ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Is the World Getting Better or Worse?

September 15th, 2009 by Dave · 2 Comments

Is the World Getting Better or Worse? is a great infographic that combines trends on a number of issues. Basically, it shows that things have improved for most people over the last couple of decades, with the exception of war and the environment. While this is a pretty predictable conclusion, it’s nice to have a variety of issues graphically represented in one place. My one critique is that the range of time covered is so small. Most of the trends are measured by comparing 1990 and today. I would like to see a longer view.

(Thanks Larry!)

Tags: blog · climate change · global issues activities · natural disasters · peace and war · poverty & wealth · the environment · visual prompts

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Khalid // Sep 15, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    One key point to remember with these numbers -most are represented as percentages. If you look at absolute numbers, the situation is not quite as positive. There are more people in poverty, more people go hungry, etc as population has grown.

    India is a rather famous example of this – some statistics show poverty rates decreasing, but the absolute numbers have grown tremendously. Moreover, in the case of India, it has been called the “republic of hunger” as despite the apparent decrease in poverty the number of calories consumed by something like 80% of the country are below UN guidelines for the minimum required for proper nutrition.

    Finally, these numbers tell us nothing about inequality, only averages.

  • 2 Dave // Sep 16, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Those are good points. I also think that looking at statistics over such a short time is less effective. I like the fact that it attempts to give a more holistic view and pulls in a lot of different issues, though. I think it could be a good jumping off point. And looking at each issue more critically is certainly the way to go.


    This article
    about hunger being at an all-time high and aid being at a 20-year low might be a good one to include.

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