Some time ago I wrote a short post called What Are We Up Against. The post featured a video by Hans Rosling, who passed away last week. Hans was very popular among the humans. And if you watch the new video below, you'll see why. This obituary is from the New York Times.
Hans Rosling, a Swedish doctor who transformed himself into a pop-star statistician by converting dry numbers into dynamic graphics that challenged preconceptions about global health and gloomy prospects for population growth, died on Tuesday in Uppsala, Sweden. He was 68...
Even before “post-truth” entered the lexicon, Dr. Rosling was echoing former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s maxim that everyone is entitled to his own opinions but not to his own facts.
“He challenged the whole world’s view of development with his amazing teaching skills,” Isabella Lovin, Sweden’s deputy prime minister, said in a statement.
On Twitter, Bill Gates remembered Dr. Rosling as a “great friend, educator and true inspiration.”
A self-described “edutainer,” Dr. Rosling captivated vast audiences in TED Talks — beginning a decade ago in front of live audiences and later viewed online by millions — and on television documentaries like the BBC’s “The Joy of Stats” in 2010...
“I produce a road map for the modern world,” he told The Economist in 2010. “Where people want to drive is up to them. But I have the idea that if they have a proper road map and know what the global realities are, they’ll make better decisions.”
In Dr. Rosling’s version of those realities, the traditional divide between third-world and industrialized nations had become anachronistic, since so many countries were undergoing development, with some in Asia improving faster than some in Europe. He considered that five billion people continued to head toward healthier lives while one billion remained mired in poverty and disease; that progress toward health and wealth had contributed to climate change; and that the world was so poorly governed that possibilities to improve it abounded.
“I’m not an optimist,” Dr. Rosling once said. “I’m a very serious possibilist.”
Not an optimist?
He predicted that the United Nations’ goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030 was attainable because the tools to do so had been identified and the share of people living in that condition had already declined by more than half in 25 years.
He also argued vigorously that overpopulation would no longer be problematic as the world grew wealthier and fertility rates declined.
“There are so many who think that death keeps control of population growth,” he said in an interview with The Guardian in 2013. “That’s just wrong!”
He told The Economist: “The only way to reach sustainable population levels is to improve public health. Child survival is the new green.”
But wait, didn't he also believe that progress toward health and wealth contributes to climate change? And it does!
Rest in peace, Hans.
In the middle of the video below, Hans says his happy scenario will occur "if [and] only if" certain conditions are met. Listen for it. He only says it once. Then he seems to forget that he said it.