Climate change a 'fundamental' health risk, expert warns – "[act now] if we are going to maintain this planet as a liveable habitat for humans."

Climate Change Scare continues down-under.

Story submitted by Tarun Singh

I thought it might be worthwhile to highlight another alarmist propaganda being peddled for science.

The below excerpts are from a news item warning on “climate change”

A LEADING Australian disease expert says prompt action on climate change is paramount to our survival on Earth.

Australian National University Epidemiologist Tony McMichael has conducted an historical study that suggests natural climate change over thousands of years has destabilised civilisations via food shortages, disease and unrest.

“We haven’t really grasped the fact that a change in climate presents a quite fundamental threat to the foundations of population health,” Prof McMichael said.

“These things have happened before in response to fairly modest changes to climate.

“Let’s be aware that we really must take early action if we are going to maintain this planet as a liveable habitat for humans.”

I would like to highlight a few things that I noticed :

a- There is no mention of the Paper’s title or reference provided. I went through the online website of PNAS at and couldnt find a refernce to Tony McMichael , so unless I missed somthing most readers like me can’t verify what is IN THE PAPER.

b – The article has an underlying theme that paints “Climate change” , as a variable that can be controlled by Human interference , there is ample evidence against it as not all variables are understood regarding the different climatic changes.

c- The author concedes that this has been happening for thousands of years yet says “”Let’s be aware that we really must take early action if we are going to maintain this planet as a liveable habitat for humans.”  early action to mitigate what ????

At this point the narrative proceeds:

“With the exception of a few downward spikes of acute cooling due to massive volcanic eruptions, most of the changes have been within a band of about plus or minus three-quarters of a degree centigrade,” he said today.

“Yet we are talking about the likelihood this century of going beyond two degrees centigrade and quite probably, on current trajectory, reaching a global average increase of three to four degrees.”

This is just plain wrong if not deceptively misleading and alarmist.

It has now been accepted that MWP was warmer than now.

The second statement of reaching average increase of three to four degree in a decade , well that just goes to show the authors ignorance or ideological bend. As we all know that the 3 – 4 degree estimate is based on IPCC projections based on postive feedback which has scince been argued in various papers (lindzen and choi).

The falsehoods and misleading continues with  myths then quoted :

“Warming also leads to an increase in infectious diseases as a result of better growth conditions for bacteria and the proliferation of mosquitoes.”

The entire above statement can be categorically dismissed as alarmist hyperbole. However lets save the laughs for the next:

“Drought can also result in greater contact with rodents searching for scarce food supplies.”

The prof then goes on to explain what he considers important. Prof McMichael has been examining the impact of climate change on population health for 20 years and says it’s not easy to raise awareness of the risk.

“Most of the attention has been of a more limited shorter-term kind relating to things around us like the economy, our property, infrastructure and risks to iconic ecosystems and species.”

So in other words, people are stupid to argue about economy, personal property , infrastructure etc when it comes to CLIMATE CHANGE as its all for GREATER CAUSE.

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January 30, 2012 6:08 pm

A 1/2 degree change has caused some sort of insect, that carries some pathogen, that infects these people……………
Might be that maggot that gets in your ears and eats though to your brain……….
On the other hand, it’s outlandish morons like this one (A LEADING Australian disease expert) that have turned everyone off…..he’s actually a produce clerk a Whole Foods

January 30, 2012 6:19 pm

I think Tony McMichael missed a memo or two….
With solar cycle 25 projections just announced, and with the possibility of the lowest solar minimum in 300 years, this author’s assertion of a 3!! to 4!! C temperature increase this century is absurd; especially in light of negligible global warming since 1997…
Yeah, the Royal MET believes that rising CO2 levels will trump any solar minimum, but that’s a pretty weak hand given all the data to the contrary.
Methinks he doth protest too much….

Gerald Wilhite
January 30, 2012 6:20 pm
January 30, 2012 6:21 pm

Tarun, here’s his bio on the internet. I’m assuming we can post it all, because he did….
Professor Anthony J McMichael
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health
College of Medicine, Biology and Environment
The Australian National University
ACT 0200
Phone: +61 (02) 6125.4578
Fax +61 (02) 6125.5608
Professor Tony McMichael, medical graduate and epidemiologist, holds a national research fellowship at the Australian National University, Canberra. He is also Honorary Professor of Climate Change and Human Health at the University of Copenhagen. He was previously Professor of Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1994-2001). He is currently President of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology. His past research interests have spanned dietary, social and, in particular, environmental epidemiology. In the 1980s he led a major study in Australia that identified the adverse impact of environmental lead exposure on childhood neurocognitive development. During 1990-1992 he chaired the Scientific Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (Lyon, France). His research now focuses particularly on the health risks of climate change. During 1993-2006 he played a leading role in health risk assessment for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. (For this work he shared, approximately, one two-thousandth of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize!) He is a regular advisor and contributor to the climate change-related work of the World Health Organization.
In addition to many published research papers and book chapters, his most recent books are (sole-author) Human Frontiers and Disease: Past Patterns, Uncertain Futures (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and (senior editor and author) Climate Change and Human Health: Risks and Responses (Geneva: WHO, 2003).

January 30, 2012 6:22 pm

Are you kidding me? He is a produce clerk???????

Dr Burns
January 30, 2012 6:26 pm

The Sydney Morning herald is full of this sort of trash every day. This rag is ridiculously pro Labor (and the AGW scam). The only reason I buy it is because of the cryptic crosswords.

January 30, 2012 6:28 pm

Anthony McMichael gave a lecture on the above topic on November 1, 2011 in Camberra Australia. I don’t find anything written as this was a lecture attended by the public at large. The lecture report may be here say, to be taken as such and given as much credibility.

Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001)
January 30, 2012 6:30 pm

Anthony McMichael has “form” – as the Brits would say – when it comes to commitment to the cause”. Nonetheless his dedication has been “honoured” by the IPCC, who – as Donna Laframboise noted in The Delinquent Teenager …, [p. 69 in .pdf, Chapter 29: The Cut-and-Paste Job] – was selected to “oversee the writing of a chapter examining how climate
change might impact human health” in the early ’90’s, notwithstanding his lack of expertise in “climate change”. In a 1993 polemic:

McMichael declares that “humans cannot live apart from nature, remote from the great web of life.” He frets that we are too distant “from the rhythms of natural systems.” He speaks of environmental degradation as “an unprecedented moral problem” and says people in rich countries live a wasteful, “ecologically distorted lifestyle.”

January 30, 2012 6:30 pm

Camburn says:
January 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm
Are you kidding me? He is a produce clerk???????
yes and no…….. 😉
I was being a jerk…….the part about the maggots is true though
He’s a writer for the IPCC………

January 30, 2012 6:33 pm

Our warmist author, like the rest of them, needs a far better understanding of physics in order to realise that there is no warming effect that can be attributed to carbon dioxide et al, for which I herewith (and forever more) refuse to give that name starting with Gr… Indeed it make me grrrrrrrr …h!
The most glaring mistake they make is in saying the atmosphere has warmed the surface (like a blanket) from -18C to +15C. The first figure is a theoretical temperature (call it small t) which is only related to the intensity of radiation via the S-B law which only relates to perfect blackbodies. Such blackbodies are usually other bodies in space which are perfectly insulated by space so there is no heat loss by conduction. In contrast the Earth’s surface is continually losing heat to the first millimetre of the atmosphere by diffusion (see Wikipedia “Heat Transfer” second paragraph) and also into the depths of the Earth’s crust or the oceans. So there is less energy left to radiate.
The actual temperature (call it capital T) is a totally different entity without direction for a start. So you cannot just subtract and get T – t = 33 deg.C, because t is not a real temperature. Without carbon dioxide and its colleagues, thermal energy would still diffuse from the surface into the atmosphere, greatly reducing the radiation, as it does. In fact the net radiation from the surface is probably less than 25 W/m^2, so what value of little t would that give you? Very cold I assure you.
This is why an IR thermometer cannot calculate temperature by measuring the intensity of the radiation and using the Stefan-Boltzmann (S-B) law. It can only do so by measuring the frequency and then using Wien’s Displacement Law which says absolute temperature is proportional to the peak frequency.
So, given the major fallacy in the warmists “science” when they calculated and widely promulgated that 33 degree “difference” between apples and oranges, what confidence could we possibly have in any other deductions of theirs? They are also wrong in assuming radiation from a cold atmosphere can warm an already much warmer surface.
The atmosphere cools the Earth by reducing the amount of incident solar radiation which gets through. Hop out of a spacecraft and see how hot you feel in the sun’s rays. But radiation “temperature” is a very different thing from ambient temperature, both in space and, for example, at the top of a high mountain where the Sun’s rays might feel like 40C but the actual temperature of the air might be -15C.
It is important to remember that a measure of radiation is a measure of energy (Watts) transferred through a unit cross section (one square metre) and it is thus a vector with both magnitude and direction, nothing like a temperature. The only “connection” with temperature can be made if a true blackbody is emitting it, and that body is not also losing thermal energy by conduction, diffusion, convection, evaporation or any other means. If it does lose energy in such ways then, at the very least, you would need much more information before making any inferences about its temperature.
Yes, the whole Earth plus atmosphere system looks like a blackbody from outer space and some average radiating temperature could be calculated by remembering that it is a spinning sphere, not a flat disk as warmists treat it as being. But whatever temperature is calculated is merely an average temperature somewhere in the atmosphere.

January 30, 2012 6:38 pm

The warmist seem to be praying for a large number of large volcanoes in order to explain the effect the coming solar minimum is going to have on the climate. We have seen this in the past month or so of publications, and the reference rate is accelerating. Do they have a backlog of papers sorted by disaster type that they draw from when the data is not going their way?
Is there any recent data to suggest that they will get ‘lucky’ and a series of large volcanoes will occur in the next 7 years and kill millions of people and thus let them off the hook for their lies about carbon dioxide?

January 30, 2012 6:45 pm

On behalf of the majority of normal intelligent Australians let me offer a sincere apology for the continuing torrent of AGW nonsense emerging from this Australian Troll Refuge. I’m sorry but we have no other location in which to put them.

January 30, 2012 6:45 pm

“A LEADING Australian disease expert says prompt action on climate change is paramount to our survival on Earth.”
Yes, many “scientists” and politicians have been shouting “prompt action is needed” since February 2005, when Kyoto Protocol was enacted.
Their SOLE TARGET should have been to suppress the increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentrarion.
However, the time course of CO2 concentration shows NO CHANGE at all over the past SEVEN YEARS:

Al Gored
January 30, 2012 6:48 pm

Is this rodent McMichael fishing for an all expense paid holiday in Rio with this? Or does he already have that arranged?

January 30, 2012 6:48 pm

Thanks Gerald, i’l try and go through the article to see if it relates to the published story.
@Latitude – Thanks , The interesting part is the following
“During 1993-2006 he played a leading role in health risk assessment for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. (For this work he shared, approximately, one two-thousandth of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize!) He is a regular advisor and contributor to the climate change-related work of the World Health Organization.:”
Since Donna Laframboise (the delinquent teenager…) has done such a wonderfull job in cross referencing how the IPCC works (or not), it may be worthwhile to crosscheck the work of prof mcmohan.
And that also probaby explains the penchant to peddle the 3 – 4 degree rise alarmism!

January 30, 2012 7:00 pm

McMichael is like most of our academics here in Australia. They adopt the cause which promises the highest grant money.
The Labor government is ruthless if the right conclusions are not presented.
See the C.S.I.R.O. for true sycophantic science.

January 30, 2012 7:03 pm

McMichael is usually a sensible academic but he’s gone off the rails on this. He led a global project called Isothurm,( which found: “Estimates of the temperature threshold below which cold-related mortality began to increase ranged from 15°C to 29°C; the threshold for heat-related deaths ranged from 16°C to 31°C”.
Which means that people are well-adjusted to temperature – the complete opposite of what he has been saying ever since. The rest of the nonsense about infectious diseases has been demolished by people like Paul Reiter. Australian experts have politely refuted the scare talk on Dengue fever:
In short, all the talk about health effects of climate change can be safely ignored, together with any health inputs to economic models.

January 30, 2012 7:06 pm

McMichael says in the paper linked by Gerald Wilhite, above (I needed a good laugh – thanks) that “For mean temperature increases of 4–6 °C or more, it is implausible that human biology, as currently constituted, could adapt physiologically”. So don’t move from Chicago to Florida ‘cos you’re gonna DIE. He also says that “the hottest places tend to be dry”- he’s not heard of the Amazon basin nor the Congo then? Those dry, hot places he’s fixated on also tend to have very low populations – I wonder why?

January 30, 2012 7:08 pm

So he thinks its possible to mitigate CO2 to produce a temperature outcome i.e. control the thermostat. So can I have a 3 degree increase because i hate the cold

Tim Clark
January 30, 2012 7:08 pm

Follow the money…..
RESEARCH: Recent and current major grants
Programme grant: Climate change, ozone depletion and human health Investigators AJ McMichael and Graham Bentham (chief investigators), plus /Prof Astrid Fletcher/Dr Mike Hulme/Dr Clive Davies/Professor Andy Haines/Dr Stephen Dorling Funder Medical Research Council & Natural Environment Research Council (UK): 5-year Cooperative Group Programme Grant, held at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Amount £213,924 ($600,000) p.a. Duration Feb/2000 to Feb/2005 Mortality impact of heatwaves in low- and middle-income countries Investigators AJ McMichael (chief inv.), plus Dr Mike Hulme, Professor Graham Bentham, Dr Paul Wilkinson, Dr Ben Armstrong Funder Medical Research Council (UK) (Component Grant) Amount £145,416 ($400,000) p.a. for 2 years Duration May 2000 to April 2004 Environmental and social determinants of vulnerability to mortality in the elderly in winter and during thermal extremes Investigators AJ McMichael (chief inv.), plus Professor Astrid Fletcher/DrPaul Wilkinson/Dr Ben Armstrong/Ms Sari Kovats Funder Medical Research Council (UK) (Strategic Grant) Amount £168,028 ($500,000) p.a. for 2 years Duration May 2000 to April 2004 Health impacts of climate change in Australia and environs Funder Australian Department of Health and Ageing (competitive tender) Investigators AJ McMichael, with collaborators at CSIRO Atmospheric Research and Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre Amount A$60K. Duration April-August 2002.

January 30, 2012 7:22 pm

With his educational backgroud perhaps he may be qualified to be a clerk, but he obviously knows how to stock a grant. Can anyone find his pea display?

January 30, 2012 7:30 pm

Anyone who has read The Delinquent Teenager knows the name McMichael. His completely debunked malaria scare story is quoted in this PNAS article.
Scratch anything of value in that paper.

January 30, 2012 7:46 pm

It was only a couple of weeks ago that some bright spark associate professor at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, declared that a 2C increase in temperature in SE Queensland would lead to a higher death rate.
This was news to all of the folk from the colder southern states of Australia who have migrated to the tropical north of Queensland … that they will now all die.
What is it with academics and stupidity … clearly common sense is not an academic subject !
PS – my wife is an academic with common sense.

January 30, 2012 7:47 pm

paul says:January 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm
So he thinks its possible to mitigate CO2 to produce a temperature outcome i.e. control the thermostat. So can I have a 3 degree increase because i hate the cold
It works for me. I’ve been burning wood and the CO2 is keeping my house toasty warm. Still cold as heck outside for some reason; lower concentration of exothermic CO2, I guess.

John R T
January 30, 2012 7:57 pm

What I have understood from
PNAS | May 25, 2010 | vol. 107 | no. 21 | 9483–9484
suggests we cut Anthony J McMichael some slack, until we have a more recent essay / publication.
We are talking about history.

January 30, 2012 7:58 pm

Isopropyl alcohol freezes at -89C. If someone can find the phase diagram for isopropanol, you have people in AK mix up alcohol-distilled water cups and take pictures of which on freezes as evidence of reaching -80C.

January 30, 2012 8:01 pm

“expert says prompt action on climate change is paramount to our survival on Earth”
Here in Europe, it seems paramount to our survival to get rid of some millions of unproductive public sector employees in various countries, including Germany. I see that as the root cause of our problems. The CAGW scientists at the PIK are some of the most harmful of those legions, but after all, CAGW is only a weapon that the public sector has created to justify its ravenous appetite for money.

January 30, 2012 8:10 pm

MAGB says:
January 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm
“McMichael is usually a sensible academic ”
He is probably a rational, self-serving, intelligent being who just needs to push the old grant mill some more to be able to maintain his lazy, luxurious lifestyle; i.e. a rent-seeker. When he’s flush with cash, he’s probably willing to do honest research for a while until cash runs out again.

John F. Hultquist
January 30, 2012 8:32 pm

I currently live north of the 47th parallel in the interior of Washington State. Many folks I know head for the Phoenix, Arizona area for 5 months during the cold season here. There in the warmth, they must be in great danger. Is it my duty to inform them of their self-imposed hazard?

January 30, 2012 8:32 pm

I recently read an article of a similar nature:
“Denying the links between greenhouse gas emissions and man-made climate change “is akin to denying the links between HIV/Aids and unprotected sex, smoking and lung cancer, or alcohol consumption and liver disease”, according the the UK Climate and Health Council.”

George E. Smith;
January 30, 2012 8:37 pm

“”””” @ Doug Cotton
Yes, the whole Earth plus atmosphere system looks like a blackbody from outer space and some average radiating temperature could be calculated by remembering that it is a spinning sphere, not a flat disk as warmists treat it as being. But whatever temperature is calculated is merely an average temperature somewhere in the atmosphere. “””””
Not true. If the earth WAS a black body, each element of the surface would be radiating a Planckian spectrum characteristic of the Temperature of that particular surface element. The combined global spectrum, would be a summation of the Wien shifted spectra from each surface element, so it would NOT have ANY black body isothermal Temperature spectrum, but some broader peaked spectrum based on the Temperature distibution. in general it would be difficult or not possible to extract some effective BB Temperature from that.
The 70% of the surface that is ocean could be reasonably black body like, but the land areas typically have a much wider range of spectral radiant emissivities; so the whole can’t be a BB in any sense of the term.

January 30, 2012 8:53 pm

It’s just that we’ve got the world’s biggest carbon tax due to start this July and the Prime Minister is on the nose. They are still hoping to convince the electorate that the tax is necessary. I expect lots more silly stories.

January 30, 2012 8:54 pm

The source of the article may have been a burning bush so… listen up sinners and better throw a few more witches on the fire just ot be sure.

January 30, 2012 9:13 pm

“The second statement of reaching average increase of three to four degree in a decade , well that just goes to show the authors ignorance or ideological bend.”
I think this was misread, this was for the century and the statement and article doesn’t contain the word “decade”.

January 30, 2012 9:17 pm

Here is ABC radio’s move along, nothing to see here in response to the 16 scientists in the WSJ.
They only mention one by name and Tim Flannery is interviewed for “balance”

James Fosser
January 30, 2012 10:04 pm

The Sydney Morning Herald is excellent material for the bottom of bird cages. It is so far to the left that it will soon appear on the right as it has nowhere else to go. It is not taken seriously here in Australia except by those who take themselves seriously.The same characters who scream for police protection when people receive dangerous items in the mail and they do not! (Why have I been left out? Do the senders of these items not know who I am?).

James Fosser
January 30, 2012 10:09 pm

This McMichael chap was a runner up for the Australian of the Year 2010 and is described by the Sydney Morming Herald as ” One of Australia’s intellectual giants” (Probably because they know he reads their paper!).

January 30, 2012 10:25 pm

Oh folks, so sorry…
It grieves me to my soul when people in my profession come out with drivel like this.

January 30, 2012 10:50 pm

‘He is in receipt of my disgust.’
Dear Tony,
“And right now I don’t care if they are lampooned.”
I have to live in this world, and I’d rather it not be as an embarrassed Australian.
How much has the Government paid you to make an absolute fool of yourself? Was it worth it?
Idiots like you cause disquiet amongst men.
You have serious issues Sir, and we intend to oust you.
Markus Fitzhenry.

Geoff Alder
January 30, 2012 11:17 pm

To me, the hoot lies in the fact that, not only is public money lavished on combating “climate change”, but a second massive chunk of money is “invested” in seeking and attempting to communicate with other populated planets. Get this straight, SETI: If the mean temperature of any planet that attracts your attention is more than half a degree adrift of that of earth, the place would be a skeleton-strewn, lifeless void. And if CO2 exceeds 390 ppm by volume – Unimaginable! Further consideration would be absurd. Talk of the left hand being out of touch with the right hand!
Geoff Alder

Alex the skeptic
January 30, 2012 11:29 pm

Where I live temperature varies even by 10C in 24 hours, while it varies by some 35C between summer and winter. This guy is warning us of a degree C or two change in decades or centuries?
Meanwhile we are being warned of 3 or 4 c cooling due to solar antics. But then, writing reports on CAGW brings in lots of grant gravy.

January 30, 2012 11:31 pm

IMHO, CAGW must bere some of the responsibility for the flood events that happened in QLD a year ago, and when I say CAGW I mean the the hysterical scare campaign surrounding it, and the warmers promoting it, as the weather will do, what the weather will do.
As someone living in the area I can tell you that we had been (and still are ) confronted on a daily basis with unfounded, baseless, illogical, and scientifically unsound stories if impending doom.
Up untill late 2010 we had been though a nasty and extended drought, the kind that hit the region a hundred or so years before, this was NOT unusual, but with a much larger population and a complete lack of infrastructure improvements for over 30 years, things were getting tough. At one stage our dams were below 10%, in Toowoomba where I live the enviromentalists and far lefts saw this as a golden opportunity to force their ideals upon us, we were told by Tim Flannery ( Australia’s answer to James Hansan) and others that drought was the new norm, that we would never see regular rains again, and that our dams would never fill again and could no longer be relied upon for water supply,
Heres an example:In 2007,
Flannery predicted cities such as Brisbane would never again have dam-filling rains, as global warming had caused “a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas” and made the soil too hot, “so even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems … “.
Our mayor, pushed by the head water engineer and encouraged by the state Government saw fit to declare our new water supply would be to recycle our sewerage and pump it into one of our pristine dams, this is not the place to go into that, I could write a whole book on the scandels that surrounded the issue, including mis-appropriation of funds, vested interests, lies, manipulation, defamation, use of the terms, “flatearthers”, “deniers”, “ludites” etc, secrecy, figure “adjustment”, (sounding familiar?). Anyhow Toowoomba thankfully rebelled and stopped the project, but the hype didn’t stop there, it continued to Brisbane where a recycled sewerage plant was built against the populations will along with desal plants etc etc. Big green had managed to whip our dumb pollies into a state where they were convinced that they were literally saving our lives and that they were going to be held up as saints. The State of Queensland was in total AGW meltdown and when we finally started to get rain in 2010 it was considered to be too good to be true, while the final results from the enquiry are yet to be aired, it is almost certain this fearmongering lead to the decisions made on January 10 and the events that unfolded.
Toowoomba is in the basin of an extinct volcano, basically a bowl with a little hole that drains north west, we really didn’t get THAT much rain on that day, 4-8 inches depending on who you ask, but it fell very fast, and our drains could not hold it as there had been no allowance or improvements to cope with the massive number of new homes and drainage required for all the extra hard surfaces. But lets face it, it was NEVER going to rain again, Tim Flannery said so, why waste money on that?
I was at work that day, we had experienced minor flooding in our home workshops a week before so I was watching the local radar closely, when I noticed a massive rain event develop, during the morning I rang my wife and said do what you can to divert water, we are going to cop it and brisbane is going to flood, I have never made a prediction like it before and I have never seen a rain event like it in my life. NO one working in meteorology could have missed it. But it was ignored. The Dam above Brisbane (Wivenhoe), built after the 1974 floods was designed to be part water supply and part flood mitigation, but it was already above full water storage capacity and wasn’t being drained fast enough, by the time everyone realised ( later that evening) it was too late, Wivenhoe is a packed earth dam with a concrete “face lining” which works fine untill it’s full, if water flows over the edge it erodes the wall and the dam colapses, by the time action was taken the dam had to have all flood gates opened to prevent “brimming” and a total failure of the dam, Wivenhoe was no longer flood mitigation as the outflows matched or exceeded inflows, something went horribly wrong and people died as a result, IMHO the fear caused by CAGW had a definite role to play, and while the event was natural, and infact nowhere near the biggest flood we have had, the actions of a few resulted in a magnification of the effects and a “needlessly large disaster”
Climate disaster can apparently be man made, we just haven’t been looking at it right.

January 31, 2012 12:51 am

If the climate keeps warming, then the health risk we are faced with are much the same the people of the Middle Ages were faced with: robust good health.
But, if the climate heads the other way into another LIA, then we are faced with similar risks those alive during the LIA were exposed to. .
I know which risks I prefer!

January 31, 2012 1:35 am

Perhaps the Gentleman concerned should also consider, as an epidemiologist, the effect of the forthcoming food shortage caused by the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere. As a worshipper at the altar of CAGW, he will be aware that the draft agreement tabled by the UN at Durban targetted 300 ppmv CO2 eq as the desirable level of greenhouse gases. [ para 24(h) ]
388.8ppmv CO2 plus 1.774 x 25 CH4 plus 0.319 x 298 N2O = 531.5 ppmv CO2 eq
Reducing that to 300 ppmv is a 43.55% reduction.
Assuming [ but unlikely ] that all greenhouse gases reduce proportionately, the desired CO2 level becomes 219.3ppmv. However, I suggest it likely that putting impervious covers over bogs for methane reduction, and culling methane-producing animals would hit strenuous resistance from the Green elements, so CO2 would have to be further reduced to compensate. For discussion, say 200 ppmv of CO2 would be necessary.
University of Illinois – 29 June 2006 – CO2 increase in open-field trials does show an increase in production, but not as much as enclosed volumes such as greenhouses.
Ohio State University – 3 October 2008 – CO2 is a mixed blessing in that crop plants did increase production under increased CO2 but, apart from legumes, did not take up nitrogen proportionately, so people and animals would have to eat a greater volume for the same nutritional uptake.
Peres-Lopez, in a defended PhD thesis studying barley, showed that CO2 increased crop production, increased resistance to saline environments { a curse of irrigation }, and reduced water demand by plants.
Gerhard & Ward, University of Kansas – Biomass reduction in C3 plants [ about 85% of all plants ] ranges from 40% to 70% if CO2 reduces to 180 – 220 ppmv, and as much as 92% at 150ppmv. The trials were carried out with all other plant requirements held at optimum.
Craig D. Idso – Centre for Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change – 8 June 2011 – is essentially a summary of trials, and a projection to 2050 when world population is expected to reach about 9 billion. The conclusion is that, as plant life is the foundation of the food chain, there is no way that 9 billion people can be fed without INCREASING carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere.
The question to be decide appears to me to be :- Do we allow a doubling of CO2 and adapt to the 1.25 degree temperature increase which the evidence seems to show, and have some chance of feeding the expected population, or do we proceed with mass starvation on a genocidal scale that Stalin, Hitler, Pol-Pot, et al could do no more than fantasise about ? I wonder if the Gentleman concerned would dare answer it.

January 31, 2012 1:42 am

This is the only McMichael paper I can find in PNAS web search with “climate” in the title:
It’s dated May 2010, and is the same paper found by Gerald Wilhite above.
“Climate change: Heat, health, and longer horizons
Anthony J. McMichael and Keith B. G. Dear”
It appears to be just cliche-ridden commentary on a paper by Sherwood and Huber
BB – good comment..

John Marshall
January 31, 2012 2:10 am

During the Dark Ages, after the Romans abandoned England in 400AD because it was getting colder and Rome was under threat, any small temperature change would spawn famine and pestilence but we have advanced since then and we do not live in mud huts without sewage disposal. ( Africa has millions living in these conditions but that is down to corrupt government not climate change)
We are now well able to adapt to climate change because of technology and knowledge gained since 400AD. There are more problems to sort out than climate change which will continue in its own natural way.

January 31, 2012 2:21 am

A healthy reminder that the AGW reaserch bucket is still deep and well filled and there are still lots of people looking to dip into it .

January 31, 2012 2:35 am

Surely if the Australians were really worried about climate change they would be thinking about its implications for cricket – or are your sports scientists still waiting to hear if their applications for grants for research in this area have been successful or not?

January 31, 2012 2:36 am

BB: January 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm …
BB, That was a heartfelt comment. Glad to have read it.

January 31, 2012 2:47 am

There’s a little known argument that the expansion of the bubonic plague and other diseases in the mediaeval period was more related to legal changes that anything climatological. The theory argues that prior to the plague most urban and riral settlements used wild harvested reed, fern and herb bedding and thatch. These crop came from unowned commons and comercial church or freeman run farms.
Reed thatch is rat and insect repellent. Fern and herb bedding either fresh or soaked and dryed is also insect and rat repellent. Over the years taxes were inposed on there’s wild crops and people switched hay wicth was not rat and insect repellant.
Kings etc also taxed rabit hunting and effecivily claimed ownership of such game, not just the kings deer. This was unenforcable without banning weases and stotes, both semi domesicated for the purpose. With these rat eating animals caged, banned or taxed the way was cleared for the rats speared carrying the plague. Where these laws were early the plague was early. Where they were late it was late. The laws became popular as the crisis made normal tax revenues plumite. The trade with the east was also inpart due to government interferance, exhaustive taxation of some europian markets forcing merchants to look to the middle east where the rats and the plague was already endemic.
Sorry I can’t find the main reference the theory was raised many years ago and it was obcure then.

January 31, 2012 2:49 am

He should be ashamed to call himself an epidemiologist.
The human body suffers severe stress at cold temperatures and the immune system becomes dysfunctional – increased mortality with cold is much more common – large inputs of energy are required to survive.
During even quite severe heat waves people survive easily with shelter and sufficient hydration and little dysfunction of the immune system.
Of course that message doesn’t create scary scenarios.

January 31, 2012 3:00 am

Sorry about the typos in my post for some reason firefoxes spell checker has not survived the latest up date. lol. …legal changes that anything climatological. should be than not that.
“…switched hay wicth was not rat…” Which not wicth. Dyslexia stinks.

January 31, 2012 3:09 am

I usually listen to ABC radio’s PM program while I cook dinner and tonight I heard Tony McMichael pontificating. I couldn’t stand it so I turned off the radio and listened to the onions sizzling.
Why was I born to be an adult in the Age of Mass Stupidity? I blame compulsory ‘education’ that warehouses children in huge age cohorts that clearly care little for the development of souls.
And yeah, I know the answer to my question from older versions of that crie de coeur: a voice from heaven says, “Because you give me the shits!”

January 31, 2012 3:18 am

Let Australia commit suicide if it wants. It’s part of the natural process. The conspiracy of speculators and pseudo-scientists was able to flourish in most Western countries because there was lots of surplus wealth around. In many Euro countries the conspiracy has eliminated manufacturing, thus smashing the economy down to bankruptcy, which eliminated the food for the conspiracy. (Also eliminated food and fuel for lots of poor people, but the elites don’t notice that.)
Obviously Australia hasn’t collapsed yet, so we just have to give the conspiracy time. It will smash the country sooner or later, and when that happens the Carbon Exchanges and the Government Grants will dry up.

Jim Butler
January 31, 2012 3:20 am

I don’t believe for one second that he isn’t aware of the facts and/or science around the subject.
And none of this is about science. This is about furthering the “cause”, a.k.a. the all important grant $$ spigot. His career and his professional stature rests on his ability to maintain the “emergency”.
Imagine, for a minute, that he makes a public announcement and states that everything he has espoused for the past 2-3 decades is completely wrong. By the next day, he WILL be a grocery clerk, as he’ll have absolutely zero credibility in any realm.
Science has nothing to do with it. It rarely does. We rail against the lack of “good science”…this is how these people exist. It’s their career…their profession. Imagine the local body shop or auto repairmen if tomorrow, there were no more accidents, and no more broken vehicles?…

January 31, 2012 4:33 am

McMichael declares that “humans cannot live apart from nature, remote from the great web of life.” He frets that we are too distant “from the rhythms of natural systems.” He speaks of environmental degradation as “an unprecedented moral problem” and says people in rich countries live a wasteful, “ecologically distorted lifestyle.”
Uh, a Malthusian hippy, should have known.

January 31, 2012 4:43 am

BB @ 11.31pm
As someone living in the area I can tell you that we had been (and still are ) confronted on a daily basis with unfounded, baseless, illogical, and scientifically unsound stories if impending doom
Thank you for this important insight and story BB.
As you point out the academics and others in government employ are informing broad based and densely populated city policy, expenditure………….. lives and deaths.
And no-one seems to know what is the basis for their predictions and recommendations. And how these predictions and recommendations may have informed the expenditure, laws and regulations. And work schedules.
All sound questions.

January 31, 2012 5:05 am

Y’know, going back over my history books, I’m sure it said that most modern Australians can trace their family histories back to the UK. Summers in England rarely exceed 30*C; the yearly average is around 10*C. WINTER temperatures in Australia don’t usually average below about 18*C, and in the summer it’s usually 32-40*C.
Mr McMichael presumably must subscribe to some odd theories about human evolution if 18th-19th Century Brits could survive – and thrive – in spite of such massive temperature changes, yet modern humans cannot. Ditto all the crops & domesticated animals we’ve transported around the world in the last few thousand years of history.
Note: UK & Aus temperatures from Wikipedia.
McMichael declares that “humans cannot live apart from nature, remote from the great web of life.” He frets that we are too distant “from the rhythms of natural systems.” He speaks of environmental degradation as “an unprecedented moral problem” and says people in rich countries live a wasteful, “ecologically distorted lifestyle.”
Nature, insofar as it can be assigned human values at all, is cruel, capricious, and utterly, ruthlessly devoted to evolution by natural selection. Personally, I’m looking forwards to the day when I can enjoy a vat-grown steak on demand, whilst living in a Lagrange point colony (or maybe Olympus Mons… whichever takes my fancy, really). And the steak will taste better, be healthier, and cheaper, than any cow-sourced steak that’s ever existed.

Reply to  Mark
January 31, 2012 2:11 pm

I can assure you it doesn’t average 32 to 40 deg.C in summer in Australian coastal cities where most of the population reside. Yes, such maximums are not uncommon, but these are not averages. Melbourne today 13 min 24 max and Sydney 18 min, 21 max – it’s raining outside my window.

Bill Marsh
January 31, 2012 5:13 am

Does this guy understand that ancient civilization collapses occurred when temperatures dropped?

Garry Stotel
January 31, 2012 5:14 am

“I recently read an article of a similar nature:
“Denying the links between greenhouse gas emissions and man-made climate change “is akin to denying the links between HIV/Aids and unprotected sex, smoking and lung cancer, or alcohol consumption and liver disease”, according the the UK Climate and Health Council.””
Well, of course. Everybody knows that cancer causes smoking, and HIV causes sex, in the same way the human-made CO2 regulates the climate.
Reading history books I used to wonder at how stupid people were in the past believing in turtles and elephants and a pancake earth, but now I see that it is nothing strange. People with degrees, mobile phones, computers and internet can still believe in utter nonsense.
Although, ney. People in the past had to believe in turtles and pancakes because they did not know any better, and could not check if they were right or not. Now it takes half an hour of reading on the internet to get an idea of what is going on, so NO EXCUSE for being stupid now.

Reply to  Garry Stotel
January 31, 2012 2:31 pm

Garry Stotel: Your medical examples are backed by evidence: your climate ones are not.
Show me empirical evidence that so-called backradiation is capable of warming the surface or slowing its rate of cooling – a necessary but incorrect assumption required for there to be an atmospheric greenhouse effect.
Show me evidence that the Earth’s surface acts like a perfect blackbody and thus only radiates all its thermal energy, and never loses any thermal energy by any other means like diffusion, conduction, convection, evaporation or chemical processes. If you can prove this absurdity, then you can prove that equally absurd figure of -18 degrees C which is supposed to be the surface temperature in the absence of water vapour, carbon dioxide and its colleagues.
If you don’t understand this hurriedly written response, then spend a little time on my websites and which represent a few thousand hours of research – making use of over 45 years’ experience in tertiary physics and mathematics.

January 31, 2012 5:17 am

@BB My heart went out to all who suffered in the floods in QLD last year but I noticed that they were the biggest recorded since 1974.
Lets pray that the inquest into them looks at some of the things that you mentioned.
Not holding my breath though.
Hope you came out of it ok

January 31, 2012 5:20 am

sorry, should be “biggest recorded since 1974 – no mention of the floods in 1890’s, which were higher”

January 31, 2012 6:02 am

When I was a little boy, I once spent 2 months in the hospital and bed ridden in recovery because of the cold. Meanwhile a few years later, I was playing tennis in 104F weather under the hot sun, and although I was uncomfortable, I suffered no short, medium or long term ill effects from the heat. Cold kills, and almost killed me.
I survive today to torment the warmists, though I do like being warm. Come to think about it, half of the top 10 miserable moments of my life involved being cold.

January 31, 2012 6:11 am

The real “Herald” of Sydney is the Member for the seat of Warringah since 1994. Tony Abbott, Leader of the Opposition in the Australian House of Representatives and federal leader of the centre-right Liberal Party of Australia. Abbott has blasted Gillard’s fantasy politics, with some straight talikng at the NPC, and laid out the ground for the abolition of Carbon Taxes, and a revival of Australia’s Coal Mining, Steel, and Heavy Engineering Industries.

“The Coalition’s plan to reduce the cost of living pressures on families, is to
take the carbon tax off their power and transport and make government
live within its means.”
– Tony Abbott MHR (Sydney – Warringah)

January 31, 2012 6:12 am

Antonias disgust with ABC is shared by me also.
today Bush Telegraph had some fool on telling us that the Biggest trees must be saved above all, not for rarity etc, but because they use and produce more co2/oxygen.
for an expert?? he seems to be an epic fail as young trees growing faster use more co2 and give off more moisture and oxygen.
they also carried on about cutting trees releasing that nasty co2.
if the wood is used for housing furnitre etc then it stays embodied.
however the ultraidiots would seem to want us to allow trees to remain usused at all by anybody ever..and for us to use those nice toxic plastics for housing and furniture..
the outright insanity of the statement made by the michaels bloke and the rest of em CSIRO etc is so embarrasing to thinking Aussies.
truly we are sooo sorry to have an idiot in power, believe me WE suffer and will do more when we cop the fantasy tax in July.
I keep hoping an airplane will dump a load of icy crap on the Liar..and remove australias biggest feral pest.

January 31, 2012 6:12 am

Morons like this continue their nonsense and will until there are SANCTIONS.
Worse, thes self serving alarmists bring both the Scientific and Academic community into disrepute, and that just may be genuinely and really harmful … The boy who cried Wolf!
MFG, omb

January 31, 2012 6:38 am

Doug Cotton says:
January 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm
Agreed. One other thing many who say back radiation adds energy to the surface warming it up the 33 K, is that whatever sent the radiation to the surface had to cool by at least the same amount. Since nothing in nature is reversible it probably cooled a touch more.

January 31, 2012 6:52 am

I thought we had all died off because of the AIDS and bird flu epidemics, or did those predictions not come true …

Robert Cherba
January 31, 2012 6:56 am

I suppose this means that the US federal government should immediately prevent citizens from traveling or retiring in the south or the desert southwest, because the warmer climates must be hazardous to our health.
As many others have pointed out, if warm, pleasant climate is so bad for living things, why do people worldwide vacation and move to terrible places like Hawaii, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Bermuda, tropical islands, the south of France, the Mediterranean, etc., etc.

January 31, 2012 7:02 am

having been on the receiving end of such verbiage (the latest here in Greece is that if it get very hot, wheat growth will be a problem, or mammals will shrink, or whatever) it sounds like the wind and photovoltaics crowd are doing some target softening ahead of electricity rate hikes

John B (UK)
January 31, 2012 7:13 am

“We haven’t really grasped the fact that a change in climate presents a quite fundamental threat to the foundations of population health,” Prof McMichael said.
Yup, when the Holocene finally grinds to its inevitable halt and we descend back into an ice age again, we really will face a fundamental threat. Let’s hope we’re prepared for it.
And I dont think that windmills and solar panels will cut the mustard……..

January 31, 2012 7:32 am

A read of “The Little Ice Age” shows how destructive climate change can be when it heads toward the colder side. On the other hand a bit more CO2 and a longer growing season would probably be beneficial. Methinks the gentleman is barking up the wrong tree.
But then again, he lives in the Land of The Harrop™ so what do you expect? Thankfully there are at least some Australians that are sane even if Barrie and Julia aren’t.

January 31, 2012 7:52 am

yah, it’s crazy but it works, eh? nobody believes that set of lies but it doesn’t matter – their agenda requires that they pay lip service to a complaint about it but never never let it affect their faith in Gov, the almighty, owner of their persons at which altar they genuflect more than 5 times a day.
one might condemn the ‘real scientists’ for their collaboration and refusal to denounce the hoax but they didn’t dig into their pockets to pay for it.
in law, if a person hires an assassin, he is considered equally guilty of the crime.
aussies paid for all that. i guess reality shows they got what they paid for. they earned it. it would be wrong to deprive them of that which they worked for, paid for and therefore deserve – darwin awards.

michael hart
January 31, 2012 7:54 am

Mr McMichael can be thankful that this time round there are a lot more scientists working in the medical/pharmaceutical industries. However i expect the majority of them are not as well paid as the academics who have to jet around the world defending the climate.

Kelvin Vaughan
January 31, 2012 8:07 am

I was born in 1946. Today, 31 January, in 1946 in Central England the maximum temperature was 10.1C and the minimum was 5.3.
I began school in 1951. The max/min temperatures this day in 1951 was 8.7/5.5
I began work in 1963. The temperature this day in 1963 was 8.1/2.9.
I got married in 1970. The temperature this day in 1970 was 8.3/5.7.
I left my first job in 1994. The temperature this day in 1994 was 8.2/5.8.
Last year it was 8.6/4.9.
Today it is 3.0C and the low is forcast to be -2.
The temperature is not that stable, it’s just a coincidence but I don’t see much of a climate change!

January 31, 2012 9:54 am

Please note that Dr. McMichael is not a physicist or climate scientist. He just takes the “consensus,” assumes all impacts of higher temperatures are bad and then runs with it. So the comments about the physics of CAGW in this thread are a bit off the mark, since he is not addressing that issue. There is plenty of criticism that can be heaped upon him, however, for the health conclusions he has reached. Like that ridiculous malaria issue. I thought we had gotten beyond that……

January 31, 2012 10:10 am

“I thought we had gotten beyond that……”
No way! Its far too good a scare story to drop. Expect it to recirculate again and again and again until the entire AGW argument is no longer PC.

January 31, 2012 11:05 am

And for the latest in the McMichael hysteria diatribe:

John T
January 31, 2012 11:27 am

“Australian National University Epidemiologist Tony McMichael has conducted an historical study that suggests natural climate change over thousands of years has destabilised civilisations via food shortages, disease and unrest.”
That’s all true. All those things occurred during the cooler periods between the Roman & Medieval warm periods, and during the LIA. Colder temps really wreak havoc with life on this planet.

January 31, 2012 1:00 pm

Nice post, Tarun.

David A. Evans
January 31, 2012 1:05 pm

I remember well discussing the Wivehoe dam with Jan Pompe, (sadly deceased,) and how we couldn’t understand why they weren’t releasing water even though the forecast rain was huge, so yes, CAGW has a lot to answer for!
To Gene Nemetz, AKA Amino Acids in Meteorites. Sorry, I tried to contact you about Jans demise.

Brian H
January 31, 2012 1:21 pm

Perhaps his next bout of flatus will dislodge his head from its present uncomfortable enclosure.

Malcolm Miller
January 31, 2012 1:42 pm

I live in Canberra, where the ANU is. Here we often have a daily temperature range of 20º C. How is it that any of us, including Anthony McMichael, are still alive?

January 31, 2012 1:50 pm

Meanwhile, a lot of people have died as a result of the severely cold conditions in Eastern Europe…

Ed Scott
January 31, 2012 1:52 pm

You wrascaly TV weather-persons are warned. Stop spouting-off.
Suspicions comfirmed: AGW is an ideological science.
Concerned that too many “deniers” are in the meteorology business, global warming activists this month launched a campaign to recruit local weathermen to hop aboard the alarmism bandwagon and expose those who are not fully convinced that the world is facing man-made doom.
“We’ll empower everyday people to make sure meteorologists understand that their viewers are counting on them to get this story right, and that those who continue to shirk their professional responsibility will be held accountable.”
So far, the campaign has identified 55 “deniers” in the meteorologist community and are looking for more. They define “deniers” as “anyone who expressly refutes the overwhelming scientific consensus about climate change: that it is real, largely caused by humans, and already having profound impacts on our world.”
“You wouldn’t ask your dentist about your gallbladder and you shouldn’t ask your local TV weatherman about climate change.”
“Operational meteorologists and forecasters are not climatologists. The background education is somewhat similar, but our area of expertise is different,” he added. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop some TV weather forecasters from spouting off on the subject.”
“These climate denier meteorologists are betraying the public’s trust and distorting America’s airwaves with ideological science denial.”
I urge the AMS Council to immediately pass a new information statement that reflects the widespread scientific consensus that climate change is increasingly impacting our planet, and then vigorously promote that statement to AMS members.”

King of Cool
January 31, 2012 2:26 pm

Mosquitoes are not the problem, it is the epidemic of intellectual parasites that threaten our future that proliferate the swanky apartment blocks and chic restaurants of Canberra and build their nests like this one:
But I have a strong feeling that a massive delousing program may soon be starting and we may see the end of the plague.

January 31, 2012 2:44 pm

Sorry if this is OT, but for those that asked, we came though ok, and our extended family spread through Toowoomba and the Lockyer valley including Grantham (the worst hit) all survived although a friends father was washed away in his home. Our personal damage was minimal compared to others, although we had a massive amount of water run though our property. (and we are on the side of a hill)
Brisbane 1974 was big in regards to loss of life and property and at 5.4m, a metre above 2011, however both pale in comparison to the floods of the 1830″s and 1890’s some reaching 8.5 metres.
The hype about 2011 being the result of climate change is simply unfounded, have a look at the historical flood events

Ed Scott
January 31, 2012 4:25 pm


Markus Fitzhenry.
February 3, 2012 5:06 pm

I got the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Greenies a beauty.

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