Friday, September 18, 2015

When People Cry Wolf...

     I remember living in Florida and watching local news broadcasters interviewing people before a coming hurricane about the preparations that they were making - or not making.  I also remember a number of storms where it felt like we were being chastised for our lack of preparation, as if we were naughty children not obeying our parents.  Guess who thought they were the parent.  These "journalists" stood in front of the camera, often in the wind and rain on the open beach, talking about the dangers of hurricanes and why preparations are so important.  The storm passed.  A few trees fell down.  Everything was mostly fine.  Then, again, came the lecture about preparation and what could have happened.

     Fast forward to yesterday.  I am flipping through my Google+ feed on my tablet and find this:

     Dear Lord!  A Tsunami Advisory in Los Angeles!  Millions of people live there.  This is awful.  And then my brain promptly clicks over to Indonesia.  My panic for all of those poor people increases.  My mind is racing with images from 2006.  I imagine a wall of water.  But this Google+ post has almost no information.  I'm worried for the people who live there.  I want to know what is happening.  I turn on the news and find an interview with ...Carly Fiorina?  Really?  So, I switch to another news feed.  Again, everyone is rambling on about the previous night's debate.  I go to my weather channel on my Roku.  Surely they have information.  Nothing.  Then I found out why I couldn't find anything.  I actually hunted down a full article on this situation - on The Weather Channel's website.  Wave height was expected to increase by approximately one foot.  Yes.  You read that right.  The image above correlates to a story about strong rip currents and waves increasing by a single foot.

     Have you heard about "Godzilla El Nino" yet?  That's what they have decided to call this year's El Nino because predictions say it is going to be so bad.  Remember Snowmageddon?  I know I am not the only person who thinks that these headlines on weather have gotten ridiculous and out of control. 

     Now, switch to storm warnings. used to offer a text service for severe weather alerts.  They discontinued this service on September 10.  While it ran, it was ridiculous.  I received 87 texts from April 30 - September 4 all warning of some type of weather event.  The most common was Severe Thunderstorm Warning.  Sometimes I received 5 or 6 warnings in a single day about the same storm - just updated hour after hour, and I would watch out my living room window as grey clouds passed over and light drizzling rain fell.  There were exactly two storms throughout the entire summer that affected my area and may have merited text warnings.  I should have discontinued the silly service long ago, but having grown up in Florida around hurricanes, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  I'm glad to have it gone now.

     There is a book that my friends and family all read when we were very young.  I had always assumed that everyone had at least heard this story before.  Lately I am not so sure.  My suggestion is that if you haven't read this book, you should.  The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf 

     I am posting about The Weather Channel because this obnoxious example appeared on my Google+ feed yesterday.  But, to be perfectly honest, the media as a whole is guilty of participating in this activity.  They are all so desperate for attention and ratings that the things they post in headlines are the exact equivalent of the bored, lonely boy calling "Wolf! Wolf!" to get the attention of the townspeople.    It didn't turn out well for that little boy and it won't turn out well in our world either.  Except, instead of the little boy being the one who's life is endangered, it will be the innocent townspeople - you and me.  Because instead of begging for help, the little boy will be telling us to run for our lives and we will be ignoring him.  Maybe that is why these people don't care about what they are doing.  They are endangering innocent people and not themselves.

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