There are many viewpoints on vaccine safety, from unquestioning support to complete avoidance. Most people fall in the middle. To label all who question the safety of vaccines as “anti-vaxxers”
By Michael Haughey May 27, 2014 Adding to the Global Warming tipping points already passed, are a few really big ones that may lie just ahead. These events could occur
By Michael D. Haughey, January 24, 2013 In the beginning they were not called GMOs. They were the promise of a better world through genetic engineering. Oh sure, there were
The landmark case of “Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission”, in a 5-4 decision split between the Reactionary Right-Wing judges and the Conservative Judges, overturned long-standing precedents in deciding that corporations have the same right to use their own money to fund campaign ads as individuals. In all likelihood, the democratic experiment in the United States is all but over. The final descent has begun.
(click “Read Post” below to read more……)
don’t believe the lies about single-payer not being politically realistic. That is politician-speak for what they really fear – they are afraid of losing their substantial health industry lobbyist campaign donations. The more they say it is “politically unrealistic”, the more we know they are afraid because it really is possible
(click “Read Post” below to read the full article……)
There are many viewpoints on vaccine safety, from unquestioning support to complete avoidance. Most people fall in the middle. To label all who question the safety of vaccines as “anti-vaxxers” is completely inaccurate and mis-leading. Here is one article that is the result of extensive research into the safety of vaccines.
Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness
Article by guest author:
Earl H. Staelin,
Attorney and Nutrition Researcher
Earl is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan School of Law. He has been a student of nutrition for 48 years–almost as long as he has been a lawyer. As a lawyer, he pioneered the use of nutritional defenses and rehabilitation in cases involving crime, delinquency, mental commitments, and domestic violence. He has also handled many cases on behalf of persons injured by exposure to hazardous chemicals and metals.
Letter to Colorado House Representatives and Senators regarding 2019 HB 1312 – draft in-progress article/letter
(Note: Colorado HB 1312 will limit the ability to opt out of vaccines)
(Personal information deleted)
Dear Colorado Representatives and Senators,
This letter is to share information with you showing why many Coloradans across the political spectrum have concerns about vaccine safety and effectiveness for the health of our children, and why we had specific concerns about 2019 House Bill 1312 (HB 1312). We believe the bill is unnecessary and would not be good for Colorado or the health of its children or adults. In the opinion of many who are familiar with the scientific research, as discussed in detail below, the following provisions in the bill are contrary to the results of independent research and common sense:
- The bill makes it more difficult for Colorado residents to claim vaccine exemptions, despite the fact Colorado is one of the 10 healthiest states. As considerable peer-reviewed research by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and many others cited herein shows, the fact Colorado is among the 10 healthiest states may actually be due in part to its lower vaccination rate for children.
- The Bill adopts the entire CDC/ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) vaccine schedule, which now recommends or requires 70 shots of vaccines for 16 different diseases by the time a child is 18. None of these 16 vaccines has been tested for long term safety or effectiveness, either alone, or in combination, except partially for the MMR vaccine. The FDA, which approves new vaccines, and the ACIP, which recommends that new vaccines be added to the CDC schedule, involve unacceptable conflicts of interest. Scientific studies show that vaccines
- do not provide complete immunity or so-called “herd” immunity
- are not effective in a significant minority of people vaccinated,
- provide only temporary immunity,
- cause other strains of the target microbe (which are often more virulent than the target microbe) to thrive, ,
- result in patients vaccinated with live virus who are asymptomatic often shedding the live virus and infecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons,
- cause outbreaks such as for pertussis, mumps, and measles that often involve mostly or entirely vaccinated patients,
- and cause unacceptably high levels of serious injuries, illness, and death.
- It fails to require that each Coloradan or Colorado parent always be provided easy-to-read written information providing informed consent, including benefits, effectiveness, risks, and reasonable alternatives to each vaccine, including the significantly increased risk to premature or underweight children, children taking antibiotics, or experiencing illness or eczema. Informed consent is a fundamental right of every patient.
- It requires those who claim exemptions to sign false statements that contradict a credible body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence showing limited effectiveness and serious risks and potential harm including permanent disability and death from vaccines and vaccine ingredients.
- It ignores the evidence that the CDC knowingly conducted flawed research in six studies on the MMR, mercury, and autism, including methodological problems, misrepresentation, destruction of important evidence, and conflicts of interest, and suppressed other CDC research showing serious injuries and increased fetal deaths from vaccines..
- It fails to consider or provide an estimate of the costs of injuries and harm caused by vaccines, including increases in other illnesses, food allergies, and deaths, which should be provided alongside its estimates of lives and costs saved by compliance with the ACIP/CDC schedule.
- The Bill “finds and declares that: (a) Each year in the United States, immunizations save 33,000 lives, prevent 14 million disease cases, and save $9.9 billion in direct health care costs”. These figures are not documented or explained. The CDC’s VAERS data base of voluntary reports of vaccine injuries for 2016, discussed below, report 432 deaths from vaccinations, and an HHS study estimates that VAERS reports only include 1% of actual injuries. If the HHS study is accurate, annual deaths from vaccinations in the U.S. could be as high as 43,200. HB 1312’s claims should be documented, explained, and balanced by information from the VAERS reports and studies concerning adverse reactions and deaths. The costs of such injuries and deaths must also be incorporated into any assessment of benefits vs. costs of each vaccine on the schedule.
Colorado should conduct its own thorough assessment of the safety and effectiveness of each vaccine on the CDC/ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) recommended schedule of vaccines, and should seriously consider adopting the modified vaccine schedule used by pediatrician Paul Thomas, M.D., or in Japan since 1994, as discussed below, both of which have produced much healthier outcomes than has following the CDC schedule.
We are providing you the following information that we believe that you as legislators concerned about the health and safety of our children need to study, know and understand before drafting and enacting or revising legislation concerning vaccinations and vaccination policy for Colorado.
- People who question vaccine safety are highly educated;
- Add links to sites where the referenced books can be purchased.
The Vaccine Program in the U.S. and abroad is seriously compromised by conflicts of interest.
The primary agency responsible for approving vaccines in the U.S. is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the primary agency responsible for promoting and distributing vaccines is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC decides which vaccines are on the recommended schedule for vaccines. The FDA and CDC are both part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) is responsible for testing vaccines, which are classed as “biologics” rather than as drugs. Biologics face a much less strict testing and approval process than drugs. Also, legislation allows vaccine manufacturers to pay fees to the FDA to expedite approval. About 45% of the FDA’s $5.4 billion budget, or $2.4 billion, comes from industry user fees. https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/fda-basics/fact-sheet-fda-glance The law allows vaccine makers to do their own testing, and only requires a few days testing for safety rather than several years as required for “drugs.” Thus, conflicts of interest are built into the drug approval process. Such short testing periods and the expedited approval process make it impossible to determine whether vaccines are safe before they are introduced. Similar Conflicts of interest also seriously compromise health officials, nonprofit organizations, the media, and drug company funded academia, all of whom are dependent upon income to promote the use of vaccines. These will be discussed in more detail below.
Serious concerns about vaccines causing autism and neurological disorders prompted a June 2000 secret meeting of vaccine makers, U.S. government officials, WHO, and others. According to the transcript of the meeting received in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by parents of children allegedly injured by vaccines, top officials and scientists from the CDC, FDA, WHO, and leading vaccine manufacturers including Merck and GlaxoSmithKline met secretly at a retreat on June 6-7, 2000 at the Simpsonwood conference center in Georgia. See the transcript
The purpose of the meeting was to hear growing evidence from the CDC’s own database and experts showing the serious harm caused by thimerosal (which contains mercury) in vaccines and to decide what to do about it. CDC epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten, Ph.D. informed attendees of the large number of studies including studies based upon CDC’s large vaccine database called Vaccine Safety Data Link (VSD), showing with statistical significance that vaccines containing mercury cause speech delays, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, and autism. Autism had risen 15-fold just from 1991, when the CDC recommended three new vaccines, to the year 2000.
However, instead of focusing on how to make vaccines safer, the attention of most of the rest of the two-day meeting was on how to handle and cover-up the information. Dr. Bob Chen, vaccine safety head for the CDC, was relieved that “given the sensitivity of the information, we have been able to keep it out of the hands of, let’s say, less responsible hands.” Dr. John Clements, advisor on vaccines for the World Health Organization, referring to one of the studies showing serious harm from vaccines, declared that “perhaps this study should not have been done at all.” He added that “the research results have to be handled.” See article “Deadly Immunity” by Bobby Kennedy, Jr., published June 16, 2005 in Rolling Stone and Salon.com. https://www.wanttoknow.info/h/vaccines-autism-mercury. The article was later withdrawn, but Rolling Stone reinstated it. According to Kennedy:
The CDC paid the Institute of Medicine to conduct a new study to whitewash the risks of thimerosal, ordering researchers to “rule out” the chemical’s link to autism. It withheld Verstraeten’s findings, even though they had been slated for immediate publication, and told other scientists that his original data had been “lost” and could not be replicated. And to thwart the Freedom of Information Act, it handed its giant database of vaccine records over to a private company, declaring it off-limits to researchers. By the time Verstraeten finally published his study in 2003, he had gone to work for GlaxoSmithKline and reworked his data to bury the link between thimerosal and autism. Ibid.
In the years following the secret meeting in Simpsonwood, the CDC published six problematic and fraudulent studies to make it appear that the MMR vaccine and mercury do not cause autism. As the result of such disproportionate pro-vaccine influence at the CDC, the CDC published six problematic and/or fraudulent studies between about 2002 and 2010 concluding that vaccines do not cause autism. Brian Hooker, Ph.D. wrote several articles in 2004 and later in the American Journal of Physicians and Surgeons and other journals showing in detail the flaws in each of the six studies.
For example, four of these studies removed or withheld important data showing that vaccines caused significant increases in autism. Another flaw in some of the studies was changing the sizes of the test group of vaccinated children and/or of the control group that did not get vaccines containing mercury and aluminum so as to reduce the probability of causation below the level of statistical significance. A third flaw was something called over-matching. Instead of comparing completely unvaccinated children with those who received all their vaccines, they would compare two groups each of which was vaccinated, but with different amounts of vaccines, that is, the two groups were too similar. Of course, such a method could easily remove any statistical differences between the groups. The violations of sound research practices are easy to spot and lead to the conclusion that they were deliberate and constitute ethical breaches and fraud. We recommend that people read Dr. Hooker’s analysis and decide for themselves.
As Dr. Hooker points out, the six fraudulent studies contradicted the findings of 165 studies published over 75 years by many different researchers, all of which found health hazards from exposure to thimerosal, which contains nearly 50% mercury. Sixteen of the 75 studies specifically involved infants and children. Dr. Hooker’s analysis of these studies is discussed in detail after further discussion of the problem of conflicts of interest involving vaccines policies and implementation.
More on Conflicts of Interest
The CDC’s promotion of vaccines takes precedence over safety concerns raised by its vaccine safety division. Approximately $4.9 billion of the CDC’s annual budget is devoted to vaccines. Most of the $4.9 billion is devoted to the purchase, promotion, marketing, and distribution of vaccines. Less than 1% of that amount, or about $20 million is devoted to immunization safety. The safety testing of vaccines is conducted by its Immunization Safety Division. Thus, many thousands of jobs plus high salaries for top officials at the CDC depend upon the promotion of vaccines. Such funding and jobs might be in jeopardy if research proves that particular vaccines or vaccine ingredients such as mercury and aluminum, which are potent neurotoxins, are not safe or if vaccines are not effective and do not provide an acceptable cost-benefit ratio. This is a clear conflict of interest. The CDC also receives grants from the major vaccine manufacturers. This lopsided funding for vaccine promotion enables the CDC’s vaccine promotion officials and its top management to override and misrepresent safety concerns. As a result, important research by the CDC immunization safety division showing vaccine hazards has repeatedly been suppressed by the CDC’s dominant pro-vaccine forces, as discussed in detail below.
State and local health departments also receive substantial funds from the CDC to promote vaccines and therefore are also biased in favor of vaccines. State and local health departments should be independent in their assessment of vaccine safety and effectiveness and the availability of alternatives. This essential independence is not possible because the CDC provides them with large amounts of funding to promote vaccines, and no funding to test for safety and effectiveness. .
Nonprofit organizations and vaccines. A British Medical Journal article questions whether the information these nonprofits disseminate about vaccines is independent and unbiased: Moreover, a great many nonprofit organizations promote or administer vaccines. These organizations receive much funding from the CDC and from vaccine manufacturers.
These nonprofits have a vested interest in continuing to receive $ billions yearly from the CDC to support their operations and their jobs, and therefore are biased in believing that vaccines are safe and in assuring their patients they are safe.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, have conflicts of interest, and are unduly influenced by the Gates Foundation with its narrow agenda. The United States provides the most funding for WHO of any country, and the Gates Foundation, led by Bill and Melinda Gates, gives the most to WHO of any private foundation. The Gates Foundation also gives the most to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, which is a public-private partnership to promote vaccines around the world. A detailed report entitled “Philanthropic Power and Development – Who Shapes the Agenda?” by Jens Martens and Karolin Seitz (2015) expressed the following concerns about the role of Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation in the global health agenda:
The Gates Foundation’s prioritization of vaccine solutions for multiple health problems reflects the foundation’s preference for interventions with quick, measurable and visible solutions. One of GAVI’s senior representatives reported that Bill Gates often told him in private conversations “that he is vehemently ‘against’ health systems (…) he basically said it is a complete waste of money, that there is no evidence that it works, so I will not see a dollar or cent of my money go to the strengthening of health systems.”
The Gates Foundation “has been undermining, directly or indirectly, more holistic approaches to health policy, primarily by prompting governments to shift their priorities.” (pp. 35-36)
The authors of this study express specific concern that Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation have had excessive influence on GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization, and global health programs by promoting the narrow single solution of vaccines. The public-private partnership model of GAVI means that vaccine makers, whose goal is to maximize profit, are a core part of these programs and their officials have key roles in both GAVI and the WHO. The result is that vaccines are pushed with minimal consideration for their safety or for any alternative approaches to world health.
The single solution vaccine approach ignores the positive immune effect of healthy lifestyles, sanitation, vitamins that support natural immunity, and more.
In their summary, the authors specifically mention the neglect of nutrition under the Gates Foundation’s influence. In fact, nutrition appears to be at the core of true group immunity, as opposed to the partial and temporary “herd immunity” allegedly achieved by vaccines. In fact, it has been argued that vaccines cannot support lasting herd immunity due to a variety of factors, including the fact they wear off after a few years, are not effective for some people, the fact they only target one part of the immune system, that is, antibodies, and they neglect the innate immune system; the fact that they only use one or a few strains of the disease microbe targeted, and thus facilitate the development of other strains of the disease that are often more virulent and dangerous than the original disease. Their promoters also neglect nutritional factors, discussed below, such as vitamins C, D, and A, which in very large amounts can in most cases substantially speed up recovery and achieve complete recovery with a greatly reduced or zero death rate, even from very serious infectious conditions.
Physicians may have conflicts of interest regarding vaccines. Practicing physicians such as pediatricians can receive an estimated $40,000 to $80,000 per year for meeting insurance company (e.g. Blue Cross/Blue Shield) targets for administering vaccines.
Incentive Program Booklet. This booklet provides an incentive for a doctor to vaccinate a child even when it may not be in the child’s best interest. Doctors who must repay up to $250,000 in student loans from medical school would be even more vulnerable to such incentives. Even without such incentives, a significant proportion of a pediatrician’s income derives from frequent “well-baby” visits at which vaccines are routinely given. Parents used to take a child to see the doctor only when they were sick. Also, no physician wants to know that he has caused the death or a permanent disability of a patient, such as autism, ADHD, mental retardation, encephalitis, or other serious illness. Therefore, the vaccine makers’ assurance to doctors that all vaccines are safe is readily accepted by doctors who have little incentive to investigate such claims.
We do not know if health insurance companies other than Blue Cross Blue Shield have a similar practice of rewarding doctors for prescribing and administering vaccines. The purpose of the practice may be to reduce health insurance expenses based on the assumption that vaccinations reduce childhood illness. However, that assumption may be mistaken. Studies show that fully vaccinated children are more likely to require hospitalization than infants who were not fully vaccinated. JAMA Pediatr 2013 Mar 1; 167(3):274-81. Also see below the discussion of studies showing that infant mortality in the U.S. is much higher than in other developed countries in which infants receive many fewer vaccine doses.
The leading spokespersons for vaccines are seriously compromised by conflicts of interest. The most outspoken and prominent experts in the pro-vaccine camp, such as Paul Offit, Stanley Plotkin, and Peter Hotez all have serious conflicts of interest on the subject of vaccines. Paul Offit, M.D. is Professor Vaccinology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the author of several books on vaccines. He made an admitted $6 million in the stock market when his rotavirus vaccine was placed on the recommended CDC schedule. Stanley Plotkin, M.D. is the author of Plotkin’s Vaccines, a book now in its 7th edition. Bill Gates calls it an “indispensable guide” to the well-being of the world. Plotkin also received $6 million along with Dr. Offit from the sale of rotavirus stock when the vaccine was placed on the CDC schedule. He has consulted for the big four vaccine makers, received royalties from the sale of vaccines, and co-authored papers for which authors received compensation from vaccine makers. Peter Hotez, M.D., perhaps the leading pro-vaccine spokesman in recent years, is a patent holder on several experimental vaccines. Another leading spokesperson, Dr. Paul Shattuck, was a Merck scholar and received CDC grants of over $500,000 in support of his research. (See Handley, infra, 85, 105-123). If vaccines were as safe as these spokespersons confidently assure us, surely the pro-vaccine interests could and would find numerous truly independent experts to make the case for them.
Academia and Vaccines: As shown in the last paragraph, , the leading pro-vaccine experts are connected to university medical centers, where they receive substantial funding either directly or indirectly from vaccine makers. Their university connections add to the professional authority that their opinions create in the minds of the public. However, these experts seldom mention the source of their funding or the conflicts of interest that such funding generates.
Most of the decline of major diseases occurred before vaccines were introduced. Neil Miller’s book Vaccines-Are They Really Safe and Effective? (with over 900 scientific references) contains evidence and graphs based upon official U.S. statistics showing that major diseases for which vaccines are now recommended, such as measles, mumps, pertussis, and polio dropped dramatically from about 1900 to 1955 before vaccines were introduced. For example, the rate of measles declined by 98% between 1915 and 1958, and the measles vaccine was not introduced until 1963 (ibid., p.28). Pertussis declined 80% between 1900 and 1936 when the pertussis vaccine was introduced (ibid., p. 41). Polio declined 50% between 1923 and 1953 when the first polio vaccine was introduced. After the polio vaccine was introduced the incidence of polio in the U.S. rose significantly and may have more than doubled for a year or more (ibid., p. 16-17). These statistics demonstrate that the CDC’s claim that vaccines were the reason for the decline of major diseases and death rates is not true. Furthermore, it shows that the claim in 2019 HB 1312 of the number of lives saved by vaccines is questionable and needs to be thoroughly reassessed.
Public health measures and improved sanitation, food handling, and living conditions caused the sharp decrease in major diseases and deaths. A 2015 book by Suzanne Humphries, M.D. and Roman Bystrianyk, Dissolving Illusions – Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History, provides extensive documentation of how the implementation of a wide range of public health measures and improved conditions in Western Europe and the United States after the 1880s brought about major reductions of all infectious illness over the next 70 years. The measures included replacement of slums with better housing; sanitation; separation of drinking water from sewage; refrigeration; better transportation of fresh food; compulsory school in place of brutal child labor that required very long hours shorter working hours for adults that enabled children and adults to get more sunshine and outdoor light and air; cleaner city air; etc. These measures and their results demonstrate that these methods of achieving group immunity, coupled with quarantine of infected persons, and disinfection of homes, are highly effective in lowering disease rates and strengthening immunity. Such evidence clearly disproves the claim by vaccine makers, CDC, and the media that vaccines caused the major decline in death rates from infectious diseases.
A 2004 CDC study of the MMR and autism was flawed and fraudulent. One of the six flawed CDC studies was a 2004 CDC study on the MMR vaccine and autism. It was exposed as fraudulent by CDC whistleblower William Thompson, Ph.D., a senior researcher at the CDC who had once worked for Merck. Thompson was the lead researcher on the 2004 study published by DeStefano et al. His story is featured in the film “Vaxxed.” Thompson made his initial disclosures to Brian Hooker, Ph.D. several years after publication. Thompson’s most serious charge was that in 2002 a CDC official ordered that important data from the study be destroyed. The data showed that black boys who got the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine before the age of 3 had 150% and 256% (p <0.01) increases in autism compared to those who got the MMR after the age of 3. Thompson had originally disclosed those findings to the other CDC participants in the study in November 2001. When the participants realized the data was valid and could not be made to go away, it was ordered that the data be destroyed. The data was destroyed by the CDC study participants in a meeting with approval of the director of the CDC. The authors manipulated the remaining data to falsely assert that the MMR does not cause autism. Thompson had serious misgivings about the scientific misconduct and fraud that he had opposed but had gone along with anyway. On his own initiative he secretly saved a copy of all the data that had been ordered destroyed. Several years later he became a whistleblower and began disclosing that data, involving thousands of documents, to a scientist outside the CDC, Brian Hooker, Ph.D. See Hooker’s “Reanalysis of CDC Data on Autism Incidence and Time of First MMR Vaccination” which exposes the 2004 study’s destruction of data and methodological flaws.
A 7th CDC study showed thimerosal does cause autism. In 2000 the CDC completed a study that showed a 7.6X higher incidence of autism in infants exposed to high levels of thimerosal in the first month of life, compared to children not exposed to mercury. “Increased risk of developmental neurologic impairment after high exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccine in first month of life,” by Verstraeten et al., Proceedings of the Epidemic Intelligence Service Annual Conference (2000); Vol. 49. https://www.vaccineinjury.info/news/978-secret-cdc-verstraeten-study-shows-neurological-developmental-disorders-with-mercury-in-vaccines.html The CDC did not publicize this study. This study is also described in the above 2014 study by Hooker et al. in BioMed Research International. See Miller, Critical Vaccine Studies, p. 43.
In the 2002 Madsen study done in Denmark on the MMR and autism, a CDC researcher artificially adjusted critical data showing that autism significantly declined after thimerosal was taken out of vaccines to make it appear that autism had increased instead. Another of the six CDC studies analyzed by Dr. Hooker is the study by Madsen et al., that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002. However, it has been thoroughly discredited because the authors artificially adjusted the data that showed autism declined significantly after thimerosal (mercury) was taken out of children’s vaccines in Denmark. As a result, the data was made to look as though autism had increased instead. CDC researcher Poul Thorsen, who is from Denmark, played a significant role in the alteration of data for that study. Thorsen was later indicted by U.S. attorneys in Atlanta in 2011 for misuse of up to $2 million in CDC grant funds. He is now a fugitive back in Denmark, subject to a request for extradition to the U.S. Efforts to extradite him to the U.S. to face trial have failed, apparently because officials high up in the Department of Justice do not want him tried and found guilty. This is suspected to be because the Department of Justice represents HHS (which includes CDC and FDA) in opposing vaccine injury cases and the DOJ itself is accused of misconduct regarding vaccine injury cases. For more on these problems, see the section on Dr. Andrew Zimmerman below And see report by Beth Clay of the World Mercury Project on Thorsen and his involvement in fraudulent CDC studies.
Dr. Hooker has analyzed 14 other studies that the CDC touts as proving that vaccines do not cause autism, and shows how these are also seriously flawed and involve conflicts of interest. People may obtain a copy of this study by writing Dr. Hooker at email@example.com.
The history of fraudulent and flawed CDC research and behavior on vaccines make it imperative that the CDC’s Safety Division be made independent in order to eliminate and prevent conflicts of interest and ensure its integrity. (Robert Kennedy Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense website contains the above information about CDC funding for vaccine promotion vs. safety and a number of recent articles detailing the web of conflicts of interest affecting the pro-vaccine program). www.childrenshealthdefense.org
HHS’s leading neurological expert opposing autism claims reversed his position. Andrew Zimmerman, M.D. is a pediatric neurologist at U Mass Memorial Medical Center, former Director of Medical Research at the Kennedy Kreiger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders, and after 1994 professor for many years at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, where he taught neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and epidemiology. He was scheduled to testify as an expert witness for HHS and its lawyers in the Department of Justice (DOJ) to oppose a claim of autism in the case of Michelle Cedillo v. HHS. That case was one of six test cases in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding (O.A.P.) involving over 5,000 autism claims in “Vaccine Court.” The six test cases were agreed upon between the steering committee for the lawyers for Petitioners, the DOJ, and the Special Masters who decide the cases. The decisions in the test cases would be applied to the other autism cases on the issue as to whether vaccines with thimerosal can cause autism.
“Vaccine Court” is the term commonly used for the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which is not a court but an administrative proceeding involving Special Masters as hearing officers within the Federal Courts of Claims. The right of persons to file vaccine injury claims in Vaccine Court was established under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which also exempted vaccine manufacturers from liability for injuries caused by vaccines. Vaccine Court hearings are not open to the public, and the rules of discovery, evidence, and civil procedure do not apply. There is no judge or jury, but a special master, who is a government attorney. Vaccine Court is within HHS. The odds are stacked against claimants and only about 1 in 3 claims is granted. The procedure can take years. In 1995 the rules were changed to make it more difficult to prove a claim. See this memo (by attorney Rolf Hazelhurst, attorney and father of William “Yates” Hazelhurst, a child with autism whose claim was test case number two before the Vaccine Court.) Cedillo v. HHS was test case number one, and the case of Hannah Poling was test case number four. Hazelhurst in his memo stated:
Under the Vaccine Act, before the parents of a vaccine injured child may file a lawsuit in a court of law, they must first timely file a claim in “vaccine court.” However, the Vaccine Act has a 3year statute of limitations, which begins to run upon the first symptom of injury. Under the CDC vaccine schedule children receive their first vaccinations either at birth or 2 months of age. However, in most cases, children are not diagnosed with autism until they are 3 or 4 years old. Therefore, by the time the child is diagnosed with autism, the statute of limitations has run in “vaccine court” and the parents are forever denied the right to proceed with a lawsuit in a court of law.
For the OAP it was decided to have three Special Masters decide the autism causation issues.
Dr. Zimmerman first concluded that there is no scientific basis by which vaccines cause autism but then changed his mind. In Dr. Zimmerman’s written report for HHS in Cedillo v. HHS, the first OAP test case, his report stated that there is “no scientific basis” by which vaccines or mercury could cause autism. However, in the time that passed before he was to testify, he had done further research and concluded that for children with mitochondrial disorders and subjected to added stress, vaccines could cause autism. On Friday, June 15, 2007, while he was attending the OAP to hear the testimony of the expert witness for Michelle Cedillo, and before he was to testify on the following Monday, he explained his change of opinion to the lead DOJ attorney Vincent Matanoski and explained that his opinion in Cedillo did not apply to all cases. He was terminated over the weekend as the DOJ’s expert witness and was not called to testify.
The DOJ falsely represented Dr. Zimmerman’s opinions to Vaccine Court. Later in 2007, Matanoski, representing HHS in opposing the autism injury claim of William “Yates” Hazelhurst, in his final argument quoted from Dr. Zimmerman’s report in which he stated there was “no scientific basis” by which the MMR or mercury could cause autism, but failed to mention that Zimmerman had since changed his opinion and concluded that in some cases vaccines do cause autism. The special master found against Hazelhurst in that test case. However, Dr. Zimmerman had examined Yates Hazelhurst as part of his role for HHS and concluded that he had mitochondrial disorder. However, the DOJ kept that information from the Hazelhursts in the hearing of the Hazelhurst case.
Eleven years later, Dr. Zimmerman learned of the misrepresentation by Matanoski and its use to defeat the claim of Yates Hazelhurst. On September 7, 2018, Dr. Zimmerman wrote an affidavit for the OAP in which he stated:
“I have reviewed extensive genetic, metabolic and other medical records of William “Yates” Hazlehurst. In my opinion, and to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, Yates Hazlehurst suffered regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder as a result of a vaccine injury in the same manner as described in the DOJ concession in Poling v. H.H.S., with the additional factors that Yates Hazlehurst was vaccinated while ill, administered antibiotics and after previously suffering from symptoms consistent with a severe adverse vaccine reaction.
“In my opinion, the statement by Mr. Matonoski during his closing argument regarding my expert opinion was highly misleading and not an accurate reflection of my opinion…. In my opinion, it was highly misleading for the Department of Justice to continue to use my original written expert opinion, as to Michelle Cedillo, as evidence against the remaining petitioners in the O.A.P. in light of the above referenced information which I explained to the DOJ attorneys while omitting the caveat regarding exceptions in which vaccinations could cause autism.”
The DOJ’s deceptive omission of the fact Zimmerman changed his mind and concluded that thimerosal does cause autism in certain cases raised the possibility that many if not most of the 5,500 autism claims in the O.A.P. may have been defeated as a result of this misrepresentation. A fraud complaint against DOJ is pending over this issue. A Snopes report purports to discredit Dr. Zimmerman’s reversal and to make light of or deny the DOJ’s misrepresentation, but omits the above quotes from Dr. Zimmerman’s affidavit and misrepresents what happened. Snopes has been criticized in the past for presenting biased reports that favor corporate interests. Sharyl Attkisson, five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter, airs the story of Dr. Zimmerman’s change of opinion here. It is not clear to what extent the DOJ’s misrepresentation affected the O.A.P. decisions, but it could have been very substantial, especially if Yates Hazelhurt’s father had learned of the deception in his son’s case at the time.
The wrong in the Hazelhurst O.A.P. case was compounded by the DOJ’s handling of the Hannah Poling case. In that case Dr. Zimmerman had found that Hannah Poling had a mitochondrial disorder and that the MMR vaccines had caused her autism. As a result, HHS and DOJ agreed to pay for Hannah Poling’s autism on the Poling case, but they made the settlement secretly and removed the case as case number 4 from the Omnibus O.A.P. proceeding. As a result, there was no way that Rolf Hazelhurst or the other plaintiffs could learn of Dr. Zimmerman’s revised opinion or introduce it in their own autism cases.
Was the special masters’ requirement in the OAP appropriate that the plaintiffs must prove the mechanism by which vaccines cause autism? One flaw in the OAP’s approach to the problem is that it is not necessary to show the precise mechanism by which a cause produces an injury to know with a high degree of scientific probability that the cause produced the injury. Nor is it necessary to show the mechanism in personal injury court cases. Biology and physiology are immensely complicated and have many unknowns. It is common in medicine and science for a cause to be accepted as probable and proved while the mechanism by which it does so remains unknown. A common example is aspirin, or salicylic acid, originally derived from willow bark. The use of willow bark was known by Hippocrates in 400 B.C., and its main active ingredient acetylsalicylic acid, known as aspirin, was first distributed in 1899, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that John Vane explained how it worked, for which he won the 1982 Nobel prize. The main method for determining cause and effect in science is the analysis of statistical probability, which for human health issues is known as epidemiology. When the probability of cause-effect resulting from an experiment or study is high enough, conventionally by a 95% or higher probability, or, stated another way, a probability or “p” stated as p < 0.05 or < 5% chance that the results were by chance. Further, when the experiment can be repeated and produces the same result with an equal or higher probability, epidemiologists accept that the causal relationship has been proved, even if the mechanism is not known or understood. However, with further progress in science such mechanisms will usually be discovered, and are being discovered for autism, as discussed below.
Science has found multiple mechanisms by which vaccines cause autism. While it is not necessary to show the precise mechanisms by which vaccines cause autism in order to know that they cause autism, growing research has found mechanisms by which vaccines do cause autism. However, the Vaccine Court has not awarded any claims expressly for autism, and reportedly will not do so. The DOJ did agree to settle the case of Hannah Poling, who had autism, and which was one of the OAP test cases. However, the DOJ settled it confidentially outside the OAP so that it would not strengthen the other 5,000 plus autism cases in the OAP. (J.B. Handley, How to End the Autism Epidemic, p. 180 (2018)).
The Vaccine Court has granted many claims for autism as long as the claimant doesn’t call it autism. Mary Holland, professor of law at New York University, did a study with co-author-investigators of successful autism claims in the Vaccine Court, published in the Pace Environmental Law Review, winter, 2011 (480-544). “Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury.” Their analysis of many injury cases of all kinds found 83 cases in which awards were made for children who have autism or ASD (autism spectrum disorder), but the claims were granted for “vaccine induced brain damage” instead of for autism. (pp. 516-520). Also, Handley’s book above, (187-188). What this analysis showed was that the way to get an autism case granted is not to claim autism but to call it brain damage instead. There were many more vaccine injury cases that Ms. Holland et al. were not able to access to determine the number that actually had autism despite the award being for brain injury.
HHS and DOJ secretly agreed that aggravation of mitochondrial disorder is a valid basis for the Vaccine Court to make an award for autism. Dr. Andrew Zimmerman’s theory in the Hanna Poling case was that she had mitochondrial disorder, which was aggravated by being vaccinated, and by being sick at the time. He was joined in his opinion by Richard Kelley, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, and Director of Kennedy Krieger Laboratory on Autism, and by Jon Poling, M.D., Ph.D., Hannah’s father, also with Kennedy Krieger Laboratory. (See Handley, above at 171). Dr. Kelley has expressed his opinion as an expert in mitochondrial disorders that roughly 25% to 40% of claims of vaccine injury resulting in autism involve mitochondrial disorder. This would mean that from 1,375 to 2,200 of the 5,500 autism claims in the OAP before Vaccine Court, all of which were denied, involve a valid claim of autism based upon mitochondrial disorder. (Handley, p. 194.)
Important additional evidence that vaccines cause autism has recently been discovered.
Eleven significant discoveries provide additional scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism. Handley, above, 142-163)
- Autism brains are permanently inflamed. (Johns Hopkins Univ.)
- Immune activation events lead to autism. (Cal Tech)
- The cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) is the key biomarker for immune activation. (Cal Tech)
- Immune activation can take place after birth. (Neuropsychopharmacology 2018)
- Aluminum adjuvant in vaccines produces behavior and motor function deficits. (Univ. of British Columbia, 2009).
- Aluminum adjuvants in vaccines, injected into the body, can be carried to the brain by macrophages. (Universite Paris Est, 2013)
- Aluminum adjuvant stay in the brain much longer than anyone realized. (Universite Paris Est, 2015)
- Small Doses of Aluminum Adjuvant Are Actually More Dangerous. (Toxicology, 2016)
- Aluminum adjuvant causes immune activation in the brain. (Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 2018)
- Hepatitis B vaccine induces IL-6 in postnatal rats. (Journal of Neuroimmunology, 2015)
- High Levels of Aluminum Are Uniquely Located in Brain Tissue of People with Autism. (Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 2018, by Christopher Exley).
Denialism. The denial that the rate of autism has risen from nonexistent in the 1930s to 1 in 36 today, but instead has always been with us in the same proportion as now is without merit.
Despite the abundant evidence that the rate of autism has increased from zero in the 1930s when the first vaccines containing mercury and aluminum were introduced with the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines (at some point together as DPT) to 1 in 36 in the U.S. today, the vaccine makers, CDC, other promoters of vaccines and the media assert that autism was not new, that the rate of autism has not increased, and that the apparent increase is simply due to better diagnosis and the expansion of the definition of autism. These issues are thoroughly addressed in J.B. Handley’s 2018 book How to End the Autism Epidemic, and Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill’s 2017 book Denial: How refusing to face the facts about our autism epidemic hurts children, our families, and our future. They cite leading autism experts such as Leo Kanner, M.D. and Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., all of whom say autism was a new disease and has increased enormously, as well as a number of studies that clearly show an enormous increase in autism over the past 80 years from nonexistent to 1 in 36 today, and that environmental causes, especially vaccines, are almost certainly involved. This evidence shows that the expanded definition of autism to include Asperger’s and other “autism spectrum disorder” manifestations increased the number of autism cases by no more than about 10%.
- A CDC study found that miscarriage rates are 7.7 times higher for pregnant women who got flu shots in successive seasons. In a 2017 CDC study on miscarriages, the miscarriage rate was 7.7X higher for pregnant women who received the pH1N1 in the prior flu season and a flu vaccine in the current season. The flu vaccine contains thimerosal and thus exposes the fetus to many times more mercury than the FDA considers safe. (Vaccine (2017)). The CDC has not publicized the results of this study.
- Another study based upon CDC’s VAERS database showed an 11.4X higher rate of miscarriage from flu vaccines. In another study based upon CDC’s own VAERS database reports, the miscarriage rate was 11.4X higher in pregnant women who received two doses of flu vaccines than in pregnant women who received only one dose of flu vaccine. Hum Exp Toxicol 2013 May: 32(5): 464-75 (described in Miller, Critical Studies, p. 70). Flu vaccines contain significant amounts of thimerosal as a preservative. The CDC has not publicized the results of this study. The much higher miscarriage rate also raises the concern that infants born live after such vaccines might also have been harmed by the shots. Informed consent requires that the CDC and doctors inform pregnant women about these studies and the risks of successive H1N1 and flu shots around pregnancy. The experiment also raises the question of how much higher the miscarriage rate might have been if the control group of pregnant women had received no flu vaccines instead of one flu vaccine.
- Maternal mortality in the U.S. is rising rapidly. In addition, while global mortality of women related to pregnancy has fallen by half, maternal mortality in the U.S. has risen 50% since 1990 and is now higher than in poorer countries like Russia, Iran, Romania, and Vietnam. Vaccinations for pregnant women have never been tested for safety of the mother or the baby, despite being recommended by the CDC/ACIP during any trimester of pregnancy. After Congress exempted vaccine makers from liability for injuries from vaccines in 1986, the number of vaccines and vaccine shots recommended by the CDC increased dramatically.
- The U.S. has the highest infant mortality rate in the industrialized world and we give by far the most vaccines during pregnancy and the first year of life. Colorado’s adoption of the CDC/ACIP recommended schedule for attendance at school now requires 70 shots for 16 different illnesses by age 18, by far the highest of any developed nation.
- A recent comparison from 2014 reports that the infant mortality rate (infants who die between birth and one year of age) in the U.S. is 5.8 per 1,000 live births, the highest of 12 wealthy countries. Japan’s rate was the lowest at 1.3 per 1,000 live births.
- The U.S. also recommends many more vaccinations during pregnancy and the first year of life than in any of these other countries. The CDC should be studying whether our high rate of infant mortality may be the result of exposure to thimerosal, aluminum, and other toxins that the fetus, newborns, and infants in the U.S. receive, and the much higher number of vaccines and multiple vaccines at one time that American children receive than in Japan and other countries with much lower infant mortality rates. The 10X higher death rate of vaccinated children in the Guinea-Bissau study (see below) and the 7.7 to 11.4 X higher miscarriage rates in studies of pregnant women receiving H1N1 and the flu vaccine in consecutive seasons suggests that we should take a close look at the Japanese experience before and after they made vaccines optional in 1994. As stated on the Children’s Health Defense website:
- American children would be better served if these officials—before imposing questionable and draconian measures—studied child health outcomes in Japan. With a population of 127 million, Japan has the healthiest children and the very highest “healthy life expectancy” in the world—and the least vaccinated children of any developed country. The U.S., in contrast, has the developed world’s most aggressive vaccination schedule in number and timing, starting at pregnancy, at birth and in the first two years of life. Does this make U.S. children healthier? The clear answer is no. The U.S. has the very highest infant mortality rate of all industrialized countries, with more American children dying at birth and in their first year than in any other comparable nation—and more than half of those who survive develop at least one chronic illness. Analysis of real-world infant mortality and health results shows that U.S. vaccine policy does not add up to a win for American children.
Autism was described as a brand new disorder in 1943 and the incidence has risen from nonexistent before that to the extremely high level in 2018 of 1 in 36. Autism was first described by the eminent pediatric neurologist Leo Kanner, M.D. in a report of eleven autism patients in 1943. Kanner stated that autism was a brand new disease, never seen before. The DPT vaccine (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) was first introduced in the U.S. in about the mid-1930s and it contained large amounts of the neurotoxins mercury as a preservative and aluminum as an adjuvant. Infants and children had never before been routinely injected with these neurotoxins. Kanner’s oldest patient was born in 1931. The next vaccine to be added was the measles vaccine in 1963. By the 1970s the rate of autism was reported as 1 in 10,000 (actually 0.7 per 10,000, by Dr. Donald Treffert, Archives of General Psychiatry, 1970); and by 1987 as 3.3 in 10,000.
The 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act exempting vaccine makers and doctors from liability for injuries from vaccines resulted in many new untested vaccines. After the Act was passed that exempted vaccine makers and doctors from any liability for injuries caused by vaccines opened the floodgates to the development and administration of many new vaccines that required extremely limited monitoring for safety—e.g. two to four days. As a result, in the 1990s many new vaccines were approved by the FDA and added by the CDC to the recommended vaccine schedule. Also, the effectiveness of existing vaccines was found to be short-lived, so many booster shots were added. This greatly increased the amount of mercury, aluminum, vaccines, and other toxic ingredients of vaccines to which newborns, infants and children were routinely exposed. In the 1990s the incidence of autism increased from about 1 in 2,500 in 1990 to 1 ???
A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Vaccines is Long Overdue. A thorough cost-benefit analysis of each of the vaccines on the CDC schedule and the combinations of all such vaccines is essential. The many studies described and referred to in this letter all show a significant probability that vaccines cause serious injuries to the unborn, infants, children, and adults. This includes those containing the neurotoxins mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde and other toxins, the very high cumulative number of vaccines, multiple vaccines given at one time to pregnant women, newborns, premature and underweight children, sick children, and children taking antibiotics, or with eczema,. The precautionary principle requires a thorough cost-benefit analysis before vaccine makers, the FDA ,CDC, and doctors expose children and adults to these toxic substances. The studies required to do this have never been conducted. Thus, everyone is a guinea pig in a major experiment that is not even being conducted as an experiment because the vaccine makers, the FDA, the CDC, and doctors are not monitoring vaccinated persons long term or making any comparisons of vaccinated persons to unvaccinated persons as would be required in order to make a responsible cost-benefit analysis. The VAERS reports that are being done are admittedly inadequate because they only include an estimated 1% of those injured by vaccines.
Study by Anthony R. Mawson, M.D. et al. of Preterm Infants and Vaccination. A study published in the Journal of Translational Science in 2017 by Dr. Anthony Mawson et al. showed much higher rates of serious neurological disorders in vaccinated preterm infants than in unvaccinated preterm and not preterm infants. The neurological development disorders (NDD) reported in the study are defined as autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities, or combinations thereof.
Some of the significant findings in this study of vaccinated v. unvaccinated preterm (i.e. birth at <37 weeks pregnancy) and not preterm infants for the odds ratio of NDD in children are :
- Preterm & unvaccinated v. Not preterm & unvaccinated. No increased risk of NDD
- Not Preterm & Vaccinated v. Not Preterm & Unvaccinated. Odds Ratio (OR) (95% CI or “Confidence Interval”) = 2.7 (i.e. 2.7X odds of NDD in the vaccinated group compared to unvaccinated. P-Value (probability) = .012 (i.e. ~1 in 100)
- Preterm & Vaccinated v. Not Preterm & Vaccinated. OR = 5.4 NDD in the former P-Value = .001 (i.e. 1 in 1,000 chance results are not valid)
- Preterm & Vaccinated v. Preterm & Unvaccinated. OR = 12.3 NDD (Not significant due to a technicality because no preterm infants were unvaccinated)
- Preterm & Vaccinated v. Not Preterm & Unvaccinated. OR = 14.5 NDD P-value = .001 (i.e. 1/1000 – highly significant)
As the authors of the study point out, it has been known that extremely preterm infants (e.g. <25 or <27 weeks) experience very high rates of autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities. Current vaccine policy requires vaccinating preterm infants with the same doses and at the same ages as non-preterm infants. This is the first study comparing the results of vaccination of preterm infants, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, with non-preterm infants, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. The study involved 666 children aged 6 to 12, of whom 261 were not vaccinated. In 2013 the Institute of Medicine recommended that such studies be done. The study involved home-schooled children in Mississippi. Over 90% of the children in the study are white, and nearly 2/3 of the parents are college graduates or have additional graduate study and most are middle income or above .
The authors call for further investigation. Three of the authors have a background or training in epidemiology and statistics. The fourth is president of a national home school education research institute located in Oregon. The authors stated they had no financial conflicts of interest. Dr. Mawson acknowledged he had previously had concerns about vaccine safety. As expected, the CDC and its allies have criticized the study, including because one of the funding organizations for the study has vaccine safety activist and former super-model and actress Jenny McCarthy on its board. That does not appear to have had any influence on the study. People should read the study and decide its merits for themselves.
In a 2017 Study in Africa, Children Vaccinated with DPT Experienced a 10X Higher Death Rate Than Unvaccinated Children. See this article on a study of the DPT vaccine in Guinea-Bissau, Africa, published in January 2017. The study showed a 10X higher death rate among children who received the DPT vaccine before the age of three in the early 1980s compared to a matched group of children who were not vaccinated. Oddly, the death rate was 5X higher in those who received DPT plus OPV (oral polio vaccine) compared to those who were not vaccinated. The study strongly suggests that the risks of the DPT vaccine may outweigh its benefit. Lead author Peter Aaby, M.D. is an award-winning researcher who has spent many years researching vaccines in Africa. The award was for conducting research that followed vaccinated persons for a period of years to find out any and all other diseases or illnesses or death that they experienced for years after their vaccinations. The CDC has long refused to do such comparison studies between vaccinated and unvaccinated persons, claiming it is unethical to deny vaccines to one group.
However, many matching groups of unvaccinated children already exist in the U.S., and many parents refuse vaccinations for their children. The CDC could use these groups for purposes of comparison. Therefore, the claim that it would be unethical to conduct such studies is a false excuse. Many suspect the CDC’s real reason for not doing such studies is that its top officials are heavily influenced by vaccine manufacturers like Merck, who know that such studies will probably confirm that vaccines cause many serious injuries and death, as CDC’s epidemiologist Verstraeten informed them at their retreat in 2000. Their subsequent misconduct suggests the CDC is unwilling to jeopardize the $35 billion vaccine industry upon whom most of their jobs depend. Congress exempted the vaccine industry from all liability for such injuries in 1986. That made vaccines much more profitable and largely removed the industry’s or CDC’s need to be concerned about the safety of vaccines.
Evidence that Amish who don’t vaccinate don’t get autism. Bobby Kennedy’s article “Deadly Immunity” mentioned above describes a study done by reporter Dan Olmsted for UPI of the vaccine-autism link. In 2005, Olmsted undertook a study himself. He searched for children who were not exposed to mercury in vaccines in order to have a “control group” to compare with vaccinated children. “Olmsted scoured the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who refuse to immunize their infants. Given the national rate of autism, Olmsted calculated that there should be 130 autistics among the Amish. He found only four.” Of those four, one had been exposed to high levels of mercury from a power plant, while the other three had received their vaccines. Because this study was informal, it is recommended that a formal scientific study be done with the Amish because they present a natural control group to compare with vaccinated children. Sadly, Mr. Olmsted died in January 2017.
Bobby Kennedy, Jr. on Vaccine Hazards. Bobby Kennedy Jr. is of course a well-known and respected environmental lawyer and son of RFK with long experience handling cases involving damage and harm caused by mercury in the environment and in vaccines. He has become an expert on mercury and other toxins in vaccines and their harmful effects. He has also published articles documenting conflicts of interest and unethical conduct in research by drug companies, the FDA, CDC, WHO, and other institutions. Here is a video of his presentation in March 2019 on vaccine safety issues before a special educational meeting arranged by Connecticut legislators to hear both sides of the vaccine issue. Three Yale University professors who were to appear with him on March 18, 2019, canceled at 11 p.m. the night before.
Media Conflicts of Interest. The mainstream media have a major conflict of interest on vaccine safety. TV’s biggest and fastest growing source of advertising revenue is from big drug manufacturers. As a result, the media won’t publish stories seriously questioning vaccine safety. Even NPR and PBS have received money from pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline. Internet advertising, which also involves much drug advertising, surpassed TV advertising in 2017. Major Internet companies such as Facebook, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, and others are now being pressured to delete, censor, or issue a cautionary statement accompanying stories that question vaccine safety and or that report injuries caused by vaccines, and to direct people to CDC, WHO, and similar websites that put out pro-vaccine messages without adequately covering the hazards, if they cover them at all. This stifles freedom of speech and means that people have to be especially resourceful and discerning to ensure they hear all sides of the issue.
Doctors Don’t Investigate Vaccines. Medical students and doctors do not study the pros and cons of vaccines, unless they do it on their own. See article by Marco Caceres, M.D. He writes:
“(D)octors are taught almost nothing about vaccines in medical school. Doctors are taught that vaccines have saved the world from infectious diseases and they are taught to follow the vaccine schedule promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—which tells them which vaccines to give and when. They’re taught that they must always abide by the schedule and vaccinate every patient. That’s pretty much it.”
He also wrote: “It is time to put this myth (that physicians are the experts on vaccines) to rest because it is too often used as a way to disparage anyone who dares to disagree or even mildly question doctors about the safety and effectiveness of vaccination.”
People who question vaccine safety are highly educated. The media often portray people who raise concerns about vaccine safety as “anti-vaxxers” and “anti-science” in an attempt to discredit them. However, a number of studies have found that parents of unvaccinated children or who avoid having their children receive particular vaccines are highly educated. E.g. Pediatrics, 2004; 114: 187-95, which concluded: “Unvaccinated children tended to be white, to have a mother who was married and had a college degree, to live in a household with an annual income exceeding $75 000, and to have parents who expressed concerns regarding the safety of vaccines and indicated that medical doctors have little influence over vaccination decisions for their children.” See the article ; Am. J. Public Health, 2007; Public Health Nurs 2008; Vaccine, 2005; BMJ, 2006. These and eight more studies with similar findings are summarized in Miller, Critical Studies, pp. 294-302 (2016).
Andrew Wakefield, M.D. was the victim of a false attack led by GlaxoSmithKline and Rupert Murdoch. Dr. Andrew Wakefield is a British doctor used by vaccine proponents as an example of a doctor who they claim was completely discredited for his research published in Lancet in 1998 with 12 distinguished co-authors. The study was a case series looking at 12 children with severe gastrointestinal symptoms and autism that most of the children experienced after receiving the MMR vaccine. The article drew no conclusions but suggested that a possible causal relationship between the measles/MMR vaccine and these medical problems should be further investigated. After Wakefield was attacked six years later in 2004 in Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, he promptly told his side of the story in April 2004. He tells more of the story in an interview on Del Bigtree’s video blog HighWire on December 27, 2018. Bigtree was an Emmy Award-winning producer on the TV Show “The Doctors,” where he worked for six years. The article and interview provide documentation that all of the charges against Dr. Wakefield were mistaken or fraudulent. People should read the article and watch the interview and decide for themselves.
The charges against Wakefield were made by a non-medical investigator, Brian Deer, hired by Rupert Murdoch in order to help vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Murdoch of course owned News Corporation which included major U.K. newpapers and Fox News. GSK faced thousands of lawsuits for potentially many $ billions in damages for injuries including autism to children allegedly caused by the measles or MMR vaccine. In order to help GSK with the media, GSK appointed Murdoch’s son, James Murdoch, to its board of directors. In 2004 Deer initiated charges of ethical violations against Wakefield and John Walker-Smith, M.D. before the General Medical Council and garnered heavy publicity in Murdoch’s papers. Dr. Walker-Smith was the distinguished founder of pediatric gastroenterology. In the Medical Council proceedings (which involved 149 days of evidence beginning in 2007, and more than 45 days of deliberations) on January 28, 2010 the Council made findings of fact involving serious professional misconduct on the part of Drs. Walker-Smith and Wakefield. On May 24, 2010 Walker-Smith and Wakefield were found guilty of serious professional misconduct and had their medical licenses taken away. Lancet withdrew its 1998 article by Wakefield et al. on February 2, 2010. However, the withdrawal did not actually withdraw any of the facts or scientific points in the article and repeated that the possible connection between the MMR vaccine, severe gastrointestinal problems and autism should be investigated further. Dr. Walker-Smith was able to appeal the decision because he had legal insurance, while Wakefield did not have insurance and could not afford to appeal.
The U.K. Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Medical Council. In 2012, the U.K. Court of Appeals, in a 90-page opinion, found that Dr. Walker-Smith was not guilty of serious professional misconduct and ordered his license returned. Most of the Court of Appeals’ reasons for reversing the medical board’s findings applied to Wakefield also, but Wakefield, unlike Walker-Smith, did not have legal insurance to cover his attorney’s fees for the appeal and therefore dropped his appeal. The Court of Appeals’ decision should have caused Lancet to reinstate its article, but it has not yet done so. The court’s opinion is available in full here: Dr. Wakefield’s real offense in the eyes of the vaccine manufacturers was to recommend publicly against the MMR, on the grounds it had a significant potential to cause severe gastrointestinal illness. Instead he recommended that measles vaccine be given separately, and that mumps and rubella also be given separately, as they decided to do in Japan in the early 1990s to avoid serious problems with the combination MMR. Thousands of parents in Britain then demanded a separate measles virus, which was then still available. Vaccination rates declined. Within six months, the vaccine makers responded by stopping the production of a separate measles vaccine, giving parents no alternative to the MMR. It appears that vaccine makers like GSK and Merck decided that in order to protect themselves from lawsuits for vaccine injuries and to increase vaccination rates they needed to take down Dr. Wakefield, which they arranged to do through Murdoch, the media, investigator Brian Deer, and the British General Medical Council.
Neil Z. Miller’s Review of 438 Critical Vaccine Studies. Neil Z. Miller’s 2016 book Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccines Studies contains 438 peer-reviewed medical and scientific references with summaries of each documenting the many and varied types of serious injuries caused by vaccines. It also has numerous articles showing safe nutritional and medical alternatives to vaccines or means of avoiding or lessening injuries from vaccines. Some key examples follow.
The World Health Organization and American Pediatric Association have long advised supplying vitamin A in large amounts for measles. (200,000 IU of Vitamin A on day one, and 200,000 IU the next day for children with measles; less for children under one year of age). That measure alone reduced the death rate in infants from measles by 48% to 87%. Miller’s book contains descriptions and references to many similar successful studies with vitamin A. See recommendations from British Medical Journal, American Academy of Pediatrics, and WHO in Miller’s Critical Studies, pp. 249-250. High dose vitamin A is very helpful in combating many serious microbial infections.
Vitamin D in large amounts (4,000-5,000/day) is recommended by doctors as a safe alternative to flu vaccines and to prevent severe lower respiratory infections. See Miller’s Review, pp. 280-281 attached. The book contains many similar studies. A valid informed consent should include this information for patients and parents. For severely depleted patients much higher amounts of vitamin D, such as 50,000 to 100,000 are recommended to bring blood levels up to a normal range.
Vitamin C in very large amounts facilitates rapid recovery from viral infections, improves immune response to bacterial infections, and protects against harm from vaccines. (See the lecture by Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D.) Also, see YouTube talks by Robert Cathcart, M.D. High amounts of vitamin C, up to 100 grams or even 300 grams per day, properly administered, including orally, can rapidly reverse severe viral infections, including life-threatening infections such as pneumonia. They also strengthen the body’s response to bacterial infections and toxic exposures. The militant pro-vaccine forces seeking to make vaccines mandatory seem never to mention these well-documented but suppressed means to prevent illness and death from infections of all kinds.
Large doses of vitamin C given with vaccines is very helpful to prevent injuries and death. Finally, substantial doses of vitamin C given with vaccines, and preferably the day before, the day of, and after well, provides excellent protection against injuries from vaccines, including death in animal studies. This is discussed by Suzanne Humphries, M.D. in a detailed lecture she gave in Sweden on vitamin C, health and vaccines. (See starting at 47:14)
Other nutrients play vital roles to protect people from infections and support a strong immune system, such as bioflavonoids, selenium, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin E. These nutrients and the above alternative nutritional means of preventing and curing infections should be routinely discussed and offered as part of Informed Consent, along the benefits and risks of vaccines.
Medical and media suppression of nutritional remedies. Unfortunately, major drug companies aided by the media systematically suppress information showing the effectiveness of dietary, nutritional, herbal, and other natural protections and cures for infections of all kinds. The reason for the suppression is simple enough—natural remedies are not patentable and therefore are unprofitable for drug companies and doctors, and they compete with the patentable therefore highly profitable remedies including vaccines sold by drug companies that can only be dispensed through the medical profession. The widespread adoption of natural remedies in lieu of drugs and vaccines is a major threat to big pharma’s sales and profits. The media cooperate with big pharma because drug advertising provides the biggest share of their revenue.
Wikipedia is another vehicle the drug makers use to protect their sales. Here is an article from Orthomolecular Medical News Service showing how Wikipedia systematically deletes from its pages information concerning the beneficial effects of nutritional therapies for disease, such as vitamin C for infections and for toxic exposures and the dietary treatment of cancer, and how to track such deletions. A number of websites routinely denigrate nutritional and dietary treatment and prevention of illness, such as Quackwatch by Stephen Barrett, M.D., a psychiatrist, Respectful Insolence by David Gorski (“Orac”), a surgeon, and Snopes. These sites are all written by authors without education or training in nutrition, they routinely make derogatory comments about nutritional treatment, use sarcasm and name-calling frequently, and generally fail to provide the actual science and factual documentation needed to assess their claims and criticisms. People can read their critiques, compare the actual facts and science, and make their own judgments.
Evidence that Vaccines Cause Many Other Severe Illnesses and Disorders. Neil Z. Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies (2016) (covers 438 studies) and his book Vaccines – Are They Really Safe and Effective (Updated and Revised 2003) (over 900 scientific references), cite and discuss many peer-reviewed published studies showing many other severe injuries, illnesses and death caused by vaccines, especially vaccines containing mercury and aluminum, but other ingredients as well. These injuries, illnesses, and deaths include SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), other deaths, autism, ADHD, dyslexia, diabetes type 1 and 2, tics, encephalitis, mental retardation, sleep disorders, speech disorders, chronic cognitive deficits, personality disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, seizures, epilepsy, asthma, premature puberty, hay fever, eczema, allergic dermatitis, sinusitis, food allergies, autoimmune diseases, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, chronic ulcerative colitis, shingles, paralysis, cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, thrombocytopenia, macrophagic myofasciitis, and more virulent or severe illness caused by other strains of the microbe vaccinated against, such as B. parapertussis and B. holmesii from the pertussis vaccine.
The Informed consent doctrine requires disclosure of the risks and alternatives to vaccines. The first rule in medicine—the informed consent doctrine—requires that vaccine makers and doctors explain to patients not only the benefits, but the risks and alternatives before administering vaccines. The adoption of the complete CDC recommended schedule and ACIP recommendations by Colorado’s 2019 HB 1312, and the statement it requires parents to sign, violate parents’ right of informed consent because most if not all of the available information concerning potential harm and alternatives to vaccines is not shared with parents and patients. Unfortunately, the ability of physicians to provide information about alternatives to vaccines, such as diet and nutritional means of preventing and treating illness, is very limited because nutritional approaches to infection and a healthy immune system are almost completely absent from medical education and training. One solution to this problem would be to require extensive nutritional education as part of medical education, licensing, and oversight of physicians. Another solution would be for state health departments to study and develop expertise on this subject, and educate the public and physicians in this knowledge.
The story of “herd immunity” in Leicester, England. Dr. Suzanne Humphries’ book mentioned above also includes the remarkable story of Leicester, England. Compulsory vaccination for smallpox had prevailed in England, other countries in Europe, and the United States in the 1800s. However, very high rates of vaccination did not prevent the most severe epidemics of smallpox ever experienced from occurring in these countries in 1871-1872. In Chicago in 1868 more than 95% of the residents had been vaccinated. After the great Chicago fire of 1871 leveled the city, “vaccination was made a condition of receiving relief supplies.” Despite that, Chicago was hit with a major smallpox epidemic in 1872. More than 2,000 persons caught smallpox, and more than 500 of these died (pp. 82-83). Similar tragedies occurred in Europe despite high rates of vaccination.
Leicester greatly reduced its vaccination rate in 1885. The same serious devastation from smallpox epidemics occurred in 1871-1872 in the highly vaccinated town of Leicester, England. But in 1885 a new government was installed in Leicester that was opposed to and repealed compulsory vaccination. By 1887 the vaccination rate had dropped to 10 percent. The Leicester method used quarantine of smallpox patients and complete disinfection of their homes, sanitation, and hygiene. Medical authorities warned of dire consequences if they abandoned vaccination. However, the predicted outbreaks of smallpox never occurred and Leicester experienced substantially healthier outcomes than the rest of England in later outbreaks, e.g. in 1891-1894 Leicester had less than 1/3 the cases of smallpox per capita and one-fourth the deaths compared to “well-vaccinated Birmingham” (p. 128). Leicester has maintained excellent health for 95 years thereafter at last report, thus supporting the theory that natural herd immunity is highly effective in maintaining a community’s overall health. (See chapter, “The Rebel Experiment,” pp. 124-140).
Japan has had a 25-year very healthy experience after making vaccinations voluntary between patients and their doctor in 1994 (see above). Japan’s vaccination rates are well below those of other industrialized countries that have substantially higher rates of infant mortality, especially the U.S., with the most vaccines and the highest vaccination rates and by far the highest infant mortality rates.
Autism and Other Serious Neurological Disorders Are Rare under Dr. Paul Thomas’s Vaccine Friendly Plan. Paul Thomas, M.D. of Portland, Oregon, author of The Vaccine Friendly Plan, is a graduate of Dartmouth Medical School, has practiced pediatrics for over 30 years and has treated over 13,000 patients. He has the largest pediatric practice in the Portland area. After witnessing a major increase in serious neurological and other disorders in vaccinated children, including in his own practice, in the mid-2000s he became very concerned and decided to thoroughly research vaccine safety. As a result of his research, he changed his practice substantially. He reduced the schedule to DTaP, Hib, polio, and MMR. Thus, he does not routinely give Hepatitis B (unless the mother is hepatitis B positive), rotavirus, influenza, varicella, hepatitis A, or HPV. In general, he delays first vaccines until children are one year old, and the MMR is delayed until they are past three years old. He screens for risk factors before vaccinating, e.g. premature, underweight, prior adverse reactions, or a child is exhibiting current symptoms of autism such as flapping, current illness, eczema, or is taking antibiotics, etc. (J.B. Handley, How to End the Autism Epidemic, p. 237 (2018)). The CDC website discourages vaccinating when a child is sick or is taking antibiotics, but doctors routinely violate these guidelines
Dr. Thomas’s “Vaccine Friendly “Plan Statistically Analyzed. Dr. Thomas has a substantial majority of over 3,345 of his patients over the past 10 years, using his “vaccine friendly” plan. Of 442 patients who followed that plan there was only 1 case of autism. According to the CDC, as of 2016 the U.S. (National Health Interview Survey). That is 12 times higher than the rate of 1/442 for Dr. Thomas’ 442 patients on the “vaccine friendly plan.” Moreover, a second group of 715 of his patients received no vaccines during that period. Among his unvaccinated patients there was only 1 case of autism, or 1/715, which is 20 times less (or 95% less) than the U.S. rate of 1 in 36 rate. Many of his 715 unvaccinated patients had vulnerable immune systems and were at high risk of serious harm from vaccination and so the safest course was not to vaccinate. The third and remaining group of 2,645 of his patients were partially vaccinated, receiving anywhere from 7-8 up to 16 to 18 vaccine shots as children. That is many fewer shots than the 25-40 shots that patients following the entire CDC schedule would have taken during the same period. Of those 2,645 patients there were six cases of autism, or 1 in 441 patients, which is 12X lower than the U.S. autism rate. The experience of Dr. Thomas’ patients provides compelling evidence that the CDC vaccine schedule is much too long, requires vaccinating children much to young, and is a primary contributor to autism. Dr. Thomas’ experience also shows that the hysteria being generated in the media to pass HB 1312 over a few hundred measles cases in a few other states and no deaths (the last measles death in the U.S. was in 2015) is greatly overblown. See interview of Dr. Thomas by Del Bigtree on HighWire. (31 minutes)
Instead of unquestioned following of the CDC/ACIP vaccine schedule and being stampeded into unnecessary legislation, Colorado should step back, take a close look at Dr. Thomas’ plan, which involves significantly fewer vaccines than the CDC schedule, reasonable adjustments or delays to protect vulnerable children, and much healthier results for children. Colorado should also look closely at Japan’s experience.
The CDC’s VAERS System shows the rates of serious injuries and deaths that are caused by vaccines. The VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) system of voluntary reporting of injuries caused by vaccines is co-managed by the CDC and the FDA. Its purpose is to monitor the safety of vaccines to help determine whether vaccines are safe, and whether they are justified in a cost-benefit analysis. For just the year 2016, reports of vaccine injury to the VAERS system included 432 deaths, 1,091 permanent injuries, 4,132 hospitalizations, and 10,284 emergency room visits. (See the report at 36:36). An HHS study to determine the adequacy of the VAERS system concluded that only about 1% of VAERS incidents are actually reported to the system. If that figure is accurate, then the actual annual statistics for adverse events from vaccines would be 43,200 deaths, 109,100 permanent injuries, 413,200 hospitalizations, and 1,028,400 emergency room visits per year. These are staggering numbers. Whether you use the 1% figure or 100% figure, or something in between, these numbers are much higher than the CDC’s irresponsible, disproven claim that only “1 in a million” patients are injured by a vaccine shot.
2019 HB 1312 fails to Estimate or Consider the Costs of Injuries from Vaccines. 2019 HB 1312’s disclosure of costs associated with the bill is greatly underestimated. The CDC’s 2016report that the incidence of autism is now 1 in 36 children, or 2.8% of children, or 2.1 million autistic children out of 74 million. That constitutes a major epidemic. Before Congress granted vaccine manufacturers and doctors immunity from liability for injuries caused by vaccines in 1986 (no other consumer industry or profession enjoys immunity) the incidence of autism was 1 in 2,500 children. The exemption from liability resulted in many more vaccines being added to the schedule since no testing for safety was required. The incidence of autism soared.
The true cost of autism. A 2014 study done at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine reported that the lifetime cost to support each patient with autism ranges between $1.4 million to $2.4 million. For simplicity, with inflation, that would be an average of at least $2 million per patient in 2019. Using the CDC’s current report that 1 in 36 children has autism, or 2.1 million children, then the lifetime cost of autism to America for its current 74 million children is $4.2 trillion. In the future, once 1 in 36 Americans out of the entire U.S. population of 328 million has autism, then 9.1 million Americans will have autism. The total lifetime cost will be $18.2 trillion. This cost is just for one of the many types of serious and costly injuries proven to be caused by vaccines. The estimated cost to raise a child with ADHD is five times the cost to raise a normal child, amounting to $5.8 billion per year in the U.S. according to the first such study done to date. If loss of income and added health costs as an adult for a person with ADHD is added to that cost, the cost for a lifetime is much more. The costs for all vaccine injuries must be taken into account.
The Vaccine Court has awarded a total of $4.1 billion for vaccine injuries over 30 years to date, or $3 billion in just the last four years, for many different types of injuries.
The true cost of vaccine injuries may be very high. A true accounting for the cost of vaccines must include a calculation of the cost of all of these serious injuries and disabilities. As shown above, a CDC study in 2000 led by CDC epidemiologist Tom Verstraeten, Ph.D. showed that infants given vaccines with thimerosal had 7.6X as much autism as infants not exposed to thimerosal. The legislature has a duty to include an honest cost-benefit analysis in proposing legislation such as HB 1312, whose goal is to increase vaccination rates, and which adopts the CDC/ACIP schedule. Nothing prevents the FDA and CDC/ACIP from adding more vaccines, none of which has been tested for long term safety or effectiveness, despite the many serious injuries, diseases and disorders that the Vaccine Court has already found to be caused by vaccines: death, encephalitis, seizures, other neurological disorders, chronic arthritis, and many others.
Los Angeles Times: Every person in pertussis outbreaks in March 2019 had been vaccinated. A March 16, 2019 article in the Los Angeles Times reported on recent outbreaks of pertussis (whooping cough) in a total of about 70 schoolchildren in the L.A. area, every one of whom had received the pertussis vaccination. This phenomenon is similar to findings of a number of studies reported in Neil Miller’s above two books —that often a majority of cases in infectious disease outbreaks, sometimes as much as 95% to 100%, had been vaccinated against the disease.
“Vaccines Are Not “Settled Science.” Many vaccine proponents believe that the current CDC vaccine schedule provides enormous benefits and very little risk of harm and that this presumed state of affairs is “settled science.” However, many medical doctors question this belief—such as John Abrahamson, M.D., a highly respected family practitioner for 22 years and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School for 16 years. When asked if he cared to express his opinion on the push for mandatory vaccinations despite a lack of studies and violation of the 1947 Nuremberg Code, he said: “I would have to take the coward’s way out. I can’t talk on that issue. The pharmaceutical industry watches everything I do, and if I take a stand that I can’t defend… But the bottom line is that I think, what the science is, is incomplete. There is no doubt about it.” Not only is he saying the science is not settled, but he shows how reluctant and even afraid he and other doctors are to criticize vaccines or even raise questions about vaccine policy publicly.
“Be very suspicious of those who want to cut off debate with ‘this is against settled science.’ Appealing to authority is a sign of weakness, not strength.” — Arnold Aberman, former dean, University of Toronto Medical School
Conclusion. We hope the above discussion has made it clear that it would be a major mistake to blindly follow the lead of vaccine manufacturers, the FDA, CDC, WHO, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, or the media, each of which has serious conflicts of interest regarding vaccine safety. Instead, this field calls for critical thinking and for people to actually look closely at the medical research that has been done, and equally important, the research that has not been done but should have been done before vaccines containing toxic neurotoxins such as mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde were injected into pregnant women, newborn babies, children and adults of all ages and conditions. I hope you have also seen that doctors and countries who are more selective and cautious about injecting vaccines into pregnant women, newborn babies and infants, or premature and underweight babies, children who are sick, too young, or who have already had adverse reactions to vaccines, are producing healthier children with a substantially lower incidence of serious neurological disorders such as autism, physical illness, and death, although they may experience higher levels or occasional outbreaks of mild childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, and chicken pox. We also believe the references cited should be valuable to you as legislators in formulating policy and legislation, and to share with others who have only heard or read one side of the vaccine story. The documents and information provided here show that the evidence of serious injuries, illnesses, disability, and death caused by vaccines is much stronger than is presented in the mainstream media or admitted by drug companies or the CDC and needs to be taken fully into account before enacting any new legislation.
Colorado also needs to look at the experience of Japan, which is much healthier than the U.S. and abandoned mandatory vaccinations in 1994, whereas the U.S., which leads the charge for maximizing the number of vaccinations also leads the industrialized world in infant mortality and serious neurological disorders of children, including autism.
Thank you for your consideration.
Earl H. Staelin
Attorney and Nutrition Researcher
Earl is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan School of Law. He has been a student of nutrition for 48 years–almost as long as he has been a lawyer. As a lawyer, he pioneered the use of nutritional defenses and rehabilitation in cases involving crime, delinquency, mental commitments, and domestic violence. He has also handled many cases on behalf of persons injured by exposure to hazardous chemicals and metals.
Article on Colorado House Bill 1312
By Michael Haughey
May 27, 2014
Adding to the Global Warming tipping points already passed, are a few really big ones that may lie just ahead. These events could occur before 2040, and quite possibly much sooner, and could be followed quickly by the collapse of the world agriculture system. One tipping point already passed is the change in the Jet Stream. We have been seeing the effects of global warming in extreme weather events for quite a few years now. The reason is even understood to a sufficient degree to lead to further concern. That is not the subject of this brief article, but suffice it to say that one component is the Arctic warming faster than the rest of the planet, and that has changed the jet stream. The jet stream changes have resulted in/contributed to extreme weather events. The more worrisome of the tipping points already passed is that methane under the Arctic Ocean in the shallow waters off the coast of Eastern Siberia has warmed to the extent that huge frozen deposits are now melting and have melted. I’ll discuss some of the details of that in another article. The methane release that is occurring now will have a warming effect on earth that is not yet in the IPCC models. Thus the dire predictions of the just-released IPCC report may turn out to be miniscule compared to what is about to happen.
Related to the methane currently being released is a really big tipping point: it is very likely that there will be a large release of methane from the already melted deposits below the sea surface. A number of events could disturb these deposits and cause a large release. A small example of this occurred as a result of a Magnitude 5.3 earthquake on February 20, 2014 under the Arctic Ocean that raised atmospheric methane levels about 25% even down the east and west coasts of Greenland. Subsequent earthquakes have occurred along the same fault (Gakkel Ridge) including on April 13 and April 22, 2014. A larger event (earthquake or underwater volcano) is possible that could in just a few days increase the average methane in the Earth’s atmosphere world-wide by a factor of ten.
Another event that will likely occur soon is the total summer collapse of the Arctic ice. If the predicted El Nino materializes this summer, this could be the year. Each such event increases global warming resulting in a positive feedback. In short order there would be runaway global warming at a rather fast pace – unstoppable.
When the scientists state that the collapse of agriculture is in the cards, I’m not sure there is a good general understanding amongst the populations of Earth of what that means. The increasing cycles of drought, fire, and floods will result in some areas no longer being able to support agriculture. In time perhaps outdoor agriculture may become impossible everywhere. This means almost no food for 7 billion people (or more) on planet Earth. Your imagination can take it from there. The resulting conflicts, disease, malnutrition, and eventual near-extinction of the human race could become mind-bogglingly catastrophic and horrid.
The point has already been passed where global warming becomes unstoppable. The current pace of global warming is relatively slow compared to what is likely after a big tipping point is passed. In either scenario – rapid runaway global warming or present path runaway global warming – we humans have a decision to make collectively. Humans should have made that decision decades ago, but didn’t. Plenty of leaders and scientists tried, but to no avail. The decision is whether to party to the end, or do something about it. If your decision is to party to the end, then you should be content with how little humans have done so far. If you believe there must be a way for humanity to survive, then we have a lot of work to do.
The present path runaway global warming is still expected to lead to collapse of localized farming and the movement of arable zones toward the North and South Poles. In that path, the transition to more indoor agriculture can be slower. However, the possibility of a rapid transition means we need to be prepared or risk civilization itself.
A lot needs to change, and it will require a lot of “money”. So the first order of business is to address how to pay for all the needed changes. Really it is quite simple. The “hippies” had it right in the 60’s and 70’s – it IS the system. More specifically, it is the world-wide monetary system whereby most money is now created as debt out of thin air (debt-based money issued by privately owned central banks) which is at the heart of that system. Since money is issued as debt when loans are made, there is no money in the system to pay the interest on that loan until more and more loans are made in a never-ending upward spiral of debt. Humans have certain frailties, and one is a weakness for collecting power and wealth even beyond any possible necessity or practical use. There are a sufficient number amongst us who are sufficiently sociopathic that they will amass wealth and power no matter who is hurt in the process. They will not even understand that others are being hurt. A system that rewards this behavior ultimately leads to where we are now – with a huge gap between the uber-wealthy and the rest of us. We can re-distribute that wealth all we want, and if that system remains in place, a new set of uber-wealthy will emerge and the cycle will repeat forever.
The inherent problem with regard to global warming is that money can’t be spent without incurring incredible debt and that prevents the solution from happening at anywhere near the necessary pace. The first step in the effort to prepare for runaway global warming is to abolish money as debt in almost all instances (and eliminate central banks) and have governments issue debt-free fiat money and spend it into economies interest-free at the rate that provides full employment without inflation. Within this new system, economic systems, including regulated capitalism, can create more than enough private wealth for everyone to live comfortably. Now that money is available to be spent into the economy, communities and governments can decide what projects should be financed. This is where we come to being able to pay for what is needed to allow humans to survive the coming collapse of agriculture. In this new system, money becomes simply the hard work of all of us – labor becomes capital. The only limit to money supply is the available labor. Money becomes what is should be – merely a medium of exchange and a representation of value. If two people have labor, time, and talent to devote to a service or product, they have inherent capital that they can trade using the fiat money as a medium of exchange. Most attempts to make it more complicated than that are often attempts to obfuscate the transaction and take advantage in an unscrupulous manner. When the government uses debt-free fiat money to pay person A to make Product A, Person A now has money to pay Person B for Product B. The money is now circulating in the economy and will continue to do so as long as people have time, labor, or talent available.
Scientists probably have a reasonable concept of what Earth will look like after the collapse of agriculture and well into the worst of global warming. By that I mean temperatures, humidity, storms, and other weather factors. A prudent approach, therefore, would be to design our buildings and food production systems to be compatible with that future. If we don’t, we are done. Growing food outdoors (on farms and in fields) may become nearly impossible with the wild swings from drought to floods. But we know a lot about growing food in greenhouses and using hydroponics. We can also build buildings that can withstand the weather and function fully on renewable energy. The logical course of action, therefore, is to prepare our society and our buildings for indoor food production. Greenhouses may need to be strengthened in some areas to withstand extreme weather. Hydroponics will help maximize the use of indoor or protected growing areas. Renewable energy can power it all, helping to eventually limit the severity of Global Warming in the future.
Another effect of Global Warming will be sea level rise. It is necessary to prepare for rising oceans in where and how we construct buildings and cities. We know that all the frozen water on the planet, once melted, would raise oceans by about 220 to 250 feet. Therefore building within about 300 feet vertically of present sea level should stop, and higher than that in areas subject to possible Tsunami’s. Building within the 220 ft to 300 ft zone could be achieved if necessary by applying more rigorous construction standards. Anything below that zone needs a plan for eventual relocation or demolition and recycling. The timeframe for this transition is not well understood. The IPCC estimates keep getting higher, but are still in the range of only a few meters by the year 2100. The models that informed the IPCC, however, do not include any poorly understood or recently learned inputs. Since that includes the big tipping points just over the horizon, we can be confident that the sea level rise predictions are too low. That means that the plans for transition of populations away from sea coasts will need a degree of schedule flexibility to accommodate much more rapid sea level rise.
The increase in severe weather and the oscillation between drought and flood will have a negative impact on water quality. There will be plenty of water somewhere, but it will come in muddy and heavily polluted bursts (floods) in violent storms. We will need to capture and clean that water. In some places that will simply be too difficult and those places may end up abandoned.
Since fossil fuel burning is the root cause of the present global warming and also of the worsening of global warming, a rapid conversion to renewable energy, and not nuclear, must be achieved. Without the burdens of the present debt-money system, this will be much easier to accomplish. Fossil fuels should not be burned for energy ever – or at least only in extreme circumstances.
We need to focus our attention on buildings, greenhouses, and hydroponics in terms of survivability for a large population of humans – eventually perhaps over 7 billion humans. Building codes can be changed to allow and even require spaces for indoor hydroponics and greenhouses. Water can be recycled within buildings using biological filters (basically doing what wetlands do naturally). Structures, in some areas at least, may need to be very strong to withstand future weather. Structures will need to last a long time as we may have great difficulty in the future finding and processing the materials to make them. The present speculative cheap-building trend probably cannot continue, and fortunately will not be necessary under the new money system described above.
Transportation is another topic, however there are still options. Mass transit will help, organizing communities so that living spaces are closer to work spaces will help, and cars can be made to last longer and be more efficient and to run on other fuels – be they electric or bio-fuel powered.
In Summary, we must first change the monetary system before we can prepare for the full effects of Global warming. The magnitude of necessary preparations for the coming collapse of agriculture cannot be achieved until we change to a monetary system that can pay the costs without adding the further burden of debt and interest payments. It should be obvious even from the light sketches above that the necessary changes and adaptations are monstrous and will require all our efforts and creativity.
I recommend the following books to learn about the diabolical ways that the uber-wealthy have taken control of the monetary system for their own benefit. The uber-wealthy will stop at nothing as they continue to extract more and more of the fruits of our labor and enslave us to satisfy their greed.
“Web of Debt” by Ellen Brown
“The Shock doctrine” by Naomi Kline
Copyright 2014: Creative Commons CC BY-SA
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By Michael D. Haughey, January 24, 2013
In the beginning they were not called GMOs. They were the promise of a better world through genetic engineering. Oh sure, there were doubters and skeptics – aren’t there always?
The ability to engineer crops to increase yields, increase nutrient content, increase resistance to insects and disease – this was the promise, and the hope and expectation of the world.
Now we call them GMOs – for Genetically Modified Organisms. According to Wikipedia, scientists first noticed in 1946 that genes can transfer between organisms. It wasn’t until 1983 that the first genetically modified plant was engineered: an anti-biotic resistant tobacco plant. In 1992 the first genetically modified tomato was approved by the FDA according to Food and Water Watch. It was engineered to ripen after it was picked to accommodate the long transport time from field to market. We now have about 20 years of experience with GMOs in our food supply. Has it been a success?
This topic is huge. This article will therefore only skim the surface, yet hopefully provide enough references to facilitate further information-gathering.
The Science – how are GMOs made?
It was a mystery for quite some time. How did they actually get the genes from one species into another? We envisioned tiny little scientists in white lab coats with ultra tiny instruments inserting genes into cells while somehow inside an incredible microscope, and then getting the cells to multiply on a mass-production scale. Or maybe that was just me.
That is not how it is done. I’m not really sure how they do it – still a bit like magic. Sometimes they use a bacteria or a virus to infect another organism (in an unnatural way). Another method has been described as more like using a shotgun to spray genetic material from one organism into another organism in the hopes of creating a useful mutation. Tiny particles of Tungsten are coated with the genetic material and “shot” into the target organism. The result is a bit random. Through a long, long, long series of trial and error, eventually they get a result that is somehow useful.
As you might expect, there are other mutations in the resultant organism in addition to the useful mutation. As I understand it there are about 3 billion genes in a typical chromosome, so the scientists cannot be expected to understand all the possible interactions.
The Primary types
The GMO food on the market today consists primarily of two types of GMOs.
Glyphosate resistant plants are one type. Glyphosate is Roundup, a product of Monsanto with a multi-billion dollar market. Another category name for these plants is “Roundup ready”. Roundup is used for weed control. The idea is that you can spray Roundup on the crop and only the weeds will die. Glyphosate partially works by essentially chelating nutrients and minerals out of the food of the organism that feeds on it, the target being weeds. They weaken and die. The process has also been described as unleashing a systemic poison preventing the formation of essential amino acids. It appears that both are true. The chelation may occur primarily in the root zone. Chelation is basically binding to target molecules, and the Glyphosate binds to micronutrients and minerals in the soil. Once bound, they are no longer available to the plant. One effect is that the chelated nutrients are also not available to other plants in the root zone. Other plants that are not the target weeds are thus affected, and as these chemicals wash further into the environment, the effect spreads.
Bt infused crops are the other primary type. Bt is a bacteria that is an insecticide. In these plants the bacteria Bt has been genetically inserted (using the shotgun approach) and the result is a plant that has a built-in insecticide. The plants themselves are toxic (theoretically only to insects).
There are eight GM food crops. The five major varieties—soy, corn, canola, cotton, and sugar beets—have bacterial genes inserted, which allow the plants to survive an otherwise deadly dose of weed killer. Farmers use considerably more herbicides on these GM crops and so the food has higher herbicide residues. About 68% of GM crops are herbicide tolerant.
According to How Stuff Works:
“Glyphosate-based herbicides all work on the same biochemical principle — they inhibit a specific enzyme that plants need in order to grow. The specific enzyme is called EPSP synthase. Without that enzyme, plants are unable to produce other proteins essential to growth, so they yellow and die over the course of several days or weeks. A majority of plants use this same enzyme, so almost all plants succumb to Roundup.”
And ResponsibileTechnology.org says:
“The second GM trait is a built-in pesticide, found in GM corn and cotton. A gene from the soil bacterium called Bt (for Bacillus thuringiensis) is inserted into the plant’s DNA, where it secretes the insect-killing Bt-toxin in every cell. About 19% of GM crops produce their own pesticide. Another 13% produce a pesticide and are herbicide tolerant.”
“The Bt toxin dissolve in the high pH insect gut and become active. The toxins then attack the gut cells of the insect, punching holes in the lining. The Bt spores spills out of the gut and germinate in the insect causing death within a couple days.”
The same process is suspected in humans. The cells of intestinal lining become perforated and leak undigested food into the bloodstream. The industry claims that natural Bt is common and not harmful, which is itself a questionable claim. However GM Bt is genetically modified and therefore is not the same as the natural varieties.
What actually happened
It turns out that GMO crops can have a good first year, maybe two, although generally not even that. Then the yields decline. The primary reason is that weeds and insects mutate on their own (natural evolution) and become resistant.
For the Roundup ready GMOs more and more Roundup has to be sprayed on the plants each year and even with that the yields still decline because the weeds become more resistant.
For the Bt resistant crops, the effect is not 100% and pesticides still have to be used. Bt bacteria secrete a toxin that is harmful to insects. Very quickly the insects become more and more resistant and pesticide use has to be increased.
The result is that in just a few years the GMO crops need far more herbicides and pesticides than the non-GMO crops.
Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report Failure to Yield – the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.
Mega-Corporatization of GMOs
There is really big money in GMOs. By now you have heard the reports of farmers being sued by Monsanto because their crops contain GMO seeds patented and copyrighted by Monsanto. Monsanto generally wins these cases, except one or two recent cases, even though the GMOs got into the farmers field because the wind carried them there from someone else’s GMO crop fields.
We can get an idea of how big the market, and thus how strong the economic and political forces, by looking at the penetration of the agriculture market already by GM crops. ResponsibileTechnology.org (and others) provide this data:
Currently commercialized GM crops in the U.S. include soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres).
That has to be huge – at least in the $billions. Given the current Mega-Corporation culture where outright lying and buying elections and politicians seems to be accepted, is it any wonder that huge obstacles are in the way of information getting out and protections for the consumer and environment being enacted?
The tide may be turning slightly, if only for a moment, as consumers and organic farmers fight back. “This past spring a lawsuit was filed against Monsanto, preemptively seeking legal relief from the strong-arm tactics for which the firm has become famous.”
The claim of Monsanto and others is that GMOs are harmless and that Roundup biodegrades in a very short time. The claim is that should the herbicide come into contact with the soil, over time it breaks down into harmless carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Supposedly that is due to the natural Bt that is already present in the soil. That may only be true of overspray that lands on the ground. Roundup that gets into the soil, perhaps having been transported there by the sprayed crops, may be another matter entirely. Not all of it biodegrades. It still gets into the environment through the air and waterways and kills other species.
The Bt toxin similarly kills or weakens other organisms. Note this passage on the Rachel Carson Council website:
“There is a common understanding that the widely used herbicide, glyphosate is easily degraded and adsorbed in soils and thus, harmless for use in agriculture. We can demonstrate, however, that this conclusion is wrong and dangerous for farmers because in former risk assessments the behavior of glyphosate in the rhizosphere was not properly considered. In… experiments we can show that foliar applied glyphosate to target plants is released in the rhizosphere after a fast translocation from shoots to roots. In the rhizosphere glyphosate can ….achieve negative results on non-target plants. Such a negative side effect is for example, inhibited acquisition of micronutrients such as Mn, Zn, Fe and B, which are involved in plant disease resistance mechanisms. … We predict an increase in disease problems, particularly on soils with low micronutrient availability as already reported in the USA. In view of plant and soil health, we urgently call for a re-assessment of glyphosate “ (Neumann, 2006)
The poisoning of the rhizosphere is just the beginning. Almost all the corn in Mexico is now contaminated with GMO thanks to Monsanto and from seeds that have blown in the wind and pollinated non-GMO crops in spite of Mexico’s efforts to keep GMOs out of their country. Weeds and insects are evolving to be more resistant to the sprays used, so more poison is needed. For a place to learn more, The Institute for Responsible Technology is a good place to start.
Human health impacts
It is important to recognize that, just as with insects, some humans are more resistant to chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and GMOs than others. Some of us are canaries in the coal mine.
Just because something biodegrades doesn’t mean that it becomes less harmful or that all of it bio-degrades. One study found glyphosate in the urine of ALL samples tested. As an example of biodegrading but remaining harmful, DDT metabolizes in the human body within 6 months into DDE which is just as harmful. DDE has a half-life of 20 to 30 years. After 6 months the DDT cannot be detected by normal testing, but the DDE can. Since DDE is also in the sprays, it is difficult if not impossible to know how much of the DDE was originally DDT.
Roundup sprayed crops do contain roundup residue. You just can’t wash off 100% of the stuff. Since it travels from the leaves to the root zone, one can deduce that it is also in the plant itself, at least for a time. Thus when we eat it we get the residue on the leaves, the part in transit to the root zone, and whatever soil comes with the plant when it is harvested.
In humans, the glyphosate can chelate minerals and nutrients out of your body just like it does in the root zones of plants, making you weaker and more susceptible to disease and allergies.
Bt crops still contain small amounts of Bt toxin. We eat them and over time they accumulate in our bodies.
In humans, the Bt toxin can make the stomach lining porous which releases undigested food into your blood stream. Since your immune defense system has never seen food in this undigested form, it attacks, which is the very definition of an allergic response. People are commonly becoming allergic to more and more foods that previously never caused allergic reactions.
How do you know if YOU have Bt toxin or the Bt gene in your system? I tried to find out for myself, and I could not find any test. After some research it seems that testing for the Bt gene or toxin in humans has been done once, at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec, Canada for a research project. So here is the catch 22: this incredible poison that has the potential, indeed the probability to infect bacteria in your intestines so that they produce the Bt toxin, has been unleashed upon us in our food supply and there is no test! Not only does the GMO industry, the government, and the medical community tell us that it is safe and cannot transfer into mammals – let alone humans – but there is no test to prove that they are right or wrong. At the very, very least our government(s) should not allow such a poison to be unleashed upon us until there is a test!. There are, however, studies and mounting evidence that in fact the Bt toxin IS in our systems.
As reported in NaturalNews.com, “The physicians at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec, Canada discovered Bt-toxin in 93 percent of 30 pregnant women, 80 percent of umbilical cord blood of their babies and 67 percent of 39 women who were not pregnant. Considering Bt-toxin is linked with cancer, autism, severe food allergies and autoimmune disease, these findings are downright frightening.”
93% of pregnant women? That extrapolates to meaning that it is in just about all of us.
What can you do?
First and foremost, DO NOT eat any of the 8 primary GMO crops unless they are certified organic.
papaya from China, or Hawaii (most)
zucchini and yellow squash,
OR any animal products (unless organic). Remember that animals eat this stuff as feed stock, especially corn and alfalfa.
GM alfalfa is fed to livestock.
That is just the 8 primary crops – there are others (some potatoes, etc.).
Don’t trust “All Natural” labels. That is now meaningless and often used to market products that contain GMOs.
Look for the Non-GMO Project Seal on products.
Sugar: If a non-organic product made in North America lists “sugar” as an ingredient (and NOT “pure cane sugar”), then it is almost certainly a combination of sugar from both sugar cane and GM sugar beets. Don’t buy it, don’t eat it.
Dairy products may be from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone. If it’s not labeled Organic, or Non-GMO Project Verified, DON’T EAT IT. Also look for labels stating No rbGH, No rbST, or no artificial hormones.
Use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide
Visit NonGMOShoppingGuide.com to see a complete list of Non-GMO products available from each brand in this guide or use the ShopNoGMO App on your iPhone—available for free at the iTunes store.
Watch the film Genetic Roulette – can be watched free on the responsibletechnology.org website. This is one of the better documentaries on GMOs and leaves a visceral impression of why avoiding GMOs is a necessity.
Join the increasing number of voices who are saying NO to GMOs.
Eat organic. Become an organic vegan. Become an organic Raw-Foodist. Move to another planet.
Join the class-action lawsuit against Conagra for lying to us with the “natural” labels. “the law firm suing ConAgra, Milberg LLC, is asking people who feel as though they’ve been deceived by natural labels on GMO foods to submit their claims on its website. As part of the basis for the lawsuit, the firm cites numerous studies that show nearly everyone in the U.S. wants GMO ingredients to be labeled on foods.”
This may be the most important of all. The next time you visit your doctor, insist on a blood test for the gene “Bt Cry1Ab toxin”. Don’t take no for an answer even though you know there is no test. It is important that the test be for this particular gene, not the Bt gene that was inserted into the crops initially. The original gene changes in the plants and the GMO industry like to test for that in their crops and then say “see – it is not there”. If enough of us demand the test, that could create a market for one of the testing companies. Once there is a test available to all of us and not just in research laboratories (it has to be an accurate test), then knowledge should spread. And knowledge is power.
The expectation of a hunger-free world through the magic of genetic engineering has not come to pass. Instead more of a Frankenfood has been unleashed upon us and the world now has literally a fight for its life. The sooner we get rid of GMOs the better. That is not to say that in the future the scientists will not learn how to make GMOs that are safe, but that time, if it ever comes, (and if the Human race lasts that long) is a long way off.
We canaries had given our warning. Stay GMO-Free. Fight back. Your health, your life, may depend on it.
Suggested Reading and informative documentaries:
Genetic Roulette (DVD – see above)
The World According to Monsanto (DVD)
The World According to Monsanto (Book)
More to come…
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By Michael Haughey, Updated: January 21, 2010
We no longer have a fight to save our democracy. We now have a long struggle to restore it. In the interest of accuracy, we might acknowledge that we never really had a democracy. Thom Hartmann likes to describe it as (and this is my recollection, not a direct quote) a constitutionally protected, democratically elected, representative republic. Whatever we call it, it is near the end.
Thom Hartmann is the author of “Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights”, in which he says that the 1886 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company (118 U.S. 394) did not actually grant corporate personhood, and that the supposed granting of corporate personhood derives from a mistaken interpretation of a Supreme Court clerk’s notes.
It now seems certain that conditions in the United States, for most people, will get far worse long before we see any improvement. The landmark case of “Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission”, in a 5-4 decision on January 21, 2010 split between the Reactionary Right-Wing judges and the Conservative Judges, overturned long-standing precedents in deciding that corporations have the same right to use their own money to fund campaign ads as individuals. It also overturned portions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. As laws are challenged and overturned based on this mis-interpretation of the U. S. Constitution, corporations will be able to spend unlimited general funds on elections. That includes multi-national mega-corporations and foreign corporations that have a “presence” in the United States. In essence, corporations, including foreign corporations, will be able to buy elections in the United States. The power this represents is immense and it seems unlikely that what remains of democracy in the United States will be able to withstand the assault that is coming. Corporations have been buying elections and politicians for quite some time to a large but limited degree. They have also succeeded in having much of our commons privatized. All of that will now accelerate. While we will be saying that we can fight this and win, in reality our chances are bleak. This merging of corporate power and the government is the underlying force of Fascism. Now we are essentially there. To learn what lies in our future, we can look at lessons from the past. The Roman Empire, Nazi Germany, and Mussolini’s Italy all come to mind.
This path has been paved over a long time. Two important landmarks along that journey were the judicial errors that corporations are persons and the more recent decision that money equals free speech. That set the stage for this declaration that money cannot be limited in elections because it is free speech, and that corporations can exercise that kind of free speech without financial limitations.
Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, said that “the Government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether.” Therein lies the miniscule opportunity to do something about this. The disclaimers can be like the warnings in the advertisements for your favorite pharmaceutical on TV. Those seem to be mostly ignored. The disclosures may end up requiring identification of those responsible for the ad; however over time their immense power will get those rules eliminated as well.
In all likelihood, the democratic experiment in the United States is all but over. The final descent has begun. What will likely follow is collapse of the United States itself. After that who knows. Given the immense military power of the United States, the end could be brutal. What, indeed, will survive? What power will rise to the top of that primordial soup?
Sugested additional reading:
“Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights” by Thom Hartmann
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By Michael Haughey, October 26, 2009
Beware the Public Option – it is a Red Hering. The purpose is to convince us that we are getting meaningful reform. It is a Red Hering that will distract us from real reform. Remember – Insurance is the problem, therefore a “Public Option” for insurance leaves unresolved the primary problem. It won’t seriously reduce cost or provide health care for all. In short, it will give us a program that will disappoint anyone with expectations of “change we can believe in”. The insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies will then proclaim – with their million-dollar-a-day advertising campaigns – that the “public option” is a failure and convince the weak-kneed politicians to go back to the old system – obscene profit for all insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
In a single-payer system there is still the option to buy additional non-profit health insurance. That is the case in all countries with a single payer or universal health care system. If you are uncomfortable with the single-payer system, you can thus add some insurance coverage.
In order to significantly reduce costs (by 30% and more) and provide significant improvement in health care delivery, two things are paramount. First, the cost of insurance bureaucracy and excessive profits must be eliminated from basic health care. That is the cost part. Second, health care decisions must be taken out of the hands of bureaucrats and accountants and over-paid executives and put back into the hands of health care professionals. The public options do neither. They promise cost reduction by “healthy competition”, while requiring everyone to buy health insurance – thus handing over 40 million new customers to the health insurance industry. That is a Red Hering – surely written by the health insurance lobbyists. They promise no “prior condition exclusions”, yet do nothing to limit how much insurance companies can charge in premiums for persons with “prior conditions”. Again – a Red Hering surely written by the health insurance lobbyists.
The biggest Red Hering is the fake debate over cost containment – the claim that they need to meet the President’s maximum cost of $900 billion. They prey on the public fear of taxes by focusing on avoiding tax increases to “pay” for the “public option”. They thereby avoid the discussion of the real solution – a single payer system that eliminates insurance payments and replaces them with taxpayer funded payments that leave all the insurance bureaucracy and excessive executive payments eliminated – for a likely savings of over 30%. Anyone who passed high school math should be able to figure out that if you subtract your and your employers health insurance payments and then add in taxes that are 30% less – the result is a 30% savings. How stupid do they think we are?
Finally – don’t believe the lies about single-payer not being politically realistic. That is politician-speak for what they really fear – they are afraid of losing their substantial health industry lobbyist campaign donations. The more they say it is “politically unrealistic”, the more we know they are afraid because it really is possible.
What to do? A few things come to mind, and others have many more ideas. First – insist on a public debate in Congress of Single Payer. Make them discuss it in full view of the American public. Then make them vote and go on record for or against Single Payer. Any who vote against it – vote them out next election. Similarly, lets force a debate on finally getting money out of politics and don’t let up until it happens. The government belongs to the people, and the people should pay for it – not the lobbyists. All funding of government, especially elections, by we the people. All of it – and all of it completely transparent (in the open). How to get there? One way to start is to vote for candidates not yet bought out by the lobbyists. Right now they are mostly in 3rd parties. You know – the ones you’ve never heard of because they have no money. But there are a few in the major political parties who have kept their ethics at a high level and worked for their true constituents (instead of the lobbyists interests). Dennis Kucinich and Bernie sanders come to mind, and I’m sure there are a few others.
Again – beware of Red Herrings and gimmicks. Term limits are interestingly most supported by the party not in the majority, and then lengthening (extension) of term limits supported by the same folks when they do have a majority. If it sounds too easy – too good to be true – it probably is. There are no simple solutions like term limits. We must learn about our candidates – do the hard work, make them answer questions and call them on it when they weasel.
Finally, make our voices heard. Phone calls to congress-persons, letters, e-mails, letters to the editor, start your own web site (like this one), demonstrations – do all you can in your own way.
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To Mr. Dan Haley
October 8, 2009
Denver Post Editorial Page Editor
Since we have not heard back from you after sending this letter, and after several phone calls to which you have not responded, we have chosen to publish our letter as an open letter.
You are the person who chooses which editorials are printed in the Denver Post, thus we write with the following observation, complaint, and request for a face-to-face discussion:
With Vincent Carroll’s article, “Public TV and the Truthers”, this is the third time within a few weeks of which we are aware that the Denver Post has treated the thousands of citizens of this country (and around the world) who work for a new and real investigation into 9/11 with contempt and ridicule.
Besides Mr. Carroll’s article, there was Joanne Ostrow’s article, “KBDI pushes limits on controversial pledge tie-ins”, and even Mike Littwin gave a hostile jab saying the “truthers” are more weird than the “birthers”.
As shown below, the articles fail to meet the Posts’s own published ethical standards for journalism such as the requirements of intellectual honesty, to present all sides, to be fair and even-handed, and to avoid loaded phrasing. None of the authors has attempted to present any facts or a reasoned analysis for their dismissal of these citizens. They instead have all stooped to ad hominem attacks, displaying a striking and perplexing lack of curiosity as to why a new investigation is supported by 45% of American citizens (2006 Zogby poll). Thus, the overall tone of each piece is that of propaganda and not news or journalism.
Besides ignoring the evidence and facts which sustain this growing worldwide movement (see postscript below for a number of examples), you are also failing to inform your readers about the four mothers from New Jersey who were widowed on September 11th (aka “the Jersey girls”) who went to Washington and waged a battle with the Bush administration to bring about the original 9/11 Commission. Those widows, who merely sought accountability and answers, ultimately concluded that the Commission served to cover up the issues rather than address them. They are now supporting the voter petition that has been signed by 80,000 New York City residents to put the issue on the ballot this November (see nyccan.org ) and create a new 9/11 investigation in New York. You are completely missing this human interest story.
In reviewing the ethics guidelines of the Denver Post, we were surprised to find these sentences (emphasis added):
As journalists, we seek the truth and strive to present a responsible and fair glimpse of the world. Our power must be used responsibly. The newspaper is our powerful vehicle, and we endeavor to face the public with respect and candor.
Our power must be used responsibly. Our notebooks and cameras are tickets into people’s lives, sacred worlds and complex institutions.
Our job is to intensely scrutinize the activities of others as watchdogs that challenge authority and give voice to the voiceless. Our own actions should withstand equally intense scrutiny. We should be transparent.
Transparency is won through accuracy, compassion, intellectual honesty and an introspective mission to convey complete, contextual views of our world.
Our goal is to begin and end each day with a primary obligation to the public’s right to know.
With every ethical scar, we threaten a delicate relationship with readers. Ethical breaches violate hard-earned trust and shatter our credibility.
The constant tension of demanding a better society, while still living in it, is an obligation of a passionate and compassionate journalist.
Ethics is the constant process of examining and drawing these lines. It is a communal effort, and we should hold each other accountable in the protection of our values.
Nailing our stories can be as simple as phoning three people – or as grueling as spending months chiseling away the nonessential, the rumor, the red herrings.
Our aim is to deliver the facts with precision and context.
We believe in getting not only both sides, but “all” sides.
A strong sense of fair play must imbue our writing, accurately reflecting motives of sources. The tone and language of stories must be even-handed and avoid loaded phrasing.
Mr. Haley, how we agree with these ethical standards! But we submit that each point in this list has been ignored by these authors and thus by the Denver Post, thereby violating its ethical standards. The writers have been anything but the “watchdogs that challenge authority”. The 45% of Americans who believe we should have a new and real investigation, and the citizens who have devoted themselves to educating the public about the extensive evidence showing that we have not been told the truth about what happened on 9/11 have been rendered “voiceless” in the Denver Post. Finally, a “strong sense of fair play” has not imbued the writing of these authors, and most obviously, “all sides” are not being heard in this important debate.
With frustration, yet in the spirit of respectfully holding “each other accountable”, we suggest that we have a face-to-face meeting to determine how we can work together to help the Denver Post regain its moral high ground expressed so eloquently in the ethical guidelines on your website. We suggest that we include as many of the above-mentioned columnists as possible, and we would like to include from our group a journalism major, an engineer, and an attorney who are very interested in meeting with you to discuss this situation.
To consider the possibility that we have not been told the truth about 9/11 takes courage, as it involves a paradigm shift that threatens our worldview. Yet the evidence and history will bear out that the paradigm shift is necessary to conform to present reality. We invite you to do what Martin Luther King advised: “do not what is politic or expedient, but do what is right”.
We are an educational organization, and our intent is not a confrontation, but a sincere mutual outreach to get to know each other and discuss this civilly.
Tim Boyle, Software Support Manager
Jon Fox, Major, USMC (retired), Captain Continental Airlines (retired)
Michael D. Haughey, P.E.
Marti Hopper, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
Dorothy Lorig, MA, National Certified Counselor
Gregg Roberts, Co-author, “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe”, Associate Editor, AE911Truth.org, 911Research.com
Simone Schellen, M.Ed.
Frances Shure, Licensed Professional Counselor
Earl Staelin, Attorney
Michael Wolsey, visibility911.com
P.S: Here are a few examples of the evidence and facts which fully justify the search for what happened on 9/11 and the movement for a real investigation and accountability:
1) Three WTC buildings collapsed in a manner that was unprecedented in the history of steel-frame buildings (except by controlled demolition). The 47-story WTC 7 collapsed that day, even though it was not hit by a plane, and had a few relatively small, isolated fires. The government’s top investigative engineers (NIST) have agreed that the collapse exhibited precisely freefall acceleration for more than 100 feet. Freefall means nothing is supporting the structure that is falling.
Even though NIST concluded that the twin WTC towers fell in 11 and 9 seconds, essentially free fall speed, a more careful researcher, David Chandler, has measured the acceleration of the North Tower for several seconds of its “collapse” and found it to be approximately 2/3 of freefall. But it is the constancy and symmetry of this downward acceleration that causes more than 900 architects and engineers to call for a new and full investigation of 9/11 and the building collapses.
They agree that the only reasonable interpretation of these facts is that the underlying structure of all three buildings was removed by explosives. There is no known alternative explanation, and NIST does not offer one. They simply admitted these facts and then refused to investigate the possibility that controlled demolition was used to bring down the WTC buildings. The 9/11 Commission never mentioned WTC 7.
2) No tall steel building has ever collapsed due to fire, even much worse and longer fires than those on 9/11. There are many examples of this.
3) Nanothermite, a powerful military explosive, was found in abundance in all four independently collected samples of WTC dust.
4) General Ahmad, head of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, with close ties to the CIA, had $100,000 wired to Mohammed Atta a week before 9/11, and then met with high-ranking Bush administration officials in Washington in the week leading up to 9/11. The 9/11 Commission refused to investigate these facts and failed to report them in its official report.
5) Norman Mineta, Secretary of Transportation on 9/11, testified to facts suggesting that Vice President Cheney ordered an air defense stand-down on 9/11. Other witnesses corroborate that a stand-down order came from the highest levels of the White House.
6) The government has refused to release any of the 85 videos that would show exactly what hit the Pentagon, and seized all private such videos within minutes after 9/11.
7) Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI, when asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on Bin Laden’s Most Wanted web page, said: “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11”.
8.) The failure of the 9/11 Commission:
The chairs of the Commission have stated “We were set up to fail”.
Philip Zelikow, executive director of the 9/11 Commission, wrote the Bush administration’s preemptive war doctrine, a fact he failed to disclose to the Commission before his selection, and according to Phillip Shenon of the New YorkTimes, he wrote an outline of the Commission’s proposed findings before the investigation had begun.
60% of the 9/11 commissioners have publicly stated that the government agreed not to tell the truth about 9/11 and that the Pentagon was engaged in deliberate deception about their response to the attack.
In August 2006, in the Washington Post, John Farmer, senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, stated: “I was shocked how different the truth was from the way it was described…” The (NORAD Air Defense) tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years…”.
Max Cleland,former Senator from Georgia, resigned from the 9/11 Commission, stating: “It is a national scandal. This investigation is now compromised. One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9/11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up.”
Several top commissioners suspected such serious deception that they considered referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation.
Over 25% of the footnotes in the 9/11 Commission Report refer to information obtained through torture making it highly unreliable and inadmissible in a court of law.
By Michael Haughey, Updated: August 1, 2009
I attended one of the many Democratic health care caucuses this week. I expected (silly me) an open discussion of health care options. Instead, there was a tight agenda of presentations with very little time for the attendees to voice their opinion. So we voiced our opinion in the guise of questions for the presenters.
The main presentation was well done, as far as it went. However there was absolutely no mention of single-payer. The audience had to bring that up in the Q & A. Then there was to be a straw poll between the House and Senate approaches to health care reform (for what purpose it is hard to tell). Once again, the audience insisted that if there was to be a “poll”, single payer must be a choice.. But no – single payer was only allowed to be a separate question that IF it were an option, how many would prefer it. The count for that was announced as 95% for single-payer.
It does make one wonder how far is the reach of the lobbying from the health insurance, pharmaceutical, and related industries for the one option that can work to be so fiercely resisted even by our supposed representatives who were elected on the very platform of achieving single-payer.
It gets worse, of course. The versions of health care reform that are coming out of the congressional committees are clearly being written by the health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies. How do we know this? Look at the REQUIREMENT for everyone to buy health insurance or face a fine. That is blatant marketing by the government for the insurance companies, with the added penalties if you don’t comply. Government run by corporations. Isn’t that fascism? They claim to have subsidies and exceptions for “poor” people, but look closely at that. The current versions of the plans seem to set that level using low income levels set by the Federal government (Federal Poverty Level). We were told the Federal Poverty Level is $10,400. So lets get this straight – if you are just above that level, you are required to buy insurance, as at last check, that insurance will cost nearly as much or even more than that total income of $10,400 (per person). Is that per person? Or per family? The numbers are absurd. There was also a claim that if the insurance costs more than 10% of your income (and I think that more than 100% does qualify as more than 10%), there might be some subsidies. The subsidies were not explained, however it probably means that the money comes out of our taxes for the subsidies. So our taxes essentially go straight to the insurance companies. But they claim they are not raising taxes, so that means something else important will be cut, and no doubt privatized.
All these plans seem designed to fail so that the insurance companies can say “see”, we told you that a public option won’t work. Hopefully the public is smart enough to see through that and demand single-payer.
The bottom line is that single payer (more specifically Universal Public-Funded Single-Payer User-Selected Provider Basic Health Care with no insurance company involvement in basic care) is the only plan that will work for “we the people”. So lets make it clear to our elected “representatives” that we will accept no less and it must be done now. Further, lets be adults about it and pay for it with tax increases knowing full well that those taxes will be 30% to 50% less than what we are now paying the insurance companies.
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By Michael Haughey, September 23, 2003
Introduction: This article is an excerpt from presentations by Michael D. Haughey, P.E., to the Colorado Chapter of the US Green Building Council at the “Fall Greening Conference”, on September 23, 2003; and the keynote address to the Rocky Mountain Chapter of ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers) at their annual Technical Conference on September 25, 2004, and to other groups. It is a subset of the concept of Integrated Design. Those presentations began with background material about the need for extreme energy use efficiency and sustainability in the design, construction, and operation of buildings. Those concepts will be discussed in other articles. This article begins at the question: “What does the future hold for building energy efficiency and sustainability”. Some explanatory material has been added to broaden the article to be suitable for a general audience.
Many excellent and noble concepts have been developed over time to address the question of how to make buildings more energy efficient. A concept that gained momentum during the introduction of direct digital control systems (modern computer controls) in the 1970’s and 1980’s was that of Intelligent Buildings. It was thought that by now buildings would be learning from how occupants used their building and anticipating and adjusting to their needs. Prototypes were installed and there seemed to be momentum building. However, good old fashioned economics would not be overcome. While some controls are sold as “intelligent building controls”, in reality they are not. The market place continued to demand lower and lower costs. Meanwhile the coming energy crises looms and global warming and climate change are already happening.
An Intelligent Building, as originally conceived, would need a number of components. It would need sensors to tell it what is happening throughout the building as well as in the exterior environment. These would include temperature, dew point (or humidity), concentrations of various gasses such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, concentrations of various pollutants such as nitrous oxides and ozone and excessive levels of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and sensors to know how many occupants were in the building and where and their level of activity. There would be mini-computer programs, or algorithms, to compare what the sensors were reading to the levels that the occupants desire. Other computer programs would learn from how the building reacts to changes in building use as well as external weather changes. A historical database would contain information about weather and the information gained from the learning program. Predictive logic would take all of this information and use it to predict how the building will respond to changes in both use and weather, and that would feed into programs to adjust the building systems to accommodate those changes. All of this would result in an automatic response to the occupants needs.
The concept of “Integrated Design” has also been gaining momentum. Traditionally, an architect would develop concept designs in response to the owners requirements for a building. Once developed, those design would be given to the engineers to add their systems to the design. While the architect does have a good idea of what typical systems, such as heating, cooling, and lighting systems, will need in terms of space and other accommodations, it remained common for there to be surprises that led to less than optimal results. The concept of Integrated Design brings all stakeholders together from the beginning. Not only are the engineers involved in the concept design phases, but the future building occupants as well as the nearby community are often involved as well. In this way the systems can be integrated into the building design from the start and have the benefit of the perspective of a wider variety of eyes. While economics still preclude this from truly occurring in many if not most designs, it is becoming more widely accepted. Combining Intelligent Building concepts with Integrated Design concepts paves the way for Living Buildings.
I believe that Living Buildings are now the ultimate goal, depending, of course, on how “Living Buildings” are defined and implemented. In many cases, they will be able to take advantage of and optimize the earlier concepts of Intelligent Building Design. The Living Building concept is simply that the building itself becomes essentially a living entity responding to the environment and the needs of the occupants in an energy-efficient and sustainable manner. The components of the building begin to take on multiple roles. Where heating and cooling systems were once completely separate systems attached to and hidden within the building structure, now we would be designing building components, such as walls and windows, to BE the heating and cooling system.
To see how this might work, I like to use the “Human Analogy”. The building acts like the biological systems of the human body – one derivation of the term “Living Buildings”. A number of examples can be envisioned:
The human body sweats to remove heat – a building can use evaporative cooling systems and roof sprays
The human body constricts exterior blood vessels to increase insulation – a building needs a variable insulation system
The human body dilates blood vessels to pump heat to the exterior for efficient heat removal – buildings can do the same
The human lungs clean and filter the air we breath – the building mechanical systems filter and clean the air, and can do a better job with available technology
Windows and other openings provide light and self-adjust as needed
Window glass changes shading characteristics as heat or light needs change, or as the brightness of daylight (sunlight, direct or indirect) changes
Physical shading devices adjust themselves automatically to provide cooling (or really, avoidance of heating)
The building becomes the mechanical system:
The building mass stores heat or cool from night to day and vice versa
Natural ventilation – stack effect – provides ventilation: cross ventilation and wind towers are some of the concepts already in use
Fresh air is tempered through ground heat exchangers as well as by being passed through rows of plants
The building “sweats” to help remove heat (roof sprays and vegetated walls)
The building becomes the electrical system:
PV (photovoltaic) circuitry built into the building exterior provides electricity from the sun
Natural ventilation and wind towers coupled with wind turbines also generate electricity
If you think of buildings acting like the human body, and then expand the thoughts to other living systems, there opens up a vast array of ideas and possibilities. We will then also be using “biomimickry” to design buildings. What ideas can you think of?
The Challenge is partially to develop new technologies, however many of these technologies already exist. The larger challenge is to apply the technologies and concepts economically and to integrate capital, utility cost (operations), and productivity budgets. Many government entities, such as school systems, are plagued by the requirement to keep capital and operating budgets completely separate. Thus capital can’t be spent to reduce operating costs through energy savings.
A significant advantage to a well-designed Living Building, also true of a well-designed sustainable building, is that it can be inherently more comfortable and a healthier place for humans. Comfort and health in turn can lead to increases in productivity. Think for a moment how fast you work when you are hot and uncomfortable and your lungs hurt from breathing fumes vs. being cool and breathing fresh air while being bathed in a light breeze. Try to put a percentage to how much slower you move when you are trying to keep cool in a hot environment. Now we can take a peak at the numbers. A 1% productivity improvement when converted to salaries and overhead costs is about equal to the annual energy budget for a typical building. How does that compare to your estimate?
A word of caution is in order. In the interest of saving energy, some building designs count too much on the occupants accepting a lesser level of thermal comfort, yet the sales pitch for the building includes the anticipated productivity improvements. However, if the building is less comfortable, it is likely that the anticipated productivity improvements will not occur. We must be realistic in assessing what is comfortable and recognize that each individual person is different. Therefore one of the most important features of an Intelligent Living Building is the ability to adapt to the requirements of each occupant without excessively increasing energy consumption. Clearly there is much work to be done in this area.
There remains much to be done in developing the overall concepts as well. New technologies need to be developed and implemented. Technologies need to become smarter yet simpler to use. And unfortunately we are running out of time. There is an urgent need to achieve Intelligent, Living Buildings. If you doubt that we still have a long way to go, ask your local or favorite architect or engineer to describe the latest “Intelligent Living Building” project they have worked on. If you get more than a blank stare, or a denial of the concept, then look at the building yourself and see if you agree that it is truly an effective Intelligent Living Building (built in an environment that really requires a building to protect occupants from the environment, that is to say not in Hawaii).
Finally, to put some perspective into where we are now in terms of efficient building systems, here are a few examples.
Lights can now be controlled to change their output in response to daylight using photocells. Lights can also be turned on and off depending on whether people are in the room using motion detectors of infrared technology. Heating, cooling, and ventilation systems can be controlled in coordination with the lighting systems to use les or no energy when occupants are not present. Task lighting (lights on individual desks for example) can be used to dramatically reduce the overall light energy used in a space, keeping the general light levels much lower.
A number of efficient technologies are also available. Direct and indirect evaporative cooling systems can be effective in some climates and combined with mechanical technologies in intermediate climates. Ground Source heat Pumps can use the earth to store heating and cooling energy and thereby dramatically improve the system energy use efficiency. Variable speed motors are used for pumps and fans to save energy at conditions that are less than full load. High efficiency motors, as well as high efficiency boilers and chillers are also in use now.
Heat recovery systems are in use in a wide variety of applications to take waste heat or “cool” and recycle it back into the system to save energy. Natural ventilation can be integrated using controls to provide cooling when available and automatically (or manually) turn itself off when mechanical cooling is needed (or the converse – turn off the mechanical cooling when natural ventilation is in use).
Do you recognize any of these technologies from the building where you work?
The list of current technologies goes on, and the future list of Living Building Technologies will hopefully be a long one as well.
I expect that in the future architects, owners, engineers, and occupants will work together to “engineer” buildings as active, “living” systems that put more energy back into the grid than they use and also help to clean the air and water in the nearby communities. Countering the effects of climate change and peak oil demands no less.
Passive Building Controls
Predictive Building Controls
More to come
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By Michael Haughey, May 30, 2009
Rising, and warming, seas are personal – for the Silvertip. It is a family matter. His (her) cousin the Polar Bear is in serious trouble. Fishing is lousy, land habitat is disappearing, and ice floes are further and further apart, making hunting and survival very difficult. They are truly endangered. The Silvertip too has lost habitat, so he understands.
You may have noticed, as I have, that scientists are very clear in saying that the IPCC climate models did not include dynamic melting influences in the land-based ice sheets on Greenland, West Antarctica, or East Antarctica. Yet statements from scientists about future possibilities for melting of these ice sheets are hard to find. James Hansen wrote an article for New Scientist in 2007 (“Huge sea level rises are coming – unless we act now“) about the possibility of rather dramatic sea level rise in this century, or the order of about 16 feet, but at least a few meters. 20 feet of sea level rise is roughly what could happen if all the ice on Greenland or all the ice on West Antarctica, but not both, melted. Melting of the ice on this planet is increasing at an increasing rate. James Hansen gave us his educated guess at what may lie ahead for rising seas. Consider two excerpts from James Hansen’s article:
“As an example, let us say that ice sheet melting adds 1 centimetre to sea level for the decade 2005 to 2015, and that this doubles each decade until the West Antarctic ice sheet is largely depleted. This would yield a rise in sea level of more than 5 metres by 2095.“
“Sea level is already rising at a moderate rate. In the past decade, it increased by 3 centimetres, about double the average rate during the preceding century. The rate of sea level rise over the 20th century was itself probably greater than the rate in the prior millennium, and this is due at least in part to human activity. About half of the increase is accounted for by thermal expansion of ocean water as a result of global warming. Melting mountain glaciers worldwide are responsible for several centimetres of the increase.”
There is evidence of an accelerating rate of sea level rise, and there is ice core evidence of a precedent in similar and even lesser conditions.
Consider this excerpt from James Hansen’s article: “…the palaeoclimate record contains numerous examples of ice sheets yielding sea level rises of several metres per century when forcings were smaller than that of the business-as-usual scenario. For example, about 14,000 years ago, sea level rose approximately 20 metres in 400 years, or about 1 metre every 20 years.”
Note that by “forcings”, he means forces that result in melting of ice, such as the rise in average world-wide temperature.
One meter every 20 years is roughly 16.5 feet in 100 years. If all the ice on both Greenland and West Antarctica melts, that would result in about 40 ft of sea level rise in addition to the few meters form thermal expansion and the 10 meters or so from melting glaciers. But little is said about East Antarctica, which poses a possible addition of about 170 feet of sea level rise should all that ice melt. It is interesting to read the scientific summaries and articles because they are quite forthright in saying they simply do not know what is happening in East Antarctica nor what could happen. They also say that sea level rise from whatever might happen to the land-based ice sheets is not included in the climate models used to make the predictions. In fact melting from Greenland and West Antarctica is not included in the models used as input to the 2007 IPCC reports.
James Hansen explains that Earth is receiving 0.5 to 1.0 watts per square meter more energy from the sun than it is losing, and that amount of energy imbalance is enough to raise sea levels one meter per decade from the melting of ice, if all that energy only melted ice. It doesn’t all go to melting ice, of course, but it puts the present energy imbalance in perspective. This also contradicts the common misperception that sun-spot variations are driving global warming as those variations are much smaller over time. The 11-year sun spot cycle causes a variation of 1.3 watts per square meter reaching the earths outer atmosphere (see NASA data). 30% of that is reflected back to outer space, and 40% of what gets through to land is re-radiated back into space. The net is about 0.55 watts per square meter imbalance variation from peak to low, or 0.27 watts per square meter imbalance over the average of the cycle during the peak of the 11-year cycle. This causes a secondary sine wave imposed on the global warming trend. The positive feedback mechanisms that are occurring and about to occur will further raise the energy imbalance from the sun. It is not a constant value. It has increased or perhaps come into being due to the burning of fossil fuels and related positive feedback mechanisms and more is to come. In summary, Earth is getting hotter, faster, and sea levels will be rising faster and faster as a result.
The media event Earth 2100 (see the artice “A Glimmer of Hope Amidst the Fog” on this web site under the Media category) depicts part of a devastating possible result from about 6 feet of sea level rise. Comparatively, 20 feet to 50 feet of sea level rise would likely result in unimaginable catastrophe. So how do we feel about 220 feet? Sea level rise is, of course, only one of a vast array of mostly negative results to be expected from climate change. The list is frighteningly long.
Clearly we as a society must find ways to work together collectively far beyond the economic restraints of “paybacks from energy cost savings”. Does anyone still believe that unregulated capitalism can provide the incentives necessary and in the time needed to avert such a catastrophe? A collective all-out effort planet-wide may not be enough, so clearly pure capitalism will not be the solution. Quite likely regulated capitalism can provide some very important incentives, and social-democratic mechanisms can provide many vehicles for mobilizing just about everyone toward mitigating this common threat. What else is needed? What else is there? We must put tremendous amounts of creativity to work in addressing the mitigation of the factors causing climate change. Not to do so would be to commit moral and criminal assault on future generations and likely many of the people living today. Some small communities are making significant progress. But none of the larger societies or nations on this planet are making anywhere near sufficient progress any where near fast enough. That includes capitalist, socialist, democratic, communist, dictators, theocracies, and all combinations of political systems. None of us have it right, so forcing our systems on other nations is not the answer. We must combine the best of each and create new possibilities. We must find a way to direct our efforts toward a common purpose using resource conservation far beyond what economists tell us is “economic”. All buildings, existing and new, from now on, must on average be net energy producers from renewable energy sources and from very aggressive energy conservation. All other aspects of our societies must likewise end the use of fossil and nuclear fuels and replace them with aggressive energy conservation and renewable energy sources. It must begin at that level now, and it must be competed very soon. Remember that the goal is to preserve the planet as a habitable place for humans. So the goal is not necessarily sacrifice, but rather wise abundance. Buildings are a great example. They can be more comfortable, more productive, healthier places to live and work, all the while producing more energy through renewable energy than the energy that they consume.
I say “we” and “all buildings” and such, because one person or one corporation making the necessary changes will probably just go out of business. But when we all act together, collectively, with a common understanding, then we all operate on a level playing field. Then, and only then, can we make the needed progress.
The hopeful side, and it is very hopeful, is that there is more than enough to be done to provide creative and productive work for everyone on the planet. We can solve many issues with this one effort. The first step is underway – the understanding of the extreme seriousness of the problem. Once the problem is fully understood, what we must then do will become quite obvious. Some of the next steps are also, simultaneously underway. We as a world-wide society are developing and deploying, although much, much too slowly, some of the technologies that will be a part of the solution as well as making some of the personal and societal changes that will also be needed.
Our primary goal is really very simple. We must stop and quickly reverse the increase in atmospheric CO2 levels before we are inundated with the positive feedback contribution from the methane release crisis. If methane release gets in full swing, we may not be able cope with the resulting climate change. It may be simply too much.
If you still do not believe that climate change is occurring and coming faster and faster, I urge you to study the information that is available and that is coming out of recent research. In the meantime, the rest of us have serious work to do. We can certainly use your help, and we urge you to consider that the worst that can come of our efforts is a better planet for humans and all of life. How bad can that be?
One area of research I suggest watching very closely is that studying the science behind the melting of the land-based ice on the three major ice sheets (Greenland, West Antarctica, and East Antarctica). It was only a few years ago that the moulins on Greenland were discovered and their process began to be understood. Rather than rivers of melt-water that flowed into the ice sheet and re-froze, it was discovered that they went all the way to bedrock. The melt-water not only didn’t re-freeze, but lubricated the underside of the ice sheets. The ice sheets began to slide more quickly toward the ocean. What else don’t we know about the physics of melting ice sheets? At what point do they begin to crack and fall apart, exposing more and more surface to warmer air and melting faster and faster? The planet is within 1 degree C of the warmest temperature in the last millions years. Again from James Hansen’s article: “There is strong evidence that the Earth now is within 1 °C of its highest temperature in the past million years. Oxygen isotopes in the deep-ocean fossil plankton known as foraminifera reveal that the Earth was last 2 °C to 3 °C warmer around 3 million years ago, with carbon dioxide levels of perhaps 350 to 450 parts per million. It was a dramatically different planet then, with no Arctic sea ice in the warm seasons and sea level about 25 metres higher, give or take 10 metres.”
The recent International Polar Year 2007-2008 expeditions (http://www.ipy.org/ ) are likely to ad to our collective knowledge. Reports are expected soon. Most likely there will be more questions than answers.
Warming from CO2 increases in the atmosphere is potentially catastrophic, and yet that may not be the worst of what is about to happen. It is the positive feedback mechanisms that frighten most. One of the most recently discovered is truly the most potentially catastrophic. That is the release of methane that has been sequestered for thousands and millions of years.
Sarah Simpson’s article in Scientific American “The Arctic Thaw Could Make Global Warming Worse” tells the story of courageous and hardy Katey Walter, who discovered a new methane release mechanism during her doctoral research in the Siberian Arctic tundra.
Lakes in the Arctic could release 50 billion tons of methane (there are about 5 billion tons of methane in the atmosphere now accounting for a third of the current global warming trend), per Sarah’s article. She points out that “…the Siberian shelf alone holds an estimated 1.4 trillion tons of methane in the form of gas hydrates.” That alone is “equivalent to the newest estimates of the total greenhouse gases that would be released during a complete permafrost thaw”. It is particularly worrisome because the impact could be huge and previously it had mostly been considered too small to be a factor: “Conventional wisdom long held that permafrost should take thousands of years to melt away, so researchers expected it to play a negligible role in climate change. But recent findings – Walter’s lake discovery in particular – have wrecked that prediction.” The decayed plant matter in the permafrost has been sequestered for thousands of years and has contributed to previous post-ice age warming. The methane hydrates that are sequestered below the permafrost, however, have been sequestered for millions of years. If those begin to release, the global warming impact could be monstrous.
There are at least three significant carbon stores in the Arctic. The permafrost contains carbon in the form of CO2 that is the result of decomposition of plant matter in the presence of oxygen. Under lakes in the Arctic are stores of methane within the permafrost that formed from decomposition of plant matter largely in the absence of oxygen due to the presence of overlying water. Below the permafrost are stores of frozen methane hydrate that also formed by decomposition of plant matter largely in the absence of oxygen.
To summarize, in order of increasing potential global warming impact: first is CO2 primarily from human impacts (direct, indirect, and from positive feedback mechanisms); second would be methane released from permafrost; and third, and most worrisome, would be the release of methane from the frozen methane hydrates below the permafrost. A number of factors have not yet been included in the global models that once included will doubtless move the computer predictions toward more rapid warming and faster sea level rise. Will we experience the worst case scenarios predicted for a few hundred years hence within our lifetimes?
We are entering uncharted territory at an unprecedented speed. It is not known exactly what will happen, but how often can you enter uncharted territory at an unprecedented speed and not have something very unexpected happen? Will we be lucky, or will we be reciting our full repertoire of four-letter words? Do you feel lucky? Do people in the path of a hurricane or flood feel lucky? Will we as the human race soon be wishing that hurricanes and floods were the worst we have to worry about?
Sea level rise by itself gives us a lot of reasons to worry. The fair weather sea level is one part of the problem. It can have many effects that are somewhat understood and probably more that are not understood yet. Salt water will penetrate into previously fresh water supplies. The increased weight of the water might cause seismic activity (earthquakes). Then there are the stormy weather impacts. Storms, especially hurricanes, bring what is called storm surge. The combination of wind and low atmospheric pressure in a storm raises the ocean height, similar to the pull of the moon during high tide, from a few feet to perhaps 20 feet or more in a strong hurricane. When the sea starts out higher, this storm surge will now travel much further inland. The flatter the land, the further it will travel. In addition, ocean features like barrier reefs and coastal wetlands that used to protect land near the ocean will be under water. Will they provide protection then or will the storm surge just roll by? Many of the most densely populated areas on the planet as well as productive agricultural land will eventually have to be abandoned. The immigration “problem” of today will be a fond memory by comparison.
We are not helpless or without hope. We can change our energy consumption efficiency and sources of energy without degradation of quality of life. We can probably capture and do something with the methane that is being released from the Arctic lakes since, so far, it seems to come up in discreet locations (although lots and lots of locations).
Yet will we, the human race, act in time? Waiting for this crisis would be to act too late. The Silvertip, looking down from the mountains, sees a self-centered human race that seems only to react to crises. He has serious doubts that we will act in time or with sufficient resolve. Is he right?
Copyright 2009, Michael D. Haughey. Some rights reserved.
Copyright 2009: Creative Commons CC BY-SA
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