We do not make this stuff up!
The world may have many problems, from climate change to armed conflict, natural disasters, poverty and the oppression of women and minorities – but where does population growth fit into this catalogue of woes?
With the population of the world at seven billion and rising, many fear a shortage of resources as well as a shortage of space. Swedish professor Hans Rosling, however, says it’s time for a reality check.
When pollsters got 1,000 British people to take Rosling’s “ignorance survey” in May this year, the results suggested they knew “less about the world than chimpanzees”, he says.
Take a version of the test in this quiz, compare your results with the British respondents’, then read Hans Rosling’s five reasons the world is in better shape than we think.
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The fact that humans do worse than chimps shows the problem is not a lack of knowledge, but the result of having preconceived ideas, Rosling says – ideas that are years, or sometimes decades out of date.
“What is particularly striking is that those with a university education did not do better – if anything worse – than everyone else,” he says.
Rosling infers from this that most people are ignorant about the profound ways the world is changing, “often for the better”.