What you get when you cry wolf too often

Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times is cited by Posted by Steven Hayward [Environmentalism Dead? No Left Turns 12mr05 ] talking about environmentalists

“The fundamental problem, as I see it, is that environmental groups are too often alarmists. They have an awful track record, so they’ve lost credibility with the public. . .”
” I was once an environmental groupie, and I still share the movement’s broad aims, but I’m now skeptical of the movement’s “I Have a Nightmare” speeches. . .”
“This record [of badly mistaken predictions] should teach environmentalists some humility. . . Jared Diamond argues that if we accept false alarms for fires, then why not for the health of our planet? But environmental alarms have been screeching for so long that, like car alarms, they are now just an irritating background noise. . .”
“There are many sensible environmentalists, of course, but overzealous ones have tarred the entire field. . . So it’s critical to have a credible, nuanced, highly respected environmental movement. And right now, I’m afraid we don’t have one.

An example of something similar provided by a person with a philosophy that often correlates with the environmentalist extremists.

Giuliana Sgrena has changed her story yet again,

After the shooting, she said: “A soldier opened the door on the right-hand side. When he saw us, I had the impression that he was upset. I seem to remember him saying, ‘Oh shit!’ And when more turned up in an armoured car, I had the sensation that they were unhappy about what had happened.”

[The Never Ending Story Changes … Again Captain Ed. 12mr07]

In this latest story it is obvious that the soldiers at the checkpoint were not, as the report initially asserted, out to kill her.

After having listened to the reporter from the Communist newspaper Il Manifesto spout contradictory stories and hysterical conspiracy-mongering, even the Italian government has had enough of Giuliana Sgrena. In their first direct criticism of the former hostage, the justice minister publicly scolded Sgrena for her ever-changing accusations: [Italy To Sgrena: You Can Shut Up Any Time Now; Captain Ed; 11mr07]

We can learn from our children’s fables. Whether it is the story of Chicken Little and the ‘sky is falling’ or the boy who tantalized a community about the appearance of a wolf once too often, there are things we can learn.

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