The population of Mexico is currently about 111 million (according to the CIA who may or may not be telling the truth). The number of deaths from so-called ‘swine flu’ in Mexico has now been revised downwards to 109. Hence the 1 in a million statistic. And that is in by far the worst affected country. You wouldn’t think this was the case from the reaction; our media has been full of it – how they love a good health scare. It’s not just the media who are obsessed, the Egyptian Government is slaughtering the country’s entire pig population as a precaution (and worsening relations with the Christian minority there in the process).
It’s true that we are due a serious flu pandemic, and they can be very lethal, but the degree of coverage has been out of all proportion to the evidence so far. After Sars and bird flu, I think there is a danger of crying wolf.
Also this means that far more serious world events are being ignored, as well-expressed by Simon Tisdall in the Guardian last week. The serious and ongoing threat of climate change also slips under the radar; recent items on that front include the loss of the Antarctic ice bridge, a devastating heat-wave in India, and the city of Adelaide potentially running out of water.
Still gives me an opportunity for a joke: - Thanks to Dave Hampton 'The Carbon Coach' for this:
What did the Climate Change Activist say about the Frequent Flyer?
'The Swine Flew'.
‘Green Party Woman Is a Nightclub tart’
About time we clean-living Greens had a sex scandal, you might think, but this is fiction, a line (see here) from our new Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, who lectures at our very own Manchester Metropolitan University. As well as being the first woman laureate, Carol is openly gay, and probably the first laureate to mention the Green Party in a poem. We congratulate her.