New Orleans's inadequate levees were disasters waiting to happen, as numerous learned forecasts attest. Warning signs aplenty existed yet scientists who highlighted them were regarded as bothersome doomsday-mongers, out to rain on Big Easy's merry Mardi Gras parade.
Nothing new here. Tacitus already documented this syndrome in antiquity.
Commander of Rome's imperial naval base at the Bay of Naples and one of the foremost scholars of his day, Pliny the Elder was unimpressed by the clouds of smoke and incandescent ash which Mount Vesuvius belched 1,926 years and five days before Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana.
As Pompeii townsfolk began fleeing in horror, Pliny bathed, dined and allayed the fears of his companions, assuring them that Vesuvius's leaping flames were nothing but bonfires left by ignorant panicky peasants.
Nowadays supercilious Pliny knockoffs – cocky military types and prolific know-it-alls – dictate Israel's agenda and, like their precursor, persistently downplay all that should profoundly alarm us. They too accuse benighted commoners of disturbing their peace.
Pliny's spiritual heirs and their ever-obedient media mouthpieces not only dismiss the significance of the portents of danger that our Vesuvius ceaselessly spouts, they deliberately divert attention from and deny resonance to its thunderous retching, misrepresenting it as inconsequential minor hiccups.