Public Health’s Capture by the Net Zero Agenda is Sending it Back to the Dark Ages

International public health operates around a clear set of dogmas, protected by maintaining taboos on discussion of subjects that might undermine them. This may seem backward or even alarming, but it is entirely logical. For a quarter of a century, the industry has been dominated by private investors and corporate interests who are attracted to a market for which products can be coerced and mandated without restrictive advertising standards. The growing narrative around climate and health promises to be the apogee of this approach.

Taboos and dogmas

Human societies always maintain taboos. Some seem to have arisen by common consent, some are driven from above, but it can be hard to identify their origins. Do cultural taboos on pre-marital sex or homosexuality, for instance, originally arise from the bulk of the population, or as restrictions imposed by religious or political authorities? Did a requirement to acknowledge the Earth as the centre of the Universe reflect popular sentiment, or drive popular sentiment? Did the Inquisition in Europe grow through popular prejudice, or was it purely an organ of authoritarian control?

The Enlightenment supposedly brought Europe out of the Inquisition, and while true in some ways it is also an illusion. Safe Spaces in university campuses are areas where the Inquisition persists. So are the protests against drag queen book readings, and the protests against the protests against drag queen book readings. We don’t need to think an Inquisition is right or wrong, just acknowledge that we all put limits on freedom of expression and filter which ideas can be shared.

The public health climate Inquisition

Public health professionals see themselves as Children of the Enlightenment rather than Children of the Inquisition. We claim the side of commonsense rather than taboos and dogma. We think this sets us aside from the general public, who are easily persuaded through ignorance to entertain the rantings of charlatans.

Because we are educated and progressive, and health is so important, we claim a right to bypass much of the conversation that Enlightenment normally requires. We need to fast-track things to the truth because they are so important, and we are so knowledgeable about them. While this may seem reflective of the inquisitors of old, we hold that there is a fundamental difference; they were wrong, and we are right. Comparisons therefore simply show the ignorance of the accuser, whom we then label far-Right or otherwise reality-denying. Climate change and its effect on health is a good example. This will become clear by explaining the official public health industry position on this area, critical both to continued human existence and to securing future funding.

Exchanging truth for permissible narratives

The public health professions, not least at the international level, are adamant that climate change is an “existential threat”. Dogma states that this is almost solely driven by human activity, particularly the burning of the fossil fuels on which the last few hundred years of technological and medical progress have relied. It also implicates traditional meat diets in driving the climate. The Director-General of the World Health Organisation is adamant that this must be his organisation’s priority. Two hundred medical journals considered it so important that they abrogated editorial standards to publish a letter highlighting various controversial claims as dogma; as example, a rapid increase in elderly deaths “due to heat” that ignored the simple increase in the total elderly population that accounted for most of this change, whilst far more die of cold. The letter’s authors were not ignorant of this – they just consider the issue so important that it is worth misleading the public in order to gain a required response.

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