If you’re tuned into the 24-hour news cycle, there’s a good chance you feel like the world is ending. Every day, we’re barraged by headlines full of pessimism and fear-mongering about the future—politically, environmentally, and everything else. While it’s good to be informed about the world and indisputable that humankind has challenges to hack and hurdles to overcome, it’s also true that the news simply isn’t geared for optimism. Thus, what I’m about to tell you won’t be heard on CNN or read in the Washington Post. The truth is that we are on the cusp of a Longevity Revolution and the environment is actually getting fundamentally safer and more favorable to longer and healthier lives.
Longevity refers to the average lifespan of individuals in a population. In the simplest terms, a longevity revolution means we’ll live longer. This is a reason for optimism if I’ve ever heard one. Let me guess: you’re skeptical. I’m not surprised. That’s why I’m going to outline a number of ways in which the environment, from the air we breathe to the food we eat, is actually getting more conducive to living a longer, happier, healthier life.
The world is getting greener—literally
China and India are the world’s most populous countries, each with over 1.3 billion people. They’re leading the way in protecting and improving the environment, thanks to intensive agriculture, tree-planting programs, and mass adoption of renewable energy (such as solar and wind). Because of their size, initiatives undertaken by China and India have an outsized impact on our longevity—great news for Planet Earth and its human inhabitants. Don’t take it from me, though. Take it from NASA. A NASA study from 2019 based on satellite imagery found that Earth’s green leaf area has increased by five percent since the early 2000s—an increase equivalent to the size of the whole Amazon rainforests! A third of that increase is attributable to the two countries being discussed here. More specifically, China has undertaken an ambitious tree-planting program.
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