Monday, September 18, 2006


As noted earlier, Tim Lambert's attempted Andrew Bolt debunking is misleading. A reader suggests I revisit Lambert's post to take a look at some of his links.

In response to this from Bolt:
Gore claims warming is causing new diseases and allowing malarial mosquitoes to move to higher altitudes.

In fact, says Professor Paul Reiter, head of the Pasteur Institute's unit of insects and infectious diseases: "Gore is completely wrong here." Reiter says "the new altitudes of malaria are lower than those recorded 100 years ago" and "none of the 30 so-called new diseases Gore references are attributable to global warming".
Lambert attempts to discredit Reiter with links to this and this, both of which are mathematical model based. Here's Paul Reiter's opinion on that startegy, as if he had Lambert in mind:
In recent years, activist emphasis has shifted to “highland malaria”, particularly in East Africa. Despite carefully researched articles by malaria specialists, there has been a flurry of articles by non-specialists who claim a recent increase in the altitude of malaria transmission attributable to warming, and quote models that “predict” further increase in the next 50 years. Tellingly, they rarely quote the specialists who challenge them. Nor do they mention that maximum altitudes for transmission in the period 1880-1945 were 500-1500m higher than in the areas that are quoted as examples. Moreover, highland above 2000m constitutes a mere 1.3% of the whole continent, an area about the size of Poland that is totally dwarfed by regions of stable and unstable transmission at lower altitudes.

A galling aspect of the debate is that this spurious ‘science’ is endorsed in the public forum by influential panels of “experts.” I refer particularly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Every five years, this UN-based organization publishes a ‘consensus of the world’s top scientists’ on all aspects of climate change. Quite apart from the dubious process by which these scientists are selected, such consensus is the stuff of politics, not of science. Science proceeds by observation, hypothesis and experiment. The complexity of this process, and the uncertainties involved, are a major obstacle to meaningful understanding of scientific issues by non-scientists. In reality, a genuine concern for mankind and the environment demands the inquiry, accuracy and scepticism that are intrinsic to authentic science. A public that is unaware of this is vulnerable to abuse.
Read Reiters whole piece (it's only two pages) and decide for yourself who's right on this, Lambert or Bolt.


Anonymous Joe said...

So who you gonna believe? A scientist who specializes in insects and infectious diseases? Or Al Gore?

5:18 AM  

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