In a world filled with instantaneous information, it’s easy to become pessimistic. You see a lot of bad stuff happening as soon as you log on to your computer—earthquakes, tornadoes, Justin Bieber concerts.
Seriously, according to “Cheer Up,” which appeared in the April ’12 Reader’s Digest, “The world has never been a better place to live in.” Here are some of the reasons listed:
1) We’re living better. “Compared with 50 years ago, the average human now earns nearly three times as much money (corrected for inflation), eats one third more calories and can expect to live one third longer.
2) Poverty is on the downswing. “Between 1980 and 2000 the poor doubled their consumption. The Chinese are 10 times richer and live about 25 years longer than they did 50 years ago.”
3) Necessities cost less. It’s true, even with gas at $4 a gallon. Get this: “In 1800 a candle providing one hour’s light cost six hours’ work.“
4) The environment is getting cleaner. “In the U.S. rivers, lakes, seas and air are getting cleaner.... A car today emits less pollution traveling at full speed than a parked car did from leaks in 1970.
5) Overpopulation doesn’t really exist. “Although the world population is growing, the rate of increase has been falling for 50 years. Across the globe, national birth rates are lower now than in 1960, and in the less developed world, the birth rate has approximately halved.
6) Oil is not scarce. The latest studies on the Earth’s energy, which includes tar sands and oil shale, show that oil, coal and gas will last for decades, if not centuries—and we will find alternatives long before they run out.
7) We live in a most prosperous time period. “This generation has experienced more peace, freedom, leisure time, education, medicine and travel than any in history.”
There were 10 more points highlighted in the article, but those were at the top of the list. Apparently, the good old days weren’t that good after all. Today is better than yesterday in most respects, so cheer up!