Water treatment chemicals – why pick on fluoride?

Almost every person arguing against fluoridation makes the claim that the fluoridation chemicals used are toxic and corrosive. They also claim they contain toxic heavy metals which contaminate our drinking water.

But this is simply fear mongering – relying on chemophobia, because most concentrated chemicals are toxic and often corrosive. And such claims could also be made of the other chemicals used in drinking water treatment. But the anti-fluoridation activists don’t – why pick on fluoride?

Actually, the fluoridation chemicals used are not the main source of possible toxic contamination of our water supply – yet these other chemicals are ignored by anti-fluoridationists. When we consider fluoridation in the context of the water treatment process and analytical data for the chemicals used we find the anti-fluoridation arguments baseless.

The water treatment process

The figure below provides a context for considering the chemicals used in public drinking water treatment and the stages where they are added. It’s a diagrammatic outline of Hamilton City’s water treatment plant (it still include fluoride addition – I guess they are holding off changing the diagram until after the referendum). You can see further details in  A Guide to Hamilton’s Water Supply : River to the Tap.

hamilton-ws

This is only a typical example. Different treatment plants use different chemicals depending on the plant size, the water source and the availability and cost of chemicals. I consider just a few  representative chemicals below with information on their safety, corrosive nature and chemical contaminants.

Information sources used

The safety information is from safety data sheets produced by the manufacturer or seller. Many of these are in the Orica Chemicals SDS database.

Information on contaminating heavy elements and other contaminants is from Brown et al. (2004). Trace contaminants in water treatment chemicals: sources and fate, American Water Works Association, Journal. 96: 12, 111-125.

Extra information on contaminants in fluoridation chemicals is from the NSF Fact Sheet on Fluoridation Products (2013) and the  NZ Water and Wastes Association Standard for “Water Treatment Grade” fluoride, 1997.

miscellaneous chemicals

A number of chemicals like lime, soda ash, carbon dioxide, potassium permanganate and other acids and alkalis are used, sometimes or commonly. This could be for initial treatment to remove biological matter and in pH control and sedimentation. Adjustment of pH is also necessary to prevent corrosion of pipes.

Coagulation and sedimentation

Aluminium sulphate or alum, is a common coagulant.  Its Safety Data sheet does not classify it as dangerous for transport but does classify it as hazardous – subclasses 6.1 – 9.3.

Under disposal methods it says:  “Refer to local government authority for disposal recommendations. Dispose of contents/container in accordance with local/regional/national/international regulations.”

Possible contaminants (Brown, Cornwall & McPhee, 2004): Coagulant chemicals are the main source of trace metal contamination in water treatment.” However, these together with contaminant trace metals in the source water are generally transferred to the residue stream during sedimentation and filtering so there is little transfer to the finished water.

Soda ash is used for pH control. Its Safety sheet does not classify it as dangerous for transport but does classify it as hazardous – subclasses 6.1 – 6.4.

Under disposal methods it says:  Refer to local government authority for disposal recommendations. Dispose of material through a licensed waste contractor.”

Disinfection

Chlorine is commonly used. Its Safety data Sheet classifies it as a class S7 dangerous poison which “must be stored, maintained and used in accordance with the relevant regulations.”

Under disposal methods it says: “Refer to Waste Management Authority. Dispose of material through a licensed waste contractor. Contact supplier for advice.”

Possible contaminants (Brown, Cornwall & McPhee, 2004)Carbon tetrachloride (used to clean storage containers)

Fluoridation

Fluorosilicic acid is the most common fluoridating chemical. Its Safety data sheet describes it as a class S7 dangerous poison.

Under disposal methods it says: “Refer to Waste Management Authority. Dispose of  material through a licensed waste contractor. Decontamination and destruction of containers should be considered.”

Possible contaminants (Brown, Cornwall & McPhee, 2004): Arsenic was the only trace metal contaminant found above detection levels in just a few samples, and then in small amounts.

This year’s NSF Fact sheet on fluoridation  also confirmed this picture. saying:

“In summary, the majority of fluoridation products as a class, based on NSF test results, do not contribute measurable amounts of arsenic, lead, other heavy metals, radionuclides, to the drinking water.”

(NSF International is a global independent public health and environmental organization that provides standards development, product certification, testing, auditing, education and risk management services for public health and the environment.)

The  NZ Water and Wastes Association Standard for “Water Treatment Grade” fluoride, 1997 says:

“Commercially available hydrofluorosilicic acid, sodium fluoride and sodium silicofluoride are not known to contribute significant quantities of contaminants that adversely affect the potability of drinking water.”

I discussed the question of the level of toxic metal contamination in fluorosilicic acid in my article Fluoridation – are we dumping toxic metals into our water supplies? This mentions the requirement of suppliers to provide certificates of analysis to make sure their product is suitable for water treatment. A number of certificates of analysis for fluorosilicic acid are available on line which confirm the very low levels of contaminant heavy metals. For typical fluorosilicic acid certificates see Incitec 09, Incitec 08 and Hamilton City.

The table below also shows typical analytical results for fluorosilicic acid.

General conclusions

According to Brown, Cornwall & McPhee, 2004:

“Except for occasional contamination from bromate in sodium hypochlorite and carbon tetrachloride in chlorine., drinking water treatment chemicals were not typically shown to be significant sources of most contaminants of regulatory concern (including lead, copper, arsenic, and other trace metals) in finished water. This was becausc of the low occurrence of contaminants in drinking water treatment chemicals and the partitioning of most contaminants into the residuals streams when they were present in raw water or treatment chemicals.”

The recovery of sediment and sludge after coagulant treatment removes most of the toxic contaminants coming from the source water and the treatment chemicals (mainly the coagulant). No significant contamination comes from the chlorine or fluoridation chemicals added towards the end of the treatment. The table below confirms this.

The real amounts of contaminant toxic metals in fluorsilicic acid are far lower than the amounts allowed by the water treatment standards.  The regulated impurity levels are calculated from the maximum acceptable values of an impurity (taken from the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand 1995) and the dilution when the material is added to drinking water to achieve a concentration of 0.7 – 1.0 ppm F. It incorporates a safety factor of 10. The data for the fluorosilicic acid is from my research but confirms figures in certificates of analysis. And the last column shows that there is no detectable contamination of toxic heavy metals in the final drinking water

Final drinking water quality

Toxic Element Impurity limits FSA Drinking water
As (ppm) 132 2 <0.002
Cd (ppm) 40 <1 <0.001
Cr (ppm) 660 5 <0.001
Hg (ppm) 26 < 0.1 <0.001
Ni (ppm) 264 < 1 <0.001
Pb (ppm) 132 0.3 <0.001
Cu (ppm)   < 0.2 <0.013
Zn (ppm)   2.1 <0.013

Impurity limits – calculated from maximum acceptable values in drinking water and a safety factor of 10. See NZ Water and Wastes Association Standard for “Water Treatment Grade” fluoride, 1997.
FSA – typical analytical data for fluorosilicic acid used in fluoridating New Zealand water supplies.
Drinking water – actual levels of toxic elements in your drinking water (Wellington region) – all below the limit of detection of the standard analytical procedure.


The “proof of the pudding is in the drinking” – one could say. The antifluoridation activists have been simply scare mongering with their claims that fluoridation amounts to putting toxic elements into our drinking water. The fluoridation chemicals are not even the main possible source of such contaminants.

See also
Fluoridation
Fluoride in our water facebook page
Debunking the anti-fluoridation myths
From Australia – debunking anti-fluoridation arguments

For other articles on fluoridation see Fluoridation page.

61 responses to “Water treatment chemicals – why pick on fluoride?

  1. A number of chemicals like lime, soda ash, carbon dioxide, potassium permanganate and other acids and alkalis are used, sometimes or commonly. This could be for initial treatment to remove biological matter and in pH control and sedimentation.

    I’m going to indulge in a little climate denier logic.
    (..ahem..)
    Carbon dioxide is a harmless gas. Hey, we put it in our water! Therefore global warming is a hoax.
    Also plant food!!1!11!!!!

    The CO2 is Plant Food Crock

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  2. Wow – excellent points. But perhaps you should direct your arguments to Harvard University who have released 26 studies so far clearly showing fluoride damages IQ. So maybe ask them why they decided to pick on Fluoride.

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  3. i think the way NZ media and Agenda 21 focused/ funded blogs like this one continue to completely ignore the 26 Harvard University studies so far released = says it all. if you/ they at least tried to explain why you disagree with the Harvard studies – that would be a start, but when you simply ignore them- its smacks of an attempted cover up.

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  4. This would be the same agenda 21 which supposedly provides evidence that the UN is secretly planning to round us all up in concentration camps and sterilise us with vaccines?

    Or is there a different agenda 21 conspiracy theory I’m unaware of?

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  5. Actually, James, I am not ignoring the Harvard paper, it’s just not at the top of my list. I have been going through one issue at a time and do intend to cover that paper. But my first task has been chemical issues because that is where my expertise lies.

    So I am not ignoring or covering up any issue – just watch this space.

    By the way what do you mean by “NZ media and Agenda 21” funded blogs? Is there some money somewhere I am missing out on?

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  6. i think the way NZ media and Agenda 21

    Three conspiracies? I guess it’s true than believers accept them in packs.
    Climate denial, flouride nuttery and…(ominous voice) Agenda 21!
    Oooo, spooky.

    …that would be a start, but when you simply ignore them- its smacks of an attempted cover up.

    Therefore…it IS a coverup.

    (awkward silence)

    Or not.

    By the way what do you mean by “NZ media and Agenda 21″ funded blogs? Is there some money somewhere I am missing out on?

    Who’s actually giving out the money and how do you know this?
    Names?
    When did they start giving out the money and how do you actually know this?
    Dates?
    How much money are we talking about and how do you actually know this?
    Thousands? Millions? Billions? Trillions? Eleventyzillions?

    Now who could we get to help us understand Agenda 21?
    There’s Mad Monckton, of course. He’s done quite a few videos on Agenda 21. There Alex Jones (always really with a quiet, reasoned comment on British TV). There’s Jessy Ventura.
    Yet I have rejected them all. None of them compare to that very special man, Glenn Beck.
    That’s right, the Man of the People himself.

    “Agenda 21” The UN’s diabolical plan for the world is explained on the “Glenn Beck Show”

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  7. I have found the link between Agenda 21 and Hamilton City Council.

    Right under our noses, conspiring to herd us into death camps, although the article claims that the councillors deny this.

    Funny, that

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/8084651/Sustaining-belief

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  8. Bugger that, Andy. What I want to know is about the scheme for funding of local bloggers. Where do I apply?

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  9. …conspiring to herd us into death camps, although the article claims that the councillors deny this.

    It’s exactly what they would do! It smacks of a cover-up. Their Stalinist handlers trained them well.

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  10. The association with Agenda21 isn’t a cover up, it’s a smokescreen to hide lizard men operations.

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  11. More than an onion.

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  12. James, the Harvard meta-analysis that I’ve read in fact shows that fluoride at the concentrations used to fluoridate municipal water supplies in NZ does not have any effect on IQ. Adverse effects were found, but at much higher concentrations (and those concentrations were in untreated water, incidentally): http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/fluoride-childrens-health-grandjean-choi/
    I do wonder why those campaigning against fluoridation need to misrepresent the actual science, if their case is so strong.

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  13. Wait, 26 studies showing fluoride damages IQ? That’s surprising given that a year or two ago I read and commented on a an online forum thread that was sparked by just such a study, perhaps not from Harvard though, showing, if memory doesn’t fail me, half an IQ point loss in areas with over ten times the recommended limit of fluoride in their drinking water. Throughout the thread, despite an abbundance of antifluoridationists commenting along, no other, let alone 26, study was mentioned.

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  14. You are not allowing for inflation.

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  15. A green group in Alaska looked at the effectiveness and the safety of fluoridation. New science indicates the need for a second look. The group took its concerns to the Fairbanks City Council. The government body asked a panel of volunteer scientists (PhDs in biology, chemistry, plus a medical doc and dentist) to review the latest science. After more than a year of study, the Fairbanks Fluoride Task Force concluded that water fluoridation is neither safe or effective. It recommended to the council to stop the practice. Accordingly, several weeks later, for the first time in 50 years, fluoridation stopped in Fairbanks. Alaska’s second-largest city joins Juneau, the state capital, in quitting fluoride. Details and data from the Fairbanks experience is located here: fluoridefreefairbanks.org. It’s a library of research papers that the dental industry and its fluoride-promoting cronies prefer to ignore. Peruse the files and you’ll likely agree.

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  16. Looked at your link, Douglas. it’s the typical misinformation and distortion of the science we have come to expect from the anti-fluoridation activist groups.

    Notice you had nothing to say about the article? Just advertising, are you?

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  17. If I read you correctly, you are kicking sand in the faces of the scientists who have produced scores of peer-reviewed papers indicating risk from fluoride exposure. Do I have that right? Did you read the report of the Fairbanks Fluoride Task Force? And what of your credentials? What assurance do you offer readers that your claims of safety and effectiveness are vetted by independent scientists?

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  18. No, Douglas, I am not. I am telling you what I know from experience about the anti-fluoridation activists.

    I looked at the page you linked to. When I attempt to see specific reports the links were broken. I did check out a few other things and found them deceptive (eg comparing the safety data sheets of CaF2 with that for fluorosilicic acid!)

    If you want my opinion on specific aspect of the science, or a specific report or paper then provide a correct link and ask a specific question.

    My credentials – I am a retired scientist, research chemist having worked on aspect of apatites, fluoride and fluorosilicic acid.

    The papers and reports I quote in may article are from peer reviewed journals or monitoring bodies, and groups setting standards. The certificates of analysis are required by regulation and are usually produced by independent laboratories. The safety data sheets are supplied by manufacturers and suppliers and also regulated.

    Now what about you being specific? What exactly in my article do you query or disagree with?

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  19. Shall we go with a direct quotation from the report, Douglas?

    “The task force has made this recommendation to terminate fluoridation of GHU water with full knowledge of and respect for the positions of the American Dental Association (ADA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; part of the US Department of Health and Human
    Services), the World Health Organization, and the Alaska Department of Public Health in support of fluoridation of public water supplies.”

    So, we can safely conclude that the position of all these institutions, and many more besides, is that fluoridation of public water supplies is safe and effective. But, instead, you want me to go with the conclusions of a small task force which “went into this project with incomplete and in some cases incorrect information about the issue,” and which happens to have come out with a recommendation which you like.

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  20. And of course, despite their recommendation to discontinue fluoridation, your assertion that “the Fairbanks Fluoride Task Force concluded that water fluoridation is neither safe or effective” turns out to be a rather blatant lie.

    Rather, they seem to have made the recommendation on the basis of ethical grounds relating to individual rights and informed consent.

    That’s an interesting point, actually. Is it possible to have informed consent if there are people loudly and publicly peddling disinformation? Quite an effective strategy. First, ensure that the public is not informed. Then argue that fluoridation should be discontinued on the basis that there’s no informed consent.

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  21. A green group…

    That’s an important point to make. They’re “green”.

    …in Alaska looked at the effectiveness and the safety of fluoridation.

    Um, why? Did they have nothing better to do? What makes people just wake up one day and go “Hey, let’s have a look at the effectiveness and the safety of fluoride”.

    New science indicates the need for a second look.

    Yes, fresh and shiny new science. Not that old sciencey stuff. Second look? Oh yes. Second look. Sound very critical. So glad this happened.

    The group took its concerns to the Fairbanks City Council.

    Wait. What “concerns”?

    The government body asked a panel of volunteer scientists (PhDs in biology, chemistry, plus a medical doc and dentist) to review the latest science.

    Volunteers with Phd? Well, what’s not to love about that?

    After more than a year of study…

    More than a year. Why that’s amazing. More than a year, eh?

    …the Fairbanks Fluoride Task Force concluded that water fluoridation is neither safe or effective.

    Nobel Prizes all around! How could the scientific community have gotten it all so badly wrong all these decades? Thank you, FFTF. Thank you. You and your new science and latest science have saved the day.

    It’s a library of research papers that the dental industry and its fluoride-promoting cronies prefer to ignore.

    Yep, it’s a conspiracy. You, however, have not been fooled. You’re just too smart for that. A look at some site on the internet and now you are part of the informed citizenry that is standing up for the TROOTH that the cronies and the industry have tried to hide from you all these years.
    You must be so proud. 😉

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  22. Cedric…You might be a parrot-brained, majician worshiping,ranting nutter, throwing up at us the sad-assed droning voice of Peter Sinclair and his weekly crop of climate doom crap, but you and Ken are correct about F’ and teeth. The flouridation of water is designed to reach the lower socio-economic group,.the children of people who’ve never lifted a toothbrush in their lives. The ingestion of F’ toothpaste by toddlers of good parents,every night before bed (the kids always swallow the yummy stuff) is sufficient to ensure a future of good teeth. Parents were advised quite a few years back to give their kids tablets as well but this was over the top and could risk flourosis.

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  23. Cedric…You might be..

    Might be. Or might be not.

    …but you and Ken are correct about F’ and teeth.

    How would you know?
    You are no better that they are.

    The methodology that Ken, myself, Peter Sinclair, Hatfield, Richard, Chris use to examine science denial claims is the same.
    It’s consistant. It’s fair. It’s reasonable.
    We always start with the work. The peer-reviewed research.
    Not one solitary, cherry-picked study.
    Not one contrarian blog or other.
    No one “maverick” scientist or “think tank”.

    Science denial uses the same playbook. There’s nothing new.
    All science denial must somehow reject the scientific consensus.
    Somehow and anyhow.
    Climate deniers must reject NASA plus every other scientific community on the planet.
    Fluoride nutters must reject the CDC plus every other medical body on the planet.
    Creationists must reject all the genetics, biology etc.
    The rationalisations and the faulty logic is always the same.
    It doesn’t matter what the particular subject is.
    It’s all the same when you strip away the waffle and the labels.

    I can take any rant by any of the science deniers and switch the labels around to make them sound like some other bunch of nutters.
    I do it all the time. It’s child’s play. I do it because it works. It’s the same.

    Show me an AIDS denier and I’ll show you an anti-vaxxer. Show me an anti-vaxxer and I’ll show you a moon landing denier. Show me a moon landing denier and I’ll show you a climare denier. Show me a climate denier and I’ll show you a “tobacco causes cancer” denier. Show me a “tobacco causes cancer” denier and I’ll show you a creationist.
    There’s nothing new. It’s all just an effort to to try and avoid the work done by the scientific community.
    There is no spooky-wooky global scientific conspiracy. It’s stupid.
    It couldn’t work. It’s just impossible to organise.

    The same reasons why NASA can’t be lying to you about the moon landings are the same as to why they can’t be lying to you now about climate change.

    http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus

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  24. Boy you are an arguementative wacko Cedric. You’re not able to concieve that one field of science could be correct, OK and useful, and the another found to be pseudo-science. On the F’ issue I’m speaking as a dentist who has treated NZ children’s teeth for over 40 yrs and has seen the effects and benefit of F’.

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  25. On the F’ issue I’m speaking as a dentist who has treated NZ children’s teeth for over 40 yrs and has seen the effects and benefit of F’.

    So complete the comparison: on climate change issue you are?

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  26. Dick Christie, On the climate issue you are who?

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  27. Not keen to answer?

    Allow me to complete the comparison for you.

    On the topic of AGW you are a science denying nobody on the internet.

    Cedric puts it perfectly, you are one and the same as the 9-11 troothers, anti-vaccers, moonlanding deniers, anti fluoridationists, young Earthers, and the rest of the kooks with bees in their bonnets and no idea of how to differentiate between a reliable source and what is not.

    Bravely (cough cough) and anonymously taking your vision to the internet, buzzing around internet forums laying your eggs, links to science denial sites run by geriatric retirees or fan boys of Prisonplanet TV.

    And haven’t we all seen it all many times before.

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  28. Yes Dick…I’m buzzing and laying eggs. Ken here is not appreciating it, but at least, unlike Trenberth, he’s not facing the gut-churning realisation that his entire lifes work is invalid……
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/04/a-simple-model-of-global-average-surface-temperature/#comment-77341
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/time-for-the-slayers-to-put-up-or-shut-up/#comment-78670

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  29. Well, who would have thought it?
    According to Wikipedia, Mack’s favourite climate contrarian, Roy Spencer, is also a proponent of creationism over science.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Spencer_%28scientist%29#Intelligent_Design

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  30. Indeed, Mack? If you have evidence that the entirety of his life’s work is invalid, by all means, submit it to a scientific journal. Or get this Nahle person to do the same. See how you get on.

    Repeatedly linking to random posts over the internet in which you demonstrate a profound lack of understanding of atmospheric physics and contempt for models really isn’t going to impress the scientific community, and does not impress me.

    You may well personally believe that a particular field of science is junk, but guess what? Science is not overturned by people declaring it to be pseudoscience. It is overturned by people going out, collecting evidence and presenting compelling analysis and arguments, such that the scientific community comes around to their way of thinking.

    Perhaps you might care to share with us any other mainstream fields of science which you consider to be pseudoscience? Just as a matter of interest.

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  31. “why pick on fluoride?”

    The usual 50 reasons:
    http://www.slweb.org/50reasons.html

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  32. It gets worse, Richard. Mack’s viewpoint (which, to my understanding, is that there’s no such thing as the greenhouse effect) is sufficiently far out there that Spencer is deriding it as unsupported pseudo-science.

    Definitely not his favourite contrarian.

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  33. You’re not able to concieve that one field of science could be correct, OK and useful, and the another found to be pseudo-science.

    Yes I am.
    It’s really easy.
    Why this desperate need to create a strawman?
    There’s a difference between science and pseudoscience. That’s very true.
    You can’t tell the difference.
    You’re incompetent.
    I, however, can.
    Science deniers always do the same thing to promote and argue for their particular hobby horse.. Do you get this now?
    It’s always the same playbook.
    Anomoly hunting. Ignoring the scientific consensus. Cherry picking a graph here and an isolated study there. Linking to some no-name blog. Invoking the name of Galileo. Dark mutterings about corruption and fraud. Total failure to substantiate such criminal allegations in a court of law. Large helpings of Dunning-Kurger Effect. Avoiding NASA/CDC/NIH like the fucking plague. etc.

    You can take an internet denier laying his eggs and compare that to some other internet denier and …they’re the same eggs.

    On the F’ issue I’m speaking as a dentist who has treated NZ…

    Nobody gives a shit. Some other “dentist” comes here claiming the opposite of what you do and he’d be given the same heave-ho. Nobody gets a free pass. We’re smarter than that. Kook dentists are a dime a dozen. You can find a bushel of them at anti-fluoride sites everywhere. Anti-fluoride nutters love to trot out their pet dentists. All science deniers do that.
    Same playbook, remember?
    HIV deniers? They have Duesberg.
    Creationists? They’ve got Behe.
    Climate deniers? They’ve got nursing home escapees like Carter.
    The same tiny group of names get recycled again and again and again because there are never any new ones.

    If you were in the right and you were supporting good science then you’d be doing it differently. It would be impossible to contrast and compare you with the anti-fluoride nutters out there. Yet…it’s easy to look at your methodology and see the same ol’, same ol’.
    Don’t tell us that your different from the wierdos.
    Behave differently in your methodology.

    Skewed views of science Theory or Guess_ – YouTube.FLV

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  34. According to Wikipedia, Mack’s favourite climate contrarian, Roy Spencer, is also a proponent of creationism over science.

    LOL. Colour me unsurprised.

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  35. Yeah Chris B……..Andrew W has already come up with your querulous claptrap.
    https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/michael-manns-defamation-lawsuit-on-track/#comment-42169

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  36. The anti-fluoridation folks are pretty much the same ones who are anti-GMO, anti-pesticide, anti-meat, anti-1%, anti-vaccine, anti-public schools, anti-religion, anti-theist, anti-fracking, anti-fossil fuel, and at least 97% of them are climate alarmists.

    Just sayin’

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  37. Yes Klem, John Minto……numero uno in this respect. Water-melon with megaphone.

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  38. Pingback: The Daily Blog Watch Monday 29 July « The Daily Blog

  39. You might enjoy this video of John Stossel interviewing Roy Spencer and Gavin Schmidt (of NASA)

    Quite entertaining

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  40. Wow, Roy Spencer is a signatory to a the Cornwall Alliance Declaration on Global Warming.
    A masterpiece of Stupid which appears to solve fossil fuel addiction by simply declaring it an infinite resource provided by god.

    http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

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  41. Where does it declare it as an infinite resource?

    If you leave out the Bible and God parts of that document, it makes quite a lot of sense to me (e.g the regressive taxation bit)

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  42. Mind you, this is somewhat off topic

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  43. Andy: Where does it declare it as an infinite resource?

    Yes, I left myself open to that question but hoped my use of “appears” covered the clear implication of the declaration:

    We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.

    We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance,

    We deny that alternative, renewable fuels can, with present or near-term technology, replace fossil and nuclear fuels, either wholly or in significant part,

    Andy: If you leave out the Bible and God parts of that document, it makes quite a lot of sense to me (e.g the regressive taxation bit)

    Yes, I’m sure it does.

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  44. We deny that alternative, renewable fuels can, with present or near-term technology, replace fossil and nuclear fuels, either wholly or in significant part

    I completely agree with that statement

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  45. Yes UT, and for context read the scientific response to Connett’s 50 reason – each demolished one by one. http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/response-50-reasons-oppose-fluoridation.pdf

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  46. The anti-fluoridation folks are pretty much the same ones who…

    Then contrast and compare them like we successfully do.
    Go ahead.
    Idle babble will get you nowhere.
    Only the work matters in science.
    Peer review and lots of it.
    NASA is a really good example of this. They do peer-reviewed research all the time. In fact, they are pioneers and leaders in climatology. They launch the satellites. They crunch the numbers with the supercomputers. So they get my attention. Some creationist with a blog? Even one that gets his face on TV? (Golly gosh!!1!1!!)
    Meh, not so much.

    …and at least 97% of them are climate alarmists.

    “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.”
    (Link: NASA)

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  47. Andy: If you leave out the Bible and God parts of that document…

    That’s one of the advantages of leaving bits out of documents.
    When you do that, they will often make more personal sense.

    Take the vast body of scientific literature on a scientific topic.
    Now leave out the bits you don’t like.
    Even better, ignore all of it except for a tiny handful of cherry-picked items brought to your attention by some blog or other.
    Now it will make personal sense to you.
    It’s a tried and true methodology. Sadly, it happens all the time.

    Climate Denial Crock of the Week – How to Pick a Cherry

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  48. Speaking of finite or infinite supply of fossil fuel, I don’t know if this report is true. Any body?
    http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-biggest-oil-discovery-in-50-years/
    Just as much oil at Coober Pedy as in Saudi Arabia….wow.

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  49. Ken, WRT that F’ link, The guy Colquhoun is a well known antiflouridationist here in NZ. I’ve heard he’s a bit obtoose and I remember colleagues saying he was a bit of a crank as far back as the 1970’s…must be getting on a bit by now. These antiflouridationists seem to forget that the dental benefit of F’ in the water was discovered by a bunch of University kids? who were studying flourosis in the population of a US city where F’ existed naturally in 100’s ppm and said..hang on ,there’s a lot less tooth decay in these people.

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  50. These antiflouridationists seem to forget that the dental benefit of F’ in the water was discovered by a bunch of University kids? who were studying flourosis in the population of a US city where F’ existed naturally in 100′s ppm and said..hang on ,there’s a lot less tooth decay in these people.,,

    And then what?
    Was it as simple as “a bunch of University kids” saying something and the scientific community just rolling over and going ” Well golly, must be true then” or was there more to it than that?
    Hint: Peer-reviewed literature. Tonnes of it.

    Science is the study of reality.
    It demands work. Done the old-fashioned way. Otherwise you are just fooling yourself.
    My standard for accepting that flouridation of water is a benefit is exactly the same as accepting that we made it to the moon and that climate change is real and all the rest of it.
    Blogs do not enter into it. Isolated contrarians? Nope. Op-eds in in newspapers or magazines? Hmm, no.

    Only the work matters. Lots and lots and lots and lots of it.
    Decades of it preferably. Backed up by multiple lines of evidence and supported by every single scientific community on the planet.

    Climate Science 1956: A Blast from the Past

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  51. Mack, the link was about Connett – I dint know how you got your man Colquhoun into the frame.

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  52. You may wish to brush up on your fluoridation history, Mack. You’ve got the story sort of correct, but there are a couple of strange statements in there.

    http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/topics/fluoride/thestoryoffluoridation.htm

    Although Colorado Springs fluoride levels are referred to as ‘high’ in the article, I very much doubt they ran anywhere near 100 parts per million.

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  53. On the topic of oil, these days the march of technology has meant that it’s no longer a question of whether oil reserves exist, but whether it’s economically feasible to extract the oil. It looks like early days so far as the Australian field goes.

    Peak oil, in the traditional sense, is simply not going to happen. On the other hand, we are shifting to unconventional oil, reserves, which require more difficult, costly extraction methods. As a result, we’re going to face ever-rising oil prices. As prices rise, previously uneconomic fields will become economic to drill. Capitalism at work.

    What will eventually bring a halt to this process is not peak oil, but the price of oil rising above that of alternative energy sources. At that point, we’d expect to see a switch. Add in the fact that advancing technology is likely to reduce the cost of alternative energy over time, and the changeover begins to look pretty inevitable, if not something likely to happen in the short term.

    Of course, from a policy perspective, people would like to speed up the timeframe for the transition, which presents numerous challenges.

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  54. Chris B – shale gas is pushing down the cost of fossil fuels at present, especially in the USA. This is one reason that coal prices have dropped globally.
    The Bowland Shale in the UK is reckoned to have at least 40 years of gas, so we have a wee way to go before we run out.

    Admittedly, the easy traditional oil and gas fields might be getting harder to find, but extraction techniques are improving, enabling old fields to keep producing

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  55. Pingback: Hamilton – the water is the problem, not the fluoride! | Open Parachute

  56. Pingback: Activists peddle chemical misinformation for fluoridation referenda | Open Parachute

  57. Ha, you seem to think all mainstream science is legit and honest. Many people who fund studies are doing so for their own benefit. Responding sarcastically to everything you dont agree with is a good way to not ever appear suprised or fooled, as if you are on sciences side, and as if science were your daddy of truth. There should be NO fluoride in tap water. Or any harmful chemical. This just has to do with an innefficient, wasteful, toxic system where people eat and drink crap, then dont want to be responsible for where their wastes go, so they pay companies to process it for them in a harmful way. Saying that theres just a little bit of fluoride, and no one should care is not truly healthy. There have been pharmaceutical drugs proven to be okay in small doses only to be recalled due to major side effects. Xrays were once considered safe by “science”. To be scientific is not to manipulate tons of chemicals and controllingly distribute them for profit and screw up nature and living creatures. Nature is far more scientific than the human eye will ever be able to reach, or than the mind will ever be able to compute. There already exists simple answers of what water humans require, formulated in nature many, many, many, many, many centuries ago. This toxic water system shows man’s stupidity and laziness, rather than his creative brilliance. Dollars rule man’s mind in this age. Not common sense.
    And there is no need for gmos and pesticides. Nature already made effective natural pesticides built in plants, did you know that? Im sure you know nothing about soil mineral content, and are completely fine with all of these poisonous chemicals all sponged up in the soil your and your future children’s food grows inside of.
    And no, since you might have wondered in my case as well, i dont care much about global warming, aside from chemtrail data on the chemtrail website. And frankly, i dont know if their data is true or false. Just that some corporations DO get money for screwing people up and offering them worthless toxic products (such as “made in china” dollar store nick nacks), so if global warming exists due to chemtrails, it would make perfect sense, instead of the chemtrail investigators not becoming millionaires from devoting work and heavy concern for the truth for good health of fellow human beings.

    But since you strike me as being convinced by the richer, money-making studies, etc. drink all the safe-dose chemicals you’d like. Until theyre recalled, like many “studied” things are these days.

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  58. Christ, this fluoridation issue attracts some real cranks, doesn’t it?

    >

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  59. Ha, you seem to think all mainstream science is legit and honest.

    Could be a lead-in to anything. The moon landings faked? Vaccines cause autism? Smoking is just fine? No such thing as global warming?
    Hmm.

    Many people who fund studies are doing so for their own benefit.

    Andy, is that you?

    … as if science were your daddy of truth.

    Usually, the cranks compare science to religion. Words like “orthodoxy” or “high priests” or “mantra” etc. Daddy of truth is more original though.

    There should be NO fluoride in tap water. Or any…

    Wait. Why should anyone care what you think? You’re just some anonymous commenter. Plenty of those around. So…
    (shrug)

    Xrays were once considered safe by “science”.

    That’s true. So what conclusions can we draw from that?
    Lots of things are considered safe by science.
    The radio, for example. Should we expect there to be some shock, gasp announcement that radios are now dangerous? I’m thinking….no.
    Do you know how we discovered that x-ray machines were dangerous?
    Science.
    New data came it and….the science changed. It wasn’t done by some crack writing an angry letter to the editor.
    Did any of the studies on x-rays benefit scientists at all or was it just bog-standard research the way it’s supposed to be? Hmm.

    And there is no need for gmos and pesticides. Nature already made effective natural pesticides built in plants, did you know that?

    So bugs don’t destroy crops? Did they go on a diet or something?

    And frankly, i dont know if their data is true or false.

    And you have no way of finding out either. You can’t use science which is the one tool people have of investigating the reality of claims. You just have to go with your gut. Only we can’t rely on…your…gut.
    Take away the science and it’s all just empty babble.

    But since you strike me as being convinced by the richer, money-making studies….

    This is what makes a kook a kook. Conspiracy thinking. The science is not telling you what you want to hear so you make up a reason to justify not listening to it.
    “Oh, they’re all paid to say that!. Durned scientists.”
    “Oh, well, um….it’s political. Yeah, that’s it. KGB agents and Hard Left Marxists. Yeah”
    etc, etc,etc.

    We’ve heard all the excuses before. They are all equally dotty.

    Until theyre recalled, like many “studied” things are these days.

    Claim CA110:
    Evolution is a theory in crisis; it will soon be widely rejected.

    Yep, we get this one too. Science denialism always follows predictable patterns. It doesn’t matter what the topic is. The methodology is always the same.

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  60. Hi. great post this information will be very helpful to me thanks for shearing

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  61. “… that identical sets of genes will inevitably produce identical phenotypes. Such beliefs are very mistaken, however, and potentially harmful.”} Indeed, such beliefs, unsupported by irrefutable or sufficient evidence, border on superstition.”

    http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1219577682?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

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