The Politics Of Panic

Picture showing how much water is on the Earth:

Rather nice how they’ve drained the oceans and got the ice from Greenland too.

It’s a slightly scary picture too (although I don’t think it’s intended to be). It looks like the big sphere could roll like a marble over the surface of the Earth, bouncing a bit over mountain ranges, and finally maybe even bouncing right off the surface of the Earth, and becoming a new satellite of the Earth.

Other people really are trying to scare people (my added emphases):

New Climate Report Suggests NYC Could Be Under Water Sooner Than Predicted

Turns out sea levels may be on track to rise by more than double the unsettling figure climate scientists previously projected, and all within a century. A new study, released Monday, predicts a rise of 6.6 feet by 2100, if global temps warm by 9 degrees Fahrenheit…

The report’s lead author, Jonathan Bamber, professor of physical geography at the University of Bristol, emphasized to the BBC that the odds of achieving the 5-degree warming disaster model are about 5 percent, and certainly avoidable if we take aggressive steps to scale back emissions…yesterday? years, decades ago? right freakin’ NOW? All the above, probably, so regardless, 5 percent odds should alarm you.

“If I said to you that there was a one in 20 chance that if you crossed the road you would be squashed you wouldn’t go near it,” Bamber told the BBC. “Even a 1 percent probability means that a one in a hundred year flood is something that could happen in your lifetime. I think that a 5 percent probability, crikey—I think that’s a serious risk.”

Jonathan Bamber wants to scare people. They’ve been scaring people for a long time. From 2011:

Sea Level Rise Could Turn New York Into Venice, Experts Warn

 “A lot of New York City is less than 16 feet above mean sea level,” he said. “Lower Manhattan, some points are five feet above sea level. These areas are vulnerable and New York City knows it. Compared to other cities, which are only now beginning to wake up to this issue, I think New York City is much further ahead…”

In this scenario, New York in 200 years looks like Venice. Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have melted ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and raised our local sea level by six to eight feet. Inundating storms at certain times of year swell the harbor until it spills into the streets. Dozens of skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan have been sealed at the base and entrances added to higher floors. The streets of the financial district have become canals.

This makes it sound like Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets are just like big freezer ice cubes slowly melting in a glass on a hot summer day. And that’s probably how a lot of people think about it. That’s the model they use: melting ice cubes. They don’t seem to know that about as much ice is being added on top of the ice sheets as is being subtracted from them at their perimeter. The ice sheets are like rivers – frozen rivers. Worrying about ice sheets melting is like worrying that rivers will run dry if water keeps on flowing out of them into the sea. Did you know that it takes only 3 months for water to flow from the headwaters of the Mississippi river to the Gulf of Mexico? Three months! That’s all you’ve got! Grab some water while stocks last!

Al Gore has been on the scare-mongering bandwagon for a long time. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a new arrival on the scene with her Green New Deal. As far as I can see almost all the Democrat presidential candidates are on board the climate change scare-mongering bandwagon.

That’s our politics these days. The politics of panic. They’re trying to stampede people into doing things they wouldn’t otherwise do.

It started with the tobacco scare, and moved on to the environmental tobacco smoke scare. Now the same scare tactics are being used with absolutely everything, including Brexit.

About Frank Davis

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19 Responses to The Politics Of Panic

  1. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Yep ! Best to ignore all these alarmist muppets. Just do what we English do best – carry on !

  2. Algernon Struthers says:

    Besides Frank’s most insightful posts, and others, this link to satire is the equivalent to me of the Climate Change supporters’ argument, including Greta’s.

  3. Smoking Lamp says:

    Fear his a powerful tool fro political manipulation. And yes the tobacco scare and the second hand smoke scare are the epitome of using fear to impose totalitarian ends.

  4. Dmitry says:

    Balconies ban: sorry, people, I was away, and only now I see that 3 days ago you wanted me to say something.
    So – THERE’S NO BAN ON SMOKING ON BALCONIES in Russia. But there was a big scare about it, and in the end there is a lot of people WHO STILL DO NOT KNOW that there was a clarification from the fire service that introduced the fine FOR STARTING A FIRE DUE TO SMOKING ON BALCONIES.
    All in all, that’s a wonderful story, and tomorow (on Tuesday) my column on it should be published. Try to Google-translate it, the blog is here

  5. Joe L. says:

    To all the self-righteous, Antismoking vapers out there: It was inevitable, the same Antismoking pseudoscience is now being used against you, too.

    Researchers find e-cigarettes cause lung cancer in mice in first study tying vaping to cancer

    E-cigarette vapor causes lung cancer and potentially bladder cancer in mice, damaging their DNA and leading researchers at New York University to conclude that vaping is likely “very harmful” to humans as well.

    “It’s foreseeable that if you smoke e-cigarettes, all kinds of disease comes out” over time, Moon-Shong Tang, the study’s lead researcher, said in an interview. “Long term, some cancer will come out, probably. E-cigarettes are bad news.”

    How carcinogenic e-cigarette use is for humans “may not be known for a decade to come,” but the study is the first to definitively link vaping nicotine to cancer. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    A February study by the University of Southern California found that e-cigarette users developed some of the same molecular changes in oral tissue that cause cancer in cigarette smokers, according to the study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

    In the NYU study, researchers found that e-cigarette vapor caused DNA damage in the lungs and bladder and “inhibits DNA repair in lung tissues.” Out of 40 mice exposed to e-cigarette vapor with nicotine over 54 weeks, 22.5% developed lung cancer and 57.5% developed precancerous lesions on the bladder.

    None of the 20 mice exposed to e-cigarette smoke without nicotine developed cancer over the four years they studied the mice, researchers said.

    That’s “statistically very significant,” said Tang, who’s a professor at the NYU School of Medicine.

    Tang said his results heighten the need for more research about the relationship between e-cigarette use and cancer in humans. Because the market is still relatively young, he said it might be another decade before its impact on humans is more thoroughly understood. Based on his findings in mice, Tang said he doesn’t think the research will show e-cigarette use is safe for human consumption.

    The amount of smoke the mice were exposed to was similar to what a human would inhale if they vaped regularly for about three to six years, Tang estimated.

    “If they use e-cigarettes regularly, that’s probably similar,” he said. Much like combustible cigarettes, Tang said his findings suggest that secondhand vaping fumes also pose a risk to other people within close proximity.

    There were limitations to the study. The mice did not inhale the vapor as deeply as a human would, for instance. It also was conducted in a small number of mice that were more likely to develop cancer over their lifetime, researchers noted.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I saw that report too.

      The odd thing is that they never managed to produce lung cancer using cigarettes in their animal studies. They tried very hard, but they never succeeded.

      So how come e-cigarettes can do what cigarettes couldn’t do?

      Or is it that they’ve perpetrated a fraud?

      • Joe L. says:

        There appears to be a concerted effort to demonize vaping which exploded in recent weeks. I believe the final sentence I quoted above exposes the fact that this “experiment” was intentionally designed to produce the results they desired. The sample was as far from random as you can get. They learned their lessons from the results of legitimate animal studies on cigarettes. If at first you don’t succeed, lie, lie again.

      • Another inconsistency I spotted there: how can the ‘fact’ that The mice did not inhale the vapor as deeply as a human would be seen as a limitation, since they apparently were able to adjust for that (otherwise, how could they know that The amount of smoke the mice were exposed to was similar to what a human would inhale if they vaped regularly for about three to six years?). Perhaps the acknowledged limitation explains the 3-to-6 yrs estimation, which might still make sense if one considers that the average lifespan of mice (Pachyuromys duprasi: 5 – 7 years African pygmy mouse: 2 years) is a twentieth of that of the average human; less so if one remembers that the average weight of an adult mouse is less than an ounce (House mouse: 19 g; Deer Mouse: 20 g; White-footed mouse: 22 g) i.e. at most 3 thousandths of the average adult human’s.

        How to take the Mickey using Mickey Mouse models should be the title of these researchers’ textbook… No use trying to shoot their theory full of holes, it already is, just like the Swiss cheese their involuntary collaborators are so fond of!

        • Joe L. says:

          I don’t think they adjusted for the shallower inhalations. I am assuming they chose some “average” amount of vapor a human would inhale in three to six years (that’s quite a wide range, btw), then divided that by the ratio of mouse-to-human size (your 3 thousandths figure?), then they trapped the mouse in a tiny enclosure and simply pumped a constant flow of vapor into the box until they reached the amount they calculated. I think they’re trying to fearmonger that if the mice had inhaled deeper, more like humans do when vaping, they would have been extra-extra-cancery.

          One big question I have is, did nobody ever perform animal studies like this on fog machines? Vaping devices are basically just battery-powered fog machines with a trace of nicotine added to the fog fluid (propylene glycol). Nicotine has never been considered a carcinogen. Therefore, if vaping causes cancer, then fog machines cause cancer, too. Fog machines have been around for decades. Why was this never discovered or even feared until now that people use them in a way that resembles smoking?

        • I think those mice were subjected to what could be described as ‘intensive passive smoking’, and that it is more relevant in terms of respiratory exposure than most forms of active smoking. On the ambiguity of the verb ‘inhale’, you just might be interested to read this comment I posted here years ago, and the three interesting replies (by Nisakiman, Frank, and Rose) it triggered:

    • Fredrik Eich says:

      As soon as health professionals are convinced that vaping causes lung cancer then detection bias will kick in and the pretty much every study thereafter will show vapers at higher risk of lung cancer. After that, passive vaping will be shown to “cause” lung cancer.

  6. Pingback: Think For Yourself | Frank Davis

  7. DP says:

    Dear Mr Davis

    I regarded the University of Bristol as being a proper university and a good one at that. The Complete University Guide ( puts it in the top 50 in the world.

    Professor Bamber seems to be working to lose Bristol it’s ranking, at least in his department.

    Science is one of the targets for destruction of the regressives. When science is gone, there will only be quasi-religious cults left, as Mr Thompson illustrated recently –

    Who actually worries about what will happen in 200 years? How many of our ancestors were fretting about us in 1819? Imagine they were, and they succeeded in stopping progress


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