2020 Has Been Terrible So Far, but There's Still Good News Out There

Sometimes, it's good to take a step back


It is safe to say that 2020 has not panned out in a way that most of us had hoped or expected. Nevertheless, the state of humanity and the world as a whole is, for the most part, much better and improving faster than most people think.

That is what I and my co-author Marian Tupy demonstrate in our new book, Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting. In our book, we provide straightforward charts and graphs, combined with succinct explanations, that will provide you with easily understandable access to the facts derived from uncontroversial scientific and official sources that busy people like you need to know about how the world is really faring. You can't, after all, promote further progress or fix what is wrong in the world if you don't know what's actually happening.

Of course, some global trends are negative. As Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker says: "It's essential to realize that progress does not mean that everything gets better for everyone, everywhere, all the time. That would be a miracle, that wouldn't be progress." For example, manmade climate change arising largely from increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels could become a significant problem for humanity later in this century. In addition, many wildlife populations are declining, and tropical forest area continues shrinking. And far too many people are still malnourished and dying in civil and sectarian conflicts around the globe. And let's not forget the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past two centuries the spread of freer markets and trade as resulted in the Great Enrichment in which global average per capita income has steeply risen and poverty has fallen to its lowest level in all of human history. Human ingenuity and innovation have driven down the prices of natural resources and boosted record food production. As a result of increasing wealth and technological prowess, the amount of land devoted to agriculture is shrinking thus sparing land for nature while the proportion of wildlands and the oceans set aside for conservation and protection continue to expand.

Ultimately, the global trends we document in the book augur a world that by the end of this century will be populated with fewer and much wealthier people living mostly in cities with nature occupying or reoccupying the bulk of the land and sea freed up by human ingenuity.

For a preview of some the major themes in the book, click over to listen to my recent conversation with the American Enterprise Institute's James Pethokoukis.

NEXT: Tennessee Officials Wanted To Make Monthly 'Well-Being' Inspections of Every Child in the State

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. "Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting."

    A Ron Bailey treatise on statistics?

    1. ●▬▬▬▬PART TIME JOBS▬▬▬▬▬●
      I am making $165 an hour working from home. i was greatly surprised at the same time as my neighbour advised me she changed into averaging $ninety five however I see the way it works now. I experience masses freedom now that i'm my non-public boss. that is what I do......
      ↓↓↓↓COPY THIS SITE↓↓↓↓

      HERE►Click here.

    2. Start getting paid every month online from home more than $15k just by doing very simple and easy job from home. Last month i have earned $17954 from this online job just by giving this 2 hrs a day using my laptop. I am now a good online earner. Get this job you guys also and start earning money online right now by follow details
      Here══════❥❥❥❥❥ Read more

  2. Well leave the cities to the roving gangs of violent leftists since apparently nobody seems to care that they break the law.

    1. Yes, some down-sides are ignored here.

      Another ignored "negative" here is nasty populism-nationalism that finds scapegoats to blame, like Der TrumpfenFuhrer and illegal sub-humans, and non-American "ferriner" goods and services that need to be shut down and out! Good jerbs fer good Americans, and all that! And Modi in India scapegoating Muslims, and so much more! Let's all pussy-grab the others (other nations and other ethnic-religious-etc. groups), and assume that they will NEVER notice, and will NEVER pussy-grab us right back! Karma has been revoked, and what comes around, will no longer go around!!!

      Thank You, Trumptatorshit and Moditatorshit and all ye other irresponsible "populist" scapegoat-mongerers!!! Ye will NOT rest till we burn down the planet, will ye?!?

      1. SQRLSY One
        July.2.2020 at 5:11 pm
        Port-a-potties ARE buffets


        1. You can readily tell when he's off his meds.

          Get ready from another Tim the Enchanter comparison.

          1. It appears the nurse showed up with the PRN just in time.

            1. Did the nurse also give you some "smart pills" from underneath the rabbit hutches? It appears NOT (or you're not taking them correctly) by the lack of quality and originality in your posts!

              1. How can you say that?! His “caw caw!” comments are brilliant and have really put me in my place!

                1. It’s not to put you in your place. Just pointing out that most of your posts are like a squawking bird.

                  1. `I've made $66,000 so far this year w0rking 0nline and I'm a full time student.oiu. I'm using an 0nline business opportunity I heard about and I've made such great m0ney.UHg It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it.

                    Here.........> Click here

                2. You post shows they certainly seem to upset you.

              2. Sqrls dad told him poop was "smart pills", so his warning is sincere. It also explains his current dietary choices.

                Also time to post your "Tim the Enchanter" copypasta, Sqrls (He thinks MP and the Holy Grail is high culture because he couldn't get all the jokes).

                1. Ask and ye shall receive!

                  Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

                  So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

                  Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

                  Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

                  Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

                  At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

                  Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to .

                  Thank You! -Reason Staff

                  1. Still not funny.

                    1. The entire Galactic Cluster... Nay, the entire UNIVERSE... Was awaiting Your Exalted Opinion, with baited breath! THANK YOU for SOOOO generously sharing Your Sacred Opinion, Oh Mighty One!

  3. Hi Rob, what history of your accuracy would readers use to give value to your conclusions?

    1. It’s Ron.

      1. Can’t expect D-Pizzle to be accurate, now.

        1. How civil.

          1. He’s such a hypocrite, but dumb enough he doesn’t realize it. Which makes him a self righteous hypocrite, the best kind!

  4. You can't, after all, promote further progress or fix what is wrong in the world if you don't know what's actually happening.

    Don't be silly, I read the New York Times and watch CNN, I'm fairly sure I'm well-informed about what's going on in the world. If anything you say were even remotely true, I'm sure Rachel Maddow would have told me about it.

    1. Now you’re white knighting ENB too?

      1. Caw caw!

        1. Way to put him in his place.

  5. 2020 sucks because leftists have been indulged and their bullshit tolerated for far too long.

  6. >>Sometimes, it's good to take a step back

    this reads like a commercial with masked faces that starts "In these uncertain times" but it's probably just me and these uncertain times.

  7. Some of the best news of all: “global warming” has apparently all but disappeared as it has been one of the coolest summers in decades!

    1. Global Warming is a religion so it's immortal now; like race and every other useful ism, it can never ever die.

      1. I really really miss those old “global monthly temperature updates” we used to have to endure a few years ago. NOOOOOOOOT!

  8. "...augur a world that by the end of this century will be populated with fewer and much wealthier people living mostly in cities with nature occupying or reoccupying the bulk of the land and sea freed up by human ingenuity."

    So where do the plebes go? This reads like a Tyler Cowen dystopia where roughly 15% of the population [the smart, beautiful coastal elites that supposedly liked Hilda so much] will have meaningful lives while the restofus will live in tenements and spend our bohemian lives reading paperbacks and quaffing cheap read wine.

    1. Bailey has a lot of overcompensating to do.
      It must be hard work for a mediocre mind to identify as some kind of intellectual

    2. Elysium, the final resting place of the souls of the heroic and pure

  9. The weather getting warmer and making the planet more hospitable to life is hardly a big crisis to fear either. Our primitive stone age ancestors somehow coped with much higher temperature hikes and far higher sea level increases, even in pre-SUV times. Somehow I think we'll be fine.

  10. 2020 has sucked - started with my dad passing on Jan. 2 and I have been separated from my fiance because she is overseas, lost my 2nd job, and now we have an election between 2 tickets comprised of 4 total pieces of human excrement.

    1. Three pieces of human excrement, one is dogshit.

  11. Making Cash more than $15k to $18k consistently just by doing basic online work. I have gotten $18376 a month ago just by working on the web. Its a simple and basic occupation to do from home and its profit are greatly improved than customary office work. Each individual can join this activity now just by pursue this link……..go to this site home media tech tab for more detail support your hear Here══════❥❥❥❥ReadMore.

  12. I disagree that 2020 has been terrible. And I lost my Dad to Parkinsons on Jan. 31 and my Pastor to cancer on July 4. I have been very disappointed and angry with the way that the corona virus has been handled; the trampling of liberty and fearful irrationality. Yet, I just returned from vacation with my family from Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge where nearly everyone was busy living and enjoying life almost like there was no stupid pandemic. Imagine that. Despite the losses and disappointments we have seen this year, I don't think most honest adults would say it has been terrible. Life is still good. I don't think that any of us know what a terrible year looks like. Maybe if we could go back to the Civil War or the Great Depression.

  13. After being fired from my old job 4 months ago, i've had luck to learn about this great company online that was a lifesaver for me... They offer online home-based work. My last month payment after working with them for 6 months was 12000 bucks... Great thing about it was that only requirement for the job is basic typing and reliable internet...If you think this could be for you then find out more here…===========➤➤ReadMore.

  14. Sorry Mr. Bailey...$22.46 for the hardcover version of your book? Too rich for my taste.

  15. It'd be nice if Mr. Bailey had teased us with at least one piece of the good news, instead of making me wait until his book hits the library.

    1. Don’t sleep on the Barnes and Noble discount shelves.

  16. "For example, manmade climate change..."
    MMGW is a hoax.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.