• Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that there has definitely been significant human progress in many parts of the world – dramatic drops in infant mortality, neonatal and obstetric deaths, cancer mortality, and poverty.  Nicholas Kristof writes about this in his “This May Be the Most Important Thing Happening in the World Today” opinion piece in the NY Times.  Some excerpts:

“We happen to live in a transformational era in which 96 percent of the world’s children now survive until adulthood…

…But one reason the world doesn’t do more to help poor countries is exhaustion, a sense that nothing works. I fear that misperception is driven partly by journalists like me, and by aid workers, advocates and other bleeding hearts.

We pounce upon crises, so what the public hears about in Africa is carnage in Sudan, hunger in Somalia and massacres in Ethiopia. Those are real problems that deserve more attention, not less — but we don’t do enough to illuminate the backdrop of gains in health, education and well-being.

Many people believe that global poverty is hopeless — 87 percent said in a 2016 survey that poverty had stayed the same or gotten worse over the previous two decades — while in fact the share of the world’s people living in extreme poverty has plunged from 38 percent in 1990 to about 8 percent now.”