We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously


The end of the year is often a time for reflection. The end of a decade doubly so. As we look back at the 2010s, it's hard to shake the feeling that the second decade of the 21st century was a bad one. We are constantly seeing negative stories stories- deaths of women and children in needless wars, senseless acts of terrorism that seem to be a common occurrence, a climate crisis that is only getting worse, a growing socioeconomic divide, a partisan political environment that isn't addressing any of the real problems facing society and more. It's easy to be a pessimist. Well, Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, is here to remind you that "we’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously,"

We are living through the greatest improvement in human living standards in history. Extreme poverty has fallen below 10 per cent of the world’s population for the first time. It was 60 per cent when I was born. Global inequality has been plunging as Africa and Asia experience faster economic growth than Europe and North America; child mortality has fallen to record low levels; famine virtually went extinct; malaria, polio and heart disease are all in decline.
As we enter the third decade of this century, I’ll make a prediction: by the end of it, we will see less poverty, less child mortality, less land devoted to agriculture in the world. There will be more tigers, whales, forests and nature reserves. Britons will be richer, and each of us will use fewer resources. The global political future may be uncertain, but the environmental and technological trends are pretty clear — and pointing in the right direction.


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