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« Judy on Donna | Main | Economist wants Corn Laws back again »
Wednesday
Oct192011

Medics do climate

Fiona Godlee, the editor of the British Medical Journal, has penned an editorial that reads, if not as the longest suicide note in history, then at least as a suicide note written by someone with a bit more time on their hands than they need to get the job done.

The editorial was prompted by a recent BMJ conference about the "Health and Security Perspectives of Climate Change", and this is what Ms Godlee has to say about it.

The greatest risk to human health is neither communicable nor non-communicable disease, it is climate change. Saying this, as I and others have started doing at conferences, seems to take a certain courage. We’ve been emboldened by clear statements from WHO’s director general Margaret Chan and from the Lancet (www.thelancet.com/climate-change). But this week, at a meeting hosted by the BMJ in collaboration with an extraordinary alliance of organisations (http://climatechange.bmj.com, doi:10.1136/bmj.d6775), it became clear that we are going to have to get braver still.

Apparently people trust doctors and soldiers more than other professionals. It's hard to imagine that respect lasting much longer when the money the public puts into healthcare and defence ends up paying for this kind of thing.

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Reader Comments (39)

I suspect she's been attacted to climate change by the prospect of luvverly conferences in nice hotels in exotic places around the world.

G & T's all round!

As for Rapley; I'd say anything for lots of money and a good pension, but then I've got no integrity.

Oct 19, 2011 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Isn't "brave" a Sir Humphrey Appleby euphemism for completely barking mad?

Oct 19, 2011 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

I guess I should be feeling good that disease isn't something to worry about. I can ignore that various forms of disease account for 11 of the top 20 causes of mortality in the world. (I did not include various cancers - don't want to stack the deck.)

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0779147.html

Now I can concentrate on worrying about the myrid ways climate change is going to kill me.

[Snip - Venting]

Oct 19, 2011 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

I see that she is "emboldened" by the position of The Lancet.

Sadly, since Lancet Editor, Richard Horton, started popping up at Stop-the-War events, spewing rabid anti-American abuse with the likes of Galloway, and then commissioned a Lancet study which was universally ridiculed for vastly exaggerating the Iraq war death toll - I think many people now regard the magazine as damaged goods.

I suspect it's climate position is just another manifestation of the editor's extreme left attitudes.

Oct 19, 2011 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Is this related to all this - Statement by BMJ...
and take a look at the great, good and infulential that signed it..

Why they think they should be telling politicians what to do with respect to economic, policy, technological decisions is beyond me... (ie stop building coal fired power stations, decarbonisation, politicians should hold temp to 2.0C, etc)

http://climatechange.bmj.com/statement/view

BMJ - Statement calling for urgent action on climate change - Oct 17, 2011

The following statement was issued at a conference on the health and security implications of climate change in London on 17th October 2011:-

Climate change poses an immediate, growing and grave threat to the health and security of people in both developed and developing countries around the globe.

Climate change leads to more frequent and extreme weather events and to conditions that favour the spread of infectious diseases. Rising sea levels, floods and droughts cause loss of habitat, water and food shortages, and threats to livelihood. These trigger conflict within and between countries. Humanitarian crises will further burden military resources through the need for rescue missions and aid. Mass migration will also increase, triggered by both environmental stress and conflict, thus leading to serious further security issues. It will often not be possible to adapt meaningfully to these changes, and the economic cost will be enormous. As in medicine, prevention is the best solution.

Action to tackle climate change not only reduces the risks to our environment and global stability but also offers significant health co-benefits.[i] Changes in power generation improve air quality. Modest life style changes – such as increasing physical activity through walking and cycling - will cut rates of heart disease and stroke, obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, dementia and depressive illness. Climate change mitigation policies would thus significantly cut rates of preventable death and disability for hundreds of millions of people around the world.

The health co-benefits of lower carbon use save money: reducing EU greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020 (compared to 1990 levels) would save over €80 billion a year in healthcare costs and through increased productivity of a healthier workforce[ii].

We therefore call upon governments around the world to prioritise efforts to address the causes and impacts of climate change. Specifically we urge:

The European Union to unconditionally agree a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions domestically by 30% by 2020, and to prepare further targets towards 2050 which would incentivise the decarbonisation of the economy.

Developed countries to adopt more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, to increase their support for low carbon development and to invest in further research into the impact of climate change on health and security.

Developing countries to actively identify the key ways in which climate change threatens health and democratic governance, as well as undertaking mitigation and adaptation activities, including through supported and unsupported NAMAs.

All governments to enact legislative and regulatory change to stop the building of new unabated coal-fired power stations and phase out the continuing operation of existing plants prioritising lignite generation as most harmful to health.

All parties at the climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, to strive to adopt an ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction agreement consistent with the target of restricting the global temperature rise to 2°C as agreed in Copenhagen and Cancun, and in line with the pending UNFCCC review towards a 1.5°C limit above preindustrial levels. A mechanism ensuring that all people can share equitably the benefits of a safe atmosphere without penalising those with the least historical responsibility for climate change must be established.
All governments to incorporate the UN Security Council Presidential statement from 20 July 2011 on the potential consequences of climate change on security into their short and long term security planning[iii].
All governments to strive to adopt climate change mitigation targets and policies that are more ambitious than their international commitments.

-------------
Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in chief, BMJ (British Medical Journal)

Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of Council, British Medical Association

Professor Hugh Montgomery, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at University College London and Director of the UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, former president of the Royal College of Physicians

Dr Richard Horton, Editor-in-chief, The Lancet

Dr. Hege Gjessing, President, Norwegian Medical Association

Dr Heidi Stensmyren, Vice-president Swedish Medical Association

Dr Bjørn Oscar Hoftvedt, Norwegian Medical Association

Dr Philip Michael, Honorary Secretary and Vice President [Europe], Irish
Doctors Environmental Association

Mr Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International, on behalf of Prof. Raul Benet, Professor of Environment and Development, Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Richard Blewitt, CEO, HelpAge International, on behalf of Dr Johannes Meier, CEO European Climate Foundation

and many, many more...
-----------

Oct 19, 2011 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I am sure that this message will bring much more discomfort to those millions of UK pensioners who will be either heating or eating this winter.
Knowing that the cold that they endure, pales into insignificance when compared to the suffering they must now expect from climate change.
Who is going to give them this terrible news.
Please don't ask me to do it.

Oct 19, 2011 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

I certainly hope that they practice their medicine with a good deal more rigor than their climate science.

Oct 19, 2011 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Increasing global temperatures, whether caused by humans or (as is far more likely) natural climatic cycles, will have a hugely beneficial net effect. Witness the greening of the Sahara (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html), which is increasing agricultural production in countries like newly-established South Sudan, or even look at the statistics every year in Europe where far more people die from extreme old in winter than extreme heat.

The BMJ should be saying, "bring it on!"

Oct 19, 2011 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterKiwiwit

Climate change research grants bucket is still deep and well filled , of course others areas , no matter have little related to climate , want to get their noses in it , they have been doing it for years.

Oct 19, 2011 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Not that I expect it to have any impact, but here is the text of the email I sent Dr. Godlee:

Dr Godlee,

Forgive me for the skepticism about your recent editorial, but when communicable and non-communicable disease accounts for 11 of the top 20 causes of mortality worldwide, why exactly should I be concerned about climate change when to date there has been no credible evidence presented on adverse health effects which would result from a warming climate. I've heard the one about tropical diseases making their way into temperate regions, but all the evidence I've come across says it is highly unlikely. Deaths from malaria are declining and just yesterday it was announced that researchers may have developed a partial vaccine against it.

Is there evidence that cardiovascular diseases increase with warmer temperatures? Diarrheal diseases?

In writing this editorial on a topic you so clearly believe is of critical importance, don't you think identifying even a single negative health impact that can be linked to climate change might have been of value?

As a volunteer science mentor and Board member of an educational non-profit, I've spent 16 years working to increase interest in and respect for the importance of science in students ranging from 1st grade through 12th and to improve STEM skills. Therefore it concerns me when someone in your position comes out with what seems to be a political piece and not one relating to good science. This is an excellent example of why someone like myself, having three degrees, one of which is a graduate science degree, has doubt about what I hear on the issue of climate change. I do not doubt the planet is warming. I'm willing to consider and accept that the trend will continue and perhaps reach the higher end of prediction of climate models. But I do not understand the scare mongering. Communicable and non-communicable disease are killing people as I type. Who is dying from climate change?

As someone who believes strongly in giving young people the tools to make informed decisions, I would urge you to carefully consider what it is you are saying. I for one would much rather see one of the students I've worked with go on to advance the science of treating any of the high mortality diseases with us today, than worrying about something that may or may not ever occur.

Oct 19, 2011 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

Barry Woods | Oct 19, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Looks to me to be faux concern to ensure they're not left out in the distribution of C£imate Ca$h from the 'greenest government ever' (in more ways than one).

Oct 19, 2011 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

After seeing the BMJ statement posted by Barry Woods above, I sent Dr Godlee a followup email and apologized.

Dr. Godlee,

My apologies. I just came across this.

BMJ - Statement calling for urgent action on climate change - Oct 17, 2011

The following statement was issued at a conference on the health and security implications of climate change in London on 17th October 2011:-

Climate change poses an immediate, growing and grave threat to the health and security of people in both developed and developing countries around the globe.

Climate change leads to more frequent and extreme weather events and to conditions that favour the spread of infectious diseases. Rising sea levels, floods and droughts cause loss of habitat, water and food shortages, and threats to livelihood. These trigger conflict within and between countries. Humanitarian crises will further burden military resources through the need for rescue missions and aid. Mass migration will also increase, triggered by both environmental stress and conflict, thus leading to serious further security issues. It will often not be possible to adapt meaningfully to these changes, and the economic cost will be enormous. As in medicine, prevention is the best solution.

Action to tackle climate change not only reduces the risks to our environment and global stability but also offers significant health co-benefits.[i] Changes in power generation improve air quality. Modest life style changes – such as increasing physical activity through walking and cycling - will cut rates of heart disease and stroke, obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, dementia and depressive illness. Climate change mitigation policies would thus significantly cut rates of preventable death and disability for hundreds of millions of people around the world. ...........

I can see where you did not see the need to be specific in the editorial piece, when it is covered in the associated statement from BMJ.

I still have my concerns on what appears to be a political statement under the veil of science. You must not be aware that scientific study is showing the "more frequent and extreme weather events" claim isn't showing up to be true. (At least not yet.) The "conditions that favour the spread of infectious diseases" claim is not exactly the same as saying they will spread and in so far as malaria is concerned, the claim appears to contradict what the leading researchers are saying. Claims that this year's drought in Texas and the heatwave that hit Russia a couple of years ago were the result of warmer average global temperature has been shown to be false by meteorologists, who identified what the actual causes were. "Water & food shortages" , "humanitarian crises", "mass migration" - all of which are based on assumption and projection. So far, the only claim with some evidence of factual evidence is "trigger (ing) conflict within and between countries". I've read where people in some African countries have been displaced and even killed by parties looking to grab land in order to cash in on the global carbon credit market. For that matter, one could argue that climate change has caused food shortages, in the sense it has played a role in the increased production of biofuels, which in turn has raised the price of basic food crops as they are diverted to fuel production.

I'm not sure I even want to go into how tackling climate change is going result in "health co-benefits". Having been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a couple of years back, I know for a fact that one does not need government action - related to climate or not - to make the sort of lifestyle changes mentioned above. I simply went out and did it. I am not even sure how such action would result in these benefits. Should I conclude that the BMJ believes we need climate change policies which force people to walk or cycle to wherever they wish to go? If we all had to, then yes, I would expect "rates of heart disease and stroke, obesity, diabetes" to drop. Is this what the BMJ is proposing?

Oct 19, 2011 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

May I cite German language? Confer, coincidentally, an ecerpt from the "Grössere Mysterien" ("Greater Mysteries") of the "Bavarian Illuminati".

Adam Weishaupt: Grössere Mysterien
Erste Klasse
Philosophi. Weltweise (see Hermann Schüttler (ed.): "Johann Joachim Christoph Bode, Journal von einer Reise von Weimar nach Frankreich. Im Jahr 1787", Verlagsgesellschaft ars una 1994, pp. 361-395, Anhang, pp. 370ff.) (my highlights):

"Auch ist nicht zu befürchten, daß diese übergrosse Bevölkerung durch ansteckende Krankheiten, selbst eine Ursach der Entvölkerung werde. Bis dahin wird die Gesundheitslehre nähere, zuverlässigere Grundsätze haben. Arbeitsame, sorgenfreye, mässige, reinliche, in gehöriger Entfernung wohnende Menschen, geniessen der offenen Himmelsluft häufiger, als die in den faulen Ausdünstungen unsrer Städte gepreßte Menschen, in welchen sich vom menschlichen Unglück, und den Quellen unsrer Krankheiten ganze Stände ernähren, welche sich jeder vernünftigen, auf Verlängerung unsers Lebens abzweckenden Einrichtung, nach allen Kräften widersetzen: zu geschweigen, daß sich mit der, zu einem Garten umgeschaffenen Oberfläche der Erde, auch das Clima verändern muß.

[...]

Hier stehe still! Und forsche genau. Du wirst diesen Satz in denen, aus der allgemeinen Weltüberschwemmung geretten wenigen Menschen bestätigt finden."

Parts like the above :

"[...] Stände ernähren, welche sich jeder vernünftigen, auf Verlängerung unsers Lebens abzweckenden Einrichtung, nach allen Kräften widersetzen: zu geschweigen, daß sich mit der, zu einem Garten umgeschaffenen Oberfläche der Erde, auch das Clima verändern muß."

and:

"Wesen meiner Art sagten mir, du seyst klein, schwach und unbedeutend; denn du lieferst und gewinnst keine Schlachten, belagerst keine Städte [...]"

sounds like "#occupy!", don't they?

It looks like the "deluvian scare" *was* the thread that should be used by the Illuminaten to unite humanity.

I wonder whether the *utopist, scientific, political, enlightened, radical,*... secret order of the “Illuminati“, founded by Weishaupt, were perhaps the first organisation/organization which postulated anthropogenic climate change?

Do you know any organisation that joined the climate bandwagon earlier than the "Bavarian Illuminati" (ca. 1787)?

Oct 19, 2011 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

the rate at which once respected journals are destroying themselves is interesting...but I guess not unprecedented. And then you move from the journal to the society they have often represented....The Royal Society - home to Faraday and Newton - will soon be viewed as the Remote Sensing of its era.


Science, Nature, The Economist, The Lancet...have all gone the way of cuvieronius. BMJ now follows. Interestingly, I think The Tablet still holds its head high.

Oct 19, 2011 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Whom the gods would destroy, they first "embolden."

Oct 19, 2011 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

“Morning Doctor”

“Come in, sit down – what seems to be the problem”

“I'm just not feeling too good, Doctor – weak, shivery, a bit nauseous...”

“OK let's have a look shall we …. let me get my thermometer”

“..........err aren't you going to put in my mouth or......why are you just waving it around?”

“Don't do that any more …. ambient temperature that's the important thing....... let me see 22.75 deg C...let me just look up these tables.............Good Lord!.......that's nearly 0.65 degrees more than it was at the same time and date in 1963...no wonder your feeling poorly”

“What can I do about it Doctor”

“Well....you could try a smaller car.......how do you feel about one of these new hybrid jobs..................

Oct 19, 2011 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

"Saying this...seems to take a certain courage"

No it does not.

Saying the opposite takes courage. Standing up against the new green religion takes courage. Telling doctors to stick to their knitting takes courage.

Oct 19, 2011 at 10:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

@Foxgoose: quality :-)

Oct 19, 2011 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

This does not surprise me. As a Doctor it is pretty obvious that many of my colleagues are slightly dumb but compensate with over confidence. The editorial staff of the BMJ are just one example. Combined with the natural assumption that they should be in charge the brew is toxic. I only wonder why it took so long for the public health docs to grasp onto this as another thing to bash people over the head with.
Oh and it's never been a great journal, more of a comic in many ways.

So let's use the same type of arguments the warmists use. A bunch of people wholly ignorant of the 'science' have passed comment. Let's just ignore them.

Oct 19, 2011 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames

What are the health benefits of having a large windfarm sited next to your home?

Oct 19, 2011 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterandyscrase

think Durban, folks.
Huhne participated at the BMJ conference via video, plenty of Blairites there too:

Programme for Monday 17th October 2011, BMA House, London
09.05 - 09.10: Introduction
Chris Huhne MP - Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (via video)
http://climatechange.bmj.com/programme

wasn't The Atlantic a great magazine once, too? if only Neil Wallis would write a tell-all book about his damage control for the Climategate mob, while being paid by News and the MET at the same time:

19 Oct: The Atlantic: What's the Greenest Building? The Problem With Ranking Systems
by Auden Schendler & Mike Toffel - Auden Schendler is vice president of sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company, and author of Getting Green Done. Michael Toffel is associate professor at Harvard Business School. He teaches an MBA elective on corporate environmental strategy
What if there was a building that was so "green" that it was awarded the well-regarded Silver LEED rating? And what if that building housed a company that, among other things, was spreading disinformation about climate science that was undermining public support for climate-change regulations and the U.S. EPA? A fairly basic question would come to mind: is that building really green?
Actually, such a building exists. It's the New York City headquarters of News Corp, where Rupert Murdoch runs an empire that is "set up to deny, deny, deny" the most pressing environmental issue of our time -- climate change -- according to Rolling Stone. The magazine reported last winter that News Corp's "Wall Street Journal routinely dismisses climate change as 'an apocalyptic scare,' and Fox News helped gin up a fake controversy by relentlessly hyping the 'climategate' scandal'" -- even though multiple independent investigations showed that nothing in the scientists' emails undermined their conclusions about global warming...
The primacy of policy in solving the world's environmental problems suggests that corporate activism should be considered in all corporate environmental rankings. Ignoring advocacy is like rating colleges based on their buildings and infrastructure while ignoring the quality of educational content...
Rankings could also account for corporate campaign contributions to politicians who deny that climate change is a problem, as the Climate Action Network Europe did last year based on data publicly available from the Center for Responsive Politics. In the end, any sort of environmental ranking -- from LEED to ISO 14001, the world's most respected certification of environmental management -- should include corporate activism and influence in its assessment...
http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/10/whats-the-greenest-building-the-problem-with-ranking-systems/246965/

18 Oct: Washington Post: Brad Plumer: Climate scientists grapple with uncertainty (though not the kind you think)
You’ll often hear climate skeptics say “The science isn’t settled.” And, to an extent, this is true — though not in the way they’re implying. There are lots of things climatologists know with a high degree of confidence: that the Earth is warming, that human activity is a major culprit...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/how-to-talk-about-uncertainty-in-a-warming-world/2011/10/18/gIQAxsHTuL_blog.html

17 Oct: Physorg: Anuradha K. Herath: The public debate on climate change
For scientists, there is very little debate about the main cause of our current climate change. Ninety-seven percent of scientists who study the issue say it is the result of fossil-fuel burning and other man-made alterations to the environment…
Gavin Schmidt, climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says the public debate about climate change gives a mistaken impression of what scientists are actually debating. Scientists are questioning the degree of the change, and at what rate climate changes will occur in the future. But they aren’t debating the primary causes of it.
“There aren’t ‘two sides’ to the science,” Schmidt said. “[The pubic debate] implies that the whole thing is just a matter of an opinion – it is not.”…
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-10-debate-climate.html

Oct 19, 2011 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

see Barry beat me to it at 8:19 PM post

but worth another read/check given Donna Laframboise’s book -

"Mr Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International, on behalf of Prof. Raul Benet, Professor of Environment and Development, Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Richard Blewitt, CEO, HelpAge International, on behalf of Dr Johannes Meier, CEO European Climate Foundation"
-
Dr Lars T Fadnes, PhD, Chair of the Norwegian network on climate and health and researcher at the Centre for International Health, on behalf of the Norwegian network on climate and health
-
Lucy Emerson-Bell, Production Coordinator American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY), on behalf of Marcela Ballara, Secretariar member, International Council of Adult Education ICAE and Gender Office GEO

and on & on as Barry says.

the bandwagon may be may be losing spokes,but this lot will drag it even when the wheels are rickety.

Oct 19, 2011 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

ps - @diogenes

The Tablet?

"Bishops condemn NHS poor treatment of elderly"

ahh, see the link.

Oct 20, 2011 at 12:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

Am I perhaps the only one who cannot open the twitter link (in update #2 above)?

I never created an account on twitter but used twitter at least since climategate extensively. I have had problems with twitter (All the tweeds that I got were at least 21 hours old and older. This lagging lastet for about two to three weeks) about a month ago since I searched OWS etc. Then, suddenly, I got a real timeline on Twitter again. And now I get only the twitter search mask which do not produces any result. A lot of people in these occupy-movements give me hope that the people will succeed. I think, they are, in large, good.

Oct 20, 2011 at 12:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

I thought that there was an excess winter mortality of 25,000 to 30,000 people? And it will go up as people cannot afford the fuel or electricity?

If it was actually going to warm up a little it would be a good thing in the UK.

"Each year, around 20,000 more people aged 65 or over in England and Wales die in winter months than in other months. In some years (e.g. 2008/09), the figure is much higher."

http://www.poverty.org.uk/67/index.shtml

Oct 20, 2011 at 12:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Long live Twitter!

I managed in fact to directly ask Rapley (one-to-one, after the Q&A had finished) if the BMJ had reported his words correctly. He started by saying "Yes" (imagine if he had said NO...), then added some caveats (something like "the science of the greenhouse effect is solid, the science of warming is solid, the fact that it's us is solid"), then tried to sneak in the "97% of the experts agree". I then smiled and told him he should stay away from that claim. He agreed and replied that that was the reason why he didn't use it during his speech.

I complimented him on his words about adaptation and suggested to stay away from pop-psychology too as it's no way to establish a dialogue.

All in all he seems very good at talking to each audience. This has advantages and drawback. My immediate thoughts from Twitter: You don't become one of the Great and the Good if don't carefully tune your language to the audience. However by tuning too hard and too often you risk running after your audience instead of leading them to an informed opinion.

Oct 20, 2011 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

To my above comment (Oct 20, 2011 at 12:16 AM) about twitter. I tried to open the twitter link with the latest browser versions of Firefox, Opera, and IE. I am afraid, my computer needs a new installation. I cannot open the link.

Oct 20, 2011 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011
Oct 20, 2011 at 1:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Even the Beeb admitted that more people died of cold in 2009 than died on the roads. (PM, last night).

Will these activists or politicians pause for thought?

Oh! I thought not.

Oct 20, 2011 at 7:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Some cherry picked quotes from this 2001 BBC news story:

One of the report's authors, Tony McMichael, professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, accepted that on balance, the UK could see health benefits from climate change.

But warmer conditions could cut the number of elderly people who die during the winter months by around 20,000 each year.

And the number of hospital patient days per year that are due to the cold could fall from 8.2m in the1990s to 6.1m in the 2050s.

Oct 20, 2011 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

It seems that any self-respecting professional body has to have a policy on climate change. I am sure that we can all breathe more easily knowing that CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, started to fight climate change a couple of years ago - that could explain the cold winters we have had since then!

Sustainable CILIP: The Green Pledge
http://www.cilip.org.uk/filedownloadslibrary/green%20cilip/cilip_green_pledge.pdf

Oct 20, 2011 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

I was always told that the BMJ had been totally discredited several years ago.

Oct 20, 2011 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneMustGo

In my post at the BMJ site I asked what the scientific qualifications were for an "ethics editor" and whether they included numeracy or observational skills.

These comments were "edited by moderator".

Presumably the "ethics editor".

They really don't do themselves any favours do they?

Oct 20, 2011 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

"There is certainly more (scientific) misconduct out there than was thought," says Fiona Godlee, chair of Cope and editor of the BMJ. "Editors have a responsibility to pursue allegations of fraud, but their resources and remit are limited. The academic establishment in Britain has not taken the problem seriously enough". (Sep 2005)

"Is the spirit of Piltdown man alive and well?"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/3342867/Is-the-spirit-of-Piltdown-man-alive-and-well.html

It would appear since 2005 that Ms Godlee has forgotten one good piece of advice.

Quote, Richard Feynman, "Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."

The spirit of Piltdown Man, one that believes in CAGW, is alive, well and thriving within BMJ.

Oct 20, 2011 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Maybe Josh can draw Piltdown Man dressed as a doctor measuring the Earth's temperature?

Oct 20, 2011 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

You should be aware that the BMJ is the journal of the British Medical Association which is a left wing trades union organisation whose purpose is to extract as much taxpayers money as possible and put it in their members pockets. They do not represent the UK medical profession as a whole. Generally if the BMJ offers an opinion then the opposite view is usually the most sensible one. The opinion of the editor of the BMJ is irrelevant and should be ignored.

If doctors really wanted to help their patients they would campaign against green taxes that will condem thousands of elderly people to death from the cold this winter as they can't afford to keep warm.

Oct 20, 2011 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterStabledoor

Help! The doctors have taken over the asylum.
Bring on the men in white coats. (Oh, they ARE the men in white coats).

Oct 20, 2011 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

How to reform these corrupt meida organs, from Scientific American in the US, to Lancet and BMJ and so many others?
The meme of AGW catastrophism seems to be like an aggressive malignancy that shuts down the critical thinking centers of infected journalists and opinion makers. they self-discipline themselves, yet comeptitvely look for more and more reality-free claims to make in an escalating fashion.
If CO2 obsessed communications were converted to an audible tone, the frequency at this time would be well on the way to ultrasonic, and the sound level would be enough to break good glass.
This is worse than a religion, in many ways.

Oct 20, 2011 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

On a related note, straw burning for electricity generation has been given the go-ahead in Scunthorpe. One notes the health risks are non-trivial (see comments in article below)

http://www.thisisscunthorpe.co.uk/pound-83m-renewable-energy-power-station-gets/story-13610318-detail/story.html

Oct 20, 2011 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterandyscrase

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