- - Thursday, March 20, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Correlation does not equal cause and effect. If 10 people occupy a room and one person is murdered and falls dead next to a lamp, it does not mean the lamp did it. If the stock market rises with the hemlines dictated by the fashion industry it does not mean that hemlines are responsible.

You can go on forever with these types of juxtapositions. When it is offered as proof of cause and effect, it is the mark of an idiot. Or, in the case of the climate lobby, just a bunch of power-hungry elitists bent on controlling everything they touch — and becoming wealthy in the process (“The dubious apocalypse of global warming,” Web, March 18).

Climatology has long since descended into “junk science” territory. It can be compared quite well to epidemiology with respect to public health. Epidemiologists look at population patterns and try to infer cause and effect. The key word here is “infer.” Studies rarely exceed one generation, if that, and most of the time the confounding variables (which would render their conclusions useless) are ignored. Sound familiar?

Nevertheless, epidemiology is the primary input for public health policy, believe it or not. We are not talking double-blind clinical trials, which venture capitalists in the biotech industry long ago realized could only be successfully repeated less than 50 percent of the time. We are talking pure, unadulterated pseudo-scientific garbage. Mix this in with the usual politics, corruption and cronyism found in progressive government and you have the formula for a very sick, declining population.

Climate science, if not recognized for the fraud that it is, will be just as bad for your longevity as epidemiology. Things are seldom what they seem.

SAMUEL BURKEEN

Reston, Va.

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