Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Pandemics Are Coming

FuturePundit, who often runs pieces that debunk bad science, is spreading bad science. His most recent post is a scare piece about the "next" pandemic. He leads off with this quotation:
"I believe we are closer now to a pandemic than at any time in recent years," said Shigeru Omi, regional director for the Western Region of the World Health Organization (WHO).

"No country will be spared once it becomes pandemic," he told a news conference on Friday.

"History has taught us that influenza pandemics occur on a regular cycle, with one appearing every 20 to 30 years. On this basis, the next one is overdue.

"We believe a pandemic is highly likely unless intensified international efforts are made to take control of the situation."
First, the WHO has a vested interest in pandemic scares. Second, I would like to know if it's true that "influenza pandemics occur...every 20 to 30 years," and if it is true why it happens. A "scientist" who resorts to historical inevitability is as much a scientist as Karl Marx. Remember him?