Daily Archives: January 11, 2013

California Governor proposes 2013-2014 budget

Proposed budgets such as this are usually masked by smoke and mirrors. So, if you would like to begin blowing through the smoke surrounding Governor Brown’s proposed 2013-2014 California budget, click here.

Draft Government Climate Assessment Report Released for Public Review – A waste of time?

The US Global Climate Change Research Program has released a report for public comment. Click here for more information.

Based on my experience working with FACA committees and various government advisory committees over three decades, commenting on a report such as this once it has been written is essentially a waste of time. Advisory committees such as this are made up of people selected because of political view (or bias)….and the work products generated have little if nothing to with science, but focus almost entirely on continuation of a narrative that will ensure continued government program funding.

As an example, one member of the committee that wrote this report is the principal of a firm that is part of the IPCC deliberations, provides consulting services to USEPA on climate, and provides consulting services to state and local governments and utilities on climate. No confilct of interest there, huh? Institutions and companies dependent upon the federal agency funding behind this effort cannot be objective when it comes to science that may conflict or refute a government agency’s position or program.  This climate change cabal is strong within the federal government, with the same people (or points of view), same narrative, little to no objective science…

There are several serious deficiencies with this report, which in my view make it good for little except for placing in the round file. The ink is dry on the narrative in this report regardless of the request for comments so realistically substantive comments at this point will be rationalized away. But, if you think your comments are important, be sure to submit them by the April 12 deadline.

If readers would like to comment on the draft, click here and log in to the comment system.

Cancer epidemiology studies under-estimate false-positive rates…

J.K. McLaughlin and R.E. Tarone. False Positives in Cancer Epidemiology. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2013;22:11-15. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-0995

Background: A recent attempt to estimate the false-positive rate for cancer epidemiology studies is based on  agents in International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) category 3 (agent not classifiable as to its  carcinogenicity to humans) in the IARC Monographs Program.

Methods: The estimation method is critiqued regarding biases caused by its reliance on the IARC  classification criteria for assessing carcinogenic potential.

Results: The privileged position given to epidemiologic studies by the IARC criteria ensures that the  percentage of positive epidemiologic studies for an agent will depend strongly on the IARC category to which  the agent is assigned. Because IARC category 3 is composed of agents with the lowest-assessed carcinogenic  potential to which the estimation approach in question could be applied, a spuriously low estimated falsepositive  rate was necessarily the outcome of this approach.

Conclusions: Tendentious estimation approaches like that employed will by necessity produce spuriously low and misleading false positive rates.

Impact: The recently reported estimates of the false-positive rate in cancer epidemiology are seriously biased and contribute nothing substantive to the literature on the very real problems related to false-positive findings
in epidemiology.

Click here for full paper (provided by JunkScience.com)