3 Reasons The World Is Getting Better
Anyone living in these turbulent times would be forgiven for taking a pessimistic worldview.
We are currently in the middle of a global pandemic, with the threat of climate disaster looming ever nearer. You only have to turn on the news or open social media to see a constantly refreshing feed of depressing headlines and gloomy predictions for the future of humankind. But it might surprise you to learn that the world is not actually such a bad place to live.
The media like to share negative and anxiety-inducing stories because they know that that is what generates clicks. After all, “everything is fine” doesn’t exactly make for the most spectacular news feature. But 2022 is currently the best time in the history of planet Earth to be alive. And the best part is that it will only get better as time goes on. If you’re feeling skeptical about this bold claim, here are three things that might convince you.
One of the biggest signs of progress in all of humanity is healthcare. Over the past few centuries, child mortality has decreased spectacularly, and global life expectancy has risen significantly from 45.7 in 1950 to 73.2 at present. This is largely due to advances in healthcare, sanitation, medicine, and medical technology. Many diseases such as HIV and AIDS were once death sentences, but are now manageable conditions that many people live with quite comfortably. Take the current coronavirus pandemic. Several decades ago, we would have seen death rates soar far higher than we have today. Without the rapid vaccine production, quality of healthcare, and antiviral drugs, things would have been much worse. In the not-too-distant future we see an end to the worst ailments such as cancer and heart disease.
In olden days, if you weren’t a straight, white male then you would be guaranteed to have a hard life. There is a huge worldwide history of racism, genocide, homophobia, misogyny, and discrimination that has led to the mistreatment, harm, and deaths of countless innocent people. In 2022, we have become a much more tolerant society. Of course, all these things still exist, but in most countries it’s common to see people of all genders, races, and identities in positions of power. Same-sex marriage is now legal in every US state, and you can even get a same-sex marriage green card if you want to emigrate from another country. Movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter are doing fantastic work in opposing intolerance and it’s not hard to imagine a future where we don’t need them any more.
The population has been rising since the start of humanity and has been putting greater and greater strain on our planet’s finite resources. Overpopulation is exhausting natural energy sources and leading to the destruction of wild places to create housing and cities. But there are signs that the global fertility rate is falling, which will eventually lead to a stabilization of the population. Things are moving gradually in the right direction.