Over and over again we see predictions of weather sent to us from the most evil ice queen to ever create a snowflake. Every winter will be the worst ever. Every summer half of us will die in a heatwave the likes of which we've never seen before. Go to facebook posts, twitter posts, Google search results and live in fear - the meteorological Armageddon is happening. The world will end in snow or heatwave.
There's a new prediction today of a hell storm causing chaos this week. The Met Office have predicted some wind and have issued a weather warning for parts of the UK this weekend. The tabloid headlines - with the help of "experts" at The Weather Channel - turn this wind into something we all need to be afraid of. The Daily Mail have turned this into the coming chaos. This storm will "wreak havoc". Beware!
The Met Office spokesperson - ever more cautious - says that in parts of Scotland the temperature might drop to freezing tonight. Oh no! Freezing point. In Scotland. In mid-December. It's not exactly a Biblical apocalyptic sign is it?
And then there are other headlines. Tabloid newspapers and many websites seem to take a perverse joy in their headlines. Take, as an example, The Daily Express.
Somebody with plenty of time has been kind enough to compile Express front pages into one handy picture:
Ah, the joy of the Daily Express. The Daily Mail is no better - that's been known to use completely made up weather experts (allegedly - though the evidence online is good) and has cured cancer several times this year!
Good news from the Express:
A blood pressure drug beats dementia.
An arthritis drug beats dementia.
Exercise beats dementia.
You can stop Alzheimer's
There's a pill to beat Alzheimer's
With all these cures apparently already available, it's amazing that the government need to fund any more research at all. That's the logical conclusion if we believe Express headlines. We can all stop worrying about dementia - the Express has it beaten. Whoopee!
Good news: Pensions are going up 25%
Bad news: Pensions are going down 20%
And as for the front page WE'RE ALL DOOMED weather forecasts, they've been lying to us (or at best unintentionally and repeatedly misleading us) for years. Similar front pages - back at least as far as 2003 can be found with not too much searching.
All that and repeatedly demonising asylum seekers and people on benefits too.
Why would anyone, anyone, choose to buy this crap? Save your money. Go to the library and get a decent book instead.
Photo taken from http://newsframes.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/curious-repeated-headlines/ which includes another batch of front pages - but one Express headline seems to merge into the next after a while.