Maybe they're cynical, not uninformed
Polistra has often dissected
a primary failure of our elite "scientists". Nearly everything in the biosphere, in climate or biology or psychology or economics, runs in a sigmoid pattern. It rises quickly then ramps up onto a plateau. After that it usually ramps back down to a lower plateau.
The exact internal mechanisms vary widely, but the magic of negative feedback creates a similar pattern in all these realms.
Pseudoscientists insist on treating everything as linear and infinite. If we don't stop it now, it will just keep going up and up and UP until the WORLD ENDS!!!!!
I assumed the "scientists" were so rigidly locked into abstract numerical thinking that they had never encountered physical reality, thus never encountered a feedback loop.
Richard, the EUreferendum blogger, is a trained epidemiologist. In connection with the "cucumber crisis" he points out
a similar problem in epidemiology, and says that it's not ignorance at all.
Any infectious epidemic (or addiction or fad, for that matter) ramps up quickly for a while then reaches a plateau. The most vulnerable are hit first, then the increase slows as it has more trouble reaching the less vulnerable. Not everyone is affected; some people are completely immune to the germ or the pleasure. Sooner or later the epidemic (addiction, fad) will ramp back down if it's not artificially maintained by economic or governmental forces who keep it high to satisfy their greed.
Richard says that the public health authorities know this perfectly well, but prefer to advertise the straight-up-to-infinity linear threat because it enables them to "cure" the problem. If people firmly believe the disease will keep getting worse "unless we do something", then anything we do will appear
to have been a solution when the epidemic inevitably ramps back down.
= = = = =
Couple days later: Interesting coincidence, showing that Richard's "Purple Banana" principle
has a considerable heritage.
I've been watching episodes of the 1936 Flash Gordon serial "Purple Death from Outer Space".
The movie starts with a mysterious epidemic of sudden deaths, marked by a single purple spot on the forehead. Flash Gordon's father, a Noted Scientist, establishes that the plague is caused by a powder dropped by rocket ships from the planet Mongo. Flash, who has already visited Mongo, travels up there with Prof Zarkov to solve the problem.
A bunch of stuff happens on Mongo, then about 2/3 of the way into the movie we look in on Earth to see how things are going, and to remind the viewers why Flash is doing a bunch of stuff.
Flash's father is stepping out onto a Pope-like balcony to reassure the people: "While the Purple Death still rages, there has been a marked abatement in the number of deaths. We believe this may be due to the activities of Prof Zarkov and my son Flash Gordon, on the planet Mongo. Further news will be broadcast to you the moment it is received. We again beg you to remain calm in this crisis."
The Noted Scientists go back into the building, and Second Noted Scientist says to
Gordon: "There was no need to raise the hopes of the people without some scrap of proof! You had no foundation for your surmise that the drop in the death rate was due to anything but natural causes!"
Third Noted Scientist says: "What of it, if it keeps up the morale of the crowd?"
Same principle, even the same color!