In the lead-up to the Paris climate summit, massive activist pressure is on all governments, especially Canada’s, to fall in line with the global warming agenda and accept emission targets that could seriously harm our economy. One of the most powerful rhetorical weapons being deployed is the claim that 97 per cent of the world’s scientists agree what the problem is and what we have to do about it. In the face of such near-unanimity, it would be understandable if Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Canadian government were simply to capitulate and throw Canada’s economy under the climate change bandwagon. But it would be a tragedy because the 97 per cent claim is a fabrication.

Like so much else in the climate change debate, one needs to check the numbers. First of all, on what exactly are 97 per cent of experts supposed to agree? In 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama sent out a tweet claiming 97 per cent of climate experts believe global warming is “real, man-made and dangerous.” As it turns out, the survey he was referring to didn’t ask that question, so he was basically making it up. At a recent debate in New Orleans, I heard climate activist Bill McKibben claim there was a consensus that greenhouse gases are “a grave danger.” But when challenged for the source of his claim, he promptly withdrew it.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change asserts the conclusion that most (more than 50 per cent) of the post-1950 global warming is due to human activity, chiefly greenhouse gas emissions and land use change. But it does not survey its own contributors, let alone anyone else, so we do not know how many experts agree with it. And the statement, even if true, does not imply that we face a crisis requiring massive restructuring of the worldwide economy. In fact, it is consistent with the view that the benefits of fossil fuel use greatly outweigh the climate-related costs.

One commonly cited survey asked if carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and human activities contribute to climate change. But these are trivial statements that even many IPCC skeptics agree with. And again, both statements are consistent with the view that climate change is harmless. So there are no policy implications of such surveys, regardless of the level of agreement.

The most highly cited paper supposedly found 97 per cent of published scientific studies support man-made global warming. But in addition to poor survey methodology, that tabulation is often misrepresented. Most papers (66 per cent) actually took no position. Of the remaining 34 per cent, 33 per cent supported at least a weak human contribution to global warming. So divide 33 by 34 and you get 97 per cent, but this is unremarkable since the 33 per cent includes many papers that critique key elements of the IPCC position.

Two recent surveys shed more light on what atmospheric scientists actually think. Bear in mind that on a topic as complex as climate change, a survey is hardly a reliable guide to scientific truth, but if you want to know how many people agree with your view, a survey is the only way to find out.

In 2012 the American Meteorological Society (AMS) surveyed its 7,000 members, receiving 1,862 responses. Of those, only 52% said they think global warming over the 20th century has happened and is mostly man-made (the IPCC position). The remaining 48% either think it happened but natural causes explain at least half of it, or it didn’t happen, or they don’t know. Furthermore, 53% agree that there is conflict among AMS members on the question.

So no sign of a 97% consensus. Not only do about half reject the IPCC conclusion, more than half acknowledge that their profession is split on the issue.

The Netherlands Environmental Agency recently published a survey of international climate experts. 6550 questionnaires were sent out, and 1868 responses were received, a similar sample and response rate to the AMS survey. In this case the questions referred only to the post-1950 period. 66% agreed with the IPCC that global warming has happened and humans are mostly responsible. The rest either don’t know or think human influence was not dominant. So again, no 97% consensus behind the IPCC.

But the Dutch survey is even more interesting because of the questions it raises about the level of knowledge of the respondents. Although all were described as “climate experts,” a large fraction only work in connected fields such as policy analysis, health and engineering, and may not follow the primary physical science literature.

Regarding the recent slowdown in warming, here is what the IPCC said: “The observed global mean surface temperature (GMST) has shown a much smaller increasing linear trend over the past 15 years than over the past 30 to 60 years.” Yet 46 per cent of the Dutch survey respondents – nearly half – believe the warming trend has stayed the same or increased. And only 25 per cent agreed that global warming has been less than projected over the past 15 to 20 years, even though the IPCC reported that 111 out of 114 model projections overestimated warming since 1998.

Three quarters of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement “Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted.” Here is what the IPCC said in its 2003 report: “In climate research and modelling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

Looking into further detail there are other interesting ways in which the socalled experts are unaware of unresolved discrepancies between models and observations regarding issues like warming in the tropical troposphere and overall climate sensitivity.

What can we take away from all this? First, lots of people get called “climate experts” and contribute to the appearance of consensus, without necessarily being knowledgeable about core issues. A consensus among the misinformed is not worth much.

Second, it is obvious that the “97%” mantra is untrue. The underlying issues are so complex it is ludicrous to expect unanimity. The near 50/50 split among AMS members on the role of greenhouse gases is a much more accurate picture of the situation. The phoney claim of 97% consensus is mere political rhetoric aimed at stifling debate and intimidating people into silence.

The Canadian government has the unenviable task of defending the interest of the energy producers and consumers of a cold, thinly-populated country, in the face of furious, deafening global warming alarmism. Some of the worst of it is now emanating from the highest places. Barack Obama’s website (barackobama.com) says “97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is real and man-made … Find the deniers near you – and call them out today.” How nice. But what we really need to call out is the use of false propaganda and demagogy to derail factual debate and careful consideration of all facets of the most complex scientific and policy issue of our time.

Department of Life Sciences and Chemistry, Jacobs University Bremen, Campus Ring 6, D-28759 Bremen, Germany. Electronic address: a.lerchl@jacobs-university.de.2Department of Life Sciences and Chemistry, Jacobs University Bremen, Campus Ring 6, D-28759 Bremen, Germany. Electronic address: MelanieCK@gmx.de.3Department of Life Sciences and Chemistry, Jacobs University Bremen, Campus Ring 6, D-28759 Bremen, Germany. Electronic address: k.grote@jacobs-university.de.4Department of Psychology and Methods, Jacobs University Bremen, Campus Ring 1, D-28759 Bremen, Germany. Electronic address: a.wilhelm@jacobs-university.de.5Chair of Electromagnetic Theory, University of Wuppertal, Rainer-Gruenter-Str. 21, D-42119 Wuppertal, Germany. Electronic address: spathmann@uni-wuppertal.de.6Chair of Electromagnetic Theory, University of Wuppertal, Rainer-Gruenter-Str. 21, D-42119 Wuppertal, Germany. Electronic address: t.fiedler@dkfz-heidelberg.de.7Chair of Electromagnetic Theory, University of Wuppertal, Rainer-Gruenter-Str. 21, D-42119 Wuppertal, Germany. Electronic address: joachim.streckert@uni-wuppertal.de.8Chair of Electromagnetic Theory, University of Wuppertal, Rainer-Gruenter-Str. 21, D-42119 Wuppertal, Germany. Electronic address: hansen@uni-wuppertal.de.9Chair of Electromagnetic Theory, University of Wuppertal, Rainer-Gruenter-Str. 21, D-42119 Wuppertal, Germany. Electronic address: clemens@uni-wuppertal.de.

Abstract

The vast majority of in vitro and in vivo studies did not find cancerogenic effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF), i.e. emitted by mobile phones and base stations. Previously published results from a pilot study with carcinogen-treated mice, however, suggested tumor-promoting effects of RF-EMF (Tillmann et al., 2010). We have performed a replication study using higher numbers of animals per group and including two additional exposure levels (0 (sham), 0.04, 0.4 and 2 W/kg SAR). We could confirm and extend the originally reported findings. Numbers of tumors of the lungs and livers in exposed animals were significantly higher than in sham-exposed controls. In addition, lymphomas were also found to be significantly elevated by exposure. A clear dose-response effect is absent. We hypothesize that these tumor-promoting effects may be caused by metabolic changes due to exposure. Since many of the tumor-promoting effects in our study were seen at low to moderate exposure levels (0.04 and 0.4 W/kg SAR), thus well below exposure limits for the users of mobile phones, further studies are warranted to investigate the underlying mechanisms. Our findings may help to understand the repeatedly reported increased incidences of brain tumors in heavy users of mobile phones.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25749340

Abstract

Quickly changing technologies and intensive uses of radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF)‑emitting phones pose a challenge to public health. Mobile phone users and uses and exposures to other wireless transmitting devices (WTDs) have increased in the past few years. We consider that CERENAT, a French national study, provides an important addition to the literature evaluating the use of mobile phones and risk of brain tumors. The CERENAT finding of increased risk of glioma is consistent with studies that evaluated use of mobile phones for a decade or longer and corroborate those that have shown a risk of meningioma from mobile phone use. In CERENAT, exposure to RF‑EMF from digitally enhanced cordless telephones (DECTs), used by over half the population of France during the period of this study, was not evaluated. If exposures to DECT phones could have been taken into account, the risks of glioma from mobile phone use in CERENAT are likely to be higher than published. We conclude that radiofrequency fields should be classified as a Group 2A ̔probable̓ human carcinogen under the criteria used by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (Lyon, France). Additional data should be gathered on exposures to mobile and cordless phones, other WTDs, mobile phone base stations and Wi‑Fi routers to evaluate their impact on public health. We advise that the as low as reasonable achievable (ALARA) principle be adopted for uses of this technology, while a major cross‑disciplinary effort is generated to train researchers in bioelectromagnetics and provide monitoring of potential health impacts of RF‑EMF.

Environmental Health Trust, Teton Village, WY 83025, USA.2Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M4N 3P7, Canada.3INSERM, ISPED, Centre INSERM U897‑Epidémiologie‑Biostatistique, F‑33000 Bordeaux, France.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25738972

“Current evidence indicates that exposure at levels that are found in the environment (in urban areas and near base stations) may particularly alter the receptor organs to orient in the magnetic field of the earth. These results could have important implications for migratory birds and insects, especially in urban areas, but could also apply to birds and insects in natural and protected areas where there are powerful base station emitters of radiofrequencies. Therefore, more research on the effects of electromagnetic radiation in nature is needed to investigate this emerging threat.”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25747364

Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, SE-701 82 Örebro, Sweden.
2
The Environment and Cancer Research Foundation, SE-702 17 Örebro, Sweden.
3
Independent Environment and Health Research Luleå, SE-972 53 Luleå, Sweden.

Abstract

Exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation was classified in 2011 as a possible human carcinogen, Group 2B, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organisation. Evidence of the risk of cancer risk has since strengthened. Exposure is changing due to the rapid development of technology resulting in increased ambient radiation. RF radiation of sufficient intensity heats tissues, but the energy is insufficient to cause ionization, hence it is called non-ionizing radiation. These non-thermal exposure levels have resulted in biological effects in humans, animals and cells, including an increased cancer risk. In the present study, the levels of RF radiation were measured in an apartment close to two groups of mobile phone base stations on the roof. A total of 74,531 measurements were made corresponding to ~83 h of recording. The total mean RF radiation level was 3,811 µW/m2 (range 15.2-112,318 µW/m2) for the measurement of the whole apartment, including balconies. Particularly high levels were measured on three balconies and 3 of 4 bedrooms. The total mean RF radiation level decreased by 98% when the measured down-links from the base stations for 2, 3 and 4 G were disregarded. The results are discussed in relation to the detrimental health effects of non-thermal RF radiation. Due to the current high RF radiation, the apartment is not suitable for long-term living, particularly for children who may be more sensitive than adults. For a definitive conclusion regarding the effect of RF radiation from nearby base stations, one option would be to turn them off and repeat the measurements. However, the simplest and safest solution would be to turn them off and dismantle them.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29725476

Researchers from Valencia University in Spain, investigated people’s health in a small town near Murcia, where two mobile phone masts had been erected in the past 7 years. The results of the investigations have been plotted against levels of radiation in their homes from the masts, to see if there is any link between the radiation levels and health problems.

Many symptoms of ‘microwave sickness’ increased considerably with exposure to microwave radiation, in particular Depression, Fatigue, Concentration Loss, Appetite Loss and Heart and Blood Pressure Problems. These occurred at radiation levels found around most masts.

  • Depression increased by up to 64-fold.
  • Fatigue increased by up to 37-fold.

Appetite Loss increased by up to 25-fold.

Author/s: Oberfeld Gerd, Navarro A. Enrique et al
Title: The Microwave Syndrome – Further Aspects of a Spanish Study

https://www.powerwatch.org.uk/pdfs/20040809_kos.pdf

  •  

Dr. Magda Havas (Environmental and Resources department, Trent University, Ontario, Canada), has written an excellent precautionary paper, prepared for the Board of Supervisors, City and County of San Fransisco. This 51 page document covers a wide range of literature and scientific findings on RF research, and presents them in a logical and progressive manner.

The following pages present guidelines for radio frequency radiation in various countries;
scientific studies that document the adverse effects of living near cell phone antennas (it is the
closest we have to Wi-Fi antennas) for both humans and animals; and laboratory studies that
demonstrate the harmful effects of radio frequency radiation. The levels showing adverse
biological/health effects are compared to FCC guidelines and to calculations of likely exposure in
San Francisco attributed to the Earthlink Wi-Fi Network as discussed in “Earthlink-Proposed San
Francisco-Wide Wi-Fi Network: Observations and Calculations for Relation to Exposure Limits”
prepared by Mitch Maifeld of Zenzic Research.
Many jurisdictions have had to deal with this issue and some of their recommendations regarding
placement of radio frequency transmitters are also presented. While these apply to cell phone
antennas they are relevant to Wi-Fi antennas. Physicians and scientists from around the world
are asking governments to review the existing guidelines and to revisit the use of this technology
to ensure its safety. These resolutions are summarized in the text and are presented in full in the Appendix.

https://www.powerwatch.org.uk/pdfs/20061232_havas.pdf

Incidences of age, duration of exposure, location of subjects in relation to the antennas and other electromagnetic factors].

Abstract

This is the 2nd part of a survey study conducted on 530 people (270 men, 260 women) living or not in vicinity of cellular phone base stations. Comparison of complaints frequencies for 16 Non Specific Health Symptoms was done with the CHI-Square test with Yates correction. Our results show significant increase (p < 0.05) in relation with age of subjects (elder subjects are more sensitive) and also, that the facing location is the worst position for some symptoms studied, especially for distances till 100 m from base stations. No significant difference is observed in the frequency of symptoms related to the duration of exposure (from < 1 year to > 5 years), excepted for irritability significantly increased after > 5 years. Other electromagnetic factors (electrical transformers, radio-television transmitters,…) have effects on the frequency of some symptoms reported by the subjects.

[Article in French]

 

1
Institut national des sciences appliquées, laboratoire de biochimie-pharmacologie, bâtiment Louis-Pasteur, 69621 cedex, Villeurbanne, France. rsantini@insa-lyon.fr
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12948762

International Journal of Cancer Prevention
VOLUME 1, NUMBER 2, APRIL 2004
Increased Incidence of Cancer near a Cell-Phone Transmitter Station
by Ronni Wolf and Danny Wolf

Abstract
Significant concern has been raised about possible health effects from exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields, especially after the rapid introduction of mobile telecommunications systems.

Parents are especially concerned with the possibility that children might develop cancer after exposure to the RF emissions from mobile telephone base stations erected in or near schools. The few epidemiologic studies that did report on cancer incidence in relation to RF radiation
have generally presented negative or inconsistent results, and thus emphasize the
need for more studies that should investigate cohorts with high RF exposure for
changes in cancer incidence. The aim of this study is to investigate whether there is
an increased cancer incidence in populations, living in a small area, and exposed to RF radiation from a cell-phone transmitter station.

The study indicates an association between increased incidence of cancer and living in proximity to a cell-phone transmitter station.

https://www.powerwatch.org.uk/news/20050207_israel.pdf