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SciTech Daily Review

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Who's Worried?

I am having great difficulty matching the graphs in John Daly's article with those in the August Scientific American in "Global Warming Trends". Is there a conflict in the baseline data? And why are you so fretful over a bit of a scare story?

We do not live in a rational, scientifically literate world and so it would seem that the only way to get people to change is to frighten them a bit. It might not be right, but it works, and the only cost is in resources that could have been more productively employed elsewhere. So what? Humanity has behaved like this since we started making anything.

I'm a teacher and feel I should have some comment about your "Hit or Myth" article but frankly the whole [Forms] 1 to 5 syllabus leaves me confused and afraid. We have no time to manage an adequate job at the best of times and yet more and more demands are being piled up.

Paul King, Wainuiomata

Build up big scare stories using questionable data and you lose credibility when the disaster doesn't eventuate. Lose credibility, and you won't get any attention when real problems arise. This is known in technical circles as the "Wolf, wolf" factor.