Empire News is making its way around the Internet. It forecasts unimaginable snowfall and incredibly cold temps. It was well written and fooled a lot of folks. That doesn't particularly bother me. People need to read with discrimination. Really.
But it does bring up the question of whether anyone would pay attention if the warning was serious. Our government--and others--frequently make the excuse of possible wide-spread panic for failing to warn their populations about various catastrophic possibilities. I believe so few people would pay attention that it wouldn't matter if they announced aliens were going to land tomorrow. Most folks would A) shrug and go on about their business, or B) be so busy reading about the latest celebrity scandal they'd never know about it. (Until the aliens were rounding them up to ship them off to some distant planet. Then they'd think it was a movie stunt.)
Is it a case of the authorities crying "Wolf!" too often? I don't think so. I suspect it's more a case of people who are too oblivious to their surroundings to care. Perhaps there's also a lack of perception or insight about what is important as opposed to what is entertainment. People don't want to be anxious about everyday living.
The hunk and I have been watching a mystery series set during World War II. There is a considerable bit of the show that portrays what the general populace endures in their day to day existence. Blackouts, shortages, rationing, air raids. And always, there are those individuals who refuse to accept reality, who deny that any of it is necessary--because the enemy can't be 'that bad'. Why should they be deprived just because the government wants to instill panic?
We see a similar attitude every time we're warned about hurricanes or blizzards. People don't want to accept the inconvenience of preparation. Then, there's a huge disaster like Katrina or Sandy and all those folks who didn't prepare for the worst, for the unimaginable, are busy pointing fingers at the authorities. "You should have warned us," they cry.
I want to know, were you listening? Probably not. Did you pay attention to the warnings and take responsibility for your own welfare? No. Every year we hear the same refrain after major disasters--where it the government? Why aren't they here, helping us, rescuing us? These are the same people who ignored the warnings.
When did we become so weak as a country that we can't figure out how to prepare for our family's safety? Are we really that hopeless? What if there was no prospect of help? Think about all the pictures we see on the news of refugees fleeing from war, or flood, or earthquakes.
Now. Picture what our country would be without our various agencies. Yes, yes, yes, I know you think they don't move fast enough. But what if they weren't there at all? Are you ready? Are you aware of possible catastrophe? Are you listening? Or do you think they're just crying, "Wolf?"