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Sick of It All

by on February 7, 2012

Living your life is ruining our lives. That sentiment is held as doctrine for those who enjoy pretending that we’re making the Earth uninhabitable by turning up the thermostat and that retrieving natural gas is more perilous for humans than not retrieving natural gas. Now, abusing Mother Gaia is apparently causing sick behavior that totally can’t be faked.

To wit, there’s a rather suspicious illness presently being passed between psychosomatic high school minds. If you’re not convinced that the disease is convincing, perhaps the noted attention-grabbing alarmist who has shown up on the supposed victims’ behalf will help, or not. Renowned fraud Erin Brockovich is doing more damage than inspiring Julia Roberts to make a movie:

National environmental and health groups are beating a path to LeRoy, poking into the Genesee County community’s startling cluster of teenage students with troubling neurological symptoms.

Groups led by environmental-activist icons Erin Brockovich and Lois Gibbs have been talking with parents and gathering background. A chapter of the Sierra Club has been digging into the LeRoy school’s unusual connection with natural gas drilling. The Healthy Schools Network, Empire State Consumer Project and others are involved.

The Sierra Club is there? I’m sorry, but I can’t take any preposterous rallying against alleged transgressions against the environment seriously until Greenpeace arrives, too. The condition has inspired wholly unfounded conspiracy theories, including one that’s usually the domain of Brockovich’s fellow fraudulent ditz Jenny McCarthy:

Leaders of these groups say authorities in New York may have acted too hastily in ruling out environmental contaminants, infectious illnesses or vaccinations as possible causes of the cluster, which now includes as many as 15 LeRoy Junior-Senior High School students who exhibit varying degrees of involuntary twitches and verbal outbursts not unlike those associated with Tourette’s syndrome. Some report fainting spells and seizures, too.

Buffalo neurologists who have seen a number of the students have said the teens suffer from a psychological disorder causing physical symptoms that spread unconsciously through the student body, a finding that state health and LeRoy school officials don’t seem to dispute.

What also doesn’t seem to be disputed is how many people think the school is being trolled. It’s hard to avoid suspecting that the alleged victims aren’t fakers:

The LeRoy mystery-illness story has unfolded in a peculiar way. Word of students with tics and twitches circulated among families this fall, and was reported by Rochester and Buffalo television stations in early November.

But little information was made public. The families for the most part kept to themselves, and the school district cited privacy laws and revealed no details. It remained a mostly local curiosity until 10 days ago – when Miller and Katie joined another mother and afflicted daughter on NBC’s Today show.

Since then, LeRoy has gone viral. Bloggers and national news outlets, particularly those of TV celebrity-doctors, have scrambled for images of symptomatic teens and argued on air and online about their diagnoses.

Don’t let a TV doctor diagnose you. Instead, listen to a mouthy know-it-all who knows nothing:

“While we don’t have the answers, we are suspicious that the all-clear has been sounded on the environmental side and we don’t believe that it should have been,” said Brockovich, whose dogged legal research on a huge California water-contamination case gave rise to the 2000 motion picture for which Julia Roberts won an Academy Award.

Gah, that’s even worse than even Tom Hanks winning twice. Here in reality, the execrable film’s namesake has a job that might even be more self-importantly useless than community organizing:

Brockovich, who works with citizens in environmental cases around the country, said an associate would be in LeRoy shortly to gather environmental samples.

As a specialist in obtaining media attention by being as obnoxious as possible, she trades in the opposite of science. People who still insist that global warming is as indisputable as the case against fracking are wont to indulge in hysteria about diseases. But the circumstances surrounding the school outbreak in question make it appear to be as invalid as the reasoning against an amazing method for retrieving valuable fuel.

The supposed epidemic is at best suspicious. And the advocates on behalf of victims with dubious symptoms shouldn’t be further deluded into thinking that enlisting someone who made herself famous by presenting everything but proof is going to help.

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