Friday, 13 February 2009

To The Skeptic Zone

I'm calling you out again Mr. Saunders and the rest of The Skeptic Zone. I feel like a git for saying this but I think that it should be said because I feel it undercuts your message.

(For those that don't know what I'm going on about go here.)

Usually you have a good podcast but I'm calling you out on your reference on the Victorian Bushfires.

You said:
Now remember this is the worst disaster in Australian peacetime history.

It was later clarified by one of your colleagues (sorry, I'm not good with matching voices to names but I'm assuming Dr. Dunlop who also said it in her segment.)

See that bolded bit is the bit that I'm taking issue to. It seems that many people are saying that, and all of you who do are wrong.

Disaster is defined as:
a calamitous event, esp. one occurring suddenly and causing great loss of life, damage, or hardship, as a flood, airplane crash, or business failure.
Now, I noticed that you guys were being skeptical throughout the segment, but not here.

I'm assuming that you mean "worst natural disaster in living memory", because the worst disaster in Australia isn't a bushfire.

The worst disaster according to the EMA Disasters Database would be the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918-19. If you consider that to be a wartime disaster then the worst disaster is the polio epidemic of 1946-55. Even the bubonic plague epidemic of 1900-10 which killed 550 people.

The heatwaves of 1938-39 and 1895-96 killed about the same number of people as had died in the bushfires (and they were pretty much in the same area).

The worst single civil maritime disaster in peacetime was the wrecking of the Cataraqui on King Island, while the worst cyclone was back in 1899 in Bathurst Bay in Queensland.

By the way, looking for information I found this.

But I don't know what people consider to be a disaster.

P.S. You are probably thinking "git" here, but please go and read what I have to say here. I felt that it was better to keep these things separate from each other.


Richard said...

Yeah.... I'm not going to nit-pick on this one. We were talking about the loons who are taking advantage of this horror.

Dr Rachie said...

Point taken. I stand with Richard on this one, doesn't detract from the point of my post. I agree everyone has been saying this, which is why I didn't question it. Slap on wrist to me. I protest that it was 12:30 am when I wrote and recorded this episode. So pfft to you!

Dr Rachie said...

Oh and thanks for listening! Glad to get feedback.

dr said...

the blog has been modified to say worst natural disaster. Cheers!

Dr Rachie said...

Oh and by the way, just to clarify, during the Think Tank (time code 45:50) I say the worst NATURAL disaster in Australia's history. Does that excuse me?