leave behind pessimism

These comments and excerpts come from my last two blogs on Lose Those News Blues and Leave the Dark Side: The World’s Never Been Better and Don’t Start the New Year Losing Touch With Reality

“In Christian tradition, the four horsemen of Famine, Pestilence, War, and Death usher in the apocalypse. Compared to 100 years ago, deaths from infectious diseases are way down; wars are rarer and kill fewer people; and malnutrition has steeply declined. Death itself is in retreat, and the apocalypse has never looked further away.”
– Ronald Bailey, Impending Defeat for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, HumanProgress

“The challenges facing the human family right now are big and scary and there’s no guarantee we will overcome them. However, stories are powerful, and right now the ones that matter are getting lost in the noise, overshadowed by the drumbeat of doom. It’s high time we changed the narrative.”
– Angus Hervey, 99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About In 2019, FutureCrunch

“You hear about this stuff a lot less because articles and television segments about these developments don’t make you more likely to respond in the comments section, more likely to share on social media, more likely to call into a talk radio program, or more likely to vote for a particular candidate. It doesn’t make you believe that the world is full of people who are being unfair to you, that you’re a victim, or that other people are responsible for your problems.”
– The World Is Getting Better. It’s Just That No One Tells You About It, Jim Geraghty, National Review

“Not only are most apocalyptic claims we’ve grown accustomed to not true, the reality is that things are getting betterProgress means that things are getting better — even in the areas our friends and family worry about the most. Our views on the state of the world are decades behind. We need an update and an infusion of data-rich realism.”
– Joakim Book, Worldviews Are Pessimistic Because They Are Outdated, HumanProgress

“Even though we no longer live among large predators, evolution has not removed our negativity bias. We pay attention to problems, threats and disasters, which is why we pay attention to the crime, war and disaster served up by the media.”
– Henry Edwards, The Daily Better: 365 Reasons for Optimism

“The foretellers of ruin have consistently been wrong, whereas the advocates of human resourcefulness have nearly always been right. So instead of ecological collapse, I predict that humanity can look hopefully forward in the twenty-first century to an age of environmental renewal.”
– Ronald Bailey, The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century

“Ratchet, hatchet, pivot; ratchet, hatchet, pivot. In every cycle, the stakes get higher, as our species expands in numbers and in the extent of its reach across the world. In every cycle, new obstacles emerge. And in every cycle, millennium after millennium, humanity as a whole has muddled through.”
– Ruth DeFries, The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis

“Today, the drumbeat has become a cacophony. The generation that has experienced more peace, freedom, leisure time, education, medicine, travel, movies, mobile phones, and massages than any generation in history is lapping up gloom at every opportunity.”
– Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

“Those who sow fear about a dreadful prophecy may be seen as serious and responsible, while those who are measured are seen as complacent and naïve. Despair springs eternal. At least since the Hebrew prophets and the Book of Revelation, seers have warned their contemporaries about an imminent doomsday. Forecasts of End Times are a staple of psychics, mystics, televangelists, nut cults, founders of religions, and men pacing the sidewalk with sandwich boards saying ‘Repent!'”
– Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

“The truth is that the good old days were awful. Despite what we hear on the news and from many authorities, the great story of our era is that we are witnessing the greatest improvement in global living standards ever to take place.”
– Johan Norberg, Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future

“Factfulness is…recognizing when frightening things get our attention, and remembering that these are not necessarily the most risky. Our natural fears of violence, captivity, and contamination make us systematically overestimate these risks.”
– Hans Rosling, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think