The Speculator is naturally concerned about the psychological well-being of its dear readers and particularly the enthusiastic ad clickers among them, and is concerned that recent disastrous events around the world, coupled with dire warnings of climate change and the onset of winter will leave some of the more vulnerable readers a little sad and bereft.
Last week, the cheerfully titled Disasters Emergency Committee – an umbrella organisation of 13 humanitarian aid agencies – issued a report which contained some interesting data about the recent record of global disasters.
The Speculator has prepared the graph below based upon data from the report. It clearly shows the world has got safer in the last 10 years, with total disasters down from 800 in 2000, to less than 600 in 2009.
While this is hardly something to be celebrated, it perhaps provides some hard facts to combat the occasional outbreak of apocalyptic nonsense so common on what TV1 and TV3 loosely refer to as their “news” programmes.
The Speculator therefore humbly suggests the following;
1: Cease all contact with television news. It is no longer news, but the opinions of excitable reporters loosely based upon a smattering of half-truths issued by dishonest institutions, which are then inflated and misrepresented.
2: Refer to specific trustworthy knowledge portals on the Web. Search and you will find them.
3: Enthusiastically disagree with whatever you see fit on these sites. In doing so, you will be obliged to construct a reasoned argument, and in doing so, you may find you need to go on further searches for more facts. This is a good thing.
4: Educate yourself on the debate on climate change by doing this FREE course, run online in conjunction with Oxford University. It deals with facts, and is refreshingly balanced in its approach.
5: Read “The Black Swan” by Nassim Taleb. Agree or disagree vehemently, constructing impressively articulate arguments in the process.
6: Having completed 1-5, do the following. Every week, purchase a coffee and Danish pastry in the village and repair to the summit of Mt Victoria or North Head for 20 minutes. Hum a song from the 70s. Enjoy what you see, smell, hear and taste.
7: Appreciate this simple fact; this beautiful, beautiful planet will still be here in 1 billion years’ time. You will not be; but you get to live on it your entire life.
8: With this in mind, see as much of it as you can, and as much as possible enjoy the company of those who you share it with. Accept that this will not always be easy. That’s life.