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    hints for staying off the 894,000-strong terrorism watchlist..., 2007-11-11 16:42:49 | Main | were the seeds planted in clinton's campaign by bush, or bush's by clinton, or clinton's by bush..., 2007-11-13 22:03:11

    on the hysterical abuses of scientific opinion:

    So did you hear about the scientist who threatened to sue the IPCC if they didn't take his name off a chapter of their 2001 report? Perhaps you met him by way of John Stossel, or the Competitive Enterprise Institute? His name may have slurred past your vision in columns by Robert Novak or maybe Townhall.com. Or maybe you suffer from Exxon Derangement Syndrome and know Paul Reiter because he:

    sits on the "Scientific and Economic Advisory Council" of an organization called the "Annapolis Centre for Science-Based Public Policy. " The Annapolis Centre is a US think tank that has received $763,500 in funding from ExxonMobil

    Dr. Reiter has a real and wonderful gift for sarcasm, but his complaints need to be compared to the chapter of the report he seems to be complaining about. What he says and what it says don't seem to differ so much, so I'm not sure why he disagrees so vehemently, or how this non-disagreement has produced so much hysteria from a bunch of conspiracy theorists who run foot work for groups that spend the time they're not nitpicking climatology statistics lobbying to maintain massive subsidies for fossil energy.

    His substantive complaints regarding Working Group II's Third Assessment chapter on human population health (which is chapter 9, I don't know why he keeps referring to chapter 18) doesn't even contain the words he quotes from it, nothing about "confidence limits" or "predictions" is mentioned in the sub-article on modelling, nor "increase in incidence and seasonality", "present ranges", "medium to high confidence", or the phrase "in all cases". The article is from his testimony to the British Parliament in 2005, the Third Assessment was four years old by then, there's no reason I can see why he would quote stuff from it that wasn't there.

    Perhaps we're reading different 2001 Third Assessments or it's the confusion about the chapter, because reading through it nowhere do I see how one could conclude that "the dominant message was that climate change will result in a marked increase in vector-borne disease" when the primary danger suggested by the report is breakdowns in public health infrastructure.

    In this one from 2006 [pdf] he's become particularly incensed about groups linking global warming to highland malaria, and I'm not sure what this is about either: the IPCC's hysteria-raising conclusion here was:

    Furthermore, there has been little work that identifies where malaria transmission currently is limited by temperature and therefore where highland populations are at risk of malaria as a result of climate change. To determine the role of climate in the increase in highland malaria, a comprehensive research effort is required, together with implementation of a sustainable disease surveillance system that combines trend analyses across multiple sites to account for substantial local factors.

    As you can see the expert review panel is controlled by politically motivated activists who are exaggerating the forecasts and misrepresenting the views of the scientific community by saying "we dunno".

    I can't really find a source of scientific disagreement. Maybe it's political. Oh wait, of course it is:

    In my opinion, we should give priority to a creative and organized effort to stem the burgeoning tragedy of uncontrolled malaria, rather than worrying about the weather.

    I mean, he added, it's just a scientifically verifiable fact that no one can chew bubble gum and rub their belly at the same time.

:: posted by buermann @ 2007-11-13 14:02:30 CST | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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