Opinion Pieces Look Back On Global Health, Development, Climate Change Issues Of 2017

Vox: 9 ways the world got a lot better in 2017
Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development

“…Before 2017 recedes entirely into the rearview mirror, let’s take note of some of the good news. Last year saw: 1) Less famine … 2) Fewer war deaths … 3) Fewer deaths from natural disasters … 4) Progress against pestilence … 5) Greater life expectancy … 6) More democracy … 7) Expanding rights for women and sexual minorities … 8) Fewer people living on $2 a day … 9) Greener energy … So for all of the horror that remains, it is still reasonable to suggest that the average human being on planet Earth has never had it so good — even if the average human being seems doubtful about that claim” (1/7).

New York Times: Why 2017 Was the Best Year in Human History
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist

“…2017 was probably the very best year in the long history of humanity. A smaller share of the world’s people were hungry, impoverished, or illiterate than at any time before. A smaller proportion of children died than ever before. The proportion disfigured by leprosy, blinded by diseases like trachoma, or suffering from other ailments also fell. We need some perspective as we watch the circus in Washington, hands over our mouths in horror. … So, sure, the world is a dangerous mess; I worry in particular about the risk of a war with North Korea. But I also believe in stepping back once a year or so to take note of genuine progress — just as, a year ago, I wrote that 2016 had been the best year in the history of the world, and a year from now I hope to offer similar good news about 2018. The most important thing happening right now is not a Trump tweet, but children’s lives saved and major gains in health, education, and human welfare…” (1/6).

Inter Press Service: 2017 Was a Year of Record-Breaking Climate Events
Kelly Levin, senior associate at the World Resources Institute

“…Across the world, extreme events hammered communities and smashed records [in 2017], while scientists gained a better understanding of just how much climate change is fueling many of the disasters we’re witnessing. We took stock of some of the most noteworthy impacts and scientific advances of 2017. One thing was clear: Climate change is creating conditions that put all of us at risk. … Temperature … Extreme Events … Sea Level Rise … Ice … Greenhouse Gas Emissions … Ecological Disruption … It’s clear that trends are headed in the wrong direction. But 2018 brings a fresh start, and an opportunity to learn from 2017 and the record-breaking years that came before it. May this new year bring a new resolve to reverse course and take actions that move toward a low-carbon future” (1/6).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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