All excerpted posts are © the original author. Please consult their blog for the full story and to comment.


Monday, 21 January 2019

2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3

Story of the Week... Analysis of the Week... Toon of the Week... SkS in the News... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

Climate Forecast: World Is “Sleepwalking into Catastrophe”

In an annual World Economic Forum report, climate change, extreme weather and biodiversity loss were named among the highest global risks

Typhoon Mangkhut in Calumpit, Philippines on September 16, 2018

Children use basins to cross a flooded street in the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut in Calumpit, Philippines on September 16, 2018. Credit: Noel Celis Getty Images

Climate change is the biggest threat to the planet, the World Economic Forum said yesterday in a sweeping catalog of global risks.

The institution’s annual analysis of economic dangers worldwide named extreme weather, natural disasters, man-made environmental disasters, biodiversity loss and failure to adapt to climate change as the chief perils to society.

Of all the risks to the globe, “it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe,” the WEF said in its Global Risks Report. “The results of climate inaction are becoming increasingly clear.”

Climate Forecast: World Is “Sleepwalking into Catastrophe” by Anne C Mulkern, E&E News/Scientific American, Jan 17, 2019 

Analysis of the Week...

Climate Change’s Giant Impact on the Economy: 4 Key Issues

Many of the big economic questions in coming decades will come down to just how extreme the weather will be, and how to value the future versus the present.

Tropical Storm Harvey Houston TX Aug 2017

Wading through flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston in August 2017. “We know we can adapt to slow changes,” a Yale economist said. “Rapid changes are the ones that would be most damaging and painful.” Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

By now, it’s clear that climate change poses environmental risks beyond anything seen in the modern age. But we’re only starting to come to grips with the potential economic effects.

Using increasingly sophisticated modeling, researchers are calculating how each tenth of a degree of global warming is likely to play out in economic terms. Their projections carry large bands of uncertainty, because of the vagaries of human behavior and the remaining questions about how quickly the planet will respond to the buildup of greenhouse gases.

A government report in November raised the prospect that a warmer planet could mean a big hit to G.D.P. in the coming decades.

And on Thursday, some of the world’s most influential economists called for a tax on carbon emissions in the United States, saying climate change demands “immediate national action.” The last four people to lead the Federal Reserve, 15 former leaders of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and 27 Nobel laureates signed a letter endorsing a gradually rising carbon tax whose proceeds would be distributed to consumers as “carbon dividends.”

The Trump administration has long rejected prescriptions like a carbon tax. But policy debates aside, many of the central economic questions of the decades ahead are, at their core, going to be climate questions. These are some of the big ones.

Climate Change ’s Giant Impact on the Economy: 4 Key Issues by Neil Irwin, Upshot, New York Times, Jan 17, 2019

Toon of the Week...

2019 Toon 3 

Hat tip to Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.

SkS in the News...

The second part of Graham Readfearn's article, Climate Advocates Underestimate Power of Fossil Fueled Misinformation Campaigns, Say Top Researchers (DeSmog, Jan 18, 2019) focuses on Inoculation. It begins with: 

In addition, the researchers suggest using an emerging communications technique known as “inoculation” in which the public and policymakers are made aware of key misinformation techniques as myths are being busted.

The link embedded in the above is to the article, Inoculation Theory: Using Misinformation to Fight Misinformation by John Cook (DeSmog, July 15, 2017). 

Coming Soon on SkS...

[To be added.] 

Climate Feedback Reviews...

USA Today story updates readers on trend in monthly global temperatures

2019 Climate Feedback 3


Climate Feedback asked a team of scientists to review the article, Earth just had its 400th straight warmer-than-average month thanks to global warming by Doyle Rice, USA Today, May 17, 2018

Review Summary

This article in USA Today notes that April 2018 was the 400th straight month that global temperatures were above the 20th century average, and correctly identifies human activities as the cause of this trend. It also highlights several regions that saw record-high April temperatures.

Scientists who reviewed the article found that it accurately described these facts and clearly explained how above-average months are calculated.

This is part of a series of reviews of 2018’s most popular climate stories on social media.

USA Today story updates readers on trend in monthly global temperatures by Scott Johnson, climate Feedback, Jan 14, 2019 

SkS Week in Review... 

Poster of the Week...

2019 Poster 3 

from Skeptical Science

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Violinist Schools Us on Vaccines (Hilarity Ensues)

Have I told you that Pedro, my partner, (not her real name) is a car mechanic? Yeah, and that makes me an expert in fixing cars. Why, I’m the best car-fixer there ever was, all because of Pedro. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. So why is it […]

Read more at: Violinist Schools Us on Vaccines (Hilarity Ensues) by Reuben

A new, imaginative and ‘semenly’ effective SCAM for back pain

One would be hard-pressed to find a form of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) that is not being promoted for back pain: chiropractic, osteopathy, reflexology, naturopathy, homeopathy … you name it. Intriguingly, they all seem to generate similarly good – a realist would say bad – results. Faced with this large but largely ineffective options, one […]

Read the rest here: A new, imaginative and ‘semenly’ effective SCAM for back pain

American Loon #2134: Kevin Purfield

Kevin Purfield is an insane conspiracy nut whose main claim to fame is being arrested, apparently for harassing the families of the victims of the Aurora shootings to tell them that their loved ones didn’t really die and that it was all part of a grand conspiracy. The reason he concludes...

Read the full lunacy: #2134: Kevin Purfield Encyclopedia of American Loons

Saturday, 19 January 2019

The ‘Institute for Scientific Homeopathy’ and ‘the most stupid idea conceivable’

Once again, I am indebted to the German homeopathy lobbyist, Jens Behnke (research officer at the Karl and Veronica Carstens-Foundation); this time for alerting me via a tweet to the existence of the ‘Institute for Scientific Homeopathy’ run by Dr K Lenger. Anyone who combines the terms ‘scientific’ and ‘homeopathy’ has my full attention. The […]

Read the rest here: The ‘Institute for Scientific Homeopathy’ and ‘the most stupid idea conceivable’

Friday, 18 January 2019

‘Chiropractic Substracts Years From Your Life’ (?$?$?)

The notion that ‘chiropractic adds years to your life’ is often touted, particularly of course by chiropractors (in case you doubt it, please do a quick google search). It is logical to assume that chiropractors themselves are the best informed about what they perceive as the health benefits of chiropractic care. Chiropractors would therefore be […]

Read the rest here: ‘Chiropractic Substracts Years From Your Life’ (?$?$?)

Thursday, 17 January 2019

The ‘Dunning Kruger Effect’ in action

The ‘Dunning Kruger Effect‘ (DuKE) has been discussed here before. The DuKE means that, the less you know, the less able you are to recognize how little you know, and the less likely you are to recognize your limitations. Consequently, your confidence in yourself is inflated and you believe you are more competent than your opponent. […]

Read the rest here: The ‘Dunning Kruger Effect’ in action

American Loon #2133: Fred Pulver

Tachyons are theoretical particles or waves that travel faster than the speed of light, a recurring theme in popular science, and thus far without empirical support for their existence. New Age religions are religions, however, and have never cared for empirical support. So, according to Fred...

Read the full lunacy: #2133: Fred Pulver Encyclopedia of American Loons

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Is chiropractic proven effective for a long list of conditions? No, I really don’t think so

Most chiropractors claim they can effectively treat a wide range of conditions. I have looked far and wide but I fail to see sound evidence to show that this assumption is true. On a good day, I might agree that chiropractic works for back pain (but this would need to be a very good day […]

Read the rest here: Is chiropractic proven effective for a long list of conditions? No, I really don’t think so

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

American Loon #2132: Ana Puig

Ana Puig is a Tea Party Operative who was appointed legislative liaison for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue as part of Governor Tom Corbett’s attempt to turn “Pennsylvania’s state government into a favor mill for campaign supporters.” Puig, previously co-chair of and...

Read the full lunacy: #2132: Ana Puig Encyclopedia of American Loons

Probiotics are NOT entirely risk-free

Probiotics (live microorganisms for oral consumption) are undoubtedly popular, not least they are being cleverly promoted as a quasi panacea. But are they as safe as their manufacturers try to convince us? A synthesis and critical evaluation of the reports and series of cases on the infectious complications related to the ingestion of probiotics was […]

Read the rest here: Probiotics are NOT entirely risk-free

Monday, 14 January 2019

Severe adverse effects of chiropractic in children

I would warn every parent who thinks that taking their child to a chiropractor is a good idea. For this, I have three main reasons: Chiropractic has not been shown to be effective for any paediatric condition. Chiropractors often advise parents against vaccinating their children. Chiropractic spinal manipulations can cause harm to kids. The latter […]

Read the rest here: Severe adverse effects of chiropractic in children