Perfect Certainty

I was reading the health warning on a tobacco packet today. It’s not something I often do, because I keep my tobacco in a tin. I only ever get to read the health warnings when I refill the tin. And even then, I usually don’t notice them. Anyway, it said:

Smoking seriously harms you and others around you.

And I thought: That’s not true! But as I read it, I was also struck by the astonishing certainty of the statement. In the past, 10 or 20 years ago, it would have probably read: Smoking can harm you and others around you. There would have been an trace of uncertainty, a caveat.

It’s one of the things that’s changed in the past decade or two. Tobacco Control has become very, very certain, and very, very aggressive. It’s no longer that smoking might kill you, but that smoking will kill you. It’s no longer that you should choose to quit smoking, but that you must be forced to quit smoking.

What’s changed? What have they found out in the last decade or two that’s new? All tobacco research is inherently probabilistic. There’s no certainty about any of its findings. So why has uncertainty been dispensed with, and replaced with certainty?

And why does everyone – or almost everyone – believe them? Why do governments and businesses and millions of ordinary people all believe what they’re told?

The answer, I suspect, is that what began as a quiet, almost whispering, campaign against tobacco 60 years ago has actually turned out to be remarkably successful. As I recollect, it mostly consisted of articles in newspapers or magazines. Often in Reader’s Digest. I remember reading them, with a slight frisson of fear, before I started smoking. There seemed to be at least one antismoking article in every single Reader’s Digest. They usually featured doctors and research findings. They were very low-key, and matter-of-fact. You’d be reading something about how someone had escaped from a sinking ship, or a burning building, and you’d turn the page and start on an article that said that smoking was the cause of a global lung cancer epidemic, nicely written in the anodyne Reader’s Digest house style.

And I think it was this steady drip-drip of antismoking articles that gradually turned people against smoking. Because back then people trusted doctors, and researchers, and scientists. And after they’d read that smoking caused lung cancer about fifty times, they gradually started to believe it. And they’d quit smoking. And after they’d read it another fifty times, they’d be completely convinced. It was quiet, slow, insistent, and effective conditioning. And it worked brilliantly, particularly on people who read lots of newspapers and magazines – like the middle classes. And it was these people who were to fill the media, the professions, and the political class.

These were also my friends. And they were steadily giving up smoking, one by one, from the 1960s onwards.

And when the middle classes had been successfully scared into quitting smoking, it became possible to ramp up the conviction quotient, and the volume. A whole army of people had been won over to the antismoking or non-smoking side. All concerned were utterly convinced that smoking caused lung cancer, and a lot more beside. They could be counted on to help advance the antismoking cause.

Now, of course, it’s hurricane force. There are highly aggressive antismoking ads on TV and radio and the internet. And there are loud, black-and-white certainties printed on every cigarette packet, with hideous accompanying pornography to ram home the message.

They seem to think that if they just keep repeating the same message, louder and louder, eventually everyone will get the message. Because that’s what had happened before: repeat it enough times, and people believe it.

But I think it’s now become entirely counter-productive. I think the best antismoking messages were those quiet, well-written, Reader’s Digest articles which got under your radar, and reached you just when you were most open to suggestion – when you were actively reading. They certainly used to get under my skin.

And I think this is probably the main reason why the media, and the intelligentsia, and the government, and business leaders, are all in the antismoking camp: they’re made up of people who had also read those little articles in Reader’s Digest or Woman’s Own or Vanity Fair or Cosmopolitan. And the quiet, insistent message had got under their skin too. And it had gradually congealed into complete conviction. They’d become true believers, and attained perfect certainty. How can you argue against people possessed with perfect certainty?

So why didn’t I become a true believer too? Probably because, back in the 1960s, I lived in the house of an antismoking doctor, and I was permanently inoculated by him against all antismoking zealotry. For I can still hear him ranting against the filthy habit, like Norman Bates’ mother in Psycho,  in a distant room inside his big house. There was nothing quiet or insistent or reasonable about that voice: it was the voice of some terrible insanity. He was a man possessed. For, as I scuttled terrified upstairs to my room, I passed by him, standing in an empty room, shouting.

It was after that experience that I started smoking. And that experience was why I started smoking. For I had been made to realise that what underlay the antismoking ideology was not reason or care or compassion, but a kind of insanity. And that therefore smoking was most likely completely harmless.

And maybe it’s also because I’m never certain about anything. There’s always an edge of uncertainty in my mind about everything. There’s always a strand of doubt. I will never be perfectly certain about anything. Perfect certainty is not available to ordinary humanity: it is the attribute of gods. Or demons.

About Frank Davis

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32 Responses to Perfect Certainty

  1. It’s something which has fascinated me for years, Frank: why people believe what they believe, and like you, I have reservations about everything, except one thing and one thing only. I cannot not believe that the Christ died to save believing and repenting sinners.

    But I don’t believe that any organised ‘church’ (that I know of) knows the truth and I attend none. For example, Yahweh said the seventh day was the Sabbath, but Constantine (allegedly became a Christian) made Sunday the Roman Empire’s day of rest because it fitted in with the Pagan’s day of rest, therefore causing minimal discontent and a couple of scriptures could be misused to try to pretend that the day for Sun worship is also the Almighty’s holy day.

    And people take it for read. And within a generation or two, it is assumed that it was always thus.

    Same with the Theory of Evolution and the smoking ‘certainty’ and people allowing the Government/EU/UN, etc., to run their lives for them, because they believe that it’s for their own good.

    Henry Smith, Tory MP for Crawley, Facebooked yesterday (complete with photo) that he’d taken his flu jab (like a compliant drone) and everyone commenting (except me) agreed it was good, whereas I exhorted people to stop trusting the NHS and Government. I’ve never had the flu jab and have the flu/serious cold about one day every two or three years at the most. Plus: what goes into those vaccines? Does anyone know or care?

    Why the drastic increase in Alzheimer’s, behavioural disorders in the young, depression and anxiety, certain cancers, etc., etc.?

    Cause and effect, but people keep trusting the NHS and the Pharmers and the food processors – probably cause of most of the disease, along with all those nuclear tests, and become terrified of smoking, global warming and terrorism instead, because that’s where the conditioning lies.

    Millions genuinely believe that the EU has given us (relative) peace for nearly 70 years (even though it’s barely 20 years old since the Maastricht Treaty formed it). They don’t factor in all the peace treaties, like the Entente Cordiale from 1904, which ended about a millennium of on/off wars between England/Britain and France. They don’t factor in hundreds of thousands of allied forces making sure the German Government doesn’t go for attempt number three.

    Then there’s US Military Intelligence report EW-Pa 128, which was written in November 1944 and describes top German industrialists meeting to decide the future of their country when it looked like they would lose the War, and that the “Fourth German Reich, unlike its predecessor, would be an economic rather than a military empire – but not just German”.

    But I’m rambling now. One of the greatest tricks of propagandists is to repeat the same thing over and over. Gently and matter-of-fact to start with, like those R.D. articles. This is how the homosexual exposure in the media started.

    Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible. The principle behind this advice is simple: almost any behavior begins to look normal if you are exposed to enough of it at close quarters and among your acquaintances.

    Same old technique. To start with – then resistance is met with more aggressive propaganda tactics (and now even legal threats),

    The public should be shown images of ranting homophobes whose secondary traits and beliefs disgust middle America. These images might include the Ku Klux Klan demanding that gays be burned alive or castrated; bigoted southern ministers drooling with hysterical hatred to a degree that looks both comical and deranged; menacing punks, thugs, and convicts speaking coolly about the “fags” they have killed or would like to kill; a tour of Nazi concentration camps where homosexuals were tortured and gassed.

    But it is all for control. To restrict freedom of speech, control the conscience and remove property rights (fundamental to any free society). That’s why the KGB spread “equality” in the West: to bring us down. The Fabians have been doing it for over a century.

    I think that’s just about where we’re up to with Tobacco Control and getting that way with manmade climate change. They keep making the lies bigger and some believe anything, but increasing numbers, seemingly, reject the, now, ridiculous notions, like third and fourth hand smoking and culling our industry to “save the planet,” while the factories reopen in the Far East, where environmental and human rights consideration are very low on the agenda and where a couple of dozen supertankers bringing the goods to the West emit as much sulphur as all the World’s cars put together due to the cheap ‘dirty fuel’ they use.

    But like you were saying the other day,

    But given that most people a) don’t read research papers like the London Hospitals study, b) don’t try to build their own climate models, and c) don’t build their own orbital simulation models, they’re always relying on people who have done these things. And when they rely on other people, their knowledge is secondhand. They know someone who knows. But how do they know that somebody really knows something? How do you tell?

    For some reason they trust known, compulsive liars who have their own agendas/orders (politicians, scientists, ‘religious’ leaders, ‘news’paper owners, etc.).

    And most people believe in voting Tory or Labour – us and them – like supporting a football team, like there’s only two choices, when they are both controlled by exactly the same global interests.

    • XX I’ve never had the flu jab and have the flu/serious cold about one day every two or three years at the most. XX

      NEVER had the flu, until my first time I was hoodwinked into taking a flu jab.

      That year, I had THREE bouts!

      Now? I tell the doctor that I really am not interested… a…Furor Teutonicus manner.

      • beobrigitte says:

        it is the time of the year when we all get bombarded with letters from GPs and/or in work there are reminders about that it was time to get my flu vaccination.

        As every year I have declined the offer of such a jab in no uncertain way this year, too. As far as i understand, the jab is still optional.

    • Frank Davis says:

      They keep making the lies bigger and some believe anything, but increasing numbers, seemingly, reject the, now, ridiculous notions,

      It is strange, this. But then, once you’ve told one lie and been believed, the temptation must be to tell more. In this manner an edifice of lies is gradually constructed.

      But it’s an unstable structure. Because once any one lie is revealed, the danger is that everything is suspected to be a lie, and the entire edifice collapses very suddenly.

      It’s something that we can see today in the panic in Tobacco Control over e-cigs, to which their natural response has been to manufacture lies against them.

      Apart from that, I always find the diversity of opinion among smokers remarkable. We are all different people. And that’s a good thing.

      • XX But it’s an unstable structure. Because once any one lie is revealed, the danger is that everything is suspected to be a lie, and the entire edifice collapses very suddenly.XX

        But that feeds the conspiracy theorists, which in turn, try to prove everything the “Government” sais is a lie.

        The rest pf the population do not know what the FUCK to believe.

        Which means no one believes a THING, even when the “Government ARE causing shit, leaving the “Government” free rein.

        The lie holds the edifice intact.

  2. Are you aware of Andrew M. Łobaczewski book;
    ‘POLITICAL PONEROLOGY: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes’ ?

    I think it is relevant to your post today Frank.

    Gabriela Segura, MD drew attention to this when she was interviewed. She suggests that
    “It should be required reading for everybody who is making a stand against evil, as understanding the role of pathology in our world today should be at the root of such a stand.”

    I haven’t read the book but a review of it is here and there are others on the internet;

    Basically Łobaczewski suggests that society becomes increasingly controlled by psychopathic personalities who account for about 4% of the population and it is they who infiltrate politics etc and eventually despoil society. Most people think that pathological psychopaths always expose their criminal minds when they murder others etc. But Łobaczewski suggests that these are ‘failed psychopaths’. Many can be intelligent, articulate, personable and have other ‘positive’ characteristics suggesting they are ‘normal’. These characteristics hide their pathological tendencies and can propel them into the positions of power that they crave . Unfortunately they have no sense of conscience, a skewed view of the world, an inflated self-image and an unshakable belief in their ‘rightness’. Extreme examples are Hitler, Stalin or characters such as the fictional Hannibal Lecter, but many end up in positions of power within all manner organisations or institutions and remain undetected. These personalities make very convincing liars, being convinced of their own superiority and ‘rightness’. This is where being a good liar is advantageous – the more convincing their lies, the more likely they are to be believed – hence the certainty of their conviction;

    ‘Human beings have been accustomed to assume that other human beings are – at the very least – trying to “do right” and “be good” and fair and honest. And so, very often, we do not take the time to use due diligence in order to determine if a person who has entered our life is, in fact, a “good person”. When a conflict ensues, we automatically fall into the legal argument assumption that in any conflict, one side is partly right one way, and the other is partly right the other, and that we can form opinions about which side is mostly right or wrong. Because of our exposure to the “legal argument” norms, when any dispute arises, we automatically think that the truth will lie somewhere between two extremes. In this case, application of a little mathematical logic to the problem of the legal argument might be helpful.
    Let us assume that in a dispute, one side is innocent, honest, and tells the truth. It is obvious that lying does an innocent person no good; what lie can he tell? If he is innocent, the only lie he can tell is to falsely confess “I did it”. But lying is nothing but good for the liar. He can declare that “I didn’t do it”, and accuse another of doing it, all the while the innocent person he has accused is saying “I didn’t do it” and is actually telling the truth.
    The truth, when twisted by good liars, can always make an innocent person look bad, especially if the innocent person is honest and admits his mistakes.
    The basic assumption that the truth lies between the testimony of the two sides always shifts the advantage to the lying side and away from the side telling the truth. Under most circumstances, this shift put together with the fact that the truth is going to also be twisted in such a way as to bring detriment to the innocent person, results in the advantage always resting in the hands of liars – psychopaths. Even the simple act of giving testimony under oath is a useless farce. If a person is a liar, swearing an oath means nothing to that person. However, swearing an oath acts strongly on a serious, truthful witness. Again, the advantage is placed on the side of the liar.’

    I have often, and still do, wonder how the tobacco CONTROL industry have managed to get away with so much mendacity and have been allowed to destroy so much of our once tolerant society. This may not provide a definitive explanation but it does provide a partial insight IMHO.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Gabriela Segura: “We live in a very dark age where lies are the norm rather than the exception.”

      This is an unsustainable state of affairs.

      One might regard liars as akin to thieves. A society of honest traders can tolerate a small minority of thieves. But when this minority grows into a majority, the trading system must collapse. We can’t all be thieves. Just like we can’t all live on benefits.

      This is the principal reason why I think that we’re on the brink of a collapse of confidence and belief in more or less everything. In fact, I think it’s happening. People no longer know what to believe, or who to believe.

      I’ve mentioned Gabriela Segura before here.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Basically Łobaczewski suggests that society becomes increasingly controlled by psychopathic personalities who account for about 4% of the population and it is they who infiltrate politics etc and eventually despoil society.

      I get a little bit worried when some social sub-group is identified as not only poisonous, but not fully human either.

    • nisakiman says:

      ‘Ponerology’ is a new word (in English) to me, but interestingly, I’m familiar with its obviously Greek root.

      Poneiros / poneiri (F) is a word used commonly in modern Greek to describe someone not to be trusted, ‘sly, like a fox’, someone who will stab you in the back. A word I didn’t think had a real English equivalent. It would seem that the English language has lifted the word as it is used in Greek, and pressed it into service

  3. beobrigitte says:

    I do remember, back in the 70s, standing in a queue, two men in front of me discussing smoking and for the first time I heard this sentence: “They want to ban smoking”.
    It seemed at the time a stupid thing to hear, but the quietly started infusion of anti-smoking propaganda had already begun.

    Now, of course, it’s hurricane force. There are highly aggressive antismoking ads on TV and radio and the internet. And there are loud, black-and-white certainties printed on every cigarette packet, with hideous accompanying pornography to ram home the message.

    By now this anti-smoking tsunami of idiocy has overrun every country with a considerable amount of casualties. And it paved a way for paranoia to become the norm. For many years e.g. butter was the source of ‘clogged up’ arteries; now the good old butter has been found to have been a victim of scaremongers and the attention is being directed to sugar, processed foods – and, of course, smoking, which they keep as a blame for everything going wrong in their lives.
    To me these “health warnings” have become a source of endless entertainment. This morning the BBC’s main concern is the failing health of the chiiiildren. Rickets is back on the rise and “in Britain every day 5 children die which they wouldn’t if they lived in e.g. Sweden”.
    The BBC, as usual, failed to elaborate on this. The only thing mentioned was the use of sun screen when the children are allowed to play out. The first side effects of scaremongering (skin cancer due to sun exposure/sun beds) are becoming visible. How many more will follow?
    Is the proposed solution to give the chiiiildren vitamins in form of tablets REALLY advisable?

    I do not doubt that the pharmaceutical industry is a very useful industry; micro-organisms adapt at a frightening rate and it is harder and harder to develop antibiotics against multiple antibiotic resistant bugs. Yet the anti-smoker infestation of government and industry demands useless smoking cessation aids (if there was no prospective market for them, they would not be produced!) and money is being diverted from useful projects to nonsense.

    People are fed up being told every day some other scary tale. The anti-smoking vaccination, ramped up to a point of no return, we all are still receiving is bearing fruit. We are becoming immune to health propaganda, in which there are more contradictions than in any political party’s manifesto.

  4. Marvin says:

    “Why do governments and businesses and millions of ordinary people all believe what they’re told?”
    This has always intriqued me too, the groundwork for it is laid in infancy, when you are taught to respect and obey parental authority, with punishment if you don’t.
    This continues into your school years when you are forced to respect and obey the teachers authority, with punishment if you don’t.
    For the first 16 years of life you are told what to do, what to think (usually lies) and how to behave. It’s oppression pure and simple.
    It normally produces frightened conservative people who have been squeezed into a mould, which serves the system.

    Teenagers usually rebel against it, but quickly realise they can’t change anything and so escape into drink, drugs and popular “culture”.
    For most people the conditioning is so deep they continue to need authority throughout their adult life, and the parental authority they are used to is replaced by state authority, ie. newspapers, tv/radio, governments, scientists, doctors, the military, “experts” of all descriptions etc. TPTB really do see us all as children and themselves as the “parents” and in some ways they are correct!!! This NEED for authority by the “adult” masses is the only reason dictatorships come into existence and are maintained, it’s nothing new of course and not easily solved, but it is a massive problem holding back further human development IMHO.

    • Frank Davis says:

      For the first 16 years of life you are told what to do, what to think (usually lies) and how to behave. It’s oppression pure and simple.

      But we are also taught quite a lot of useful things. We are taught to read and to write. Which is what we are both doing here today. And we are taught to add and subtract, and we use that ability every day in small ways. And we are taught foreign languages. Is that really “oppression, pure and simple”?

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Frank in Tennessee they quit teaching long division in favor of 5th graders doing SPREAD SHEETS!

        The schools while teaching reading,writing and Arithmetic are using underlying political innuendos to push there agendas and political objectives!

        That is whats oppressive! Teach young minds of MUSH to be good lil Nazis for the future!

    • beobrigitte says:

      For the first 16 years of life you are told what to do, what to think (usually lies) and how to behave. It’s oppression pure and simple.

      I beg to differ on this. For the first 21 years of your life your brain is maturing, albeit not growing much physically speaking. This is why I think it is unfair to treat children as “little adults” because they simply aren’t.
      Sure, their teenage years aren’t the world’s easiest thing to deal with but these years are necessary to be able to cut the last little bit of the “umbilical cord”. Life is a lot less than “perfect” during these years!!
      Yes, I did teach my offspring how to behave and what can be termed “manners”. I also taught my offspring to view issues from a critical angle and how to voice their “opinion” in a respectful manner.

      Perhaps tobacco control & friends still need a lesson in the latter!

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Absolute Certainty would entail Absolute Proof……………….They have NONE and never did!

    But what they have done is totally corrupted science into JUNK SCIENCE!

    To push their agendas across the board they created and had adopted the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE/ DO NO HARM principle. Its that policy that has allowed NO PROOF to be equal to actual proof with mountains of linked to JUNK STUDIES to make the case based upon NOTHING!

    The level of scientific proof for anything is now NOTHING!

    Now they are openly pushing these same JUNK STUDIES against alcohol………….

    It has left the population going oh theres another study out and the public yawns and goes Oh well!

    We have and are becoming IMMUNE to the Medical moment as its all HYPE,PROPAGANDA and agenda driven!

  6. truckerlyn says:

    There are only 2 things certain in this life – Death and Taxes!

    A flippant statement, maybe, but it is very true, excepting one omission that is, perhaps, more recently relevant – and Lying, Cheating, Self Important Politicians!

    As for trusting and believing government’s and lobby groups, these days, for me, not a chance.

  7. Pat Nurse says:

    They ramped up the language because they convinced the Govt, and others that they needed to get aboard the anti-smoker bandwagon, that smokers were stupid and would ignore health warnings because of the “might and could cause harm” rather than stronger more direct and forceful scaremongering of “will definitely, without doubt, kill you, give you two heads, three feet and one eye at birth.”

    These scam warnings created smokerphobia and only smokerphobics believe it.

    Incidentally, non smokers are not anti-smokers and it is only a minority of powerful and well funded anti-smokers who are pushing this tripe to other anti-smokers.

    Non smokers are, in the main, very decent people like the one who posted this yesterday:

    “So I was standing in Lincoln looking in the window of Cash converters when I became aware of a bit of an argument. The man standing next to me was having a smoke and another man who just happened to be walking past just laid into him – told him he was disgusting and why should he put up with his stink and his filth. Said smoker put his tail between his legs and fled and the other guy left as the self satisfied jerk he happened to be before I could say anything. First man wasn’t in any way unsocial, he was next to me and until the ruction I hadn’t even noticed him smoking. What he was doing was a perfectly legal activity and if you verbally attacked another person like that in any field you would guarantee some “ism” would regulate against it. I hate the way some people think its ok to condemn other people when really even in the best scenario – IT IS NONE OF THERE WRETCHED BUSINESS”

    People are beginning to notice that it’s not about health as the vile intolerant nasties move in to bully anyone they see smoking just because they can.

    • Frank Davis says:

      non smokers are not anti-smokers

      I know. But many of them believe the antismoking propaganda, all the same. As do many smokers.

      • beobrigitte says:

        Frank, it looks like we meet different people. (or is it the different areas we live in?)

        If I sit on “my bench” in my lunch hour, I quite often get to hear from passer bys: “… what THEY are doing to you is WRONG”. My usual response is: ” well, tell them! Because I try to but they won’t have it”. “yeah, I know…”

        I can only guess that many non-smokers experience a very disrupted night and ending early, out with their smoking friends. This really affects them. But in their day-to-day life and at home it is not much of a subject. The smoking ban simply does not make the top of the list. And, most of their smoking friends have moved gatherings to their home these days, so there is food and beer and everyone still sits together and talks and/or plays cards the way they used to have a game of darts in the pub.
        One never-smoker friend of mine (whose husband gave up smoking a while ago) still allocates the nicest room in their house to a night with smokers. In Winter there is a lovely fire burning in there. Another never-smoker friend (and her never smoker husband) do the same. I really enjoy visiting both!!! No interruption necessary for awkward smoke breaks.
        Perhaps it is my attitude; I will NOT chose to omit my smokes ever since the smoking ban was dictated to a nation that had no vote! (Labour could offer all pensioners a luxury retirement – I still would not vote for them!!!! I have never forgiven their gullibility). And neither have other smokers. If UKIP back peddles on amending the smoking ban, I will simply waste my vote.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Verbal Attack to me is the same as physical attack……………Id have punched the idiot!

    • beobrigitte says:

      They ramped up the language because they convinced the Govt, and others that they needed to get aboard the anti-smoker bandwagon

      They sure did – and if you have read their “handbook” you will stumble across a section that deals with HOW to convince politicians.
      “Tell them that all other governments are already agreeing to the smoking ban and that hesitating to ‘join the club’ would result in ‘being left behind’.”

      Quite frankly, if someone tries to coerce me into something by telling me that “all my friends already have agreed” I want to question my friends first.
      Does common sense disappear when one becomes a politician?

    • beobrigitte says:

      First man wasn’t in any way unsocial, he was next to me and until the ruction I hadn’t even noticed him smoking.

      Non-smokers have problems understanding anti-smokers in the first place. All they wanted was non-smoking places and everyone respecting these.
      That’s fine by me. And most probable with other smokers. We NEVER complained if a non-smoking pub opened. Sure, we chose to avoid them but we didn’t demand to smoke there.
      Surely, if non-smoking pubs were what the nation wanted, the smoker-friendly pubs would go out of business within a short time!! So would the smoker-friendly Bingo halls the older generations enjoy(ed), too.

      WHY a smoking ban then?

    • prog says:

      Pat, similar story, bar one major difference.

      Man spat at for ‘smoking’ indoors – with an electronic cigarette

      • Pat Nurse says:

        I saw that and wondered if the woman would have been prosecuted had she spat at a smoker outdoors rather than a vaper indoors. I’d like to think so but these days it appears abusing and assaulting smokers is promoted as good citizenship.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Al Gore wades into Australia debate linking bushfires and climate

    AFP – Environmental activist Al Gore has likened Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s insistence that wildfires are not linked to climate change to the tobacco industry claiming smoking does not cause lung cancer

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Gore said Abbott’s stance that climate change had nothing to do with the fires was similar to politicians in the US who received support from tobacco companies, and then publicly argued the companies’ cause.

      “It reminds me of politicians here who got a lot of support from the tobacco companies and who argued to the public that there was absolutely no connection between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer,” he said from the United States.

      “For 40 years the tobacco companies were able to persuade pliant politicians within their grip to tell the public what they wanted them to tell them, and for 40 years the tragedy continued.”

  9. Klaus K says:

    According to history fanatism / puritanism does not spread by itself, growing out of thin air, but rather becomes mainstream because single fanatics suddenly are suppported and nurtured by ultra rich individuals, foundations and corporations. But always because of money.

    You have probably seen the grant policy of the richest pharmaceutical foundation in the world, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – this foundation is a major owner of the pharma companies Johnson & Johnson and McNeil, who holds the Nicorette-license. Since 1992 the foundation has used several billions of $$ in the War on Tobacco – although “only” 99 million $ for the particular program named: SmokeLess States®: National Tobacco Policy Initiative:

    “Primarily, grants were awarded to non-governmental organizations, with the intention [to] educate the public and policy-makers about the tobacco problem.”

    The tobacco “problem” however, was invented by the pharma owners themselves because there is so much money to be made for them. Imagine if every smoker in the world had to consume nicotine according to pharma – Nicorette – it must be in the trillions. That is why tobacco has been demonized by the pharma owners (and doctors who benefits from pharma grants) through the last decades – demonizing tobacco paved the way for the public feeling that getting rid of the tobacco “problem” was “a good cause”. It should be remembered that the media networks all over the world are mostly owned by the same people – the pharma owners. Smokers and tobacco companies were not allowed to have a voice.

    The way the foundation hired fanatics is shown in these lines in the article: “Two features about the program are significant: (1) the Foundation encouraged its grantees to be activists; (2) advocacy was emphasized to bring about policy change.”

    From 1992 it was not a matter of research or science any longer, but a matter of activism as a road to achieve “policy change” – ie. smoking bans, ever-raising cigarette taxes and smoker demonization. Anti-smoking zealots that had been laughed off until that point now suddenly were taken seriously because now they were the ones that recieved all the big money. That’s how fanatism is created – simply with money.

    Also listen to the ex-CEO of the world’s largest pharma company Pfizer, Dr. Peter Rost, as he explains how the big pharma companies have bought huge influence in universities and in the medical establishment. Everything in the medical world is about money. When BMJ today wants to ban tobacco industry studies in the journal it is because BMJ’s sponsors – the pharma companies – want it that way.

  10. timbone says:

    I gave up smoking in 1971, and started again in 1975. There was now a warning on the side of the packet, “Smoking cigarettes may harm your health”. There was no warning on other tobacco products.

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