Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Distracted from the Real Nightmares

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Distracted from the Real Nightmares

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER TROY

MUCH fun has been had in the media in recent weeks at the embarrassment of the Met Office who have been caught out over its forecast in April of a "barbecue summer".

The root cause of its error apparently lies in the computer data and other IT systems that our weather persons rely upon for its medium-term forecasting.

Interestingly, this is the same multi-million pound computer data it uses to produce data used by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to predict global warming.

being accurate and unquestionable.

In fact, to state that the global warming industry is a vast moneymaking racket with huge inter-continental corporate interests stoking up interest is to encourage condemnation from most quarters.

Yet the fascination of impending disaster in most people's minds seems to blot out the need to question the forecasters of disaster; logical natural reaction is deserted in favour of a quasi-religious unthinking acceptance.

In modern times, we have been told that a sequence of disasters from killer eggs, listeria hysteria, mad cows, human CJD, e coli, the millennium bug, AIDS and the big scare, climate change, is about to end civilisation as we know it. The reality, the factual detail, is quite different from the hype.

Perhaps we should forget about doom and gloom forecasts of global warming, swine flu and the rest (remember the threat of bird flu that never happened) and seriously consider that an outbreak of pneumonic plague has just been reported in China and ponder the possible consequences to all of us.

So far only one man, in far away Tibet in remote of north-west China, has succumbed. Eleven others have been infected and the Chinese health authorities are taking it seriously enough to quarantine the 10,000 inhabitants of the town of Piketon where the infected man lived.

There is indeed good reason to be concerned. This is the one - along with Lassa fever, Green Monkey Disease and other such "exotics" - that has public health professionals the world over really very scared.

Infection is passed by direct transmission, person-to-person. …

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