Good News at Year’s End!

With all the doom & gloom in the world and on the news and in our social media feeds, it can be good to step back and take a look around for the good news. Truth is, that “doom & gloom” stuff has been around since I was a kid at least, and I’m pretty sure it has existed since biblical and even prehistoric times. I’m not saying there isn’t cause for alarm these days. There almost always is. I’m just suggesting opening our eyes up to the other, larger part of the picture, where things continue to get better in so many ways.

How, you ask? Well, here’s a few articles concerning good news to wrap up the year.

Greening the Globe

Greening of China and IndiaDeforestation gets all the press, but thanks to China and India, our globe is actually measurably greener than 20 years ago. The two most populous countries have separately engaged in “ambitious tree planting programs and scaled up their implementation and technology around agriculture.”

10 Scientific Breakthroughs in 2019

Robotic armAs humans, we may be our own worst enemy sometimes, but we are also often the instruments of improvement. Within just the last year, we’ve seen scientific breakthroughs in energy, including better solar energy designs, better batteries, and cheap & safe hydrogen fuel; biorobotics, including robotic arms controlled by the brain and capable of touching and feeling; and other new discoveries and innovations.

23 Charts & Maps Show Things Getting Better

Life expectancy soarsHow do we know the doom & gloom are actually outpaced by good things happening? By looking at the facts, especially as compiled in these statistical analyses.

When we step back from the headlines, we see people living longer lives while enjoying more leisure time, more education & increased internet access. Poverty & hunger are falling, along with teen births (USA), death in childbirth, child mortality rates, smoking, homicide  and violent crime.

Worldwide, more people are living under democracy.

36 Happy Factoids from 2019

Here’s a whole set of bite-sized bits of good news, presented via individual memes, highlighting positive occurrences or trends.

Examples range from a “Cuddle Club” pairing senior citizens with senior dogs for companionship, exercise and affection to buying metro tickets in Rome by recycling plastic bottles to a building a “bee corridor” in London.

Finally: Is the World Getting Better or Worse?

Looking back at 2017 (as we now look back at 2019), psychologist Steven Pinker gave a TED talk to answer this fundamental question. Spoiler alert regarding his answer: yes, in many ways, the world is getting better.

“In his analysis of recent data on homicide, war, poverty, pollution and more, psychologist Steven Pinker finds that we’re doing better now in every one of them when compared with 30 years ago.”

“We will never have a perfect world, and it would be dangerous to seek one,” he says. “But there’s no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing.”

Hope all of this buoys your spirits — Happy New Year!

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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