Don't panic. That's the message of an optimist, Dr. Rosling, medical physician and health statistician, broadcast in a 2014 documentary on BBC.
Prejudices stemming from the knowledge of how the world was 50 years ago carry assumptions that most people are living wretched lives in desperate poverty, but that is not true. Education, economies and health care have been improving rapidly all over the world.
Dr. Rosling reports that overpopulation is not so much of a problem as management of resources and production. The average birthrate around the world is now two children. General health conditions are improving. Child mortality is also very low. In fact, average longevity has surpassed the age of 60 years. Since the 18th century, says Dr. Rosling, life in general has continued to improve for the majority of people. with literacy at 80% of the 7.2 billion people on the Earth, people are helping themselves and finding solutions to common local problems. The billion enjoying most of the wealth must still help the roughly one billion who live in extreme poverty. At the same time, the billion living the most comfortable lives must reduce their use of fossil fuels and share more of the wealth.
Rosling works for the United Nations. He also runs a non-profit educational organization (www.gapminder.org).