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Shaking the foundation of medical research: Half of failed peer reviewed papers “spun” as success

Was that a half-truth or a lie by omission? Trick question…

Malcolm Kendrick reports on a new study that he says should “shake the foundations of medical research” but laments that it almost certainly won’t.

In the year 2000, the US National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) insisted that all researchers register their “primary aim” and then later their “primary outcome” with clinicaltrials.gov. This one small change in the way medical studies were reported transformed the “success” rates in peer reviewed papers. Before 2000, fully 57% of studies found the success they said they were testing for, but after that, their success rate fell to to a dismal 8%.  When people didn’t have to declare what their aim was, they could fish through their results to find some positive, perhaps tangential association, and report that as if they had been investigating that effect all along. The negative results became invisible. If a diet, drug or treatment showed no benefit at all, or turned up bad results, nobody had to know.

The world of peer reviewed climate research: like a universe of dark matter

It’s not like climate science suffers from unpublished “negative results” — no, it’s more like it’s built on them: like all the model runs that ran off the ranch and disappeared, and the hot spot that never went missing, but keeps being “found”. The infamous Pause in the Climate barely existed until a forest of explanations for it appeared. Then there are the strange missing proxies — like the tree rings from the last 30 years.  Did no one look, have all the trees gone, or were those awkward results dropped down the memory hole? Or is it because when someone did, the proxy turns out to be useless like the Sheep Mountain hockey-stick tree rings did?

Without a hypothesis, research isn’t science, just a glorified PR machine.

Malcolm Kendrick:

A group of researchers recently looked at 55 large clinical studies funded by the NHLBI between 1970 and 2012 to see if the transparency rules had made any difference. What they found should shake the foundations of medical research…but it almost certainly won’t:

  • 57% of studies (17/30) published before 2000 showed a significant benefit in the primary outcome
  • 8% (2/25 trials published after 2000 showed a significant benefit in the primary outcome

As the researchers said ‘The requirement of prospective registration in ClinicalTrials.gov is most strongly associated with the trend towards null clinical trials. The prospective declaration of the primary outcome variable required when registering trials may eliminate the possibility of researchers choosing to report on other measures included in a study. Almost half of the trials [published after 2000] might have been able to report a positive result if they had not declared a primary outcome in advance.1

Pharmaceutical companies have been asked to register trials since 2005.

At this point I am going to try and join two thoughts together. Almost every study done on blood pressure lowering, blood sugar lowering and cholesterol lowering was done before the year 2005. I only choose these three areas as they are the three area of maximum drug prescribing in the world. Billions upon billions are spent in these areas, hundreds of millions are ‘treated’.

The evidence used for this mass medication of the Western World is demonstrably, horribly, biased. Had companies been forced to register their trials prior to publication, positive results would have been reduced by at least 49%. Almost certainly far more. You could put this another way around and say that it very likely that only 8% of studies would have been positive.

We do not know which trials would have been positive, or which negative. Yet we have based the entire edifice of drug treatment, of hundreds of millions of people, on unreliable nonsense. The study in PLOS is only the latest demonstration of this fact. The database of medical research – everything until at least 2005 is a gigantic festering mess. It needs to be stripped out and cleansed.

Read it all: The Augean stables – he has quotes from the editors of major medical journals to back up his dire warnings.

Hidden, unpublished results in peer reviewed medicine are not just wasted tax dollars, they’re dangerous. How many people died because of drug test results that were never published?

REFERENCE

Kaplan RM, Irvin VL (2015) Likelihood of Null Effects of Large NHLBI Clinical Trials Has Increased over Time. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0132382. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132382

h/t Pickabelief

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138 comments to Shaking the foundation of medical research: Half of failed peer reviewed papers “spun” as success

  • #
    Mike

    Peer review in psychiatry comes to mind after reading this article which is timely. The article in the link talks about peer review in psychiatry. I have plenty of time from psychology, but psychiatry gives me the shivers.

    “Eventually, the validating follow-ups were shown to be fabricated and deluded, with self-promoting lies and half truths. Only after a great deal of harm were they debunked.”

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    • #
      tom0mason

      Mike,
      You said, “Peer review in psychiatry comes to mind after reading this article which is timely.”
      Why psychiatry in particular?
      Have you ever considered that it may be beacause of something that happened in your childhood?

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      • #
        Mike

        Can’t recall peer reviewing psychiatry in childhood. :)

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        • #
          jorgekafkazar

          Perhaps you were once scared by a museum exhibit of shrunken heads?

          70

          • #
            Mike

            I was probably exposed to someone saying that the climate was caused by a CO2 chemical imbalance while still young and impressionable.

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          • #
            Owen Morgan

            I remember seeing a shrunken head in Ecuador, but being assured that “It’s OK – it’s probably a fake.” Is a “probably fake” shrunken head less distressing to those of us who don’t belong to the wider head-shrinking community and is it, conversely, an upsetting sight to those who do continue to practise the art of head-shrinking?

            50

            • #
              Mike

              A qualified phrenologist could determine if the shrunken head you saw in Ecuador was a fake.

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              • #
                Owen Morgan

                I’ll have to remember to take a qualified phrenologist with me, the next time I’m in Ecuador. I could try to get phrenology qualifications of my own, but I think that that’s even less plausible.

                50

              • #
                Rereke Whakaaro

                If you want to put creadence in phrenology, you need to have your head read.

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  • #
    john robertson

    Under Peer review and post normal science, I am a crack marksman who has never missed.
    When you can superimpose the target overtop of the bullet hole, your “accuracy” is phenomenal .
    Standard practice for bureaucracy everywhere, naturally government employees will obey the rules of their institutions.
    CAGW is entirely a bureaucratic creature.

    As are these N.G.O’s fronting the environmental scam.
    Non Government Agencies, entirely funded by the taxpayer or via “Charitable status”..
    Me thinks these NGO’s are actually Nasty Government Activists, designed to use taxpayer money directly against citizens interests with none of the legislated checks and balances required of government agencies.
    The EPA and their little legal friends is a classic, ditto Environment Canada, lying by omission?

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    • #
      gai

      “When you can superimpose the target overtop of the bullet hole, your “accuracy” is phenomenal.”

      We here in the USA call that the Texas Sharp shooter fallacy.

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    • #
      tom0mason

      john robertson

      You may wish to review this (64 page) dry as tinder piece of legal writing —
      Linking NGO Accountability and the Legitimacy of Global Governance
      From Brooklyn Journal of International Law, Vol. 36, pp. 1011-1073, 2011
      Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 240.
      Or just skip to the conclusion where it says (note: NSR = non-State regulators)

      CONCLUSION
      As the participation of civil society and NGOs in international affairs has increased in recent years, much of the ensuing debate has focused on questioning why these NGOs should be allowed special influence. The concerns over NGO participation also raise a separate question of the appropriate criteria needed for NGO participation in global governance.
      This question is best answered with a view to NGO accountability as core to global regulators’ legitimacy strategies and as complementary to domestic regulation of NGOs as nonprofits. Some global regulators have already made significant steps in this direction; these efforts can be further improved by keying accountability enforcement regimes to the legitimacy enhancement goals of a particular NSR and by focusing on the complementary role that NSR enforcement can play in domestic regulation of NGOs. Global regulators that currently rely on NGO participation to prop up their own legitimacy but have not yet adopted these or other measures to track and ensure the accountability of the NGOs on which they rely, should act swiftly to remedy this considerable oversight.

      Two things strike me –
      1. The assumed knowledge, skill, and power these NGOs are supposed to have when telling Nation states what should be done. The NGO bureaucratic report systems trumps any amount of local skill and knowledge.
      2. The implicit assumption that Global Governance is happening, and will ultimately overtake National Governance in defining how to run the world, or any part of it.

      20

  • #
    doubting dave

    I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 3 years ago and placed on 3 different medications for high blood pressure and cholesterol reduction etc by my GP , who told me i would be taking them for life,i took these drugs with no improvement and some side effects for over a year before then deciding to research alternatives via the internet,ive since stopped taking the tablets and settled for a low carb diet that has reduced my blood pressure and blood sugar to normal levels,this article is one of your most important J0 i hope that those that read it will use the skeptical skills they have demonstrated in the climate scam to research big pharma

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    • #

      I suffer from psoriasis. Like doubting dave, I have researched the alternatives. The herbal supplement method I use to deal with this condition works as well as anything out there and is certainly a lot less expensive with fewer side effects than conventional treatment.

      (Some details can be found at my blog here: http://wp.me/p4MyHW-9V)

      (Note, this is not a pitch or a scam for earning money. The supplements in question are readily available from many sources and may be researched on line. I am simply listing what ones work for me with the condition I have and some photo evidence for how effective they are for me. This is what you might call a public service announcement.)

      The “best” treatment options for my condition (so called “biologics”) run about $22k year, may quit working at around 39 weeks and are now recommended to be used with Methotrexate, (a 1960′s chemo drug that destroys the liver, which is also a standard treatment for psoriasis) in order to extend the working life somewhat further of the biologics. Why not use the methotrexate in the first place? (Other than liver damage, that is.) Also the biologics may cause any number of nasty side effects. (See here for an example: http://www.acostawilliams.com/humira-lawsuit-information/)

      Conventional medicine only exists to empty the pockets of the patients. How many patients wind up taking medications to counter the effects of the medications they were taking to counter the effects of some medications they were taking in order to treat some disease or disorder?

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      • #
        doubting dave

        WYOSKEPTIC and its worth pointing out (although you probably already know) that the reason drug companies dont do natural medicine is that they can’t own the patents for natural medicines from plants etc

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        • #

          Yepper, that is affirmative.

          Also, the FDA sets things up so only those pharma companies with the deepest research pockets can afford to do the drug trials and only if the results of the med trials are positive and the company can sell the meds at a large markup do they recover the cost of the trial and possibly make a profit on the drug.

          Does anyone really think those results are going to show any possible bad side effects? Going to show the medicine is only partially effective? Isn’t worth the cost of the prescription? Really?

          Meanwhile lesser cost but effective (potential) alternatives are ignored because no one can afford to do a clinical trial to demonstrate whether or not they do work, because they will never make any profit from them. And doctors (under fear of liability lawsuits) dare not prescribe anything which has not been proven in a clinical trial.

          Am I the only one who says something is screwy here about all this? What’s up doc?

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          • #
            Retired now

            You aren’t the only one who thinks things are screwy. I spent a year as a health researcher on sabbatical reviewing such papers to come to the same conclusion. The docs are subject to a moral hazard. if they disagree with what their peers are doing their 10-40 years of training and practice can just go down the toilet. The medical profession is similar to the warmists – they don’t tolerate those who don’t agree.

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      • #
        Peter Miller

        Psoriasis is interesting as there is a cure for some forms of it.

        It comes from Cuba and I have bought it there for 6 individuals in Canada and the UK over a period of a decade or so. A permanent cure occurred with three and there was no effect on the other three.

        In this case, the U.S. drugs companies ensure that something like this is ever seen outside of South America. Another instance is that an effective meningitis vaccine has been available for around 30 years, also produced in Cuba and only available in parts of South America.

        Anyhow, returning to the original topic – that’s why in ‘climate science’ it is rightly called pal review.

        How else could so much BS be published by second rate ‘scientists’, the so called Hockey Stick being the most infamous instance?

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        • #
          doubting dave

          Pete , could the reason that remedies from Cuba are not widely available in the west be at least partly explained by American embargoes on Cuban exports ? a kind of “Castro ation”

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        • #
          Leo Morgan

          This is a sceptic site.
          At the least I’d like to know the name of the product.
          Do you have any evidence of the ‘Cuban cure’ beyond your say-so?

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      • #
        Peter C

        Thanks Wyosketptic,

        Your blog entry was very informative about psoriasis.

        Your self funded and non peer reviewed trial seems to have met the NHLBI guidelines. Primary aim was self evident and positive outcome reported.

        Thanks for sharing.

        31

      • #
        TedL

        here is a report on a remarkably successful treatment of psoriasis –

        Dermatoendocrinol. 2013 Jan 1;5(1):222-34. doi: 10.4161/derm.24808.
        A pilot study assessing the effect of prolonged administration of high daily doses of vitamin D on the clinical course of vitiligo and psoriasis.

        the article is free to view –

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3897595/

        On a related note, there is a huge error in the US recommendation for Vitamin D:

        http://blogs.creighton.edu/heaney/2015/02/13/the-iom-miscalculated-its-rda-for-vitamin-d/

        abstract:

        Last year (2014) saw an unusual event. Two statisticians at the University of Alberta in Ednonton, Canada (Paul Veugelers and JP Ekwaru) published a paper in the online journal Nutrients (6(10):4472-5) showing that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) had made a serious calculation error in its recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D. Immediately, other statisticians checked the Canadians’ analyses and found that, indeed, they were right. Together with my colleagues at Grassroots Health, I went back to square one, starting with a different population entirely, and came to exactly the same conclusion. The true RDA for vitamin D was about 10 times higher than the IOM had said. Not a small error. To understand, how this might have happened and why this is important, some background may be helpful.

        50

        • #

          @TedL
          Thank you for those links. I was aware that the Vitamin D3 RDA was laughably low, which is why I said that I thought up to 10,000 units was probably okay in my blog post. 35,000 IU per day for six months in the psoriasis & vitiligo study… whew! That does blow some opinions out of the water on what constitutes Vitamin D3 overdose. Okay, I may bump the amount I take upwards then. Maybe not that high, but … lol.

          30

          • #
            TedL

            Wyoskeptic – did you look at the pictures in the article? Quite remarkable. I have taken 15,000 IU per day for the past three years without toxicity.

            20

      • #
        ian hilliar

        look, I am a GP, who also happens to have inheirited a bit of psoriasis. Unfortunately, have also developed an arthritis in my fingers, which is a little like rheumatoid arthritis, but is in fact psoriatic arthritis. I am now happily taking methotrexate one day each week. It is not a big deal , though I do have to have regular blood tests, And I have had to stop drinking alcohol. Almost. The alternative is a disfiguring and crippling arthritis. MTX can have major side effects, but used carefully, it is very effective.

        41

        • #
          RoHa

          No alcohol or arthritis? Not an easy decision.

          30

        • #
          Lewis P Buckingham

          Although it is almost impossible to get you may consider Humira. It is an anti tumour necrosis factor and indicated for both psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
          Anecdotally, I am not a doctor, it works in one in three cases. To get it you must be a severe case and get the points.
          The Aussie taxpayer pays about $1700 for two doses, it is administered fortnightly by i/m injection.
          Once approved the NHS pays for most of it.
          If your psoriasis is a consequence of atopic disease you might consider doing as many allergy trials as you can, although the methotrexate would interfere, to at least drop the antigenic load, a bit, that you may carry.

          10

          • #
          • #
            ian hilliar

            of course I know about humira. I just do not need it , as MTX is just as effective, and, as you noted, a hell of a lot cheaper. What sort of doctor prescribes the most expensive rx, when a cheaper version works just as well!!

            00

            • #

              ian: Well said. Why go with a different treatment when the one you’re on is working and inexpensive? Plus, just because the commercial on TV says “This is Humira working for me” doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for any one specific person. If we cut out drug advertising, a lot of the problems in research, approval and so forth would be reduced because patients wouldn’t be insisting their TV knows more than their doctors. Plus, the older drugs would be used and not changed to the newer one someone saw on TV.

              00

      • #

        Tell that to Steve Jobs.

        10

        • #

          Since this fell below whom I was replying to wyoskeptic at 3.1 and the admonition that pharmaceuticals are “only to rip off people”, you know, like those silly type one diabetics who buy that $250/bottle insulin because they’re too foolish to realize the only reason that stuff exists is to make pharmaceutical manufacturers rich. So throw out the expensive money maker from the pharmacy and start eating only vegetables. Low carb fixes everything and shows those greedy capitalists just how wrong they are to think you actually need insulin.

          00

          • #

            @Sheri

            My apologies. That remark of mine was a bit extreme. I have a tendency to go to certain level of cynical hyperbole at times. In this particular case it is mostly out of frustration. The last time my Psoriasis acted up I spent a lot of time, a very lot of time looking for something alternative to the treatment I did not like the looks of. I either found a lot of snake oil salesmen hyping their miracle cures (which they never bothered to detail what is in it, instead using only lots and lots of testimonials about how miraculous it is) or I found reports by people on the various conventional treatments who were reporting the same problems I was having about finding information to help them.

            I went through a lot of research papers. No, I did not take them for gospel. I tried finding supporting studies, I looked at research in other areas that somewhat showed the same things. Ultimately I found some things that did work. Not easily, not quickly, but they did work and did so without major side effects.

            Now my problem with the way in which new drugs are confirmed or not is with the methodology of it. There is no method of getting what you might call a “conditional” approval where the substance or drug under question could be administered in order to collect data for approval. At least no method that is not extremely difficult. A cynic might say that the system is set up to directly avoid that possibility. Again, frustration with what is.

            The method as it is set up depends upon the one proposing the new drug to be able to afford to pay for the extensive trials to get it approved. That in and of itself over the necessity to pay for the very expensive trial and everything else involved is the problem. There is no other lower cost method of gaining approval. It is this methodology I am very much against. It limits severally what is available for use. Just look at how much trouble there was getting out a possible Ebola treatment when there where so many people dying from it. But if it ain’t approved, it can’t be used, legally.

            There are those who look askance at herbal supplements and folk medicine. Yet the fact remains, the majority of the drugs used in medicine is originally sourced from some plant or animal. Aspirin from willow bark, is the most widely known. Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle is about the only recognized antidote for death cap mushroom poisoning.

            I am not proposing that all medicines be replaced with herbal alternatives, but I would like to see a much better job done on separating the wheat from the chaff in this issue. What I am saying is this approach worked for me. Back when I was originally trying to sort all this out, I would loved to have found someone who could say that. Found something that could give a better idea of where to start and what not to bother with.

            But definitely the methodology as it currently exists is busted and needs a better way found. As much as anything, what I am ranting against is the entrenched bureaucracy.

            10

            • #

              Wyoskeptic: I understand. I have a chronic cough. After several thousand dollars and many tests, I was told “you have a bad cough”. It was nice to know nothing serious was wrong, but I still coughed for hours. In the end, I was given hydrocodone, which I can only take twice a day due to bad reactions to opiods. It took a while, but I taught myself to relax and get the cough to stop. Between the medicine and learning to relax my throat to temporarily stop the cough, I have managed. I, too, have dug through research on various conditions searching for answers. Sometimes one actually finds something useful, sometimes not.

              I would note that herbal supplements are not approved in large part because the companies cannot produce studies that show efficacy. There is a reason we moved on to pharmaceuticals and left willow bark behind. I’m not saying herbals are bad–I use some when there are no other options. It just seems that when scientifically tested, herbals fail.

              Agreed that current methodology is broken. It’s very difficult to predict side effects of drugs, especially when in the real world, people are often on multiple medications. That doesn’t show up on clinical trials. Plus, advertising has people thinking medications can fix everything. So let’s fix the methodology.

              10

    • #
      gai

      That makes three of us. Low carb + low salt got rid of the high blood pressure, reflux and low blood sugar problems (that eventually become TypeII)

      ………..

      More on dubious Medical Research

      Research Misconduct Identified by the US Food and Drug Administration: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Out of the Peer-Reviewed Literature

      Same study explained:
      The FDA Underreports Scientific Misconduct In Peer-Reviewed Articles: The Benefits Of Negative Science

      A new JAMA study found the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is silent on matters of scientific misconduct and fraud.

      Researchers reported in at least 57 clinical trials, the FDA found evidence of one or more of the following problems: falsification or submission of false information, problems with adverse events reporting, protocol violations, inadequate or inaccurate recordkeeping, failure to protect the safety of patients or issues with informed consent. Yet, only three of the 78 publications that resulted from these trials made note of this. There were largely no corrections, retractions, or listed concerns.

      ….study author Charles Seife said the FDA repeatedly hides evidence of fraud from both the public and trusted scientific advisers. In at least one case, falsified data in a trial comparing chemotherapies led to a patient’s death. Another trial deemed a stem cell treatment successful in 26 patients despite a patient later having their foot amputated, and the FDA deemed a separate trial unreliable.

      “The findings presented in this study should give us pause,” Seife said. “This investigation has found numerous studies for which the FDA determined there was significant evidence of fraudulent or otherwise problematic data. Such issues raise questions about the integrity of a clinical trial, and mention of these problems is missing from the relevant peer-reviewed literature.”

      This is why Seife called for the FDA to make its findings of misconduct readily available…

      An older article:
      FDA says CRO Cetero faked trial data; pharmas may need to redo tests

      North Carolina clinical research organization Cetero Research allegedly falsified clinical trial documents and test results over a five-year period, and now an undetermined number of drug companies who worked with the CRO must review their records to determine whether new tests on their drugs are required.

      In a July 26 letter to Cetero, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration describes the falsification as “extensive,” calling into question all bioanalytical data collected by Cetero’s Houston bioanalytical laboratory from April 1, 2005 to June 15, 2010. The FDA said Cetero manipulated test samples so the tests would yield desired results….

      the agency says that 2009 investigation came only after a Cetero employee submitted to the company a letter bringing formal allegations of regulatory violations and misconduct. According to the FDA, the employee said “many of the chemists were manipulating and falsifying data associated with the samples being used within various projects.”…

      …Cetero’s own internal investigation found time and date discrepancies that showed a mismatch of when Cetero lab staff was working and when test samples were studied. In at least 875 instances, lab chemists weren’t even at the facility when test samples were extracted.

      The part I just love is this:

      The FDA said there is no evidence that already marketed drugs pose a safety risk.

      WTF!

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    • #
      richardX

      I was diagnosed in 2000 and was not prescribed any medication. Instead I was told to change my diet, lose weight and exercise regularly and we’ll see where you are in 6 months. I worked out that exercise was more effective at lowering BG than diet. Maybe it’s just me. I was doing long (> 160km) bike rides on weekends and shorter ones (30km) 3 to 4 times a week – > 300km/week. Don’t forget to exercise :-)

      20

    • #
      Jim from Maine

      Dave,
      Hop on over to Fathead for a ton of info on this very subject. Tom Naughton does an excellent job of presenting/disecting food/health/diet studies, among other things.

      http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2015/08/17/that-low-fat-beats-low-carb-study/

      Best,
      jb

      30

  • #
    Mike

    Doubting dave, i did something similar with the same results as yours. Bit of peer review here lol.

    80

  • #
    Doug Proctor

    The only reason the requirement for pre-results end-point registration was invoked would be that for many years there was serious doubt about the “success” rate.

    There were many who knew but could prove nothing. They must have fought like banshees to get their way, as the majority of researchers would be opposed to it.

    In the for-profit industries, there is a terrible fear of post-project reviews. They are sometimes called “post-postmortems” for a good reason. Most fail. They have to for capitalism to work: there isn’t enough profit in the system for most ideas to succeed.

    The world is more complex than our poor brains are built to understand. We are forced to seize upon an idea of a causative action and test it, a trial and error system because grasping the entirety is too much. We just aren’t smart enough.

    Which is climate science/CAGW is such a fiasco. The warmists has seized upon one item, CO2, because their/our brains are insufficient for the task if multiple agents in time- and location-dependent are acting.

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  • #
    Frank

    FWIW, the FDA and drug companies meet and discuss clinical trials BEFORE they are performed. They agree upon the data to be collected, the endpoints that will define success, and the statistical methods to be used to analyze the data. The FDA also analyzes all of the raw data independently. The FDA will not consider results from a selected (cherry-picked) sub-population of a treatment group.

    Selected portions of clinical trials have been published (or not published), but cherry-picking is not a problem during the approval process.

    31

  • #
    Yonniestone

    This sort of inside information would come as a shock to the average person, most hold a belief that for any medication to be allowed into the open market for human consumption it must go through years of rigorous testing and bureaucratic approval before being gold stamped for retail.
    How many times have we seen the story of a suffering patient that gets relived or cured using an experimental drug then having doctors or advocates going through an epic drama often via media to get attention to the plight of getting it approved?
    The answer could be a typical over cautious bureaucracy but the cynic in me leads to business decisions made by vested interests.

    50

    • #
      gai

      Boy isn’t that the truth!

      How many suffer from rheumatoid arthritis? A treatment that stopped the pain and stopped the progress of the disease was found by a Canadian Doctor in the 1960s. My GP worked with him trying to get it through the FDA. No Luck it got buried. There is too much profit in life long treatment of arthritis instead of a short treatment.

      She was quite crippled and had taken the treatment with great success. She even went on the Joe Pine Show (US TV) trying to get the FDA to budge and allow trials.

      I have more on the FDA but it is in moderation because the quote contains the F-Word.

      60

      • #
        jorgekafkazar

        Dr. J. Charlton Briscoe, MD, FRCP, reported on a case involving deposition of calcium carbonate in palmar fascia, resulting in pain, fascial contractions, and loss of motion in the hands and arms. Treatment with Joulie’s methods resulted in restoration of full extension in the patient’s fingers and full pronation of the arms. [BMJ, March 11, 1911]

        Joulie was a French agronomist who studied large animal nutrition.

        40

      • #
        ghl

        Please, Gai
        at least a link or enough info to start a google search.
        Not just ” A miracle exists I tell ya!!!”

        50

        • #
          Manfred

          ghl, FYI the following:

          Br Med J 1911;1:544 (Published 11 March 1911)
          ‘Rheumatoid Arthritis’ (RA)

          Now, if one considers the scientific method compromised today, then this 1911 article (a published version of an oral presentation in Nov. 2010) provides insight into medicine prior to the incorporation of the scientific method. Almost pure anecdote and completely incapable of attribution free from chance, bias and confounding it presents an uncontrolled, retrospective melange of cloudy confusion borne out of the frank absence of underlying mechanisms regarding the pathoaetiology of RA.

          In notable contrast the more recent publication (I think 2014) may help shed light on the underlying complexity of the processes involved in RA, in — Etiology and Pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Firestein GS.:

          SUMMARY
          Understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of RA remains a complex problem, although the level of understanding has progressed considerably in recent years. T cell – dependent and T cell – independent processes contribute to disease initiation and perpetuation. It might be important to appreciate differences in disease pathogenesis at various stages of the process. These hypotheses have revealed many novel therapeutic targets and interventions that might lead to significant clinical benefit. Such was the case with the TNF inhibitors that have joined the pharmacopeia for the treatment of RA; initial observations that defined the cytokine profile in arthritis and that delineated the biology of macrophage cytokines led to this breakthrough. Similarly, understanding of apoptotic pathways, abnormalities in tumor-suppressor genes, the function of the susceptibility cassette, B cell function, or T cell differentiation might have abundant rewards.

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        • #
          gai

          ghl,

          I really really wish I had the information on the arthritis researcher but I was only 9 years old at the time and Dr Daily and my Mom have been dead for 45 years. Unfortunately big Brother tossed Mom’s address book where the information was written down.

          I remember it because I watched the TV program and they zoomed on Dr Daily’s hands as she rapped them on the wooden podium and Her hands were badly deformed.

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    • #
      Lawrie Ayres

      A few months ago I lent a book, Selling Sickness, to a friend of mine. It is still out there somewhere doing the rounds of all us 70 plus types. Written by a journalist and a pharmacist it reported how the point at which blood thinners were prescribed to “treat” high blood pressure was gradually reduced to include more and more “sick” people. This led them to look at the FDA approval process and what they found was an eye opener. A number of doctors on the approval panel were also in receipt of large donations by drug companies to speak on their behalf at medical seminars and the like.

      Selling Sickness, how drug companies
      are turning us all into patients
      Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels
      Published by Allen and Unwin 2005
      254 pages. $26.96
      ISBN 1 74114 579

      It also exposes the profits to be made by doctors treating certain common diseases. Diabetes is worth a quarter million dollars over the life of the patient for example. (Based on US data)

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    NZPete

    Very interesting article.
    “This one small changed in the way medical studies…”
    should be
    “This one small change in the way medical studies…”
    methinks.

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    diogenese2

    You need some context here. Pharmaceutical research is eye wateringly expensive but, if you find a winner, the market is enormous and the profits beyond belief. Thus the stakes are so high that only global entities (big pharma) have any chance of profit which must be fought for by any means. The activities of quacks through history are well documented, though still they survive due to the enormous demand for immortality. Modern medicine has to prove itself above this level of performance and does, judged by the enormously increased lifespan of humans in both the developed and third world.
    However the spin off is the corruption of process whereby poor practice rides on the reputation of medical science to enrich its practitioners. Thus the outcomes that Malcolm Kendrick reports. But, more generally, you touch the critical observation that null results are still valuable data, just not to those who have paid for it, and it anti-science to suppress it. this is why the FDA eventually required Pharmaceutical Research to be registered and made non disclosure of data a criminal offence such as the occurrence of low frequency but high impact side effects that have long bedevilled the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
    The history of pharmaceutics has been benighted by chicanery, distorted science, mendacity, self interest, the abuse of statistics and outright fraud in the field of healthcare which, certainly in the UK has always been highly politicised. This is why, when I retired from practice 9 years ago and turned my mind to the Global Warming Narrative, I found myself quite at home and very soon worked out what was going on!
    Dave #3, Mike#4, I presume that, like me , your diagnoses came from routine biochemical tests and not presentation of symptoms. You are both correct, the first intervention must be to attend to diet and lifestyle not pharmacology but medical practice will go for the easier option.
    Wyoskeptic #3.1; your condition is horribly variable, the variety of treatment testament to its intractability. I worked with Methotrexate in my youth, in the treatment of leukaemia and fear it to this day for its side effects.
    Dough Proctor #5; your post instantly brought to mind Alec Guinness as King Feisal in “Lawrence of Arabia” -
    “YOU TREAD HEAVILY , but you speak the truth”

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    • #

      Give it up. No one here seems interested in context. They all believe that drug manufacturers are evil and gypsy wagon salesmen were the true medical persons because they only used natural ingredients. No one cares at all about how rich the herbal foods company is because “herbal sellers care” (like wind turbine and solar sellers in AGW). This topic always shows that skeptics are every bit as gullible as global warming believers if you choose the right topic. And, like the global warming folks, the medication haters would rather die than admit the drugs might be beneficial. Every time this topic comes up, I understand fully why skeptics are labelled conspiracy theorists and anti-science. Because they are in this case, most definately.

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  • #
    michael hart

    The proper training of a scientist is that it actually gives you the skill to distinguish shite from shinola. A Ph.D. student in the field will be told more than once that 90% of it is BS, but even a bad paper may contain a nugget of useful information.

    Never mind. Whatever conclusions you may draw about medical research, you need to bear in mind Richard Lindzen’s Maxim that climate scientists are frequently the B and C grade students who didn’t make the grade.

    I would add that many of them entered the field because of their environmental pre-convictions, not a love of science.

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  • #
    ScotsmaninUtah

    British “Labour” Government leverages Anthropogenic Global Warming

    Recently I have been watching repeats of John Pilger an Australian Journalist who has reported on many issues “not” reported on by the MSM.

    Pilger’s article on “Stealing a Nation” in which the British (Socialist) Government were shown to have evicted a whole population from their island home and despite being found guilty in court of illegally doing so, then went on to claim that the population’s return to their island would not be possible due to the effects of man made Global Warming.
    Note: The whole island was leased to the Americans

    What is really interesting and perhaps is of interest to Australians is a little known law “Order in Council” that allows the British Government to bypass the democratically elected house and use the head of state to enact absolute decrees at home and anywhere in the Commonwealth.

    The British did this in Canada and forced the Canadian Government to “in-turn” would be enemies during 1914-1920.
    In addition they forced Canada to prevent the issuance of a passport to a Canadian citizen in 2006.

    Perhaps the next “Socialist” British Government will lease Australia to someone for rescinding the Carbon Tax. :o

    what is shocking is that this law actually exists and has been used …

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    • #
      Manfred

      The ‘island’, namely Diego Garcia in the BIOT (Chagos Archipelago) is interesting. Simon Winchester wrote about it in ‘The Sun Never Sets‘.
      The Americans used the island but British HM Customs & Excise were present and exercising their control of territorial borders. It was for this reason that Mr Winchester was unable to remain on the island or to go beyond the confines of the harbour side.
      An interesting account.

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  • #
    tom0mason

    The report from Malcolm Kendrick is worrying.
    Coupled to the work that Grant Steen has done in cataloging errors and fraud in medical science research papers when retracted (were he shows that around 25% of retractions gave no specific reason), shows that eternal vigilance made not be enough, citing retracted papers is still a problem, and the peer reviewed system requires at the minimum some reassessment.

    Thankfully the internet is proving to be a force for good where interested laypersons and the qualified retired professionals have flagged-up suspicous papers.
    Sites such as http://retractionwatch.com prove to be both welcome and entertaining, for instance —
    Does anesthesiology have a problem? Final version of report suggests Fujii will take retraction record, with 172
    where it says –

    An inquiry by the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists (JSA) has determined that Fujii, who was fired in February from his post at Toho University, falsified data in 172 of 212 papers published between 1993 and 2011. Investigators said they found no evidence of fraud in three of the papers, but could not determine whether the results reported in the remaining 37 were reliable.

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  • #
    tom0mason

    MODS

    Sorry I forgot to hide the f_a_*_d word in the quote so –

    tom0mason #9
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    September 1, 2015 at 7:14 am · Reply

    Many thanks for this minor comment being released. :)

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  • #
    Ruairi

    When climate and health issues too,
    Are concerning to name but a few,
    We should learn to think twice,
    And question advice,
    Until science reviews peer-review.

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  • #

    And on a climate note:

    The Bureau of Meteorology’s Richard Carlyon wasn’t the least bit surprised to officially record, as he compiled temperatures today, the eve of spring, that it had been the coldest winter in 26 years.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-weather-coldest-winter-in-26-years-keeps-a-tight-grip-on-city-20150831-gjbhkc.html

    Are we seeing the ‘peer’ reviewed climate models being slowly exposed?

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  • #
    Manfred

    Conflating medical research, clinical trials, and climate ‘research’ with scientific research is troublesome. The metaphor of the mixed fruit bowl springs to mind, and with not a few rotten apples. Indeed, the conflation of science and medicine is well recognised (for example: The trouble with medical journals). It is one of a number of well identified problems that led to the emergence of evidence-based medicine, with key centres at McMaster University in Canada and Oxford University in England.

    Inevitable problems emerge around publication being a measure of academic performance, and a (dare one say commensurate?) staggering proliferation of journals all competing for survival and often perhaps very willing to publish almost anything.

    One could also talk about a perceived decline in scientific integrity, supplanted by the insatiable need for ‘social’ recognition, commercial and personal success, also fed by a variety of circular funding models.

    When one eclipses this decline in the scientific method against the advent of post modern science, the legislative requirement of the precautionary principle, and the institutionalisation of political and media fear based manipulation, the result is a right royal blancmange climate ‘science’.

    The conflation of these quasi-related systemic failures may be misleading because it skirts over a deeper problem, that of a societal and political malaise willing to warmly embrace the self-serving interpretation of double benefit – an absence of separation in funding and politics.

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    • #
      doubting dave

      spot on Manfred , and put far more eloquently than i could,its just eugenics in disguise,a small group of powerful people trying to lay down a social order on the world that see’s them retaining power as a social elite controlling the rest of us with a false religion so that they can keep control of food and energy reserves , agenda 21 .

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    pat

    this looks like a study designed to salvage the CAGW narrative!

    31 Aug: CarbonBrief: Robert McSweeney: Scientists pinpoint Arctic warming hotspots behind severe northern hemisphere winters
    Scientists have linked the rapidly-warming Arctic to extreme weather in mid-latitude regions of the northern hemisphere – from severe winters in North America to longer-lasting summer heatwaves in Russia.
    But most of the research to date has considered warming in the Arctic as a whole. In the new study, just published in Nature Geoscience, researchers look at how unusually warm temperatures in two distinct areas of the Arctic could be leading to severe winters in North America and East Asia…
    In the longer-term, research by Screen suggests that as global temperatures rise, the risk of severe winters North America is likely to fall, not rise, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to be high. So as the Arctic continues to warm, and sea ice continues to melt, we can’t expect its influence on mid-latitude weather to stay the same
    (Kug, Jong-Seong. et al. (2015) Two distinct influences of Arctic warming on cold winters over North America and East Asia, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2517)
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/08/arctic-warming-hotspots-behind-severe-northern-hemisphere-winters/

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  • #
    Canadian

    Factually incorrect. The internment you refer to (in response to the Bolshevik crisis) had NOTHING to do with Britain, nor did the internment of German nationals in both world wars, or the internment of Japanese Canadians in WW2. The 2006 passport matter is an internet myth and never happened. The UK government has NO say on matters in Canada, even though we share a queen, our political system (despite its british heritage) is not the same.
    Read more about Orders in Council at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/politics-government/orders-council/Pages/orders-in-council.aspx Orders in council remain subject to the rule of law and are not exempt from review-including by the courts.
    Please feel free to learn something about Canada prior to posting such nonsense.

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  • #
    pat

    feeling nervous!

    30 Aug: RTCC: Megan Darby: Former UN climate chief criticises Paris summit plans
    Yvo de Boer questions the French presidency approach of inviting world leaders to launch the two-week conference
    The host nation is inviting prime ministers and presidents to attend the first day of the two-week conference, at which countries are to sign off global deal.
    It is the opposite approach to the Copenhagen 2009 summit, where 115 world leaders arrived for the final leg of talks…
    But de Boer, who resigned from the UN after Copenhagen, questioned the wisdom of the alternative in an interview with RTCC.
    “If the high-level segment is at the beginning of the COP [conference of parties], what purpose is it supposed to serve?” he asked.
    “My experience is, politicians travel in order to celebrate success. To fly to Paris and just show a bit of leg at the beginning of a conference is not really enough of a reason.”…
    http://www.rtcc.org/2015/08/31/former-un-climate-chief-criticises-paris-summit-plans/

    again, no disclosure on Big (CAGW) Ideas website of Hedegaard’s present position as Chair of KR Foundation:

    31 Aug: ABC Big Ideas: The EU and climate change action
    Former EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedergaard, speaks about the upcoming UN climate change conference in Paris, the challenge of getting Europe to speak with one voice on the issue, and what Australia might learn from Europe.
    Guest: Connie Hedergaardformer EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Danish politician.
    Further Information: ANU Centre for European Studies, Schuman Lecture
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/the-eu-and-climate-change-change-action/6736232

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  • #
    tom0mason

    Here is a an analysis of Medline retractions 1988- 2008 Carl Zimmer, NYTimes (2012)summarizing Steen (quote above in my moderated comment #9).
    “Journal of Medical Ethics Retractions in the scientific literature: is the incidence of research fraud increasing Is this a case of a few, high profile, rogue cases?”

    A pdf file (of a Powerpoint presentation?) linked here.

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  • #
    el gordo

    Blackmore shares are doing better than CBA, which might be an indication that mums and dads are putting their money on a sure winner.

    http://www.asx.com.au/asx/research/company.do#!/BKL

    Health wise, its never too late to become a default vegan.

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    • #
      gai

      Health wise, its never too late to become a default vegan.

      YES! It is a great way to shrink your brain so you fit into Maurice Strong’s ‘New World Order’ easily.

      Do Vegetarians Have Smaller Brains?
      ….Scientists at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain – with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage….

      Role of red meat in the diet for children and adolescents

      …Dobbing (1) suggested that there were vulnerable periods of neurological development that coincided with times of maximal brain growth. These periods begin during foetal development at around the 25th week of gestation and continue for the first two years of postnatal life. Nutrient deficiencies occurring during these vulnerable periods may well have an impact upon brain growth and, hence, neurological and psychomotor development. (1) These nutrient deficits have subsequently been shown to result in more functional deficiencies rather than physical abnormalities. Not only is optimal nutrition essential for achieving optimal physical and psychosocial development, but it also appears to have significant disease implications for later in adult life.

      Farming to blame for our shrinking size and brains – Phys.org

      … the largest Homo sapiens lived 20,000 to 30,000 years ago with an average weight between 176 and 188 pounds and a brain size of 1,500 cubic centimeters.

      They discovered that some 10,000 years ago however, size started getting smaller both in stature and in brain size. Within the last 10 years, the average human size has changed to a weight between 154 and 176 pounds and a brain size of 1,350 cubic centimeters.

      While large size remained static for close to 200,000 years, researchers believe the reduction in stature can be connected to a change from the hunter-gatherer way of life to that of agriculture which began some 9,000 years ago.

      …. the limiting factor of farming may have created vitamin and mineral deficiencies and resulted in a stunted growth….. Agriculture however does not explain the reduction in brain size. Lahr believes that this may be a result of the energy required to maintain larger brains. The human brain accounts for one quarter of the energy the body uses.

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      • #
        gai

        These are all peer-reviewed papers, or articles about peer-reviewed papers… But they have not been yanked yet….

        30

  • #
    pat

    another study not to believe in:

    1 Sept: ABC: ‘Grey swan’ cyclone could put Cairns 5.7m underwater
    Parts of Cairns might see a nearly six-metre storm surge if it takes a direct hit from a big cyclone, according to scientists. Such flooding would put thousands of residents at risk.
    Ning Lin, a professor of engineering at Princeton University in the USA and Kerry Emanuel a professor of atmospheric science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used historical records, an understanding of the physics of storms and information on the likelihood of the required environmental conditions to generate a computer model of possible storms for Cairns…
    The scientists’ results, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, show that a 5.7 metre storm surge is possible for Cairns under a one-in-10,000 year storm event. With climate change, Professor Lin warns that one-in-10,000 year storm events will become more common.
    Even with less rare storms, the storm surges predicted by their computer model were far in excess of those predicted by authorities…
    http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2015/09/01/4303398.htm

    ABC on safer grounds with a “celebrity” story:

    1 Sept: ABC: AFP: Barack Obama to get survival tips from Bear Grylls, combat climate change in Alaska
    Mr Obama has left the White House for Alaska, where he hopes to highlight the impact of climate change and test his survival skills alongside Grylls.
    Mr Obama will appear on an upcoming episode of Running Wild With Bear Grylls, television network NBC said…
    Climate change is a hot-button issue in the US, with many Republicans expressing doubts that human actions are truly influencing temperatures.
    By visiting glaciers and vulnerable fishing communities, Mr Obama hopes to put those doubts to bed…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-01/obama-to-combat-climate-change-take-on-alaskan-adventure/6739234

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    • #
      Manfred

      By visiting glaciers and vulnerable fishing communities, Mr Obama hopes to put those doubts to bed…

      Gives a new spin to ‘cherry-picking’ doesn’t it?

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      • #
        gai

        ….By visiting glaciers and vulnerable fishing communities, Mr Obama hopes to put those doubts to bed…

        So Climate is now redefined as one day at the end of summer?

        And here I though it was the 30 year upward part of a 60 year sine wave. Silly me.

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  • #
    toorightmate

    Maybe there is something wrong with classical statistics that I have not heard about.
    It seems to be ignored – particularly by the “witch doctors” (sorry, I meant “climate scientists”).

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  • #
    pat

    pathetic little ABC piece:

    31 Aug: ABC: Coldest Canberra winter in a decade
    Daytime temperatures averaged 12.6 degrees while overnight minimums averaged 2 degrees.
    Meteorologist Brett Dutschke says excessive cloud cover over the past three months did not allow many nights to become cold or days to warm up…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-08-31/coldest-canberra-winter-in-a-decade/964416

    Canberra Times provides a bit more detail:

    30 Aug: Canberra Times: Megan Doherty: Canberra’s coldest winter in 15 years and wettest in 10 years finally ending
    True, a freezing morning is still forecast for the first day of spring on Tuesday but the turn of the calendar to September 1 provides a major psychological boost for any resident of the national capital.
    Because, as the stats prove, we’ve done it tough this winter.
    Weatherzone has provided some preliminary statistics for winter 2015 at the Canberra airport which show we shivered through 53 below-zero mornings – 10 more than normal…
    Weatherzone senior meteorologist Anthony Duke said the average night-time temperatures for winter this year was expected to be around minus 0.2 degrees, which was 0.8 degrees colder than the average of 0.6 degrees…
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/canberras-coldest-winter-in-15-years-and-wettest-in-10-years-finally-ending-20150828-gj9zym.html

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  • #
    ScotsmaninUtah

    …unreliable nonsense

    For a minute there, I thought the UN was involved … :o

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  • #
    pat

    Milford, Massachusetts:

    30 Aug: Milford Daily News: Local towns gearing up for snow
    by Jonathan Phelps & Gerry Tuoti
    Last week, a reminiscence of snow from the brutal winter remained in Milford.
    “I think there is still some left,” said Scott Crisafulli, Milford’s highway surveyor. “We may actually have snow year-round.”
    He said the department starts gearing up to hire contractors for snow clearing around mid-September. They are prepared for the snow well in advance, he said.
    “We are ready for anything,” Crisafulli said. “If the Blizzard of ’78 happened again it wouldn’t be a problem.”
    While people are enjoying the last days of summer across Massachusetts, many public works officials are already preparing for winter…
    After this past year’s historic winter, when more than 100 inches of snow fell on much of eastern Massachusetts and caused an estimated $1 billion loss in wages and profits statewide, many DPW managers say it’s never too early to prepare.
    Tom Temple, assistant DPW commissioner in Marlborough, said he’s already put out bids for salt and specifications for hiring plowing contractors…
    He said the major issue this past winter was having to haul snow four times. The snow dump filled up, he said.
    “That has never happened,” he said. “It is very expensive to haul snow.”
    The town ended up buying a surplus bulldozer from the Marine Corps. to push the snow back…
    http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20150830/NEWS/150839767

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    • #
      gai

      Thanks Pat,

      My Husband who grew up near Milford got a chuckle our of my reading that to him. Especially since he lived through the Blizzard of ’78 while living near Boston and is now snickering at his brothers in New England while we live in the sunny south. (Although his youngest brother makes $$$ plowing people’s driveways and parking lots. He bought a new truck and plow just in time for last winter.)

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  • #

    Anything or any idea involving John Pilger is always eventually shown to be nonsense.

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      I would agree with you Nicholas,

      I took a particular interest in Jonathan Pilger at one point because he got so much air time and yet his views were often a bit off target.

      One particular comment of his that I read was about Australian body surfing and this one comment suggests that he was more of a bystander than a “doer” and susceptible to a little bit of a leg pull. It may not seem like much but it struck a chord with me that the bloke was a fraud.

      He wrote a description of watching surfers somewhere in Sydney, most likely Bondi, and said that they would come off a wave by diving headfirst into the sandy bottom for a thrill.

      It may have been true but I doubt it and believe he was watching people doing forward rolls and didn’t understand that the object was to avoid driving your head into the sand and so avoid an ambulance trip home.

      That’s my impression of JP; dumb, careless with reserach and maybe even gullible if some bystander gave him the wrong oil.

      KK

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  • #
    pat

    bemused -

    Peter Hannam provides some spin:

    31 Aug: SMH: Peter Hannam: Sydney weather: Mild start to spring ahead of warm burst
    South-eastern Australia had its coolest winter for decades in some regions but seasonal temperatures for most of the country were above average and the mercury will soon start to climb, meteorologists said.
    With winter officially ending on Monday, Sydney will have had its coldest winter by mean temperatures since 2010. For Melbourne, it was the most chilly since 1989, according to Weatherzone…
    For Melbourne, the mean temperatures were just 0.1 degree below 1997′s level so Monday’s result “could conceivably push it level” with that year, making it only the coldest in eight years, Blair Trewin, senior climatologist with the bureau, said…
    Although the early mornings felt cold, only July among the three months of winter was below average for minimums – and only just, by about 0.1 degree, said Rob Sharpe, also a Weatherzone meteorologist.
    Australia as a whole will post a warmer-than-average winter, particularly for the north and west, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. See chart below:…
    (Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.)
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/sydney-weather-mild-start-to-spring-ahead-of-warm-burst-20150830-gjbb73.html

    ABC did report the Melbourne winter story:

    31 Aug: ABC: Melbourne shivers through coldest winter in 26 years, no warm start to Spring in sight
    If you thought Melbourne’s winter was colder than usual, you are not wrong.
    It was the coldest winter in terms of maximum temperature in Melbourne for 26 years, the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed.
    The maximum winter temperature was just under 14C for the first time since 1989, about 1 degree Celsius lower than normal.
    But that one degree made a big difference, said senior meteorologist Richard Carlyon from the weather bureau.
    “It doesn’t sound much, but in winter that’s a big difference, because it’s an average,” he said…
    And with summer officially set to begin on Tuesday there are still no 20C days in the forecast, Mr Carlyon said.
    It will be around 17C next weekend, which is well below the normal 20C for this time of year.
    “On this day last year it was 22C and year before [it was] 22C and it’s 12.5C today,” he said…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-31/melbourne-shivers-through-coldest-winter-in-26-years/6738492

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  • #
    PeterS

    Given the peer review process sis broken I wonder how many papers are published that contradict each other? That would be proof enough to disregard journals and treat them no better than modern journalistic garbage. Sad really as I once held scientific journals with high regard. Now I’m inclined to treat them the same way I do with toilet paper. Another ripe area of garbage are papers and news about the Universe and it’s origin. At least they make fun reading sometimes, but I still prefer to watch a sci-fi movie as at least they have a much better story line; well at least some of them.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      I think a lot of people misunderstand what literature peer review is for.

      It is NOT to establish the “correctness” of a particular paper,

      Its to decide if a paper is worth entering into the scientific literature.

      OBVIOUSLY the gate-keepers do not want anti-climate-change papers entering the literature if they can avoid it.

      And OBVIOUSLY there have been a lot of bad decisions as to what is worth putting forward, particularly in the AGW field, a lot of which is plainly just unscientific, unfounded propaganda!

      eg Lewendowsky, Mann etc etc

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      • #
        PeterS

        I agree Andyg55 re it is NOT to establish the “correctness” of a particular paper. I believe the peer review process is to establish how well the particular paper fits with the current secular worldview, and therein is the problem. The current worldview in the general scientific community is understood that AGW is real and we need to deal with at any cost. Whether the general scientific community actually agrees with such a view is unknown since so many have chosen to be silent on the subject (either because they are not sure, don’t care or are afraid to speak out as they would be picked on by their vocal peers who do believe in it). That’s why the peer review process is broken. Too many are too scared to speak their mind against the AGW nonsense.

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    • #
      Manfred

      Now I’m inclined to treat them the same way I do with toilet paper.

      Ah, the chestnut of generalisability. One of the failings often pointed to in climate ‘science’ is lamentably poor generalisability. As we all know this has less to do with science per se and more to do with eco-projection and wishful thinking.
      So it is with the massive number of ‘scientific’ journals. To generalise that they are all equally poor, or that they all have the utility of ‘toilet paper’ suggests the possibility of an over reaching generalisation. After all, in the first instance the exercise of critical acumen will weigh the scientific quality of a journal or article, and in the second, as the vast majority of journals now only exist in electronic format, let’s simply say that there might be issues around using them as toilet paper.

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    • #
      gai

      The original intent of journals was to record the findings of individuals and to encourage scientific debate.

      For example the Loutre 2003 paper Clues from MIS 11 to predict the future climate – a modeling point of view is based on IPCC assumptions about Solar and CO2 ‘Forcings’

      The Loutre and Berger, 2003 paper Marine Isotpe Stage 11 as an Analogue for the present interglacial is also based on modeling. While the the rebuttal paper A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic D18O record by Lisiecki and Raymo is based on analysis of sea bed cores.

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      • #
        gai

        And just to muddy the water some more there is this paper: New evidence for complex climate change in MIS 11 from Hoxne, Suffolk, UK

        In recent years, the complexity and structure of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 has been a focus of research, in part driven by the similarity of orbitally forced insolation changes during MIS 11 and the Holocene… It has become increasingly clear that there is a much more complex relationship between the often fragmented terrestrial record and the marine and ice records. The complexity of MIS 11 has now been shown through marine and ice-sheet isotope records… and long palynological records from marine cores These all indicate a sharp warming at ca 425 ka with what appears to be a relatively stable climate through to ca 390 ka. Thereafter, the records are characterised by a series of warm–cold oscillations until ca 360 ka with the onset of more extreme cold….

        This ‘series of warm–cold oscillations’ happens as MIS11 bumps along at near glacial insolation values till the deep dive finally happens. HMMmmm The Holocene is now near glacial insolation values, think we might see warm–cold oscillations?

        Loutre & Berger (2003) says “…confirms that the interval [405–340 ka BP] may lead to a better understanding of our present and future warm climate…” They are using the first 1/2 of the MIS11 double precession cycle as the Holocene analog.

        While Lisiecki and Raymo says

        …In the LR04 age model, the average LSR of 29 sites is the same from 398– 418 ka as from 250–650 ka; consequently, stage 11 is unlikely to be artificially stretched….

        the 21 June insolation minimum at 65°N during MIS 11 is only 489 W/m2, much less pronounced [not as low as] than the present minimum of 474 W/m2. In addition, current insolation values are not predicted to return to the high values of late MIS 11 for another 65 kyr. We propose that this effectively precludes a ‘‘double precession cycle’’ interglacial [e.g., Raymo, 1997] in the Holocene…

        Finally, the stack’s coherence with precession from 4.1 – 2.8 Ma provides clues to the climate’s response before the growth of major northern hemisphere ice. The stack’s phase relative to precession in this interval demonstrates that northern hemisphere insolation was the major driver of benthic d18O change by at least 4.1 Ma, perhaps through northern deep-water formation or the growth of small northern glaciers.[And the warmists want the Arctic to ice over and glaciers to GROW? are they nuts?]

        Tzedakis after a careful examination of the current science wrote in 2010.

        “On balance, what emerges is that projections on the natural duration of the current interglacial depend on the choice of analogue, while corroboration or refutation of the “early anthropogenic hypothesis” on the basis of comparisons with earlier interglacials remains irritatingly inconclusive.” —
        http://www.clim-past.net/6/131/2010/cp-6-131-2010.pdf

        Don’t you think nailing this down is where all those trillions should have been spent instead chasing unicorns f@rting CO2 and methane?

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    While there always seems to be a huge amount of celebration here that you “showed that doctor” or “showed the drug companies” by not getting tested or not taking a drug because the drug is just for big companies to make money, this is not much different than the anti-vaccine movement in many ways. The drug companies just want to make money and you’re going to show them you won’t play along. Lost in all of this the good that medications do. People died from strokes and heart attacks due to high blood pressure. Today, with treatment, most people do well. Same for statins and others. They do a lot of good for a lot of people. Are they over-prescribed? Undoubtedly. However, this is basically throwing the baby out with the bath water. Condemn the companies for behaviours you don’t like and ignore the successes.

    I have always known the studies done for the FDA did not include failed studies and have put it comments frequently. It was indeed a shortcoming of the research—you could have 10 failures and 2 successes and only the successes counted. However, instead of heaping contempt upon the drug companies that do actually save many lives, how about being happy they have seen the error of their ways and will hopefully do better in the future?

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      the full article requires payment but is very good. It is a conservative mainstream view in a lefty mag

      https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/september/1377957600/karen-hitchcock/medicine

      I don’t see why the reaction to deficiencies in the delivery of sound science based medicine is to turn to something stupider.

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        Oh, but one cannot tell a woman, especially, that something is in her head. You must name, sell medication for it and respect it. Seriously, you must. That is obvious in the comment section. It’s rare for someone to simply say “I hurt” or “I’m tired” and no one knows why. There must be a why and named syndrome for it.

        I have a article somewhere talking about “multiple chemical sensitivities” as “multiple chemical nonsense”. The author made the point that in the past, if someone saw huge silver spiders in a room, one attempted to get the person to understand that the spiders were not real. Now, we name it HSSS (huge silver spider syndrome) and prescribe medication only if the person is actually bothered by the spiders. We never tell them it’s not real.

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      gai

      Sheri,

      My Doctor, (Daily mentioned above) ALWAYS used diet first and medicine second or in addition to. She also mentioned that Doctors, at least back then WERE NOT REQUIRED TO TAKE NUTRITION COURSES!!!!

      So why should we not look into a change in diet as the more conservative approach and use medication as a last resort?

      As far as I am concerned it is up to us to THINK.

      Many years ago I severely injured my back. The back specialist/surgeon was ready to pop me into the hospital and operate. Before he did I asked my GP about consequences. He told me that at my age (22) and activity level I would be looking at more surgery ten years down the road. So I asked questions of the surgeon.

      The answers were:
      #1 25% chance of wheel chair bound.

      #2. Yes, the additional strain on the disk above and below the fused disk would lead to further surgery if I lead an active life.

      #3. The spine would heal on its own in seven years if I was willing to put up with the pain.

      I did not agree to the surgery, went to an osteopath instead and at age 65 I can lift over 50 pounds, and still run — not bad for a small old female.

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        A good doctor always goes for nutrition and lifestyle changes first and medicine second. It was well over two years after my first high blood pressure reading that I was put on medication. Why? Because my doctor required three high reading in a row. Until I reached 190/115, medication was prescribed. He did things in the proper order.

        One’s own bad experiences with doctors don’t constitute reason to believe that all doctors are bad or the profession is bad. Yet that’s what I read here over and over and over. Doctors are evil and drug companies are too. NO, they aren’t. They are doing what they believe is best and what patients are asking for. I’ve needed a GP to referee treatment between specialists before. I never thought of that as a negative—just a prudent thing to do. I don’t despise doctors—without them I would have died at age 15. When I see people attacking medicine as if it’s nothing more than a capitalistic crime, it makes me angry. I live because of good medicine and doctors. What saying drugs and doctors are bad does is say that I should have died. I find that offensive.

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          Sheri… if you shared the syndrome- now what is it called again, not silver spiders, the other one – where you believe that you know better than everyone else including the experts on every topic, you too would diss the medicos.

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            Lucky I don’t think that way, isn’t it?

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              I bet you don’t have an engineering degree

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                No, I don’t. I do have a degree in chemistry and psychology with a minor in philosophy which indicates I can think both literally and figuratively. The trick is to know when each mode of thinking is appropriate, rather than thinking any one method covers all of life.

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                gai

                Sheri,

                I too have a degree in chemistry. All I am saying is we as patients need to stand on our own two feet and THINK. Here in the USA we often do not have the option of finding a doctor we can trust because the insurance companies and now Obamacare (and distance) dictate who you can go to.

                With the internet we have a much greater resources at our disposal than we ever had before to do our own research which means we can then ask intelligent questions.

                For example this is something I was discussing with a Doctor at a party. His comment is germaine to this discussion. He said there would be no real research into the health benefits of Co-Q-10 because there was no money to be made and yet it is a useful ‘drug’ as the few studies that have been done shows.

                The emerging role of coenzyme Q-10 in aging, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes mellitus

                Coenzyme Q10 effects in neurodegenerative disease

                My own experimentation has found Coenzyme Q10 completely gets rid of hot flashes and migraine. If I forget to take the stuff for a week I have the symptoms back and I am a good twenty years passed menopause.

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                gai: Agreed, but as of yet you are not limited by insurance, only by cost. I have to pay extra for some medications because my insurance company won’t cover. So I pay it.

                I’m not sure there’s no money to be made in supplements. If they could prove they work, they could then be FDA approved to cure or treat an illness. It would also make them a legimate “drug”. On the down side, it would make them a legitimate drug that is regulated. I suspect the non-regulated is very appealing.

                I know supplements can work for some people for some things. Keeping them as “supplements” allows marketing without regulation and enough people buying them that there is a large profit.

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                gai

                Sheri,

                I have been without any insurance since I was blackballed for honesty over ten years ago. Luckily there was a G.P. in the area who was a no insurance cash only type. We have also been blessed with good health. Unfortunately he has retired. I checked last spring about just getting a tetanus shot and was told it would cost over $200 since I would have to have a full physical exam before they would give the darn shot! WTF!?! I have been walking into misc. health clinics and getting that shot no questions asked for the last 30 years and now I need a health exam? So I did not get the shot. (Really great healthcare on the part of the clinic.)

                Our savings and a small hobby business managed to pay most of the bills till my Husband reached retirement age. I join him this month and then I can get the physical and that tetanus shot.

                I get the feeling that insistence on the health exam is via the insurance companies. They very very much want documented proof you are ‘unhealthy’ so they can kick you into a higher cost bracket if at all possible.

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                I hope that does not happen here. As far as I know, I could get a tetnus shot without exam, thought the last one I had was at my doctor’s office. As noted, I just pay for whatever it takes. I had a huge amount of medical expenses earlier this year and met my out-of-pocket maximum. With the deductible, out-of-pocket and expenses to travel, we hit 5 figures for the cost. Even if I had to mortgage my house, I would have gotten treatment. If I’m not healthy (as possible), everything else suffers. I have never expected someone to pay for my medical. We have been fortunate to have insurance, though my husband worked some lousy hours and jobs to be sure we did. (Part of the reasons medical costs so much is the third-party payer—there’s no incentive to save money. We had a clinic open here with set rate pricing on health care, partly in response to the mess in insurance and costs.

                Another interesting thing that came up during my last 6 month visit to my doctor—apparantly there are pharmacies now that will not dispense insulin without an A1C result from the doctor. Not good at all. Too much oversight and not enough insight.

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                If you cut yourself on a rusty nail and go to a hospital outpatients they will give you a tetanus shot for nix unless you are certain you’ve had one in the last 10 years. In Australia anyway.

                Part of the solution to medtech companies not developing life saving but unprofitable treatments is for public money to step in. Public money is also what gives you the medical treatment you need regardless of your capacity to pay. It is a sad society that does not support the health of its people.

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                Why should society pay for the health of its people? If people don’t care enough about their own health to make sure it’s good and they don’t care enough to take measures to protect that health, why should society care? We don’t need nannies, we need personal responsibility.

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                that’s an argument for another day I think. Way too much in what you said. but how I look at this. If a child cuts himself and dies of an infection I believe that the net loss to everyone, not just to his family, is much greater than the $100 that they could not afford. I can’t think of a single society, up until the last hundred years, that believed otherwise.

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    One wonders about the magnitude of waste in e.g. pharmaceutical benefits and cholesterol tests done over the decades of LDL-rituals.

    A bigger impact could be on the cholesterol-starved brains of those on medication and special diets; and “skinny milk” consumption and avoidance of butter, perhaps making people more vulnerable to type 2 diabetes (via Four legs better by the same author).

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      gai

      One of the side effects of the “FAT IS BAD” FAD is both sugar and salt were added to make food palatable. The other side effect is fat kills the appetite where as sugar promotes cravings. Obviously those selling junk food are going to be very happy to substitute sugar and salt for fat. (Its also cheaper.)

      On top of that since the salt in junk food does not have iodine the amount of iodine consumed by Americans is now half what it used to be promoting subclinical hypothyroidism especially in the older population who maybe trying to curb their salt intake.

      Iodine treatment in children with subclinical hypothyroidism due to chronic iodine deficiency decreases thyrotropin and C-peptide concentrations and improves the lipid profile

      ABSTRACT:
      BACKGROUND:

      Chronic iodine deficiency (ID) increases thyrotropin (TSH) concentrations and produces a thyroid hormone pattern consistent with subclinical hypothyroidism (ScH). ScH may be associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors. Thus, the study aim was to determine if iodine treatment of children with elevated TSH concentrations due to ID would affect their lipid profile, insulin (C-peptide) levels, and/or subclinical inflammation….

      RESULTS:

      Median (range) UI at baseline was 46 (2-601) microg/L. Compared to the control group, iodine treatment significantly increased UI and total thyroxine and decreased TSH, C-peptide, and total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The mean low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio fell from 3.3 to 2.4 after iodine treatment (p < 0.001). Iodine treatment had no significant effect on concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, or C-reactive protein.

      CONCLUSIONS:

      Correction of ID-associated ScH improves the insulin and lipid profile and may thereby reduce risk for cardiovascular disease. This previously unrecognized benefit of iodine prophylaxis may be important because ID remains common in rapidly developing countries with increasing rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease.

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    gbees

    This has been known for quite some time. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1126057/

    Also pharmaceutical companies often employ so-called “ghost writers” to write positive reports in relation to trial results. Often the most unfavorable results are not published and it is only favorable results which end up in Journals and which get reported & promoted widely.

    It’s been quite the con, just like it is in the climate world.

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    If you then further consider that of the 8% with positive results somewhat less than half might be expected to be possible to replicate, the real level of firm positive results becomes very small. It seems that either the problem is a most difficult one or a lot of money is being wasted on research of dubious competence.

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    pat

    how ever will they get away with claiming 2015 as the hottest year ever?

    28 Aug: UK Mirror: Rod Minchin: UK weather: Indian summer ‘off the cards’ as cold and wet spell continues into September
    Despite a dry and sunny June and a brief heatwave at the beginning of July, the wash out summer and long winter have contributed to a ***colder than average year…
    The Met Office said that 2015 was expected to be colder than either last year or 2013 and it has also been rather wetter than normal…
    “Using provisional figures up to August 26 and then assuming average conditions for the final few days of the month, Met Office statistics show the UK mean temperature for this summer will be around 14C. This is 0.4C below the long-term average…
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/uk-weather-indian-summer-off-6340446

    from the US Antarctics Program:

    19 Aug: Antarctic Sun: Michael Lucibella: A Cold Week at the Pole
    An eight-day cold snap at the beginning of the month had temperatures hovering near minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with record lows recorded on seven of those days…
    Temperatures first started to dip sharply on July 2, plunging from around minus 90 to minus 105 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of the day. The following day was the coldest of the year so far.
    “We got down to minus 109.1 the evening of July 3rd and, just sitting in my office, I could hear the metal sheeting on the outside of the station ‘popping’ as it contracted with the cold,” O’Connor said.
    Plunging temperatures in several of the station’s ancillary buildings set off multiple low temperature alerts over the course of the week. The extended period of extreme cold caused the normally liquid fuel to thicken into a jelly-like consistency, gumming up the gas lines of the heaters and boilers used to warm the buildings…
    ***Jesse Milton, the station chief at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s South Pole Atmospheric Research Observatory, said that though the week was unusually cold, it did not run counter to the prevailing theories about climate change. “Eight days of record-setting cold at the South Pole is not enough evidence to determine climate trends in Antarctica,” Milton said.
    Perrone added that a streak akin to this one usually happens once every couple of years…
    http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/features/contenthandler.cfm?id=4178

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    David

    Consider a medical trial which indicates that the risk of a particular illness decreases from 8 in 100000 to 5 in a 100000 if a certain drug is used. Using relative risk, big pharma can claim a nearly 40% improvement (from 8 to 5). In reality the absolute risk reduction is only a miniscule 3 in 100000 or 0.003%. It’s a useful trick to use the relative risk when hyping the benefits of a drug but use the absolute risk when talking about side effects. The ethical drug industry wouldn’t stoop so low surely??? (sarc)

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    There must be whole marketing campaigns going into awareness for either a pharmaceutical resolution, or even just making the public aware of certain things.

    I noticed recently an article on gluten. I first became aware of Coeliac Disease in 1986 when a fellow Sergeant at RAAF Wagga had a child with the disease, and how he found it difficult at that time to find products actually safe for his child to eat, especially now he was posted to Wagga, away from the major State Capital, where he was formerly posted, and where those products were (relatively) easier to locate.

    There’s no problem now in locating them anywhere, but it’s ironic how there has been a very successful advertising campaign and the way it is marketed on products now.

    That recent article was in fact eye opening for me because it indicated how successful something like this can actually be marketed.

    Currently, here in Australia, there are 8 people in one thousand who have the problem where they require gluten free products.

    Currently, 285 people in a thousand actively seek out gluten free products in Supermarkets.

    That’s 0.8% have the problem, and 28.5% of people have been coerced into purchasing those gluten free products, and they’re not cheaper by the way.

    Clever isn’t it.

    You wonder how much of this is going on.

    Tony.

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    manalive

    Some common conditions like type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol can be inherited i.e. a metabolic disorder so although lifestyle factors can help people affected would be crazy not to take the prescribed medication as well IMO.

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      JohnRMcD

      Manalive,
      I am one for whom adult onset diabetes is genetic. It has run through 3 generations (and that is only the generations for which I have certain knowledge). Always it presents after the age of 55. My sister’s son developed Type 1 from birth.
      Mine is controlled (after 20 years of diet/pills) by pills and slow release insulin.
      I show signs of developing “grumpy old man syndrome” when some wet behind the ears young GP starts making comments about diet and weight control. My rants about medical simplification and their disregarding of my knowledge of my family history are, by now, becoming legendary.
      Most physicians do not like having a “patient” suggest that they are stupid and that they should shut up and listen.
      When I was diagnosed 20 years ago, I was less than 5 kg heavier that I was when I played Rugby at 18.
      I avoid sugars, and otherwise eat what I like … and the blood glucose and the HbA1c remains normal.
      (mutter, mutter, mutter).
      We are approaching peak stupid; regardless of the country. What I find in Australia is repeated in NZ, UK, and North America. And I have lived and worked (in the mining industry) in all of them.

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      manalive: Agreed. There are risk factors that make medications necessary for some people. Ignoring the reality of one’s on genetic makeup and family history would be foolish. Type 2 diabetes, clogged arteries, etc are very real. Refusal to acknowledge this would be unscientific.

      JohnRMcD: It is frustrating when physicians know so little about some illnesses. Like the rest of the world, it seems they have some pretty big blind spots, too.

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      gai

      My family has had adult onset (Type II diabetes) on both sides. However it starts with hypoglycemia –low blood sugar as diagnosed in my Mom. The test for hypoglycemia needs a glucose challenge then a repeated blood sugar test over hours to detect. I test normal on a fasting test (no challenge), yet had low blood sugar as a kid. When I passed out in a cave due to low blood sugar I went to have myself tested at 18. The idiot doctor told my Mom I was ‘too young’ for the problem and refused to test me.

      My caving buddy, a type one diabetic ‘diagnosed’ the problem since he had to deal with it and was trained to spot the symptoms thank goodness. My girl friend who also had hypoglycemia and a decent doctor taught me the correct diet.

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    pat

    SHAKING THE FOUNDATION OF CAGW:

    31 Aug: UK Telegraph: Sarah Knapton: Soggy summer was ***impossible to predict, says Met Office
    The Met Office admitted that ***long term forecasts are ‘still in their infancy’ after it emerged parts of the UK had faced the wettest summer ever despite predictions for a dry, hot season
    The Met Office has defended its forecast for a hot, dry summer despite some areas looking set to have the most rain since records began.
    As summer officially came to a close amid extreme downpours on Monday, the forecaster was left facing questions about why it predicted a ‘drier-than-average’ season even though a strong El Nino climate event was expected…
    ***Slingo: “We all know that forecasting months and seasons ahead is still in its infancy and much more research needs to be done.” …
    August by numbers (IF YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THEM!)
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/weather/11835279/Soggy-summer-was-impossible-to-predict-says-Met-Office.html

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    Olaf Koenders

    Hopefully that’ll put an end to every TV ad claiming their product is “clinically proven”.

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    ROM

    Almost universally in nearly every post above there is sharp critiscm of the medical profession and of Big Pharma and their assumed culpability in prescribing drugs and medical nostrums that don’t work or have a further deleterious impact on the patient’s health or are inordinately expensive or have serious side effects or it is a health problem can be fixed by using something a lot simpler is far cheaper and has been well proven over many years past.

    Or there is just plain straight out, deliberate fudging and corrupting of the results of the tests which themselves might be of only a cursory type and are incapable of being replicated.
    The correct wording here is quite deliberate F***d on the part of some medical researchers
    In that nothing has changed in any human activity you might care to think of since the earliest profession was first embarked upon by some dubious ladies of the night.
    There will always be some of a very dubious morality trying to benefit at other’s expense and doing so without any scruples whatsoever and that includes an element of the medical and drug research professionals.

    All the above in no doubt quite true.

    In fact after a scan of the posts above I haven’t seen any mention of the blog Retraction Watch which is increasingly being quoted in science circles that are getting rather up tight over the amount of f***d that is becoming evident in some but not all branches of science and medicine.
    There is a disproportionate level of medical f***d being uncovered by Retraction Watch but as the two owners of this site say, they are only tapping the tip of the f***d and corruption iceberg in science at every level.
    I suggest that those interested have read of some of the cases that are revealed on Retraction Watch and expect your hair to curl a bit as you read it.
    [ I'm exempt as there is very little hair left to curl!! ]

    Thats one side of the story .
    ———————-
    Now for the other side.

    If the medical profession, medical research profession and Big Pharma are so damn corrupt will somebody who thinks that mob are all crooks please explain a few of those graphs on Index Mundi [ which uses the CIA's World Fact Book ] where the Life Expectancy at Birth in nearly every country bar a rare few is rising, often quite rapidly in many nations.

    Index Mundi’s Historical Data Graphs per Year which I have often used and browsed just for my own edification and interest, using the two panels provided, the left side one to select the information or comparison you are seeking.
    The right side panel selects the country you are researching.
    The graph appears below the panels and the actual data below the graph, all laid out and very easy to use and quite fascinating if you want to browse a few comparisons.

    So we select the Demographic of Life Expectancy at Birth which is really the fundamental point of the discussion above.
    And then on the right panel we can select the nation we want to see the data for.

    Just as a couple of examples more or less selected because they seem reasonable approximations for various national situations.
    [ all graphs begin at year 2000 and are current up until June 30th 2015. ]

    First up is the World right near the bottom of the national lists.

    Life Expectancy at Birth for the approximate 7.4 billion humans on this planet has risen since 2000 from 64 years to 68.35 years in 2014 and is still rising

    South Africa is one of those rare situations where life expectancy has declined since 2000
    In 2000 Life Expectancy at Birth in SA was 51.1 years
    In 2014 it is 49.56 years

    In Senegal LE at Birth also fell from 62.19 years to 56.37 in 2003 and then rebounded up to 60.95 in 2014.

    In Pakistan which one would think is not exactly a hot bed of medical advancement LE in 2000 was 61.07 years
    In 2014 it was 67.05 years and rising quite steadily

    For Australia we have a life expectancy of 79.75 years in 2000, rising to 82.07 years in 2014 which is quite a rise considering the already quite advanced life expectancy we had in 2000.
    [ Five years to go! Wipes sweat from brow ! ]

    Similar data can be found right through the list of global nations.

    So my question is ;’
    What factors, Medical, Disease control, Food, Political, Energy and / or etc are involved in this quite significant increase in life expectancy just about world wide over the last decade and half and maybe going back quite sometime before that, an increase that is still ongoing with the trend setter for life expectancy being Japan with its LE in 2000 of 80.7 years increasing to 84.46 years in 2014

    Especially a intriguing comparison when we look at two African countries, the African continent being where the lowest national LE’s seems to be the case.
    The comparison examples and the question as to why the differences in LE’s are Namibia with a LE in 2014 of 51.85 years and flat since 2008 .
    But down the road a bit, well a couple of thousand kilometres perhaps, we have Malawi with a LE in 2014 of 59.99 years and rising fast.

    Malawi reputedly has put what little resources it has into its education system starting some years ago so maybe?

    The point of this is that there has to be some hard evidence to account for the increase in the Global Life expectancy and the medical profession through its disease control and its emphasis in undeveloped countries on education at the most basic level, is one of the major factors that are leading to a better and more productive life for the inhabitants of so many countries , a life expectancy that is on a steady upward trajectory for the past three or more decades across most of the global nations.

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      Daniel Davis

      On the rising life expectancy world wide, I imagine that a correlation exists between rising CO2 and life expectancy that in a different world, would be universally accepted as “science” and as proof, that CO2 increases life expectancy. Maybe on one of those planets that sustains life in an alternative universe, lol.

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    peter

    Medical emergency care has improved dramatically. Equipment, procedures, drugs, tests etc have all improved over the years to provide a much better chance of recovery. Medical science is keeping you alive longer but not necessarily healthier.

    But after 20 years of working with medical research, University/Hospital research why am I not surprised with these findings? Only I would have expected 25% validity of hypothesis not 8%. Just shows I’m an incurable optimist.

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    R2Dtoo

    If you want to see how bad it can be, search Rep. Bill Posey (R-Florida) and Dr. William Thompson’s whistle-blowing testimony regarding vaccine/autism research. The group of CDC sponsored researchers actually got together with a waste basket and chucked the positive results they found relating to race/vaccination/autism. Thompson recently came forward to report the incident which occurred in 2004. This apparently hasn’t received much traction in the US congress – big surprise/ sarc. PS I am not an anti-vac person, but with everything else, some folks/sub-populations may be differentially impacted. If this research hadn’t been suppressed further research might have led to more complete understanding of the issue. Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson also has reported on this.

    [Please be very careful that this doesn't turn the thread into a vaccine debate.] ED

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    gai

    ROM,

    The problem is the PEDESTAL.

    Both Medical Doctors and ClimAstrologists and some of the others with high degrees of learning either climb onto that pedestal or are put up there. When people find out that not all those on that pedestal have high morals, high ethics and high intelligence they get much more angree than they do at an ordinary human.

    Do you put the same trust in a used car saleman as you do your doctor or dentist?

    How are you going to feel when you find out the dentist was deliberately drilling perfectly good teeth just for the $$$. How are you going to feel when you find out that a doctor intentionally burned the crap out of your mother as part of the radiation experiments for the US government and then went on to kill her with chemotherapy. Because he was writing a paper he didn’t want to stop treatments when she had heart attack after heart attack despite the Chem Engineering News Article linking heart attacks with chemo I mentioned. (Sloan Kettering had seen no sign of cancer but backed off the second opinion after talking to the experimenting doctor.) The same doctor also killed my boy friend’s mother that same year.

    So excuse me if I insist on removing doctors from that pedestal and treat them as used car salesmen. Some are good some are bad and your health/life depends on figuring out which is which.

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      Yes, gai, your life depends on figuring out which are good and which are bad. Like every other thing in life. I don’t put all used car salesmen in the “horrible person” catagory and I don’t put all doctors on a pedestal. This is the reality of life—who you listen to and who you do not can make a huge impact on your life, including life and death. As you said in a previous comment “THINK”. That is the only way to deal with anything in life effectively. Mistakes will be made—we are all human.

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    KinkyKeith

    A revisit to a thread about antidepressants’

    It’s a mixed bag, SSRIs failed but seem to have evolved by trial and error; doctors MUST follow the prescribed treatment or face big law suits BUT over prescribing can be dangerous.

    This thread illustrates the care needed in diagnosis and in prescribing.

    Having recently revisited ADs I have used REMERON for a a few weeks and found it works by giving me a good nights sleep without rumination about troubling issues.

    It is noted that the mechanism by which it works is not known.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    KK

    KK

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/02/misanthropology/#comment-947519

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      Very good. If something works for you without a lot of side effects and is better than no treatment, it’s fine to go for it. I do love it when a drug manufacturer says a drug works by an “unknown mechanism”. It’s not an admission of failure—so far as I know, the same thing can be said of aspirin. It just means it treats a symptom. Which is what most drugs do.

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    One additional note: Cymbalta was originally developed as a treatment for diabetic neuropathy. The first ads I saw for it were for diabetic neuropathy. This was the apparent goal of the drug manufacturer. Then, they discovered it was a great antidepressant. So, the company got it approved as an antidepresant and marketed it to a much, much larger group of people. If there did not have to be an end goal of research, I suspect you’d see more of this happening. Drugs developed for a specific condition that actually worked better in another venue.

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