Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Then they came for the magnetohydrodynamicists .. .

It's not just biomedical investigators who put up with harassment and death threats, of course. Biologists get them from creationists (I even had a very creepy visitor here once after I posted something evolutionistic), but one of the toughest kind of scientists to be these days is a climate scientist.

It's gotten so bad the American Association for the Advancement of Science has issued a statement, something they don't often do. They begin:

We are deeply concerned by the extent and nature of personal attacks on climate scientists. Reports of harassment, death threats, and legal challenges have created a hostile environment that inhibits the free exchange of scientific findings and ideas and makes it difficult for factual information and scientific analyses to reach policymakers and the public. This both impedes the progress of science and interferes with the application of science to the solution of global problems. AAAS vigorously opposes attacks on researchers that question their personal and professional integrity or threaten their safety based on displeasure with their scientific conclusions. . . .

If anything it's even worse in Australia, which happens to be one of the places on earth that will suffer the most -- indeed is already suffering greatly -- from climate change. (And how do they manage, being upside down all the time? Answer that, round-earthists!) Also this.

Australians also know who gets a big fat chunk of the of the blame for promulgating denialist lies and stirring up the dangerous fanatics -- that would be the Australian expatriate Rupert Murdoch and his evil empire. Can we please stop pretending they are in any way a legitimate journalistic enterprise? Is that too much to ask?


kathy a. said...


Daniel said...

A bit off topic but I saw this in the news & it is related to an earlier blog... is this a rational use of health care resources??

"Medicare officials confirmed Thursday that the program will cover the $93,000 price tag for prostate cancer drug Provenge, an innovative therapy that typically gives men suffering from an incurable stage of the disease an extra four months to live."

..."Medicare is legally prohibited from considering price when deciding whether to pay for a new treatment. But Provenge's steep price tag had generated debate about the cost of new drugs and the government's role in paying for them, especially against the political backdrop of health care reform and the rising cost of Medicare given the large number of baby boomers."

Cervantes said...

Well Daniel, if you're going to set cost effectiveness standards they are basically largely arbitrary -- you have to decide whether some amount of dollars per increased period of life is worth it. Certainly $93,000 for 3 months or so, which I think is about what we're talking about with Provenge, IIRC, is more than the UK will pay, by a substantial factor, and is at the point where most people will probably start to think it just isn't worth it given the much greater benefits that could be had for the same money.