25 Things Happening In The World Today That Many People Don’t Know About

In spite (and many times because of) all the social media and internet news, we tend to have a skewed view of the world around us. Quite often we think it is actually worse than it really is or we are focused on only a few historically insignificant events like a presidential election. There are other, arguably more important things happening in the world. These are 25 things happening in the world today that many people don’t know about!

Featured Image: https://pixabay.com/en/sunrise-space-outer-globe-world-1756274/

25

Desertification

desert

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/desert-drought-dehydrated-clay-soil-279862/

Many of the world’s deserts are growing larger every year. For example, the Sahara Desert has expanded to the south by another 250 km since 1900. This accounts for nearly 6000 square km.

24

Flynn Effect

brain

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/brain-turn-on-education-read-book-770044/

On average, humans appear to be getting smarter by about 3 IQ points per year but scientists aren’t completely sure why.

23

Cancer rates are down

cancer

Source: cancer.org, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cancer_button.jpg

Over the last 20 years cancer rates have have fallen by 20% and are still dropping.

22

Palm oil deforestation

palm oil

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oil_palm_plantation_in_Cigudeg-03.jpg

Although palm oil isn’t especially healthy for us, large amounts of rainforest are being cleared in order to grow oil palms.

21

Rise of Africa

capetown

Source: wikipedia, theguardian, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aerial_View_of_Sea_Point,_Cape_Town_South_Africa.jpg

Africa is the fastest developing region of the world and it’s not nearly as bad as many western NGO’s make it out to be. It’s just hard to solicit funds for starving children without showing you pictures of starving children.

20

Mexican Cartel Wars

guns

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:My_Guns_006.jpg

More than 150,000 Mexicans have died since 2000 due to fighting between drug cartels.

19

Deadly construction of FIFA World Cup stadium in Qatar

doha

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33019838, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Doha_skyline0001.JPG

More than 1000 people have died building the stadium so far but those numbers don’t typically get published because many of the workers are “immigrants” from Asia. In fact, several foreign news teams have been arrested for reporting on this.

Note: we say “immigrants” because the working conditions have been compared to slave labor

18

Facebook's influence on elections

facebook

Source: nature.com, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Facebook_New_Logo_(2015).svg

For example, Facebook has been shown to improve voter turnout for certain candidates based on whose “I voted” messages that were displayed.

17

Blood farming

blood

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30273994, https://www.wired.com/2011/06/red-market-excerpt/, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ics-codablock-blood-bag_sample.jpg

It’s just as crazy as it sounds. People are chained up like slaves and “milked” for their blood. This has been a growing problem in poorer countries like India. One particularly famous case came to be known as the Blood Factory by the Indian media. A farmer named Papu Yadhav was found to be holding numerous slaves on his property and bleeding them twice a week for over 2 years. But Papu wasn’t alone. There were even nurses, accountants, and delivery men involved in the blood farming ring. Sadly this type of blackmarket tends to flourish in poverty stricken countries where hospitals are overburdened.

16

Bees

bees

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Honey_bee_(Apis_mellifera).jpg

They’re dying. Maybe not as fast as the media makes it sound, but their population is nevertheless decreasing at an alarming rate.

15

Antibiotics are failing

antibiotics

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sheeppurple/3060243118

Since they are often used unnecessarily (on livestock for example), bacteria are slowly becoming resistant.

14

Internet shills

internet

Source: bbc, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/internet-global-earth-communication-1181587/

Many of the comments you read on news websites, social media platforms, and forums are actually people being paid to spread subversive messages online.

13

Machine learning

computer

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Computers_chips_circuits.jpg

It is advancing faster than anybody expected. Computers are actually able to learn and reprogram themselves. If it sounds science fictiony…it is. Google’s deep learning AI just beat the world Go champion. That was something we didn’t think would happen for at least another 100 years (Go is the most complex game ever created. It is significantly more complex than chess and it is impossible for even a computer to calculate all possibilities. It requires something that up until now we thought was distinctly human….instinct)

12

Designer babies

baby

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sleeping_baby_with_arm_extended.jpg

Because Asian countries like China and India have less public opposition to genetic modification and gene editing, they are likely to make use of CRISPR for the purpose of creating designer babies. This means that China could potentially have “enhanced humans” in the near future. That doesn’t bode too well for the west in terms of competition.

11

Refugees

refugee

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:20151030_Syrians_and_Iraq_refugees_arrive_at_Skala_Sykamias_Lesvos_Greece_2.jpg

There are more refugees today than there have ever been in history. Taking only Syria into account, nearly 4 million people have either been killed or fled the country. That’s one fifth of the population.

10

Big banks

bank

Source: ft.com, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/finance-facade-mirroring-building-108655/

The big banks are doing pretty much the same stuff they did that caused the Great Recession in 2008, it’s just got a different name…CDO or Collateralized Debt Obligation.

9

Military suicides

army

Source: telegraph.co.uk, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/soldiers-military-usa-weapons-war-1002/

More British soldiers die of suicide than in battle. This military suicide trend can be found in many other countries as well.

 

8

Slavery

slavery

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/missy-and-the-universe/3474613950

There are nearly 30 million slaves in the world. That is more than at any other point in human history.

7

Coltan mining

phone

Source: longreads.com, Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/hands-coffee-smartphone-technology-4831/

Most phones require an ore called coltan and the largest source of coltan comes from mines on the Rwandan border. Unfortunately, a lot of this coltan is harvested using brutal slavery methods.

6

America's infrastructure is "greater" than you think

minneapolis

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/03/19/good-news-americas-infrastructure-is-now-5-percent-less-shoddy/, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hiawatha_Line-Government_Plaza.jpg

It is actually improving (particularly in the areas of rail and road), contrary to what you would think if you only read the American Society of Civil Engineers report card (D+).

5

Detroit

detroit

Source: nytimes, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/detroit-downtown-city-architecture-1819179/

This may sound trivial, but in light of recent events it’s worth pointing out that downtown Detroit is actually a really nice place with tons of cafes, restaurants, and places to go. It’s only the areas right outside downtown that are rundown.

4

Self driving cars

google car

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/romanboed/9572198632

They are poised to massively reduce the number of traffic related fatalities

3

Toddlers with guns

toddler

Source: http://www.snopes.com/toddlers-killed-americans-terrorists/, Image: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=21689

Every year, more people are killed by toddlers with guns than by terrorists.

2

Nuclear energy

nuclear

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nuclear_Power_Plant_Cattenom.jpg

Due to recent advances in technology, nuclear power is actually one of the safest and cleanest forms of power generation. Unfortunately, the past has caused people to be very wary of it.

1

Cow farts

cows

Source: wikipedia, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/cows-cow-austria-pasture-sky-blue-203460/

A majority of greenhouse gas emissions actually come from livestock passing gas.