Remember the dire warnings about Swine Flu from the World Health Organisation and Joe Biden's classic "I wouldn't go anywhere in confined spaces..." line?
How did that whole heterosexual AIDS thing work out?
What about silicone breast implants? The most negative effect was to the aesthetic appeal of the bodies of those women who chose to get them.
From the population bomb leading to mass starvation to peak oil to the hysteria du jour, global warming, we have had no shortage of end of days scenarios to contend with.
Now we can add to the list the massive overreaction to what has essentially been a serious local problem at the site of the Fukushima nuclear plant that the Japanese have had pretty much under control from the start. That people in the US and Asia were running out and buying iodide tablets shows the massive influence of the mainstream media to panic the masses (or, at least, those masses prone to panic). I wonder what the result of a survey of the political affiliation of those buying the tablets would be.
US radio talk show host Dennis Prager constantly reminds people that the hysterics, who are mainly on the left, are wrong 99% of the time.
How can this be? What drives people to so badly overreact at the slightest whiff of difficulty? Why is the left so much more likely to get things so badly wrong than the right?
I presume it relates to the left's tendency to seek to exert more and more influence over people's lives and nothing provides more control than a potential extinction event.
While that might explain the political advantage the left seeks to gain from upheaval it doesn't tell us why people get so genuinely frightened when there's no rational reason to be so. It doesn't explain why they get so angry and abusive when they're called out on their poor judgements.
I don't know what the answer is, either. What I do know is that there's a high correlation between those who believe in global warming and those who thought that Fukushima was an existential threat to life everywhere.
Somehow, that doesn't surprise me.