Covid-19 and Global Warming: Two Problems, Two Responses

Skeptics have often faced the argument, “You trust medical experts, so you should trust the climate experts”.  The science, after all, is settled.

That argument is nonsense- there is no comparison between them.

Medical researchers, in the fight against Covid-19, are using the time honoured scientific method used for decades in the search for treatments, vaccines, or cures for a host of crippling and deadly diseases- cancer, diabetes,  HIV, to name a few.

This usually involves years of careful examination of patient data and all existing information and literature, forming an hypothesis to test, designing studies, writing protocols, implementing and evaluating laboratory trials, designing and conducting animal trials, designing and conducting clinical trials, analyzing results, and then reporting findings.  It is a continuous process built on past and current evidence. 

The sought-after treatment or vaccine must pass the tests of safety and efficacy.  Doctors are enjoined: First, do no harm.  As well, the treatment must be effective.  There are many examples of trials that were stopped because they were causing higher risk of harm or were showing no benefit. 

It would be too much to expect automatic success from any of the programs under way around the world to find a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine.

The same approach is not used in climate science:-

It is assumed that the patient (the world) has an unusually high and increasing temperature, even though patient records indicate periods of higher temperature in the past.

It is assumed that this will continue and will worsen.

It is assumed that this is dangerous and must be treated.

It is assumed that we know the cause, because of an untested hypothesis that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, lead to increasing temperatures.

It is assumed that “the science is settled”, (and, even more dangerously, conflicting opinions have been actively suppressed.)

Based on these assumptions, all manner of treatments have been rushed into service, with no testing and no thought for safety or efficacy.   Unwanted and dangerous side-effects have been ignored.  Enormously expensive treatments with no proven or even possible benefit have been implemented, while other treatments (e.g. nuclear energy) are beyond consideration.

Why do I trust medical experts?

When discussing a cancer diagnosis, I trusted my specialist because he showed me the evidence, welcomed a second opinion, discussed the benefits and side-effects of different treatments (and none), gave me research papers on the safety and efficacy of the recommended treatment, and gave me time to think about it.  Nearly three years later the treatment is (so far) successful.

Thank God climate experts are not involved in the search for a Covid-19 vaccine- or cancer treatment.

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5 Responses to “Covid-19 and Global Warming: Two Problems, Two Responses”

  1. Bill In Oz Says:

    Thanks ken for declaring your opinion.
    Mostly I agree with you. There are some medical doctors who I do not trust and do not wish to see for any advice or consultation.

    But I agree completely on this Corona 19 virus and this disease Covid 19. It is a new disease with new symptoms. So medicine is behind the 8 ball and seeking cures and vaccines. And gradually cures are being found and vaccines developed.

    And this is something that we all need a cross the planet so we can all get back to our former normal lives.

    • John in Oz Says:

      Bill, it appears that you agree totally.

      As Ken said, he was given all of the available information plus the pros and cons of treatments then allowed to make up his own mind which course of action to take.

      This is as you have done, so no conflict between you and Ken.

      I have to agree totally with this article.

      Thanks for your work, Ken

  2. Phill Says:

    Ken,

    I agree that most doctors are honest and trustworthy but as far as the experts are concerned I strongly disagree. The experts on COVID 19 have all the same problems as the so called experts on climate change and also the same lack of humility.

    The same confident alarmist predictions based on extrapolations of inaccurate models. Remember the 2 million plus predicted deaths in the USA.

    The same woeful ignorance of the underlying basics. Is it really true that no one really knows how corona viruses spread?: Droplets, aerosols, by touch? Why has the virus stopped spreading as rapidly in the worst and first hit places like Italy? Have they hit herd immunity at 5% of the population? Why did only 20% of the Ruby Princess passengers fall sick? Did anyone do a full study on SARS to find out whether there was a pool of asymptomatic and/or mild cases that nobody had noticed

    Was there an underlying cross immunity from all the other common cold corona viruses? Early on I remember one group had identified 5 antibodies from their database that they reasoned could stop covid. Did anyone go out and test for the prevalence of these antibodies?

    The same woeful statistical methodology and reporting. Qld has a death to recovery rate of 0.5% in Italy and New York it is well over 20%.

    There has been a whole raft of dodgy and politically expedient reporting from the very beginning that still continues. Now we are seeing papers published and then withdrawn with intimations of both suspect methodologies and suspect motives ($).

    Cheers Phill and keep up the good work.

    • Gerard Says:

      I’m on your side. The media hype and government response have been erratic at best. Consistency; local, state, federal and global is non-existent. None of the outcomes to government actions have been consistent.
      You’ve articulated my thoughts much better than I could have done and raised points I would have never thought.

  3. kenskingdom Says:

    In referring to medical research, I was NOT referring to prevention measures or responses to the pandemic but to the research teams working on finding a vaccine. An important distinction.
    Ken

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