These days, you can see humpback whales in the waters around New York City.
That didn't used to be the case. The whales had left New York Bay hundreds of years ago. Recently, they've ventured back. In 2011, there were five reported whale sightings.
Now, people have spotted more than a hundred.
The theories for the whales' return range from cleaner water to a general bounce in population.
The story is part of a larger trend – one that is decades long – toward a rebounding environment in many parts of the world.
New Jersey has been practically overrun by bears and deer. We're drastically more efficient with farmland, meaning we use less of it to make more food. And overall, America has been using smaller amounts of raw materials for decades.
This has led to a massive reforestation known as "global greening," with the total biosphere on land growing by 2 billion tons or more a year. Satellite data show that historically arid areas, like the Australian outback, saw foliage increase by 11% between 1982 and 2010.
This story is told in a brilliant and technical essay by Jesse Ausubel, the director of the Program for the Human Environment at New York City's Rockefeller University. Despite all the environmental horrors we're fed by the mainstream media... improving technology and efficiency are actually helping the environment get healthier.
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"[The declining use of raw materials] does not surprise us," Ausubel writes, "when a single pocket-size smartphone replaces an alarm clock, flashlight, and various media players, along with all the CDs and DVDs."
This isn't to say the environment is in perfect shape... There are a lot of concerns to be had. Ausubel himself believes in climate change. He also points out that American carbon emissions peaked in 2007 and are now at 1990 levels again, thanks to technology and efficiency.
My point is not to delve into a hot-button issue like climate change here. Rather, the shocking thing about this story is simply that you likely haven't heard it.
We always focus on the negative. Even when we're experiencing major improvements in our lives... we complain about the minor downsides.
We're concerned with how much time people waste on the Internet, rather than looking at the amazing and beautiful things it makes possible. You can learn virtually anything. For example, in 2015 a young Kenyan set the current African record for the javelin throw – 92.72 meters. He never had a coach. He learned to throw simply by watching videos on the YouTube Internet site.
That's just the start.
We worry about the market, our investments, and our finances, even though we have all the tools to create a plan that can ensure a comfortable future. An investor 10 or 20 years ago was at a remarkable disadvantage compared with you. Brokerage fees were high. Index funds were rare. Information was expensive and scarce.
I'm excited about the next few decades. I think that retirees – and people in general – are primed for an unprecedented increase in quality of life and financial security. You have huge advantages... And you'll only gain more as time goes on.
For those of you constantly fearing the next market crash, remember that the U.S. stock market is the greatest wealth-creation tool in history.
It allows you to become a partial owner of thousands of profitable businesses. When paired with the power of compounding, the market is what allows us to even consider saving for retirement.
But still, we worry.
It's time to stop worrying. Longtime readers know I'm still bullish on the economy and stock market, overall. But people still regularly ask me if it's time to get out of the market.
In the latest issue of my Retirement Millionaire newsletter, which goes out later today, I explain the epidemic ruining your health and wealth – stress.
If you want to know how to stop stressing and start making your money work for you, click here.
What We're Reading...
- Something different: This is why you have "brain farts."
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
November 8, 2017