Un mundo mejor está aquí

COPENHAGUE – Durante siglos, optimistas y pesimistas han debatido sobre el estado del mundo. Los pesimistas ven un mundo en el que el aumento de la población significa reducción de los alimentos, en el que un aumento de la demanda de recursos significa agotamiento de éstos y guerra y en el que, en los últimos decenios, el aumento de la capacidad de producción significa más contaminación y calentamiento planetario. Uno de los textos sagrados de la generación actual de pesimistas,Los límites del crecimiento, ha influido en el movimiento ecologista hasta hoy.

En cambio, los optimistas afirman con alegría que todo –la salud humana, el nivel de vida, la calidad medioambiental, etcétera– va mejorando. Sus oponentes los consideran economistas “de Jauja”, con su fe en que el marcado soluciona todos  los problemas.

Pero, en lugar de elegir los datos y las historias para que encajen en una narración grandiosa de la decadencia o del progreso, deberíamos intentar comparar en todos los aspectos de la existencia humana para ver si de verdad mejora o empeora el mundo. Yo he intentado hacer eso precisamente, junto con 21 de los más importantes economistas del mundo: un sistema de puntuación que abarca 150 años. Todos esos economistas respondieron la misma pregunta de cuál fue el costo relativo, en cada uno de los años transcurridos desde 1900 hasta 2013, de cada uno de los problemas atinentes a diez  aspectos –entre ellos, la salud, la educación, la guerra, la igualdad de los sexos, la contaminación atmosférica, el calentamiento planetario y la diversidad biológica– y formularon predicciones hasta 2050.

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