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Maybe oppression is lessening in the world, maybe it isn't. I incline to the former, because after the horrors of the 2nd WW there was a massive, worldwide effort to set up international institutions to prevent that kind of thing happening again, to put boundaries around nationalism and give it less soil to flourish in. But the Trump presidency (along with Brexit) has shown how fragile those are. 

And I don't see them surviving for long. This is a bit of a diversion, admittedly, but the lead negotiator for the Paris climate agreement said in 2019 – What’s at stake over the next decade is nothing less than the future of the planet and of humanity on the planet. That’s no exaggeration, that is no hyperbole. That is actually scientific fact.

The overwhelming consensus among scientists, the conclusion of all the climate models, is that without radical action – of the kind we’re not remotely close to putting into effect – we’re heading for a rise of three to four degrees C by the end of this century. That’s a global average – temperatures over land as opposed to over the oceans would be several times higher – and probably conservative. The last time the planet was this warm was 15 million years ago in the Miocene period, around the time when our ancestors diverged from the orangutans. Sea levels were over a hundred feet higher. In that scenario, we get into a vicious spiral of economic depression, political upheaval, social breakdown, war and civilizational collapse. The band around the Equator, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, where half the global population live, would be uninhabitable, because of heat stress. All of the USA and most of Europe would be desert. You could live in Canada, or Scandinavia, or Siberia, or the tip of South America, if you could fight off the billions of other people desperate to get there, but there would be little food – it takes thousands of years for weathering to produce topsoil deep enough for agriculture. You can’t turn permafrost into farmland overnight. And in a couple of decades it will be too late to stop this happening.

Which is why I'm not optimistic about things getting better!

 

 

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True but at times, hearing or reading the words of another (or interacting with another) can be a pleasant surprise or unsettling or even be experienced as a judgement (a mirror thrown up in front of

On 27/01/2021 at 12:23 PM, John Hunt said:

Maybe oppression is lessening in the world, maybe it isn't. I incline to the former, because after the horrors of the 2nd WW there was a massive, worldwide effort to set up international institutions to prevent that kind of thing happening again, to put boundaries around nationalism and give it less soil to flourish in. But the Trump presidency (along with Brexit) has shown how fragile those are. 

And I don't see them surviving for long. This is a bit of a diversion, admittedly, but the lead negotiator for the Paris climate agreement said in 2019 – What’s at stake over the next decade is nothing less than the future of the planet and of humanity on the planet. That’s no exaggeration, that is no hyperbole. That is actually scientific fact.

The overwhelming consensus among scientists, the conclusion of all the climate models, is that without radical action – of the kind we’re not remotely close to putting into effect – we’re heading for a rise of three to four degrees C by the end of this century. That’s a global average – temperatures over land as opposed to over the oceans would be several times higher – and probably conservative. The last time the planet was this warm was 15 million years ago in the Miocene period, around the time when our ancestors diverged from the orangutans. Sea levels were over a hundred feet higher. In that scenario, we get into a vicious spiral of economic depression, political upheaval, social breakdown, war and civilizational collapse. The band around the Equator, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, where half the global population live, would be uninhabitable, because of heat stress. All of the USA and most of Europe would be desert. You could live in Canada, or Scandinavia, or Siberia, or the tip of South America, if you could fight off the billions of other people desperate to get there, but there would be little food – it takes thousands of years for weathering to produce topsoil deep enough for agriculture. You can’t turn permafrost into farmland overnight. And in a couple of decades it will be too late to stop this happening.

Which is why I'm not optimistic about things getting better!

 

 

Agreed on the points about climate change, we're barreling pretty quickly into humanitarian crises that we're totally unprepared for due to it. 

However, I want to rewind a bit to that whole post WWII peace concept that a lot of people cite when they talk about how the world has gotten "better" for people. However, the last 70 years hasn't exactly looked peaceful and humane for large swaths of the world. 

The middle East, much of Asia, India, huge chunks of Africa, some of Latin America, and even chunks of eastern Europe haven't exactly fared well in the human rights and violent conflict departments, regardless of what was agreed upon after WWII. Much of the atrocities directly *caused* by the actions of the very nations purporting to be all about peace, democracy, and human rights. 

The perception of post WWII peace and progress really depends on where in the world someone was born. 

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Without a doubt there are millions, if not billions, of people who quite rightly would feel that the world is not getting any better, based on their personal perspective and actual experience in particular.

But we are getting better, in lots of ways.

Life expectancy has increased tremendously across the globe, including in Africa and Asia and the world as a whole average. 

Child mortality rates have plummeted in the last 100 years - even in India where families lost 50% of their babies only 100 years ago, today experiencing rates of 5%. 

Global income inequality has been on a steady downward trend for several decades. This is mostly a result of developing countries such as China and India where hundreds of millions of people have seen their living standards improve. In fact, for the first time ever since the Industrial Revolution, about half of the global population can be considered global middle class. 

Politically, throughout most of human history people lived under oppressive non-democratic regimes. As of today, about half of the human population is living in a democracy.

As for conflict, while the early 20th century was especially brutal with two world wars in rapid succession, the postwar period has been very peaceful. For the first time ever, there has been no war or conflict in Western Europe in about three generations, and international organisations including the EU and the UN have led to a more stable world.

I think we're getting somewhere, but there's still a long way to go.

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"For the first time ever, there has been no war or conflict in Western Europe in about three generations"

In part, surely, because of the cost. If the "Great Powers" went to war today it would be the end of civilization. I'm less optimistic - it was a nice morning in Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Whether the international organizations are going to be strong enough to cope with climate change - another question. 

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