Skepticism about science and medicine

In search of disinterested science

Archive for January, 2014

Encephalitis and Hashimoto’s Encephalitis

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/01/29

A few months ago I mentioned the little-known Hashimoto’s Encephalitis (HE) — When doctors can’t tell you what’s wrong (updated) —  and the difficulty people who suffer from it have in getting diagnosed and treated.  Some of those people formed the Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy SREAT Alliance (HESA) which has now published a remarkable, splendid book — Understanding Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy — describing what’s known about the disease and giving personal testimonies with a wealth of information about coping and transcending.  I recommend the book highly, and not only for individuals with HE and their families; I believe everyone could benefit from reading the often inspiring tales from people of all ages and from several countries. There are also important insights into medical systems, and much food for thought.

I’ve heard also that HESA will be making a presentation about HE at the forthcoming FACES 2014 Encephalitis Conference in La Jolla (CA) on 21 February.

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Posted in medical practices | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Evidence-based global-warming science?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/01/03

 

Average global temperature has not increased during the last 15 years even as carbon dioxide levels have continued to grow:
Climate Scientist: 73 UN climate models wrong, no global warming in 17 years.

Moreover, Antarctic ice has become thicker when it was supposed to be thawing:
Global warming ‘pause’ may last for 20 more years and Arctic sea ice has already started to recover.

But of course all this has not shaken the faith in human-caused global warming — or at least it has not shaken the determination of science-bureaucrats, whose careers are vested in global-warming dogma, to try to convince us that 2 plus 2 (bits of carbon dioxide) equals 5 (degrees):
As its global warming narrative unravels, the IPCC is in damage control mode.

The following commentary makes delightful reading:
Global warming expedition to prove Antarctic ice is melting trapped by ice.

The attempts to rescue people on that ice-bound expeditionary ship, by ice breakers from Australia and China and the USA and ultimately helicopters from the Chinese vessel, have featured prominently on network and cable news. Strangely enough, I have not seen it pointed out in those “news” programs that the need to rescue flies in the face of global-warming dogma.

But then, “news” programs are not much given to enlightening the audience with context or even facts. TV “news” aims to attract as large an audience as possible by offering what the producers think will entertain — as acknowledged in the fine HBO series, “Newsroom”.

Posted in global warming, media flaws, science is not truth | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who oversees the overseers?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/01/02

Who oversees the overseers?

Who is responsible for knowing what goes on in one’s own bailiwick?
Where do bucks stop, and what’s the penalty for culpable negligence?

The previous post illustrated this issue in HIV/AIDS research and funding: The principal investigator on a $19 million research project didn’t know what was being done by one of his team who had claimed a discovery of enormous potential significance. The official responsible for supervising grants at the funding agency shrugged his shoulders helplessly, and took no initiative to pull the grant back or to demand refunding of the money spent on fraud. The university took no action to discipline the principal investigator. The fraudster himself merely agreed not to seek federal funds for a period of 3 years, after which he was presumably judged responsible enough to get federal grants again.

One very general context is that white-collar crimes are punished — if at all — much more leniently than others, as is well known and acknowledged without any sign that such crimes, which affect huge numbers of people indirectly as well as directly, are likely to be taken more seriously in the foreseeable future. Help bring about a near-collapse of global financial structures and you are sentenced to retire with a golden parachute.

A slap on the wrist is what happened to researcher Dong-Pyou Han. Now there’s less than 3 years in jail for John Beale, a top official at the Environmental Protection Agency who drew $200,000 a year plus enormous travel expenses for doing absolutely nothing:

“Beale Street Blues; EPA Top Dog’s Astonishing Fraud”

“Climate change expert sentenced to 32 months for fraud, says lying was a ‘rush’”

“John Beale’s EPA: An amazing fraud by an architect of government climate policies”

Beale’s punishment is certainly more appropriate than was the HIV/AIDS researcher’s — “Beale . . . agreed to pay $886,186 in restitution and to forfeit another $507,207. . . . he was [also] sentenced to 32 months in federal prison”.

But what about the people who were Beale’s supervisors?

Well, his immediate supervisor was promoted to head the EPA.

“From 1989 until 2013, Beale was employed in the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), which develops policies and regulations related to air pollution and climate change. It is the most powerful office within one of Washington’s most powerful agencies . . . . And for much of his time Beale was senior policy adviser. . . . [H]is specific duties included assisting the head of OAR ‘in planning, policy implementation, direction, and control of EPA programs.’
From 2009 until 2013, the head of OAR was Gina McCarthy, who is currently the EPA Administrator. So not only was Beale within view of senior managers as he pulled off his astounding fraud, he was directly managed by the woman who now runs the place. [emphasis added]
At 10:44 a.m. EST on December 3, 2010, Ms. McCarthy wrote to her staff at OAR and reported: ‘I am pleased to let you know that John Beale will be resuming his role as the Immediate Office’s lead for all of OAR’s international work.’ She added: ‘Most of you know John well as he has been a very large presence in much of OAR’s work for over 20 years. In addition to lead roles in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the early implementation of the Act, the development and negotiation of the National Low Emission Vehicle Program, and the 1997 [National Ambient Air Quality Standards] review, John served as OAR’s lead for international work from 1990 thru [sic] 2005. Beginning in 1999, John managed OAR’s work on climate change as well as all other international work.’
Ms. McCarthy further gushed that ‘I am very excited to finally get the opportunity to work closely with him. In addition to the international work John will continue to work on various special projects for me.’
There’s more. In an odd conclusion to that December 2010 staff bulletin, Ms. McCarthy wrote that Beale ‘is supposed to be sitting in 5426B of Ariel Rios North, but good luck finding him. We are keeping him well hidden so he won’t get scooped away from OAR anytime soon.’”

Please note the “I am very excited to finally get the opportunity to work closely with him” — even though he had already been Ms. McCarthy’s “senior policy adviser” for at least a year.

The EPA seems to be attempting a whitewash of its chief administrator: “EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson . . . said the fraud was uncovered by new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy during her time as the head of the agency’s Office of Air and Radiation”. That hardly jibes with McCarthy becoming head of OAR in 2009, praising Beale profusely at the end of 2010, and questioning his lies only two years later: “EPA officials didn’t question Beale’s claim to be a CIA employee until November 2012”.

Bad enough that the EPA seems unable to recognize the faulty science in allegedly human-caused global warming. Its chief administrator seems not to know what goes on even with her own chief advisors.

What does it take for a highly placed administrator or bureaucrat or corporate functionary to be fired?

Posted in fraud in science, global warming, legal considerations, politics and science | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »