They killed the cats! Precaution, superstition and eco-zealots 

A stroppy blog on the over-use of the precautionary principle

The Risk-Monger

Click here for the French version of this blog

During the Great Plague of London (1665-66), the authorities were convinced that the outbreak of bubonic plague was being spread by cats. As cats had then been looked upon by religious leaders as symbols of evil and witchcraft, the crisis created the perfect opportunity for zealots to purge London of this feline scourge. The local authorities had no evidence that the cats were spreading the plague, but via the virtue of precaution, they could portray themselves as caring leaders in a time of panic. Resisting public pressure from vocal zealots…

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