A Few Links For The New Year, It’s Not All Bad

There are many reasons to remain positive.

Update: also see: Chart of the (perhaps) greatest and most remarkable achievement in human history

In the first link below, note the deaths from war and extreme weather.

The biggest shocker of 2013? That it really is a wonderful world – Spectator Blogs:”Next year marks a millennium since the sermon given in 1014 by Archbishop Wulfstan in York where he declared that “the world is in a rush and is getting close to its end.” Ever since, people (especially clergy) have had a similar story to tell: the world is moving too fast, people are too selfish and things are going to the dogs. The truth is that the world is in a better shape now than any time in history – a claim which may sound bizarre, but it’s borne out by the facts.”

More good data in this piece.

Most things are better now – Washington Times: “Life expectancy is highly correlated with economic well-being and the quality of medical care. Global poverty is diminishing at a very rapid rate, and very few now starve to death, but when they do, it is almost always caused by incompetent or venal governments. It is estimated that average inflation-adjusted global per-capita income was only $712 in 1820, but now is about $8,000 per year, a more than tenfold increase.

This year was supposed to be a very active year for Atlantic hurricanes, particularly destructive ones hitting the U.S. coast — which got big headlines. However, you may have noticed that there were only two small, short-lived hurricanes far out in the Atlantic that never got close to the coast. This year was also supposed to a big year for tornadoes, but again, thankfully, they were near a record low.”

And finally.

Is the Pope Right About the World?- The Atlantic:”But here’s the problem: The dystopian world that Francis describes, without citing a single statistic, is at odds with reality. In appealing to our fears and pessimism, the pope fails to acknowledge the scope and rapidity of human accomplishment—whether measured through declining global inequality and violence, or growing prosperity and life expectancy.”

Do also check out the new site: HumanProgress.org

Related posts:
Quick Book Review: The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley