It’s hard to believe it’s been 23 years since Ghostbusters came out. I’ve always liked that movie, particularly the seen where Bill Murray’s character is trying to convince New York’s mayor that he’s got a problem on his hands:
Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath-of-God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling.
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes…
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria.
I was inexorably reminded of this scene when I read at American Thinker that the UN, when it released its latest climate change report, was afraid of a media panic:
Achim Steiner explained that while scientists would never use words such as “crisis,” “terrifying” or “Armageddon,” the media’s over-hype may damage public willingness to act by making the problem seem all but insurmountable:
“I’m a bit preoccupied that the media, having contributed to every day making another doomsday news headline, then in six weeks time will declare it hysteria and move on.”
Mr. Steiner was right to be worried. The same American Thinker article points out that, within hours, the major media outlets had generated the following high pitched headlines:
Climate Report: Poor Will Suffer Most (CBS News)
UN Warns of Extinction, Flooding From Global Warming (Bloomberg News)
Panel: Global Warming a Threat to Earth (ABC News)
Results Of Global Warming: Hunger, Disease, Extinction (AP)
U.N. Report: Climate Change Poses Bleak Future (NPR)
Be afraid, be very afraid. It’s either this or the Stay-Puff Marshmallow man.