Catalyst’s catastrophism

In cinemas now!

In cinemas now!

Catalyst is supposed to be a science programme, but ends up looking more like a low-budget disaster movie.

Last night’s episode was a case in point:

… But fire is changing. Over the past decade, every forested continent has seen an alarming surge in large, uncontrollable fires. [pause for dramatic effect] Mega-fires.

Prof David Bowman
The sort of metaphoric equivalent of an atomic bomb, that’s what a mega fire is, it’s muscular, it’s mean, it’s big, it’s aggressive.

Prof Tom Swetnam
Really fast burning fires. And their local intensity is just amazing.… these are extraordinary fire events.

So extraordinary, they demolish the very ecosystems that have thrived with fire for millennia.

[Read more…]

ABC’s Catalyst forgets about “consensus”

Consensus when it suits

Consensus when it suits

Consensus is optional, where the ABC is concerned. Naturally, with climate change, consensus is paramount, and anyone daring to question it is a denier in the pay of Big Oil.

But when it comes to cholesterol-reducing medications (statins), Catalyst appears happy to take the word of a few “outliers”, as the following transcript demonstrates:

For the last four decades, dietary fat and cholesterol have been the villains in heart disease.

Dr Michael Eades
You very seldom see the words ‘saturated fat’ in the public press when they’re not associated with artery clogging. So it’s like it’s all one term – ‘artery clogging saturated fats’.

But now some medical experts are coming forward to challenge this medical paradigm.

Dr Jonny Bowden
I think it’s a huge misconception that saturated fat and cholesterol are the demons in the diet, and it is 100% wrong.

Dr Stephen Sinatra
Saturated fat has been vilified for years because of the cholesterol theory.

A multibillion dollar food industry has fuelled our phobia of fat and cholesterol and dramatically influenced our diet.

Dr Michael Eades
That’s not science. That’s marketing.

Dr Jonny Bowden
It’s lived past its expiration date, and it’s one of these hypotheses that just won’t die.

Have we all been conned?

Dr Maryanne Demasi
In this episode, I’ll follow the road which led us to believe that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease, and reveal why it’s being touted as the biggest myth in medical history.

But the story has had such an effect on viewers that many are ceasing medication entirely, without any supervision from GPs or specialists, with potentially tragic consequences:

AN ABC report about cholesterol medication could cause as many as 3000 heart attacks in the next five years and cost the health system between $12 and $33 million.
The Heart Foundation has made the estimate after a survey it conducted found a third of those taking cholesterol lowering statin medications stopped them or reduced them in the wake of the Catalyst program on ABC.

When extrapolated to the entire population of 2.1 million Australians who take statins the survey found 55,000 people completely stopped taking their pills after the program.

A further 130,000 changed their medication by stopping it then restarting it or they reduced how much they took.

And 120,000 people saw their GP about their medication as a result of the Catalystepisodes.

One in four of those who altered their medication had previously had a heart attack, the research found.

The program has been heavily criticised by health experts who claim it was biased and the ABC is investigating 80 official complaints.

The ABC’s own health expert Dr Norman Swan has warned “people will die” because of the program.

Heart Foundation cardiovascular health director Dr Rob Grenfell says it is “alarming the survey found one in three people were worried or confused about their medication after the program.

“What Catalyst has done is create great confusion in the general public, unfortunately people have ceased their medication and that will cause harm,” he told News Corp Australia.

So who are Bowden, Sinatra and Eades? Media Watch reports:

Well, Dr Jonny Bowden and Dr Stephen Sinatra are co-authors of this popular American potboiler.

The Great Cholesterol Myth—why lowering your cholesterol won’t prevent heart disease and the statin-free plan that will

— The Great Cholesterol Myth, Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra

The foreword to this book was written by the other “expert” we saw in the opening clip, Dr Michael Eades.

Three men with one mind, presented as three independent points of view.

There’s much more at the link.

Whereas Catalyst (and the ABC in general) is reluctant ever to investigate opposing views in the climate debate, based on a belief that climate change may cause problems for mankind in centuries or millennia, it appears all too eager to give air time to issues that may cause suffering and even death right here and now.

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