"We're doomed"

 

Media doom-mongering takes two forms: 1) overblown reports of "spiralling" threats and dangers (see our Fear Hype section for examples); 2) the implication that society can't "afford" (in monetary terms) to solve these problems (and that there's less and less money available for providing even basic public services).

The result is a sort of infantilising of a panicked public. The situation is "hopeless", we're told, but we'd better get behind our leaders, otherwise things could be even worse. Mass ennui/apathy seems to result from the combination of anxiety and helplessness projected by the media.

Would apathy continue if people knew that solutions to global problems existed – at a total cost of less than a third of the world's annual military expenditure? That such affordable solutions are available was the finding of a 1990s multidisciplinary global research project headed by Medard Gabel of the World Game Institute (WGI) – which we document in our What the world wants section.

The WGI research utilised the world's most comprehensive and up-to-date databases on global problems, and carefully quantified the costs/benefits of solutions favoured by experts in the relevant fields. The unique thing about this research was that by considering all global problems/solutions together as a whole, it became apparent that benefits from applying solutions in one area had knock-on benefits in other areas (vastly reducing overall costs of solutions).

The chart below uses WGI data to show the cost of solving various global problems – as a proportion of total global military expenditure. The combined total cost for solving these major problems comes to 30% of annual military expenditures.

 = $1 billion  = Amount needed to eradicate smallpox from the world
    (accomplished 1978): $300 million.

Total Chart represents annual world military expenditures (around $780 billion in the mid-1990s when the WGI research was carried out, compared to $234.5 billion for solving all the global problems listed below*)

Click on blue sections to see strategies (or use menu below)...

[The chart is a graphic showing eighteen program strategies (below) and how together they only make up 30% of the world's yearly military expenditure.] Eliminate Starvation and Malnutrition: $19 billion Eliminate Starvation & Malnutrition: $19 billion Provide Health Care and AIDS Control: $21 billion Provide Health Care and AIDS Control: $21 billion Provide Shelter: $21 billion Provide Shelter: $21 billion Provide Clean, Safe Water: $10 billion Elliminate Illiteracy: $5 billion Provide Clean, Safe Energy--Energy Efficiency: $33 billion Provide Clean, Safe Energy--Energy Efficiency: $33 billion Provide Clean, Safe Energy--Energy Efficiency: $33 billion Provide Clean, Safe Energy--Renewable Energy: $17 billion Provide Clean, Safe Energy--Renewable Energy: $17 billion Provide Clean, Safe Energy--Renewable Energy: $17 billion Retire Developing Nations Debt: $30 billion Stabilize Population: $10.5 billion Stabilize Population: $10.5 billion Prevent Soil Erosion: $24 billion Prevent Soil Erosion: $24 billion Stop Deforestation: $7 billion Stop Deforestation: $7 billion Stop Ozone Depletion: $5 billion Prevent Acid Rain: $8 billion Prevent Global Warming: $8 billion Prevent Global Warming: $8 billion Prevent Global Warming: $8 billion Remove Landmines: $2 billion Refugee Relief: $5 billion Refugee Relief: $5 billion Eliminate Nuclear Weapons: $7 billion Eliminate Nuclear Weapons: $7 billion Eliminate Nuclear Weapons: $7 billion Build Democracy: $2 billion

Eighteen Strategies...

...for tackling the major problems confronting humanity:

1. Eliminate Starvation and Malnourishment > ($19 billion)
2. Provide Health Care & AIDS Control >
($21 billion)
3. Provide Shelter >
($21 billion)
4. Provide Clean Safe Water >
($10 billion)
5. Eliminate Illiteracy >
($5 billion)
6. Provide Clean, Safe Energy: Efficiency >
($33 billion)
7. Provide Clean, Safe Energy: Renewables >
($17 billion)
8. Retire Developing Nations Debt >
($30 billion)
9. Stabilize Population >
($10.5 billion)
10. Prevent Soil Erosion >
($24 billion)
11. Stop Deforestation >
($7 billion)
12. Stop Ozone Depletion >
($5 billion)
13. Prevent Acid Rain >
($8 billion)
14. Prevent Global Warming >
($8 billion)
15. Remove Landmines >
($2 billion)
16. Refugee Relief >
($5 billion)
17. Eliminating Nuclear Weapons >
($7 billion)
18. Build Democracy >
($2 billion)

*Sources:
The What the World Wants Project is by Medard Gabel and the research staff of the World Game Institute. The material in this section of Media Hell is quoted directly from that research. Credits, Major References & Footnotes >