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Minchin an ‘all rounder’ delusionist

It is well-known that the delusionist think-tanks on climate change were also skeptics on the issue of the health damages of cigarettes. In particular they argued, contrary to the claim of the US Surgeon General, that there was no evidence that secondary cigarette smoke caused health damages.  One of their leading spokesmen (Fred Singer) argued that ‘threshold effects’ might operate so that it was possible that at low enough concentrations cigarette smoke is benign.  This assertion was expressly ruled out by the US Surgeon General who found no evidence of threshold effects – cigarette smoke at any concentration is dangerous.

As I wrote some time back:

“It is important that the delusionist groups be revealed for what they are namely as an influential political movement which rejects mainstream science. In the US these groups centre on the George C. Marshall Institute and the Heartland Institute. In the past these groups have suggested that passive smoking may not cause health damages, that CFCs in the atmosphere caused the hole in the ozone layer hole, and that SO2 caused acid rain. None of these claims stand up to scrutiny. Furthermore it is a matter of public record that these groups have in the past received funding from Exxon-Mobil while their officials (e.g. Fred Singer, Frederick Seitz) have worked for the tobacco companies”.

So I guess I should not have been surprised that climate delusionist Nick Minchin was also a tobacco delusionist. In fact he went further than these groups by arguing that there was no proven link between smoking and lung cancer/heart disease.

“”Senator Minchin wishes to record his dissent from the committee’s statements that it believes cigarettes are addictive and that passive smoking causes a number of adverse health effects for non-smokers,” the committee’s minority report says. “Senator Minchin believes these claims (the harmful effects of passive smoking) are not yet conclusively proved. . . there is insufficient evidence to link passive smoking with a range of adverse health effects.”

To support his claims, Senator Minchin drew on a study commissioned by the Tobacco Institute of Australia that “concluded the data did not support a causal relationship between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and lung cancer or heart disease in adults”.

Senator Minchin’s stance flew in the face of voluminous reports by the US Surgeon-General, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, documenting nicotine’s addictive hook and the serious health risks for people exposed to secondary cigarette smoke. Even the US and British tobacco companies acknowledged the health hazards from passive smoking in internal corporate research documents from the 1970s, obtained by the US congress and placed on the public record in 1995.”

No, no link between lung cancer and smoking! The Tobacco Institute of Australia was, of course, funded by the four large tobacco companies – it was a lobbying group for big tobacco in Australia. I guess you can say that Minchin is an all-rounder – he generates generalised or as it is sometimes referred to by groupies to this bunch of maddies,  ‘balanced delusionism’.  Should we laugh or cry?

HT Phil at LP.

14 comments to Minchin an ‘all rounder’ delusionist

  • badm0f0

    Whether you laugh or cry you certainly have to marvel at the cynicism.

  • rog

    Dont know if there is any connection or association but the same loopy argument has suddenly popped up on Catallaxy.

  • hc

    Rog, Both Catallaxy and ALS are hotbeads for delusionism – they promoted the Heartland Conferences over the past couple of years. And, yes, they ‘question’ the regulation of tobacco on precisely the grounds suggested by the marketing departments of big tobacco – make it a ‘freedom opf choice’ issue. I noticed recently that the moron element at Catallaxy questioned links between smoking and cancer. These people are a joke.

    More ‘well-balanced delusionists’ or maybe a better term is ‘generalised delusionists’.

  • observa

    As an AGW agnostic I prefer to think of it as a battle between the ‘data deniers’ and ‘data doubters’ and with the news that the careful, methodical and empirical folk at EAU have ‘lost’ their raw data in a move and only have their homogenised, pasteurised version of it available for scrutiny now, there is no doubt the data doubters have won the day. As every true scientific skeptic worth their grants would know, that means ALL conclusions that have been drawn from EAU CRU research based on that original raw data are now junk science. Given the millions of dollars of taxapyer grants and man years they have absorbed all for nought, and its global implications, that is a scientific scandal of massive proportions now. As for the other conclusions that can be drawn from their correspondence over the years detailing their activities, it’s as clear to me as George Monbiot that they have been and are political hacks masquerading as real scientists.

    I take my hat off to Monbiot for recognising and calling it as quickly as he did while I held my breath. As he laments now he feels so alone for his stance of the highest and most personally difficult integrity and given the wall of silence from those who should know better, I can empathise with his plight. Treachery and treason for the scientific method and intellectual pursuit of truth are not too harsh a words to describe these charlatans now, but you wouldn’t know it listening to the silence of so many of our tertiary lambs on this. They will eventually get what they so richly deserve from a disgusted public over this for their conspiracy of silence. That silence will only serve to reinforce the notion that scientists and intellectuals are really just a corrupt bunch of public tit boffins that can’t understand the real world and its people.

  • observa

    Do you people really know what’s at stake here? If you don’t then you’d better take some time out to get up to pace and there’s no better place to start than with the story of the David data doubters vs Goliath data deniers here-
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/
    http://www.climateaudit.org/
    Follow the links and listen to the data deniers plead the ‘peer review’ defence particularly the UN’s Pauchari when that corruption has been one of the very issues under the microscope here. Phil Jones has now ‘stood down’ and Penn State are having an enquiry to ask Mann to ‘please explain’.

    The shock waves of EAU tumult have quickly crossed the Atalantic and where do you think they’ll stop? How much climate science has been based on this massaged, manipulated data that no longer exists in raw terms? Do you really think the shockwaves of this will not reach Copenhagen or even a DD election in Oz? I can think of one world leader in a Czech President who will be only too willing to lecture the Groupthinkers at Copenhagen on this. How many more? India, China..? Yes it’s a major setback for AGW science and its immediate prescriptions but get over it and see quickly and clearly as Monbiot and others have, that there is a greater danger in defending the indefensible here. It is the reputations of you all. Get angry and get loud now and worry about the true, verifiable science results and their policy implications later.

  • rog

    What are you saying Observa, that climate change has been cancelled due to improper behaviour?

  • observa

    What I’m saying is this rog. Suppose you believe in the AGW theory then you have to ask yourself- on what research based upon what data am I basing that belief? If you’ve been relying on any research based on EAU data you may as well believe in any scientist who says anything and wants you to trust him because lots of his mates do. (or believe in research only based on Hadcrut data because Dr Jones and the true believers reckon it’s better than GISS data because they say so in their emails) But don’t worry rog I’m sure you can trust Dr Jones and the true believers because he’s done the honorable thing and ‘stood down’ while this little misunderstanding is sorted out.

    It’s like this rog. Never in the annals of modern science have so many been duped so much by so few with so little raw data available for so much political embarassment at stake and in a cruel irony it will be polar bears they’ll all be wishing were falling from those commanding heights any day now.

    What fascinates me now is what drove Andrew Robb out of sick leave to make that stunning party room address that by all accounts had the Libs eventually select Abbott as leader against all the pundits odds? Now while Kev is away Julia unilaterally dismisses any speculation about a DD election and reckons they’ll put the the ETS up again before parliament in February some time. Whaddya reckon?

  • observa

    Switch to total reliance on carbon and resource taxing with a couple of cleverly designed environmental twists anyone? More wombats and less hairy nosed taxes dear Henry? What about a home grown exemplary constitutional marketplace for the ROW to emulate, instead of blind religious faith in some global monolithic system that’s too big to fail eh? I reckon I could get David Bellamy’s stamp of approval on it at the very least and there’s a bloke’s nod that actually matters now.

  • rog

    For me it is the poor quality of the rebuttals that are more convincing.

  • observa

    That’s because there are no rebuttals worth considering rog and in those emails and Fortran programmers’ comments lies the clear, undeniable evidence of everything the critics always suspected and accused them of. When I first read the evidence of what had been going down my initial reaction was exactly the same as Monbiots. How can this be? Did they really think they’s get away with this? What on earth were they all thinking? Do they have any idea what they’ve done to the good name of the intellectual pursuit of truth and science? I literally gasped at the enormous ramifications of what they’d done but thought am I the only one or two who thinks this?

    When I read Monbiot’s response I recognised exactly where all this was going. He has been the Al Gore of the UK on this and his instant, alone among so many peers, acceptance of the painful truth before him made a mockery of the ‘Moonbat’ tag he’d earned from many right-wingers. There is no joy in any of this because we all have the right to expect and rely upon the honest pursuit of science and the scientists we commission to pursue it. That said all hail the conquering data doubting Davids and their intrepid pursuit of the evil data denying Goliath.

    However for the policymakers and policies that flowed from the implications of what should be trusted research, that is a separate and different matter. So many of them became convinced of their own infallibility with their utopian, global grand plan and anyone who questioned it was instantly branded a fruitloop and AGW denialist. They deliberately conflated the two issues for their own self seeking political ends. What hubris they showed and now they’ll reap the firestorm of their own making for linking the two issues inextricably. Good riddance to them as far as I’m concerned and when the tarring and feathering has ceased, only then we can begin to look at some real alternatives to these quantity control freaks and their big tax and spend political games dressed up as moral concern for the kiddies. Copenhagen schmokenhagen! There was always something rotten about them all in Denmark- http://www.cphpost.dk/news/national/88-national/47643-denmark-rife-with-co2-fraud.html

  • observa

    And here’s the lie exposed that anyone who questioned them and their global grand plan was a fruitloop and denialist-
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/02/copenhagen-climate-change-james-hansen
    Psst! You wanna buy a cheap ticket with all accommodation thrown in to Copenhagen?

  • observa

    For the benefit of true believers here’s one of the best succinct summaries of the argument between the data doubters and the data deniers-
    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/295373.php

    The money quote-

    ‘Now, if you’ve been following this, Mann’s entire temperature reconstruction method rests on knowing (observing) recent periodic global temperatures, y. Quibbling about principle components aside, that’s the dependent variable in the backcasts. But as is now becoming increasingly plain, y was constructed from an undocumented process that took raw ground station data and ran it through a black box that included smoothing, filtering, inference, manipulation, baling wire, glue and the juice of one whole lemon. This is what the CRU people are calling “valued added homogenized data.” Or what normal people call “made up horseshit.” It’s also the temperature data that dozens, if not hundreds of AGW studies are based on.’

    And having ‘lost’ the original raw temp data it’s all just made up horseshit with a big lemon twist for all their true believers now.

  • observa

    And if you’re interested in asking why the corrupt scientists and so many true believers
    http://www.michaelcrichton.net/speech-alienscauseglobalwarming.html

  • CaptainReality

    Does anyone have any idea of what observa is actually trying to say?

    Truly bizarre.

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