Monday, 4 June 2018

P Contamination Is No Problem, Don't You Know

She'll Be Right, Mate

Sir Peter Gluckman is a professor of pediatrics.  He currently serves as the "Science Advisor" to the Prime Minister.  This position gives him the license to pontificate on all manner of issues, pronouncing on the good the bad and the ugly according to one of our most prestigious deities, Science.  Most of his prognostications have absolutely nothing to do with pediatrics.  

We got a pretty strong impression of Gluckman's ability as a climate scientist when he pronounced that global warming was real--a real threat to New Zealand no less.  No rigorous, hard-bitten determination to falsify evidence and data, before pronouncing a hypothesis robust.  He was just reading the prognoses of climate speculators.  He was comforted, apparently, to be told that all climate scientists have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the world is warming and this represents a major threat to human civilization.  Pediatricians know such things, don't you know.

But now Professor Gluckman is cleverly parlaying his expertise in pediatrics into scientific expertise on the poisonous effects of methamphetamine.
  The contamination of houses where P has been cooked is not a problem, he tells us.  No study, he opines, has ever demonstrated, and certainly not proven that P contamination is a health threat.  Who knows.  We certainly do not trust Prof Gluckman.  Clearly the range of his expertise across an endless variety of subjects makes him a modern-day equivalent of Leonardo Da Vinci.  But neither are we in a position to challenge his attestations on the matter.  We simply don't know.  It's the kind of response Gluckman should have given.  He really does not know either.  His "expertise" is third, fourth, or fifth hand. 

It is welcome news, however, to the Minister of Housing, Phil Tweeford.  He asked Prof Gluckman for advice, and he has certainly received what he wanted to hear.  Lots of state houses, previously deemed uninhabitable because of P contamination, have suddenly become habitable--no worries, mate.

The head of a "major real estate firm", is angry.
The head of a major real estate firm has reacted angrily to a report today which says there is little health harm from meth-contaminated houses.  "There appears to be absolutely no new research in this report. Instead, the report appears to be a regurgitation of pre-existing and incomplete data which has somehow been reconstructed into a recommendation to Government," said First National Real Estate chief executive Bob Brereton.

The report was produced by Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister's Chief Science Adviser, and commissioned by Housing Minister Phil Twyford.  "The report appears to endorse levels 10-20 times higher than anywhere else on the planet. Is the rest of the world wrong and the New Zealand Government right?  [NZ Herald]
Nah, mate.  Sir Peter Gluckman was asked for a report on P contamination, and he appears to be adept at delivering conclusions that are, well, convenient for his political masters.  Who knows.  Gluckman is a pediatrician, not an expert on the health effects of living in a house in which P has been cooked, or smoked.  But he gets to pontificate grandly, nonetheless.

So, would we willingly and gladly go into a home in which P had been cooked, without remedial cleansing?  No.  Why?  Because, like Sir Peter Gluckman,  we are not scientific experts in the field.  Moreover, we have no trust in a Professor of Pediatrics who credulously believes global warming is a real phenomenon and whose opinions are bought and paid for by political masters.  We also are  deeply distrusting of any cause pushed by Phil Tweeford who appears way out of his depth and competence.

We are very thankful we are not dependant upon Housing New Zealand to provide us with accommodation in a state house.  Not now.  More hard-bitten cynical facts, please.  After all, health and well-being is at stake.

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