You know, some people have quite a bit invested in convincing you that things are getting worse, that we are going to hell in a hand-basket, or even that the world is going to end.
Well, they’re wrong. By almost every measure, 2012 was the best year ever. Seriously.
Never has there been less hunger in the world, less disease, or more prosperity. Yes, the economies in western nations are a bit stagnant, but that is no surprise given how well they have done over the last few decades. Instead, economies in former third-world nations are doing great, and people all over the world are being lifted out of poverty in record numbers. Global inequality is lower now than at any point in modern times.
In 1990, the UN set a goal to reduce the number of people in extreme poverty by 2015. That target was passed in 2008. Life expectancy is going up all over the world. Indeed, in Africa the average life expectancy went from 50 to 55 years in the last ten years alone. The number of people dying from diseases like AIDS and Malaria is dropping.
Even western economies aren’t so bad. First world economies grew by six percent in the last seven years. Ironically, fossil fuel consumption in those same countries fell by four percent in the same time. Most of that drop was fueled by consumer demand for more efficient cars (driven by high gas prices), and lower energy use (including by more efficient light bulbs).
Incredibly, energy prices are also falling because we live in a time of energy abundance, not just from alternative sources, but because of breakthroughs in tapping conventional resources.
Violent crime rates have been going down. And deaths due to war have been lower in the last decade than any time in the last century.
Politicians and the media have a lot invested in keeping you afraid. Don’t listen. While things are not perfect (and probably will never be) life in general is the best it has ever been. Rejoice in the world. It is a wonderful place and with the right attitude, we can make it even better.