更好的世界在这里

哥本哈根—几百年来,悲观者和乐观者就世界的状态争论不休。悲观者认为更多的人意味着更少的食物,上升的资源需求意味着枯竭和战争,而近几十年来,扩张的产能意味着更多的污染和全球变暖。被当前一代悲观者奉为圭臬的《增长的极限》影响着当今环境运动。

相反,乐观者兴高采烈地宣布所有东西——人类健康、生活水平、环境质量,等等——都在变得更好。他们的反对者把他们看作“富饶派”经济学家,相信市场可以纠正一切问题。

但是,我们不应该有选择性地采纳符合衰败和进步的宏大叙事的事实和故事,而应该全方位地比较人类经验,研究世界是否真的在变好或变坏。我与21位世界顶尖经济学家一起正在做这个尝试,我们开发了一套150年来记分卡。在十个领域中——包括健康、教育、战争、性别、空气污染、气候变化和生物多样性——经济学家回答同一个问题:自1900至2013年的每一年,这一问题的相对成本是多少?并且对2014—2050年的这一数字做出预测。

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