Monday, February 12, 2007

Nairobi, Malaria and climate change

A recent article in the International Herald Tribune by Paul Reiter attempted to throw doubt on the climate change consensus by raising the old malaria in Kenya controversy.

I wonder if the author was trying to qualify for the $10,000 offer from the AEI?

Selected quotes from the article and my responses follow.

“I am not a climatologist,...”

But then he goes on to try to make claims about climate science. Isn't it interesting that often the most adamant deniers are often people speaking outside of their area of expertise?

“...that this consensus is a mirage”

But he offers nothing to support this statement. It is incredibly dishonest. By any reasonable definition there clearly is a consensus and even most people in the denier's camp have come to admit this.

“...Al Gore's film, ... which claims that Nairobi ...”

The film is filled with much more convincing evidence that global warming is occurring. Why are critics continually pulling out this one small item from the film? Perhaps the other evidence is just to hard to find holes in?'

But it turns out that even the situation in Nairobi is not as simple as the critics would have you believe.

"...and published their findings in the journal Nature”

This article was published in February 2002. What he fails to mention is that a response was published to that article later in the same year (also in the journal Nature).

In the second article Professor Mike Hulme, a climatologist, and medical epidemiologist Dr Jonathan Patz, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland said the data used in the previous research is not precise enough to rule out a link.

He also fails to mention that in 2005 the same journal, Nature published another article that showed evidence that climate change will increase malaria rates around the world.

It seems that this author was using selective research to make his point.

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