Reason for Optimism

While yesterday’s post (No exaggeration: too many children are dying in U.S.) highlighted the numerous unnecessary childhood deaths in this country and previous posts have discussed the drop in life expectancy in this country, there are still reasons for optimism.

It has been said that newspapers/news programs never report on the thousands of airplanes that don’t crash everyday.  Similarly, it is easy to think that with so many challenges that we face everyday that the world is falling apart.  A recent NY Times commentary by Nicholas Kristof points out that 2018 was in fact the best year ever.

Why 2018 Was the Best Year in Human History!

An excerpt:

[In 2018] Each day on average, about another 295,000 people around the world gained access to electricity for the first time, according to Max Roser of Oxford University and his Our World in Data website. Every day, another 305,000 were able to access clean drinking water for the first time. And each day an additional 620,000 people were able to get online for the first time.

Never before has such a large portion of humanity been literate, enjoyed a middle-class cushion, lived such long lives, had access to family planning or been confident that their children would survive…

Child deaths are becoming far less common. Only about 4 percent of children worldwide now die by the age of 5. That’s still horrifying, but it’s down from 19 percent in 1960 and 7 percent in 2003…

Until about the 1950s, a majority of humans had always lived in “extreme poverty,” defined as less than about $2 a person per day. When I was a university student in the early 1980s, 44 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. Now, fewer than 10 percent of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty, as adjusted for inflation.

My take: This commentary points out that worldwide people are living longer and living better.

From Golden Gulch Trail, Death Valley

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