Date: March 19, 2014 07:36PM
Here is a great quantitative analysis of why.http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24835822
1. Fast population growth is coming to an end.
2. The "developed" and "developing" worlds have gone.
3. People are much healthier.
4. Girls are getting better education.
5. The end of extreme poverty is in sight.
There are many other indications that life is better, both in the world in general and in the U.S. (crime rate and the economy, for examples).
There are strong, manipulative reasons to preach the gospel of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). Among other things, FUD keeps people reactive and less inclined to experiment and explore, keeps defense spending up, keeps tithing up, keeps people focused on the near-term and the personal instead of the long-term and the social. Whenever an institution or movement advocates a FUD point of view, we need to look behind the facade presented and determine the facts and motivation for fear mongering.
(That said, sometimes it is brightest just before the lights go out.)