Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Globul Warmins Not a Scam, It’s Social Signaling!

Dano has a question for the late Lee Atwater

Recent breathless articles about the consensus being false (remember back in the day when they spelled it ‘concencus’?), arrogant certainty about models being unable to tell us the climate in 2035, endless parroting the received wisdom of “no warming for 17 years (or 15, or 18…)…sigh…bunnies have heard these recycled talking points a billlll-yunnnnnn times, right?

Well, we’re going to hear them a lot more often in the run-up to the American mid-term elections. And maybe again for the Presidential election in 2016.

 Why? Why must we put up with a steady diet of this hokum? Because this year’s “Globul warmins a SCAM” is last election cycle’s “makers and takers”. That is: man-made climate change (“CAGW”, “warmists”, “money-making scam”) is social signaling – a shorthand way to exchange in-group bona fides and identities. It’s part of the spectacle of Mitch McConnell standing on a stage, awkwardly brandishing a gun. It’s Marco Rubio confidently asserting the National Climate Assessment isn’t settled science. No national Republican politician with aspirations will even grant scientists the benefit of the doubt today.

Some dismiss this posturing to the base with anti-science and guns as…erm…shooting yourself in the foot. I think this view is incorrect. Judging from my right-wing canaries/indicators on my Facebook feed and elsewhere, this new social signaling is an effective way to rile up the base (and I do mean ‘base’).

The fossil fuel funnel for Keystone XL pipeline is thousands of good-paying jobs that enviros don’t want you to have. Carbon taxes are a way to take hard-working people’s money. Liberal’s regulations on fracking are job-killing regulations and big-government intrusions into patriotic businesses’ god-given right to profit. Liberals want to herd people into cities to alleviate a non-problem and to control you.

See the pattern? Many of us do. There are others that do not, choose not to, or choose to use this pattern as an advantage. And it’s working: the gap between conservative acceptance of scientific findings and liberal acceptance of scientific findings is growing ever wider wider than the abortion gap (!) according to a recent poll (albeit of a small sample size in a small geographic region).

Long-term polls find the same

Widening a social divide may be a way to forestall the fracking bubble and to delay additional class-action lawsuits and insurance industry action, in addition to a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) strategy against The Other.

IMHO this is momentum and an opportunity for PR firms to get their GOTV programs spun up. We can see it beginning already. So, American bunnies: your family picnics will likely be sprinkled with the big three talking points in my first paragraph. Steel yourselves and stock up on carrots (more expensive this year due to the California drought).

What do somebunnies think? Is cynical Dano too cynical this time, even for Dano?

Sadly no - Eli


Susan Anderson said...

The base is indeed base. Dano is far from cynical. Lies are lies. I see the same thing growing and metastasizing, twisting and turning quite effectively. Recently they even tried to turn my own father's reputation against me. It's all surprisingly and sadly clever. Go figure.

Susan Anderson said...

And if anybody wonders, PW is quite clear about the dangers of climate change, just a mite old and preoccupied or you'd see more of him.

willard said...

> Get Out The Vote (GOTV) strategy against The Other.

Anonymous said...

"Widening a social divide may be a way to forestall the fracking bubble.."

But I thought fracking is "BTCAL" (better than coal, at least)

Didn't Ray and Dick tell us that?

Personally, I don't like any of the choices: fracking, coal or midterm elections(R or D)

Anonymous said...

Most hoaxes have elements of truth at their foundations lest they be incredible.

Global warming, then, is real in principle - the range of temperature measurements cluster around 1.4 K per century, not zero.

It is the extent ( 1.4K not 4.5K per century ) and the fanciful indirect effects - droughts, floods, fires, your partner cheating on you - that make global warming a hoax of exaggeration.


Anonymous said...


The science isn't settled, the talking points are.

As usual, Judy is ahead of the curve, social-signaling-wise...
The science of carbon-based AGW is settled only to the extent that we understand the IR emission spectra of CO2.


"Carbon-based AGW"?
As opposed to "Beryllium-based AGW"?

Bryson said...

What a tangle- the fog of denial leads deniers to deny denying... Eunice provides a nice illustration of the North Carolina fallacy: no inconvenient trend can accelerate, even when the underlying cause does.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Eunice, Dear, we aren't that far in disagreement. Foster and Rahmstorf found a global rate of about 0.17 degrees per decade, where you are suggesting 0.14--within 2 sigma error bars.

Where you seem to be in denial is in the effect of that warming. We are already seeing effects--more intense droughts over wider areas, increased storm intensity, etc. The overwhelming majority of the research here says you are wrong.

And then there are the tipping points. You seem to have forgotten those entirely. Just an oversight, I'm sure? Are you experiencing senior moments?

WHT said...

Susan, How are they turning PW's impressive achievements against you?

that sounds so nasty but then again they will resort to devious means to have their way

Anonymous said...

Why we vote:

New EPA rules on Monday.


L Hamilton said...

the gap between conservative acceptance of scientific findings and liberal acceptance of scientific findings is growing ever wider – wider than the abortion gap (!) according to a recent poll (albeit of a small sample size in a small geographic region)

One of the links above is broken but if anyone would like to read more about this survey, our report can be downloaded here:

It's true the sample is not large -- this report is based on just 568 interviews. We do have an analytical paper under review that uses more data, up to 9,411 interviews with the same climate question.

Anonymous said...

Bryson: "no inconvenient trend can accelerate, even when the underlying cause does."

But of course greenhouse gas forcing has DEcelerated since peaking around 1985. And since we're on track for the low population scenario, it is likely to decelerate further.

Dilbert: more intense droughts over wider areas, increased storm intensity

As you know, what insignificant drought trend there is in the US is actually negative. And there is some evidence that the area of drought worldwide has declined.
And of course, tropical cyclone energy set a new minimum last year. And US strong tornadoes have been declining.

These are still consistent with a warming world, just not the hyperbole of the hoax.


a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

My, Eunice, Dear, those are creative interpretations. The point I take from your graph is that the rate of forcing has likely increased slightly in the past 20 years, but I'd be hard pressed to express any confidence in any trend.

And WTFUWT? Really, Eunice? Really?

Anonymous said...


Sorry, I forgot you were allergic.

Here's the piccy from the Nature paper.


a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Eunice, Dear, only you could look at that graph and see a statistically significant decrease. Most analyses in any case show a quite significant increase in severe drought.

Anonymous said...

Increased drought just doesn't make sense if you've got globally increased precipitation.

EliRabett said...

increased evaporation

David B. Benson said...

Globally increased precipitation is largely in the tropics. Look at a globe to remind yourself that the equator is mostly ocean.

Anonymous said...

increased evaporation
-> increased precipitation

Anonymous said...

"Globally increased precipitation is largely in the tropics."

The largest percentage increases in precipitation according to the GCMs is in the polar regions.

Of course since precipitation results mostly from direct cold fronts and tropical waves ( which are indirect fronts ), there's not much point in entertaining the gcms which can't resolve such things.


Brandon R. Gates said...

Recycled talking points from one comment thread from one post this week:

- What always amazes me when folks (including some so-called scientists) talk about global warming and CO2 emissions, is that they disregard the effect of water vapor.

- And who’s to say that global warming would be bad if it occurred. I can think of lots of sea coast cities that might be better under water.

- I look at the computer modeling that supposedly accounts for “the feedback” effect, and my opinion is GIGO.

Followed by, wait for it ...

- My GIGO comment is directed at the grandaddy of all the computer modeling attempts at science, the infamous hockey-stick graph. I assert as a physicist that the proof of the pudding, i.e. the validation of these computer models, would be the empirical verification of predictions, increasing temperature, is missing.

- I’m an empiricist in science…. show me the temperature changes from data that isn’t gathered in parking lots, near cities, etc., and I’ll put more credence in what you put forward.

But here is my all time, absolute favorite. Ever.

- There is much more water than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so CO2 emissions aren’t that much of a big deal. And, indeed, there is water emitted as well as CO2 in burning fuel. So why don’t we worry about energy production that won’t emit water?

My response:

- Are you seriously suggesting that water vapor in fossil fuel emissions is any sort of significant fraction of evaporation from say, I don’t know, the 72% of the planet’s surface covered with the stuff? Did it not rain before the industrial revolution?

I'm usually a little nicer.

EliRabett said...

increased evaporation -> increased precipitation -> no and certainly not in the same place.

Clouds = rain. The amount of water vapor held in clouds is very small (like less than 1/200 th). The warmer the atmosphere the smaller the percentage held in clouds anyhow.

Anonymous said...

"increased evaporation -> increased precipitation -> no and certainly not in the same place."

Well, the dynamic features shift with the season, but the much greater trend is clear - the warmer the month, the greater the precipitation.


Anonymous said...

"Globally increased precipitation is largely in the tropics. Look at a globe to remind yourself that the equator is mostly ocean."

In the global mean, precipitation exceeds evaporation over land ( the difference being the runoff from rivers ).

Necessarily then, evaporation exceeds precipitation over the oceans.


J Bowers said...

Eunice is rather good at doublethink.

Anonymous said...

So, no, Eunice doesn't go for the drought angle.

I would, however agree that floods would be slightly more likely in a global warming world. But at what extent?

Floods are more likely in summer than winter for this very reason of increased precipitation capacity.
But global warming rates are only a small fraction of the difference from winter to summer. So unless you're going into a yearly panic about summer each year, neither should you panic about global warming floods.


willard said...

> I would, however agree that floods would be slightly more likely in a global warming world. But at what extent?

If you ignore the answer to that question, dear Eunice, why would you settle on "slightly more likely"?

With more ingenuousness, you could try for "insignificantly more likely" or "infinitisimally more likely."

Dano said...

@L Hamilton:

Thank you for the link. Something got lost in translation in the carriage out of the bunny patch. Appreciate it!



a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Anonytroll (presumably Eunice): "Increased drought just doesn't make sense if you've got globally increased precipitation."

So if it rains in Alabama, there can't be drought in California? My, but that is an interesting theory?

Anonymous said...

Hi Eunice, you say:
But of course greenhouse gas forcing has DEcelerated since peaking around 1985. And since we're on track for the low population scenario, it is likely to decelerate further.

And your evidence is this:

Take a look at the y-axis.

See the units?

That is a rate of change (/year) in the forcing (W/m^2).

Note the fact the y-axis starts at zero.

In other words - ALL the data in the graph indicate INcreasing forcing over time.

Your "peak" around 1985 is not a peak in forcing - it is a short-term leveling off of the rate of change of forcing at about 0.03 W/m^2/year.

There is an important difference there - one that you may wish to consider.

There is no scenario where the forcing DEcreases over time.

- Jebediah Hypotenuse

Russell Seitz said...

Sadly, the rhetoric of motives fight has boiled down to two flavors of codswallop.

CAGW versus WAGD

Anonymous said...


you are correct.

I noted DEcelerating forcing, but not DEcreasing forcing.

I do believe that continued warming is likely, just at a lower rate, which is what we observe.


Anonymous said...


As summer approaches and peaks, flooding is much more likely. Have you filled your sand bags yet?

Actually, if you live along the Missouri or Mississippi, ( downstream of this snowpack ) that might not be such a bad idea.

willard said...

> As summer approaches and peaks, flooding is much more likely.

Perhaps what's good for the "slightly" is also good for the "much more".


What's WAGD, Russell, WAG the Dog?

Hank Roberts said...

The message is "Ignoramus, ignorabimus" -- they're saying
"I'm not a scientist, so I can't understand it -- and you voters, you're not scientists, so you can't understand it either -- don't try, you can't do it."

Some of you posting in the thread fell for that, and appear to be commenting without reading, probably because you think you can't understand because you're not scientists, so you try to argue it as politics. Try:

Read Spencer Weart's book -- written for smart grade school or high school level -- you'd likely surprise yourselves: The Discovery of Global Warming

David Hilbert answered the people who tell you you can't understand science:

"We must not believe those, who today, with philosophical bearing and deliberative tone, prophesy the fall of culture and accept the ignorabimus. For us there is no ignorabimus, and in my opinion none whatever in natural science. In opposition to the foolish ignorabimus our slogan shall be: Wir müssen wissen — wir werden wissen! ('We must know — we will know!')

Anonymous said...

Addressing Eunice as "Eunice Dear" would seem to be more than a bit sexist and condescending.

Just an observation (to which I expect no less than a vicious, unbridled response calling me everything from anonytroll... to anonytroll.

willard said...

Dear One,

Have you "read the blog," as my mentor bender would have suggested a few years at the Auditor's, you'd see that my "dear" are directed to rabbits, numbers, and even Brad Keyes.

Thank you nonetheless for your concerns,


dbostrom said...

See the pattern? Many of us do.

Do a little processing and the fears and anxieties exploited by politicians are highly visible.

The problem is visible via the WattMeter, a statistical presentation of content from any given day's comments on WUWT:

Fear and Loathing in Denierville

Not much science visible there.

David B. Benson said...

Eunice is seriously confused. The predictions of increased drought in the American southwest and also around the Mediterranean Sea are robust. So are predictions of increased tropical storms in Southeast Asia while at the same time Australia continues to dry.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Anonytroll, why do you assume Eunice is a female? Or has no one had the talk with you about strangers on the intertubes?

Anonymous said...


Though I know you love to carry water or ray (and Eli,for thatmatter), there is just one minor problem with your theory

Unfortunately, I've read enough of a_ray's (largely juvenile) comments (here and elsewhere) to know that he does not use the "Dear" address on a regular basis.

And why would I want to read your copy and paste blog again when i already visited once ages ago? (once is certainly enough to take in the "wisdom" of Steve McIntyre, Steven Mosher and other such luminaries of the climate debate. You've been reading your own blog far too long if you actually believe that crap has any value whatsoever)

Ray: "Eunice" is normally a female name (on this planet,at least).

willard said...

It's my "dear," dear One.

If you could provide one instance where I carried ray on my shoulder, that would be nice.

Thank you for your concerns.

Hank Roberts said...

"But of course greenhouse gas forcing has DEcelerated "

1) doesn't Google before posting,
2) fails to read a graph,
3) can't give a citation,
4) falls for someone's deception, and
5) copypastes a deceptive claim as his own work.

Five signs that you're fooling yourself. You missed them.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Project much? The "Eunice, dear" bit is buying into the archaic nature of the name? It's supposed to reflect the classic comedy bit of the two old bitties who detest each other sitting down to tea.

Seriously, dude, do you really think Eunice is its real name? Have you ever known anyone under the age of 80 named Eunice?

Dude, I hate to break it to you, but the hot babe you've been carrying on that internet romance with is probably a fat, greasy truck driver from Jersey.

For what its worth, I've been much more civil with Eunice than I have been with other anonytrolls. I don't see much point in being nice to deluded trolls on the intertubes, regardless of gender.

Dano said...

@Hank Roberts points out:

"But of course greenhouse gas forcing has DEcelerated "

Simply another disinformation site talking point to spread around.

They come in waves. You can track the pattern.

Back in the day, we used to be able to track where they originated, but that is no longer possible.



Dano said...


I do like that word cloud of denialist fear! Perfect.



willard said...

> Back in the day, we used to be able to track where they originated, [...]

The good ol' days:

No more copter chases.

But they are blacker than ever.

J Bowers said...

@ a_ray_in_dilbert_space

RWNJ MSM comments sections, rule #1: use a photo of a woman for your avatar.

Anonymous said...


the second Google hit, indicates the PNAS paper ( source of the Hansen and Sato graphic I posted ). Click on that link, look at this picture and note that it is followed up in the link I posted earlier.

Examine the graph and note that annual greenhouse gas forcing is increasing at a rate some 20% lower than it was at its peak around 1985. Then acknowledge that greenhouse gas forcing has decelerated.

Dano - you might try this exercise as well.


Dilbert dear, thanx for your concern. You are a lady and gentleman.

J Bowers said...

The anthropogenic global warming rate: Is it steady for the last 100 years?

Anthropogenic radiative forcing time series from pre-industrial times until 2010. Skeie (2011).

"The calculated radiative forcing time series of CO2, CH4, N2O and other LLGHGs(CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, PFCs and SF6) are presented in Fig. 1a. The RF of CO2 has increased almost continuously over the whole time period except for one period around 1940–1950 the reason of which is still under debate (Trudinger et al.,2002; MacFarling 5 Meure et al., 2006; Rafelski et al., 2009). The RF of CO2 has increased rapidly since 1950, from 0.62Wm2 to 1.82Wm2 in 2010. Over the last five years, the CO2 RF increased by 8.1%. The RF of CH4 has flattened out over the last decades, with a value of 0.49Wm2 in 2010. However, a renewed increase in the CH4 concentrations in the last couple of years has been seen (Rigby et al., 2008). The forcing of N2O increased 10 gradually since the beginning of 20th century, reaching 0.17Wm2 in 2010. Over the last decades, the level of RF of other LLGHGs flattened out, due to the reduction of the emissions of components covered by the Montreal Protocol (Montzka et al., 2011a). In 2010 the RF of other LLGHG is estimated to be 0.34Wm2."

Kevin O'Neill said...

Eunice - you are looking at a *growth* rate. The acceleration has decreased. This is *not* the same as deceleration.

To be correct your original statement needs to be emended: But of course [the annual rate] of greenhouse gas forcing has DEcelerated since peaking around 1985. And since we're on track for the low population scenario, it is likely to decelerate further.

Please figure this out, admit you are mistaken, then move on.

OT - I had aunts named Edith, Elaine, and Eunice.

Anonymous said...

Kevin - you are correct - I'm glad you agree.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Anon said: "Kevin - you are correct - I'm glad you agree."

A decelerating rate of acceleration is really not something *I'd* agree with :)

Sure, it's logically sound and true - but so poorly worded that it can only cause confusion. Simpler and less confusing to say that acceleration is slowing or decreasing. Of course that admits of the main point that it's *still* accelerating. Of course for some people confusion may be a feature, not a bug.

Susan Anderson said...

wht, sorry about the whining, it was a bad day. People who can claim Galileo, Einstein, and Feynman only have to dismiss the living in favor of the dead. If alive, they can pretend. The effort was to claim I don't know what I'm talking about, which on some levels would be true, but not the way they meant it. I was more than startled. However, the level of sophomoric argumentation is so plausible I am beginning to call it evil without caveat.

I should by now know to ignore these atmospherics rather than feeding the flames.

Steve Bloom said...

Here Eunice, have fun with the most recent analytical paper from the same first/second authors:

"While numerous studies have addressed changes in climate extremes, analyses of concurrence of climate extremes are scarce, and climate change effects on joint extremes are rarely considered. This study assesses the occurrence of joint (concurrent) monthly continental precipitation and temperature extremes in Climate Research Unit (CRU) and University of Delaware (UD) observations, and in 13 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) global climate simulations. The joint occurrences of precipitation and temperature extremes simulated by CMIP5 climate models are compared with those derived from the CRU and UD observations for warm/wet, warm/dry, cold/wet, and cold/dry combinations of joint extremes. The number of occurrences of these four combinations during the second half of the 20th century (1951–2004) is assessed on a common global grid. CRU and UD observations show substantial increases in the occurrence of joint warm/dry and warm/wet combinations for the period 1978–2004 relative to 1951–1977. The results show that with respect to the sign of change in the concurrent extremes, the CMIP5 climate model simulations are in reasonable overall agreement with observations. However, the results reveal notable discrepancies between regional patterns and the magnitude of change in individual climate model simulations relative to the observations of precipitation and temperature." (Emphasis added.)

How can it be?!

More thinking, less cherry-picking, Eunice.

Bernard Just. said...

Bottom line "Eunice" is that the planet is still warming and that warming is going to cause a lot of harm. Everything else is just pointing at squirrels.

Bernard the Just said...

Damn autocorrect on smart 'phone...

bill said...

Stick with it!

Anonymous said...

Steve Bloom:

I'm not sure what you are responding to but assuming it's drought...

It appears that dynamic variation plays a great role in global drought ( the ENSO signature is quite evident in the Nature paper ).

However, you will also note no significant secular change over the last few decades of warming and if anything, a slight decrease.

That stands to reason.

Temperature depends, in part, on CO2 forcing which is largely independent of dynamics, therefore predictable.

Precipitation depends on water vapor which depends both on temperature and dynamics, which are non-linear and unpredictable.

Because temperature will increase, so too will water vapor capacity.

But if dynamics don't change, the same dynamics with increased water vapor means increased precipitation, not decreased.

And that is what the satellite observations appear to exhibit.

Anonymous said...


we would agree that future warming is likely, though at a slower rate.

Because that rate will be slower, shorter periods of cooling are more likely to intervene ( which is what we observe for the period since 2001 ) but the three decade trend is likely to remain positive for some time.

Where we would disagree is on harm.
I'm finding fewer detriments but more benefits that withstand scrutiny.


Kevin O'Neill said...

Eunice writes: "Because that rate will be slower, shorter periods of cooling are more likely to intervene ( which is what we observe for the period since 2001 ) but the three decade trend is likely to remain positive for some time."

I think this statement embodies a couple of fundamental errors common to many that are sceptical of the science.

First, there has been no period of cooling since 2001. What we have seen is that the warming is not always manifest in surface temperatures; as has been pointed out innumerable times, here and elsewhere, OHC shows an almost monotonic warming over the same period. This fact is often ignored or forgotten by those holding Eunice's view.

Second, these so-called cool years are warmer than what were previously considered warm years. We are constantly working from a higher plateau. In 25 years a 'cool year' may well be warmer than 1998.

It's a very poor argument.

Anonymous said...

Kevin - I would agree that the trend in global surface temperature since 2001 ( thirteen year trend ) is not significant. None the less, it is the first such trend in more than forty years and it comes about because the rate of natural variation can exceed the rate of GHG forcing increase which is now lower than it was in the 1980s.


Kevin O'Neill said...

Eunice - the question is not whether the surface temperature trend is statistically significant or not, it's whether surface temperatures are, alone, sufficient to judge whether the earth in total is warming.

If surface temperatures were static or slightly increasing, but OHC was plummeting, sceptics would be the first to seize on this fact. Instead, like your response, they ignore it. Random true statements do not infer understanding. When *all* the evidence is considered it is very difficult to make a persuasive case that GW has undergone any pause or hiatus over the past decade.

BTW, you have not actually admitted error in your previous statement. Do you now understand that GHG forcing is still accelerating? I assume that you do because your latest wording is more careful, but never actually admits it's still accelerating.

Anonymous said...

Kevin - "Do you now understand that GHG forcing is still accelerating?"

That statement is quite in error.

Acceleration implies an increase in rate.

The rate of forcing has instead, demonstrably decreased.

Bryson said...

Eunice, I'd suggest (for a start) a look at R. B. Skeie et al.: Anthropogenic radiative forcing time series, p. 11831. Figure C there includes a plot of net anthropogenic forcing, which starts a sharp climb as of the 1960's. Given the heat capacity of the climate system, things are just getting started. You can go on pulling the covers over your head if you please, but it won't go away.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Anonymous - you are mistaking a 'rate of a rate' for a rate. Consider an automobile. The rate of speed (in the US) is mph.

A car moves from 0 to 50 mph in 5 seconds.

It travels from 50 to 80 mph in another 5 seconds.

It travels from 80 to 100 mph in another 5 seconds.

In the first 5 seconds the car is accelerating at 10 mph/second; in the next 5 seconds it is *still* accelerating, but at a rate of 6 mph/second; and in the next 5 seconds it is accelerating at 4 mph/second.

At no time is the car decelerating. The rate of acceleration (the rate of the rate) is decreasing, but this is *not* deceleration.

Now, do the same for W/m^2 and use GHG forcing. The result is the same. There is no deceleration, merely a reduction in the rate of acceleration.

If you still cannot comprehend this, try graphing the 'growth rate' of the automobile's speed. At t1 it is 10, at t2 it is 6, and at t3 it is 4. So the 'growth rate' is downward sloping, but as we noted above, the car is always accelerating. So a downward sloping growth rate does not equal deceleration. Only if the growth rate goes negative is the car decelerating.

I cannot make the analogy any simpler.

Russell Seitz said...

It is hard to pin down Willard's role model : Greerless leader or female Eunice ?

The acronym in question signifies :

We're All Gonna Die

Dano said...

Conclusion of a commentary in Crosscut, showing the framing can go both ways:

Let's state that again: 231 members of Congress are trying to prevent the U.S. military from doing its job and protecting America.

That’s not politics. It’s a betrayal of the American people and the brave soldiers who defend them.



Hank Roberts said...

"Pick your doomsday scenario"

Hank Roberts said...

A reminder -- the effort to control asbestos is still actively being fought around the world, and the epidemiologists are continuing to strengthen their consensus statements warning that we are being very, very stupid to go on as we are.

Don't imagine a fight like this is ever over, since corporations are immortal and we ain't.

---- excerpt follows -----

Epidemiology Consortium Speaks Out On The Well-Established Dangers of Asbestos

A joint policy committee with representatives from 13 epidemiology societies has finalized a statement concluding that exposure to all forms of asbestos causes mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and other diseases. It is estimated that over 100,000 unnecessary and painful deaths occur each year due to asbestos. According to Stan Weiss, chairman of the Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology, “continued use of asbestos will lead to a public health disaster of asbestos-related illness and premature death for decades to come, repeating the epidemic we are witnessing today in industrialized countries that used asbestos in the past.” The paper notes that industrialized countries have virtually ceased using asbestos and over 50 countries have passed laws banning its use.


Obviously, reporting on the dangers of asbestos is not news, nor is it news to document what control or prevention measures should be used. What is eye-opening, however, is that the paper goes further than a typical literature review and points out that unnecessary obstacles to prevention have been raised.

More specifically, the Committee asserts that the asbestos industry is promoting the use of asbestos in countries with a high proportion of low-to-middle income residents and has created lobby organizations to achieve this goal. As a result, the Committee reports that the use of asbestos is actually increasing in these countries because of limited awareness or weak regulations and, if unstopped, predicts a public health disaster of asbestos-related illness and premature death for decades to come. “The use of asbestos not only causes a human tragedy, but also an economic disaster,” according to the Committee.

As an international group of epidemiologists, the Committee stated “we hereby express our grave concern that governments…are recklessly putting not only their own citizens in peril by allowing asbestos mining and trading to take place, but also those people in countries where asbestos products continue to be used.

More Obstacles

In addition to legal intimidation which is presently being used in India, Brazil, and Thailand, the Committee states that similar to the tobacco industry, the asbestos industry had funded and manipulated research to manufacture findings favorable to its own interests. Also, the Committee claims that the industry has prevented action in numerous countries and blocked international initiatives that would protect populations from asbestos harms. “Thus, although the scientific evidence is overwhelming that all use of asbestos should stop, the asbestos industry denies the science and uses its political influence…to defeat efforts by public health officials to end the use of asbestos,” according to the Committee.


To remedy the situation, the Committee called for a global ban on the mining, use, and export of all forms of asbestos and for assistance to the communities currently involved in mining. It called for increasing awareness of citizens and health care professionals in countries which have used asbestos and monitoring the health of exposed citizens, including an inventory of where asbestos has been used.

Finally, the Committee urged other epidemiology societies and public health organizations to support the right of scientists to carry out their work free of intimidation, and to denounce intimidation whenever appropriate to the circumstances. The full Statement can be accessed on the website of the JPC-SE
---- end excerpt ----

Hank Roberts said...

Was that TL/dr?
Try this:

Background: Despite grave warnings, put forward by a variety of cancer, public health, and regulatory agencies, regarding the health hazards of all types of asbestos, controversy continues to be fomented by powerful moneyed interests. This has permitted some countries to promote continued use of asbestos. The IJPC-SE therefore undertook the development of a Position Statement that, for the first time, puts forward, from an epidemiologic perspective, the clear evidence confirming that all forms of asbestos should be banned.