15 facts that remind you that the world is not THAT terrible

  Credit:  Kaboompics

Credit: Kaboompics

Based on a quick look at the news, it's clear to see that an awful lot is going on in the world these days. Unfortunately, most of what we see is negative and this can be quite overwhelming for our mental health.

However, the holidays are coming up so I want to start the festive season on a at-least-not-so-damn-depressing note. Yep, I guess even I'm buying into this positivity stuff. Sorta.

Anyway, here are 15 facts that will remind you that, contrary to how the news portrays it, the world really isn't that awful. Enjoy!

Happy Facts

1. It’s a bit of an old statistic, but a reminder can never hurt. According to recent estimates, nearly half a billion people across the developing world have escaped $1.25-a-day poverty between 2005 and 2010. Never before have so many people been lifted out of poverty over such a brief period of time (especially in China). Source.

2. I couldn’t find data for this year, but in 2016 there was (globally) more net-power generating capacity added from renewable resources than from all other power sources combined. My guess is that this trend only continued on its course in 2017. Source.

3. Continuing on the theme of renewable energy, solar output in the United States rose 47% for the first three quarters of 2017. Source.

4. From 1990 to 2012, there was a 44% decrease in primary-school-aged children that were out of school. Although there are still a worryingly high amount of these kids out of school, the rate of improvement is very encouraging. Source.

5. The mortality rate of children below the age of five has fallen by more than half since 1990. This translates to saving the lives of more than 50 million children. Source.

6. Breast cancer awareness and treatment seem to be working. Breast cancer deaths dropped by nearly 40% in the US from 1989 to 2015. Remember ladies, keep doing your regular check-ups! Source.

7. A staggering 1.2 billion people gained access to electricity since 2000. Curiously, 500 million of these were in India. Source.

8. It seems like we're doing a lot better with drunk driving as well. Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began recording alcohol-related statistics in 1982, the number of individuals under 21 killed in drunk driving crashes decreased 80% from the record high of 5,215 in 1982 to 1,031 in 2016. Source.

9. A Pakistani province planted one billion trees in just two years to deal with persistent flooding problems in the region. Source.

10. Kenya and Chile have banned plastic bags. In the case of Kenya, it ruled with an iron fist on the matter by banning the production, sale, and even use of those annoying environmental hazards. The Chileans, meanwhile, passed legislation banning the sale of single-use plastic bags in 102 coastal villages and towns. Source and Source.

T’is the season to be merry.

11. Money, money, money. Insurers have pulled around $20bn worth of investments in just two years from coal-intensive businesses. Investment money continues to leave industries that are harming the planet. Source.  

12. More climate change! Car company Volvo announced that starting in 2019, it will produce only electric or hybrid cars. Competitors Volkswagen and GM announced similar moves. Source.

13. Yet more car/driving related news! For the first time in history, women are now allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Source.

14. To champion the virtues of my country of birth, the Netherlands has closed down a remarkable 27 prisons since 2014 due to a lack of prisoners. Source.

15. Since all you need is love in this season of joy, let's close on a romantic note. In 1967, the rate of interracial marriage in the United States was a mere 3%. This rate increased by more than five times to 17% in 2015. Source.

Before any trolls give me stick, yes, I completely cherry-picked facts for this post. That was the damn point. I picked only positive facts because I’m trying to bring “a glimmer of hope” to the people reading. Anyway, if you want more positive facts/trends, please check out this link and this link, which were key inspirations for this post. Also, please let me know if I misstated any of these statistics so that I can correct them.

Usually I'm not this melodramatic/cheesy, but I'll make an exception just this once because it's Christmas. Therefore, my dear friends, as we come to the end of this calendar year and prepare to begin a new one, always remember that:

All you need is love.

See you, Space Cowboy.