All the trusting children of the world

lots of children

1.2 billion screaming babies

Scientific American, under the title Doctors Prepare to Explain and Treat Climate-Related Symptoms, discusses the role of medical practitioners in supporting public health measures. Measures which may, it says, legitimately involve them in activism, if they truly care about public health. Fair enough.

Note the reference in the title to preparing for the future. But in the sub-heading Climate change is beginning to impact public health, the view shifts. Suddenly we’re talking about the present. However, our not-so-Scientific American has overlooked the evidence.

For there’s been no global warming for about 15 years.

I found out how many babies have been born during the last 15 years. It’s staggering — over 1.2 billion. That’s a lot of nocturnal screaming.

It means there are 1.2 billion people alive today who have never observed a warming world. That includes everyone fifteen years and younger. A whole generation now entering young adulthood has not lived through this “most grave crisis” and who yet, at least in the western world, firmly believe in it.

Some of them will be patients of the doctor who opens the story. How could their hayfever be worsened by non-existent warming?

Dr. Anthony Szema is used to seeing patients with red eyes and runny noses. But in the past couple of years, the New York-based allergist has been faced with an onslaught of patients complaining their symptoms are starting earlier and hitting harder than ever before.

Szema believes climate change is a culprit in the extended severe allergy seasons. And he is one of a small number of physicians who are beginning to talk to their patients about it.

It’s very touching. Who could fail to be moved by the increasing suffering of these unfortunate people? But it’s being blamed on “global warming” without reference to the facts.

The facts are that global temperatures have been static since about the mid-1990s.

HadCRUT 10-year trend

Population increasing? Not so fast!

When looking for population figures, I found this curious evidence that the rate of population growth is fast declining. It seems Nature has feedbacks full of mystery. We may not understand how birth rates could decline across the world, even as the population grows older, but I see reason for optimism for the future of the planet.

World population increase

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16 Thoughts on “All the trusting children of the world

  1. val majkus on 19/06/2011 at 3:03 pm said:

    you guys need educating
    check this out
    Climate change is happening

    • Andy on 19/06/2011 at 5:04 pm said:

      The majority of the world’s climate scientists agree: climate change is real, we are causing it and it’s happening right now

      What a load of unscientific cobblers. What did we do to deserve these people?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/06/2011 at 7:10 pm said:

      Clicking through to “The Conversation” I find:-

      “The greenhouse effect is real: here’s why”

      [We know it’s real – mostly a water vapour heat retention effect]

      “……………..our understanding of the greenhouse effect – the link between greenhouse gas concentrations and global surface air temperature – is based primarily on our fundamental understanding of mathematics, physics, astronomy and chemistry”

      [2 elements here:-

      1) “the [CO2/temp] link” has been broken for over a decade, therefore their “fundamental understanding” is deficient.

      2) Their version of physics is an IPCC invention, embedded in circular reasoning and hard-wired into models that ignore the astronomy. The maths and chemistry just make it seem credible to the credulous.]

      Long on superficiality, short on specificity. perfect for credulity.

  2. Australis on 19/06/2011 at 3:07 pm said:

    Dr Szema’s patients come from New York and they have increased their sneezing only in the last “couple of years”.

    Is this evidence that the temperatures in NY have gone up substantially in the period 1909-11? If so, why should we use Dr Szema’s patients as proxy thermometers when New York City, New York State, the NOAA and the IPCC are all being paid millions for telling us what’s happening to the temperatures at city regional and global levels?

    Or are Dr Szema’s anecdotes totally irrelevant to issues related to long-term global warming? Probably. So why does Scientific American sacrifice column-inches to conveying this unhelpful non-information to the world?

  3. val majkus on 19/06/2011 at 8:00 pm said:

    with tongue in cheek the signatories are those who receive the major grants
    and the sad thing is that the major Aust Univsities have Climate Change courses
    for example Univ of Qld
    univ of NSW
    Monash Univ\

    Grants are worth!

  4. Alexander K on 19/06/2011 at 9:47 pm said:

    I have been annoyed by hay fever for decades. It gets quite severe in London during Spring, but I am inhaling pollen from the vast number of lovely evergreen trees, dust from Africa and Europe, Diesel particulates, Aviation fuel, (we live under a major Heathrow flight path) petrol fumes and, surprisingly, a large amount of very fine and abrasive dust from brake pads which invades every nook and cranny here. We find London dustier than we did living on a gravel back road north of Auckland!
    Climate Change? I am waiting for the squadron of Large Whites to be fuelled for take-off right now!

    • It’s easy to forget that global warming promises some good things among the bad. I believe far more good than bad. Sorry to hear about your sniffles!

  5. Mike Jowsey on 20/06/2011 at 4:42 am said:

    Drilling down into one of the references made by the Scientific American piece, it was not long before I found this:

    “The WHO estimates that climate change is already contributing to 150,000 deaths per year.”

    Drilling down further, there is absolutely no basis for this number, or any number. A paper is cited in support of it, but said paper discusses in broad terms the likely impact of climate change on disease and nowhere says that already 150,000 deaths per year are caused by climate change. It seems that this number is entirely fictional. Made up by WHO. Repeated by Health Care Without Harm as if it is fact.

    It is pure fantasy.

    • Thanks Mike, I’d like to publish this. But Table 20.16, in the Results section of the paper, on page 1606, Estimated mortality (000s) attributable to climate change in the year 2000, gives 27.82 deaths per million for the world population. Trouble is, global pop in 2000 was 6 billion, and multiplying by 6000 gives 167 million, far too many. Unless I’ve mucked up the magnitudes. Sounds like you’d have to pick apart all the different causes they examine and I don’t have the time for that. You might like to have a look. Cheers.

    • Andy on 20/06/2011 at 11:55 am said:

      The issues around the WHO report that Mike references are covered in Roger Pielke Jnr’s book “The Climate Fix” (pp 177).

      In this, he states:

      In 2002, the WHO concluded that it could not identify the influence of GHG emissions on health.

      However, a year later, another WHO study argued that even though the data did not allow specific conclusions about the influence of GHG emissions, speculative guesses were necessary.

      These guesses then formed the basis of a 2009 report issued by the Global Humanitarian Forum, an NGO run by Kofi Annan.

      The GHF concluded that GHG emission-induced climate change was responsible for 154,000 deaths per year due to malnutrition, 94,000 deaths per year due to diarrhoea, and 54,000 deaths due to malaria.

      Pielke then notes

      A close look at the health related numbers shows that they are exactly two times the values presented in the 2002 WHO report, which according to WHO, “do not accord with the canons of empirical science”. In other words, the numbers appear to be a guess on top of another speculation

    • Thanks Andy, this is great. So did Pielke go through all the individual causes of death and refute or reduce them? Did he arrive at a total of global deaths attributable to cc?

    • Andy on 20/06/2011 at 2:04 pm said:

      Pielke’s point was that no deaths are attributable to climate change using any scientific method. The WHO report originally stated this.

      Then another NGO came along and provided the attribution, and doubled all the numbers along the way.

    • So that’s what he meant when he said: “the WHO concluded that it could not identify the influence of GHG emissions on health”?

      It’s worse than I thought!


    • Mike Jowsey on 21/06/2011 at 7:49 am said:

      Thanks Richard – I missed that table. Mea culpa. It concludes 167,000 deaths caused by AGW. (And, yes – your calculations were one zero out). However in the paragraph immediately following the table we learn that they do not in fact have much of a clue what they are talking about or whether the models are reliable. More wool pulling, eh?

      5. Discussion
      The collective scientific evidence indicates that anthropogenic climate
      change has already begun and will continue, with potential consequences
      for human health. Global warming over the past quarter-century was of
      the order of half a degree centigrade. Such a gradual change is partly
      obscured by natural climate variability and affects health through
      complex causal pathways. These characteristics, coupled with considerably larger effects of other factors in the most vulnerable populations,
      mean that it is inherently difficult to measure directly net health losses
      or gains attributable to the climate change that have occurred until now.

      And further down…

      Such modelling is at a relatively early stage. Few modelling studies
      have estimated health effects at the global scale, and not all of these
      directly estimate incidence or prevalence of GBD outcomes. . However,
      they provide the best current basis for making indicative forecasts in
      order to inform policy decisions. These models nevertheless make only
      crude adjustments for the effects of other variables (such as decreasing
      poverty), which may both determine the vulnerability of populations to
      potential health effects of climate change, and exert much larger independent effects on health.

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