There goes the neighborhood

As most readers of this blog know, MD and I split our non-traveling time between Incline Village, Nevada (on the north shore of Lake Tahoe) and Santa Barbara, California.  We don’t have a house in the city of Santa Barbara but in the unincorporated town of Montecito, which is a sleepy little suburb of Santa Barbara (as if Santa Barbara is large enough to have a suburb).  We live on Park Lane, a street well known in Montecito, notably for the giant Eucalyptus trees that line it.  Although there are Eucalyptus trees all over the Montecito/Santa Barbara area, as far as I know, Park Lane is the only street flanked by them.

Park Lane

As most of you also know, I am a man-made global warming/climate change denier. I’m not as much a denier as I am a pragmatist who realizes that even if there is something to the phenomenon (which in my view is far from certain), it’s way, way too expensive to fix in the ways we’re trying to fix it.  And if all of us in the US and the UK (the two centers of GW hysteria) spend the fortune required to keep our respective countries green, we don’t have any control over the people in China and India.  These countries are going to continue to release CO2 in enormous amounts (as will any other populous country that enters its own industrial age) irrespective of whether or not we all recycle, drive electric cars and shut down all our factories.  But, that’s just my view.

Most of this GW hysteria has been fomented by Al Gore, who, as we all know, is not a scientist, but instead a person with no technical training who has profited mightily from the discord he has sown.  Discord he has sown, I might add, while living in his energy-gobbling, CO2-emitting mansion in Tennessee and flying around in private jets to hobnob with others living the same basic lifestyle. But, to give him his due, he could be correct about it all; I just don’t think so.  I guess time will tell.  But if his predictions are like all the other impending-catastrophe predictions of the past, from Malthus to Ehrlich, they will come to naught.

So, what does all this have to do with Park Lane in Montecito?

Well, imagine my surprise when I read the little squib below in the Montecito Journal (our local paper) a couple of days ago.  Go ahead and laugh.

Park Ln News blog

If it does all come to pass, I guess I’ll just have to do the Southern, have him down (or up) for coffee, and we’ll hash it out.

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62 thoughts on “There goes the neighborhood

  1. And from the looks of him in the photograph, maybe while y’all are hashing out global warming (er, I mean, climate change), you can get him to go on a low-carb diet!

    He’s already been on Protein Power once. Bill gave him the book before the 2000 campaign.

  2. As a long time “low-carber” and scientist, I’ve always enjoyed your blog and the precise and systematic way you dismantle the “faux science” and inherent biases of some in the medical community. I love the way in which you expose the inherent logic mistakes of many studies. These kinds of assumptions hurt science and medicine and reduce the accuracy and usefullness of scientific conclusion. The medical community is better for your efforts.

    So, imagine my shock and dismay to discover that you have systematically ignored the scientific method by becoming a denier of global warming. I guess it goes to show that even the most logical and self proclaimed pragmatist can fall prey to “convenient views” and biases when they conform to one’s desired view of the world. It really weakens many of the arguments you have made against the “carb lobby.” I’m flabbergasted.

    I don’t know the full weight or source of the “evidence” you have relied on for your conclusions, but in this one post you have violated many of the principles of good analysis and reason that you love to support:

    1) Equating a messenger with his message. (Since Al Gore is a hypocrite, global warming must be a farce too.) Unfortunately, Gore is neither a scientist nor a good environmentalist. He obtained the facts for his presentations from legitimate sources however, and most of his conclusions about global warming have been proven to be accurate.

    2) Denying responsibility because others deny their responsibility. Imagine if you woke up one morning and decided that your message was useless, because Dean Ornish had the support of government lobbies and large agribusinesses, and that no progress you make will matter, since millions of Americans will continue chow down on carbs.

    3) Skewing risk-reward completely. You’ve concluded that the “cost” of reducing global warming is greater than the effects that will occur if it continues unabated. You might want to research some of the “costs” associated with global warming, some of them so dire that the US military is now formulating a disaster plan to deal with global relocation, disease, resource wars, etc.

    4) Deriving incorrect conclusions that “appear” logical because they were based on incorrect assumptions. If you derive your “facts” from biased sources, your conclusions will be also be biased, in much the same way that “grain” pundits use flawed studies to support their love for all things carb. Ask yourself WHO stands to benefit from the global warming “debate?” We know why the carb bias exists. It makes a LOT of money for agribusiness. They fuel the carb debate because it lines their pockets. Perhaps Exxon has a reason to fund the so-called global warming debate. BTW, there is really no debate. 97% of all qualified climatologists (not bloggers, meteorologists, or media pundits) agree that global warming exists. It’s not a popular view, so they would not make those conclusions on a whim. They would have nothing to gain by supporting global warming if it was, in fact, false. No mega-corp is going to fund their studies.

    5) Guilt by association. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming climatologists are wrong simply because a lot of doctors are wrong about carbs. As you often point out, most doctors have scant training in nutrition, yet give nutritional advice. Climatologists on the other hand, are eminently studied in their specific areas of expertise.

    6) Making an argument and conclusion that ignores the fundamental truth of results. If grains and carbs are so healthy and we’ve vastly increased our consumption of them, why is American health so miserable? If the planet is really cooling instead of warming, why are ice sheets and glaciers melting at unprecedented rates? I won’t bother to list a long litany of sources, or post satellite photos of thinning ice sheets, or articles about how the North Pole will soon be seawater for the first time in recorded history. I have confidence in your research abilities, so long as you broaden the scope of your research.

    I hope you will renew my faith in your unbiased insight by making a serious attempt at researching this subject. You may wonder why this is important, since it isn’t your main subject matter or area of expertise. It’s important because your message goes far beyond the low carb controversy. Your message is more about Americans becoming a “fact based” society, one that listens to their head more than their heart. We depend on you to do the same.

    I don’t want this post and the comments to devolve into a debate on the merits (or lack thereof) of global warming/climate change. Without getting into the details of it, I can assure you that my views are not the result of a knee-jerk reaction. Since I spend most of my ‘study’ time reviewing the nutritional literature, I don’t have a lot of time to spend making a detailed study of other issues (especially those that are politicized out the yang) that aren’t in my field. I depend a fair amount on a friend of mine who is a climatologist with an advanced degree in physics from Oxford. He does spend most of his time studying the issue and he isn’t political. So, I give a fair amount of weight to what he tells me during the many long conversations we have on the subject.

    It’s difficult for me to understand how ‘scientists’ can be so convinced of the reality of GW/climate change since so much of the raw data involved is not available or made available only to those who are believers.

    As I say, I don’t want this to be a debate about global warming. If you choose to let my views on the subject color your opinion of the validity of my criticisms of the medical/scientific literature on nutrition and related subjects then so be it. Were I you, I would take everything I say with a large grain of salt.

  3. Sigh. Al Gore has been involved in environmental issues and climate change since 1967, long, long before it became a political football the way it is today. He has 42 years of experience in these issues both technically and politically. He tried, once he went to DC, to involve the Congress in preventative measures, only to find that no one was interested–our politicians are not known for taking up something that isn’t in their immediate self interest. I must say that unlike countries like Japan and in Scandanavia, our political entities rarely do long term planning, regardless of party.

    As to China and India, Gore has been in contact with their scientific communities long before his film came out. Their political and scientific bodies are aware of the consequences of inaction, even if it turns out not to be as dire as some believe. I have more faith in China to get proactive if the planning for the Olympics is any indication of their abilities to initiate programs. India on the other hand is so diverse and so fatalistic in its many beliefs that I think they will let tens, of not hundreds of millions die–assuming that the predictions are true.

    As to Gore’s mansion, it also serves as his offices for all his projects, so the energy consumption is indicative of large groups of people using energy. Bush bought his ranch shortly before the election, and sold it after his term. It was for show only.

    I’m going to make a big assumption and say that the Montecito bid is so he can have a location on the Pacific Rim, and make it easier to get to all points in western Asia.

    Ah, the lengths to which people will go to defend a hero and disparage a non-hero. Bush (who, incidentally is NOT a hero of mine – I thought he was a terrible president) purchased his ranch in 1999 with funds he received from his sale of the Texas Rangers. As far as I can tell, he still owns it.

    Gore has a big office and runs his operation from his Tenn mansion therefore it’s okay that it is so large and consumes so much power? Is that your argument? Have you seen pictures of the large office? I have. It’s actually fairly small. A large desk with three large computer screens spread across it. The mansion is just a big huge house kind of typical to upper-middle-class areas of the South. And what about the private jet travel? One would think he would fly commercial if he’s really so worried. Do you have any idea of the amount of fuel a private jet uses per passenger as compared to a commercial jet?

    Maybe he is moving to Montecito to be nearer the Pacific Rim, but if that’s the case, why not move to Santa Monica or Malibu? There are plenty of nice houses there and it’s a quick taxi ride to LAX (assuming, of course, that Al would take a taxi) whereas in Montecito it’s about as far as you can get from the Santa Barbara airport, from which he can get a flight to LAX consuming more fuel than if he just lived near LAX. No, I think he wants to be in Montecito for other reasons. I don’t know what they are, but I can’t imagine that they are because he wants to be nearer the Pacific Rim.

  4. Gore is not a true believer, he is just an opportunist otherwise he would not be flying all over the country on private jets. I would bet that if you get him alone and stated your views as above he would give you a wink and a nod and change the subject.

  5. We should not forget that Gore is a stakeholder in Generation Investment a firm bound to make huge profits from the carbon trade.
    http://www.generationim.com/about/team.html

    As for the scientific method, the proponent of AGW should learn about it, would be a good idea.
    You’re right that we shouldn’t debate the subject here on your blog. There are very good blogs to tackle the issues, here my favorites:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/ very accessible for the layman and with lot of polite debate
    http://www.climateaudit.org/ very technical but at the forefront of debunking the outright fraud with which the IPCC and ilks are working (Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick for example).

    I would like to add a blog from the other side
    http://realclimate.com/ but don’t hold your breath for controversy on this blog, the comments are heavily censored (very telling imho).

    I actually read all three of these blogs. And I get a lot out of realclimate.com because its writers are so in the maw of AGW and their confirmation bias is so great that some of the posts are funny. When you think you’re preaching to the choir only, your critical thinking skills go out the window. My favorite, however, is wattsupwiththat.com.

  6. Michael Byrnes: “Bill appears to have given Gore the book instead of READING it.”

    …..that comment was good for a laugh!

    Dr. Mike: “I don’t want this post and the comments to devolve into a debate on the merits (or lack thereof) of global warming/climate change.”

    …..me neither.

  7. Wow! Dr Mike even though I admire you for your nutritional views and advices, I cant help but enjoy the debate on the subject of global warming/climate change. I venture to say that in healthy debate the truth is usually born! I am neither a scientist nor a climotologist but a simple man living rather simple life. But from my own experience and my own research I cant help but wonder if 1) global warming is man made and 2) can we stop it and 3) can man outsmart and destroy nature? I believe nature is far more intelligent and prudent than any human mind, therefore it is impossible to change nature by man who is a product of nature and its change. If we are a product of nature and its changes, are we controlled by it? Not to delve into philosophical discussion, but no matter what we think of ourselves as humans we are way too naive if we believe we can change the nature without its permission. I believe we might be experiencing climate change and I can personally attest seing glaciers thin out with my own eyes and all my friends who still live in Northern Russian see it on a yearly basis. But my question still remains : Is it a man made? Yes, as humans we have continuosly destroyed lands forcing extiction of animals, we continously demolish and change savvanahs and habitats. So I cling to the notion that yes, climate change might be a legimate fact, but I dont believe we can dictate nature our will! It might all be part of a grander sheme of nature after all for change that might lead to other changes!

  8. Dr. Eades:

    I quite enjoy your perspective on health in this blog, particularly because you back it up with evidence based medicine, link to studies, logical reasoning etc.

    I am disappointed to see you make such grand claims without substantiating them with any evidence at all. I searched your blog for global warming, and in the 5 articles that came up you have cited no credible evidence at all, none.

    “I’m not as much a denier as I am a pragmatist who realizes that even if there is something to the phenomenon (which in my view is far from certain), it’s way, way too expensive to fix in the ways we’re trying to fix it.”

    Please, provide evidence that supports ‘global warming’ being far from certain, and way too expensive to fix. Otherwise there is no discussion, just people planting flags in mountains of ideology and claiming one is taller than the other.

    You’ve mistaken this post for a polemic against global warming on my part. I was simply stating my own position on the matter and not trying to persuade anyone else to follow in my footsteps. Had I been trying to write a polemic in this or any other of the posts you found, I would have substantiated my statements. I just thought it was funny that possibility exists that Al Gore might be moving onto my street.

  9. Gary Taubes is not a “scientist” either, does that mean fat makes you fat?

    Gary is a Harvard graduate with a physics degree and a science writer who has won the top prize for science writing so many times that they won’t any longer consider him for the competition. That’s a far cry from a politician, film maker and drop out from divinity school. But one of the other commenters was correct: I’m engaging in ad hominem attacks, which is not a valid way to criticize an argument.

  10. Doc,
    I do have questions about global warming: namely has agriculture (the wholesale destruction of forests and damming of rivers) impacted our environment.

    However, I don’t think anyone read what you wrote clearly. I don’t believe you ever claimed that the climate hasn’t changed, but rather suggested that man is not directly responsible. Additionally, you didn’t write this as an anti-global warming apologist, but as a nutritional expert who wanted to poke a little fun at a future neighbor.

    Why everyone is getting so worked up about you expressing an opinion without a works cited list as beyond me.

    Please by all means continue to post any opinions you like without substantiating them. That’s what a blog is for!

    Oh and I am eager for my copy of “Vegetarian Myth” to arrive. Thanks for your great review of it, and I look forward to more great posts!

    Yes, I feel the same way. Glad you enjoyed the review; hope you like the book.

  11. http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/gorehome.asp

    This is a bit more detailed on plans for the Gore’s house. As with an office building, if there is a staff for each of the Gores, then the house is being used more efficiently than if it were only the two of them. As in a person per kilowatt ratio. Gore doesn’t own a private jet and uses commercial flights often. And obviously, is not above taking the offer of a flight on someone’s private plane, for which he purchases carbon offsets. I know some people disagree with the concept, but the Gores keep on top of what they say they’re going to do.

    As of June, 2007, they have a solar roof panel, which took quite a bit of doing because of the neighborhood’s rules.

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/06/al_gore_gets_a.php

    And the new geothermal system is in place, reducing the Gore’s gas consumption by 93%.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22248699/

    Anybody who’s remodeled a house knows that certain things take a couple of years and for the Gore house it was no different.

    What upsets me is the way so many entities in the United States, whether individual pundits or think tanks like the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, lie by omission, or by compressing the historical record. This is what TCPR did when talking about Gore’s plans for his house–they “forgot” to include in their story Gore’s plans for the solar panels and the geothermal system.

  12. Geeze, your street looks just like home! I’m sure a suave southern gentleman will be just that, a gentleman to the Gorester. However my big worry is that Big Al will ruin the climate by his presence. Whenever he comes to Sydney, the Gore Effect kicks in without fail and the weather turns miserable. If the relocation comes to pass, you’ll be getting snow in Park Lane, you mark my words!

  13. Sunbeam Hola..Honestly anyone who spouts the way he does yet lives the way he does isn’t worth a fraction of yr time.
    I don’t know enough about climate change but feel that whatever the cause it’s either too big or too late to stop it.As James Lovelock has said of late ‘we’re too late’ and he’s a total believer that we caused all the gubbins.

    Also any partic things you’d suggest aside from low carb diet for atrial fib sufferers please ?

    Was planning to come to Ca for Nov but am now orf to UK(Kent) for 2 months as Dads not well at all.
    Rgds to le Mrs

    Nothing dietary that I know of specifically for atrial fib. Just make sure that a good checkup of the thyroid has been done. Thyroid problems are the #1 cause of atrial fib.

  14. The unremitting comedown of Anthony Colpo began with his hallucinations about that “9/11 conspiracy” thing. I think your unacknowledged love-hate is not worth trying the same with this “denial of global warming” thing now…

    We need you here in our unfeeling reality.

    Cheers, guzolany

    In my view, the mad AGWers are the ones hallucinating.

  15. “Gary is a Harvard graduate with a physics degree and a science writer who has won the top prize for science writing so many times that they won’t any longer consider him for the competition. That’s a far cry from a politician, film maker and drop out from divinity school. But one of the other commenters was correct: I’m engaging in ad hominem attacks, which is not a valid way to criticize an argument.”

    I would be most interested in the opinion of Taubes on the climate change debate. After reading “Good Calories Bad Calories”, I venture to say that he would, unlike many others, offer more light than heat to the debate.

    In our many conversations the climate-change debate hasn’t really come up other than tangentially, and I don’t recall what – if anything – he thought about it.

  16. Under the Scots’ Criminal Trial Procedure, a jury has the option of bringing in one of three Verdicts against a Defendant: Guilty, Not Proven or Not Guilty.

    Were we try under Scots’ Procedure “That the Human Race has caused an increase of CO2, that of itself, and in the certain absence of any other mechanisms, a change in global climate, such that our Planet’s current ecologies have been permanently damaged” then with the evidence we have at present, I suggest the Verdict would be “Not Proven”.

    To appeal to the “Precautionary Principle” is not good enough either. That was the guise under which the “Nutritional Guidelines” of the 1970’s were introduced: eat as we suggest, the evidence WILL come in these studies we are commissioning. We know the results for that particular paridigm. No evidence came forth.

    We need to be much more wary in the case of CO2 and Climate Change.

    “Trust me, I am a Climatologist” ? I don’t think so. Expert Witnesses have been known to climb onto soapboxes, or even to be borne away on Intellectual Bandwagons.

    The most recent advice given to those diagnosed with Prostate Cancer is “Watchful Waiting”. I suggest the same here.

    I feel the same way.

  17. I am not sure if I understood it correctly but it looks like Bill Clinton had attempted to follow your recommendation. How did it come about/ i know he didnt follow it for long because he was giving an interview post his triple bypass and said he still enjoys fries once in a while.

    I don’t know that he did follow it. He got the book because he’s a friend of MD’s, but I don’t know whether he read it or not. Al Gore did because he sent us a letter thanking us. And he lost a lot of weight before he ran in 1999.

  18. I loved the picture of the street lined with eucalyptus trees. I used to live in Palo Alto. The Stanford campus was covered with eucalyptus trees. It was wonderful walking among them, after a winter rain.

    They’re beautiful to look at but I hate them otherwise. They are basically nothing but big weeds. They drop branches and leaves and fall over easily. I’m surprised more of them haven’t fallen along Park Lane and crushed a house or two.

  19. @Kent Lester,

    The Earth’s climate has been changing for the entire history of Earth, and whether or not past human activity contributed to the current apparent warming trend is only of academic interest (and still not well-understood). The issue before us is the cost/benefit of our choices moving forward. The current state of the science does not provide much insight in to this, see e.g. http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/. If you have evidence to the contrary, please share it. Discourse effecting such exchange of information is central to the advancement of scientific knowledge. Emotional ranting doesn’t help anybody.

    Personally, I’m more concerned about where my steak is going to come from after the last of the topsoil is gone.

  20. I admit I share your view. I’ll toss a couple of balls in the air and see where they land: when the Ice Age ended the Earth experienced you know what – global warming. It wasn’t man made though. Or as the current administration would say “a man caused disaster”. If there is GW, and I don’t believe there is, it may have nothing to do with us. Next, as I’m sure you know, green plants use CO2 for their respiration. And they emit O2. Which we use. Instead of capping CO2 we should try to encourage Brazil to not cut down the Amazon rain forest and build dams. If you want to save Polar Bears, stop hunting them. Far more effective.

    Gore is an enormous hypocrite and doesn’t deserve the time of day. He’s still hunting ManBearPig (i.e. Global Warming) which exists only in his mind. I wouldn’t let him in the house. If you do, count the silverware first. (OK, just kidding).

    I have a feeling you’ll be spending much more time in Incline. Chin up. TTYL. Jim

  21. Dr. Mike,

    Wow, Park Lane is beautiful! I love tree lined streets.

    Quite a shocker having Al Gore move into your neighborhood! There was an interesting article a couple of months ago that found that serial killers have the most traits in common with politicians! Watch out!

    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-2684-Law-Enforcement-Examiner~y2009m6d12-Serial-killers-and-politicians-share-traits

    I must say I’m surprised by the number of closed minded people that are responding to your blog posts by going after you for not agreeing with the ‘newspeak’ of global warming. It’s almost as if you’ve denied scientology or something. You must obey! You must obey Big Brother!

    They basically respond that you are wrong because everybody who is smart knows that anthropogenic global warming is happening.

    The truth of the matter is that not one single human being ‘knows’ with anything even close to certainty that humans are ‘causing’ climate change. It’s cause and effect, known as causality as you know, it goes back to Aristotle. We start with a blank slate of the unknown and build slowly and painfully to what we call ‘knowledge’.

    We are nowhere even close to ‘knowledge’ on AGW. What they claim is knowledge or causality is based on computer modeling. I’m an engineer with lots of experience in computer modeling. The climate models are unverified, and while interesting, they absolutely do not represent reality. The parameters programmed into the models are selected by the brain of the person doing the programming, or controlling the project. The parameters are not fixed laws of nature.

    It just makes me shake my head and lose confidence in science that so many people are almost religious in their devotion to this concept simply based on ‘all the scientists say so’ without any sort of critical examination. A sad state of affairs.

    Great article on serial killers and politicians. Thanks for sending. I’ll probably Tweet it on Twitter so others can read it, too.

    And I agree, it is a sad state of affairs.

  22. Invite the Gorebot over for dinner. Make smalltalk. Discuss ways you could help him lose a few tens of pounds (I know he is a relapsed PPer), give him a copy of your new book, pat him on the head, and then, while MD is distracting the security detail, rip off his faceplate and replace his defective CPU with a new, FUNCTIONING unit. Snap the faceplate back on, thank him for coming, and retire to the boudoir to watch some very bad reality TV.

  23. I’m with you Steve G.

    Used to do computer models in finance and marketing, econometrics and forecasting.
    Later when I had left that field, I saw the debacle of how “portfolio insurance” wildly amplified the 1987 crash. At that point I abandoned my studies for Master of Business Sciences, a course with greater analytical and operational depth than the MBA. Ha!

    It still passes my understanding that the “Finance Nobel Winners” Merton and Scholes had the arrogance and blindness to help found “Long Term Capital Management” which had to be bailed out under the auspices of Federal Reserve Bank of New York with funds of $BN 3.625 from the same banks whose names have figured prominently super-debacle of the last two years. (See Roger Lowenstein’s book When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management). These Noble Prizes should be revoked.

    Scholes has never acknowledged that he made a fundamental error in using the Gaussian Normal Distribution as the basis for his Black-Scholes Options Pricing formula.

    Benoit Mandelbrot of Fractals fame had found Non-Gaussian – wildly random – behaviour in his study of cotton prices in in early 1960’s and had published. It seems the mathematics of Levy Distributions was too complicated for the future Nobelity.

    “Expert Opinion”, in the shape of Merton,Scholes et al., chose to ignore these calculational inconveniences and instead promoted models based on mild randomness – Gaussian. Mandelbrot’s popular book “The (Mis)behaviour of Markets”, co-authored with Richard Hudson in 2004 was ignored. (Except by that sceptical Phoenician, Nassin Nicholas Taleb, another Etranger!)

    I am ashamed of the track record of these “experts”, these Emperors with no Clothes. Would that Tom Wolfe write a “New Bonfire of the Vanities”: this story requires an author of his insight and skills.

    The validation of data, models and predictive power should be on the level of “beyond all reasonable doubt. As far as the CO2 and Climate Debate is concerned, the case has not even come to trial. No prosecutor would bring a case at present. A jury would humiliate him/her.

    I am reminded of the current state of “string theory” in fundamental physics as outlined by Lee Smolin in “The Trouble with Physics” and excoriated in Peter Woit’s “Not Even Wrong”.

    The IPCC’s stance is Not Even Wrong.

    Unfortunately Popper is no longer with us. We need him now.

  24. The feedback system of research funding has followed a similar pattern with anthropogenic climate change as it did with the lipid hypothesis. It made some initial traction, and for whatever reason achieved a critical mass early on, and grew to dominate funding priorities, which either meant that only scientists who supported that hypothesis got funding, so either the others were left out in the cold, or decided to say what they needed to say so they could keep their jobs. Seriously, do any of you know a bunch of PhDs, and do they ever agree on much of anything? Consensus is rare, even on fairly well settled issues like gravity.

    AGW is only able to study the Earth in a way that generates the same type of data as epidemiological nutrition studies do, the hypothesis-generating kind, not the kind that shows causation. It may very well be that on time scales of 60 years, increasing CO2 gooses global temperature a bit and solar output change has little effect, but looking at 400kyear ice core data (which first aroused my suspicion, since I previously bought the party line, along with low fat dieting), I noticed that temperature always leads CO2 concentrations by a thousand years or more, which would not suggest a casual relationship, at least not in the direction proposed.

    I agree with the conclusion of ‘Not proven’. It’s certainly worth studying more, but not if our funding is going to go to only those captured researchers who will present the official hypothesis and conclusions regardless of data. To take drastic action at this point is the same as Geoffrey Rose’s argument that strong correlation is good enough to make public health recommendations, because surely it must be true (low fat, estrogen replacement therapy, etc.).

    I should add that I don’t believe hydrocarbon fuels will last us forever, and think we should be building integral fast nuclear reactors with fuel reprocessing in great quantities, as in France, and a ton of solar thermal concentrator systems as well. There are plenty of reasons (like national security) to do those things that make sense without AGW, and without China or India coming along.

  25. I’m still kinda agnostic on AGW because I haven’t studied the science enough to evaluate it, and I know how politicized science has become. As I understand it, though, even if Samantha Stevens from ‘Bewitched’ could twitch her nose today and instantly shift all energy sources to renewable ones, the greenhouse gasses already in place in the atmosphere will continue to do their thing for another 50 years. And, realistically, fossil fuels aren’t going away any time soon because the renewable energy infrastructure simply isn’t there to replace them. But, global warming or not, I’m still highly enthusiastic about domestic renewable energy because it’s better for the environment and it lessens our dependence on imported energy, often from politically unpleasant countries.

    Ultimately, I really don’t think 6+ billion humans is sustainable in the long term without major changes. To bring this back around to nutrition, modern large-scale mechanized agriculture loses topsoil faster than it is created, and it requires huge quantities of non-renewable resources. If that doesn’t change, at some point in the future, Malthus is going to be right.

  26. Hi Mike,
    I’d be happy to come film this chat 🙂 – do you think he’d sign a release?

    BTW.. one o your readers wrote:

    “That’s a far cry from a politician, FILM MAKER (emp. mine) and drop out from divinity school..” …OUCH!

    Al’s NOT a filmmaker.. you can thank Jeff Skoll and “Participant Productions” (now Participant Media) ..

    Jeff was the second employee and first president of internet auction firm eBay, and used the wealth this gave him to become a philanthropist and to found the independent movie production company Participant Media…

    cashed out at about 2-billion.

  27. You are a brave man, Dr. Eades! First you buck the establishment on the low fat orthodoxy, and now you casually mention that you disagree with the establishment view on climate change. Next you’ll be telling us you think for yourself when election times roll around …

    One of the things I think we’ve forgotten is that people on the other side of almost any issue are just like every one else; some are jerks, but some are surprisingly nice and enrich our lives. Our divisions are not as deep as the conflict between segments of religions, or traditional enmity between warring nations. I’ll bet that having the Gore’s over for some of MDs wine-marinated steaks thrown on a grill would turn out to be a nice evening.

    Not too far north of us is Hearst Castle. When you take the tour, they tell you that Hearst would have assigned seating at dinner, and would purposefully place a Cardinal next to a scandalous Hollywood starlet and the governor’s wife next to a ladie’s man while the governor was next to the nun. Just like the mental exercise suggested in PPLP, social exercise like that might be a good thing.

    I’m sure were the Gores to come over it would be a lovely get together. They are from the South as we are, and Southerners are nothing if not polite and congenial, especially in social circumstances.

  28. @Desmondo,

    I don’t think Black-Scholes is “wrong” in the sense you said. The normality assumption follows if the only information you have are the first two moments of the distribution describing the asset motion (e.g. growth and volatility). The problem is the additional assumption that the past is like the future, that the volatility of an instrument as deduced from past data will be valid moving forward indefinitely. This does hold approximately occur over fairly long stretches, but as you note, the overall behavior includes rapid jumps in volatility. But nobody on Wall Street knows how to price this more general case where volatility is uncertain, so they stick to what they can calculate, and it becomes “reality”.

    I strongly suspect an analogous effect has occurred with AGW. CO2 interacts in complex ways with various different subsystems on the Earth. People build simplified models, which may apply over limited domains. This allows them to actually do calculations and projections, but they forget that the model is not reality, along with the original assumptions about the domain of validity, and and make unjustified extrapolations.

  29. Referring to Steve G’s comment:
    “The truth of the matter is that not one single human being ‘knows’ with anything even close to certainty that humans are ‘causing’ climate change.”

    I am so glad to hear some rational reasoning behind the position I have always favored. I don’t know the science, so I usually keep my mouth shut in this kind of debate! However, I do believe that mankind is exceedingly arrogant. I seriously doubt the validity of 100-200 years of industrial revolution being able to derail the global climate. And I doubt even more strenuously the idea that we can FIX IT by reducing, or even eliminating, the use of nonrenewable petroleum for our energy needs.

    Having said that, THANKS to Dr. Eades and to all who made such thought-provoking comments about AWG and climate change!! I really learned a lot just reading this post and the comments.

  30. I completely believe in low-carb and eat carbs way more than I should. Why would believing in climate change be any different?

    Polluting less a good idea that I’m sure we can all agree on. Acid rain killed many lakes that returned after acid rain pollutants where stopped. We made ozone layer holes that are slowing fixing themselves after we banned a few chemicals. Assuming we can generate clean electric power (which we can), then figure out how get away from gasoline cars – its just a good idea, even more so with expensive oil. Everyone in a hot smog encrusted city can probably agree (or is smog not man-made either).

    Time to get Al Gore believing in low-carb.

  31. Mr. Eades,

    The more I’ve read since recently subscribing to your blog, the more concerned and disappointed I have become about your views and biases. While I initially thought you had some important things to say regarding diet and nutrition, the more dismayed I’ve become after reading your personal comments. I guess this is the down side to blogging and being transparent.

    I guess you’re right. It’s difficult, I suppose, for one to dissect out what is obviously a person’s trained area of expertise from his personal opinion.

  32. Hi Dr. Eades,
    Again, an awesome post. I hope I don’t ever see you in Santa Barbara, I might make a fool of myself and act like a silly fan. Don’t worry. I don’t live there. (Warning- I go to visit sometimes.)
    Kelly

    P.S. I started to write a comment on Gore’s “intelligent decision” to choose that property… the comment is so ridiculous I can only sputter. It doesn’t look good in type.

    If you see me, just come up and say ‘Hi.’ People do it all the time.

  33. Completely unrelated to the post; but I have a question that you or others here might answer. I have read that insulin rises more with the consumption of beef than with whole wheat pasta, etc. I know you are aware of such studies and have thoughts regarding them and am hoping you would share. Your blog is one of the best, not just for nutritional news, but humor as well. All the best.

    Thanks for the kudos on the blog. I need to put up a post on your question because so many people ask it. Based on the studies I’ve seen, beef does not raise insulin more than wheat.

  34. I’d like to comment on all those who’ve been commenting here that because you, Dr. Eades, don’t toe the line on AGW, somehow your advice and information regarding nutrition is suspect. It’s similar to what’s happening to John Mackey at Whole Foods because of his article in the WSJ on heathcare “reform” and the calls by some so-called “liberals” to boycott Whole Foods. Never mind that his stores sell them products they want and maybe cannot find elsewhere, but damn him, he’s out-of-pocket on healthcare reform and needs to be boycotted. So much for tolerance of differences.

    Some of your commenters need to grow up. We all have different opinions about different things. Just because someone has a opinion, argument, idea or insight into an issue that differs from yours doesn’t mean everything else they do or say is wrong or suspect. Doesn’t mean they need to be boycotted or condemned. If you have something to offer for consideration to change that person’s mind, do it, but otherwise get over it.

    I say this all the time, but apparently it falls on deaf ears. Thanks for chiming in.

  35. I would just like to say it is amusing to me read all the immature people who cannot let someone express there own opinion in there own personal blog. Its called many things, being irrational, a baby, poor coping. Basically its sheep-like thinking that if someone says something they KNOW is wrong then they must certainly be wrong and be punished for it until they understand whats right. So if Dr. Eades upsets you for having a different opinion then you, and you’re not a young relative ie grandson etc. Then run don’t walk to the nearest CB therapist.

    Though I must say that Goebbels(Formed the basis of propaganda that is used by EVERYONE today with an AGENDA, at least successful ones, ie PETA) would be slightly proud at some of the attempts made, in the end he would need to cut you from the crew for being too weak, without mass action and certainly without enough ad hominem attacks. You realize this forum is not for debates, as I understand it, but for Doc to share his info about nutrition, amusing anecdotes and life in general. And for us the viewer to pose questions, tell success stories, and share anecdotes. Not berate Eades on HIS own blog because it upsets you and you are too irrational to understand that sticks and stones break bones, but words can never hurt you. (btw-That is the mantra of a rational person. And yes there is no 100% rational person 100% of the time.) So don’t sit around stewing wondering if he is going to reply to your comment and then what are you going to say to his comment, and then his reply, until you can’t fall asleep tonight… because Doc ain’t stewing, he ain’t stewing a bit unless its got beef in it.

    Diatribe fin. lol 🙂

    Feel free to rant away any time you like.

  36. Ok that does it!

    Eucalypts are “overgrown weeds”? You do realise them’s fighting words around these parts! 😉

    I must admit I have the same view of most pines.

    Speaking of views – from my (home) office;

    http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g314/mcsblues/WindowsPhotoGalleryWallpaper.jpg

    Notice anything about the trees? 😉

    I did indeed notice the trees. Looks similar to views all over Montecito. We got our ‘weeds’ from you guys way back when. It could never happen today.

  37. Hi Dr. Eades,

    On a post a few years back (which I just read) regarding ketosis/metabolism, you mention the following quote:

    “If, instead of starving, you’re following a low-carb diet, it gets even better. The protein you eat is converted to glucose instead of the protein in your muscles. If you keep the carbs low enough so that the liver still has to make some sugar, then you will be in fat-burning mode while maintaining your muscle mass, the best of all worlds.”
    -http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ketones-and-ketosis/metabolism-and-ketosis/

    I have been on a ketogenic (low-carb, high protein/fat) diet for a while. I am working out hard in an effort to build muscle mass. From the above paragraph, you make it sound a bit like the “protein you eat is converted to glucose instead of the protein in your muscles” in a ketogenic diet–exactly what I don’t want. Is it possible/efficient to gain muscle mass while on a ketogenic diet? Please advise/elaborate. Your insight is HUGELY (understatement) appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Kyle Schneider

    Yes, you can gain muscle on a ketogenic diet. You need to eat enough protein to allow for conversion to glucose plus build muscle. Depending upon how much carb you eat, it will probably take 80 grams or so for glucose conversion. The rest can be used for muscle and other protein-dependent tissues.

  38. Hello all. I don’t often comment, but I’d like to chime in on this one as I see the pro-AGW camp have wasted no time in performing their ‘disapproving father’ act on poor Eades. I would be interested to know where MD stands on this issue?

    I don’t like to be close-minded about climate science, as dogma is highly contagious and usually involves ego, not rational thought; but I will say this: all climatology has revealed thus far is our inability to understand the complexities of climate. Climatologists are doing a great job, don’t get me wrong, but to argue that there is a preponderance of evidence for AGW is nonsense. All we have is some educated speculation based on a number of questionable premises.

    The evidence is clear that we can and have changed regional climates through de-forestation, urbanisation and greenhouse gas emmissions, but the extent and global impact of this is certainly not clear, and to go so far as to predict catastrophic global climate change within a century caused by our CO2 emmissions is sheer madness. Yes, of course we have increased CO2 levels since we began burning fossil fuels, but what that means in a well-mixed, dynamic atmosphere compared to what it means in a lab is not even close to being ascertained. Climate feedback mechanisms are so poorly understood that we can’t even say whether some of the major ones are positive or negative, temperature proxies and the measurement and adjustment of temperature records are under increasing scrutiny, and the giant, gaping holes in climate models (models, as opposed to crystal balls) are enough to both dismiss the outcomes and indeed the very sanity of the people who give the models weight in the debate. Shall I go on? And please explain to me why some supposedly objective climate scientists are more than happy to share their concerns about AGW by signing petitions for calls to action, yet seem reluctant to share code, raw data, or outline their statistical methodology in order to justify these concerns? Lee Smolin criticizes theoretical physics for getting tied up in strings (pun intended), but it has got nothing on climate science and its bloody CO2…

    Yes, there is no doubt that climate change has been observed, but no one can prove that this is outside the realms of natural variability; and any extrapolations to doomsday scenarios due to CO2 forcings and positive f/b are pre-emptive and, for want of a better word, ‘alarmist’. Finding a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels is just as important as it has always been, without the terror campaigns of the IPCC, and the physicists and chemists working on it are just as committed as they have always been… let’s hope they start getting the sort of funding climate science is getting. It amuses me how many people think that we can just replace fossil fuels overnight.

  39. There are many people I respect for their knowledge in their area of expertise and take seriously what they have to say about it. And, I disagree with them about other things. We all have our causes and blind spots.

    The important thing, I think, is that we’re open to information – which I believe Dr. Eades is, as he has demonstrated his willingness to change his opinion about a subject if presented with sufficient evidence. Some people are not, no matter how much evidence they are shown, or how many holes you blow in their hypotheses. As Popper said, if it isn’t falsifiable, it isn’t science. In other words, if there aren’t any goalposts, or there isn’t any point at which you’ll say “my theory/hypothesis was wrong” and explain away any evidence you’re shown, you’re not doing science.

    You can’t throw a rock without hitting an example of this in Climatology. Goalposts are being moved constantly. I’d like to see the AGW movement say “well if __________ happens/doesn’t happen then we are wrong.” I know that’s not likely however, because from working for a government agency which collaborated closely with a university, too much funding money and scientific prestige is riding on AGW. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

    I realize you were only stating an opinion, Dr. Eades, but I wish more people, when dealing with matters of science had your integrity, BS detector, and common sense.

    Thanks. I’m sure, however, that I, like everyone else, have my own biases that are difficult for me to overcome. I work on it, but I’m not always successful.

  40. I received my copy of ‘The Vegetarian Myth’ yesterday, and my library finally tracked down a copy of ‘The Alchemy of Air’. I really wish ordering through amazon.ca or chapters.indigo.ca could provide you with some revenue as I always appreciate your book recommendations.
    Before starting on either book, I have to stew over Melody Petersen’s ‘Our Daily Meds.’ I can’t decide if I am more angry or more scared over the state of the pharmaceutical industry and the impact on all of our health and finances, both private and public. I know there are other books on the subject, any you would particularly recommend?
    Thanks so much for keeping us entertained, educated and informed through this blog and your ‘tweets.’

  41. off topic, but I thought it might be of interest.

    http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/Animal-fats-not-linked-to-breast-cancer-risk

    By the way Dr Eades, I really appreciate this blog and the time you devote to it.

    Thanks. I’m glad you enjoy the blog. As to the study in your link…it is an observational study. Such studies aren’t all that valid, but they are more valid when there is no correlation than when there is a correlation. In other words, an observational study that shows no correlation between A and B is more valid than one that shows a correlation between A and B.

  42. Al Gore, bless his heart, doesn’t know a thing about climate. But who knows- maybe he’ll make a nice neighbor.

    Remember, we were all supposed to be dead by the year 2000 because of global cooling. Whoops, that didn’t happen. The statist simply changes the wording to form a new crisis requiring lots of new taxes, rules, and regulations; all of which serve to limit our freedom under the guise of “protection”.

    Maybe someday they’ll be able to predict the weather past five days.

  43. It always start with a “I love your nutritional writing, but….” or something to that effect.

    I love when opinions from the disciples of tolerance within the Church of Global Warming show their tolerance when confronted with a counter opinion.
    Very telling!

  44. I’m a meteorologist with over 30 years experience and I believe the case for global warming in the last couple of decades is strong, but the case for significant anthropogenic influence is quite weak. Most people seem to over look the fact that the primary greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is water vapor by far, not CO2 or methane. They also tend to overlook evidence that the CO2 increases follow global warming rather than preceding global warm as would be expected if it was a major cause. Blaming CO2 increases on global warming is like saying the tail is wagging the dog. But the evidence suggests the dog is wagging the tail 🙂

    I too hope you can talk some health and diet sense into Al!

    I’ll try should I get the chance. But he’s probably like these other idiots who think meat eating contributes to global warming.

  45. Oops … I meant to say that blaming global warming on CO2 increases is like saying the tail is wagging the dog. Hit the submit button too quick 🙂

    At least, maybe you can get Al to push for low-carb … it causes lower emissions of methane from humans 🙂

  46. Al Gore’s people have explained that yes, he uses way more energy than the average person, but it’s okay because he buys carbon credits. They don’t explain that he buys those credits from the company he owns. Inspired by his example, whenever I take a long car trip, I remove $5 from my wallet and put it in my pocket.

    You may enjoy these videos, a lecture by a “denier” professor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOLkze-9GcI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN06JSi-SW8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCXDISLXTaY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpQQGFZHSno

    Thanks for the videos. Hope you’re settling in in the new home.

  47. From your comment to Barry: “I guess you’re right. It’s difficult, I suppose, for one to dissect out what is obviously a person’s trained area of expertise from his personal opinion.”

    While obviously one will know a subject better they’ve spent a great deal of time in, versus one they have not, I find it rather interesting that some commenters appear to be so close minded or set in their ideologies that they seem not to consider the fact that you are known for dissecting scientific nutritional inaccuracy and you may also have applied that same discerning logic to other scientific subjects, and thus it must be at least considered that you are competent in forming opinions in those other subjects as well– that maybe it could be worth looking into all sides further if someone they respect disagrees with them.

    But maybe I’m just biased since I agree with you.

    I will be the first to admit that since I don’t have unlimited amounts of time at my disposal, I don’t devote as much time to dissecting anything as I do dissecting the scientific/medical literature. So, my opinions on other subjects are based on a less intensive study than my opinions on the medical literature. But, I, myself, respect authorities in all kinds of fields despite finding their politics abominable, so it seems strange to me that someone would disregard my medical opinions because they don’t like my politics. Very strange, indeed.

  48. Oh my. Another doctor, nutritionist, ADHD counselor who is WONDERFUL in his/her chosen field who then decides s/he is a: critic, journalist, politician. I loved Michael Eades in his area of expertise, but I yawn when he goes off on global warming or journalism or politics. And I am less trusting when it seems the desire is for celebrity and gravitas instead of the given expertise. OTOH, everyone is entitled to express opinions. And to simply go away.

    Oh my. Another commenter with no sense of humor.

  49. As a scientist, I do think that global warming is quite real. I’m not even looking at temperatures; my colleagues are studying the organisms that have shifted their ranges – plants, in particular – because of temperature intolerances. Here in the midwest, we are documenting the northward migration of plants, and the increase of invasive exotics that take advantage of the new ecological system.

    Someone else who is simply documenting the global warming: http://www.extremeicesurvey.org/

    It doesn’t matter WHY the earth is warming – the planet doesn’t care whether we’re here or not as it will continue to go on existing. If WE want to be here a few generations from now, we do need to figure out how to mitigate the effect that we do have and to adapt to the climate changes that are imposed upon us. Sticking our fingers in our ears and saying that global warming isn’t happening or that there’s nothing we can do is not a useful exercise.