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rampant

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Naturopathy for cancer … claims that have the potential to be lethal

The nonsense that some naturopaths try to tell the public never ceases to amaze me. This article is a good example: a “naturopathic doctor” told a newspaper that “We do have a reputation associated with cancer, but we don’t treat cancer. We use highly intelligent computer software to find out what is wrong with the body at […]

Read the rest here: Naturopathy for cancer … claims that have the potential to be lethal

Saturday, 21 October 2017

2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

New Fire Danger Threatens to Worsen Most Disastrous Wildfire Season in California History

Santa Rosa CA Wildfire 10-14-17 

A firefighter holds a water hose while fighting a wildfire Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Image credit: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez.

A record-breaking heat wave will build over Southern California over the weekend and peak on Tuesday, bringing triple-digit temperatures that could set marks for the hottest temperatures ever recorded so late in the year in the Los Angeles area. Accompanying the heat will be the notorious Santa Ana winds, which will bring a multi-day period of critical fire danger, Saturday through Tuesday.

According to NOAA, the hottest temperatures ever recorded after October 23 in Southern California (along with the Weather Underground forecast for Tuesday) were:

105°F Riverside, 10/28/1915 (WU forecast for Tuesday: 100°F)
101°F LAX Airport, 11/1/1966 (WU forecast for Tuesday: 96°F)
101°F Longbeach, 11/1/1966 (WU forecast for Tuesday: 100°F)
100°F Downtown Los Angeles, 11/1/1966 (WU forecast for Tuesday: 101°F)
100°F Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena, 10/26/2003 (WU forecast for Tuesday: 99°F)
100°F San Diego, 11/4/2010 (WU forecast for Tuesday: 91°F)
99°F Bakersfield, 10/27/1906 (WU forecast for Tuesday: 90°F)

The heat wave and Santa Ana winds will be caused by a large near-record-strength dome of high pressure expected to settle in over the Great Basin, a few hundred miles northeast of Los Angeles. The difference in pressure between this high-pressure system and lower pressure over Southern California will drive gusty northeast winds over Southern California. Since these winds will originate over desert areas, they will be hot and dry. As the air descends from the mountains to the coast, the air will get hotter and drier, due to adiabatic compression—the process whereby the pressure on a parcel of air increases as it descends, decreasing its volume, and thus increasing its temperature as work is done on it. 

New Fire Danger Threatens to Worsen Most Disastrous Wildfire Season in California History by Jeff Masters, Weather Underground, Oct 20, 2017 


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Lies, damned lies, and homeopathy

If you had chronic kidney disease (CKD), would you be attracted by an article entitled ‘How to Reduce Creatinine Level in Homeopathy’? (Elevated levels are normally caused by CKD which makes it an important diagnostic test to diagnose the condition) I am sure many patients would! A few days ago, an article with exactly this […]

Read the rest here: Lies, damned lies, and homeopathy

Friday, 20 October 2017

UK government response to petition ‘Stop NHS England from removing … homeopathic medicines’

Herbal and homeopathic lobby groups have petitioned to stop NHS England from removing herbal and homeopathic medicines: NHS England is consulting on recommendations to remove herbal and homeopathic medicines from GP prescribing. The medicines cost very little and have no suitable alternatives for many patients. Therefore we call on NHS England to continue to allow doctors to prescribe homeopathy and herbal medicine. The petition received around 16 500 signatures.

Now the UK government has responded. I take the liberty of posting the full response below […]

Read the rest here: UK government response to petition ‘Stop NHS England from removing … homeopathic medicines’

Herbal Remedies Have Been Linked To Liver Cancer Across Asia | IFLScience

Herbal remedies containing aristolochic acids (AA) have been linked to liver cancer from samples collected in hospitals around the world. The dangerous compounds are found in the birthwort family of plants, which are commonly used in traditional medicine to “help” with childbirth and promote healing.

The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, found that in 78 percent of liver cancer samples collected in Taiwan showed a distinctive mutation consistent with AA exposure. The team looked at 98 samples of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer, and the most common cause of death in people with cirrhosis... Read on: Herbal Remedies Have Been Linked To Liver Cancer Across Asia | IFLScience

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Acupuncture for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease? No, I don’t think so!

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common, benign condition. It can be treated by changing eating habits or drugs. Many alternative therapies are also on offer, for instance, acupuncture. But does it work? Let’s find out.

The objective of this meta-analysis was to explore the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease […]

Read the rest here: Acupuncture for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease? No, I don’t think so!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Is chiropractic treatment safe?

This is the question asked by the American Chiropractic Association. And this is their answer [the numbers in square brackets were inserted by me and refer to my comments below]:
Chiropractic is widely recognized [1] as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints [2]. Although chiropractic has an […]

Read the rest here: Is chiropractic treatment safe?

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Natural Cancer Cure Lie | Home | Cancer Answers, MD

As we walked back towards the waiting room following the scan that would serve as the blueprint that we would use to plan Darren’s radiation for his cancer, he asked a question that stopped me in my tracks. “If I decide to cancel my radiation appointments, can I just call you?” To determine whether this was just a simple question of curiosity in the case of an emergency or something more, I asked him to clarify why he would consider canceling. Standing in the hallway between two clinic rooms, he stated that in the time between our first meeting and today’s visit, he had been doing some online “research” and thought he would consider doing something “more natural” to keep his cancer at bay...

Read on: The Natural Cancer Cure Lie | Home | Cancer Answers, MD

2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #41

Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Graphic of the Week... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...

Story of the Week...

Firefight in Sonoma County reaches second week as flames force thousands to evacuate

Sonoma County CA Wildfire

Firefighters from Compton put a scratch and wet line around a fire on Lovall Valley Road in Somona, Saturday, Oct 14, 2017. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat) 2017

An army of firefighters with a larger aerial arsenal at their disposal held their ground and made some gains Saturday on devastating wildfires ravaging Wine Country, but evacuation orders that forced thousands from their homes before dawn and a rising death toll were clear reminders of the peril that still grips the region.

Northeast winds that arrived early Saturday whipped up a new fire in the hills outside eastern Santa Rosa, and spread an existing blaze outside Sonoma, prompting another round of nighttime evacuation orders.

Thousands of Santa Rosa residents were forced to leave — some for the second time since last Sunday — while others faced their first mandatory orders in Sonoma. 

Firefight in Sonoma County reaches second week as flames force thousands to evacuate by Kevin McCallum & Randi Rossmann, The Press Democrat, Oct 15, 2017 


El Niño/La Niña Update

The task of a climate forecaster is to see the forest, and not get hung up on the individual trees. Especially that extra tall one over there, with the gnarl that looks like a face, and the low branches that would be so easy to climb, and… uh, right. My point is that we try to look beyond shorter-term weather to see longer-term monthly and seasonal patterns. After all, a particular winter can have several colder-than-average days and still be warmer than average overall.

Which brings me to the current situation in the tropical Pacific! The October ENSO forecast says La Niña conditions are favored during the fall and winter 2017-18, but at press time the ocean-atmosphere system didn’t quite meet the criteria for a La Niña Advisory. Specifically, while the atmosphere is generally consistent with La Niña, the sea surface temperature in the Niño3.4 region has been volatile, recently edging up close to average following several weeks near or below the La Niña threshold (0.5°C colder than average).

 

Animation showing sea surface temperature departure from the 1981-2010 average from early August through early October 2017. Graphic by climate.gov; data from NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Lab.

Is the overall pattern truly La Niña, with some short-term fluctuations temporarily obscuring the pattern? Or has the atmosphere-ocean system really not settled down into a consistent pattern at all? The difference between these two scenarios is subtle, and the ENSO forecast team is maintaining the La Niña Watch as we wait for a clearer picture. The forecast is for that picture to become clearer soon, with La Niña conditions 55-65% likely during this fall and winter.

October 2017 ENSO update: Still watching for La Niña by Emily Becker, NOAA's Climate.gov. Oct 12, 2017


Toon of the Week...

2017 Toon 41 


Graphic of the Week...

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to repeal the Clean Power Plan. In response, Janet Redman, U.S. Policy Director of Oil Change International issued the following statement:

“Pruitt’s move to repeal the Clean Power Plan shouldn’t come as any surprise. He’s repeatedly partnered with fossil fuel companies to sue the EPA for regulating the industry’s air, water, and climate pollution. This kind of cronyism is exactly what happens when government agencies are captured by the corporations they’re supposed to oversee.

“According to Pruitt, this is just another way to even the playing field for coal, oil, and gas – but he knows as well as anyone that fossil fuels already get massive government giveaways. In fact, permanent tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry are seven times higher than those for renewable energy.

“The fight to curb the worst abuses of the fossil fuel energy industry won’t stop here. Federal legislation, the courts, and millions of voters have made it clear that the federal government is obligated to protect American workers and families from the deadly impacts of dirty energy, not hand polluters taxpayer dollars.”

Permanent Tax Breaks for Renewable Energy v Fossil Fuels FY2016 

Oil Change International Statement On Clean Power Plan Repeal, Oct 10, 2017


SkS Spotlights...

CLEAR Banner

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Portal was launched in 2010 as a National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Pathways project. It is led by the science education expertise of TERC, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, and the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College. As of 2012, CLEAN has been syndicated to NOAA's climate.gov portal.

CLEAN's primary effort is to steward the collection of climate and energy science educational resources and to support a community of professionals committed to improving climate and energy literacy. 

The three key components of the CLEAN project are: 

1. The CLEAN Collection of Climate and Energy Science resources- high-quality, digital resources—including learning activities, visualizations, videos, and short demonstrations/experiments—geared toward educators of students in secondary through undergraduate levels.

2. Guidance in Teaching Climate and Energy Science – pages designed to help educators understand and be equipped to teach the big ideas in climate and energy science. 

3. The CLEAN Network – a community of professionals committed to improving climate and energy literacy.  


Coming Soon on SkS...

  • The war on coal is over.  Coal lost (Dana)
  • The F13 files, part 1 - the copy/paste job (Ari)
  • Guest Post (John Abraham)
  • Americans want a $15 per month carbon tax; but how to get one? (Dana)
  • New research this week (Ari)
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42 (John Hartz)
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Waming Digest #42 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week...

2017 Poster 41 


SkS Week in Review... 


97 Hours of Consensus...

97 Hours: Ken Denman 

 

Ken Denman's bio page

Quote derived with author's permission from:

"The issue is not a lack of scientific evidence, the issue is the unwillingness of people and governments to act. It seems to defy logic. But a lot of addictions defy logic. Our society is completely addicted to cheap power." 

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Guess what – we just received an ‘Ockham Award’ !

It was Alan Henness who persuaded me and helped me to start this blog. He probably feared that, after my retirement from my Exeter post, I might stop being a nuisance to Prince Charles and other quacks. The blog certainly prevented this possibility!

The very first post on my blog went live on 14 October […]

Read the rest here: Guess what – we just received an ‘Ockham Award’ !

Saturday, 14 October 2017

2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

Record Amazon fires stun scientists; sign of sick, degraded forests
Amazon Fire
If climate change continues to worsen unchecked, and forest degradation continues unabated, then unstoppable Amazon mega-fires could be seen in this century; such fires would greatly increase the release of carbon into the atmosphere worsening climate change. Photo courtesy of IBAMA 
  • With the fire season still on-going, Brazil has seen 208,278 fires this year, putting 2017 on track to beat 2004’s record 270,295 fires. While drought (likely exacerbated by climate change) worsens the fires, experts say that nearly every blaze this year is human-caused.
  • The highest concentration of fires in the Amazon biome in September was in the São Félix do Xingu and Altamira regions. Fires in Pará state in September numbered 24,949, an astonishing six-fold increase compared with 3,944 recorded in the same month last year.
  • The Amazon areas seeing the most wildfires have also seen rapid change and development in recent years, with high levels of deforestation, and especially forest degradation, as loggers, cattle ranchers, agribusiness and dam builders move in.
  • Scientists warn of a dangerous synergy: forest degradation has turned the Amazon from carbon sink to carbon source; while globally, humanity’s carbon emissions are worsening drought and fires. Brazil’s rapid Amazon development deepens the problem. Researchers warn that mega-fires could be coming, unless trends are reversed. 
Record Amazon fires stun scientists; sign of sick, degraded forests by Sue Branford & Maurício Torres, Mongabay, Oct 11, 2017

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Friday, 13 October 2017

Homeopathy for schizoaffective disorder (Is this the most stupid paper this year?)

According to its authors, the objective of this paper was “to demonstrate the need for using both alternative and conventional treatments to improve clinical outcomes in the treatment of schizoaffective disorder”. 

Instead of doing anything remotely like this, the authors present two case histories:

  • a 23-y-old female (case 1) 
  • and a 34-y-old female (case 2). […]

Read the rest here: Homeopathy for schizoaffective disorder (Is this the most stupid paper this year?)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Come celebrate the positive energy… !!! ??? !!!

Words like these are sure to persuade me that this chiropractic conference announcement is an invitation to abandon reason and dive into pure, unappetising BS. Reading the full text confirms my suspicion; here are a few quotes:
… Chiropractic practitioners are blazing new trails in pediatrics, neurology, neuroplasticity, and multisensory integration, pushing the understanding and […]

Read the rest here: Come celebrate the positive energy… !!! ??? !!!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

WDDTY on post-traumatic stress

We decided to check up on what WDDTY say for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), because we’re masochistic like that. The results did not disappoint us, and we mean that in a bad way.

Here are some of the WDDTY search results for PTSD, presented without comment mainly because they leave us speechless.

The following list is taken from a search of WDDTY.com and has not yet been filtered or validated. Corrections gratefully received via our contact form.


  • Don’t sleep on a problem or traumatic experience – it only makes it worse If you have a traumatic experience, don’t sleep on it – it only makes it worse. Instead, stay awake for at least six hou… more » e-news 
  • Bugs in the brain Last year, a study carried out by Johns Hopkins University reported the damning evidence that, of the patients admitted to hospital with mania, five times more of them had been using antibiotics… more » Digital Magazine 
  • Tapping … Continue reading   WDDTY on post-traumatic stress by WWDDTYDTY collective 

The Pathological Optimist – vaccine fraud Andrew Wakefield documentary

I was having a peaceful evening. I fired up my Apple TV to watch the Trailers app to see upcoming movies that I might watch. Unfortunately, right at the top row, I see Andrew Wakefield’s face on the trailer for a new documentary about him, “The Pathological Optimist“.

Why would anyone want to see another documentary about this man? Well, it’s horror film season, and Wakefield is one scary man.

In 2016, we got his self-serving fraudumentary, “Vaxxed,”... The Pathological Optimist – vaccine fraud Andrew Wakefield documentary

Burzynski Patient Eduardo M.’s Story | The OTHER Burzynski Patient Group

Though it’s been a while since we’ve posted, we still hear from relatives of people who went to the Burzynski Clinic and realized it for what it is, a wallet biopsy with a snake oil chaser. The pain experienced by families reverberates for decades, a legacy of misery few men have sunk to. We have about a hundred of those stories here, and we have a thousand more names in the hopper. We will be starting up again since Burzynski was found to be sanctionable on over a hundred counts early this year by an administrative law judge. He can still practice, but he’s skating on very thin ice.

The story of Eduardo M. begins in Argentina, in May of 1998... Burzynski Patient Eduardo M.’s Story | The OTHER Burzynski Patient Group

Monday, 9 October 2017

The Pathological Optimist: More hagiography than documentary about Andrew Wakefield – Science-Based Medicine

The Pathological Optimist is a recently released documentary by Miranda Bailey about Andrew Wakefield that I got a chance to see. In interviews and in the film’s promotional materials, Bailey takes great pains to emphasize that she “doesn’t take a side” about Wakefield. Unfortunately, her film demonstrates that, when it comes to pseudoscience, “not taking a side” is taking a side, and that a film’s bias is often more evident in... The Pathological Optimist: More hagiography than documentary about Andrew Wakefield – Science-Based Medicine

Weleda’s statements on homeopathy … in need of NaCl, C200, I think

Weleda, a leading manufacturer of homeopathic preparations, is, according to their own judgement, a ‘unique organisation – economically thriving, kind at heart and committed to the well-being of our planet, our environment and our people. We’ve grown into that role through the adoption of seven basic principles which are unchanging, binding for everyone who works […]

Read the rest here: Weleda’s statements on homeopathy … in need of NaCl, C200, I think

Saturday, 7 October 2017

2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #40

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

International concern as US moves to end clean power plan 
 US and Chinese presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping
US and Chinese presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping found common ground on climate change after the US announced the clean power plan (Pic: White House/Flickr) 
News that the Trump administration will move to repeal and replace the clean power plan (CPP) – a major initiative to cut emissions from the US electricity sector – has been met with concern overseas.
On Wednesday, the Reuters news agency reported on a document leaked from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) outlining a plan to scrap the Obama-era measure.
It also called for input on a replacement policy that would reduce carbon emissions in fossil fuel power plants. Industry is reportedly lobbying for a weaker rule.
The policy underpinned the US commitment to the Paris Agreement, which Donald Trump says he wants to leave. It would also have had a real impact on the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. By 2030, the clean power plan would have reduced power plant emissions in the world’s second biggest polluter by 32% below 2005 levels. 
International concern as US moves to end clean power plan by Karl Mathiesen, Climate Home,. Oct 4, 2017

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Reiki gets ‘strong support’ from a new review – is it time to re-write a few textbooks?

Reiki has been on my mind repeatedly (see for instance here, here, here and here). It is one of those treatments that are too crazy for words and too implausible to mention. Yet a new paper firmly claims that it is more than a placebo.

This review evaluated clinical studies of Reiki to determine whether […]

Read the rest here: Reiki gets ‘strong support’ from a new review – is it time to re-write a few textbooks?

Thursday, 5 October 2017

John Weeks admitted to the ‘Alt Med Hall of Fame’

Orac recently lost his rag over JOHN WEEKS, editor of JCAM (see also here, here, here and here), and was less than appreciative of his recent comments on the Samueli-donation. Personally, I think that this was a bit harsh. To compensate the poor chap for such an injustice, I herewith offer John a place in […]

Read the rest here: John Weeks admitted to the ‘Alt Med Hall of Fame’

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Tessera: What doctors don’t tell you

Warning: May cause apoplexy.

Since 1989 husband and wife team Lynne McTaggart and Bryan Hubbard have been running a website called What Doctors Don’t Tell You. Now they are publishing a magazine with the same title.

It wasn’t easy finding a copy, which is a mercy. One newsagent in Camden told me he received an unsolicited batch yesterday and sent them straight back because he didn’t like the look of them.

Who are McTaggart and Hubbard?… Read the full post: Tessera: What doctors don’t tell you

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Severe liver injury due to naturopaths’ prescription of Epsom salt

We all know Epsom salt, don’t we? This paper provides an interesting history of it:
The purgative effect of the waters of Epsom, in southern England, was first discovered in the early seventeenth century. Epsom subsequently developed as one of the great English spas where high society flocked to take the medicinal waters. The extraction of […]

Read the rest here: Severe liver injury due to naturopaths’ prescription of Epsom salt

Sunday, 1 October 2017

2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #39

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...

Story of the Week...

September is the most energetic month for hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic
Hurricane Maria Sep 20, 2017
Satellite image of Hurricane Maria making landfall on Puerto Rico on Sep 20, 2017 
The 2017 hurricane season has certainly been one for the record books. Whether it be Harvey’s scale-tipping rains, Irma’s off-the-chart winds, or the sheer number of storms that have spun up, this year is clearly anything but normal.
But how wacky has the weather in the tropics been? For that, meteorologists refer to a figure known as ACE, a measure of every hurricane’s energy put together during its life span. September produced the most ACE in any month on record in the Atlantic Ocean.
ACE, or Accumulated Cyclone Energy, is manifest in stirred-up oceans, steamy downpours, crackling lightning and ferocious winds. The force to instigate these nasty conditions is extracted from the roasting waters of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean, and transformed into motion through a hurricane’s natural “heat engine.”
To quantify this measure, scientists take into account the strength of the winds within each and every storm, as well as their duration. ACE is calculated every six hours, and a running tally is kept for each storm so long as it sticks around. The measure does not take into account a storm’s size.
September is the most energetic month for hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic by Matthew Cappucci, Capital Weather Gang, Washington Post, Sep 27, 2017

Toon of the Week...

2017 Toon 39
Hat tip to Stop Science Denial Facebook page.

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • Why the 97% climate consensus is important (Dana, John Cook, Sander van der Linden, Ed Maibach, Tony Lieserowitz)
  • Factcheck: Mail on Sunday’s ‘astonishing evidence’ about global temperature rise (Zeke Hausfather)
  • Global climate impacts of a potential volcanic eruption of Mount Agung (Flavio Lehner & John Fasullo)
  • Guest Post (John Abraham)
  • New research, Sep - Oct 1 2017 (Ari)
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #40 (John Hartz)
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Waming Digest #40 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week...

2017 Poster 39

Climate Feedback Reviews...

Climate Feedback 1
Climate Feedback asked its network of scientists to review the article, Climate Change Is Complex. We’ve Got Answers to Your Questions by Justin Gillis, New York Times, Sep 19, 2017.
Thirteen scientists analyzed the article and estimated its overall scientific credibility to be ‘high’ to ‘very high’.
A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: Accurate
Review Summary
This article in The New York Times serves as a primer by briefly answering seventeen basic questions about the cause and consequences of—and possible solutions to—climate change.
Thirteen scientists reviewed the article, and generally found the answers to be highly accurate distillations of the research on that topic. There are only a few instances where answers—mainly to questions about efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—are worded in an imprecise way that could lead to readers misunderstanding the state of scientific knowledge.
New York Times’ “straightforward answers” to common climate questions are accurate, too, Climate Feedback, Sep 28, 2017

SkS Week in Review... 


97 Hours of Consensus...

 97 Hours: Chris Forest

Chris Forest's bio page
Quote derived with author's permission from:
"[I]t's very clear from the observations that the climate system has warmed over the past century, and that these results are then consistent with human causes having forced the climate system over the past century." 
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Saturday, 30 September 2017

2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #39

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

People Are Dying’: Puerto Rico Faces Daunting Humanitarian Crisis
As the full scope of Hurricane Maria's devastation emerges, leaders are calling for urgent help. Many of the risks were spelled out in a 2013 climate assessment.
Puerto Rico Aftermath of Hurricane Maria
Hurricane Maria swept mud and debris down streets and into homes across the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, home to 3.4 million people, about 44 percent of whom live below the poverty line. Credit: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images
A public health crisis is unfolding in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, as millions of people face a frightening array of urgent dangers, some of which may drag on for weeks or months.
Nearly one week after the storm hit, federal emergency response personnel struggled to make contact with remote communities and restore critical medical infrastructure.
As of Monday, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), already stretched thin by continuing recovery efforts from Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida, had yet to reach six communities in Puerto Rico and was just sending its first shipment of water to the remote islands of Vieques and Culebra.
"We are in response mode, and our main priority is saving lives, getting generators to the hospitals, and making sure that there is enough fuel for those generators to run," FEMA spokesperson Jose Davila said.
"It is very bad down there right now," said Sven Rodenbeck, chief science officer for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2017 hurricane response. "For the vast majority of the island, there is no power. They have had flooding, and the health care system—many of the clinics and hospitals are closed. A lot of the drinking water systems are not operational, along with the waste water systems."
Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, gave a blunt assessment of the situation.
"People are dying," Cruz told CBS news on Tuesday. "This is the reality that we live in, the crude aftermath of a storm, a hurricane that has left us practically paralyzed."
‘People Are Dying’: Puerto Rico Faces Daunting Humanitarian Crisis by Phil Mckenna, Inside Climate News, Sep 27, 2017

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