60. The quantity of the attention which society can give to risks is limited

Of course, society has limited attention to give to global risks. It may focus on a few risks at the expense of others, depriving lesser-known risk mitigation efforts of crucial resources they need to deal with threats. Also, there will be many people who are calmed by taking simple actions such as filling up their car with ethanol instead of gasoline. This action then satisfies them and makes them consider it unnecessary to pursue more comprehensive or serious risk mitigation. They might think “my contribution doesn't really matter, I'm just one person.” Of course, if everyone believes this, as most people do, that pretty much guarantees that nothing useful will be done. This is the bystander effect39.