Benjamin Zimmer of Language Log has had a couple of recent posts on the crisis = danger + opportunity myth. First, in Stop him before he tropes again, he takes Al Gore to task for repeating the myth (again).
Then Zimmer posted his findings that the myth “was in use among Christian missionaries in China as early as 1938 and creeping into American public discourse by 1940.” (See Crisis = danger + opportunity: The plot thickens.) Nice work!
Meanwhile, Gary Feng of Shadow has voiced a dissenting position that “the urban myth has some kernel of truth in it.”