Kidney stone nonsense demolished
Warmists are chortling over a recent report that associated increased kidney stones with higher temperatures. A close reading of the press release that announced the findings is interesting, however. First note the following excerpt:
"A painful condition that brings half a million patients a year to U.S. emergency rooms, kidney stones have increased markedly over the world in the past three decades. While stones remain more common in adults, the numbers of children developing kidney stones have climbed at a dramatically high rate over the last 25 years. The factors causing the increase in kidney stones are currently unknown, but may be influenced by changes in diet and fluid intake. When stones do not pass on their own, surgery may be necessary."
The study team also found that very low outdoor temperatures increased the risk of kidney stones in three cities: Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia. The authors suggest that as frigid weather keeps people indoors more, higher indoor temperatures, changes in diet and decreased physical activity may raise their risk of kidney stones.
Then look at the international prevalence of stones -- in Table 1. We find that the USA in 1988-1994 had a kidney stone prevalence of 5.2% whereas Italy has a prevalence of 1.72% in 1993-1994. We also find that Spain had an incidence of 2.0% in 1987 and a prevalence of 10.0% in 1991.
So what is going on? It's hard to know where to start. But let me draw attention to the statements highlighted in red. They first admit that they DON'T know what causes stones. Climate change is simply a speculation. Then they admit that LOW temperatures go with more stones in some cities. Global warming does not affect Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia?? It's not very global in that case is it?
And, going to the statistics, why should the USA have a prevalence that is 3 times higher than Italy? Is the USA 3 times warmer than Italy? Obviously not. And, finally, the Spanish statistics suggest that the whole thing is basically a mystery. So the careful scientific conclusion by the authors that "The factors causing the increase in kidney stones are currently unknown" is well justified. The Warmists have however ignored that scientific conclusion and hopped on to the speculations attached to it. -- JR
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).