Romm Echoes Groundless Cell Phone/Cancer Fears?

Keith Kloor is having fun being kwuooeeeel to poor Joe Romm, simply because Romm is being an anti-scientific bozo pushing groundless fears of cancer-from-mobile-phones. Keith has a nice collection of links to sane people pointing out that there is no evidence of a problem. One of whom is Orac, in a post entertainingly entitled The bride of the son of the revenge of cell phones and cancer rises from the grave…again. And the key quote is Still, despite my trying to keep an open mind on the matter, I also don’t want my mind to be so open that my brains fall out, so to speak. Alas, Romm has failed to heed that wise advice, so his brains have indeed fallen out.

I can’t be bothered to take Romm and his argument apart, and anyway there is no point, because Kloor has, and Orac has, and so have any number of people. What I found quite entertaining, though, is: what does this remind you of? “This” being the desperate never-ending search for a link between mobiles (apparently called “cell phones” by our colonial cousins) and cancer, which continues despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary? Yes that’s right: it is just like the denialists’ eternal search for something, anything, that they can blame for global warming other than CO2.

Meanwhile, in related news, the squareheads are also anti-scientific bozos. But I don’t seem to be able to dredge up enough venom for an entire post. Well, its been a long day and I went running at lunchtime and sculling at night (can’t even see the game or the Sugar Ray fight).

Oh… I nearly forgot. Romm’s point 3 is an excellent one:

3. Use a Bluetooth earpiece. A Bluetooth earpiece still has radiation, but it’s at least 100 times less than the radiation you get when you hold a cell phone to your head…. [And don’t keep it on your ear all the time since,] “when you’re not talking; it still sends out a signal.”

or at least, its an excellent point if you happen to be an employee and shareholder of a company that makes bluetooth chips (did you know we now have a blog?). The bit about emitting radiation when you’re not talking is mostly twaddle, though. If its not supporting an audio link, it will either get turned off or at worst drop into sniff, which has something like a hundredth of the radiation of an audio link.


* Why I’m (still) not worried about my cell phone hurting my brain (Bad Astronomy)
* Deaths per unit of electricity generated
* Rabbits needn’t worry about cell phones’ effects on their sperm count, say three retractions

Climate and Cancer

Ha ha, there you go, yet another provocative headline that won’t really deliver.

From the comments elsewhere (thanks F):

At the rate newspapers keep pushing the boundaries of what nonsense
they will publish, then Einstein’s theories will be up for grabs in a
few years. And there is worse than the reporting done on climate science: try
nutrition, or cancer.

which set me to wondering, hence this post. I would agree that the reporting on nutrition or health etc is utterly appalling; Ben Goldacre has made a good career noticing this. My immeadiate reaction to that is: but everyone *knows* it is so appalling that no-one of any sense takes it seriously: Oh yes, yet another study on red wine being good / bad for you, yawn. All this stuff just washes over you. Everyone knows in their heart that they should eat a varied diet, more veg, less butter, etc etc all the obvious things.

But I think climate reporting is at the same level. Everyone really knows the world is getting warmer and it is our fault. The endless slew of press stories to and fro makes little difference to this. Goverment policy continues onwards like a juggernaut and isn’t touched by gossip. Witness the tiny impact the CRU email hacking had, in the end. It all seemed so exciting for a day or two. The obvious fact that people are reluctant to cut their CO2 consumption by not flying off on holiday is just the same as people still putting lots of butter on their toast and salt on their chips.

As the wise James Annan said “the internet is not a write-only medium you know” but I’m afraid I didn’t bother glance around to see if anyone else has written this perceptive thought before. Or even if I have 🙂