Headlines: Tomorrow We Will Know More About the State of Our Future

March 19, 2014 – The Millennium Project will publish its 2013-2014 report, “The State of the Future,” tomorrow. This global think tank produces an annual review of humanity’s prospects. A sneak peek at some of the content includes both good and bad news.

The good:

  • We are getting healthier (child mortality has dropped 47% since 1990).
  • We are better educated than any previous generation (primary school completion rates are up 10% between 1990 and 2011).
  • We are better fed.
  • We are wealthier (extreme poverty has declined from 50% to 21% in the Developing World since 1981).
  • The world is getting more peaceful (despite Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush and the late Osama bin Laden).
  • We are increasingly connected (40% of us have access to the Internet).
  • We are living longer (average life expectancy has risen by 10 to 70.5 in the last two decades).

 

The bad:

  • Freshwater scarcity is increasing as water tables fall, glaciers in alpine areas melt, and climate change droughts impact rivers in many parts of the world.
  • We are seeing the first climate refugees in Pacific and Indian Ocean island states.
  • Internal conflicts within countries are creating refugee humanitarian crises at hot spots around the world (Syria, Darfur, Somalia).
  • Ocean sea levels are rising to threaten coastal human populations.
  • Ocean dead zones have doubled every decade since the 1960s.
  • Coral reefs are dying as acidification from absorbed CO2 alters ocean chemistry.
  • Social stratification is on the increase (the 1% versus the 99%).
  • Youth unemployment is a global phenomenon threatening to destablize half of the countries on the planet.
  • Air pollution is creating dangerous conditions over many world cities (northeastern China and Paris in the last week).

 

We’ll learn more when the report is released at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars sometime after noon tomorrow.

 

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Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...

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