By Alan Hall | Excerpted from the August 2016 Socionomist
The Institute’s Alan Hall has written articles and spoken at conferences regarding social mood’s effect on public health. In May, Hall addressed the topic at the University of Warwick’s mood conference in Coventry, UK. Portions of his Warwick presentation were featured in an article in the August 2016 issue of The Socionomist. Here’s an excerpt from that article.
On April 9, 2009, we launched The Socionomist with our epidemics study, just as H1N1 flu became a global pandemic. We found that major epidemics of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries … tended to occur near the conclusions of severe or extended declines in stock market indexes of heavily afflicted countries. Based on this research and our socionomic and Elliott wave analysis of the long-term social mood trend, we predicted an increasing risk of epidemics, pandemics and outbreaks of disease in the U.S. and across the globe. …
Some of this prediction has come to pass, and the rest seems more likely each day. A February 2016 Lancet article said, “The early part of the 21st century has seen an unparalleled number of emerging infectious disease events … . So many in fact that perhaps we should no longer consider them extraordinary.” Brazil’s Zika epidemic is a current example. …
Puerto Rico, too, is in the path of Zika, and its benchmark stock index is down 92% since 2004. … Greece is also in a season of heightened susceptibility to disease. … Russia’s benchmark stock index is down 64% since 2008. The country is struggling with resurgent HIV. … The inflation-adjusted MSCI World Stock Index is down 56% since March 2000, and a global obesity epidemic has created a global diabetes epidemic. … We’re also experiencing a global boom in antibiotic resistant bacteria, which have learned to alter their genomes to adapt to antibiotic drugs. …
An epidemic of opioid abuse is sweeping the nation. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of injury death in the country—more than guns and car crashes. … A December 2015 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that middle-aged white Americans have been getting sicker and dying in greater numbers. The Atlantic described them as “despair deaths, mainly suicides, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related liver disease … .”
In the rest of this article Hall looks at the U.S. suicide rate and the benefits of humans spending time in green space. Yet he also shows that most of humanity has been going in the opposite direction and crowding into urban areas. Hall notes that positive social mood has impelled growth that now threatens public health, making conditions ripe for negative mood to produce epidemics and pandemics.
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