The real news is good news.
Weapons of mass destruction, pandemic diseases, intense competition for diminishing energy and resources, threats of financial collapse, threats to our global environment, and widespread anxiety and depression. We are bombarded with reports of worsening disasters confronting humanity and our ecosystem. While to some people, these possibilities signal the beginning of the end, to others, they are jut the most recent challenges facing life on Earth. Another, more hopeful, way to see these events is from the perspective of the Epic of Evolution. In this light, the long term trends are much more heartening. In the past 2000 years, the blink of an eye in geologic time, humans have made tremendous strides toward improved health, decreased violence, increasingly humane treatment of animals, increasing awareness for environment, improved justice for people, increased charity, and increased awareness of problems (the first step in solving them).
My point is not to diminish the problems that humanity and Earth face or that we can sit back and feel confident that things will improve without our involvement. It is rather to show how when we act in alignment with the forces of nature and of evolution, we can overcome these problems, just as we have in the past. And the really good news is that now we have much better tools than ever before to deal with some of these problems. The growing awareness of these problems will lead to their solutions.
Following is a list of the good news of humans progress over the past 2000 years.
- Increasing understanding and eradication of disease
- Infant mortality rate going down, many parts of world.
- Life expectancy going up, in many parts of world
- World attention is increasingly focused on infectious disease.
- Wars down -
- Peace on Earth? Increasingly, Yes. Political violence has declined since the end of the Cold War. By Andrew Mack, The Washington Post 1-1-06.
- In 2003, there were 40 percent fewer conflicts than in 1992. “The deadliest conflicts those with 1,000 or more battle-deaths fell by some 80 percent. The number of genocides and other mass slaughters of civilians also dropped by 80 percent, while core human rights abuses have declined in five out of six regions of the developing world since the mid-1990s.
- Political violence down
- Domestic violence going down
Care For Environment
- Awareness of Global climate change going up
- Cuyahoga River, burning with pollutants in the 1960s, is no longer flammable
- Some species removed from the Endangered Species List: the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and the gray wolf.
- Scientists and evangelical leaders have come together to solve environmental problems.
- Concern for environment considered patriotic by growing number of people.
- Scientists at B612, NASA and elsewhere are working to deflect a meteor like one that caused the dinosaurs to go extinct. Asteroid Apophis may have near approach to Earth on April 13, 2036.
Humane Treatment of Animals
- Growing concern for animal survival and welfare
- Cosmetic and health testing using animals decreasing
- Vegetarians Up (1 billion + in India)
- Growing awareness for plight of tigers
- Countries with democracies on increase
- Slavery no longer condoned by any country
- Women have vote in most countries
- Homosexuality is out of the closet and celebrated in increasing number of places
- US gave $248 billion to charity 2005 (most ever)
- $3.12 billion = hurricane relief
- $1.78 billion = tsunami relief more than ever to overseas (Time 12-26-05)
- US Government - Antiretroviral drugs for 400,000 Africans, $15 billion/5 years
- European Gov’t Immunizations over 10 years for $10 billion
- Bill and Melinda Gates giving $29 billion endowment - “When the history of global health is written, the tipping point will be Bill and Melinda Gates.” ~ Dr. William Foege, former head of CDC.
- Saved 700,000 lives through vaccinations (Time 1-26-05)
- Spends almost as much a WHO
- Most important global health organization in the world
- Internet Access to 11,000 libraries
- 9048 scholarships to high-achieving minorities
- Ted Turner began billion dollar philanthropy with $1 billion gift to UN
- Bono Effect - Celebrity leverage of giving
- $80 billion to poor nations
- Live Aid Concert
- Philanthropy is the new style
Without awareness of problems, there can be no solution. At first, awareness of a problem is distressing, yet it’s better to sense the fire and move away than to be unaware of it and get burned. The good news is that our awareness is growing exponentially.
- The Internet is increasing people’s awareness of all kinds of problems.
- Computer modeling, that is now used to ever more accurately predict the weather, will be used to help solve crushing poverty and to track and end infectious disease.
- Improvements in education.
- Increasing spirituality
- Billions of people are deepening their awareness through spiritual practices within traditional religions and outside of religions.
- The hit movie "The Secret" shows millions that where attention goes, energy flows.