2016. Good News You Might Not Have Heard.
January 01, 2017
When you read the local paper or watch the nightly broadcast, sometimes it can seem that the only news is bad news. War and terrorism, crime and corruption, natural disasters and terrible accidents. Good news doesn’t seem to be reported as often. But there is a lot of good news out there. There are positive stories, hopeful stories, and they’re all around —in your town, in your neighborhood, and all across the globe.
Just take a look at a few of the stories from 2016 that you might have missed . . .
Good news for our planet
- A new wave of desalination plants is bringing fresh water to one of the driest countries on earth. Just a few years ago, Israel, in its worst drought in at least 900 years, was running out of water. Now, it actually has a surplus. Israel gets 55% of its fresh water from desalination (the new Sorek desalination plant is the largest reverse-osmosis desalination facility in the world), and it now has more water than it needs. Ensia
- In 2016, more than 90 countries took part in a conference on protecting the world’s oceans, and more than 20 countries pledged over $5.3 billion for ocean conservation. Reuters
- The Colorado River, one of the most endangered rivers in the world, is beginning to recover after “pulse flows,” surges of water brought from the Morelos Dam on the Arizona-Mexico border, have brought new life to the river delta. This joint project of the US and Mexico, started in 2012, is seeing results as the habitat is being restored, and the plants and birds begin to return to the river. Audubon
- In India, in July 2016, more than 800,000 volunteers planted 50 million trees in one day. National Geographic
Good news for the people on the planet
All over the globe, diseases are being fought and often defeated. Great strides are being made in the global fight against deadly illness.
- In September 2016, the World Health Organization announced that measles has been eliminated from all of the Americas, all the way from Canada down to Chile. The only infection which has been completely eradicated globally is smallpox (in 1972), but other infectious diseases have been eliminated from the Americas (e.g. polio and rubella), and are on their way to elimination in other parts of the world. NBC
- The World Health Organization has resolved to eliminate malaria from 35 countries by the year 2030, and this goal seems to be well on its way. Since the year 2000, global malaria deaths have declined by 60%. WHO
- Some of the world’s biggest diseases, like colon cancer, dementia and heart disease, are waning in industrialized countries. Colon cancer, in particular, has had a marked decline. The rate of colon cancer has fallen by nearly 50% since its peak in the 1980s. The rate of hip fractures and stomach cancer has also sharply declined. Also, “while heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 600,000 people a year, deaths have fallen 70 percent from their peak.” New York Times
- In Russia, infant mortality rates have decreased by more than 12% and life expectancy has risen to 71.2 years. Sputnik News
- In Africa, according to the WHO’s World Health Statistics 2016 report, life expectancy has increased by almost 10 years since the year 2000. Quartz
Just a couple more positive stories from the past year . . .
- 2016 was also a good year for our four-legged friends. Humpback whales, manatees, and giant pandas have been taken off the endangered list. Also, in 2016, the number of tigers in the wild rose for the first time in 100 years.
- And 2016 was a good year to fly. A great year to fly, in fact. 2016 was the second safest year in aviation history. Aviation Safety Network