One of the most salient features of the communication around the COVID epidemic has been fear. This includes the fears of public health officials in trying to flatten the curve. And the equally-fearful messaging of proponents of the Great Barrington Declaration or the anti-vaxxers, who say that our economy was being destroyed and our minds and bodies were being controlled. A study delves into the dynamics of communication, particularly focusing on the role of fear and warnings.
Fear porn, humane “washing” food labels, catching up with Sisyphus, junk food diets - for plants
I never really got into fishing, although I have many friends and family who love it. While it’s not the reason I don’t fish, I was surprised to find out recently how hazardous it is – according to statistics, fishing accounts for about 80,000 injuries every year in the US alone,  and that doesn’t even get into things like drowning, electrocution, and so forth. And when we look at the dangers of commercial fishing, things get even worse. Reading that chapter made me wonder why any sane person would ever pick up a rod and reel and go anywhere near the water.
Much of our behavioral changes during the COVID-19 pandemic are driven by fear, a primal survival instinct, subsequently re-enforced by state mandates. It is proving difficult for some to unwind their fear even having been vaccinated. Is fear the best means of influencing our behavior?
Fear is a strong motivator; it is the basis of ‘Fight or Flight.” Long before the Florida business shutdown was declared, many self-anointed, at-risk individuals voluntarily stayed home. So what role does fear play in COVID-19 era? And specifically, to what degree is fear driving our behavior?
Are the very real physical costs of your outrage worth it? Albeit the election, contentious divorce or nonstop negativity, there are tangible prices to our responses to these and other types of triggers.
Ben & Jerry's wants us to believe that global warming, while catastrophic enough in its own right, could also deprive us of some of our favorite dessert flavors. Immediate action is necessary, the company implores us, or the chocolate, nuts and coffee used as ingredients could vanish from the Earth. By rolling out this disingenuous marketing gimmick the ice cream maker must think its customers are dimwitted rubes with no ability to engage in critical thinking.
Today s NYTimes Personal Health column by Jane E. Brody could pass for an ACSH publication: Emotion Is Not the Best Medicine. How many times have we said that? She uses the Ebola hysteria as her hook, but the column is replete with wise words.
Why wouldn t consumers want to embrace a technology that could: Reduce the use of pesticides on crops; provide crops resistant to drought and high salinity in soil; enhance the nutritional value of foods; improve disease resistance in crops; prevent expansion of agriculture into marginal lands; allow the use of soil-conserving methods; and reduce the anti-nutrients in staple crops?