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  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 May '09 17:35
    The next time you see headlines that warn of impending disaster for Earth based on excess carbon dioxide emissions or whatever, realize that many people will simply gloss over those headlines because they're conditioned to ignore media warnings by articles like this one:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8045364.stm

    Two quotes from the article

    "A third of the world's population could be infected with swine flu, expert projections suggest."

    "His study suggests swine flu could kill four in every 1,000 infected people."

    Those 2 numbers would mean almost 90 million deaths from this thing; or about 1 in every 750 people on Earth.

    Yes, the article qualifies the threat by stating things like

    "Although one in three who come in contact will likely become infected, the Imperial College London team declined to estimate the death toll."

    and

    "Lead researcher Professor Neil Ferguson said it was too early to say whether the virus will cause deaths on a massive scale, or prove little more lethal than normal seasonal flu."

    But try finding evidence of that in the banner headline or bolded sub-headline.
  2. 12 May '09 17:50
    Yeah, because one projection by one team of investigators has a huge amount of bearing on all the other projections by all the others.
  3. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 May '09 17:53 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Yeah, because one projection by one team of investigators has a huge amount of bearing on all the other projections by all the others.
    I wasn't picking on the scientists. I was picking on the news media for how they over dramatize and scare-monger. This has nothing to do with the people that conducted the underlying investigations.
  4. 12 May '09 18:01
    Ah, I misunderstood your post, sorry.
  5. 12 May '09 21:35 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    The next time you see headlines that warn of impending disaster for Earth based on excess carbon dioxide emissions or whatever, realize that many people will simply gloss over those headlines because they're conditioned to ignore media warnings by articles like this one:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8045364.stm

    Two quotes from the article

    "A thir u."

    But try finding evidence of that in the banner headline or bolded sub-headline.
    I agree -- the media loves crises. It sells. But it creates a boy who cried wolf situation -- people end up ignoring legitimate warnings and tune out all scientists because they remember all the false alarms -- and it creates a situation where a legitimate issue (like global warming) needs to be blown way out of proportion just to be heard above the din -- but just when people start noticing the issue, the hysterical excess discredits it.

    A similar problem involves what you see whenever authors put out new books - especially on political or social topics. It's either "The Sky's the Limit" or it's "The Sky is Falling" --- for example: everyone wants to buy books telling about why the stock market will be hitting 36,000 -- or why it will be dropping under 3600 -- not too many people want a book telling why the market will rise very gradually and not change very much.