# Friday Funny – melon madness

Josh writes:

James Delingpole writes about The Linear No Threshold Hypothesis.
It is a brilliant wheeze. By working out how many deaths are caused by a big amount
of toxin you can work backwards and predict how many deaths a tiny amount would cause. Simples.

Of course this could work for anything – like Green policies. Just work out how many people will die because of fuel poverty this winter due to green policies, and work back to
how many deaths there are per Green Politician (Watermelon cf Delingpole).

So really it is always time to harvest Watermelons…

The article in the American Thinker that inspired Delingpole and Josh is here. It is well worth the read, if not for the eye opening inside view of the political slimepit the Sierra Club has become, for the “deer in the headlights” photo of top SC brass getting an inconvenient question about windmills and bird kills at a conference.

## 43 thoughts on “Friday Funny – melon madness”

1. RR Kampen says:

“secondhand tobacco smoke”

Follow couples of which
a) one smokes
b) none smoke.
Count deaths by smoke related illnesses.
Done.
Secondhand tobacco smoke kills. That is known for over half a century. Oh and there ain’t no threshold here either.

I know the great revisionist guru tells you otherwise. But it’s stupid. Better try proving Pi is a rational number mates.

2. Vince Causey says:

RR Kampen,

I suggest you have missed the point. It is not whether second hand smoke, or anything else kills, it is about extrapolation of doses, to where the dose approaches zero. Of course second hand smoke kills, but at what dose? Can you then say that one tenth of that dose kills one tenth as many people, one hundreth kills one hundreth, one millionth kills one millionth? Is that what you are saying?

3. Phillip Bratby says:

The cost of nuclear power would be much reduced if it weren’t for the application of the linear no threshold (LNT) model. Radiation hormesis studies show that low radiation doses are beneficial for health. There’s masses of evidence out there, but the radiation dose limits will never be changed because of watermelons.

4. LJ says:

RR Kampen,
It seems you misunderstand the point of the article. The point about statistics. You cannot say that a lot of secondhand smoke kills a lot of people, therefore a little kills a few people. It isn’t the case. Short-term, limited exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke is not a statistical risk indicator for cancer. That is why we physicians don’t inquire of our patients if they have been exposed to tobacco smoke EVER, but only if they have chronic, long-term exposure. It is also true that risk of most smoking-related illness drops to at or near that of the non-smoking population 1 to 3 years after smoking cessation.

None of this means a few people won’t experience “fallout” from short-term or far distant exposure to tobacco smoke, it only means that the trend is not linear and that is does not rise above statistical significance. In other words, the effects cannot be distinguished from chance alone.

5. DirkH says:

RR Kampen says:
November 11, 2011 at 7:34 am
““secondhand tobacco smoke”

Follow couples of which
a) one smokes
b) none smoke.
Count deaths by smoke related illnesses.
Done.”

In RR Kampen’s simple world, every lung cancer case is caused by smoking.

6. Interstellar Bill says:

Pseud0-science isn’t restricted to homeopathy, iridology, or astrology,
which after all are not promoted by government.

At its heart leftism is a hopelessly neurotic anti-reality project
that is intrinsically anti-science (viz ‘Social construction of reality’).
Just as lefties have front organizations
supposedly promoting ‘peace’, ‘equality’, and ‘social justice’,
(all of which, ironically, leftism utterly destroys)
so too do they infect true science as a kind of intellectual trichinosis,
co-opting institutions and, in effect, de-science-izing them.
Radiation dose-linearity is but one
of a legion of government-promoted fallacies,
such as Keynesian pseudo-economics or labor-union syndicalism.

CAGW is biggest and the latest in a long line of science-fraud pseudo-panics:
overpopulation, Silent Spring, Love Canal, acid rain, Alar, and the ozone hole
are merely the more prominent of Leftisms’ triumphs,
stepping-stones towards their End Zone of civilizational annihilation.

7. Ray says:

For correctness in the graph, since it is the Greens that cause the deaths, the x and y axises should be switched.

8. Spence says:

Kampen goes directly for the straw man and tries to change the debate. The uncomfortable alternative would have been to read, understand and concede that maybe there is a strand of truth in the article.

9. Well, there’s that woman who died from drinking too much water…

10. ferd berple says:

DirkH says:
November 11, 2011 at 8:08 am
In RR Kampen’s simple world, every lung cancer case is caused by smoking.

Lung cancer rates for non-smokers in rural areas is nil.
Non-smokers in urban areas have the same lung cancer rates as smokers in rural areas – low.
It is smokers in urban areas that get lung cancer.

Lung cancer from smoking only became an issue with increasing urbanization. So, is it the smoking or urbanization that causes lung cancer?

11. Werner Brozek says:

We know that getting too much sun and getting too many sunburns increases your chances of getting skin cancer. But that does NOT mean that getting five minutes of sun a day is just a little bad for you. It is actually good for you as it helps you get vitamin D. It does not harm you unless you have a severe condition or an “allergy” to the sun.

12. “ferd berple says:
November 11, 2011 at 8:48 am
DirkH says:
November 11, 2011 at 8:08 am
In RR Kampen’s simple world, every lung cancer case is caused by smoking.
Lung cancer rates for non-smokers in rural areas is nil.
Non-smokers in urban areas have the same lung cancer rates as smokers in rural areas – low.
It is smokers in urban areas that get lung cancer.
Lung cancer from smoking only became an issue with increasing urbanization. So, is it the smoking or urbanization that causes lung cancer?”

~~~~~~

So we have a cause to show “The Urban Cancer Island” (~ to UHI ?)
That the measure of cancer incidence increases closer to a city?

I would also note that the incidence of liberalism increases closer to a city, and liberalism has been described as a mental cancer :<))

13. Bloke down the pub says:

Hey Josh, is that meant to be linear or exponential?

14. Jim Turner says:

Popped over to Deligpole, my eye was caught by a link to an article (by some lefty poster) in New Scientist about how a few multinational companies control the world – no prizes for guessing where the NS political heart lies these days. Took a quick look at the NS web site – full of enviromental stuff about new and wonderful wind turbines, 200 foot sea level rises, etc etc etc. But the thing that really irked me was the extract from the editorial piece of the current print issue:

“WOULD you jump off a skyscraper? What if someone told you that physicists still don’t fully understand gravity: would you risk it then?
We still have a lot to learn about gravity, but that doesn’t make jumping off a skyscraper a good idea. Similarly, we still have a lot to learn about the climate but that doesn’t make pumping ever more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere a good idea.”

They really do seem to believe that their readership has given up on critical thinking about this issue, and will just accept any rubbish. I don’t think I have ever seen a more feeble and obviously false analogy presented to supposedly educated people. Jumping off a skyscraper would serve what purpose exactly? Pumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere on the other hand is, for good or bad, the foundation of modern technological civilization. Sorry, I should have posted this at NS, but I would have to register and I really don’t want to.

15. phlogiston says:

RR Kampen says:
November 11, 2011 at 7:34 am

“secondhand tobacco smoke”

Follow couples of which
a) one smokes
b) none smoke.
Count deaths by smoke related illnesses.
Done.
Secondhand tobacco smoke kills. That is known for over half a century. Oh and there ain’t no threshold here either.

What you describe sounds like a good example of how not to do epidemiology. Was this study controlled for socio-economic status for instance?

16. Bob Diaz says:

I don’t want to ignore the humor in Josh’s drawing, thanks Josh, but there are Green Supporters who see humans as a virus and they want to see the human population to go to zero.

17. phlogiston says:

Werner Brozek says:
November 11, 2011 at 9:07 am

We know that getting too much sun and getting too many sunburns increases your chances of getting skin cancer. But that does NOT mean that getting five minutes of sun a day is just a little bad for you. It is actually good for you as it helps you get vitamin D. It does not harm you unless you have a severe condition or an “allergy” to the sun.

Yes, as professional toxicologists all know, “the dose is the toxin”.

The linear no threshold (LNT) hypothesis in radiation biology stands alongside CAGW as one of the great pseudo-scientific politically expedient scams of the modern era.

18. I thought all of this was well understood. SHS causes lung cancer like fireplaces cause lung cancer. Watermelons are an excellent euphemism for greens because most of them have a Marxist/Malthusian agenda running their views. They are misanthropists.

When the loons tell you there is a cost savings in health care by going green, laugh at them. There isn’t. And its ridiculous for them to pretend to care about our lives and health, anyway. They don’t. They don’t care about our nations’ competitive advantages, they don’t care about 3rd world development. So, when you hear or read them blather about such things, again, laugh at them and point out how they’ve managed to deter development, increase impoverishment, prolong human suffering and depravity and in general shown themselves to be the misanthropists that they are.

As the author of the linked article rightly points out, economically there is no point or advantage to embracing green technology. It is more expensive, less reliable, and it isn’t scalable like our traditional sources of energy are. Any one with brain activity knows this. But, the watermelons continue with their mantra. Just point, laugh, and illustrate the incredible harm they’ve caused humanity in their Quixotic pursuit of their totalitarian utopia. Unless there are some quick changes, I think the climate change issue is a dead one. I’m only hoping that justice will catch up to these people in this life.

19. BDTP, it’s linear… but you just know that things can only get worse ;-)

20. Jim Turner, what a ridiculous analogy New Scientist is publishing. Have they ever seen anyone jump out of a skyscraper window and shoot upwards ? No ? But from 1940 to 1970 carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere went up and temperatures went down. Have they ever seen anyone splat on to the pavement before they’ve even jumped out of the window ? No ? But ice core records show that temperatures changed centuries before carbon dioxide levels.

21. Mike M says:

RR Kampen says: Secondhand tobacco smoke kills.

Kills who?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9776409?dopt=Abstract

ETS exposure during childhood was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer (odds ratio [OR] for ever exposure = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.64-0.96).

22. Logan in AZ says:

There is an ‘International Dose-Response Society’ which has a website —
http://www.dose-response.org/
that has lots of material for anyone interested in the LNT concept, and the alternative views.

The most important investigator in hormesis is T. D. Luckey.

23. Alex says:

Shouldn´t there be a tipping point in it, they love tipping points.

24. Hang on – maybe RR Kampen’s got something – I mean isn’t CO2 from burning tobacco expelled with tobacco smoke? So it is the additional CO2 that’s the killer ;-) (and it’s second hand CO2)

25. Mike Jonas says:

DirkH says “In RR Kampen’s simple world, every lung cancer case is caused by smoking.

Bit of a logic problem there, since RRK said no such thing. The comment by Vince Causey just after RRKs; and some later comments, get it right.

26. Warrick says:

“or where, for example, a heat source like an airport has sprung up alongside a weather station”
http://www.economist.com/node/21533360

What about a Josh take on a Far Side theme?

27. Rascal says:

Using RR Kampen’s logic:
Everybody who died was born.
Therefore being born kills.

28. Russ R. says:

The second-hand smoke that kills, is from heating and cooking, over a wood or dung fueled, open flame, like much of the non-developed countries still do.
If the watermelons are in control, that is where we are all headed, and only the party elites, will live long enough to die from statistically insignificant causes.

29. I personally think the Linear No Threshold Hypothesis describes the damage done by green activism quite well.
The damage done doesn’t reach zero until the number of green activists hits less than one.

30. Andrew Harding says:

There are three different types of lung cancer; squamous cell carcinoma, oat cell carcinoma and small cell carcinoma. The first two are only found in smokers, the latter is found in smokers and non smokers in equal numbers. The human lungs have a normal capacity where the air is changed by inhalation and exhalation near the bronchus (the tube leading into the lungs that splits into two, one for each lung) and the extra capacity near the periphery of the lungs which is used during exercise when the heart is beating faster and more O2/CO2 exchange is needed.
Squamous cell and oat cell carcinomas are found on the bronchus, so technically are bronchial carcinomas. Small cell carcinoma is found in the periphery of the lungs (where tobacco smoke never goes) so technically is lung cancer. The health fascists like the climate fascists like to bamboozle everyone and get their way by making profound statements which just aren’t true.
Has their been a study to compare death rates of bar staff before and after the various worldwide smoking bans? Of course there hasn’t, because the results would show that bar staff did not drop like flies every time someone lit up in their vicinity.
This is modern “science”, selectively using data to prove preconceived, politically correct ideology without a thought for any of the consequences.

31. Duncan says:

The watermelons are green politicians who are really commies in disguise (red on the inside), right?

So is the guy with the machete inciting us to go out and kill green politicians?

32. DirkH says:

Duncan says:
November 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm
“So is the guy with the machete inciting us to go out and kill green politicians?”

No. The watermelon is a metaphor for a green politician; the machete is the metaphor for taking them down. In the non-metaphorical world you usually do this via elections.

33. Sjoerd says:

Exposing 1 person to water for 1000 seconds (slightly over 16 minutes) results in 1 death.

According to the The Linear No Threshold Hypothesis, exposing 1000 persons to water for 1 second each will result in 1 death as well.

34. RandomReal[] says:

I fully endorse the application of the Precautionary Principle, especially when applied to the….

Precautionary Principle

Bob Diaz says:
November 11, 2011 at 9:43 am

I don’t want to ignore the humor in Josh’s drawing, thanks Josh, but there are Green Supporters who see humans as a virus and they want to see the human population to go to zero.

I’ve decided that’s something I can get behind 100% as long as all those Green Supporters go first and soon after I’ll follow.

Then shortly after they all go, I’ll just change my mind and the whole problem is pretty much resolved and we can get back to real environmental problems, not jousting at CO2 “windmills”.

(You really think they’d volunteer to go peacefully? Me neither… they’re all just a bunch of hot air.)

36. Eric Dailey says:

This cartoon looks threatening to the watermelons. It’s like those death videos the warmists put out. This is BAD. This is a mistake.

37. Russ R. says:
November 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm

The second-hand smoke that kills, is from heating and cooking, over a wood or dung fueled, open flame, like much of the non-developed countries still do.
If the watermelons are in control, that is where we are all headed, and only the party elites, will live long enough to die from statistically insignificant causes.
===========================================================
Exactly. SHS was just a test run to see if they’d get people to buy into such idiocy. Once they got people believing SHS was worse than the norm, they could be people to believe anything……… like a harmless molecule being the thermostat of the earth.

For those that don’t understand this……. there is nothing magical about burning tobacco. For non-smokers, burning your leaves that you raked during the fall will pollute your lungs more than hanging with a smoker. Or having a fireplace, or a wood burning stove or campfires or ……. fire, its a tricky thing…. :-| Maybe we should ban the greatest leap mankind ever took…..would solve all of that.

38. EPA bans chromated copper arsenate (CCA) used to make pressure treated wood because it contains arsenic. Replaced with other much more expensive chemicals, the joke is it is the copper than does the killing. Copper however is not viewed as dangerous because it has other uses and the copper oxide coating renders copper safe. EPA quality science would ban sodium chloride because sodium is highly reactive and chlorine highly toxic. Watermelons only like science when they get the results they want.

39. ~FR says:

This cartoon looks threatening to the watermelons. It’s like those death videos the warmists put out. This is BAD. This is a mistake.

I assume you left off the ‘/sarc’ tag, but to play along- I don’t think the happy machete-wielding farmer wants to slaughter the poor watermelons. He wants to cut them off their vines: the taxpayer-funding for pseudoscience.

40. Not just birds that are killed by “renewables”.

I read (*) that insects which lay their eggs on the surface of water are easily confused by PV solar arrays, depositing their eggs on the glass surface where they get nicely fried when the sun shines brightly. Sunny side up, I suspect.

(*) Sorry, too much reading. I can’t easily identify the source.

41. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did a side-impact crash test of a Chevy Volt, gave it a five-star rating. The lithium-ion battery had been punctured. More than three weeks later it caught fire. Government Motors said it was because NHTSA hadn’t drained down the battery’s energy post-crash, as GM recommends. Which the GM spokescreature said they hadn’t told NHTSA.

Oops.

I’ve long known about disconnecting a car battery as soon as possible after a crash, there’s a lot of energy stored in them that can produce significant hot sparks (says the guy who’s changed batteries with standard bare metal wrenches). Simple procedure, remove a terminal lug from the battery post, or cut through a battery cable with a bolt cutter to do it quick. What’s the procedure for quickly disconnecting and perhaps removing a Volt’s Li-ion battery pack?

Anyone here notice the massive GM educational campaign that’s letting all emergency responders know about draining down the battery? Using what equipment, that apparently emergency crews (even volunteer departments) are already supposed to have? That’s safe enough for crews to use on a punctured battery? That will take however-long to drain a battery with enough energy to move the vehicle over 30+ miles? I don’t think that campaign exists. They didn’t even tell NHTSA and GM knew they were crashing the vehicle.

Fireman: Wow, that’s a bad crash. We have to get those people out quick!

Chief: Sorry, can’t do it. Might be one of those electric vehicles. They have special procedures.

F: It’s too smashed up to tell the model. How can we know?

C: I’m checking on that, one sec. (talks on the radio) Okay, they found the rear bumper, has Greenpeace and WWF stickers on it.

F: The driver likes wrestling?

C: Great. Now what do we do?

F: Call the company? We got cell phones.

C: Got their number?

F: The makers should have sent us a list with all of them. Where can we get them now?

C: Is there an app for that?

F: Nevermind, it wouldn’t work anyway.

C: Why not?

F: It’s 10 o’clock Saturday night. We’ll just get the customer service message to call back Monday morning.

C: Wow. Save the planet and get screwed for it. Sucks to be Green.

F: Least they won’t feel guilty about wasting fossil fuels with a fast trip to the hospital.

42. i see your deaths and I raise you greens.