problem of defining a robust and useful global spatio-temporal average Earth-surface temperature is not solved, and is itself an active area of research.
This means that determining an average of a quantity (Earth surface temperature) that is everywhere different and continuously changing with time at every point, using measurements at discrete times and places (weather stations), is virtually impossible; in that the resulting number is highly sensitive to the chosen extrapolation method(s) needed to calculate (or rather approximate) the average.
Averaging problems aside, many tenuous approximations must be made in order to arrive at any of the reported final global average temperature curves. For example, air temperature thermometers on ocean-going ships have been positioned at increasing heights as the sizes of ships have increased in recent history. Since temperature decreases with increasing altitude, this altitude effect must be corrected. The estimates are uncertain and can change the calculated global warming by as much as 0.5 C, thereby removing the originally reported effect entirely.
Similarly, surface ocean temperatures were first measured by drawing water up to the ship decks in cloth buckets and later in wooden buckets. Such buckets allow heat exchange in different amounts, thereby changing the measured temperature. This must be corrected by various estimates of sizes and types of buckets. These estimates are uncertain and can again change the resulting final calculated global warming value by an amount comparable to the 0.5 C value. There are a dozen or so similar corrections that must be applied, each one able to significantly alter the outcome.
In wanting to go further back in time, the technical problems are magnified. For example, when one uses a temperature proxy, such as the most popular tree ring proxy, instead of a physical thermometer, one has the significant problem of calibrating the proxy. With tree rings from a given preferred species of tree, there are all kinds of unavoidable artefacts related to wood density, wood water content, wood petrifaction processes, season duration effects, forest fire effects, extra-temperature biotic stress effects (such as recurring insect infestations), etc. Each proxy has its own calibration and preservation problems that are not fully understood.
The reported temperature curves should therefore be seen as tentative suggestions that the authors hope will catalyze more study and debate, not reliable results that one should use in guiding management practice or in deducing actual planetary trends. In addition, the original temperature or proxy data is usually not available to other research scientists who could critically examine the data treatment methods; nor are the data treatment methods spelled out in enough detail. Instead, the same massaged data is reproduced from report to report rather than re-examined.
The most recent thermometer measurements have their own special problems, not the least of which is urban warming, due to urban sprawl, which locally affects weather station mean temperatures and wind patterns: Temperatures locally change because local surroundings change. Most weather monitoring stations are located, for example, near airports which, in turn, are near expanding cities.
As a general rule in science, if an effect is barely detectable, requires dubious data treatment methods, and is sensitive to those data treatment methods and to other approximations, then it is not worth arguing over or interpreting and should not be used in further deductions or extrapolations. The same is true in attempting to establish causal relationships. This is in contrast to the precautionary principle which, in this context, would dictate that humans should reduce their fossil fuel burning because a resulting increase in atmospheric CO2 **might** cause serious environmental harm. I argue that we should stick to known consequences rather than potential ones – displacing people displaces people, clearing forests clears forests, etc. – and that we can apply universally accepted norms of human justice and respect for nature in limiting exploiters’ impulses.
WARMING, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND CLIMATE CHAOS
Global warming myth advocates emphasize that the alleged extra-CO2-driven warming does not occur uniformly, in that some regions are warmed more than others while other regions are cooled below their pre-warming averages. They claim that many regions therefore already suffer significant departures from their pre-warming average temperatures, by as much as 5 C, even though the overall global average increase is difficult to detect.
Whereas regional changes in average temperature (e.g., warmer poles and cooler tropics) are not in themselves bad, global warming myth advocates argue that such changes have significant negative ecological consequences. They argue that when regional climate changes occur, rather than simply causing geographical redistribution of ecosystems and niche creation, they instead cause permanent damage in the form of habitat loss and species loss.
Global warming myth advocates also argue that global warming drives increased climate chaos. That is, overall increases in extreme weather events, such as more frequent and more intense tropical hurricanes, more frequent and more intense heat waves, more frequent and more intense droughts and floods, etc.
The available data does not support these claims and does not allow one to conclude that we have entered into a period of greater climate chaos, let alone that any perceived increase in climate chaos would be caused by extra-CO2-driven planetary warming. Similarly, it is impossible to reliably establish (see below) that inferred regional warmings in the Polar Regions are caused by an extra-CO2-driven global greenhouse effect increase.
Weather is by its nature chaotic and unpredictable. Every year weather events occur and will always occur that have never occurred before in recorded history. A given July heat spell in North Bay, Ontario, will last longer than any other such heat spell that has also had more than three consecutive day-time highs of more than 35 C, for example. For the first time in recorded history, three selectively chosen Canadian northern towns of more than 50,000 inhabitants will not have snow at Christmas. One hundred year old trees will be uprooted by a hurricane in some locality in Northern Quebec in September, etc.
Regional weather (including regional air current patterns) is well known by climatologists to have measurable variations over a broad range of magnitudes and on every time scale, from decadal, to centennial, to millennial and beyond, as documented in climate and weather event records such as historical documents, tree rings, lake sediments, soil profiles, geological weathering patterns, etc. Climatologists have, for over one hundred years, studied these variations occurring on all continents and have always attempted to relate them to potential causal factors, with little success. Modern satellite observations and recent global circulation models have provided few significant advances, despite the hype.
Media sensationalism notwithstanding, none of the recent reports of weather events step outside of the statistical samples gathered by climatologists, as they have often informed us. Among other things, climatologists, environmental scientists, and statisticians have pointed out that: (1) North America has less frequent but more intense forest fires because foresters manage forests, (2) insurance companies pay out more natural catastrophe claims because there are more people living in more precarious areas with more expensive installations, (3) more people suffer the consequences of flooding because more people live in flood plains, (4) more urban elderly die in heat waves because they are older and live in isolation and in high rises, (5) water tables fall because of deforestation and watershed management practices, and so on.
GLACIERS AND PERMAFROST: PHENOMENON VERSUS CAUSE
Although weather is business as usual, there are significant changes occurring on the planet and some of these appear at first sight to be regional climate related.
For example, many high altitude glaciers are receding. Some glaciers are growing but it appears that more studied glaciers are receding than growing. The next question is why? There are no reports of average air temperature increases in the vicinities of these glaciers. To melt or sublimate ice one must supply a large amount of energy, far beyond what could be supplied by thermal conduction driven by an undetected temperature increase.
The required energy clearly comes from the sun, just as spring sunlight melts snow in temperate climates much more than the increase in air temperature ever could. More radiant energy must be deposited on the receding glaciers. Either there is more incident radiant energy or the glaciers are more able to absorb rather than reflect the incident radiation or both.
The causes of increased incident radiation can be one or a combination of the following: (1) there is more solar radiation because the sun itself is putting out more energy, the solar “constant” has increased, (2) more solar radiation directly comes through the atmosphere because the atmosphere is more transparent rather than reflective (e.g., less cloudy, less ozone), (3) more infra-red is sent back to the glaciers rather than escaping to outer space because the atmosphere is more greenhouse active (e.g., higher water vapour content), and (4) more ambient infra-red radiation is sent towards the glaciers via atmospheric greenhouse scattering because there is more ambient infra-red radiation originating from neighbouring ice-free cover that has become more incident-solar-radiation absorbent. The latter ice-free surfaces could have become more absorbent by changes in their surface properties (i.e., surface coverings). For example, deforested soil is more incident radiation absorbent than a forest cover, bare rock is much more absorbent than snow-covered rock, etc.
The glaciers themselves could have become more absorbent for incident radiation by various mechanisms. For example, mineral or organic or pollution atmospheric dust loads (e.g., fossil fuel burning soot) could have increased leading to dust delivery to the glaciers. Such microscopic deposited dust in turn makes a glacier surface more radiation absorbent. The type of snow that can cover a glacier will also affect its radiation (light) absorption and reflection properties and snow type (granularity, dendrite structure, etc.) is in turn dependent on several atmospheric properties. Volcanic activity, large scale forest or grassland fires, dominant wind patterns, large scale changes in soil humidity and other conditions arising from changes in agricultural practices, can all significantly alter atmospheric dust loads and the latter are known to affect regional scale solar radiation budgets.
We see therefore that receding glaciers are not even most directly a sign of global warming and that the actual mechanism(s) can include a host of other causes. Indeed, paleoclimatologists studying global climate and ice age cycles believe the opposite causal direction: Radiative loading and water cycle factors change snow and ice cover which in turn change global radiation balance (planetary surface albedo) which then provides a positive feedback for further warming (resulting from increased radiative loading) or cooling (resulting from decreased radiative loading). Indeed, the accepted theory of ice age cycles is based on solar radiation forcing arising from cyclical Sun-Earth orbital variations.
As another example, let us accept, for the sake of argument; that Polar Region warming is occurring beyond statistical variations of the last 100 years, say; that permafrost (permanently frozen subsoil) is less extensive; and that polar ocean ice coverages are less prominent. The next question is why? Ocean currents have not dramatically changed, nor have measured sea level air temperatures.
These changes can again be due to solar radiative effects, along the same lines as explained above for receding glaciers. For ocean glaciers the above discussion of mechanisms for receding high altitude glaciers applies exactly whereas minor modifications are needed for receding permafrost.
In the case of permafrost, the seasonal duration of direct solar radiation loading to the soil is probably the dominant factor. This duration is inversely related to the duration of soil snow and ice cover which in turn can be controlled by the same factors discussed above that control high altitude glacier recession.
In conclusion, all the main easily observable and most cited regional warming effects are probably driven by radiative mechanisms having nothing to do with (i.e., not being caused by) global warming or increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration. More likely causal factors include: soot from coal-powered plants, mineral, soil, and organic matter dust from changes in agricultural practices, fires from changes in water and land management practices, increased high-altitude and polar atmospheric transparency, changes in the solar constant, etc.
This is not to say that these local and regional warming phenomena are not important and do not affect ecosystems and people’s lives. But then if we want to help these people (mostly Polar Region and high altitude aboriginal people) then we need only help them! For example, we could ask what help they most need rather than continuing to pollute their environment and destroy their lands by resource exploitation. If we want to stop destroying habitat, we could stop destroying habitat.
SCIENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER
Environmental scientists and government agencies get funding to study and monitor problems that do not threaten corporate and financial interests. It is therefore no surprise that they would attack continental-scale devastation from resource extraction via the CO2 back door. The main drawback with this strategy is that you cannot control a hungry monster by asking it not to shit as much.
Somewhere First World middle-classers will need to abandon the lies that we live in democracies, that the corporate profit motive guarantees environmental protection, that servicing manufactured debt advances society, that corporate agribusiness is the best way to feed people, that making a mess everywhere to serve share holders is the best way to generate well being, and that exploiting others is a good way to help them, not to mention that war is an acceptable method to bring justice and freedom to enslaved populations.
The planet will continue to change, adapt and evolve, with or without us. Recurring episodes of increased volcanic activity will continue to alter our climate. Ice ages will continue to come and go. Meteorites will continue to impact our planetary home. Disease and insect outbursts, wild fires, floods, and earthquakes will continue to wash over us as we adapt and respond. The sun will continue to vary its output and will eventually burn out. The atmosphere will continue to change as it always has under the influence of life and of geology. We can’t control these things. We can barely perceive them correctly. But we can take control of how we treat each other.
The best we can do for the environment and for the planet is to learn not to let undemocratic power structures run our lives. The best we can do is to reject exploitation and domination and to embrace cooperation and solidarity. The best we can do is to not trust subservient scientists and to become active agents for change beyond head-in-the-sand personal lifestyle choices.
We need to get political, beyond corporate-controlled shadow governments and co-opted political parties. We need to take charge more than we need to recycle. Concentrated power and capital are not about to give up their practices or their imperative for profit. Resistance to the insane return-on-investments hydra that inhabits our planet is our main responsibility if we are concerned about future generations.
There are real environmental problems on the planet. Agriculture, especially large-scale corporate chemical fertilizer and pesticide-based agriculture, is the main human force that has transformed the planet. Resource extraction and use is a close second, including energy, minerals, building materials, etc. Toxic substance pollution vies for an important place, with everything from persistent organic pollutants, to heavy metals, to radioactive substances, to pharmaceutical metabolites, all the way to industrially prepared food products. The industrial food-animal cycle is another wonderful experiment in attempted mass suicide, not to mention its grotesque inanimality.
THE BEST WAY TO STOP IS TO STOP
All in all, the best way to not pollute and destroy the environment is to not pollute and destroy the environment. The best way to not exploit others is to not exploit others. I am not talking only about personal lifestyle choices, alternative information sources, and volunteer work. I am talking about taking back control from undemocratically run corporations and illegitimate concentrations of power, by all the effective means we can muster and as though our survival depended on it. I am talking about activism.
Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First World middle class. Nobody else cares about global warming. Exploited factory workers in the Third World don’t care about global warming. Depleted uranium genetically mutilated children in Iraq don’t care about global warming. Devastated aboriginal populations the world over also can’t relate to global warming, except maybe as representing the only solidarity that we might volunteer.
If we want to help island dwellers threatened by a predicted sea level rise then let’s help those island dwellers. If we are worried about victims of weather events then let us help those victims. The poorest Hurricane Katrina victims are still waiting.
It’s not about limited resources. [“The amount of money spent on pet food in the US and Europe each year equals the additional amount needed to provide basic food and health care for all the people in poor countries, with a sizable amount left over.” (UN Human Development Report, 1999)] It’s about exploitation, oppression, racism, power, and greed. Economic, human, and animal justice brings economic sustainability which in turn is always based on renewable practices. Recognizing the basic rights of native people automatically moderates resource extraction and preserves natural habitats. Not permitting imperialist wars and interventions automatically quenches nation-scale exploitation. True democratic control over monetary policy goes a long way in removing debt-based extortion. Etc.
BACK TO SCIENCE: THE PROBLEM WITH CO2
Regarding planetary greenhouse warming, by far the most important greenhouse active atmospheric gas is water vapour – it is a major constituent of the atmosphere whereas CO2 is a trace atmospheric gas. This is well known and it is established, for example, that even doubling the present atmospheric CO2 concentration, to the unattainable value of 800 ppm (parts per million) say, without changing anything else in the atmosphere, would have little discernable effect on global temperature or climate.
All of the climate models that relate CO2 concentrations to climate effects do so by arbitrarily linking a model increase in CO2 to an induced and larger increase in atmospheric water vapour. In other words, all the climate models postulate a large and positive feedback between CO2 and water vapour.
Several scientists have argued that these models are computer realizations of the tail wagging the dog. Water vapour is the dominant greenhouse factor and the behaviour of water in the atmosphere is far more complex than that of CO2 (clouds, rain, snow, evaporation, etc.) yet CO2 is taken to drive the water cycle rather than water taken to drive CO2 dynamics; using a fictitious multiplicative feedback factor.
On the contrary, for example: Water is often the determining factor in vegetation growth. Vegetation growth in turn consumes CO2 and is the greatest active bound-carbon (C) pool on the planet. Therefore, it is more correct to say that water drives the carbon cycle. Atmospheric CO2 concentration is only a remote witness to all the natural and anthropogenic processes that consume and produce CO2.
There is no known mechanism whereby an increase in CO2 concentration could directly cause an increase in water vapour concentration in the amount required by climate computer models. On the other hand, there are many known mechanisms whereby water vapour concentration can be dramatically affected by various external agents. Some examples are as follows: (1) solar input drives convection and winds which in turn largely determine atmospheric evaporation loading, (2) deforestation and agriculture expose soils which are sources of mineral and organic dust which in turn can induce precipitation or can affect solar radiation balances, (3) solar winds of cosmic rays can induce high altitude cloud formation thereby reducing solar radiation penetration, etc.
Ice core data shows strong temporal correlations between average global temperature (as recorded by the water oxygen isotope proxy) and atmospheric CO2 (as recorded in trapped gas bubbles) yet these correlations do not show causal relations. CO2 increases may accompany temperature increases rather than causing them. Indeed, some high resolution studies have suggested that the temperature increases precede the CO2 increases. Interestingly, also, ice core data shows strong temporal correlations between inferred temperature and amount of dust preserved in the ice core. Finally, the older geological record shows several dramatic examples of where CO2 concentration and global average temperature were either unrelated or even anti-correlated.
Just as solar radiation intensity and inclination determines our seasons and the differences between day and night, so too solar radiation variations related to solar winds, magnetic shielding, and solar intensity cycles (e.g., sunspots) probably have a greater impact on the water cycle than changes in any greenhouse active trace gas.
There is of course much more wrong with state-of-the-art global circulation models (climate models) than the assumption and implementation of CO2-H2O feedback. Although these models are among the most elaborate predictive models of complex non-linear phenomena, they are nonetheless sweeping oversimplifications of the global climate system and its mechanistic intricacies.
IF IT WERE CO2 THEN COULD WE CONTROL IT?
Disregarding the above objections, if we take CO2 to be the pivotal quantity, then even this CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is not easy for scientists to understand. While the value of the CO2 concentration can be measured reliably and accurately and while it is increasing, possibly in response to fossil fuel burning, the measured increase is not proportional to the known increase in fossil fuel consumption. There is not a simple relation between fossil fuel burning and atmospheric CO2 in two key respects: (1) the temporal variations of burning and of atmospheric CO2 concentration do not follow each other – the curves do not match, they do not have the same shape, and (2) the net extra (post-industrial) amount of CO2 in the atmosphere cannot be reconciled with the amount of CO2 produced by fossil fuel burning.
Regarding the latter point, the resulting amount of CO2 in the atmosphere depends on many processes that either produce CO2 (that are sources) or consume CO2 (that are sinks). Growth of plants is a sink. Degradation of soil or sediment organic matter is a source. Burying and preserving sedimentary or soil organic matter from oxidation is a sink. Breathing is a form of combustion and is a source. Photosynthesis is a sink. Fossil fuels are preserved organic matter not yet degraded by oxidation (or combustion). Deforestation is a net source since forests are larger repositories of bound carbon than are agricultural or grazing lands. The weathering of rocks and the erosion of mountains is a source, as is mining. Etc. As it turns out, when all the known sources and sinks are added up, scientists are not able to account for half of the CO2 produced by fossil fuel burning.
In other words, there is a “missing sink” that is taking up approximately half of the CO2 produced by fossil fuel burning; that would otherwise end up in the atmosphere. This is a massive amount that scientists simply cannot account for. Clearly, the complex source and sink mechanisms of the bio and geospheres are far from completely understood, as are the myriad of feedback mechanisms that can dramatically either slow or intensify the rates of sinking and sourcing.
The point here is that CO2 concentration itself, even if we stubbornly cling to it as a holly grail of climate mediation, most probably cannot be controlled by controlling anthropogenic CO2 emissions. There are more unknown and unforeseeable CO2 evolution feedback mechanisms then there are climate research institutes on the planet.
Even among human activities, there are many practices that can potentially affect atmospheric CO2 fluxes more than direct mitigation of fossil fuel burning. These include: distribution-of-wealth practices; world investment, trading and lending practices; democratic versus corporate control over the media, over marketing and over the mental environment in general; military intervention and intimidation practices; and so on. Each of the above areas of societal behaviour and organization can be shown to significantly alter or moderate global CO2 fluxes between the atmosphere and other compartments.
Excluding direct human activities (land and water use, etc.), there are major natural factors that affect CO2 atmospheric loading. These are only partially understood and include: geological weathering, ocean sedimentation, land plant growth, soil evolution, sediment diagenesis, ecological niche invasion, volcanic activity, continental subduction, and many others. Indeed, there is no accepted model that quantitatively explains atmospheric CO2 concentration, given our limited knowledge of these factors.
The atmosphere is one of the smallest pools or compartments for carbon (as CO2) and it responds quickly to any flux changes with the other compartments. These flux routes are varied and largely unknown, as are the mechanisms that control flux magnitudes. To believe that we could control atmospheric CO2 concentration by controlling only the flux from anthropogenic fossil fuel burning is naive. Burning mitigation or carbon sequestration practices could easily have no effect or opposite effects, even if significant societal efforts were dedicated to such efforts.
THERE ARE TRILLIONS TO BE MADE
What is more naïve than believing that humankind could control atmospheric CO2 levels by direct interventions, however, is the belief that the financial and corporate interests that benefit from fossil fuel burning and still have gargantuan profits to be made from the remaining fossil fuels of increasing value could in this world be convinced by law or agreement to voluntarily reduce production and to not exercise their clout in creating demand for the resource that they control.
Fossil fuel is the main economic commodity on the planet. Cheap fossil fuel equals cheap transportation equals globalized trade and globalized exploitation of labour and of natural resources. Cheap fossil fuel drives the automobile industry, the largest manufactured goods growth area in the developing world. Cheap fossil fuel is the raw material of the petro-chemical industry, including fertilizers, and drives agri-business. Cheap fossil fuel allows rapid military deployments. The entire planetary web of corporate and finance exploitation is presently reliant on fossil fuels. To think that governments of media-created stand-ins could negotiate restraints on a remote side effect (CO2) of the present day exercise of power, without ever addressing the real issues, is to be delusional. Optimism of the will is needed but let us start with pessimism of the intellect. Let us be realistic.
In this world, before renewable sources become the new basis of global economic extortion, oil exploration will be extended to every sensitive ecosystem on the globe and the world’s massive coal reserves will be liquefied and gasified. There are enough coal reserves to keep the wheels of corporate exploitation turning for another 1000 years or so at the present rate. This will happen unless citizens force democratic control over the major planetary economic instruments – private banking cartels, multinational corporations, and their government extensions that are the World Bank and the IMF. In this sense, anti-globalization activists are at the forefront of environmental activism.
Even if CO2 emissions could be controlled in actual practice, this would not impact CO2 concentration in a predictable way, and CO2 in turn does not control global climate. People, corporations, financial webs, and ecosystems all adapt to climate change. A global corporate and finance machine of profit and interest extraction based on renewable energy resources (that it would control) would not be less devastating than the present system and would continue to cause irreparable damage.
Climate is not an effectual lever for controlling the corporate and finance madness that is destroying human communities and natural habitats. Indeed, it is the kind of lever that is guaranteed to be ineffectual: It avoids the root causes, it does not challenge the relevant power structures, it entices us into collaboration, it seduces us into personal consumption responsibility as a substitute for effective political action, it turns our attention towards learning about atmospheric chemistry rather than about the relevant major human-controlled planetary forces, and it gives us something we relate to (the weather) rather than sensitizing us to real world problems. The global warming myth isolates us from the people of the Third World and from all exploited people outside of our class, rather than creating meaningful occasions for empathy and solidarity.
WHY GLOBAL WARMING? SCIENCE IS A BANDWAGON
Precisely because it is ineffectual… and deflects our attention away from the necessary confrontations with established power.
If you accept my critique that the global warming threat is a myth then the next question is why are so many resources being spent to keep the myth alive? Why is it so important to keep global warming at the forefront of our mental environment? Why have scientists and First World environmentalists bought into it with such conviction and dedication? Why are mainstream politicians allowed by their bosses to use it in their platforms?
Scientists are simple beings. In general, they have not studied politics or sociology or human history. They have had to specialize and to confine their methods and questions to those that are specific to their chosen fields. Outside of their disciplines, they construct a world view largely from the same sources as most middle class citizens; the mainstream media and popular culture. Their main comparison points are colleagues just like themselves that they meet at specialized conferences and in staff lounges.
At the same time, scientists, like the rest of working people, often search for a sense of doing something meaningful at work. They look for ways that their work might have broader societal implications, even though it is most often very specialized and has narrow applications. Ecologists and environmental scientists like to consider that they might help society to better treat the environment.
Science is a social construction and scientists must be seen by their peers as contributing “positively” to their fields and must mainly cooperate in order to get along and get ahead. This has the effect of creating an impetus for scientific consensus. Contrary positions are rarely deep or long lived and a lot of mileage is extracted from going along and echoing the dominant paradigms or opinions. Once something becomes popular, a scientist can repeat it without new supporting evidence comfortably and without awakening the ire of reviewers. Such statements are made in the introductions of scientific articles in order to motivate the specialized work or are made in giving broader (and more tenuous) interpretations or are made in the conclusions of papers to suggest possible implications of the specialized work.
Global warming has now become just such a popular theme among ecologists and environmental scientists. As a result, whereas specialized researchers in climate change itself continue to debate global warming and its many facets and continue to critique each others’ methods, data, and conclusions, most articles in scientific journals that mention global warming do so gratuitously – in a non-critical, superficial and self-serving way. Observers of science must therefore be careful in simply counting opinions expressed in the introductions and conclusions of scientific articles.
In addition, there are the international commissions mandated to sort out the scientific literature on topics that could have public relevance. A main relevant example is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These bodies are mostly composed of scientists but have political missions.
The board members typically study thousands of scientific papers written by climate change experts and others. These papers use different methods and report different types of data and sometimes come to contradictory conclusions. Most published papers, however, report inconclusive results and tenuous extrapolations, given the difficulty of the area of study. The authors of the original publications are usually careful and often do not overstate their conclusions. They also often qualify their interpretations and spell out the limits of their work and the most tenuous parts of their arguments.
Faced with this massive array of inconclusive or tentative or contradictory and incomplete results, the international (or national) commission must prepare a report that will be useful to governments and policy makers. They must attempt to identify the dominant or most likely trends, while keeping in mind that scientific truth cannot be established by a democratic vote or a popularity contest.
Having then identified the main trends and having extensively documented the pitfalls and limits of the reviewed papers, the international commission must also write an executive summary, for executives that want definitive statements. The executive summary is the only part of the report that has a chance of being read by the top decision makers and it is probably the only part of the report from which the media will cite. Few of the players who will read only the executive summary have the knowledge to appreciate its careful language and all the sacrifices of content and accuracy that have been made to produce it.
The international commission’s report then becomes a milestone that the commission itself, for political reasons of perceived legitimacy, cannot easily contradict in future reports. There is also a tendency for most scientists to accept the commission report’s main conclusions or proposed trends.
The environmental activists, on their side, are trying to reduce negative human impact on the natural world by whatever means they can. Many of them are astute political activists but more of them are simply environmentally responsible citizens who are mainly concerned with personal lifestyle choices to minimize personal ecological footprints. Environmentalists generally see global warming as a bonanza in public opinion outreach that has the potential to transform a majority of citizens into bicycle-riding anti-air-conditioning energy saving zealots that will also be sensitized to other and deeper issues.
Environmentalists also have an urgent sense that humankind is destroying the planet (which is true) and therefore do not have too hard a time believing that fossil fuel burning could directly cause the globe to burn up in a violent last tempest of floods and hurricanes that would destroy the last natural habitats and make civilization as we would like it virtually impossible. Besides, it makes sense, CO2 is a greenhouse effect gas and it is a product of organic matter combustion.
The main arguments I hear from environmentalists are: (1) that even if we are not attacking a root cause, forcing all to burn less fossil fuels will slow down humankind’s otherwise unimpeded destruction of the planet and (2) concentrating on this issue has much educational value and will help sensitize members of the public who may then later go a further step.
I don’t agree with either of the latter positions.
Finance-driven exploitation is creative and nimble and will always maximize short-term gain by whatever method it can get away with, whether limited (on paper) in its CO2 emissions or not, and all such exploitations of humans and of nature are always destructive beyond what should be tolerated in a democratic society.
On the “global warming issue as education” front, I again argue the opposite: That promoting the global warming myth trains people to accept unverified, remote, and abstract dangers in the place of true problems that they can discover for themselves by becoming directly engaged in their workplace and by doing their own research and observations. It trains people to think lifestyle choices (in relation to CO2 emission) rather than to think activism in the sense of exerting an influence to change societal structures. The first involves finding a comfort zone consistent with one’s values whereas the latter involves accepting confrontation and risk in order to challenge power structures. The first is needed for welfare, as are community, friendship, etc., while the second is needed to create sanity and justice in an insane world.
In that sense, the global warming myth is a powerful tool of co-optation that has even eroded one of the most fertile grounds of political activism: the environmental movement.
I find that those who defend the global warming myth most strenuously are also those who cling most to the notion that the best way to solve these problems is to somehow (“through awareness and education”) get everyone (or the majority) to minimize their footprints and consume responsibly. They usually also argue that corporate bosses and bank managers are people too and that we just need to reach out to them. They are allergic even to the notion of organized confrontation.
MAINSTREAM MIND F#?K
The beliefs of mainstream environmentalists are beliefs of the First World liberal middle class. As such, the global warming myth fits right in.
The global warming myth, as propagated by the mainstream media, also works wonders on the general population: A global problem that we can solve by just changing our light bulbs to the energy saving kind or by voting for the Democrats or by trusting our scientists to come up with a carbon sequestration plan or by going nuclear for our electricity…
The media are allowed to talk global warming because it does not threaten power in any significant way. Indeed, it deflects attention away from real world issues. It’s perfect. The scientists can debate it. The environmental activists are largely neutralized. Everyone thinks it’s about CO2. The economists can work out the carbon credits. The politicians can talk environment without actually saying anything. Those who want to do something can change their consumer habits. The others can just ignore it and continue chatting about the weather.
The fact that the global warming myth has now attained this degree of media promotion and entertainment industry integration means not only that the issue is not threatening to power but that it has also come to be understood by power to be quite useful. In this regard, the global warming myth has joined the other useful media-supported myths that include: increasing crime rates, the terrorist threat, the American dream, that we live in a democracy, that greed and selfishness are unavoidable overriding consequences of human nature, that we all attain the economic status that fits our talents and efforts, that we help developing and Third World countries (that would be worse off without us), etc.
I hope that this essay will convert a few myth consumers into temporarily disoriented environmentalists who will eventually become dedicated and effective social justice activists. The global warming myth will then have been useful for something of value.
Denis G. Rancourt is a professor of physics and an environmental science researcher at the University of Ottawa. His scientific research has been concentrated in the areas of spectroscopic and diffraction measurement methods, magnetism, reactive environmental nanoparticles, aquatic sediments and nutrients, and boreal forest lakes. Many related articles are collected and posted at ACTIVIST CLIMATE GUY.
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Politicians, activists and journalists have stimulated an ‘availability cascade’ to support alarm about human-caused climate change.
Climate change may exacerbate environmental problems that are caused by overpopulation, poorly planned land-use and over-exploitation of natural resources. However, for the most part it is very difficult to separate out the impacts of human caused climate change from natural climate change and from other societal impacts.
Nevertheless, climate change has become a grand narrative in which human-caused climate change has become a dominant cause of societal problems. Everything that goes wrong then reinforces the conviction that that there is only one thing we can do prevent societal problems – stop burning fossil fuels. This grand narrative misleads us to think that if we solve the problem of climate change, then these other problems would also be solved.
Politicians, activists and journalists have stimulated an ‘availability cascade’ [link] to support alarm about human-caused climate change. An availability cascade is a self-reinforcing process of collective belief formation that triggers a self-perpetuating chain reaction: the more attention a danger gets, the more worried people become, leading to more news coverage and greater alarm. Because slowly increasing temperatures don’t seem alarming, the ‘availability entrepreneurs’ push extreme weather events and public health impacts as being caused by human-caused climate change, more of which is in store if we don’t quickly act to cool the planet by reducing fossil fuel emissions.
A deconstruction of this availability cascade is needed to avoid bias in our thinking and to better understand the true risks of human caused climate change:
- The basis for this cascade originates from the 1992 UNFCCC treaty, to avoid dangerous human caused climate change through stabilization of CO2 emissions. Note, it was not until 1995 that the IPCC 2nd Assess Report identified a discernible human influence on global climate.
- Then, the UNFCCC changed the definition of climate change to refer to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity. This leads to the perception that all climate change is caused by humans.
- Sea level rise and extreme weather events such as hurricanes, drought and heat waves are attributed to climate change, which are de facto assumed to be caused by human-caused climate change.
- Human health impacts, national security risks, etc. that are exacerbated by extreme weather events are then inferred to be caused by human-caused climate change.
A critical link in this cascade is the link between human-caused climate change and extreme weather. In 2012, the IPCC published a Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX). The Report found low to medium confidence of a trend in droughts in some regions and the frequency of heavy rains in some regions, and high confidence of a trend in heat waves in Australia. There is no trend in hurricanes or wild fires. Attribution of any trend in extreme weather events to human caused climate change cannot be done with any confidence. With regards to the perception (and damage statistics) that severe weather events seem more frequent and more severe over the past decade, there are several factors in play. The first is the increasing vulnerability and exposure associated with increasing concentration of wealth in coastal and other disaster-prone regions. The second factor is natural climate variability. Many extreme weather events have documented relationships with natural climate variability; in the U.S., extreme weather events (e.g. droughts, heat waves and hurricanes) were significantly worse in the 1930’s and 1950’s.
As a specific example of this cascade, consider the recent announcement from the White House that it will start a new initiative to focus on the health effects of climate change, with a draft report from the USGCRP [link]. Several years ago, the Cato Institute addressed this issue in their impact assessment of climate change on the U.S.[link]. The Cato Report concluded that the health effects of climate change on the U.S. are negligible today, and are likely to remain so in the future. They found that 46 percent of all deaths from extreme weather events in the U.S. from 1993-2006 were from excessive cold and 28 percent were from excessive heat, and that overall deaths from extreme weather events have declined in the U.S. They also found that diseases transmitted by food, water and insects have been reduced by orders of magnitude in the U.S. over the past century, and show no sign of resurgence.
Specifically with regards to asthma, which is an issue that influenced President Obama: the argument is that increasing heat waves will exacerbate smog, which exacerbates asthma. However, according to the EPA, smog levels have dropped 33% since 1980 [link]. Further, heat waves in the U.S. have not been increasing; the EPA’s analysis of the heat wave index for the U.S. [link] shows that the index during the 1930’s reached levels almost an order of magnitude greater than the recent decade. While asthma rates have been climbing, the cause cannot be global warming. Nevertheless, a recent survey [link] of the American Thoracic Society members found that 77% of the respondents observed an impact from climate change on increases in chronic disease severity from air pollution.
The availability cascade that leads to belief that climate change is exacerbating chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma misleads us away from a deeper investigation of the true causes of public health problems and from addressing these problems in a more meaningful way. And then multiply this consequence across the whole range of issues that climate change is allegedly making worse. The availability cascade of climate change as apocalypse acts to narrow the viewpoints and policy options that we are willing to consider in dealing with complex issues such as public health, weather disasters and national security. Should we be surprised when reducing CO2 emissions does not ameliorate any of these problems?
Is climate change making us stupid? I fear that the answer is ‘yes.’ This problem is exacerbated by politically correct climate change orthodoxy, enforced by politicians, advocates and the media in an availability cascade, which is destroying our ability to think rationally about how we should respond to climate change. As a result, we have created a political log-jam over this issue, with scientists caught in the cross-fire.
JC note: this is a draft of something I’m writing, I would appreciate any feedback.
Adam Weinstein, of the Gawker, has added his voice to the growing list of greens, who demand a brutal authoritarian response to the vexing problem of people who have a different opinion.
According to Weinstein;
Man-made climate change happens. Man-made climate change kills a lot of people. It’s going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people’s deaths. It’s time to punish the climate-change liars.
This is an argument that’s just being discussed seriously in some circles. It was laid out earlier this month, with all the appropriate caveats, by Lawrence Torcello, a philosophy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Weinstein bases his claim that man made climate change “kills a lot of people” on a WHO page, which estimates that 150,000 people per annum are dying because of climate related extreme weather and other problems, such as crop failure.
However, this claim simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Even the IPCC has failed to establish a link between CO2 and extreme weather. In addition, the rise in CO2 has so far been strongly beneficial for crop yields – satellites have detected a substantial greening of the planet, thanks largely to the fertilisation effect of the rise in atmospheric CO2.
In recent years we have all seen a worrying surge of hate speech against climate skeptics, and a disturbing level of political acquiescence in the face of murderous fantasy and intolerance. These incidents include a government sponsored celebration of climate murder in a theatre production, MSM cartoons celebrating political violence, more cartoons, proposals for soviet style forced “reeducation”, calls for the death penalty, calls for “deniers” to be jailed, wishes for divine retribution against “deniers”, the gruesome 10:10 video fantasy about murdering the children of “deniers”, and prominent environmentalist David Suzuki’s repeated calls for “deniers” to be jailed, here, and here. There have been far too many threats against the liberty and lives of ordinary people, whose crime against humanity is to believe that 18 years with no change in global temperature, might be an indication that the climate “crisis” has been exaggerated.
The theory is untenable. It defies science and common sense.
No wonder mainstream television (the Smithsonian Channel, owned by CBS) has happily offered it as an explanation for how the Twin Towers could come down without the use of explosives on 9/11. But this theory comes with a twist – it rejects both the official story and the notion that 9/11 was an inside job.
The theory, posited by chemist Frank Greening and metallurgist Christian Simensen in the “Twin Towers” episode of Conspiracy: The Missing Evidence, is that fires from ignited jet fuel melted the aluminum airplanes and that the resulting molten aluminum came into contact with water from the buildings’ sprinkler systems. This, according to the theory, set off massive explosions that ultimately brought both skyscrapers down.
“It was just a matter of time before the whole thing blew up — and down come the towers,” Greening says in the program.
We’ll get into why this theory is absurd and the above statement is false in a moment. But what is noteworthy about the position taken by Greening and Simensen is that it concedes that the final report about the towers’ destruction released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2005 is “fatally flawed.”
This is what the 9/11 Truth Movement has been saying since the report came out.
But the twist gives those who can’t buy the NIST report an opportunity to avoid questioning the very premise of 9/11 – that it was a Muslim terror attack on the United States. Essentially, it is saying, ‘Hey, you have problems with NIST? Not to worry; you can conclude it’s a worthless report while remaining all comfy in the belief that planes and jet fuel brought the buildings down anyway.’
This is the one thing that is clever about the Greening/Simensen theory – how it attempts to rationalize the impossibility of the official story with an explanation that avoids the notion that explosives were planted in the buildings.
Where the cleverness runs out is with the theory itself.
Greening and Simensen say that the presence of the plane wreckage in the towers was something that NIST should have considered.
“That’s a huge omission in their work,” Greening declares. “I feel that until those tests are repeated, with an aircraft included in the office, their results are essentially meaningless.”
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth founder Richard Gage, who was interviewed for the show, says in an interview I did with him for an AE911Truth article that the aluminum/water explosion hypothesis is impossible: “This hypothesis utterly fails to explain any of the forensic, eyewitness, or video evidence from that day.”
Gage explains that this evidence includes:
- Symmetrical explosions moving down the face of the towers at near free-fall acceleration
- Lateral ejections from all facades — from massive explosions hurling four-ton structural steel sections laterally at 60 mph, landing 600 feet away
- Unignited nano-thermite incendiaries found in the World Trade Center dust
- Billions of previously molten iron microspheres also found in the dust
- Near free-fall acceleration of the buildings
- 90,000 tons of concrete pulverized into a fine powder – in mid-air
- Missing stack of 110 “pancaked” floors
“These features point to controlled demolition,” Gage contends, adding that if the explosions hypothesized by Greening and Simensen had taken place, the destruction would be asymmetrical and could not totally destroy the building.
“We saw the shattering of almost every structural element, one from another. A couple of aluminum/water explosions, even if the right conditions existed, could only account for a couple of explosions at or below the point of jet plane impacts.”
Further, Gage rejects Greening’s claim that once the destruction began, the weight of the upper section would crush the part below the impact points.
“Even if there were an aluminum/water explosion that dismembered all of the columns, it would still have required an intact block of massive weight to be there to overcome those columns and drive the rest of the building down,” Gage says. “But that upper 15-floor block, above the point of jet impacts, is completely destroyed in a telescoping collapse in the first four seconds before there is any downward movement.”
OTHER SCIENTISTS WEIGH IN
According to physicist and professor emeritus Steven Jones, the molten metal pouring from the South Tower, as seen in videos 10 minutes prior to its collapse, is not aluminum, as Greening and Simensen claim. Molten aluminum would not have looked anything like the bright yellow liquid that was observed flowing down that tower’s side, Jones maintains.
“When it is molten, aluminum has only a very faint glow, which can be seen in a darkened room, but in daylight the appearance is silvery,” he points out.
Jones also challenges the Greening/Simensen argument that aluminum and water could have even produced an explosion as well as Greening’s contention that crushed concrete, gypsum, and aluminum oxide would have been catalysts.
“Where are the experiments?” Jones asks. “We performed experiments pouring molten aluminum onto crushed drywall (gypsum) mixed with water, and we saw no reactions whatsoever. If aluminum reacts explosively with water, then where are the experiments to show this?”
Retired chemistry professor Niels Harrit says, “Very specific conditions are required for any explosion of the kind described by Greening and Simensen to take place. And those conditions were not present in the towers.”
Harrit challenges the notion that all the aluminum from the planes would have become molten: “It is ridiculous to envision that a major part of the airliner aluminum would not burn in the blast after total fragmentation during impact and fuel combustion.”
Moreover, he contends, “It is not the aluminum/water which explodes in such a scenario. It is hydrogen — conceived from this reaction — mixed with oxygen. To get a big explosion, you would need a large volume of gas created. That is, not only should the aluminum assemble in a great number of pools, the hydrogen/oxygen should as well be contained in more-or-less airtight spaces.”
Harrit also says there could not have been sufficient water for a reaction with molten aluminum, because the buildings’ sprinkler systems were not functioning on the floors near the plane impacts.
“There was no water pressure at these floors,” he argues. “They then bring into the argument the drinking water from the water coolers found in the offices . . . . Come on, be serious.” (Greening did cite contributions made by water bottles, Coke machines, and kitchenettes.)
Engineer Ken Jenkins, a co-founder of the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance, says a sequence of explosions would have been required for the destruction that video cameras captured.
“Successful building demolitions require high degrees of precision in the relative timings of the many separate explosions,” Jenkins points out. “The sequence must be timed within fractions of a second throughout the building. We observe this precision timing in a number of the videos of the explosive ejections in the towers.”
LOWER EXPLOSIONS EXPLAINED?
Not only do Greening and Simensen claim that they have succeeded in explaining how the towers came down, but they also assert that the aluminum/water explosion hypothesis accounts for the more than 100 reports from first responders of explosions in the lower part of the towers. Yet in their interview, the two scientists don’t even try to explain how multiple explosions in the lower parts of the building — including in the lobby and sub-basements — could have been caused by molten aluminum and water.
The program concludes by contending that, based on the aluminum/water explosion hypothesis, there must also have been exploded droplets of aluminum oxide in the World Trade Center aftermath. But then the producers backpedal, noting that nothing can be proven, since the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has denied access to materials removed from the site.
Jones states that traces of aluminum were indeed found in the World Trade Center dust, which is to be expected when thermitic reactions take place.
“Thermitic reactions produce aluminum oxide, usually as a whitish powder — not droplets — per my observations after my numerous experiments with thermite,” Jones explains.
A HOSTILE TONE
“More troubling than the insupportable claims of this lame hypothesis, though,” says Gage, “is the ongoing pattern of deception” employed by numerous mainstream film producers who have interviewed him over the years. At least 95 percent of the evidence he shares with them gets omitted from the end product.
“The Smithsonian used only one small section of the broad swatch of damning information I provided — the evidence for explosions — and they used it to set up their aluminum/water explosion hypothesis. This was completely unethical. It’s all manipulation. It would seem they are purposely deceiving their audience.”
The one-sided slant of the program is readily apparent throughout its voice-over. The narrator describes the evidence presented by AE911Truth — and the 9/11 Truth Movement’s use of that evidence — as “the outlandish claims of the theorists” and “fanatical rumors” by those with “an obsession for online conspiracy sites.” In a half-hearted jab at the official story, the narrator asserts that the failure of the NIST report to explain the collapses provided “fertile ground for conspiracy theories.”
In the voice-over, we hear an unrelenting attack on truth-seekers, which includes this pot shot: “For many of those directly affected by the disaster, claims of government involvement are deeply offensive.” To prove that point, the producers air portions of their interview with firefighter Bobby McGuire, who lost his nephew in the disaster. In these clips, McGuire sides with the official theory, ridicules evidence for controlled demolition, and calls those who question the party line “conspiracy theorists” who are “out there.”
The narrator then throws another low blow at Gage, accusing him of “attempting to gain mainstream acceptability with a combination of science and conjecture.”
After watching the “Twin Towers” show online, Gage observed that, despite what the producers want the public to believe, the evidence of controlled demolition involves only science and no conjecture.
That bias is most blatant and egregious when the narrator, referring to Greening’s interest in figuring out what happened on 9/11, implies that the chemist came to a conclusion before beginning his scientific analysis: “For [Greening] . . . the question of government conspiracy was never an option.”
The voice-over piles on still more praise for the Greening/Simensen hypothesis — heralding it as the breakthrough discovery that “would change our understanding of the disaster forever.” And it compliments Greening’s computer model, which he says supports the so-called pancake theory, for having “dispelled the conspiracists ideas about controlled demolition.”
How did it do that? We’re never told.
Gage asks only that “everyone take a serious look at the forensic evidence and at the eyewitness and video testimony that has been thoroughly documented by AE911Truth and other truth-seekers — and then come to their own conclusions.
“We don’t have conspiracy theories,” Gage says. “We have solid, scientific evidence.”
During the recent measles outbreak, the mainstream media blamed the epidemic solely on non vaccinated children, even though people who were vaccinated caught the disease and some vaccines have proven to be inefficient in the past. Without the slightest nuance, the mainstream media constantly portrays people reluctant to accept just any vaccine as “anti-vaxers”, irresponsible and misinformed people, relying on irrational fears and the one and only “fraudulent” Andrew Wakefield study linking autism to vaccines. (Watch Lina B. Moreco’s documentary Shots in the Dark, which features Dr. Wakefield and thankful parents of his young patients with autism.)
In reality, many so-called “anti-vaxers” are not ALL totally against vaccines. While some people may be totally against any kind of vaccination, many, including doctors and health specialists, question certain vaccines, ingredients in the vaccines and/or the vaccination schedule. This is not based on a survey but on my own perception resulting from the fair amount of articles on vaccines and the pharmaceutical industry that I’ve read over the last five years as a journalist. There are a large number of doctors and health specialists who have done truly independent research and who criticize vaccination based on scientific studies and solid evidence.
Why is the media so keen on portraying Big Pharma critics as crazy, uneducated, unscientific and irresponsible people?
Dr Marcia Angell worked for over two decades as editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. She was fired after criticizing the pharmaceutical industry, which had exerted an overriding and negative influence on the scientific literature. She said:
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published.”
Numerous journalists say the same goes for the mainstream media.
We bring to the attention of our readers 25 facts which constitute only part of a larger body of independent scientific research and articles on vaccines and the pharmaceutical industry. Some mainstream articles have been included as well to show how the media overlooks stories it has published in the past because they don’t fit with their “anti-vaxer” portrait.
The objective of this list is to provide independent research and sources of information on vaccination and Big Pharma, which is what the mainstream media fails to do and instead blindly promotes the narrative and agenda of Big Pharma.
(All emphasis added. Most titles are quotes from the articles they are linked to.)
25 Facts About the Pharmaceutical Industry, Vaccines and “Anti-Vaxers”
1- China has measles outbreaks but 99% are vaccinated
A recent study published in PLoS titled, “Difficulties in eliminating measles and controlling rubella and mumps: a cross-sectional study of a first measles and rubella vaccination and a second measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination,” has brought to light the glaring ineffectiveness of two measles vaccines (measles–rubella (MR) or measles–mumps–rubella(MMR) ) in fulfilling their widely claimed promise of preventing outbreaks in highly vaccine compliant populations. (Sayer Ji, Why Is China Having Measles Outbreaks When 99% Are Vaccinated?, GreenMedInfo 20 September 2014)
2- Mandatory Chickenpox Vaccination Increases Disease Rates, Study Shows
Varicella, or the chicken pox vaccination, has been mandated in South Korea since 2005. Infants from 12 to 15 months are required by law to receive a vaccination. By 2011, the country reached a near universal compliance rate, however, varicella patients did not decrease; they have increased since reaching this mandated level of vaccination.
The number of chicken pox patients reported to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has increased from 22.6 cases per 100,000 in 2006 to 71.6 cases per 100,000 in 2011. That’s a huge difference and ample proof that the vaccination program isn’t working to control the spread of the disease. (Christina Sarich, With 97% Compliance Chicken Pox Vaccine Still Causes Outbreaks, Natural Society, January 08, 2015)
3- In a 2012 measles outbreak in Quebec (Canada) over half of the cases were in vaccinated teenagers
An investigation into an outbreak in a high school in a town that was heavily hit by the virus found that about half of the cases were in teens who had received the recommended two doses of vaccine in childhood — in other words, teens whom authorities would have expected to have been protected from the measles virus.
It’s generally assumed that the measles vaccine, when given in a two-dose schedule in early childhood, should protect against measles infection about 99 per cent of the time. So the discovery that 52 of the 98 teens who caught measles were fully vaccinated came as a shock to the researchers who conducted the investigation. (The Canadian Press, Measles among vaccinated Quebec kids questioned, CBC, October 20, 2011)
4- In 1987 a measles outbreak was documented among a fully immunized group of children
In 1987, for example, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) documented a measles outbreak that occurred in Corpus Christi, Texas, in the spring of 1985. Fourteen adolescent-age students, all of whom had been vaccinated for measles, contracted the disease despite having been injected with the MMR vaccine. Researchers noted that more than 99 percent of students at the school — basically all of them — had also been vaccinated, with more than 95 percent of them showing detectable antibodies to measles. (Ethan A. Huff, Measles Outbreak Documented Among Fully Immunized Group of Children, Natural News 15 February 2015)
5- Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Own Data Shows Links Between Vaccines and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
What happens when the actual evidence from the scientific and clinical literature produced by these very agencies contradicts their own vaccine policies?
This is exactly what has happened with the publication of a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics titled ,”Adverse Events following Haemophilus influenzae Type b Vaccines in the Vaccine Adverse Event ReportingSystem, 1990-2013,” wherein CDC and FDA researchers identify 749 deaths linked to the administration of the Hib vaccine, 51% of which were sudden infant death linked to the administration of Hib vaccine. (Sayer Ji, Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Own Data Shows Links Between Vaccines and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), GreenMedInfo 23 January 2015)
6- Japan banned the MMR vaccine in 1993 “after 1.8 million children had been given two types of MMR and a record number developed non-viral meningitis and other adverse reactions.”
The Japanese government realised there was a problem with MMR soon after its introduction in April 1989 when vaccination was compulsory. Parents who refused had to pay a small fine.
An analysis of vaccinations over a three-month period showed one in every 900 children was experiencing problems. This was over 2,000 times higher than the expected rate of one child in every 100,000 to 200,000. (Jenny Hope, Why Japan banned MMR vaccine, Daily Mail)
7- A study concluded nations that require more vaccine doses tend to have higher infant mortality rates.
The US childhood immunization schedule requires 26 vaccine doses for infants aged less than 1 year, the most in the world, yet 33 nations have better IMRs [Infant Mortality Rates]
Some countries have IMRs that are less than half the US rate: Singapore, Sweden, and Japan are below 2.80. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The relative position of the United States in comparison to countries with the lowest infant mortality rates appears to be worsening.”
These findings demonstrate a counter-intuitive relationship: nations that require more vaccine doses tend to have higher infant mortality rates. (Neil Z Miller and Gary S Goldman, Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there a biochemical or synergistic toxicity?, U.S. National Library of Medicine, September 2011)
8- The U.S. has a vaccine court apparently designed to “Shield Manufacturers from Liability”
For years, the corporate media was reluctant to admit that it even existed. But the special court system designed to handle vaccine injury cases — and ultimately sweep them under the rug as quickly as possible — has hit the mainstream news for its failure to adequately and propitiously compensate families of vaccine-injured children. (Ethan A. Huff, Secretive Vaccine Court Exposed: Designed to Shield Manufacturers from Liability, Natural News, November 19, 2014)
9- Beyond admitting to fraud in a 2004 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study that exonerated the MMR vaccine, Dr. William Thompson, a CDC scientist, asserts there is a connection between mercury (thimerosal) in vaccines and autism. (Jon Rappoport, U.S. Centers for Disease Control Whistleblower: Mercury (Thimerosal) in Vaccines Causes Autism, No More Fake News, September 05, 2014)
10- Back in 2002, William Thompson was already aware of study results linking the MMR vaccine to a very large increase in autism risk among African-American children. See Brian Hooker’s published paper here, with a full analysis of the CDC’s own data revealing a 340% increased risk of autism in African-American children following the MMR vaccine. (Mike Adams, Autism Links to Vaccines: Whistleblower Reveals Evidence of Criminal Coverup by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Natural News August 26, 2014
11- According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency’s massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines — thimerosal — appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children. (Robert F. Kennedy Jr, Vaccinations: Deadly Immunity. Government Cover-up of a Mercury / Autism Scandal Rollingstone.com, 20 July 2005)
12- Instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives [discussed] how to cover up the damaging data. (Ibid.)
The CDC paid the Institute of Medicine to conduct a new study to whitewash the risks of thimerosal, ordering researchers to “rule out” the chemical’s link to autism.
It withheld Verstraeten’s findings, even though they had been slated for immediate publication, and told other scientists that his original data had been “lost” and could not be replicated. And to thwart the Freedom of Information Act, it handed its giant database of vaccine records over to a private company, declaring it off-limits to researchers. By the time Verstraeten finally published his study in 2003, he had gone to work for GlaxoSmithKline and reworked his data to bury the link between thimerosal and autism.
11- Since 1991, when the CDC and the FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the preservative be given to extremely young infants […] the estimated number of cases of autism had increased fifteenfold [in 2005], from one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children.(Ibid.)
Here is the CDC chart available today on its website:
An MIT researcher has linked autism to glyphosate, the chemical herbicide used in Monsanto Roundup.
12- Vaccine manufacturers […] continued to sell off their mercury-based supplies of vaccines until last year .
The CDC and FDA [bought] up the tainted vaccines for export to developing countries and allowed drug companies to continue using the preservative in some American vaccines — including several pediatric flu shots as well as tetanus boosters routinely given to eleven-year-olds. (Ibid.)
13- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has received $873,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, has been working to immunize vaccine makers from liability in 4,200 lawsuits that have been filed by the parents of injured children. (Ibid.)
14- Seasonal Flu Shots still contain thimerosal.
Look at the monographs. For example the one from Vaxigrip from Sanofi Pasteur states on page 4 the mercury-based preservative is in its multidose vial:
“Clinically Relevant Non-medicinal Ingredients: thimerosal* , formaldehyde, Triton® X-100†, neomycin”
15- Dr. Scott Reuben former member of Pfizer’s speakers’ bureau published dozens of fake study in medical journals
Dr. Reuben accepted a $75,000 grant from Pfizer to study Celebrex in 2005… His research, which was published in a medical journal, has since been quoted by hundreds of other doctors and researchers as “proof” that Celebrex helped reduce pain during post-surgical recovery. .. No patients were ever enrolled in the study!
He also faked study data on Bextra and Vioxx drugs… [T]he peer-reviewed medical journal Anesthesia & Analgesia was forced to retract 10 “scientific” papers authored by Reuben… 21 articles written by Dr. Reuben that appear in medical journals have apparently been fabricated, too, and must be retracted. (Big Pharma researcher admits to faking dozens of research studies for Pfizer, Merck (opinion), Mike Adams, NaturalNews.com, February 18, 2010)
16- To this day thimerosal is still used in flu vaccines
For example, in the Vaxigrip monograph says: “The multidose vial of this vaccine contains thimerosal as a preservative. Thimerosal has been associated with allergic reactions.”
17- There are at least 97 studies showing links between vaccines and autism.
18- The CDC claims “there is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines”, but that health authorities “agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.”
On thimerosal, the CDC website states:
“Since 2001, with the exception of some influenza (flu) vaccines, thimerosal is not used as a preservative in routinely recommended childhood vaccines. Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930′s. except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.“
19- Industry-sponsored trials published in medical journals consistently favor sponsors
In view of this control and the conflicts of interest that permeate the enterprise, it is not surprising that industry-sponsored trials published in medical journals consistently favor sponsors —largely because negative results are not published, positive results are repeatedly published in slightly different forms, and a positive spin is put on even negative results. A review of seventy-four clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that thirty-seven of thirty-eight positive studies were published. But of the thirty-six negative studies, thirty-three were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome.” – Marcia Angell, MD (Dr. Gary G. Kohls, Beware the Drug Companies, How they Deceive Us: “Criticizing Big Pharma” Global Research, February 16, 2015)
20- Nearly half of published articles in scientific journals contain findings that are false. (Dr. Gary G. Kohls, Beware the Drug Companies, How they Deceive Us: “Criticizing Big Pharma”Global Research, February 16, 2015)
“Six years ago, John Ioannidis, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, found that nearly half of published articles in scientific journals contained findings that were false, in the sense that independent researchers couldn’t replicate them. The problem is particularly widespread in medical research, where peer-reviewed articles in medical journals can be crucial in influencing multimillion- and sometimes multibillion-dollar spending decisions. It would be surprising if conflicts of interest did not sometimes compromise editorial neutrality, and in the case of medical research, the sources of bias are obvious.
21- Most medical journals receive half or more of their income from pharmaceutical company advertising and reprint orders, and dozens of others [journals] are owned by companies like Wolters Kluwer, a medical publisher that also provides marketing services to the pharmaceutical industry.” — Helen Epstein, author of “Flu Warning: Beware the Drug Companies” (http://aaci-india.org/COI/Flu_web_final.pdf) (Dr. Gary G. Kohls, Beware the Drug Companies, How they Deceive Us: “Criticizing Big Pharma” Global Research, February 16, 2015)
22- The FDA’s own web page admits that the drugs it certifies as safe contribute to over 100,000 deaths per year. (Constitutional Attorney on US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Corruption, Disinformation and Cover Up of Health Dangers, Activist Post, 8 February 2015)
23- The FDA routinely approves drugs over objections from its own medical reviewers. (Ibid.)
24- The FDA does zero independent medical testing of its own.
It is a system built upon conflicts of interest that leaves consumers completely in the dark about the true consequences of taking Big Pharma products. (Ibid.)
25- In 2012 GlaxoSmithKline Pleaded Guilty and Paid “$3 Billion to Resolve Fraud Allegations and Failure to Report Safety Data”
According to the US Justice Department:
The resolution is the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history and the largest payment ever by a drug company. …
GSK agreed to plead guilty to a three-count criminal information, including two counts of introducing misbranded drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin, into interstate commerce and one count of failing to report safety data about the drug Avandia to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Sometimes it really pays to be persistent.
That’s what Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth found out this week when the organization achieved something truly remarkable. It succeeded in getting a commitment from the largest association of architects in the U.S. to debate and vote on a resolution supporting an investigation into the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 on Sept. 11, 2001.
The vote will take place at the annual convention of the American Institute of Architects, May 14-16, in Atlanta, GA. (If you’re not sure how much of a big deal this convention is, the keynote speaker is former president Bill Clinton.)
After several failed attempts to get the AIA to even consider looking into Building 7, AE tried a different approach in early 2015. Instead of simply appealing to the AIA leadership, they used the organization’s own rules to create a resolution that, pending approval by the AIA resolution committee, would come to the floor of the convention where it would be debated and voted on by delegates.
That approval came this week. The committee made only minor changes to the resolution so that it conformed to AIA style. The substance remained unchanged.
“We’re ecstatic about this,” says AE9/11Truth founder Richard Gage, who will be attending the convention with a team from the organization.
For any resolution to be considered by convention delegates, it must be sponsored by the AIA’s board of directors or strategic council; a regional, state or local AIA chapter; or 50 AIA members. In this case, the sponsor was AE board member Dan Barnum, who holds the prestigious title of Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Another 54 AIA members are listed as co-sponsors – all of whom are signatories of the AE9/11Truth petition.
WHAT THEY’LL VOTE ON
Here is the text of the resolution that was just approved by the AIA resolution committee:
WHEREAS, under the AIA Public Policies and Position Statements, it is the responsibility of architects to design a resilient environment that can more successfully adapt to natural conditions and that can more readily absorb and recover from adverse events; and
WHEREAS, architects and others involved in the design and construction of buildings depend upon the information obtained from investigations into building failures to inform the development of model building codes; and
WHEREAS, on September 11, 2001, 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story high-rise building, suffered a complete collapse; and
WHEREAS, on November 20, 2008, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released the final report of its three-year investigation into the complete collapse of 7 World Trade Center, which concluded that fires, an unprecedented cause of failure for a modern high-rise building, were the primary cause of failure; and
WHEREAS, the cause of failure identified by the NIST investigation would mean that hundreds of high-rise buildings in the United States are susceptible to similar failure from fire; and
WHEREAS, thousands of members of the architecture and engineering professions, including the 55 sponsors of this resolution, believe the NIST investigation did not adhere to the principles of the scientific method and, as a result, the conclusions of the NIST investigation are fatally flawed.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the AIA Board of Directors shall adopt a Position Statement, to be published in the AIA Directory of Public Policies and Position Statements, stating:
- The AIA’s belief that incidents involving the catastrophic failure of buildings and other structures must be investigated using the highest standards of science-based investigation and analysis in order to provide accurate and meaningful information in the development of model building codes;
- The AIA’s recognition that many members of the architecture profession believe the NIST investigation into the complete collapse of 7 World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, did not adhere to the principles of the scientific method and, as a result, the conclusions of the NIST investigation are fatally flawed;
- The AIA’s belief that this perspective merits further study; and
- The AIA’s support for a new investigation into the complete collapse of 7 World Trade Center.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that it is advised that this Position Statement be incorporated as Position Statement #3 under the Construction Industry Regulation Public Policy. The recommended language of this Position Statement is as follows:
- World Trade Center 7
The AIA believes that incidents involving the catastrophic failure of buildings and other structures must be investigated using the highest standards of science-based investigation and analysis in order to provide accurate and meaningful information in the development of model building codes. In adherence to the scientific method, investigations should:
- Consider all available data;
- Consider hypotheses that most readily explain the available data;
- Test those hypotheses and analyze the results without bias; and
- Provide for external review and replication by making all data available.
The AIA recognizes that many members of the architecture profession believe the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) investigation into the complete collapse of 7 World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, did not adhere to these principles and, as a result, the conclusions of the NIST investigation are fatally flawed. The AIA believes this perspective merits further study and supports a new investigation into the complete collapse of 7 World Trade Center.
AE9/11Truth approached the AIA in both 2013 and 2014 about supporting a new investigation but was turned down with the AIA claiming that this goes beyond their purview. Shortly before the 2014 convention, that position appeared to soften somewhat as then AIA president Helene Combs Dreiling formed a committee to examine the evidence provided by AE9/11Truth. (Interestingly, Combs Dreiling has just now succeeded AE9/11Truth petition signatory John Braymer as CEO of the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects.)
AE got the news in January that the AIA had rejected their request because it fully supports the official story that office fires alone were sufficient to account for Building 7’s destruction.
Now it will be up to AIA delegates to debate this carefully crafted and scientifically sound resolution – which puts the focus on the integrity of buildings and not on conspiracies. While it will still be an uphill battle, just bringing it to the floor –j to be deliberated on by this major professional association is a significant accomplishment.
If the AIA delegates have the courage to vote for this resolution, then the 9/11 Truth Movement will have made a mainstream breakthrough that could seriously change things.
A long shot? Perhaps. But watching this play out is going to be very interesting.
The Washington Post has this dramatic headline: Global warming is now slowing down the circulation of the ocean with potentially dire consequences.
A new paper has been published that has the media talking about The Day After Tomorrow [link]. What is this new paper?
Exceptional twentieth-century slowdown in Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation
Stefan Rahmstorf, Jason E. Box, Georg Feulner, Michael E. Mann, Alexander Robinson, Scott Rutherford & Erik J. Schaffernicht
Abstract. Possible changes in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) provide a key source of uncertainty regarding future climate change. Maps of temperature trends over the twentieth century show a conspicuous region of cooling in the northern Atlantic. Here we present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that this cooling may be due to a reduction in the AMOC over the twentieth century and particularly after 1970. Since 1990 the AMOC seems to have partly recovered. This time evolution is consistently suggested by an AMOC index based on sea surface temperatures, by the hemispheric temperature difference, by coral-based proxies and by oceanic measurements. We discuss a possible contribution of the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet to the slowdown. Using a multi-proxy temperature reconstruction for the AMOC index suggests that the AMOC weakness after 1975 is an unprecedented event in the past millennium (p > 0.99). Further melting of Greenland in the coming decades could contribute to further weakening of the AMOC.
Stefan Rahmstorf has a post at RealClimate Whats going on in the North Atlantic? Excerpt:
The North Atlantic between Newfoundland and Ireland is practically the only region of the world that has defied global warming and even cooled. Last winter there even was the coldest on record – while globally it was the hottest on record. Our recent study (Rahmstorf et al. 2015) attributes this to a weakening of the Gulf Stream System, which is apparently unique in the last thousand years.
Climate models have long predicted such a slowdown – both the current 5th and the previous 4th IPCC report call a slowdown in this century “very likely”, which means at least 90% probability. When emissions continue unabated (RCP8.5 scenario), the IPCC expects 12% to 54% decline by 2100. But the actual past evolution of the flow is difficult to reconstruct owing to the scarcity of direct measurements.
What is new is that we have used proxy reconstructions of large-scale surface temperature (Mann et al, 2009) previously published by one of us that extend back to 900 AD to estimate the circulation (AMOC) intensity over the entire last 1100 years. This shows that despite the substantial uncertainties in the proxy reconstruction, the weakness of the flow after 1975 is unique in more than a thousand years, with at least 99 per cent probability. This strongly suggests that the weak overturning is not due to natural variability but rather a result of global warming.
Well, if there is anything I distrust more than climate model simulations of decadal to millennial scale ocean circulations and internal variability, it is Mannian proxy analysis of same. It seems like strip bark bristlecones and Tiljander sediments can tell us about Gulf Stream flow rates, as well as global temperatures. Remarkable.
So what do the actual ocean observations have to say? Anthony Watts has an extensive critique of the paper, pointing to a 2014 paper by oceanographer Thomas Rossby: On the long-term stability of Gulf Stream transport based on 20 years of direct measurements. The title pretty much speaks for itself, but Rossby had this to say in an interview:
“The ADCP measures currents at very high accuracy, and so through the repeat measurements we take year after year, we have a very powerful tool by which to monitor the strength of the current,” said Rossby. “There are variations of the current over time that are natural — and yes, we need to understand these better — but we find absolutely no evidence that suggests that the Gulf Stream is slowing down.”
In 2010, NASA issued a press release NASA Study Finds Atlantic Conveyor Belt Not Slowing, citing a paper published by Josh Willis of JPL using measurements from ocean-observing satellites and profiling floats. Punchline:
For now, however, there are no signs of a slowdown in the circulation. “The changes we’re seeing in overturning strength are probably part of a natural cycle,” said Willis. “The slight increase in overturning since 1993 coincides with a decades-long natural pattern of Atlantic heating and cooling.”
Pierre Gosselin cites additional critiques from German scientists. Notably:
Climate scientist Martin Visbeck of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel sees Rahmstorf’s assertion of the results critically: ‘The study’s focus on the sub-polar part of the Atlantic and the spectral analysis are interesting,’ he says. But there are other AMOC assessments that point to a completely other development. The paper does not offer any strong indication of the development of the AMOC during the past fifty years.”
So, who you gonna believe? Climate models and Mannian proxies, or direct and satellite observations of ocean circulation?
Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation
What is going on the high latitudes of the North Atlantic can’t be understood without the context of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. If you are unfamiliar with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), see this summary. For reference, the AMO figures prominently in the stadium wave. While the method to define the AMO is still debated, here I show the canonical analyses from NOAA.
The monthly values of the AMO are shown below.
A blow up of the more recent data (through Dec 2014) is shown below:
While the AMO index shows substantial variability, there are multi-decadal periods when the index is predominantly positive (warm) and negative (cool). To the extend that past behavior is any guide to the future, the current warm phase is expected to transition to the cool phase sometime in the 2020’s. While the the 1995 transition was sharp, the transition to the next cool phase might be sharp, or it might ‘flicker’ for a few years or even a decade. We’ll have to see how this plays out.
There is some evidence that the warm phase of the AMO has peaked circa 2007, see the upper ocean heat content data shown below.
What we are seeing in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic is natural variability, predominantly associated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Based upon observational analyses, there is no sign of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream or the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.
Now, I am very interested in the AMO, since it strongly influences Atlantic hurricanes, Arctic sea ice, and Greenland climate. We are already seeing a recovery of the Atlantic sector of the Arctic sea ice, and some hints of cooling in Greenland.
With regards to Atlantic hurricanes, Bill Gray and Phil Klotzbach are looking at a new definition of the AMO that they feel relates better to Atlantic hurricane activity [link], and they are seeing a transition to negative values.
And finally, the AMO does not act in isolation (e.g. the stadium wave); there are very interesting things going on in the Pacific also – perhaps a topic for a future post.
This summer will mark the ninth anniversary of the Journal of 9/11 Studies. In that time, my co-editors and I have published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and letters addressing various aspects of the 9/11 crimes. Although it’s been hard, thankless work at times, the job of co-editor has also been rewarding and I’ve learned a great deal.
Through publishing articles in mainstream journals, I’ve learned that our peer-review process is at least as rigorous as that of others. At our Journal, submissions often fail to pass the editor’s initial assessment and are never reviewed. Of those remaining, dozens have failed to make it through the peer-review process to become published. It’s definitely a disappointment when that happens but it’s important that whatever we publish lives up to certain standards. The end result is a treasure-trove of reliable research, freely available on the web.
For example, here are six articles and two letters that should be widely read.
Intersecting Facts and Theories on 9/11, by Joseph P. Firmage
This short article was published in August 2006. It presents a comparison of competing theories for what happened on 9/11 with respect to known facts. The comparison clearly shows that the “create a new reality” theory, in which U.S. officials were involved in the attacks, is by far more sensible than other possibilities.
118 Witnesses: The Firefighter’s Testimony to Explosions in the Twin Towers, by Graeme MacQueen
This highly influential article focuses on eyewitness testimonies to the World Trade Center (WTC) destruction. The testimonies were collected by New York City officials after 9/11 and then kept secret for nearly four years. Professor MacQueen delves into these explosive eyewitness accounts in a way that makes clear why officials did not want the public to see them.
Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction, by Steven E. Jones, et.al
This lucid article from January 2008 was a breakthrough in 9/11 research. Establishing the WTC thermite theory on a firm grounding of experimental evidence, it set the stage for a series of scientific articles that were published in multiple journals. In the future, this breakthrough article may be seen as one of the greatest contributions to forensic science.
Obstacles to Persuasion: Lessons from the Classroom, by Mark Vorobej
This article from December 2008 is from a professor of philosophy who examined the responses of university students as they were exposed to alternative explanations for 9/11. In a five-week segment of his course on Argumentation Theory, Professor Vorobej was able to lead his students to objectively examine 9/11 from different perspectives while fostering further, constructive debate.
Falsifiability and the NIST WTC Report: A Study in Theoretical Adequacy, by Anonymous and F. Legge
In March 2010, we published this examination of the scientific principle of falsifiability in light of U.S. government reports on the WTC destruction. This often-overlooked article is well constructed and provides detail on why the official reports failed to meet some of the most critical requirements of the scientific method.
Letter on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, by Lorie Van Auken
A series of nine letters was published on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The letters came from leading researchers, activists, and legal experts around the world. Perhaps the most compelling contribution was that of Lorie Van Auken, whose husband Kenneth was killed in the north tower on 9/11.
Letter to the Royal Society from Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, from the Board of Directors, AE911Truth
In June 2012, we published a letter that was sent from the board of directors of AE911Truth to Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society in England. The letter emphasized how the official account for what happened at the WTC was in direct contradiction to the laws of motion described by one of the Royal Society’s most famous members—Sir Isaac Newton.
The “Strategy of Tension” in the Cold War Period, by Daniele Ganser
In May 2014, Swiss historian Daniele Ganser contributed this updated version of a previously published article. Dr. Ganser’s article provides important historical perspective for considering what happened on 9/11. His conclusion, based on historical fact, is that objections to U.S. government or military involvement in 9/11 are based on unsupportable, a priori arguments.
These eight papers are just a sampling of the wide-range of peer-reviewed research and commentary available at the Journal of 9/11 Studies. If you want to learn more about that fateful day through an evidence-based approach, the Journal is a great resource. For anyone interested in contributing, we continue to seek out new perspectives that have not yet been expressed. Guidelines for submission are published at the website.