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Chin up. Things Aren’t That Bad.

Gil Gullickson 11/22/2011 @ 2:24pm Crops Technology Editor for Successful Farming magazine/Agriculture.com

The nation’s mood is sour these days. Rampant unemployment, home foreclosures, and a yo-yo stock market are souring the nation’s mood.

A closer look, though, reveals that things aren’t that bad and are getting better. And, agriculture is leading the way in that respect.

Matt Ridley, a zoologist who authored the book, The Rational Optimist, notes increases in agricultural productivity has led to more land being set aside for forest and wildlife.

“In the eastern Seaboard in the United States, there used to be 70% farmland. Now it is 70% forest. Much of Europe now has more forest covering it (in place of farmland). We are now so productive with farmland that we can spare some of that land for wilderness.”

Ridley spoke at the BASF Global Agricultural Solutions Press Info Day in Ludwigshafen, Germany, this month. Other good news he shared includes:

·      You’re likely doing better economically than your parents and grandparents.

“Ask yourself, how long does it take you to earn an hour of reading light,” he says.

A person living in 1800 and reading by the light of a tallow candle would have to labor 6 hours to pay for it. In the 1950s, an average person would have to work 8 seconds to afford an hour of reading light from an incandescent bulb.

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