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Shocking Secrets From the Environment -- Why The World Really Isn't Getting Worse

1 month ago · By J.D. King · 3 Min Read

In the sixth grade, I was told that my classmates and I were burning a hole in the ozone layer. The chloroflueocarbon gasses from our automobiles and aerosol cans were causing skin cancer and other dire calamities.

In the decades since, adjustments were made and the ozone hole is now negligible, having “shrunk by more than 4 million square kilometers.”[1] Once again, concerns about the end of humanity were overstated.

In the early 2000s, Al Gore and environmental researchers warned about the irreversible effects of climate change. Gore suggested that the polar ice cap was melting and the state of Florida will sink beneath rising waters. He believed that “within a decade, there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro.”[2] These and other predictions have been overblown.

Gore and other environmentalists did not witness the anticipated rapid acceleration in global warming they anticipated.[3] Many of the computer models were incorrect.[4]

According to NASA researchers, between 2016 and 2018, global average temperatures dropped by 0.56 degrees Celsius.[5] That is the largest two-year plunge in the last 100 years. Our weather is not in as troubled as people imagine.

Some believe that, as a consequence of global warming, natural disasters are becoming more frequent and taking greater numbers of lives. This is not true. What is transpiring today is nowhere as deadly or as frequent as it was decades ago.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, earthquakes, floods, and related phenomena took over 200,000 lives annually. However, in 2016, only 10,000 people died from natural disasters across the globe.[6]

We witness horrific tragedies on television, but it is helpful to remember that natural disasters only make up 0.1 percent of all deaths around the world.[7]

Anxieties about animals and nature have also been overblown. That is not to say there aren’t problems to address. Reasonable conservation remains necessary. Nevertheless, the idea that whole world is falling apart does not reflect reality.

Nationally, air pollution has dropped significantly in recent decades. Emissions from the six common pollutants (PM2.5 and PM10, SO2, NOx, VOCs, CO and Pb) dropped by 73 percent between 1970 and 2016.” [8]

After rising concerns about deforestation, researchers have determined that there are now over three trillion trees on our planet[9] —seven-and-a-half times more than previously believed.[10] This is a newly revised “figure that dwarfs previous estimates.”[11] Astoundingly, there are more trees today than a century ago.

Obviously there are legitimate concerns about endangered animals. Egregious reports come across of the indiscriminate killing of elephants for their ivory. Yet, with that said, a myriad of species are moving off of the endangered list.

Over recent decades, bald eagles, black rhinos, polar bears, tigers, wolves, and other animals have been taken off the endangered species list.[12] Some animals that were once careening toward extinction are beginning to thrive.

We are not in the middle of an ecological crisis. Various challenges can arise, but the world is clearly a better place for everyone. While many men and women are anxious about the future, something beautiful is transpiring. The world is becoming more beautiful and filled with hope. Watch for my upcoming book Why You've Been Duped into Believing that the World is Getting Worse

[1] Aaron Sidder, “Remember the Ozone Hole? Now There's Proof It's Healing,” National Geographic (June 10, 2016).

[2] Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth (2006).

[3] Ben Webster, “We were wrong — worst effects of climate change can be avoided, say experts,” The Times (September 19, 2017).

[4] Ben Webster, “We were wrong — worst effects of climate change can be avoided, say experts,” The Times (September 19, 2017).

[5] GISTEMP Team, 2018: GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP). https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

[6] Angus Hervey, “Natural Disasters Aren’t Nearly As Dangerous As They Used To Be,” Future Crunch (October 25, 2017). https://medium.com/future-crunch/natural-disasters-arent-what-they-used-to-be-b30e1d4c9c31.

[7] Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (New York, Flatiron Books, 2018), 122.

[8] Environmental Protection Agency, “Our Nation’s Air,” (2017). https://gispub.epa.gov/air/trendsreport/2017/#welcome

[9] Chris Mooney, “Scientists discover that the world contains dramatically more trees than previously thought,” Washington Post (September 2, 2015).

[10] James Eng, “3 Trillion: Study Finds Many, Many More Trees Than Previously Estimated,” NBC News (August 1, 2014).

[11] Mark Marmao, “World Has Many More Trees Than Previously Thought, New Report Says,” Wall Street Journal (September 3, 2015).

[12] See Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (New York, Flatiron Books, 2018), 190.


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