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Having the trifecta of a conservative temperament, theology, and political outlook, I am the kind of guy who generally respects authorities. This is getting harder to do. One of the recurrent problems is authorities who “cry wolf.” I received the following warning over my iPhone, accompanied by an emergency audio signal vaguely reminiscent of a Star Trek red alert:
National Weather Service: A FLASH FLOOD WARNING is in effect for this area until 3:45 PM MST. This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order.
I’m in Tucson, Arizona. I’ve lived here, more or less continuously, for almost 50 years now. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a rainstorm that presented a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Not, at least, if you exercise a lick of common sense, like staying out of washes.
I received two of these messages over the weekend, too, but being among the oldest of Gen X, I pressed a button on my phone that deleted the message before I could transcribe it and couldn’t get it back. (Isn’t that helpful, too?)
I’ve noticed this strange trend for quite a long time now, but it seems to be getting worse. Many people seem paranoid, panicked, phobic. Risks seem to be wildly overstated. It sometimes seems as if the whole world is composed of the type of hysterical teenaged girl who gave us the witch trials once upon a time.
The examples are legion, and are not confined to one side of the political spectrum:
- Dying of Covid
- Getting shot by the cops
- Mass extinction, apparently, because the temperature may be warming up a bit
- A variety of catastrophes if the Taliban takes over Afghanistan (again)
- Russian troops invading the US if not stopped at the Ukrainian border, or something like that
And oh, by the way, it’s a life-threatening emergency every time it rains in Tucson.
This is getting a bit old.Published in