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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Cheer up!

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 09:56 am

Instead of fighting over politics are religion today, what if we just celebrate a little good news? If we look at the most important indicators of human well-being, especially in the poor countries over the last decade, we can see results that are more than encouraging. In fact, we can see that human conditions are improving with remarkable speed.

There have been a 15.1 percent increase in GDP per capita and a 28.4 percent decline in infant mortality. Life expectancy is up 3.6 percent. There has been a 31.5 percent decline in the depth of the food deficit. The number of undernourished persons has declined 22.5 percent, and there has been a 20 percent decline in the number of undernourished persons as a percentage of the population.

No wild celebrations are called for yet, but those numbers are a reason for optimism:

Obviously, the world is not a perfect place. As long as there are people who go hungry or die from preventable diseases, there will always be room for improvement. But, a realistic picture of the human condition should compare the imperfect present with a much more imperfect past (rather than with an imagined utopia in the future) and acknowledge the progress that humanity has already made.

There are a couple of serious problems that need tackling but which are certainly within our power to address — the availability of potable water and the uneven distribution of food. We have all the technology we need for the former. For the latter, the world produces more than enough food to go around; we just have to figure out how to get it where it needs to be.

If we tackled those two problems with half the passion and dedication we have wasted on "global climate change," we could truly make the world a much better place.

ELSEWHERE IN THE NEWS

Spiders could theoretically eat every human on Earth in one year: "The world's spiders consume somewhere between 400 million and 800 million tons of prey in any given year. That means that spiders eat at least as much meat as all 7 billion humans on the planet combined, who the authors note consume about 400 million tons of meat and fish each year."

Common sense breaks out in the darndest places: The Democratic mayor of Baltimore vetoes a $15 minimum wage bill.

Some bioethicists think 75 years is enough for anybody. If you reach that age, you have a duty to die and get out of the way.

One of the Donald's best moves so far: President Obama's climate change policies have been scrapped. Yeah, OK, I hate the planet, blah, blah, blah.

Scottish lawmakers back independence referendum call. British voters OK'd Brexit, but Scottish voters want to stay in the EU. So . . . they want "independence" so they can become a part of an even bigger empire than Great Britain. Makes complete sense to me.

This $56,199 per year campus offers "self-identified white students" a safe place in which to feel guilty.

Say hello to my little friend. Three would-be burglars enter Oklahoma home and are greeted by the owner's teenage son wielding an AR-15. End of story.

For the "well, duh" file: Children have a stable home environment and perform better at school if the biological father lives with the family.

You know how crosswalk lights all have depictions of male figures crossing. Damn sexist, isn't it? Well, help is on the way in Australia:

But a civic group called the Committee for Melbourne decided to help make its world a little better through images. It has convinced the city to change crosswalk lights to show a female figure walking to erase the possibility of gender bias and attune future generations to picture females crossing the street or doing anything the same as males.

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