This is Science?

This looks like something a bunch of grad students might have dreamed up in a 10-minute brainstorming session over a few beers.  For those who have read Atlas Shrugged, this should look exactly like the State Science Institute’s report on Rearden Metal.  From the real state science folks at the Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Health.

There are potential impacts on cancer both directly from climate change and indirectly from climate change mitigation strategies. Climate change will result in higher ambient temperatures that may
increase the transfer of volatile and semi-volatile compounds from water and wastewater into the atmosphere, and alter the distribution of contaminants to places more distant from the sources, changing subsequent human exposures. Climate change is also expected to increase heavy precipitation and flooding events, which may increase the chance of toxic contamination leaks from storage facilities or runoff into water from land containing toxic pollutants. Very little is
known about how such transfers will affect people’s exposure to these chemicals—some of which are known carcinogens—and its ultimate impact on incidence of cancer.  More research is needed to determine the likelihood of this type of contamination, the geographical areas and populations most likely to be impacted, and the health outcomes that could result.

Although the exact mechanisms of cancer in humans and animals are not completely understood for all cancers, factors in cancerdevelopment include pathogens, environmental contaminants, age, and genetics. Given the challenges of understanding the causes of cancer, the links between climate change and cancer are a mixture of fact and supposition, and research is needed to fill in the gaps in what we know.

One possible direct impact of climate change on cancer may be through increases in exposure to toxic chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer following heavy rainfall and by
increased volatilization of chemicals under conditions of increased temperature. In the case of heavy rainfall or flooding, there may be an increase in leaching of toxic chemicals and heavy metals
from storage sites and increased contamination of water with runoff containing persistent chemicals that are already in the environment. Marine animals, including mammals, also may suffer
direct effects of cancer linked to sustained or chronic exposure to chemical contaminants in the marine environment, and thereby serve as indicators of similar risks to humans.64 Climate impact
studies on such model cancer populations may provide added dimensions to our understanding of the human impacts.

Remember, the point of this all is not science, but funding.  This is basically a glossy budget presentation.  Obama has said that climate is really, really important to him.  He has frozen a lot of agency budgets, and told them new money is only for programs that supports his major initiatives, like climate change.  So, every agency says that their every problem is due to climate change, just as every agency under Bush said that they were critical to fighting terrorism.  This document is the NIH salvo to get climate change money, not actual science.

  • I have always said that you would have more luck getting funding to study “The effect of climate change on the sex life of the flying wombat” than is a study to study “The sex life of the flying wombat”

    After you have done your study you had better find some adverse effect if you want to get funded again.

    Since we have given researchers an incentive to do climate alarmist studies and find adverse consequences of climate change why be surprised if you get what you pay for ?

  • Stonyground

    netdr sums it up nicely, also I think that the report was written up on a keyboard with a dodgy space bar.

  • Bob H.

    There are so many could, may, and potentials in this diatribe that I don’t see how anyone could take it seriously. As you said, it’s basically a funding request since it says “climate change” might cause cancer, or maybe not, but give us money anyway.

  • ADiff

    We all know that plant genetics are conditioned by acquired factors of their environment. But we need additional research to fill in the ‘gaps’ in our knowledge of exactly how this occurs, so we can ‘fine tune’ our collective agricultural programs to create strains of crops ideally conditioned to our environmental requirements.

    Grant money will be made available, so get busy out there doing research to provide us with the answers (that we want to hear)!

    It’s amazing how much our public Science establishment is coming to resemble some of the worst features of Lysenkoism.

    Politics has establishment Science firmly in tow with a golden ring in its nose.

  • DavidH

    I believe they missed another important possible effect of warmer climate; all our children will be born naked.

    Contingency forecasts of this nature always seem to me similar to political hyperbole. Throw enough stuff against the wall and see what sticks.

  • AnonyMoose

    “may increase the transfer of volatile and semi-volatile compounds from water and wastewater into the atmosphere”

    Compounds moving out of water should be good for marine animals, but they still claim those will suffer.

  • jimbeaux

    I changed the “cheat words” in the last paragraph to include the negative. After all, if something “may” happen, it also “may not” happen.

    One likely or unlikely direct impact of climate change on cancer may or may not be through increases in exposure to toxic chemicals that might or might not cause cancer following heavy rainfall, and by increased volatilization of chemicals under conditions of increased temperature. In the case of heavy rainfall or flooding, there might or might not be an increase in leaching of toxic chemicals and heavy metals from storage sites and increased contamination of water with runoff containing persistent chemicals that are already in the environment. Marine animals, including mammals, also may or may not suffer direct effects of cancer linked to sustained or chronic exposure to chemical contaminants in the marine environment, and thereby serve as indicators of similar risks to humans. Climate impact studies on such model cancer populations may or may not provide added dimensions to our understanding of the human impacts.

  • miklos treiber

    We have already seen the consequences of global warming/climate change with regard to mental health. Remember the chilean family that committed suicide because they were afraid of global warming. The ” alarmists” alarming the world is the greatest cause of mental health and stress which in turn is causing a variety of health issues. The alarmists should be tried for mental stress and anguish that alarmists have caused and the death of these simple innocent people in Chile. Indeed that story vanished from the media very quickly and not even a how do you do.

  • Joe

    It seems they missed a an obvious and concrete danger to public health as a result of any increase in global temperature, whether actual, or simply as a result of mass mental illness or climate fever. If temperatures increase, people will wear less clothing on more of the planet for more of the year. In this case, the incidence of skin cancer would have to increase, if the probability of skin cancer is related to the time and amount of skin directly exposed to the sun. Surely this trumps hazardous chemicals which may or may not volatilize and may or may not spread further. This only tells me that those writing this report weren’t earnest enough in their quest for funding, and should be replaced with experienced scientists with more marketing and PR skills!

    Spot-on analogy with the National Science Institute’s analysis of Rearden Metal. One of my favourite bits of non-science from Atlas Shrugged!

  • Waldactor

    “Remember, the point of this all is not science, but funding.”

    Really? Easy to accuse people, but can Mr. Meyer prove it?

    “This is basically a glossy budget presentation.”

    Examples?

    “Obama has said that climate is really, really important to him.”

    And Mr. Meyer knows more than Obama does how? I wonder, is this blog really about politics and not about climate science?

    “He has frozen a lot of agency budgets, and told them new money is only for programs that supports his major initiatives, like climate change.”

    Which ones and for how much money? Details count, as do sources. I might be willing to believe some or all of the above, but Mr. Meyer is in the business of making uncited, unsubstantiated statements like the ones above quite a bit. Then he doesn’t read the comments on his blog (we know this because someone here whined to Mr. Meyer that his site was being trolled – or, in other words, people with differing opinions were calling Mr. Meyer and his tribe to task).

  • Alastair

    This is science?

    No. Call me naive, but I was under the impression that science was based on empirical, real-world observation.

    For example, I might be a bearded, sandal-wearing, bespectacled bore with a pretty high opinion of myself and I might propose through a spray of saliva that all the ice will be gone from the arctic in 15 years, or some such nonsense. Now, no matter how clever I think I am, and no matter how many hemp paper eco-certificates I have on the walls of my tepee, I still have not DONE any science. Science will only be DONE when, 15 years later, I gather my beard and sandals and go to the arctic to see if all the ice has gone.

  • Waldostair

    Alastair, I believe your comment above reveals that A) you are stuck in the late ’70s, B) that you simply want to stereotype and caricature people who disagree with you (rather than actually dealing with their work), and C) you have not read any of the work that addresses the topic of retreating arctic ice. I will, in fact, call you naive, deliberately so I suspect.

  • barryjo

    Ah, Waldostair. I suspect it is you who are stuck in the ’70s. You just substituted warming for cooling. Alastair said “I might be -.” So you stereotype and caricature people who disagree with you rather than dealing with their work. (As in scientific observation.) Sort of like the extremists whose only reply is that “someone is in the employ of big oil” when they disagree with you. And the “work” I have seen on Arctic ice melt says it is coming back. Bigtime. In a cyclical manner. As normal.

  • Waldojo

    ****”And the “work” I have seen on Arctic ice melt says it is coming back. Bigtime”

    Really? Can you post a link?

  • ron from Texas

    “Waldojo:
    ****”And the “work” I have seen on Arctic ice melt says it is coming back. Bigtime”
    Really? Can you post a link?”
    Uh …. you’re surrounded by such links. As well as other sites linked in here that carry links to the graphs and sat photos. It’s kind of like leaning against a bookcase in a library and wondering if you can find a book on anything. Short answer, you’re leaning on it.

    Of course, it does mean actually dragging the mouse to a link and clicking on it. Tough, I know, but worth the effort.

  • Rich

    Waldo,

    You do make me laugh. Judging by the frequency of your comments I have read today, it seems you spend a great deal of time defending this junk science. Every week new evidence comes out to prove these AGW alarmists wrong yet you continue to defend. Your only answer to everyone is to “post a link” and “are you a scientist”. Funny stuff buddy. I, for one, do not have the time or do I want to post a link. Anyone who believes man has more than a very nominal effect on climate is simply blind to reality. We are specs on this world. One volcaic eruption in Iceland does more to effect climate than all man’s activities for years. That was one minor eruption yet its effect are actually measurable whereas ours are not.
    The sun’s cycles have real effect we can measure. So do the other countless natural systems. I ask you Waldo, if you truly believe we are harming this planet through AGW, instead of bashing every skeptic, give us some answers. If your side is truly correct, then what do we do? Do we all give up the modern lifestyles we have to go back to the 1700’s? No, well then what? Do we pass stupid carbon taxes that simply channel money but do not cut emmissions? No? Ok then what? Do we pass measures that curb emissions by tiny fractions over long periods of time that basically do nothing?
    I laugh at all the alarmists who yell and scream but do not have any idea of what to do. Even if we all get a stupid hybrid car and all the measures are enacted, will it really even make a dent? Nope? AGW is meaningless in my life. The solutions cost so much more than it will ever save. It smply takes money from Peter, gives it to Paul and solves nothing.
    Also, if you are right the entire world must get on board, and good luck getting China, India et all to do anything.
    The climate has always gone in warming and cooling cycles and I simply do not understand why we HAVE TO be the cause of this very MINOR amount of recent warming. Other planets warm and cool as do we yet I am pretty sure that is natural, why cant it be natural here. Why is there always have to be someone to blame for something that very likely would happen with or without us.
    I am not a scientist, but I have a lot of common sense. Outside of a useless and money shifting carbon tax there is no solutions. And that is on the assumption that the AGW people are even correct. So not only do we not know if they are correct, but they also have no real solutions even if they are.
    Its kind of like spending trillions to find out why we age and why we die, then only to say “Oh by the way, we cant do anything about it but at least we know”. If you want to live your life worrying then go for it but I will not bow to that sh*t.
    I will keep my Mercedes, My Audi(both non hybrids), my big air conditioned house, my pool, my trips on carbon producing airplanes and everything else I have.
    AGW = unlikely. And even if it is PARTIALLY true, the amounts are likely so minimal and so insignificant that the cost is the biggest waste of money in human history.
    I am gone, I need to go drive my car to my country club and play golf on one of those bad to the environment golf courses.

  • Waldrich from Tejas

    ***”you’re surrounded by such links”

    Uh…perhaps you haven’t been on CS that much, ron from Tejas, but I know well the links and the blog here. That’s why I’d like to see where the CS tribe gets its info. from. Generally speaking, the CS tribe relies on other blog-postings from other untrained, ideologues on the net.

    Personally, I like listening to the experts who actually study such things as sea ice

    For instance, the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the U of Colorado: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/. These folks say that –

    “According to scientific measurements, Arctic sea ice has declined dramatically over at least the past thirty years, with the most extreme decline seen in the summer melt season.”

    Is this one of the links you are referring to?

    ********************************************************************

    Rich the Jolly Golfer,

    You too are probably new to the site and therefor willing to post cliched generalities, many of which have been rounded debated in the last couple months, so I hope you also will forgive me if I am not convinced that you know what you are talking about. The effect of solar cycles on the atmosphere, as an example, if one listen to the experts, are not well understood.

    Look at the what the good people of Stanford U say:

    http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html

    Or perhaps the scientists who run Real Climate, a very interesting discussion:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/07/the-lure-of-solar-forcing/

    Or, better yet, read what NASA says about the subject:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/19990408/

    Are these the links you are referring to Ron?

    But I suspect Ron is too busy singing about how the stars are bright and Rich is too busy congratulating himself on his manly ability to hit a tiny white ball with a 9-iron while paying exorbitant green fees.

    For my own part, I do not know if AGW is real or not. But I am pretty gol-dang suspicious of the people who pounce on the net every once in a while and form their opinions that way.

    You bad men, very, very bad men.

    Cheers.

  • Waldron from Tejas

    ***”you’re surrounded by such links”

    Uh…perhaps you haven’t been on CS that much, ron from Tejas, but I know well the links and the blog here. That’s why I’d like to see where the CS tribe gets its info. from. Generally speaking, the CS tribe relies on other blog-postings from other untrained, ideologues on the net.

    Personally, I like listening to the experts who actually study such things as sea ice

    For instance, the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the U of Colorado: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/. These folks say that –

    “According to scientific measurements, Arctic sea ice has declined dramatically over at least the past thirty years, with the most extreme decline seen in the summer melt season.”

    Is this one of the links you are referring to?

  • Waldfour!!!

    Rich the Jolly Golfer,

    You too are probably new to the site and therefor willing to post cliched generalities, many of which have been rounded debated in the last couple months, so I hope you also will forgive me if I am not convinced that you know what you are talking about. The effect of solar cycles on the atmosphere, as an example, if one listen to the experts, are not well understood.

    Look at the what the good people of Stanford U say:

    http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html

    Or perhaps the scientists who run Real Climate, a very interesting discussion:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/07/the-lure-of-solar-forcing/

    Or, better yet, read what NASA says about the subject:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/19990408/

    Are these the links you are referring to Ron?

    But I suspect Ron is too busy singing about how the stars are bright and Rich is too busy congratulating himself on his manly ability to hit a tiny white ball with a 9-iron while paying exorbitant green fees.

    For my own part, I do not know if AGW is real or not. But I am pretty gol-dang suspicious of the people who pounce on the net every once in a while and form their opinions that way. I personally find golf boring – but to each his own.

    Cheers.

  • Waldfour!!

    ********************************************************************

    Rich the Jolly Golfer,

    You too are probably new to the site and therefor willing to post cliched generalities, many of which have been rounded debated in the last couple months, so I hope you also will forgive me if I am not convinced that you know what you are talking about. The effect of solar cycles on the atmosphere, as an example, if one listen to the experts, are not well understood.

    Look at the what the good people of Stanford U say:

    http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html

  • WaldfourTwo!

    Or perhaps the scientists who run Real Climate, a very interesting discussion:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/07/the-lure-of-solar-forcing/

    Or, better yet, read what NASA says about the subject:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/19990408/

    Are these the links you are referring to Ron?

    But I suspect Ron is too busy singing about how the stars are bright and Rich is too busy congratulating himself on his manly ability to hit a tiny white ball with a 9-iron while paying exorbitant green fees.

    For my own part, I do not know if AGW is real or not. But I am pretty gol-dang suspicious of the people who pounce on the net every once in a while and form their opinions that way. And I find golf to be perhaps the most boring form of “exercise” ever – but to each his own!

    Cheers.

  • hunter

    The late John Maddox, publisher of “Nature” magazine, wrote “The Doomsday Syndrome” to discuss how science and social movements get caught up in ridiculous scenarios involving doom.
    Reading the book, written in the early 1970’s, is a great way to gain insights on how timeless and wrong doomsday predictions really are.

  • Waldo

    Despite the alarmists cries of doom and gloom the ice in the arctic is higher now than at this date in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003 , and 2002.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    The climate alarmists try to create fear, but the facts just won’t cooperate.

    I also read that the amount of sea level rise from glaciers and arctic melting is 4 Microns per year. That will take 500 + years to raise the ocean level 1 inch.

  • Waldice

    Well netdr, here is what JPL says on the subject. It’s a pretty clear statement –

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2009-107

    So, would you believe the Japanese Space Agency but not the JPL? Is the JPL a climate alarmist organization? Just wondering.

    And how do you know you are interpreting what you found on the web correctly? I’ve looked at the graphic you posted and it raised some questions: is “extent” (JAXA) the same thing as “thinness” (JPL)? Do you know? Because it seems that the area covered by ice is dipping only slightly, but the thickness of the ice may be diminishing dramatically. If this is true, wouldn’t this be evidence for something or the other?

    Plus, there were some implications from the JAXA graphic that you posted which I wonder if you’ve taken into account.

    For instance, I did notice that the retreat of arctic sea ice in the late summer months was becoming much more pronounced over the last couple of years. Is that important?
    And while the rebound in the JAXA graphic appears fairly regular, I also noticed that, while there appear to be fluctuations each year (from 2002-2010), the overall trend seems to be slightly less ice. And if this is so, isn’t that problematic? – or perhaps I’m reading this wrong? You tell me.

    Or did you simply find this one graphic from JAXA, looked at it briefly, didn’t look for additional information, posted it here and that was good enough?

    What I have suggested all along, netdr, is that the likes of you and I are not trained well enough and don’t have enough information to make a determination about something as complicated as sea-ice. I know, I know, you are “an engineer and teacher” (and be honest here, are you really?) – but even if this is true, that doesn’t qualify you to do a google search and then decide you understand the complexities of the science involved.

  • ADiff

    For the DDT issue, start with http://junkscience.com/malaria_clock.html … It’s polemical as hell…but hey!…it’s easy to understand outrage at something arguably contributing to over 100 million otherwise avoidable human deaths!

    As for the rest, start with Climate of Extremes and review some of the other sources I listed in a prior post in this thread…. The evidence AGW is NOT DANGEROUS & urgent action to address it is just not needed at all grows day by day…..

  • Waldfire

    Then there is this very confusing and complicating statement at the end of the JAXA graphic:

    “The area of sea-ice cover is often defined in two ways, i.e., sea-ice “extent” and sea-ice “area.” These multiple definitions of sea-ice cover may sometimes confuse data users. The former is defined as the areal sum of sea ice covering the ocean (sea ice + open ocean), whereas the latter “area” definition counts only sea ice covering a fraction of the ocean (sea ice only). Thus, the sea-ice extent is always larger than the sea-ice area. Because of the possible errors in SIC mentioned above, satellite-derived sea-ice concentration can be underestimated, particularly in summer. In such a case, the sea-ice area is more susceptible to errors than the sea-ice extent. Thus, we adopt the definition of sea-ice extent to monitor the variation of the Arctic sea ice on this site.”

    Does this difference between sea ice “extent” and sea-ice “area” make a difference in how we read your graphic? Or should we just begin making melodramatic statements about doom and gloom and not think any further?

  • ADiff

    Whoops! Wrong thread….

  • kdk33

    “Remember, the point of this all is not science, but funding.”

    Indeed. All of it.