Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Post-Hoc Ergo Teleprompter Hoc

Exciting news for environmentalists trying to tie ecological catastrophe to the average person's baser instincts: In the same environments that suddenly experience an absence of trees, people get higher rates of heart disease and other nasty bad health outcomes.

Also did you hear that people who drink coffee appear to have lower rates of Alzheimers?  I ran across that this morning, even though its an older study, and that's good news for me, because I drink a lot of coffee.

Did you know that just wearing camouflage clothing, particularly if its a uniform, leads to a much higher-than-average likelihood of dying a violent death, particularly from traumatic lead poisoning?  Its true.

Someone in the comments on the NYTimes story about the "health benefits" of caffeine above speculated that because adenosine, which is contained in coffee, is similar chemically to some stuff in the DNA and all, that maybe there's like some kind of connection.  The genius researcher at the USFS notes something similar about trees:
“Imagine if you were trying to look at the effect of trees growing on someone's health and I got 100 people,” he said. “I put them in 100 identical houses, and I planted trees in front of 50 of those houses and then waited. It would take 40 or 50 years before you found anything because trees grow really slowly.”
Maybe there's something in the dyes they use in the camouflage uniforms that cause young people to engage in risky behaviors.  Maybe there's some kind of adrenalin trigger in that dye that messes up their brains and causes them to ingest lead in unsafe amounts.

What I like about all three of these observations is that not a one could be explained more simply and effectively by environmental factors.  It can't be that the trees and the people are weakened by the same thing and then killed by secondary factors, or that people drink coffee because they've got stuff to do and need to stay stimulated, and those people don't usually get Alzheimers.  Or that people wearing camouflage clothing get shot because the camouflage isn't as effective as it needs to be.

No comments: