Sometimes it's tough to have faith in humanity when all you hear about are the bad and negative things happening around the world. We tend to tune into the bad news more eagerly than the good news that's happening around us.
This article will revive your faith in humanity and highlights all the incredibly positive trends happening in the world today. We'll be looking at declining poverty rates, shrinking ozone holes, and countries that are hitting their climate change goals which will surely make your day a little brighter.
Chile Set Aside 11 Million Acres Of Land For National Parks
Chile just set aside the largest ever land donation from a private entity. There are 11 million acres of land bought from the government in Patagonia that's going to boost Chile's national parks by 38.5%.
The Chilean government also announced that they would be adding an additional nine million acres of wildlands as national parks as well. The clothing company Patagonia is the private investors behind this endeavor. They look to buy and restore as much as they possibly can to protect the Chilean land and then return it to the people.
The Ozone Hole Over Antarctica Shrank To Its Smallest Size Since 1988
If you were around in the '80s, you might recall the widespread fear over the ozone layer over Antarctica. The ozone basically acts as an atmospheric sunscreen that allows the earth to be hospitable.
NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been monitoring the ozone hole since it was discovered in 1985. The last time the ozone hole was as small as it is today was in 1988. Scientists are optimistic about the ozone hole eventually healing over time.
There's A New Vaccine That's Super Cheap And Can End Cholera
In 2018, the World Health Organization unveiled a new vaccine that's cheap and effective enough to end cholera. Most people don't know that cholera is one of humanity's greatest killers throughout time.
The WHO estimates that the treatment will save about 50 million lives as cholera is still an issue in 70 countries. It's exciting to know that some of the biggest threats to humanity today will be completely under control within the next 10 years thanks to science.
In China, People Living Below The Poverty Line Decreased From 99 Million to 43.4 Million
Economic inequality is a rising problem in emerging economies across the world except for China. According to a study which was done by Cornell University and Peking University, income inequality in China is falling. Chinese inequality reached an inflection point in 2010, but has steadily fallen since that time.
Government interventions that have set minimum-wage regulations and increases in social welfare programs have likely contributed to the fall in income inequality. Only 43.4 million people are living under the poverty line, which is down from 99 million.
Global Terrorism Deaths Have Dropped 22% Since 2014
Many people think that the height of global terrorism deaths was at the height of the Iraq war, but it was actually in 2014. Despite the increased number of countries seeing a terrorist attack, deaths from terrorism have dropped 22% since 2014 thanks to significant declines in four of the five most impacted countries — Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.
Collectively, these four countries recorded 33% fewer deaths. This is very good news for everyone.
In The United Kingdom, Carbon Emissions Fell To The Lowest Level Since 1894
The UK's carbon emission has fallen to about the same level as 1894, which was the year that the first petrol-powered car was invented, according to some new studies. According to the Carbon Brief, the amount of carbon dioxide sent into the atmosphere last year totaled 381 million tonnes compared to 382 million tonnes in 1894.
Much of this decrease is due to coal emissions in the area, that have slumped more than 50%. Wind farms are now producing more electricity than coal-fired power plants in the UK.
The United States' Official Poverty Rate Is At Its Lowest Level Since The Global Financial Crisis
Child poverty in the United States has dropped to a record low recently. The research was done by researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The child-poverty rate declined to 15.6 percent within the last two years, which is down from a post-recession high of 18.1% in 2012.
The highest it's been is 1967 when the child-poverty rate was 28.4%. The most recent drops in the child-poverty rate are due to a tighter labor market that has put many parents back to work.
In Saudi Arabia, Women Don't Need Male Permission To Travel Or Study Now
The new Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has been attempting to bring Saudi Arabia into the 21st century with some of the new laws he enacted. He's a controversial figure who encourages many points of criticism, but there are strides being made in the human rights department as of recently.
He said that women no longer need male permission to travel or study. Just a few months later, women received the right to drive as well.
The Cost Of Solar And Wind Power Dropped More Than 25% In 2017
Prices for new wind and solar plants continue to plunge at an astonishing pace. This is because of steadily improving technology and the use of auctions to set prices.
In the past 10 years, the price of wind and solar have dropped nearly 80% which is why building renewable energy sources is now cheaper than running old coal and nuclear plants. China deployed a staggering 54 gigawatts of solar in 2017, and have doubled its 2020 solar goal.
The Gender Pay Gap Is Narrowing Amongst The Next Generation Of Workers
The gender pay gap has continuously been narrowing since 1980. In 2018, women earned 85% of what men earned, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of hourly earnings of both full and part-time workers in the U.S.
Those numbers in contrast to the Census Bureau report in 2017 that saw women earn 80% of what their male colleagues made. The wage gap is even smaller with people ages 25-34 as it sits closer to 90 cents for every dollar.
Global Deaths From Tuberculosis Have Dropped 37%
The World Health Organization has recently agreed to take urgent action to end tuberculosis by 2030. Global efforts to combat the disease have saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced the mortality rate by 37%.
Many people don't know that tuberculosis still kills more people than any other infectious disease. There are major problems associated with antimicrobial resistance, and it is the leading killer of people with HIV. The WHO is working to increase universal health coverage and strengthen the health system.
Cancer Deaths Have Dropped By 25% Since 1991
It seems like cancer will be a horrible disease that we're all going to have to deal with for the rest of our lives. But, cancer deaths have been dropping dramatically thanks to innovations in treatments in the medical fields.
Cancer deaths have dropped 25% in the United States alone. Specifically, breast cancer deaths have fallen by 39%, which has saved the lives of 322,600 women in the process. That number is thankfully continuing to improve too.
Rates Of Violent And Property Crime Have Dropped 50% In The United States Since 1993
Using numbers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the violent crime rate has dropped about 50% between 1993 to now. Similar to violent crime, the U.S. property crime rate today is far below its peak level.
FBI data show that the rate fell by 50% between 1993 until today. Another study was done on this by the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports 69% during that span. Property crime includes burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft and is generally more common than violent crime.
Half Of All People With HIV Are Now Getting Treatment
A new update on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic offers "scorecards" for countries that highlight the successes and failures. One of the good things to note is that 19.5 million of the estimated 36.7 million people living with the virus now receive lifesaving antiretroviral drugs.
This is the first time in history that more than half of the infected people are being treated. The ARVs will stave off the disease and make people less likely to infect other people.
The Snow Leopard Population Has Officially Been Taken Off The Endangered List
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.
The status change followed a three-year assessment process by five international experts. To be on the endangered list, there has to be less than 2,500 of them and there needs to be a rapid decline in the population. This is incredible news, and it shows just how successful conservation efforts can be.
The US Is Back To Using The Same Amount Of Water As They Did In 1970
For a while in California and a few other states, there were devasting droughts plaguing their land. But, the droughts have mostly subsided and there is some good news about the water use in the U.S. According to a few recent studies, Americans are withdrawing water at the lowest levels since before 1970.
Thermoelectric power plants, which run on coal, natural gas, or solar, are the biggest water user in the country. But, they've cut water withdrawals by 20% which is one of the big reasons why we see less water being used.
Worldwide Cases Of Leprosy Have Dropped By 97%
Leprosy is now rather easy to treat thanks to modern medicine. Since 1985, the number of worldwide cases dropped by 97% and there's a new plan that has 2020 as the next target for eradicating the disease.
The progress against the disease reflects the larger gains against poverty and disease which is probably the most important trend today. This is one of the most drastic success stories that almost no one hears about in the news.
Six EU Countries Hit Their Climate Change Targets Early
Six European Union member states have already hit their climate change targets much earlier than they were expected to. The European Commission set targets for each country from a 2005 baseline, according to their relative wealth and capacity for making reductions.
Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, Portugal, and Romania were already emitting less than their 2030 allocations back in 2014. The EU has passed its 2020 emissions target already which is thanks to the clean energy and efficiency policies.
50 Countries Have Ambitions To Use 100% Clean Energy By 2050
Nearly 50 countries who are vulnerable to climate change have agreed to use only renewable energy by 2050. The Climate Vulnerable Forum was set up in 2009 and is made up of countries that are disproportionately affected by climate change.
The members, including countries like Ethiopia, Marshall Islands, and Bangladesh, agreed to make their energy production 100 percent renewable and as rapidly as possible between 2030 and 2050 at the latest. The forum also said they would help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Life Expectancy Has Increased Nearly 7 Years Since 1990
People are living much longer worldwide than they were two decades ago, as death rates from infectious diseases and heart disease have fallen. There have been great strides toward improving mortality rates from diseases such as measles and diarrhea, with 83% and 51% reductions respectively.
In fact, life expectancy, in general, has increased by seven years since 1990. It increased in both sexes from 65.3 years to 72.5 years today. By 2030, life expectancy for females is said to be around 85.3 years and male life expectancy will be 78.1 years.