FOR two generations, Americans ate fewer eggs and other animal products because policy makers told them that fat and cholesterol were bad for their health. Now both dogmas have been debunked in quick succession.
First, last fall, experts on the committee that develops the country’s dietary guidelines acknowledged that they had ditched the low-fat diet. On Thursday, that committee’s report was released, with an even bigger change: It lifted the longstanding caps on dietary cholesterol, saying there was “no appreciable relationship” between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. Americans, it seems, had needlessly been avoiding egg yolks, liver and shellfish for decades. The new guidelines, the first to be issued in five years, will influence everything from school lunches to doctors’ dieting advice.
How did experts get it so wrong? Certainly, the food industry has muddied the waters through its lobbying. But the primary problem is that nutrition policy has long relied on a very weak kind of science: epidemiological, or “observational,” studies in which researchers follow large groups of people over many years. But even the most rigorous epidemiological studies suffer from a fundamental limitation. At best they can show only association, not causation. Epidemiological data can be used to suggest hypotheses but not to prove them.
Instead of accepting that this evidence was inadequate to give sound advice, strong-willed scientists overstated the significance of their studies.
Much of the epidemiological data underpinning the government’s dietary advice comes from studies run by Harvard’s school of public health. In 2011, directors of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences analyzed many of Harvard’s most important findings and found that they could not be reproduced in clinical trials.
It’s no surprise that longstanding nutritional guidelines are now being challenged.
The main subject of this piece is the problem of climate change. This is a contentious subject, involving politics and economics as well as science. The science is inextricably mixed up with politics. Everyone agrees that the climate is changing, but there are violently diverging opinions about the causes of change, about the consequences of change, and about possible remedies. I am promoting a heretical opinion, the first of three heresies that I will discuss in this piece.
My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.
There is no doubt that parts of the world are getting warmer, but the warming is not global. I am not saying that the warming does not cause problems. Obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it better. I am saying that the problems are grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are more urgent and more important, such as poverty and infectious disease and public education and public health, and the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans, not to mention easy problems such as the timely construction of adequate dikes around the city of New Orleans.
In short: There is no such thing as ‘healthy’ food….
Food combinations have been associated with lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. We hypothesized that a combination whole-food diet containing freeze-dried fish, vegetables, and fruits would improve cognitive function in TgCRND8 mice by modulating brain insulin signaling and neuroinflammation. Cognitive function was assessed by a comprehensive battery of tasks adapted to the Morris water maze. Unexpectedly, a “Diet × Transgene” interaction was observed in which transgenic animals fed the whole-food diet exhibited even worse cognitive function than their transgenic counterparts fed the control diet on tests of spatial memory (p < 0.01) and strategic rule learning (p = 0.034). These behavioral deficits coincided with higher hippocampal gene expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (p = 0.013). There were no differences in cortical amyloid-β peptide species according to diet. These results indicate that a dietary profile identified from epidemiologic studies exacerbated cognitive dysfunction and neuroinflammation in a mouse model of familial Alzheimer’s disease. We suggest that normally adaptive cellular responses to dietary phytochemicals were impaired by amyloid-beta deposition leading to increased oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and behavioral deficits.
“Scientific” American touts the EU’s new cap and trade plan which will save 0.00009°C in temperature rise in 2020. From “Scientific” American, Europe Lays Out Vision for Climate Change
The plan is supposed to save 61 million tons of CO2 in 2020. At a cost (tax) of $15,000,000,000 thats ~$16,394,000,000,000/°C. Passed through from Climate Central without any checks. Rather unscientific.
The factor used was 1 tonne of co2 equals 0.0000000000015 °C of global warming
oh the horror of it all. Germany building (brown)coalplants faster than China, UK & France going straight for nuclear, America frakking, EU ok with frakking…. A Green’s life is becoming a real nightmare
Originally posted on pindanpost:
Frakking away, the Green’s dismay. They will still find fault, probably the colour of the oil or something, just because. Bishop Hill:
I think it was Bryony Worthington who once asked a bunch of environmentalists what they would happen if a fairy could wave a magic wand and do away with the warming effects of carbon dioxide. Would they be happy for mankind to continue to burn fossil fuels?
The answer of course was “no”.
Interesting then to read the news that Roman Abramovich has made a major investment in a company that claims to be able to fracture rocks without any fluids at all.
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has invested $15 million in Houston-based Propell Technologies Group, Inc. (OTC:PROP) and its new fracking technology from wholly owned subsidiary Novas Energy. Significantly, this new enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology enables…
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94 Tw nuclear to replace…. The sheer mindboggling stupidity of destruction of capital from the nukes, the investment in backup coal/gas powered plants and the 15 yr cycle reinvestment of ‘renewables’. DoomedToFail.
Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:
By Paul Homewood
News from Germany:
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Originally posted on Musings from the Chiefio:
No proof, but interesting evidence of a variety of changes in the weather on a few planets that looks like it is arriving more or less in sync with changes on Earth. Somehow I don’t think using your cars is causing it…
First off, the weakest change. A Dust Storm on Mars. Yeah, big deal. Mars and dust storms. The Usual comes to mind. But there are two things about this that caught my eye.
First off, it was NOT a U.S.A. or Russian report / satellite.
Mars Orbiter Sends Pictures of Dust Storm Activities on the Red Planet
India | Press Trust of India | Updated: September 29, 2014 20:27 IST
BANGALORE: India’s Mars orbiter has sent a picture of regional dust storm activities over the northern hemisphere of the Red Planet, ISRO said today.
“Regional dust storm activities over northern hemisphere of Mars – captured by Mars…
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