Good news: The bad news is wrong: Even when they aren’t hoaxes, media scares are overblown and under-researched.

From Pajamas Media:

All of the analogous 26 alarms analyzed by Green and Armstrong turned out to be false, either completely or to such an extent that actions intended to be remedial caused greater harm than the supposed problem. See for descriptions of some of the other 26 analogies: because media report alarms enthusiastically but not their demise, many readers will be surprised to find that alarms they still believe to be true have now been debunked.

When alarming forecasts are presented in the form of vivid scenarios, many people ignore the low likelihood that they will come about: they want action. This is especially so if they think the cost of action will be low (to themselves), and they can blame others.

Policy responses to environmental alarms are often promoted in terms of “caring for the planet” or “caring for our children.” This has the intended effect of deflecting questions about the substance of alarming claims, and of demonizing those who ask them.

In modern times, when we are safer than we have ever been, some activists have become rich and famous by exploiting our ready acceptance of alarming scenarios: “So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.” This statement about global warming by climatologist Professor Stephen Schneider (now deceased) serves as a warning to us all that we should always be ready to ask hard questions of alarmists.

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