ABC’s Catalyst forgets about “consensus”


Consensus when it suits

Consensus when it suits

Consensus is optional, where the ABC is concerned. Naturally, with climate change, consensus is paramount, and anyone daring to question it is a denier in the pay of Big Oil.

But when it comes to cholesterol-reducing medications (statins), Catalyst appears happy to take the word of a few “outliers”, as the following transcript demonstrates:

NARRATION
For the last four decades, dietary fat and cholesterol have been the villains in heart disease.

Dr Michael Eades
You very seldom see the words ‘saturated fat’ in the public press when they’re not associated with artery clogging. So it’s like it’s all one term – ‘artery clogging saturated fats’.

NARRATION
But now some medical experts are coming forward to challenge this medical paradigm.

Dr Jonny Bowden
I think it’s a huge misconception that saturated fat and cholesterol are the demons in the diet, and it is 100% wrong.

Dr Stephen Sinatra
Saturated fat has been vilified for years because of the cholesterol theory.

NARRATION
A multibillion dollar food industry has fuelled our phobia of fat and cholesterol and dramatically influenced our diet.

Dr Michael Eades
That’s not science. That’s marketing.

Dr Jonny Bowden
It’s lived past its expiration date, and it’s one of these hypotheses that just won’t die.

NARRATION
Have we all been conned?

Dr Maryanne Demasi
In this episode, I’ll follow the road which led us to believe that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease, and reveal why it’s being touted as the biggest myth in medical history.

But the story has had such an effect on viewers that many are ceasing medication entirely, without any supervision from GPs or specialists, with potentially tragic consequences:

AN ABC report about cholesterol medication could cause as many as 3000 heart attacks in the next five years and cost the health system between $12 and $33 million.
The Heart Foundation has made the estimate after a survey it conducted found a third of those taking cholesterol lowering statin medications stopped them or reduced them in the wake of the Catalyst program on ABC.

When extrapolated to the entire population of 2.1 million Australians who take statins the survey found 55,000 people completely stopped taking their pills after the program.

A further 130,000 changed their medication by stopping it then restarting it or they reduced how much they took.

And 120,000 people saw their GP about their medication as a result of the Catalystepisodes.

One in four of those who altered their medication had previously had a heart attack, the research found.

The program has been heavily criticised by health experts who claim it was biased and the ABC is investigating 80 official complaints.

The ABC’s own health expert Dr Norman Swan has warned “people will die” because of the program.

Heart Foundation cardiovascular health director Dr Rob Grenfell says it is “alarming the survey found one in three people were worried or confused about their medication after the program.

“What Catalyst has done is create great confusion in the general public, unfortunately people have ceased their medication and that will cause harm,” he told News Corp Australia.

So who are Bowden, Sinatra and Eades? Media Watch reports:

Well, Dr Jonny Bowden and Dr Stephen Sinatra are co-authors of this popular American potboiler.

The Great Cholesterol Myth—why lowering your cholesterol won’t prevent heart disease and the statin-free plan that will

— The Great Cholesterol Myth, Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra

The foreword to this book was written by the other “expert” we saw in the opening clip, Dr Michael Eades.

Three men with one mind, presented as three independent points of view.

There’s much more at the link.

Whereas Catalyst (and the ABC in general) is reluctant ever to investigate opposing views in the climate debate, based on a belief that climate change may cause problems for mankind in centuries or millennia, it appears all too eager to give air time to issues that may cause suffering and even death right here and now.

Amazing slow motion video


100,000 fps!

100,000 fps!

And some science as well! Something a little different today – an exploration of Prince Rupert’s Drop – formed when molten glass is dropped into cold water. This video uses ultra-high-speed cameras to investigate these strange objects. Amazing! Enjoy.

OT: Proper science from The Guardian: Dark matter detected


Simulation of dark matter coalescing

Simulation of dark matter coalescing

… as opposed to the politicised, corrupt, distorted and manufactured science of “global warming”.

For 80 years, it has eluded the finest minds in science. But tonight it appeared that the hunt may be over for dark matter, the mysterious and invisible substance that accounts for three-quarters of the mass of the universe.

In a series of coordinated announcements at several US laboratories, researchers said they believed they had captured dark matter in a defunct iron ore mine half a mile underground. The claim, if confirmed next year, will rank as one the most spectacular discoveries in physics in the past century.

Tantalising glimpses of dark matter particles were picked up by highly sensitive detectors at the bottom of the Soudan mine in Minnesota, the scientists said.

Dan Bauer, head of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS), said the group had spotted two particles with all the expected characteristics of dark matter. There is a one in four chance that the result is due to some other effect in the underground detectors, Bauer told a seminar at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, near Chicago.

Rumours that Bauer’s group was on the verge of making an announcement surfaced on physicists’ blogs a few weeks ago. Though tentative, tonight’s results triggered an immediate wave of excitement in the science community.

“If they have a real signal, it’s a seriously big deal. The scale on which people are looking for dark matter is vast,” said Gerry Gilmore at Cambridge University’s institute of astronomy. “Dark matter is what created the structure of the universe and is essentially what holds it together. When ordinary matter falls into lumps of dark matter it turns into galaxies, stars, planets and people. Without it, we wouldn’t be here,” Gilmore said.

If confirmed, it would be one of the greatest discoveries in cosmology, and will add hugely to our understanding of the universe.

And that, by the way, is how science should be done, free from political and financial interference, and with no pre-determined agenda. It is in stark contrast to the pseudo-scientific circus currently concluding in Copenhagen.

Read it here.

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