With reference to the crisis in financial markets, Sydney-based think tank The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) held a forum yesterday entitled ‘The End of Capitalism’.
CIS Research Fellow, Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich, suggested that doom and gloom headlines in magazines such as Time, The Economist and Der Spiegel foretelling the end of capitalism were no different from other irrational scare stories. Dr Hartwich referred several times to examples of global scares from the book ‘Scared to Death’ by Christopher Booker and Richard North.
I am not sure that I agree with Dr Hartwich – he went as far as to suggest that with the fear of a depression we wouldn’t be hearing so much about global warming because the media could generally only focus on one major scare at a time. But I can definitely recommend the Booker and North expose of a long list of media scare stories beginning with the great salmonella scare of 1988-89.
The book is dedicated to “all those scientists and campaigners who, amid the madness of our age of ‘scares’, have kept a sense of proportion and fought for the truth to prevail.”
Scared to Death, From BSE to Global Warming: Why Scares are Costing Us the Earth by Christopher Booker and Richard North, published by Continuum UK, 2007. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scared-Death-Global-Warming-Costing/dp/0826486142