Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Five Charts That Show We Are on the Brink of an Unthinkable Financial Crisis- John_Mauldin
2.Bitcoin Parabolic Mania - Zeal_LLC
3.Bitcoin Doesn’t Exist – 2 - Raul_I_Meijer
4.Best Time / Month of Year to BUY a USED Car is DECEMBER, UK Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Labour Sheffield City Council Election Panic Could Prompt Suspension of Tree Felling's Private Security - N_Walayat
6.War on Gold Intensifies: It Betrays the Elitists’ Panic and Augurs Their Coming Defeat Part2 - Stewart_Dougherty
7.How High Will Gold Go? - Harry_Dent
8.Bitcoin Doesn’t Exist – Forks and Mad Max - Raul_I_Meijer
9.UK Stagflation Risk As Inflation Hits 3.1% and House Prices Fall - GoldCore
10.New EU Rules For Cross-Border Cash, Gold Bullion Movements - GoldCore
Last 7 days
Why Banks Will Be Slammed In The Next Crisis—And That May Be Good News - 23rd Jan 18
Medicare Premiums Are A Shared Pool - Coming Changes That Will Transform Retirement - 23rd Jan 18
Charged Atmosphere of Heavy Police and Security Presence at Sheffield Street Tree Felling Protests - 23rd Jan 18
Pension Crisis And Deficit of £2.6 Billion At Carillion To Impact UK - 22nd Jan 18
Two Factors for Gold That You Don’t Want to Miss - 22nd Jan 18
Why You Must Own Silver in 2018 - 22nd Jan 18
This Could Be The Hottest Mining Stock Of 2018 - 22nd Jan 18
Stock Index Trend Trade Setups for the SP500 & NASDAQ - 22nd Jan 18
Stock Market Deceleration / Distribution - 22nd Jan 18
US Markets vs Govt Shutdown: Stock Markets at all time highs - 22nd Jan 18
Land Rover Discovery Sport - 1 Month Driving Test Review - 22nd Jan 18
Why should you use high-quality YouTube to mp3 converter? - 22nd Jan 18
Silver As Strategic Metal: Why Its Price Will Soar - 21st Jan 18
Stocks, Gold and Interest Rates Three Amigos Ride On - 21st Jan 18
Why Sometimes, "Beating the S&P 500" Isn't Good Enough - 21st Jan 18
Bunnies and Geckos of Sheffield Street Tree Fellings Protests Explained - 21st Jan 18
Jim Rickards: Next Financial Panic Will Be the Biggest of All, with Only One Place to Turn… - 20th Jan 18
Macro Trend Changes for Gold in 2018 and Beyond - Empire Club of Canada - 20th Jan 18
Top 5 Trader Information Sources for Timely, Successful Investing - 20th Jan 18
Bond Market Bear Creating Gold Bull Market - 19th Jan 18
Gold Stocks GDX $25 Breakout on Earnings - 19th Jan 18
SPX is Higher But No Breakout - 19th Jan 18
Game Changer for Bitcoin - 19th Jan 18
Upside Risk for Gold in 2018 - 19th Jan 18
Money Minute - A 60-second snapshot of the UK Economy - 19th Jan 18
Discovery Sport Real MPG Fuel Economy Vs Land Rover 53.3 MPG Sales Pitch - 19th Jan 18
For Americans Buying Gold and Silver: Still a Big U.S. Pricing Advantage - 19th Jan 18
5 Maps And Charts That Predict Geopolitical Trends In 2018 - 19th Jan 18
North Korean Quagmire: Part 2. Bombing, Nuclear Threats, and Resolution - 19th Jan 18
Complete Guide On Forex Trading Market - 19th Jan 18
Bitcoin Crash Sees Flight To Physical Gold Coins and Bars - 18th Jan 18
The Interest Rates Are What Matter In This Market - 18th Jan 18
Crude Oil Sweat, Blood and Tears - 18th Jan 18
Land Rover Discovery Sport - Week 3 HSE Black Test Review - 18th Jan 18
The North Korea Quagmire: Part 1, A Contest of Colonialism and Communism - 18th Jan 18
Understand Currency Trade and Make Plenty of Money - 18th Jan 18
Bitcoin Price Crash Below $10,000. What's Next? We have answers… - 18th Jan 18
How to Trade Gold During Second Half of January, Daily Cycle Prediction - 18th Jan 18
More U.S. States Are Knocking Down Gold & Silver Barriers - 18th Jan 18
5 Economic Predictions for 2018 - 18th Jan 18
Land Rover Discovery Sport - What You Need to Know Before Buying - Owning Week 2 - 17th Jan 18
Bitcoin and Stock Prices, Both Symptoms of Speculative Extremes! - 17th Jan 18
So That’s What Stock Market Volatility Looks Like - 17th Jan 18
Tips On Choosing the Right Forex Dealer - 17th Jan 18
Crude Oil is Starting 2018 Strong but there's Undeniable Risk to the Downside - 16th Jan 18
SPX, NDX, INDU and RUT Stock Indices all at Resistance Levels - 16th Jan 18
Silver Prices To Surge – JP Morgan Has Acquired A “Massive Quantity of Physical Silver” - 16th Jan 18
Carillion Bankruptcy and the PFI Sector Spiraling Costs Crisis, Amey, G4S, Balfour Beatty, Serco.... - 16th Jan 18
Artificial Intelligence - Extermination of Humanity - 16th Jan 18
Carillion Goes Bust, as Government Refuses to Bailout PFI Contractors Debt and Pensions Liabilities - 15th Jan 18
What Really Happens in Iran?  - 15th Jan 18
Stock Market Near an Intermediate Top? - 15th Jan 18
The Key Economic Indicator You Should Watch in 2018 - 15th Jan 18
London Property Market Crash Looms As Prices Drop To 2 1/2 Year Low - 15th Jan 18
Some Fascinating Stock Market Fibonacci Relationships... - 15th Jan 18

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

6 Critical Money Making Rules

20 Positive Trends That Will Make You Feel Good About the World in 2018

Politics / Social Issues Dec 21, 2017 - 10:53 AM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Politics

I’m probably one of the most optimistic people you will ever meet. I’m confident in the future of humanity. But I also recognize that we must overcome many challenges to get to the future we ultimately want.

In other words, I try to stay balanced.

For whatever reason, we tend to tune into bad news more eagerly than we do good news. The media is partly to blame, because murders, fires, and nasty weather sell advertising. But something deeper is at work.


It’s an instinctive bias toward watchfulness for danger. This behavior makes perfect sense as the consequences of ignoring bad news are higher. On the other hand, it distorts our collective perception of reality, which creates all sorts of consequences.

Overcoming this bias takes an intentional effort, and to mark the holidays, I’m going to help you do it.

I ran across a great list from the Future Crunch website recently: “99 Reasons 2017 Was a Great Year.”  Here, I’ll list some of the best things that happened this year and add my own comments.

Breakthroughs in Medicine

1. This year, the World Health Organization unveiled a new vaccine that’s cheap and effective enough to end cholera, one of humanity’s greatest-ever killers. New York Times

2. Cancer deaths have dropped by 25% in the United States since 1991, saving more than two million lives. Breast cancer deaths have fallen by 39%, saving the lives of 322,600 women. Time

3. In July, UNAIDS revealed that for the first time in history, half of all people on the planet with HIV are now getting treatment, and AIDS deaths have dropped by half since 2005. Science 

4. Leprosy is now easily treatable. The number of worldwide cases has dropped by 97% since 1985, and a new plan has set 2020 as the target for eradicating the disease. New York Times (Seriously, did you read that? That’s awesome!)

5. And on November 17, WHO announced that global deaths from tuberculosis have fallen by 37% since 2000, saving an estimated 53 million lives.

I'm bullish on all kinds of life-extension technologies. I really expect to live well beyond age 100 with all my faculties intact.

One by one, killer diseases like cholera are giving way to humanity’s fast-growing medical knowledge. Some of the greatest threats to human beings will be essentially under control within 10 years: Heart disease, arteriosclerosis, cirrhosis, you name it, will have mainstream cures.

And don’t even get me started on induced tissue regeneration, which has the potential to reverse your body's aging to the point where you will be—oh, pick an age—let’s say, 25 again, but with all of the experience you have today. 

All these developments are wonderful news from a human standpoint, but also economically. Think of all the potential genius and innovation the world never sees because disease robs it from us. By preserving these lives, we enhance everyone’s life.

A Beautiful World

6. Chile set aside 11 million acres of land for national parks in Patagonia, following the largest-ever private land donation from a private entity to a country. Smithsonian

7. A province in Pakistan announced it has planted one billion trees in two years, in response to the terrible floods of 2015. Independent

8. Cameroon committed to restoring over 12 million hectares of forest in the Congo Basin, and Brazil started a project to plan 73 million trees, the largest tropical reforestation project in history. Fast Co.

9. In 2017, the ozone hole over Antarctica shrank to its smallest size since 1988, the year Bobby McFerrin topped the charts with “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” CNET

Nations and individuals increasingly set aside land for preservation and replant trees by the millions.

The United States is now the major supplier of wood for the United States, and all from renewable areas. We now have more 9 billion more cubic feet of trees in the US than we did in 1953!

That’s 50% more than we had 60 years ago (US Agricultural Service). And the trend is not happening just in the US; Europe and other areas of the world are seeing a real upturn in the growth of forests.

In 1630, roughly half of this country was forest. Today the figure is about 35%, but the bulk of that loss came during the 1800s. Since 1900, we’ve seen overall growth in forests to the point that today we have 820 million acres covered in trees.

Up from Poverty

10. The International Energy Agency announced that nearly 1.2 billion people around the world have gained access to electricity in the last 16 years.

11. In the last three years, the number of people in China living below the poverty line decreased from 99 million to 43.4 million. And since 2010, Chinese income inequality has been falling steadily. Quartz

12. The United States’ official poverty rate is now 12.7%, the lowest level since the end of the global financial crisis. And the child-poverty rate has reached an all-time low, dropping to 15.6%. The Atlantic

Since the turn of the century some 1.2 billion people have gained access to electricity. That’s one of the first steps out of poverty. All the modern technologies that enrich our lives and wallets need electricity to work. 

It may be surprising that 12.7% of Americans live below the poverty line. Of course, we define poverty differently than much of the rest of the world does, but we still leave too many people behind through no fault of their own. 

Much remains to be done, but I think we've at least noticed the problem now. That’s the first step to fixing it.

The rich are also getting richer. The number of households with a net worth of $1 million (measured in 1995 dollars) grew from 2.4 million in 1983 to 10.8 million in the latest survey in 2017, far outpacing average household income growth.

As a nation, I know we worry a great deal about wealth and income inequality, but in general, we are all getting better.

Endless Energy

13. In the United Kingdom, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, carbon emissions fell to the lowest levels since 1894, and on April 21 the country did not burn any coal, for the first time in 140 years. UK Independent

14. The cost of solar and wind power plummeted by more than 25% in 2017, shifting the global clean energy industry on its axis. Think Progress

The cost of solar has been plummeting 20–25% a year for years now. By 2030, at the latest, we will not be building any natural gas power plants, other than in areas that receive very little solar energy. There are many places in the world where this is possible now with our current technology. But with the improvements that are coming down the pike? Oh my.

15. A new report from the European Union said that between 1990 and 2016 the continent cut its carbon emissions by 23% while the economy grew by 53%. So much for the propaganda of fossil fuel lobbyists.

Something marvelous happened in the UK this year, when that country burned no coal at all on April 21st —the first such day since 1877. How is that even possible? Renewable energy sources are finally stating to show the capacity to displace fossil fuels. That doesn’t mean coal, oil, and gas will disappear in the near future. They’ll still have a place, but as parts of a bigger and cleaner energy menu.

Further, the world’s biggest polluter, China, is beginning to acknowledge the danger and discomfort of living in polluted cities. They are planning to spend $367 billion on renewable energy by 2020 and to make renewable energy 20% of China’s total energy supply by 2030. 

Better Life

16. Saudi Arabia said women would no longer need male permission to travel or study. A few months later, women received the right to drive. BBC

I like this new Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Not saying it’s all rainbows and ponies, but he is doing his best to pull Saudi Arabia into the 21st century. 

17. New figures showed that the gender pay gap in the United States has narrowed from 36% in 1980 to 17% today. For young women the gap has narrowed even further, and now stands at 10%. Pew Research

18. Global deaths from terrorism dropped by 22% from their peak in 2014, thanks to significant declines in four of the five countries most impacted: Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. ReliefWeb

19. Rates of violent crime and property crime have dropped by around 50% in the United States since 1990, yet a majority of people still believe they have gotten worse. Pew Research

20. Snow leopards have been on the endangered list since 1972. In 2017, they were taken off, as the wild population has now increased to more than 10,000 animals. BBC

Sometimes humanity is its own worst enemy.

The things people do to each other through war, crime, or simple disrespect hold back progress for everyone. But 2017 brought some improvements.

We see women and minority groups gaining new recognition and equality. Terrorism deaths and crime rates have fallen. Some endangered species have recovered.

Cleaner Water and Air

There is good news on this front, too. As you can see in the chart below, we are using roughly the same amount of water in the US as we did back in 1970, but the population has grown by almost 50%. 

We are producing vastly more food, generating more hydroelectric energy, and doing more of all the other things that can only be done with water.


Source: USGS Water Science School

And if you go to the EPA website, you find that carbon monoxide emissions are down 77% since 1990; lead in the air is down 99%; total nitrogen dioxide is down over 50%; particulate matter emissions are down on average about 44%; and sulfur dioxide is down 85%. And that’s just in the last 25 years.

Some of us with a few gray hairs on our heads remember flying into this Los Angeles and not being able to see the city or the Valley for the smog.

Again, you can read the full list for more good news. I might quibble with the authors on some items, as they represent government interventions that may have negative side effects, but most of the 99 items represent welcome progress.

Get one of the world’s most widely read investment newsletters… free

Sharp macroeconomic analysis, big market calls, and shrewd predictions are all in a week’s work for visionary thinker and acclaimed financial expert John Mauldin. Since 2001, investors have turned to his Thoughts from the Frontline to be informed about what’s really going on in the economy. Join hundreds of thousands of readers, and get it free in your inbox every week.

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2018 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules