The incredibly flexible theory

Now says that man-made global warming is responsible for malaria outbreaks.
But the director of the Insects and Infectious Diseases Unit of the Institut Pasteur in Paris, Paul Reiter, begs to differ.

It may come as a surprise that malaria was once common in most of Europe and North America. In parts of England, mortality from “the ague” was comparable to that in sub-Saharan Africa today. William Shakespeare was born at the start of the especially cold period that climatologists call the “Little Ice Age,” yet he was aware enough of the ravages of the disease to mention it in eight of his plays.
Malaria disappeared from much of Western Europe during the second half of the 19th century. Changes in agriculture, living conditions and a drop in the price of quinine, a cure still used today, all helped eradicate it. However, in some regions it persisted until the insecticide DDT wiped it out. Temperate Holland was not certified malaria-free by the WHO until 1970.
The concept of malaria as a “tropical” infection is nonsense. It is a disease of the poor. Alarmists in the richest countries peddle the notion that the increase in malaria in poor countries is due to global warming and that this will eventually cause malaria to spread to areas that were “previously malaria free.” That’s a misrepresentation of the facts and disingenuous when packaged with opposition to the cheapest and best insecticide to combat malaria – DDT.

On a related note, you know that overwhelming consensus about global warming? It’s bunk.
Among the leading skeptics in the scientific community is Patrick Michaels Ph.D. and according to his bio:

Michaels is a research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and visiting scientist with the Marshall Institute in Washington, D.C. He is a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and was program chair for the Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological Society. Michaels is a contributing author and reviewer of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. His writing has been published in the major scientific journals, including Climate Research, Climatic Change, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Climate, Nature, and Science.

Michaels exposes the latest fabrication from the global warming chicken littles in this piece of commentary he penned for the Cato institute.

17 thoughts on “The incredibly flexible theory”

  1. I think the malaria-climate change issue is something of a red herring but it’s worth noting that Monseiur Reiter isn’t just drawing a paycheck from the Pasteur Institute.
    “Reiter sits on the “Scientific and Economic Advisory Council” of an organization called the “Annapolis Centre for Science-Based Public Policy. ” The Annapolis Centre is a US think tank that has received $763,500 in funding from ExxonMobil and has been very active in playing down the human contribution to global warming. According to a January 16, 1997 Wall Street Journal article, the Annapolis Center was at one time largely funded by the National Association of Manufacturers, one of the largest industry associations in North America.
    Reiter, Tech Central Station and Exxon
    Reiter is listed as an author for Tech Central Station daily (TCS), an organization that until very recently was owned and operated by a Republican lobby firm called DCI Group.”

  2. And Phil Peters takes money from Sherritt and the global warming clowns take money from the government.

  3. And I am sure that all those organizations that are promoting the man-made global warming theory are taking money and grants from completely objective and agenda-free governments and entities.
    Give me a break.

  4. About Patrick J. Michaels
    From SourceWatch
    Patrick J. Michaels (±1942- ), also known as Pat Michaels, is a “global warming skeptic” who argues that global warming models are fatally flawed and, in any event, we should take no action because new technologies will soon replace those that emit greenhouse gases.
    Michaels, who has completed a Ph.D. in Ecological Climatology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1979) is Editor of the World Climate Report. He is also associated with two think tanks: a Visiting Scientist with the George C. Marshall Institute and a Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies with the Cato Institute.
    Michaels was previously a Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Virgina. While Michaels referred to himself as the State Climatologist for Virginia, in August 2006 the Governor clarified that the appointment was one by the University for its accredited climatology office but not an appointment by the state administration. [1] When Michaels left the university in September 2007, UVa professor James N. Galloway explained that Michaels’ “utility industry funding, private research and controversial views on global warming made him a lightning rod on climate change issues,” and “left the [climatologist’s] office too politicized.” [2]
    Writing in Harpers Magazine in 1995, author Ross Gelbspan noted that “Michaels has received more than $115,000 over the last four years from coal and energy interests. World Climate Review, a quarterly he founded that routinely debunks climate concerns, was funded by Western Fuels.”[3]
    A furor was raised when it was revealed in 2006 that, at customer expense, Patrick Michaels was quietly paid $100,000 by an electric utility, Intermountain Rural Electric Association, which burns coal to help confuse the issue of global warming [4][5].
    Asked about his funding on CNN in August 2002 Michaels rejected the suggestion that industry funding influenced his work. “Well, you know, most of my funding, the vast majority, comes from taxpayer-supported entities. I would make the argument that if funding colors research, I should be certainly biased more towards the taxpayers, of which I am one, than towards industry. But the fact of the matter is, numbers are objective,” he said. [6]
    [edit]Michaels on climate change
    Michaels “co-operated with Ross McKitrick on another paper that managed to “prove” that global warming wasn’t happening by [ mixing up degrees with radians].” [7]
    Michaels has written papers claiming that satellite temperature data shows no global warming trend. But he got this result by cutting the data off after 1996. (Every year after 1996 the satellite measurement showed warming.) Another paper made the bizarre claim that the temperature increases were meaningless because they correlated closely to GDP, without explaining how the GDP caused the increase warming. (A more likely explanation is that high-GDP countries tend to be at higher lattitudes, where global warming has the most impact).
    In August 2004, Michaels told Business Week “We know how much the planet is going to warm. It is a small amount, and we can’t do anything about it.” [8]
    But Peter Gleick, a conservation analyst and president of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, said “Pat Michaels is not one of the nation’s leading researchers on climate change. On the contrary, he is one of a very small minority of nay-sayers who continue to dispute the facts and science about climate change in the face of compelling, overwhelming, and growing evidence.” [9]
    Michaels responded by threatening to sue. (Michaels had gotten another scientist to withdraw similar remarks.)[10] But Gleick stood by his statement and others have joined him.
    Dr. John Holdren of Harvard University told the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, “Michaels is another of the handful of US climate-change contrarians… He has published little if anything of distinction in the professional literature, being noted rather for his shrill op-ed pieces and indiscriminate denunciations of virtually every finding of mainstream climate science.” [11]
    Dr. Tom Wigley, lead author of parts of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and one of the world’s leading climate scientists, was quoted in the book “The Heat is On” (Gelbspan, 1998, Perseus Publishing): “Michaels’ statements on [the subject of computer models] are a catalog of misrepresentation and misinterpretation… Many of the supposedly factual statements made in Michaels’ testimony are either inaccurate or are seriously misleading.” [12]
    And an article in the journal Social Epistemology concluded “…the observations upon which PM [Patrick Michaels] draws his case are not good enough to bear the weight of the argument he wishes to make.”

  5. Sourcewatch? Youre citing sourcewatch to prove some sort of bias here? Are you fucking shitting me? Do yourself a favor and do some research on sourcewatch and who funds them.
    You got some fucking nerve, man.

  6. Here. Let me spoon feed you, from Fact
    We find the center’s research to be generally thorough, well-documented and presented clearly, though one-sided. It targets spin and propaganda by business, conservatives and Republicans, seldom if ever criticizing public relations efforts by liberal groups or Democrats.
    Nothing pisses me off more than to have someone cry the agenda wolf while citing a source that’s just as agenda driven, if not moreso.

  7. Val,
    My point in raising these issues about the climate change critics is that nothing should be taken at face value..including the criticisms of climate change. The initial post on this thread was about how another scientist was helping to debunk the climate change myth. What’s wrong with debunking the debunker? As for sourcewatch, they are nothing more in mind than a portal to in-depth information. Sort of like babalublog. While the comments of the posters on this blog are sometimes interesting, I come here mainly because I want to be directed to other sources on Cuba.

  8. Dude, I dont have time to play this littlke game with you anymore. Fact is that you didnt debunk the debunker, you merely posted commentary from an openly liberal agenda driven website. That’s not debunking anything. Quite the contrary, actually. All youve proven is the “group think” mentality of the “mainstream climate science” cadre.
    There are plenty other “nay sayers” that are experienced, educated and respected in their field that dont subscribe to the man made global warming illusion and whom said “group thinkers” have attacked viciously for not falling in line with their flawed opus.

  9. Val,
    You’re on this blog every day, multiple times a day; believe me you have more than enough time to play this “little game.”

  10. Mira, all of that is irrelevant. Focus on what the man said: Either there really used to be malaria in most of Europe and North America or there really wasn’t. But apparently there really was. Have a look at these CDC (Centers for Disease Control) maps, particularly the one from 1882, which shows that you could get malaria all the way up to the Canadian border and well beyond:

    And as for Europe, check this article at Malaria


    Here’s the money quote, right there in the first paragraph:

    “Endemic northern malaria reached 68°N latitude in Europe during the 19th century, where the summer mean temperature only irregularly exceeded 16°C, the lower limit needed for sporogony of Plasmodium vivax.”

    68 degrees North latitude. That’s ABOVE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE — and in the 1800’s. So apparently Michaels is dead-on right, which means that whoever funded him is irrelevant. It also means that the environmentalists who are saying there was never any malaria in these places before are either ignorant or flat-out lying.

    If Pat Michaels says the answer to 2+2 is 4, Sourcewatch saying he took money from the Devil himself doesn’t mean that the answer must really be 5 or 3 or 28-1/2. What it does mean is that environmentalists got caught lying again and you’re trying to help them change the subject.

  11. Zhangliqun,
    Check out the first line in my first post. BTW, the same was true for yellow fever. YF was a regular visitor to ports as far north as NYC. my point is that you cannot discount out of hand the substantial evidence arguing that global warming exist. Maybe the malaria argument is wrong but to discount every last strand of the global warming argument as some mainstream science plot to destroy american buiness and freedom is without evidence of any scientific merit that i have seen.

  12. It’s not a mainstream science plot, it’s a left-wing political plot that uses fear mongering, manipulation and propaganda to convince people that it’s mainstream science. Science is based on observation, experimentation and revision based on more observation and experimentation. There’s never a “case closed” in science. We learn more about how natural processes work all the time and climate change science is in its infancy. Period.

  13. “There’s never a “case closed” in science.” I agree with you. Which is why I am so puzzled by the stridency of your support for critics of global warming science.

  14. Because they are ones that are saying that global temperature is complex and little understood at this point. They are the ones that are arguing that more observation and experimentation needs to take place before sweeping policies are put in place that could indeed be more catastrophic for mankind. Skepticism is an important part of the scientific process and the politicos like Al Gore are calling them deniers as if we were talking about a historical even like the holocaust rather than a phenomenon that we learn more about every day.


    MAYBE the malaria argument is wrong?

    I make no claim to precisely know the motivations of each and every scientist or activist who believes in global warming, but when they constantly rail against America and have little to nothing to say about China or India or other places around the world right now — not to mention how consistently silent they are about the environmental devastation of the Eastern Bloc countries during the Cold War that dwarfs anything ever seen in the West — you have to wonder about their motivation.

    Moreover, as scientists on the other side of the debate have lost their fear of ostracization and begun to speak up, critiquing Al Gore and “An Inconvenient Truth”, suddenly all we hear from pro-global warmers is “The debate is over! The debate is over! You’re all just like a bunch of Holocaust Deniers!” To me that sounds like somebody trying to hide something, when you consider the debate has barely even started.

    Many of these same scientists in the States made alarming predictions about the 2006 and 2007 Atlantic/Caribbean/Gulf seasons producing unprecedented numbers of land-falling Cat 4 and 5 hurricanes that fell flat on their face. Both ’06 and ’07 turned out to be extremely quiet, the quietest in many years, especially ’07. While some meterologists had previously made general predictions about hurricanes becoming consistently more dangerous as the years pass, to my knowledge, no-one had never made such dire predictions about the immediate future before — at least not without getting laughed out of the room.

    I am not a meterologist myself, though I have studied severe weather off and on at a purely amateur level for many years. But you don’t even need my minimal level of severe weather knowledge to know that predicting the number of landfalling Cat 4/5 storms in a given season is impossible. You can probably predict hurricane patterns over decades. They seem to go 20 to 25 years “hot” and the next 20 to 25 years “not”. (The 1910’s and 1920’s were hot, 30’s and 40’s not. 50’s and 60’s VERY hot, 70’s and 80’s not. 90’s and 2000’s have been on the hotter side but nothing like the 50’s and 60’s.) But not for a given year. Weather, especially severe weather, is inherently too chaotic for that.

    What was different in 2006/2007? This was after Katrina and Rita in 2005. If I didn’t know better, I would think somebody in the “scientific community” was trying to take advantage of the emotional and frequently racially charged media coverage of Katrina. By the way, they’re making the same prediction for 2008. Sooner or later they’ll be right and the flops of 2006-07 will be swept under the rug.

    Another problem I have with the global warming issue is that the earth’s climate fluctuates quite a bit over time. As I mentioned in another topic a while back, the climate was a good deal warmer in the days of the Vikings a thousand years ago or so when they discovered and named Greenland. The Little Ice Age came around 1500-1850 and we’ve been on a bit of a warming trend since then, but still not near as warm as the Viking days, or the southern third or so of Greenland would be green again.

    The issue I have here is the absolute certainty of the global warming alarmists that this warming trend is man-made. How could they possibly know that whatever warming trend we’re in — which now seems to have slowed or entirely stopped over the past 10 years — is not a natural earth climate fluctuation? Answer: They can’t.

    So why don’t they admit that they don’t really know? A few possible answers:

    1) Their funding would dry up. You don’t get grants to study/solve a problem that you’re not even sure exists. Before you say scientists wouldn’t compromise themselves that way, you just got through impugning the financial motives of one in this thread.

    2) Some really do want to weaken America. There are anti-Americans all over the world — including some in the scientific community — who have given up on ever defeating America militarily, especially with the death of the USSR. Many leftists openly say that the way to control America is through “internationalism”. Ponder that for a moment and note how the biggest international organization of all spends all its outrage and denunciation on America and Israel while seating blood-soaked dictators on the Human Rights Council. Consider also that many of the global warming alarms come from the UN’s committee on climate change.

    3) Many are not really scientists, or if they are, their field is not climatology. That UN committee is made up mostly of politicians and activists.

    4) Many scientists, like people in any profession (like, say, journalism), are actually not that good at what they do, and have some combination of a herd mentality and an axe to grind.

    5) Even most of the alarmists admit that if we do everything prescribed by Kyoto, etc., it will not make even a significant dent in the warming. So what is the point of all this? Perhaps that wonderful side effect of weakening America? Then you have to consider that many of the same activists and scientists gave us the same prescriptions for the “global cooling” panic in the 1970’s that they are giving us now for global warming. It can’t possibly work both ways.

    Finally, why would global warming necessarily be a bad thing? We get more deaths in the earth’s cold phases than warm, in part because there is less farmable land and fewer critters to hunt in the higher latitudes when the climate is colder. Not only that, but predictions that huge swaths of land would be underwater due to melting ice caps didn’t come true in the days of the Vikings.

    So we are being constantly harangued to do things that even the activists admit in a whisper won’t make much of a difference in between their shouts of “The Debate is Over!”, we have all this evidence that the earth’s climate fluctuates a great deal over time, almost all these changes occurring long before there even was a USA, and we have scientists expressing doubts about global warming who are rarely if ever confronted on the merits of their arguments and get scalded with funding ad hominems instead, again in between shouts of “The Debate Is Over!”. (Which is often a lie of omission — they do not tell you that the contributions they get from Jim’s Giant Evil Oil Company is a negligible fraction of their total contributions.) Not to mention this all goes on while many of these scientists and activists get their own funding from dubious sources like the anti-America UN.

    So why is it again that I’m supposed to rest easy that the global warmists motives are pure as the wind driven snow (so to speak)?

  16. I recall from a recent Anne Roiphe novel about Pasteur, that there was a malaria outbreak in Alexandria, Egypt around 1880; even before the Britsih occupied the country, and before the effects of Industrial Revolution were able to manifest itself in the climate.

  17. Malaria was common all around the Mediterranean not long ago. All you need is mosquitos and stagnant water.

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