Is the media too alarmist? 59



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On the 28th of September, Channel 9 Perth reported that there was a major concern because labourers had a heart health eight years beyond their true age. They also pointed out that it was 2.9 years beyond their age for the average Australian. When I heard this, I thought, “Wait a minute!” Aren’t we living longer and healthier? It seemed to me that this was another case of media alarmism.

Many newspaper editors know, that if you print too much good news, people stop buying your paper. Conversely, if you publish doom, gloom and controversial topics, sales shoot up. There are two areas where this alarmism is getting out of control, and we seem to have lost our perspective.

Health alarmism

The television report about Australians’ heart health implied that Australians are in fact unhealthy. Let’s look at some facts: Australia ranks second in life expectancy at 83 years (Japan leads with 84). For men, it is 81 while it’s 85 for women. With respect to cardiovascular disease, the age-standardised death rate has decreased from 1,020 deaths per 100,000 in 1968 to 68 per 100,000 in 2012.

Both of these statistics demonstrate a tremendous change in the past 50 years. There are many factors for increasing longevity and reduction in heart disease during our lifetime:

  • Advances in medical technology means that people have a much higher survival rate with cardiovascular as well as other diseases.
  • People today are more cognisant of the food that they eat. With the explosion of the internet, we have much greater choices in deciding how to take care of our nutritional health.
  • Today, so many people – even in their senior years – are exercising. The message is getting through that to be healthy; exercise is a vital component. It doesn’t matter whether it’s swimming, cycling, Pilates, water aerobics or working out with a personal trainer, just doing something is critical.


Global warming/climate change

Is there a day that this doesn’t come up in the media? Every facet of our existence seems related to the theme of global warming. It is, in fact, a form of hysteria that is gripping people across the planet. It is getting to the point where the indoctrination starts at a very early stage. Four and five-year-olds are becoming fearful because of the mantra of climate change.

Before I get accused of being one of those “deniers”, let’s see if we can get some balance into the argument:

  • There are a significant number of scientists who don’t see climate change as a runaway problem of magnitude proportions. Unfortunately, they are often vilified by the climate change establishment.
  • The temperature has increased the past 150 years though it has leveled off since 1999. There have been three periods during the past 5,000 years when global temperatures have been higher: the Minoan Age, the era of the Roman Empire and the Medieval Warming around 1,000 A.D.
  • Carbon dioxide – contrary to what some believe – is not a poison. It is vital for plant photosynthesis that is the source of oxygen upon which we are so dependent.
  • We do need to maintain as clean an environment as possible. I see the issue more as a pollution issue than a climate issue.

If we didn’t watch the media or stopped reading newspapers, we wouldn’t hear much about many of these issues. The climate had changed before man came on the scene. It always has and always will, regardless of what we do. Not hearing about climate change would relieve the stress that some people are experiencing about the issue.

Our health, particularly in the Western world, will continue to improve, and life expectancy will continue to rise. Estimates are that two-thirds of babies born today will live to 100 or more. These changes are fairly dramatic.

Maybe we need to be more concerned about over-population of the planet with the upward spiral of life expectancy. Of course, if the media gets wind of it, they will probably create a new form of alarmism.

Tell us your thoughts below.


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  1. You are right about the enormous and growing overpopulation of our planet, and the consequences of that – massive pollution, increasing extinction rates and loss of biodiversity. What the alarmism DOESN’T do is tell us what, if anything, we as individuals can do about it.

    1 REPLY
  2. Bad news has always acted as a warning. Good news might just mean that some one else beat you to the honey pot.

  3. I don’t need the media or anyone else to tell me the climate is changing, I can feel it, I don’t care what the people writing this article think to be honest. I am listening to the many scientists who’s job and expertise is climate science. The world is over populated , we have become the cockroaches of this planet invading every livable niche and destroying much of every other life on the planet to ensure our survival. The sales of newspapers are in decline here , many people have stopped buying the daily papers, I think we are all fed up with being manipulated, we make up our own minds

    6 REPLY
    • Maybe your listening to wrong scientists. Hope your expert climate scientist isn’t that idiot Tim Flannery because his predictions were a load of crap!!!!!

    • I make up my own mind Annette Mcintyre I don’t need your advice on who to listen to, I am way over 60 and I have my own opinions, if you have a different one, put it out there but don’t bother telling me

    • Climate change deniers amuse me. If climate change is real, the result of ignoring it will be catastrophic. If it’s not, what’s the worst that can happen? We’ll all have cleaner air to breathe. What’s wrong with that?

    • If it is so wrong Annette McIntyre why is the Liberal Party and most Governments around the world doing things to try to slow it? even though the Liberal Party’s plan is crap

    • Wow Libbi. You go girl you summed it up beautifully. Annette McIntyre, this article was misleading crap, talk about manipulation???

  4. I do get sick of trial by media.

    1 REPLY
    • Lindy Chamberlain is too, However, from her sorrow, new laws have been made regarding legal procedure so that what happened to her in court can’t happen to anyone else in Australia again. New laws haven’t been made for the media however.

  5. Yes I believe the media are alarmist, I’m quite capable of my own decision making thank you, please stop treating everyone like their idiots.

  6. I recently ran into an old mate in the shopping centre, he had a newspaper tucked under his arm, I asked him, are you still buying the newspapers Harry, he relied NO I want to clip my hair and i put the newspaper on the floor to catch all the hair clippings , that is all newspapers are good for today!! They are full of adds and opinion articles and have very little real news content

  7. Yes they are! I am at a point I don’t watch the news in the morning at all. I figure if it matters it will be on FB anyway.

  8. I myself see the climate change as another normal procedure that the earth has experienced over the centuries, yes we do have to keep it clean as possible but l don’t believe we need to be overly concerned

    4 REPLY
    • So you don’t think humans adding this to the earth’s atmosphere makes a difference?

    • The Earth has been spewing the atmosphere with volcanoes erupting, that also puts carbon into the atmosphere for centuries, we have had several in the last few years, this is part of the environmental pattern. I think it us a natural pattern and yes also added we have to keep it as clean as we can. But how do you stop nature from adding poisons into the atmosphere

    • Nature has the ability to cope with her own pollution, the amount we’re adding is overloading her. The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide, it is at capacity and cannot absorb any more. Trees absorb carbon, we’re chopping them down faster than we are planting them. The earth is a closed atmosphere, the pollution we create doesn’t just float off into space. It’s trapped in our atmosphere and spread by air movement. Coal didn’t pollute when it was under the ground, but it does when we dig it up and burn it. We can’t keep polluting and expect there won’t be repercussions

    • Maybe all mining should stop too as it would disrupt the Earth maybe that’s why we are getting more sink holes, and interrupting the ground enough to start earthquakes. Who really knows l care about the Earth as much as anybody else, and l still think it is part evolution.

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