What Went Wrong With Science?

I read today somewhere about Dr. Wolfgang Thüne, a retired German meteorologist, and what he had to say about climate science:

“The climate science by Schellnhuber & Co. is pure voodoo-magic spreading fear among the public and reaching big time into the pockets of taxpayers.

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is senselessly wasting the money of taxpayers. ‘Climate protection’ is a scientific swindle because the weather is not something that can be protected.”

He sounded just like Romano Grieshaber, retired also. In similar vein, James Lovelock:

2) Lovelock blasted greens for treating global warming like a religion.

“It just so happens that the green religion is now taking over from the Christian religion,” Lovelock observed. “I don’t think people have noticed that, but it’s got all the sort of terms that religions use … The greens use guilt. That just shows how religious greens are. You can’t win people round by saying they are guilty for putting (carbon dioxide) in the air.”

(3) Lovelock mocks the idea modern economies can be powered by wind turbines.

As he puts it, “so-called ‘sustainable development’ … is meaningless drivel … We rushed into renewable energy without any thought. The schemes are largely hopelessly inefficient and unpleasant. I personally can’t stand windmills at any price.”

(4) Finally, about claims “the science is settled” on global warming: “One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”

And Chris Snowdon:

All ancient history, but there is one new piece of sophistry added into the mix. The article concedes that “there is no evidence as yet that smokers have given up smoking in huge numbers because of the legislation”, but…

While overall levels of smoking among adults in Great Britain remained constant at 21% between 2007 and 2009, the north east of England saw a different trend.

There, the smokefree ban proved to be a trigger for some adults to quit with the largest drop in smoking in England – from 29% in 2005 to 27% in 2007 and down to 21% by 2011.

What’s this – the ‘Newcastle miracle’? By what magical process was the smoking ban a “trigger” to quit in that region of the country, but not elsewhere?

It was the choice of language that I noticed. “Voodoo magic”, “swindle”, “religion”, “meaningless drivel”, “sophistry”, “miracle”, “magical process”. There’s a profound loss of faith/belief in science taking place. What went wrong with science?

I was thinking today about my few years of university research in the late 1970s. I spent most of the time building a vast piece of electronic equipment to study heat flow in buildings. It was like building an enormous telescope, and adding lenses and eyepieces and an electric-powered equatorial mount and rotating dome over the top. But it hardly ever got used to actually study anything. After the telescope had been built, it was only actually used a couple of times to look at Mars. I had simply supposed that, when the research funds ran out, some more would materialise out of somewhere. But it never did. And it was perhaps the end of an era of easy money.

Since that time, researchers have had to keep half an eye (or maybe both eyes) out for the next research grant, and work hard to make sure they get it. You have to publish lots of papers, and you have to come up with results of sufficient importance to warrant further research, perhaps even further urgent research.

And maybe that’s where all the Impending Doom has come from, these last 30 years. If you were working in the backwater of climate science, you had to find some way to make it urgent and sexy. So first the dire threat of global cooling, and then the even more dire threat of global warming. And, bingo, the research funds started pouring in.

Same with Tobacco Control. That was a bit of a backwater as well until they invented the deadly menace of secondhand smoke, and the coffers started opening, and the Tobacco Control Industry took off.

Perhaps the same could have been done with the humble study of heat flow in buildings. Perhaps it could have been spiced up a bit, and made into something urgently needing funding, as a matter of life and death. And it might not have been too hard. Because keeping people warm actually is a matter of life and death. Too hot and their physiology can’t cope, too cold and it can’t cope either. Thermal comfort is a narrow ribbon of road with a forest fire on one side, and an arctic refrigerator on the other. Maybe all it needed was a slightly more dramatic presentation of the dangers – the threats – of underheating and overheating,  and the need to stay on that narrow road between the two. Estimates of the numbers of casualties from a cold snap or a heat wave might have helped.

And I would have become Dr Frank Davis… No, make that Dr Frank Doom. Or, better still, Professor Frank Doom, with my urgent warnings about the extreme dangers posed by temperatures below 23°C and above 27°C. Perhaps I’d launch my own line of air-conditioned clothes that kept you exactly at 25°C whatever you were doing, and it was certain death if you ever took them off. And everyone would go round with thermometers, and wouldn’t go outside if it was too cold, or too hot, or too wet, or too windy. And the research funds would have poured in.

But if I had done something like that, I would no longer have been doing research. I’d be spending my whole time thinking up new ways of scaring people enough to open their wallets. I’d be running a theatrical business.

And maybe that’s all that ever happens in science now. You can’t just do research, and try and understand how things work. You have to be an entrepreneur and a showman and a psychologist. And so you never actually do any research, and you never find anything out, because you’re too worried about where the next tranche of research money is going to come from. You publish lots of stuff, of course, complete with graphs and tables and equations – but increasingly it’s devoid of any real content.

The rot maybe set in when being a ‘scientist’ or a ‘researcher’ became a profession, a means of gainful employment. And that really only started in 1950.

Nobody paid Isaac Newton to invent calculus, and study gravitation and planetary motion and optics. He wasn’t a professional scientist. He was just interested in those things, and he thought about them a lot. And as tenured professor at Trinity college, Cambridge, he had enough time and money to pursue those interests, sometimes forgetting to eat because he was so immersed in it all. Can you imagine Stanton Glantz going without lunch? Me neither.

I think real scientists are people who are just fascinated by the world they find themselves in, and try to understand it. Sometimes – like Newton – they manage to understand it a bit. But if they do, then nobody else has the first clue what they’re on about. It must have been very difficult for Newton to explain his calculus, or his laws of motion, to people who were instantly bored witless. It took the encouragement of friends to get him to write Principia Mathematica.

Now all we have are showmen and scaremongers. And we’d be better off without them.

If it was down to me, I think I’d close the universities down. But I’d keep an eye out for people with interestingly unfathomable ideas. I’d return science to its origins in ordinary people who are full of questions about everything, and who try to answer a few of those questions in their spare time. I’d maybe give them a little money to give them more time. And a few candles and pencils and sheets of paper. And maybe some tobacco. But nothing more.

About Frank Davis

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34 Responses to What Went Wrong With Science?

  1. magnetic01 says:

    From previous thread:
    I have experienced personal humiliation where anti-smokers will parade around the main area of an office shouting out that “yuuuhh, I smell something like a cigarette”

    Tom, let me introduce you to Chuck Crawford, president of Kimball Physics, New Hampshire, USA, and “smoke residuals” – the beginnings of thirdhand piffle.

    From the Kimball Physics website:
    Second: No tobacco use is allowed anywhere outside on Kimball Physics grounds (including entry areas, parking lots, picnic areas, grassed areas, fields, and hundreds of acres of woods). No tobacco use is allowed inside any motor vehicle, irrespective of ownership, while located on Kimball Physics grounds.
    Third: No tobacco-residuals emitting person, article of clothing, or other object is allowed inside any Kimball Physics building. This restriction also applies to anyone or anything emitting characteristic tobacco odors. Anyone who has used a tobacco product within the previous two hours is automatically to be turned away, unless measures have been taken such that residuals-sensitive persons are not exposed. The determining factor, regarding allowable residuals levels and/or exposure durations, is whether anyone is either significantly bothered, or even worse, made ill.
    …. Conversely (as is widely accepted), if an individual enters an area formerly occupied by a smoker, a contaminated automobile for example, the same effects occur. This sensitivity, of course, explains the need for non-smoking hotel rooms, non-smoking rental cars, tobacco-free taxis, and the like. A surprisingly large fraction of the population is sensitive to tobacco residuals.
    ….. Minor (and not so minor) illnesses which are caused by tobacco residuals include: headaches, stinging eyes, burning or constricting throats, chest congestion, hoarseness, coughing, nose bleeds, sinus problems, stomach pains, ear aches, asthma attacks, etc.


    The policy was instituted in 1993

  2. magnetic01 says:

    Some background:

    Imagine you walk into the reception area of a building .
    The receptionist stands up and begins to sniff you up and down . Where are you?
    A lunatic asylum? A vetrinary clinic? Dreaming? Some combination of the above?
    Actually you might be at Kimball Physics, an electronics manufacturer in Wilton, New Hampshire, where smokers are so un-welcome they are sniffed out at the gate .
    Receptionist Jennifer Walsh of Kimball is charged with applying the sniff test on all employees and visitors to the company . If she catches even a whiff of tobacco smoke on your breath, hair or clothing, she will deny you entrance to the company’s offices .
    Company president Chuck Crawford defended the policy to the Associated Press, insisting that “people can be made ill by amounts of tobacco residues that are below the level of sensitivity the nose can detect .”

    First, he [Chuck Crawford] was saying that the effects of second hand smoke are present even if no one is smoking . He said his allergy is so bad that a person who had a cigarette six hours previous still exhales smoke that effects him . The smell from the smokers’ clothing also is an impediment .

    Many companies that have adjusted their no-smoker policies have done so only grudgingly. Chuck Crawford, president of Kimball Physics Inc., a Wilton, N.H., electronic-optics company, defiantly tightened his company’s antismoking rules when the state made smoking a civil right in 199L He believes the state’s law contradicts federal health regulations and should be thrown out. Mr. Crawford says he opposes corporate intrusion into employees’ lives. But he worries that residue from smokers’ clothes and from their breath could contaminate rooms at the company that must be kept clean for the manufacturing of electronic optics. In addition, some employees are allergic to smoke. “We can smell a smoker, typically, at a distance of a couple of feet,” Mr. Crawford says. “In point of fact, they stink.”
    Kimball Physics no longer asks potential employees whether they smoke. But it has started telling them that they can’t smoke on company grounds, even in the parking lot inside their own car. The smell of smoke would linger on the workers* clothes, Mr. Crawford explains.
    Employees who are exposed to smoke at home must wash up in company showers and put on clean clothes when they arrive at work.
    Mr. Crawford, who once paid an employee $3,000 to stop smoking, says he doesn’t know of any current workers who smoke. I would spend every cent this company has to attack that industry if I thought it would do any good,” he says. “We will fight to the death on this.”

  3. magnetic01 says:

    Dr. Chuck Crawford (Kimball Physics Vice President) :
    We would not allow a tobacco user to come into our house. My wife would have my head if I did.

    Dr. Chuck Crawford, president of Kimble physics, spoke in opposition to SB 171 noting that people are allergic to both second hand and time-delayed smoke and that allergic reactions can occur in time-delayed smoke situations and therefore a businesses decision to discriminate on the basis of smoking is justified.

    Kimball Physics, Inc., a manufacturer of scientific apparatuses based in Wilton, N.H., actually signs a contract with each of its approximately 45 non-smoking employees, guaranteeing that it will not hire tobacco users. Chuck Crawford, physicist and president of the firm, says the policy is designed primarily to protect workers’ health, and has attracted job applicants who are allergic to tobacco smoke.

    Kimball Physics, a maker of electron and ion optics, forbids smoking on company grounds, and no one is allowed inside the building who smells of smoke.
    “If someone has a wool suit and walks through a bar, they don’t
    wear that suit into the office,” says Chuck Crawford, president of the
    Wilton, N,H-based firm. “It’s a very strong policy and a selling point for the company.”

  4. magnetic01 says:

    And what does Crawford get for his deranged efforts? An award, of course!

    Chuck Crawford (Kimball Physics), 2007 American Lung Association/C. Everett Koop “Unsung Hero” Award Recipient

    Dr. Crawford is tireless in his efforts to make tobacco control everyone’s goal. He shares the policy’s successes and merits with partners and vendors in hopes of encouraging more businesses to follow in Kimball Physics’ footsteps.

    The mentally dysfunctional now receive awards for torturing society with their dysfunction masqueraded as “health promotion”. Courtesy of C. Everett Kook, a rabid antismoker, and the dismembered-body-organ group, a Rockefeller concoction, the ALA.


    Chuck Crawford, a member of the Board of Trustees, Action on Smoking and Health.


  5. magnetic01 says:

    Crawford is very much one of the antismoking cult. He seems to have had considerable discussions over the years with none other than Jimbo Rapacious, both of whom have a “physics” background and suffering considerable mental dysfunction. And their physics training tells them nothing of their considerable mental dysfunction. So, they enact it.

    Kimball Physics has become an enclave of neurotic bigots conducting themselves as a supremacist group. But the all encompassing ban serves another purpose. In New Hampshire, the prevailing law protects those who smoke from employment discrimination. The comprehensive smoking ban allows Crawford to claim that he is not discriminating against smokers in employment…… he says he is quite prepared to employ them. But, given the draconian, baseless smoking ban and the general attitude towards those who smoke, it is highly unlikely that smokers will apply for positions. Mission accomplished.

  6. magnetic01 says:

    It should also be noted that “allergy” to tobacco smoke is an inflammatory myth; there are no allergens (proteins) in tobacco smoke to be “allergic” to.

    Regarding smokers’ breath:
    “in 2007, a group of researchers showed that the mean time it took for a smoker to stop exhaling residual tobacco smoke particles after finishing a cigarette was 58.6 seconds, corresponding to about nine subsequent breathings.”

    Giovanni Invernizzi et al., Residual Tobacco Smoke Measurement of its Washout Time in the Lung and of its Contribution to Environmental Tobacco Smoke, 16 TOBACCO CONTROL 29, 31 (2007)

    And there is no evidence of these smoke “residues” constituting a health hazard to others. Crawford’s claims, going back to 1993, that smoke residues “cause” particular health issues is a venture into insanity.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Professor Davis I have a grant assignment that entails a study of chemical exhaltations in a indoor space from non-smokers. We believe these excess non-smokers exhalations are detrimental to smokers and the indoor environment and may even add to GLOBAL WARMING in co emissions. Should this study find which it will since we have already determined it will cause what we claim, it will lead to heavy taxation upon non-smokers for their earthly air. We are assured by researchers seeking this mult-billion dollar grant that they can assure us our outcomes with LC relative risks to all living creatures at around 9.0 at a 95 ci! Should you feel you can provide the same great service that ASH researchers have done for SHS,we feel your future Billionaire status is guaranteed.

  8. churchmouse says:

    Great thoughts, Frank. This notion of ‘We’ll give you a grant provided you produce the results we want’ is unscientific and has to go. Yet another sign of a corrupt society.

    In other news, here’s a good post on plain packaging to read and respond to:

  9. waltc says:

    What happened to Science? From Einsenhower’s farewell address, 1961 (same one warning of military industrial complex).

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present—and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    See also these fine articles on that subject:

    G. Avery, “Scientific Misconduct: The Manipulation of Evidence for Political Advocacy in Health Care and Climate Policy,” Cato Briefing Papers No. 117, Cato Institute, February 8, 2010. http://www.cato.org/pubs/bp/bp117.pdf.

    T. Kealey, “End Government Science Funding,” Cato Institute, April 11, 1997.

    Click to access 03-16-12_arnett_carb_diesel_print.pdf

    On yesterday’s blog:– As a friend and colleague of Audrey’s, I assure you she won’t be spending your pounds on beer and smokes. And BTW, she grows her own.

  10. mikef317 says:

    Dwight D. Eisenhower, farewell address, 1961, section IV (AFTER discussing the “military–industrial complex”):

    Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.


    Many will know Michael Crichton’s scientific writings. For those who don’t, from 2003, on global warming and many other problems with “science.” I’d call it a “must read.” For example, on the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s report on secondhand smoke:

    This was openly fraudulent science, but it formed the basis for bans on smoking in restaurants, offices, and airports. California banned public smoking in 1995. Soon, no claim was too extreme. By 1998, the Christian Science Monitor was saying that “Second-hand smoke is the nation’s third-leading preventable cause of death.” The American Cancer Society announced that 53,000 people died each year of second-hand smoke. The evidence for this claim is nonexistent.
    Again, note how the claim of consensus trumps science. In this case, it isn’t even a consensus of scientists that Browner evokes! [About the dangers of secondhand smoke.] It’s the consensus of the American people.
    The fact is that the present structure of science is entrepreneurial, with individual investigative teams vying for funding from organizations that all too often have a clear stake in the outcome of the research-or appear to, which may be just as bad. This is not healthy for science.


  11. Rose says:

    I’d return science to its origins in ordinary people who are full of questions about everything, and who try to answer a few of those questions in their spare time.

    And for a happy amateur with very few preconceptions, you have to look at everything and give it equal weight until something more logical, practical or obvious contradicts it. There’s no use hammering away at something that simply doesn’t fit in the jigsaw until it eventually does, you are just lying to yourself.
    And avenues of research sometimes have to be abandoned, however much you may not like it. The quest is for truth.

    I have to admit that I have been enjoying myself enormously and my exile from polite society has given me the opportunity to finally do the research I should have done years ago, when logic and my rudimentary knowledge caused me to disagree.
    But I did think then, that I’d be left in peace.

    However, on a different note, this persistantly foul weather with it’s low temperatures, heavy rains and almost constant overcast has thrown up an anomaly in my tobacco patch.

    As you know I have been growing the unnamed Virginian (that’s all it said on the packet) since 2005 and it has presumably adjusted to the climate by now. But among the ranks of virtually identical plants, I have been watching something different growing.
    The others have the bright green leaves and yellowing lower leaves that you would expect and you can tell that they are just plodding on as best they can despite the weather.

    But this plant is different, it seems to be relishing the conditions, it has big dark green leaves and a cream stem as thick as a broomstick allthough it’s only half grown.
    The row is beside the garage so it only comes into full sunlight after 1.30, but this one doesn’t seem to care, it’s the biggest in the whole garden and two feet taller than the rest.

    If we really are moving into a cooler period, fingers crossed, I know which plant’s seeds I will be using, all being well.
    I’m still very cautious though, it’s early days and this plant’s genetic advantage may not carry through in it’s seed.

    I’m now looking round the rest of the garden to see what has coped well with the adverse conditions, useful knowledge if it happens again.

    Isn’t science fun!
    (especially when you are on a tight schedule)

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    We’re all terrorists now via DHS funded study:

    Homeland Security Report Lists ‘Liberty Lovers’ As Terrorists

    Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty” deemed domestic threat

    Paul Joseph Watson
    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    A new study funded by the Department of Homeland Security characterizes Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists

    Entitled Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970-2008 (PDF), the study was produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland. The organization was launched with the aid of DHS funding to the tune of $12 million dollars.

    While largely omitting Islamic terrorism – the report fails completely to mention the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – the study focuses on Americans who hold beliefs shared by the vast majority of conservatives and libertarians and puts them in the context of radical extremism.

    The report takes its definitions from a 2011 study entitled Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism, produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, in which the following characteristics are used to identify terrorists.

    – Americans who believe their “way of life” is under attack;

    – Americans who are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”;

    – People who consider themselves “anti-global” (presumably those who are wary of the loss of American sovereignty);

    – Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”;

    – Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty”;

    – People who “believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.”

  13. Rose says:

    One for Brigitte

    Today’s news.

    Smoking Increases The Risk Of Ectopic Pregnancy

    “Cigarette smoke reduces the production of a Fallopian tube gene known as “BAD”, which helps explain the link between smoking and ectopic pregnancy”

    “For the purpose of this study, Dr Horne’s group first exposed cells from the Fallopian tube to a breakdown product of nicotine called cotinine. They then showed that cotinine had a negative effect on genes known to be associated with cell death (or apoptosis), and in particular with a gene called BAD. In a further study the researchers showed that BAD expression was reduced in the Fallopian tube of women who were smokers.”

    I wonder what the result would have been if they had “first exposed cells from the Fallopian tube” to ginger beer or a cheese and tomato sandwich as a control?

    Society for Risk Analysis 1995
    Dietary Contributions to Nicotine Body Burden
    “Recent USDA food intake surveys are used to perform a probabilistic analysis of dietary intake of nicotine. Using limited data on nicotine content of foodstuffs (tea, tomato, potato, green pepper, and eggplant) and the 198991 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSDII), the absorbed dose of nicotine is shown to be significant compared to present day environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) nicotine exposures.”

    “The dietary contributions of absorbed nicotine dose are significant when compared to present ETS exposures. A recent study of workplace ETS exposure results in mean and median absorbed nicotine doses of 11 and 3 mg/d, respectively. Thus, ETS exposure analysis based on total nicotine absorption needs to consider dietary intake. This includes the use of cotinine (a major metabolite of nicotine) which has been a widely used biomarker”

    Are they now going to run the breakdown products of the glycoalkaloids in all our popular foods across “exposed cells from the Fallopian tube”
    I suppose it might be mildly interesting but pointless.


    “The Committee considered that, despite the long history of human consumption of plants containing glycoalkaloids, the available epidemiological and experimental data from human and laboratory animal studies did not permit the determination of a safe level of intake.
    The Committee recognized that the development of empirical data to support such a level would require considerable effort.”
    http: //www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v30je19.htm

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      I saw that one yesterday absolutely some of the worse JUNK SCIENCE ever created Rose.

      But hey,the more insane the claims the more they lose public faith! Thats folks who are then on our side!

      • Rose says:

        Oh I don’t know Harley, it might turn into a bit of a general hobby, after all, we just don’t know what happens when say, brain cells, are exposed to marmite or golden syrup or a host of other commonly encountered things like worcester sauce or peaches, don’t you want to find out?.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Rose, this one
      is priceless…….. BullSh**, that is)
      The results of this study, said Dr Horne, suggest that the reduced production of the BAD gene in the Fallopian tube leads to an environment like that of the uterus, which encourages and allows ectopic pregnancy to occur.
      Huhhh? The only BAD thing here is the waste of money for yet another piece of junk science research.

      “So our research,” he added, “may in future help scientists find ways to prevent ectopic pregnancy, diagnosis it better, and treat it earlier.”
      More scaremongering in process then? I really do not believe this piece of money-waste contributes to the prevention of ectopic pregnancies, the only thing it prevents is the funding for genuine science.

      “The information gained from this study can also be applied to other conditions caused by smoking, and could help us prevent or treat them better in the long term.” Ah, here we go. Note the absence of the suggestion for “further research” …….

      Incidentally, I do know 2 cases of ectopic pregnancies, both non-smokers and very health conscious people….

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    Smoke ban ‘cruel’ for mental patients Noel Towell
    July 5, 2012.

    ACT health authorities will impose ”cruel and unusual” punishment on its mental health patients when smoking is banned next year in treatment centres, according to advocates in the sector.

    Community sector mental health organisations say the plan allege the Health Directorate had gone to extraordinary lengths to overcome resistance.

    The Canberra Times revealed last month health authorities were pushing ahead with their plan to enforce a total smoking ban at all ACT Health campuses, including mental health treatment centres, despite concerns from the Official Visitor and the Health Services Commissioner.

    Mental Health Consumers Network executive officer Dalane Drexler described the policy yesterday as ”dangerous and scary” and said it amounted to ”cruel and unusual punishment” for people facing long-term confinement for mental health treatment.

    ”We absolutely support consumers who want to quit smoking, we absolutely support the directorate for putting in programs to support consumers to quit by choice when they are well but we are opposed to an outright ban that will hurt people when they are at their most vulnerable when they enter treatment,” Ms Drexler said.

    The mental health advocate said she believed health staff were also concerned about the consequences of an outright ban.

    ”The staff have come forward and they have concerns that people will get quite upset when they can’t have a cigarette,” she said.

    Ms Drexler said she and other community groups were unhappy with the outcome of working groups to discuss the issue in the lead-up to the opening to the new Adult Mental Health unit at the Canberra Hospital, which was initially scheduled as a non-smoking facility.

    ”They were trying to get consensus around the table for making the AMH unit a smoke-free unit but they couldn’t get consensus either from us or from two other community organisations either,” she said.

    Ms Drexler said the ACT Health employees outnumbered sector representatives by three-to-one and used their numbers to overcome dissent.

    Health Minister Katy Gallagher was taking a more conciliatory approach yesterday, saying there remained much work to be done on smoking in mental hospitals.

    ”In the move toward the new mental health unit, it was decided that we would set a date to go to a non-smoking environment and work with all the stakeholders and then work to see how that could be done in practice,” she said.

    ”There’s an issue that we’ve been dealing with in all tobacco control measures which is how to protect people who don’t want to smoke while allowing people to smoke and we have banned it all in other workplaces except other settings where people are held against their will. But the fact is, these are workplaces.”

    Ms Gallagher, who believes that health-care staff are supportive of a ban, said she had ordered more research on the problem but that she was ”not walking away” from the January 1 implementation date.

    ”It’s complicated, I’ve got to look after the needs of staff but I’m mindful of the people who are in there and their need to smoke, particularly when you have high levels of smoking,” the Chief Minister said.

    Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/smoke-ban-cruel-for-mental-patients-20120704-21htu.html#ixzz1zf4Qz1Fi

  15. cherie79 says:

    The ‘drop’ on the NE is not hard to explain, everyone I know from there buys from white van man, don’t know of anyone who has actually stopped. How do they measure it anyway? I buy all tobacco products abroad so do I bring the numbers down?

  16. Junican says:


    “The Committee considered that, despite the long history of human consumption of plants containing glycoalkaloids, the available epidemiological and experimental data from human and laboratory animal studies did not permit the determination of a safe level of intake.
    The Committee recognized that the development of empirical data to support such a level would require considerable effort.”

    What the above actually means, despite the peculiar verbiage. is that the level of danger from SHS is so low that it cannot be measured.So, the statement “There is no safe level” totally contradicts the actual meaning of the statement. What should be said is, “There is no known dangerous level”

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      I cant remember who wrote this but its good:

      Just remember that the food sold in these venues also contains trace amounts of these 4700 chemicals, 200 poisons and 50 carcinogens. Food, like tobacco, is a biological material. Food, like tobacco, is comprised of the same amino acids, proteins, and carbohydrates. Food, like tobacco when heated produces the same byproducts, which are the same so-called trace amounts of substances which antismoking activists use to justify the elimination of tobacco smoke. The bottom line??? –anyone who eats in a restaurant, (or at home for that matter), is still exposed, and therefore still absorbing the same stuff, even after bans are in force.

      Eugenics and the Nazis — the California connection
      Edwin Black

      San Francisco Chronicle November 9, 2003 04:00 AM

      Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2003%2F11%2F09%2FING9C2QSKB1.DTL&ao=2#ixzz1sUHSAA00

    • Rose says:

      Just to point out that that evaluation is for the glycoalkaloid in a potato.

  17. beobrigitte says:

    A very interesting essay, Frank.

    Dr. Thüne, like Prof. Grieshaber, spoke out once retired. Presumably Dr. Thüne encountered as much opposition as did Prof. Grieshaber.

    “The climate science by Schellnhuber & Co. is pure voodoo-magic spreading fear among the public and reaching big time into the pockets of taxpayers.

    The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is senselessly wasting the money of taxpayers. ‘Climate protection’ is a scientific swindle because the weather is not something that can be protected.”

    I have always maintained that with me the jury on the subject of climate is still out. Nevertheless, since the anti-smokers are constantly droning on about “saving lives” I begin to think that our ever growing number (About 8 billion by now) isn’t much of a problem and can’t affect our environment, let alone the climate sufficiently to warrant “climate protection”.

    In Germany the “Green Party” is pushing for more smoking bans and more “renewable energy”.

    This brings me to the subject of the somewhat suspect “Wind farms”. One of these was put up close to one of my friend’s house with the result that my friend (a very much “environment conscious” person) complains about the noise these things make, as well as her cat getting fat. Her cat has found a larder of dead birds (some I believe are classed as endangered species) by the wind mills.

    So, we have smoking bans to “save lives” and an “already dangerously overpopulated” planet. Folks, get the ash trays out, it seems the planet needs us. Oh, damned!!!! – smoking kills us only when we’re old. (Nothing to do with old age then?)

    Isn’t it great, when one BS-brigade contradicts another?

  18. Marvin says:

    What went wrong with Science?
    It turned into big business, that’s what.

    They’ve spent billions looking for an imaginary “particle”.
    Note, it is “theoretical” physics, ie no guarantee of anything useful after the vast amounts of money spent.

    Still, it’s highly profitable for the firms involved and of course the “researchers”.

    But the amateurs are still alive and kicking…
    Here’s a self taught young lady who makes transistors in her kitchen!!!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      She created whats called FET’S field effect transitors,they have no gate connection just a field that gets transmitted from one side to the other.via ground potential and voltage potentials.

      Its a simple on/off switch via 6 volts to shut it off on the LED lite which requires 5 volts to turn on and operate.

      All she had to do was lay out a non-conductive material and dope it with silicon or germanium material to create a field for conduction to occur along with a voltage divider network to bias the source to drain connections……..Its a nice junior electronics project……….

      The FET in this instance is basically a normally closed relay when powered and the 6 volts biases/switches the source off!

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        The big thing with any electronic device is that it must be able to operate within extreme environments,not space grade but freeze and heat. Ive had many a power supply that failed because it didnt meet milspec standards for extreme conditions! Electronic counter measures Radar guy here.

        • Marvin says:

          Hi Harley…
          Of course it’s a switch, isn’t everything in this digital age.
          But you’re wrong about the gate having no connection, she has a resistor attatched to it, so it doesn’t “float” (half on half off).
          Someone in the comments poo-pood it as well, saying “it’s only a NOT gate”.
          But what does a not gate consist of ?, yep a TRANSISTOR to do the inversion, doh

          “Electronic counter measures Radar guy here”, ah, that sounds familiar, do you do what they did in WW2 and drop half wavelength strips of silver paper?
          The silver paper in fag packets always comes in useful ;)

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          actually we called a not gate an inverter,used as a line driver for leds or other components that needed a bit of a push to the next gate besides inverting the signal. Now a nand gate is a switch as is just about any logic gate. Nanding together signals in and out could be a nitemare while troubleshooting. Loop circuits with feedbacks sent many a tech into technicians loop! I included.

          Boy now this is starting to pick my brain a bit!

        • beobrigitte says:

          The silver paper in fag packets always comes in useful ;)

          We used them to “fix” fuses in our “VW-bus” – worked a treat!

  19. harleyrider1978 says:

    yepper chaff!

    The resistors a current limiting resistor for the LED! Otherwise itd burn super bright.

    Excuse I was thinking of a mosfet they have no gate connection to the drain or source. n-fets do.

    Been outta the trade awhile………..

  20. Pingback: No Time To Think | Frank Davis

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