Whenever the United Nations makes any dire proclamation about the future of the planet, whether dealing with global warming, the environment, war, or poverty, you can be sure media will give it great attention.
Yet, when the World Federation of UN Associations released its extraordinarily optimistic "State of the Future" report Monday, with positive news about literacy, mortality, economic growth, and poverty reduction, the press couldn't care less.
In fact, despite the Associated Press, which true to form cherry-picked one negative finding in this study for its article on the subject, absolutely no American media outlets shared this report's release. Not one.
Despite daunting challenges posed by global warming, water, energy, unemployment and terrorism, the world faces a brighter future with fewer wars, higher life expectancy and improved literacy, according to a report released Monday.
"Although great human tragedies like Iraq and Darfur dominate the news, the vast majority of the world is living in peace, conflicts actually decreased over the past decade," says the 2007 State of the Future report.
Becoming clear why you didn't hear about this? But there's more:
It said the world economy grew at 5.4 percent last year to 66 trillion dollars while the global population rose 1.1 percent, increasing the average world per capita income by 4.3 percent.
"At this rate world poverty will be cut by more than half between 2000 and 2015, meeting the UN Millenium Development Goal for poverty reduction except in sub-Saharan Africa", it added.
The world's average life expectancy is rising from 48 years for those born in 1955 to 73 years for those who will be born in 2025, it noted.
On the education front, the percentage of people over the age of 15 that are illiterate worldwide has fallen to 18 percent today, down from 37 percent in 1970, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
This is all unbelievably spectacular news. Yet, in America, LexisNexis and Google News searches identified that only the Associated Press covered this report.
Not surprisingly, AP found the lump of coal amidst all the diamonds in an article dourly entitled "Reports [sic] Says Organized Crime Top Problem" (emphasis added throughout):
Organized crime may have brought in more than $2 trillion in revenue last year, about twice all the military budgets in the world combined, a report issued Monday said.
The "State of the Future" report, published by the Millennium Project of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, said organized crime entities generated income from money laundering, counterfeiting and piracy, and the trafficking of drugs, people and arms.
The AP did decide to put some of the good news from this study in its report in paragraph eight beginning with the wonderful "But":
But the report noted success in tackling other issues, saying the world has made progress on ending poverty, improving access to education and settling conflicts. It also says the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Africa has begun to level off and could begin to decrease over the next few years.
After those two sentences about the good news, the AP went back to focusing on crime.
What a disgrace.