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.
Even more amazing, our environmental footprint is improving, often dramatically. In the U.S. electrical utilities have cut their green house gas emissions by 40% since 2005.
But all we hear from politicians and the media is gloom and doom, and bad news upon bad news. In fact, most of their fear mongering is misleading at best and is often outright lies.
Unfortunately, such propaganda messaging leads entire populations to believe in things that are not true. For example, a majority of voters aged 18-34 in the U.S. think humanity may be extinct within ten years, even though there is zero evidence to support such wild claims. This, however, illustrates the power of propaganda to persuade people to believe in things that are not true.