The Guardian treats us to a bit of worry waving from one of its Australian journalists. The world’s going to hell in a handbasket apparently, we’re all making the world worse and after us, the deluge. The interesting thing about the claims made being that not one of them is true:
Which brings me to something Number Two Daughter, a nearly-teen, said in the car a few months ago.
“Mum and Dad – I don’t want you to be upset at this or anything,” she began.
She had our attention. “Yes?” came our chorus.
She continued, “OK and when I talk about you in what I’m about to say I don’t actually mean you personally – I mean your generation. OK?”
“Yes … ”
“Well, you’re wrecking the world for my generation. The world is more unsafe than when you were kids, more and more species are going extinct, there are more refugees and the world is meaner to them, there are more wars, there’s more terrorism and more racism and you haven’t stopped climate change. No offence – but it’s true. You’re ruining the world.”
The world isn’t more dangerous than it was when us gammons were kids. It’s markedly safer in fact. Pretty much however you measure it, it’s safer. Fewer die in accidents of any type, car, industrial, workplace, domestic. Fewer murders, less in fact of all types of violence, accidental or meant. Species extinction has slowed markedly in recent decades. The big bolus of it was certain large mammal and bird species going as countries started to develop. There aren’t more refugees – no one who has even the slightest familiarity with post-war Europe or India/Pakistan could possibly claim that. We’re also vastly, hugely, kinder to those refugees that do exist than we were then.
War has fallen, dramatically – us gammons grew up with Vietnamn, possibly Korea, in the background, to say nothing of innumerable colonial conflicts. Terrorism has fallen – we just classify it rather differently today. Those colonial wars contained a lot of terrorism after all. Anyone claiming that today is more racist than Jim Crow and its immediate aftermath is a fool. And sure, we’ve not stopped climate change but we’ve very definitely slowed it. You know, making solar cheap an all that?
This being The Guardian of course the response is not the correct one:
It’s impossible to overstate quite how devastating this was.
Devastating – because it’s mostly true.
Yes, that’s right, Peter Simple was writing documentary, not satire. For the reaction to being peddled a bunch of lies is to Heinz Kiosk into “We’re all guilty” rather than telling a pre-teen that there’s a reason we insist she goes to school. She doesn’t know anything which is why we’re so struggling to educate her.
It’s simply not true that the world is getting worse, the Good Old Days are right now you fool.