Cause and Effect – and Positive Signs

by Einar Du Rietz

Not yet a Tornado

Please tell me that we are beginning to see signs that otherwise alarmist journalists are beginning to both listen to science and to make the distinction between cause and effect. Even the crusader Susanna Baltscheffsky manages to write an interesting article (in Google translation) on weather phenomena. She points to why Tornadoes are more powerful in the US, than in Europe, because of geographic factors, and even acknowledges that solar activity is a major force in our sometimes irregular climate and weather. Some commentators still point out that she babbles a bit over CO2, but I’m more positive. Honor as due.

Because as all media outlets constantly need to comment on the climate debate, in most of the cases – everywhere – the reports are sloppy and filled with standard assertions, presented as facts. That Global Warming is increasing (on the contrary, if you look at current statistics). That the sole force behind this is human activity (simply a myth, as you probably know), that extreme weather has increased enormously (it has not, rather tornadoes, tsunamis and more tend to be cyclical and dependent on the geography), all polar bears are dying (the population has increased) and that we are running of oil (supplies are likely to increase if only people are alloud to drill for it, even if some middle east dictator decides to set fire to the fields in his country).

The above is just sloppiness, but it’s important, when hearing environmental statements to also try to look for causality. In the words of Bastiat: There what you see and what you don’t see.

To pick an example. Having an allergy my self, I’m always intrigued when I hear that due to environmental pollution, allergies have increased rapidly during the past century. Is there really a link? Well, possibly a small one, how about some other factors!

First of all, pollen is not a pollutant (except for me and my fellow sufferers) and it does not increase because of industrial activity.

Diagnosis has increased. That is not the same as increasing occurrence. What a hundred years ago was perceived as a normal cold, is today allergy.

Infant mortality has decreased. There is a reason why allergies are uncommon, sometimes never heard of in developing countries. And, sad to say, I would probably not have survived, maybe not even until being born, a couple of hundred years ago.

Thanks to industrialization, I am able to write this. And I’m rather grateful for that.


About the Author: Einar Du Rietz

Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.