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It's better than it looks : reasons for optimism in an age of fear

Author: Gregg Easterbrook
Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, [2018] ©2018
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
Is civilization teetering on the edge of a cliff? Or are we just climbing higher than ever? Most people who read the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more. Yet this narrative misses something important: by almost every
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Easterbrook, Gregg.
It's better than it looks.
New York : PublicAffairs, 2018
(DLC) 2017048518
(OCoLC)1000584369
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Gregg Easterbrook
ISBN: 9781541767683 1541767683 9781610397421 1610397428
OCLC Number: 1023862658
Description: 1 online resource (xx, 330 pages) : illustration
Contents: Why don't we starve? --
Why, despite all our bad habits, do we keep living longer? --
Will nature collapse? --
Will the economy collapse? --
Why is violence in decline? --
Why does technology become safer instead of more dangerous? --
Why don't the dictators win? --
How declinism became chic --
The "impossible" challenge of climate change --
The "impossible" challenge of inequality --
We'll never run out of challenges --
And it will never be too late.
Responsibility: Gregg Easterbrook.

Abstract:

Is civilization teetering on the edge of a cliff? Or are we just climbing higher than ever? Most people who read the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more. Yet this narrative misses something important: by almost every meaningful measure, the modern world is better than it ever has been. In the United States, disease, crime, discrimination, and most forms of pollution are in long-term decline, while longevity and education keep rising and economic indicators are better than in any past generation. Worldwide, malnutrition and extreme poverty are at historic lows, and the risk of dying by war or violence is the lowest in human history.

It's not a coincidence that we're confused--our perspectives on the world are blurred by the rise of social media, the machinations of politicians, and our own biases. Meanwhile, political reforms like the Clean Air Act and technological innovations like the hybridization of wheat have saved huge numbers of lives. In that optimistic spirit, Easterbrook offers specific policy reforms to address climate change, inequality, and other problems, and reminds us that there is real hope in conquering such challenges. In an age of discord and fear-mongering, It's Better Than It Looks will profoundly change your perspective on who we are, where we're headed, and what we're capable of.

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