Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don't panic!

Our first (and last) words on the "pandemic" ... Actually, Booker says them for us:

Too many people seem to have a vested interest in talking up these panics beyond what the evidence can support, from scientists dependent on promoting scares for their funding to politicians who recklessly use scares to show their concern for our welfare. We in the media, it is only fair to add, are far from blameless in this respect.

What this latest panic should be telling us, in short, is that we should learn to be much more careful not to talk up scares beyond what the evidence is there to support. Stick to the facts, keep everything in proportion and don't give way to speculations which, a year or two later, may make us look very silly indeed.
Unfortunately, like buses, there's always another one behind. The next thing you know, they'll be telling us that the world is heating up and we've got to cut our carbon emissions. Once the scare dynamic takes hold, there is no limit to the stupidity to which people will succumb.