Back on June 6, 1978, when 20/20 premiered on ABC, I remember thinking, “Boy, it’s a long time until 2020!” Now, I know that it meant 20/20 as in vision, but, as you have probably already ascertained, my brain works a little different than most people’s! At any rate, it was a long time until 2020 but, here it is and here we are!!! The question is, I guess, “Where, exactly, are we?” Well, the answer may not be pretty, but here it is!
- We have been fighting a war against terrorism since 2001, with no end in sight.
- We have a Congress so fixated on attacking the President that nothing is being done by them for the American People.
- Healthcare Issues and Homelessness have ballooned since 1980.
- Morality, as we know it, has been sorely attacked, putting the Family Structure in Jeopardy.
- 50 million plus babies have been aborted since 1973.
- The governor of one state is suggesting that some babies should be allowed to die right after they’re born, suggesting a form of infanticide.
“Boy, Floyder,” you may be thinking, “those aren’t very pleasant thoughts to be starting the New Year off with.” That’s true, but, that is the way that it is. However, as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story and it isn’t quite as dismal! Note that these are in no particular order, neither by importance nor by topic.
- Cigarette use among Americans dropped to its lowest level since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started collecting data in 1965.
- The WHO revealed that teenage drinking has declined across Europe, the continent with the highest rates of drinking in the world. The country with the largest decline? Britain. CNN
- Since 2010, global HIV/AIDS infection rates have fallen by 16% in adults and by 35% for children. Most countries are now on track to eliminate infections by 2030. Undark
- South Africa, home to the world’s largest population of people living with HIV, shocked health officials by revealing a 44% decline in new infections since 2012.
- A little perspective. The Economist revealed that global suicide rates have dropped by 38% since 1994, saving four million lives, four times the number killed in combat during the same time.
- A new report showed that democracy is more widespread than ever. Six in 10 of the world’s countries are now democratic—a post war record.
- A new global youth survey showed that young people in all countries are more optimistic than adults.
- The world passed 1,000 GW of cumulative installed wind and solar power this year. 10 years ago, there was less than 8 GW of solar.
- The United States set a new record for coal plant closures this year, with 22 plants in 14 states.
- The Journal of Peace Research said that global deaths from state-based conflicts have declined for the third year in a row, and are now 32% lower than their peak in 2014.
- Crime and murder rates declined in the United States’ 30 largest cities, with the murder rate for 2018 projected to be 7.6% lower than 2017.
- Still worried about the kids? In the last generation, arrests of Californian teenagers have fallen by 80%, murder arrests by 85%, gun killings by 75%, imprisonments by 88%, teen births by 75%, school dropouts by half, and college enrolments are up by 45%.
- According to new data from the Department of Justice, the proportion of people being sent to prison in the United States has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years.
- Adidas expects to sell five million pairs of shoes made from ocean plastic this year, and committed to using only recycled plastic in its products by 2024.
- Cancer deaths have dropped by 25% in the United States since 1991, saving more than two million lives. Breast cancer deaths have fallen by 39%, saving the lives of 322,600 women.
- And on November 17, WHO announced that global deaths from tuberculosis have fallen by 37% since 2000, saving an estimated 53 million lives.
- In 2017, the ozone hole over Antarctica shrank to its smallest size since 1988.
- The United States’ official poverty rate is now 12.7%, the lowest level since the end of the global financial crisis. And the child-poverty rate has reached an all-time low, dropping to 15.6%
- New figures showed that the gender pay gap in the United States has narrowed from 36% in 1980 to 17% today. For young women the gap has narrowed even further, and now stands at 10%.
- Rates of violent crime and property crime have dropped by around 50% in the United States since 1990.
Actually, as you can see, 2020 is being ushered in with a lot of Good News. But, the best Good News is found in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” As a result, I can look forward to 2020 just like I did 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010! And, you can look forward to it, too!!!