WHO and eating processed meat

Interesting press release from WHO that eating processed meat increases potential for colon cancer.

http://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/

The quoted eating “50g of processed meat can increase your changes by 18%”, evening assuming that the studies reviewed do show causation not just a relationship, the vital bit of information is what is the new risk.

In Wikipedia there is a statement that based on late 2000 data from America around 4% of men and women born around then will experience some form of colon cancer.

Hence we have a risk of 0.04 x 1.18 = 0.047, near 5%, which does seem a lot of people, the vast majority would occur over 50 years of age, incidence and mortality, and we have not idea of the world wide factors.  

Causes would be multi-faceted, and the reference below, from the US shows a decline in most population areas but that Afro-American’s have a higher rate of noth incedence and resultant mortality. There are also other interesting demographic differences e.g. Alaska has a much higher rate.

http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-028312.pdf

The press release from WHO does not give sifficient detail and will simply cause problems with interpretation.

Decline in participation in Mathematics

http://theconversation.com/why-it-matters-that-student-participation-in-maths-and-science-is-declining-47559

Mathematics and Science are the basic tools along with Philosophy that enable us to ask question such as, why is that happening, are there connections, what is…….

Of course we can ask these questions without using a scientific approach but probably such an approach would value certain factors more than they should be. For example, a belief that God will provide, and it is the will of God what happens are, to say the least, problematic.

One wonders the role of doubt in these non-scientific thought processes. Science values doubt, it seems non-science does not.

This non-valuing of doubt results in reactionary thinking, or conservationism in the face of change.

Open positive letter to Clive Palmer – Climate Change

Dear Clive,

Keith is a dear friend from Uni days, he is a paid up PUP member and he is concerned you get this right, too.
Please don’t discount Tim Flanery – he is an excellent communicator and I feel a positive conversation would help developing understanding and awareness…..Tim if I have made any inaccurate statements in what follows please correct me (us).
I am writing to you directly as I was both impressed and dismayed at certain things said to the ABC Insiders and in an interview with Tony Jones.
I am not involved in any political party or movement – I am however a concerned Australian, currently living in Vietnam and soon Istanbul.
And, before we start I am trying to help.
Your statement about 97% carbon in nature and 3% created by man, and the idea that carbon in nature can be reduced is simply impossible.
There is a fixed amount of carbon.
It is stored in various forms e.g. gas, fossils, underground coal gas and plenty more.
The carbon cycle is fundamental to why earth is livable.
Photosynthesis is main process by which the volume of carbon, CO2 is kept in balance not too much and not too little – plants (plankton in the sea being a significant part) recycle Co2 and output Oxygen that we breath – any threat to the oceans will be catastrophic.Along with the layes of atmosphere that filter light and heat rays, with the specific natural balance here we would all fry or freeze.
(a) The science is clear, irrefutable, CO2 lets in sun light but not the reflected heat rays coming from earth’s surface that in normal circumstance simple go back into space, if trapped we get increased heat.
(b) Increased heat is likely to cause increased cloud and water vapor, water vapor acts exactly in reverse, it reflects sunlight back into space but lets through (out)reflected heat from the surface of the earth -hence cooling can occur.
It is very complex in how things will play out, I can assure you the computer simulations are very, very complex pieces of mathematics, each model consistently shows dangerous patterns that we simply do not understand the likely outcomes off.
The 3% you refer to is the increase due to mankind burning fossil fuels.Man is not creating anything, we are simply converting carbon from one for to another, and upsetting the natural cycle, so there is build up, year on year.
Small amounts of CO2 over time are being added that the current natural carbon cycle can’t remove and store. NOTE: it is impossible simple DELETE or destroy carbon, it is simply converted into a different form and stored, and on very long time cycles.
This small amount is hence adding to and gradually increasing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere – and hence the risk of points (a) and (b) occurring is heightened, and also why the issue is referred to as climate change – we could get heating and/or cooling, it is likely however that (a) and (b) will not simple cancel each other out, but this could happen.
To the KEY issue – you cannot remove carbon, the amount is fixed. You can’t simply look at a forest, for example, and somehow remove and throw away carbon, this would be alchemy.
What one can do is to try and restrict the increase of CO2 into the atmosphere – there are many schemes – storing the gas underground, or finding alternative energy sources eg Solar power, and looking eating habits to reduce methane from cows!
And, what is missed in the debate is that CO2 is only one of many gases that we should be worried about.
Australia is a very highly skilled scientific country, what I suggest is getting behind the issue and prompting our science and turning this into industries that employees. The CSIRO is a fantastic institution, a world leader, and acts independent of but is dependent on  Govt funding. As are our fantastic Universities whose only way of thinking at the moment is to increase fees and further reduce the spread of the students able to go to University – intellect is equally distributed, women, men, rich, poor, ethnicity, none matter. The inequity of access to Australian higher education is appalling, notice nobody ever talks about the outputs i.e. the socio economic background distribution of graduates. Public education is and SHOULD be seen as an investment, a right and not one restricted to the rich.
Australia has not been good at turning our knowledge into high added value industries -it is far simpler to dig ore/coal/gas out of the ground and export it, and we have an ethical issue here in that we are directly fueling carbon release in other large population countries.
I strongly urge you to do what you suggest, get briefed, listen and above all understand. I am very worried if indeed you are treated with distain and not listen too or approached, maybe if I am proffer some advice – “ask, shut up, listen, think, then ask questions….you owe it to your party members to get it right and LEAD”
We are talking about a fundamental fact or set of facts, which if not understood invalidates comment, in that if the argument presented cannot be traced back to showing understanding, then it has to be discounted.
I urge you to understand and get behind Australian Science, help with the step of monetizing our knowledge to create industries of high value and employment. Many small companies, in a vibrant intelligent competitive yet cooperative environment is the way forward – none of this silly “you are a dick, not your are, ya f’wit” , lets move on, the current two party system and that ridiculous parlementray question time is anti intellectual, anti business and just a bloody national and international disgrace.
Also, your comment on the NBN is misguided too – at least in my view – Australia must have a highly efficient and fast data transmission infrastructure on which new industries can be built. I have run a very small business in the past educating teachers around the world how to teach computer science – the Internet and access to it via the world wide web has been simply breath taking in the speed of its development, think since around 1995 when the first browsers that were easy to use came about. Get behind Australian education and research and the creation of a backbone NBN.
What is then needed is competition from providers of services – this is were Telstra should not be allowed to operate, Telstra should simple deliver the access to the backbone, across ever part, no inequality.
Your comments about Aboriginal children was appreciated, it is an Australian disgrace!
Good luck and please get to grips with the issue and no more ill informed comment – I am equally amazed that the Insiders said nothing, it exposes their lack of expertise, and credibility rather they are simply interested in the gossipy side of politics and really have no qualifications to comment further.
Kind regards
Dr Andrew Meyenn