Although I will admit that things are moving in the right direction in the USA under President Trump our news media like to focus on what is dismal. So hopefully these news items will cheer you as Christmas approaches. Even as a physician, I am astounded by some of these medical advances.
[Source: Why 2017 was a year to celebrate, by John Mauldin]
- This year, the World Health Organization unveiled a new vaccine that’s cheap and effective enough to end cholera, one of humanity’s greatest-ever killers. Researchers have estimated that each year there are 1.3 million to 4.0 million cases of cholera, and 143,000 deaths worldwide. New York Times
- Cancer deaths have dropped by 25% in the United States since 1991, saving more than two million lives. Breast cancer deaths have fallen by 39%, saving the lives of 322,600 women. Time
- There are 2,049 different types of cancer drug trials being run all over the world.
- In July, UNAIDS revealed that for the first time in history, half of all people on the planet with HIV are now getting treatment, and AIDS deaths have dropped by half since 2005. In the 1980s HIV was a death sentence. Science magazine
- Leprosy is now easily treatable. The number of worldwide cases has dropped by 97% since 1985, and a new plan has set 2020 as the target for eradicating the disease. I mean seriously! Did any of you go to Sunday School and walk out horrified by Bible stories about leprosy victims. New York Times
- And on November 17 WHO announced that global deaths from tuberculosis have fallen by 37% since 2000, saving an estimated 53 million lives.
- The International Energy Agency announced that nearly 1.2 billion people around the world have gained access to electricity in the last 16 years.
- In the last three years, the number of people in China living below the poverty line decreased from 99 million to 43.4 million – you’ve got to love CAPITALISM. Quartz
- The United States’ official poverty rate is now the lowest level since the end of the global financial crisis. And the child-poverty rate has reached an all-time low.
And the world, at least in some locals, is getting to be a nicer place.
- Chile set aside 11 million acres of land for national parks in Patagonia, following the largest-ever private land donation from a private entity to a country. Smithsonian
- A province in Pakistan announced it has planted one billion trees in two years, in response to the terrible floods of 2015. Independent
- Cameroon committed to restoring over 12 million hectares of forest in the Congo Basin, and Brazil started a project to plan 73 million trees, the largest tropical reforestation project in history. Fast Co.
- In 2017, the ozone hole over Antarctica shrank to its smallest size since 1988.
- The USA is using roughly the same amount of water as we did back in 1970, but the population has grown by almost 50%.
- We are producing vastly more food, generating more hydroelectric energy, and doing more of all the other things that can only be done with water.
Thanks, Mr. Mauldin, I needed that. I suspect you did, too.