The mainstream media will have you believe that the world is falling apart; data analysis shows that life is getting better for the average person, but why are people in such a rush to prove the opposite is true?
There is more push back against my podcast The Best Time To Be Alive, than on my libertarian views, some of which are declared problematic by many in the mainstream.
I’m not trying to prove the world’s getting better, I just see this as an incredible story where the world is getting better, but no one knows. The day to day news tells the story of the day, which is normally more depressing, and to be fair it’s tough to share daily improvements because things don’t get better by day.
It takes more work for something/someone to improve, and it takes no effort for something to get worse.
The truth is we are built psychologically to focus on the negative for survival purposes. So being negative can be beneficial, but currently, it’s hurting more than it’s helping.
I believe that it’s dangerous to discount the improvements of humanity so we can fix today’s problems. Instead, we should take what we learned from past improvements to solve our current problems.
We are facing gigantic problems, but that doesn’t mean we should avoid logic and reason, and attack everyone before us, because they weren’t perfect or as enlightened as we are. As the world improves and people become smarter it is expected for future generations to laugh at how dumb we are currently.
Let’s embrace the past, focus on the present, and focus on the future.
Some facts to prove that the world is improving:
In 1900, 90% of the world was living in what’s labeled has extreme poverty: today where that number is under 10%. This can be traced by the UN, World Progress, and the bank. Some people believe we could end poverty by 2030.
Homicide deaths in America, for example, have fallen from around 10 people per 100,000 in 1965 to 4 today. The world’s rate is around 6 per 100,000 per year, and in Singapore, the rate is at (0.2), and in Iceland is at (0.3). Both countries have radically different approaches to solving violent crime, but it’s obvious both solutions work. The World Health Organization wants to decrease these numbers in half within the next 30 years, and it’s possible.
Oil spills have been going down even though when they do occur the news acts like it’s a daily occurrence. In 1975 there were about 125 oil spills, while in 2015 that number fell to under 25, and it continues to fall because the oil companies have an incentive as well as everyone else to not destroy the earth. The US leads all nations in the decrease of CO2 emissions. Since 2005 the US C02 emissions have declined by over 758 million metric tons. Emissions increased until 2000, and since then it’s gone down by a lot.
There’s more data to prove that the world is improving there are 70 graphs of data to prove it in Steven Pinker’s book Enlightenment Now.
These stories aren’t being told so I’m going to tell these stories with The Best Time To Be Alive.
- OurWorld in Data, Roser & Ortiz-Ospina 2017, based on data from Bourguignon & Morrison 2002 (1820-1992), averaging their “Extreme poverty” and “Poverty” percentages for commensurable with data on “Extreme poverty” for 1981-2015 from World Bank 2016g.
United States: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, https://ucr.fbi.gov/ And Federal Bureau of Investigation 2016. England (data include Wales) Office for National Statistics 2017. World, 2000: Krug et al. 2002. World 2003-2011 United Nations Economic and Social Council 2014. Fgi 1, the percentages were converted to homicide rates by setting the 2012 rate at 6.2, the estimate reported in United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2014, p. 12. The arrows point to the most recent years plotted in Pinker 2011 for the world.
On The Environment:
Ritchie & Roser 2017, based on data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_coun.htm;l.
Our World in Data, Roser 2016r, based on data (updated) from the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, http://www.itopf.com/knowledge-resources/data-statistics/statistics/ Oil spills include all those that result in the loss of at least 7 metric tons of oil. Oil shopped consists of “total crude oil, petroleum product, and gas loaded.