How can IPCC be 95% certain of future when it’s been 100% wrong about the past?

The AP reports:

Top scientists from a variety of fields say they are about as certain that global warming is a real, man-made threat as they are that cigarettes kill.

They are as sure about climate change as they are about the age of the universe. They say they are more certain about climate change than they are that vitamins make you healthy or that dioxin in Superfund sites is dangerous.

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8 thoughts on “How can IPCC be 95% certain of future when it’s been 100% wrong about the past?”

  1. The real world stats are maddeningly complicated. One might presume chaotic even. Seeing that not everyone with lung cancer is a smoker, and the large majority of smokers don’t get lung cancer, the simplified stats don’t point to smoking as a cause. By contrast, every single smoker experiences a drastic reduction in stamina by all objective measures. A quick look at the lungs shows an empirical reason why. Saying smoking causes cancer, however is like saying GHGs cause the climate. My argument, as usual, isn’t with the science, but rather with the propagandist nature of the allegedly science-based reporting and policy construction. Most people really didn’t care enough about smoking in restaurants to support government limiting personal rights until the government sponsored agencies started a campaign based on alarmism complete with backwards statistics, worst case scenarios, emotional appeals, and youth education programs. Then, out of the public eye, the government used this recently created villain to win massive lawsuits, pass some of the largest tax increases in history, and help Philip Morris destroy its competition and seize control of privately owned tobacco farms, and anytime an objection is raised they say “isn’t preventing children from smoking a good thing anyway?” People that argued for individual rights were written off as addicts (the “my opponent is literally insane” defense) or “in the pocket of big tobacco” despite the fact that the biggest tobacco company was supporting the new regime because it solidified its monopoly. No one seems to have noticed that the precedent was set that the federal government has the right to tell a local privately owned business what it can allow its clientele to do.

  2. Don’t forget to adjust for age in that last statistic. Everyone dies eventually, but not everyone dies every year, so you have to multiply by the average age to get a reasonable idea of you chances of dying. Finally, you have to adjust for age of death, as dying of lung cancer at 90 is unimportant because something’s going to get you anyway, but dying at 50 of lung cancer is horrible.

    Not quite as detailed as i’d like, but here’s some of the statistics you asked for. Depending on which study you ask 15-25% of heavy smokers get lung cancer.
    http://lungcancer.about.com/od/Lung-Cancer-And-Smoking/f/Smokers-Lung-Cancer.htm

    And I’ll agree that it was the start of darkness. A slippery slope that has gotten very difficult to slow down.

  3. I’m not saying it’s healthy for you, just that it was the pilot program for all of the nanny statism to have flourished after the failures of prohibition. Simple statistical method demands that if you want to know if A leads to B, you test what percentage of A gets B, not the other way around, but it sounds so much better to say 90% of lung cancer patients smoke than it does to say 20% of smokers get cancer. It certainly doesn’t fit the normal definition of the word “cause”. When you consider what percentage of people in the right age group to be at risk for lung cancer were smokers when those studies were done it becomes even less damning. Of course anyone who cares about their health doesn’t smoke so anyone who smokes is likely someone who doesn’t care about their healthy in any number of other ways so it’s no surprise they’re less healthy. In 2007 0.05% of the population died of lung cancer. a “20 times” increase in a tiny risk is still a tiny risk.

  4. Ghost, careful now. The rate of lung cancer among current, heavy smokers is 20 times that of the non-smoking population. There is direct, known toxicology linking the numerous carcinogens in tobacco smoke with cancer.

    The problem was in secondhand smoke, which rand smack dab into the dose-makes-the-poison issue. While I doubt anyone would argue that it is good for you, the resulting effects were too weak to give any scientific certainty about it. The EPA then committed several scientific malfeances and at the end, simply moved the certainty goalposts to get secondhand smoke declared a health hazard.

  5. Great opener considering false epidemiology attacks used to wage war on smoking. Rather than reporting how many lung cancer patients were smokers, how about reporting how many smokers get lung cancer?

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