Friday, February 20, 2015

A lesson in reading graphs

This comic is about Climate Change. It serves as sort of a sequel to last week's comic because I try to not create too much new artwork for Vociferations. It is all recycled.

I like how it ended up though, because Climate Change and Anti Vaxers have a common thread to me. The thread being that both sets of groups are not well versed in the science of it.

I have friends who are Climate Change deniers. Living in the Midwest, I have many friends who are Climate Change deniers. When I debate the topic with them, they always tell me how naive it is of me to trust scientists. Anyone can pay a scientist to produce the result they want, they say.

That is true, however it does not address the points I make. I am not a scientist, but I have a rudimentary literacy and grasp of science that allows me to assess the structural integrity of a scientific study.  When you point to a recent cooling trend, you ignore the fact that overall the trend is still up if you look at decades.

Climate Change deniers cannot explain away how migration patterns of animals have changed. They can't explain how if you look up the ice caps on Google Earth they are almost non-existent in the summer. You can visibly see the changes in the ice caps with satellite technology. Climate Change deniers refuse to acknowledge that predictions of Climate Change predict much more than warming. They predict extreme weather and ever excessive snow and cold. A warmer climate does not mean the weather is hot all year around. Look at the weather patterns of deserts.

I will hear Climate Change deniers say that it is arrogant to think that man can change the climate. Would these same people deny that the world would be at risk if their were a nuclear war?

Would they admit that humans can destroy ecosystems on a small scale by pollution, deforestation, and bad farming practices? If so, what if every community on Earth engaged in those practices all at once? That's what we are doing with our fossil fuels and coal fired power plants.

There is no reason to deny Climate Change.

Friday, February 6, 2015

My take on Anti Vaxers

My take on vaccines is that the movement against them is ludicrous and that any rational human being would get their kids vaccinated. Listening to the February 5th episode of Democracy Now!, I was astonished at the number of misconceptions thrown out by Mary Holland.

She disputes that herd immunity exists, and seems to not even understand what herd immunity means. She argues we can not eliminate diseases with vaccines when clearly the fact Smallpox is nonexistent shows that this is the case. She speaks like an authority on medicine when her degrees have nothing to do with medicine. The arguments she throws out for why the MMR vaccine are ridiculous.

Yes, in rare instances vaccines can have bad side effects. There is no concrete evidence they cause autism, but they can have rare side effects. If you compare the rates of metal disability from Measles to vaccines, however, there is no contest. Measles causes far more deaths and disabilities than vaccines ever have. I found maybe one cause of a death attributable to a vaccine in my research as compared to the cumulative thousands Measles has caused throughout human history.

I have no patience with anti vaxers and the misery they are causing by bring these childhood illnesses back into existence.