Slices | October 30, 2013
Despite on-going wars, poverty and environmental concerns, according to a new report, “The world is becoming more prosperous, cleaner, increasingly peaceful and healthier.” In his upcoming book, How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World, Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomborg looked at measurable metrics like deaths from war, life expectancy and education rates, and found that there has never been a time in human history that globally, people have fared so well on average. Though problems like illiteracy, lack of access to healthcare resources, war and extreme poverty are still major issues for many people around the world, statistically the numbers of people facing these challenges are lower (for the most part) than they have ever been.
Even in recent decades, there have been observable improvements: In developing countries, deaths resulting from lack of clean water dropped 1.5 in every 1,000 (in 1950) to .4 in 1,000 today; from 2000 to 2011 alone, the average life expectancy in Africa increased by six years; the global rate of illiteracy is the lowest it has ever been; the world’s child mortality rate is expected to be reduced by half by the year 2050. Lomborg says that because of factors like global capitalism, technological advances and an overall lower tolerance toward acts of violence, conditions around the planet have been continually improving … Discuss