Face masks must be used again, nothing to do. In January, a Cochrane Review was published that challenged the effectiveness of masks, pointing to problems within scientific institutions. There is no effect from non-pharmaceutical intervention ('measures') at population level. The analysis showed not only that there is no evidence that masks reduce the disease, but even that there is a lot of evidence that this measure does not work in large populations, which was actually known for a century. Recent studies point to the health damage caused by face masks (the environmental damage had long been accepted as collateral damage).
It was observed that the necessary condition of impartiality is increasingly fading into the background.
Unsurprisingly, that claim caused a stir. Those who had mandated or strongly recommended masks to frightened people didn't like being put on their number.
Now, the Cochrane Review is considered a standard source for medical information. In such a Review, meta-analyses are made of randomized controlled trials, conducted by researchers worldwide. Normally a highly respected method that is considered a valuable summary of the state of affairs at the time of publication.
That's where the draft came we already saw in a Dutch study presented as Cochrane Review. Or should we say "an essay by a select group of vaccine promoters posing as Cochrane Netherlands"? In retrospect, it turned out that this essay could not be regarded as a real "Cochrane Review", while Minister Kuipers had served it as such to the House. All possible, all may all, never heard of it again, not even from Cochrane International. Minister Kuipers' answer to various questions was meaningless.
If such a Cochrane analysis of mask effectiveness goes against the view of the government and the medical establishment, then the boat is on. There was fierce criticism worldwide that this could not be done. One article by David Strom reconstructs that controversy, which I summarize below.
Climate activists and journalists were given ample space in authoritative media, such as the New York Times. The editor-in-chief of the investigation broke out in a sweat and, in apparent panic, quickly added an annex suggesting that the findings were inconclusive. This appendix has since been used as evidence that the review was flawed or even retracted. However, this has never been the case and it is clear that the editor-in-chief simply succumbed under pressure from news organizations such as the New York Times.
Many people have gotten the impression that that Cochrane study has been "debunked" or "retracted", but that is not the case. The study still stands, contrary to the narrative. However, nothing is being done with it, face masks are safely in the toolbox of the next minister. Critical questions about face masks are blunted with the alleged withdrawal of the negative investigation. Why, we don't know – but can you expect someone to admit to making mistakes for so long?
Back to publisher Soares-Weiser, who also received an email from the New York Times. The editor's response was hasty and sloppy: she implied that the research was rattling and did so without even seeking comment from the authors of the piece. Mind you, she herself was unfamiliar with the subject.
Scientific institutions, including publishers, make themselves utterly implausible through ideological influence. Where has unbiased evidence gone, where are honest scientists? Editors-in-chief and directors of scientific publishers drive around in fat cars. So they will do something right, but science is no longer it.
It's like a virus taking hold, something with ideology, wokism, viceism, globalism, I don't know. Scientific facts must fit into a diverse, inclusive, sound and, above all, obedient framework. The media participates lustily because the government likes docility and without government support, many media have a hard time, especially the media that pretend objectivity.
The motive of 'truth-finding' has disappeared at every level. Everywhere, it looks like an infectious virus. That virus isn't just raging in the medical industry. In the climate industry, it's just as bad, possibly worse.
Only Corona or also climate?
We see a similar state of affairs with a 2022 paper that was withdrawn. Climate scientists who disagreed with the content sounded the alarm. It was a neat paper that questioned the certainty of climate alarmism, which was questioned by some valid and substantiated questions. That was a point of contention and therefore it was not allowed. No further research, no further scientific discussion. Taboo.
We are in a disturbing episode in which the scientific method, the academic peer-review process, the publishers and the media have been corrupted by political and financial motives that manifest as indisputable ideology.
In 2022, "A critical assessment of extreme events trends in times of global warming," (A critical assessment of trends in extreme events in times of global warming), which assessed the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The article mainly gave an overview with substantiated caveats. That provoked strong reactions. Some activist climate scientists and journalists (including The Guardian) put pressure on the publisher, Springer Nature, to withdraw the article. This resulted in an investigation into the article and eventually in its retraction. There were no valid reasons for withdrawing the article. There was no evidence of investigative fraud, misconduct, conflicts of interest or anything else. They simply disagreed.
It shows that climate science, like medical science, has become part of an industry, a political-financial conglomerate. The publication process is successfully influenced from all sides, both openly and behind the scenes. The powers are too great.
This cloning of those in power in industry, politics, the media, banking is a prominent characteristic of a current that I will not mention because that word alone is already chasing people to such an extent that their thinking is blocked.
Roger Pielke describes the course of events in its Substack. Read it and shudder. Below is a telling excerpt, translated.
"I fully agree that the origin of the large increase in the number of weather- and climate-related catastrophic events is largely due to increased exposure and vulnerability associated with demographic and economic growth rather than climate change."
"In this manuscript, as in [Alimonti et al.], it is emphasized that despite the existence of detectable trends in mean variables, in most cases no trends in extreme events exist. I understand what the authors mean, but we have to be careful with the exact wording of the sentences. [...] Detecting trends in extreme events is much more difficult than detecting trends in average variables. Clearly, the limited amount of data for extreme events makes it much more difficult to detect changes statistically significant. The large interannual variability of extreme event statistics means that even if there are changes, they are undetectable for a long time due to the limited amount of data we have."
Reviewer 1 concludes:
"In my opinion, the manuscript cannot be published"
Reviewer 2 advised to accept the article, noting:
"The authors' statements are generally consistent with the assessment produced by IPCC Working Group 1 in their Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)."
The journal sent reviewer 1's comments to the authors (Alimonti et al.) who then revised their Addendum and responded to EPJP with the review and response to the reviews. Reviewer 1 (and apparently only Reviewer 1) was sent the revised Addendum. Reviewer 1 reviewed the Addendum again and responded to the journal with the following conclusion (my emphasis added):
"In summary, the claims in the addendum are correct (and in line with cherry-picked statements in IPCC AR6 and in selected publications), but they are presented in a way that does not give the full picture. Especially given that the typical readers of the journal EPJP are not climate experts, I think the editors should seriously consider the implications of the possible publication of this addendum."
Meanwhile, the paper's original editor, Ongena, also asked for two other reviews of the addendum, which he shared with Fabroni.
"The original article is a straightforward enumeration of credible, important data on various types of extreme weather events. I don't find anything selective, biased, or misleading in what they present. While hardly anything is written that isn't known to experts, it's helpful for non-experts to see the underlying data, which is usually unclear in the IPCC reports. . .
The addendum is a precise discussion of the extent to which the original document agrees with the IPCC on three types of extremes. The document meets professional standards – specific, detailed and with citations."
"The authors' main contribution is to look further back into the climate record (including early 20th century), when many types of extreme events were similar to today. The article does not specifically focus on the attribution (cause) of a trend (or lack thereof).
I see no reason to criticize this work. Moreover, most of their conclusions are supported by the IPCC AR6 WG1."
Fabroni invited a fifth person to act as "Adjudicator", final assessor on the Addendum and the revised Addendum. Apparently, the Adjudicator only got to see reviewer 1 and 2's ratings.
The Adjudicator began his/her report by discussing his/her opinion on the original paper, noting that such comments were not his/her job:
"This is a challenging task because I don't think the original manuscript meets the standards required for a scientific publication... While I have not been asked to comment on the original manuscript, I would strongly recommend reassessing the review process of this manuscript.
The Adjudicator focused mainly on the original paper, despite the fact that he had not been invited to discuss that paper, and concluded with a recommendation to withdraw the original paper:
"I agree with reviewer 1 that the addendum does not meet the scientific standards that allow publication. I also recommend withdrawing the original manuscript."
Not a word about incorrect methodologies, fraud, data manipulation, conflicts of interest – they simply disagreed. And then science bows to peer pressure. Faith in the scientific method is broken. Neither the publisher (Springer) nor the editor-in-chief respond to questions about the highly unusual protocol followed in the peer review.
Links to the documents on which etc. is based are in a follow-up article by Pielke to find.
In America, Biden has announced new rounds of vaccinations for every American age 6 and older.
Panic is also starting to take hold in the UK. The start of the announced jab campaigns has even been brought forward there, see John Campbell, including the text of this article, also as a Dutch version.
It has nothing to do with science or health.
I remember we used to have a bully in the classroom. His brother, who was a few years older, was even worse. They frightened unsuspecting children with threats. The feeling of being able to exercise power must have played a role there. They forced frightened classmates to pull gum off the street and eat it. They lured a dog and then kicked him disabled. Just because you could. People like that exist.