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I stumbled on a BBC television program this evening (watch
it here), which was unintentionally revealing. It
was a compilation of extracts over several decades from its
flagship science series `Horizon', all on the theme of the `end of
the world'. The episodes covered asteroids, supervolcanoes,
contagious earthquakes, bird flu, the Y2K computer bug, the
greenhouse effect, the melting of Antarctica, the collpase of the
Gulf Stream as a consequence of global warming.
In every episode, the alarm was maximised, the worst case
emphasised, the language ludicrously extreme. Not one hint was
allowed, even in tonight's commentary linking the episodes, that
perhaps the failure of these extreme predictions of disaster should
lead to just a little caution about continuing apocaholism.
The BBC's unbalanced championing of alarm continues.