Wednesday, April 18, 2007
* The world has become dramatically more peaceful since 1992. The number of wars, coup d'etats, and acts of genocide has declined by 40 percent. Weapons sales between countries have dropped 33 percent during the same time, and the number of refugees has diminished by 45 percent.
The cause of these shocking developments, according to the Human Security Report, which did the study, is the unprecedented upsurge of international activism, spearheaded by the United Nations.
* The violent crime rate has decreased 50 percent since 1993. Crime is now at its lowest level since it was first officially tracked.
* The average human life expectancy is 30 years more than it was a century ago, and is still climbing. Many scientists believe there is no absolute limit to the human life span.
* Levels of literacy and education and political freedom and wealth are steadily growing all over the world.
* Death rates from cancer are declining.
* Child abduction by strangers has dropped precipitously.
* In 60 years, there hasn't been a lower birth rate among teenage girls than there is now.
* The world's largest freshwater system, the Great Lakes, is dramatically purifying itself of the pollutants that human beings dumped into it.
* If forced to decide between having a bigger penis and living in a world where there was no war, 90 percent of all men would pick universal peace.
* The number of America's black elected officials has sextupled since 1970.
* Rising rates of intermarriage are helping to dissipate ethnic and religious strife worldwide.
* The rivers and bays of New York City are reborn, having been cleansed of raw sewage and industrial pollution in recent years.
* You have at least a million relatives as close as tenth cousin, and no one on Earth is any farther removed than your 50th cousin.
* The world's largest private bank, Citigroup, has agreed to stop financing projects that damage sensitive ecosystems.
* The giant timber company, Congolaise Industrielle des Bois, voluntarily agreed to stop cutting down trees in a virgin rain forest in the Congo.
* The miracle of your breathing transpires about 10 million times a year, even though you never have to think about it.
* Every second the sun generously transforms four million tons of itself into energy and bestows it on us free of charge.
* Diamonds rain from the sky on Uranus and Neptune.
* With every dawn, when first light penetrates the sea, many seahorse colonies perform a dance to the sun.
* The World Health Organization reports that over 100 million acts of sexual intercourse, involving more than 200 million partners, take place on the earth every 24 hours.
* Most HMO executives now believe prayer and meditation can expedite the healing process.
* Vast supplies of frozen natural gas lie beneath the oceans, harboring more potential energy than all the world's oil reserves, and could be mined with the right technology.
* Each of the 50 trillion cells in your body can be considered a sentient being in its own right, and they all act together as a community, performing an ongoing act of prodigious collaboration.
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