This post is just a chat.
If I were to test the air in a room and found there were 10 parts per 1 000 000 of tobacco smoke in the air, how would I PROVE that the 10 parts were tobacco smoke? How would I PROVE that every cubic metre of air contained the same proportions? How would I PROVE that the quantities were not just a passing phase but were permanent? How would I PROVE that such quantities are dangerous?
The answer is that I do not try to do so. I just shout and shout and shout. I shout ‘MAY‘, ‘MIGHT’, ‘COULD’.
And what is extremely weird is that politicians, before they make decisions, do not ask: “What exactly do you mean by ‘may, might, could’?” That is, there are nuances about ‘probability’.
How PROBABLE is it that smoking causes LC?
The simplistic and easiest idea is to accept the results of Doll’s Doctors Study, and say that heavy smokers were 15 (?) times more likely to die from LC than non-smokers, and therefore conclude that it was the heavy smoking which caused the LC. That has been the way, regardless of the Decision in the McTear Case (see sidebar), which showed that the evidence that smoking causes LC was far, far from being acceptable in law.
The lack of proof has been shouted down by constant repetition of ‘MAY‘, ‘MIGHT’, ‘COULD’ along with ‘further research is required’. Erm… If the enquiry cannot produce a result, or at least a line of enquiry which might be profitable, why should that enquiry be repeated? Repeating research which produces ‘MAY‘, ‘MIGHT’, ‘COULD’ is pointless.
The WHO preferred the anti-tobacco jolly in Moscow to the Ebola epidemic. The underlying reasoning was that the tobacco epidemic was causing far, far more deaths than Ebola. But there was an enormous difference. Ebola deaths were happening NOW, and not statistical possibilities in the future.
Those are the FACTS that Trump and May need to address. The FACTS are that possibilities and probabilities are not REALITY.
I need to address the efficacy of ‘Local Government’. Recently, central government off-loaded ‘public health’ to local authorities. The consequence has been eruption of behaviourists in local authorities who do not give a shit about pavements and roads. The consequence is WASTE – waste of time and effort via the behaviourists.
But no one who votes in local elections actually bothers to assess the candidates. In fact, it is in the interests of local Tory and Labour parties that no one does so. A few UKIP councillors have been elected, and they are shaking things up a bit.
It seems to me that powers over ‘Public Health’ were passed to Local Authorities for political reasons, even though those authorities were ill-prepared for the responsibilities.
Ripe for autocratic take-over.