I think of myself as an optimist and have written about the topic in previous TiBs
. I’d usually rely on many of the arguments and datapoints that Steven Pinker has marshalled in Enlightenment Now
(Bill Gates’ favourite book, apparently
In short, on almost every metric - health, wealth, war, violence, absolute poverty, etc - things are getting better.
But what if that masks something very dangerous? New data
suggests that in recent years a series of catastrophic weather events (perhaps linked to climate change) seem to be reversing progress in reducing severe hunger, particularly in Africa.
If you’d like to join me in worrying about it, this book
provides a comprehensive starting point.