Are things getting better? -- the idea of progress reconsidered

Which criteria would one use to decide? Which kinds of evidence? Which arguments could be offered to make a persuasive case?

The BBC takes note of a survey of scientists that finds future prospects rather dim.

"The most comprehensive survey ever into the state of the planet concludes that human activities threaten the Earth's ability to sustain future generations.

The report says the way society obtains its resources has caused irreversible changes that are degrading the natural processes that support life on Earth.

This will compromise efforts to address hunger, poverty and improve healthcare.

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was drawn up by 1,300 researchers from 95 nations over four years."