Good news

The most active threads here are generally ones where we are all sitting around a giant pile of excrement and debating the level of steam we see rising from it.

I thought it might be nice to have a thread which adds a little balance to our intake. A thread for good, positive changes happening in the world today.

If you do choose to participate in this thread, I would ask that you resist the temptation to post things like double negatives. For example “Trump hasn’t tweeted in 6 hours.” Please just consider the spirit of what this thread is for.

I’d like to start with not so much a story, but a source. Futurecrun.ch sends out a regular newsletter (usually every 2-4 weeks) filled with good news stories. You can go to https://futurecrun.ch/99-good-news-2019 to see a collation of stories from 2019, and there are options to sign up to their regular email on that page if you are interested.

What about you? Have you seen anything lately that you thought was good news?

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Florida Man HAS tweeted within 7 hours?

I think they made it a while ago but there’s a fully approved, basically a 100% effective Ebola vaccine now

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idk what’s going on in this thread, but 70’s afro-funk is outstanding.

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Somewhat similar thread if you’re needing some stuff to smile at.

this made me smile…at least until November.

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I thought it was inevitable this thread would end up with 70’s afro-funk, but you took it there much faster than expected.

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This.

Edit - I should link to an article or something. https://www.forbes.com/sites/carmenniethammer/2019/12/12/finlands-new-government-is-young-and-led-by-women-heres-what-the-country-does-to-promote-diversity/#3a177e1835aa

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My good news for today is that I thought of making a thread like this and see you already have. It’s nice to want good things and find they are already there :slight_smile:

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Copy/Pasting a few from the latest Future Crunch newsletter:

In 2019, renewables produced 43% of electricity in Germany, wind power alone contributed 47% of electricity in Denmark, carbon emissions from electricity in Spain fell by 33%, zero carbon electricity outstripped fossil fuels in the United Kingdom for the first time ever, and in the United States, overall emissions fell by 2.1%.

US cancer death rates dropped 29% between 1991 to 2017, and the most recent update saw the largest single-year decline in mortality ever reported. NYT

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Solar energy’s share of the power mix in India increased from 7.9% to 9.6% in 2019, and renewables now account for 36% of installed capacity. Mercom

Vietnam went from almost no solar in 2017 to more than Australia by the end of 2019. It’s now ten years ahead of its original clean energy targets. Economist

China’s birthrate has fallen to its lowest level since 1949, and is now below that of England and Wales. Al Jazeera

HIV infections in the UK have plummeted since 2012, especially for gay/bisexual men, falling by 71% due to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). BBC

The Dutch Cancer Registry says that the five year cancer survival rate in the Netherlands has increased from 42% in 1989 to 65% in 2018. NOS

Utah has become the 19th and most conservative state in the United States to ban conversion therapy for minors. NPR

Following improvements in cycling infrastructure, the average number of bicycle trips in Paris has increased by 54% in a single year. T&E

Germany is converting 62 military bases west of the old Iron Curtain into nature reserves for eagles, woodpeckers, bats, and beetles. Independent

Peru has begun reforesting the area around Machu Picchu, with plans to plant one million trees on the site in the next five years. France24

A huge survey of the world’s fisheries says overfishing has been reversed for half the world’s catch, and where fisheries are being managed, stocks are above target levels or rebuilding. Anthropocene

Bangladesh has announced a ban on single-use plastics in all coastal areas and in all hotels and restaurants by the end of 2020. Reuters

China has unveiled a major plan to reduce single-use plastics. Bags will be banned in major cities by the end of 2020 and in all towns by 2022. BBC

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Coal generation in the EU collapsed by 24% in 2019, and is now less than half its level in 2007. This led to a 12% fall in power sector carbon emissions – the biggest fall since 1990. Sandbag

The United Kingdom has brought its ban on petrol and diesel powered cars forward by five years, from 2040 to 2035. BBC

The number of foster care adoptions in the United States has reached a record high, up by almost a quarter since 2014. Pew

Swiss voters have overwhelmingly backed a proposal to make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and sexual identity illegal. BBC

The proportion of 16-18 year old females in England infected by HPV has dropped to zero. In 2008, when vaccinations began, it was 15%. Gov.uk

The prevalence of female genital mutilation in the Kurdistan region of Iraq has fallen by more than 75% in a single generation. UNFPA

New York has passed the most bird-friendly building policy in the US, which could reduce collision risks by up to 90%. Architectural Digest

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I’ve been reading a book on exoplanets written by a NASA administrator (it’s very boring) and I think there is absolutely a very real chance that we detect indications of life on an exoplanet based on atmospheric spectroscopy sometime within the next 30 years. And honestly, that planet might not be all that far from us in the grand scheme of things. I am not usually optimistic about this kind of thing, but there is some great work being done.

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Turkey’s renewable energy capacity has increased by 11% every year for the past decade. Clean energy now provides 49% of electricity. Daily Sabah

Following years of pressure from activists, Canadian company Teck Resources is pulling out of planned operations in the oil sands. NYT

Following years of pressure from activists, Norwegian company Equinor is pulling out of planned exploration in the Great Australian Bight. SBS

India says it will stop importing thermal coal in the next four years (no doubt Adani will never bow to years of pressure from activists). Economic Times

Foster care adoptions in the US have reached an all time high. 63,000 kids were adopted in 2018, up by nearly a quarter since 2014. Pew

A landmark ruling by India’s Supreme Court means that women will now be granted the same rights as men in all the country’s armed forces. CNN

Colombia says it will allow hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants to legalise their presence in the country through work permits. Reuters

Between 1990 and 2017, the age-adjusted global death rate for cancer fell by 15%, mostly as a result of the worldwide decline in smoking. OWiD

Singapore has announced a ban on internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040, the first Southeast Asian country to do so. Next Web

China has implemented a complete and permanent ban on the eating, hunting, trading and transportation of all wild animals. SCMP

Blue whale populations are bouncing back. Observers have recorded ‘unprecedented’ numbers in the waters around South Georgia. Independent

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Global carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector fell by 2% last year, the biggest fall since at least 1990. Reuters

Over 60% of global coal plants are now generating electricity at a higher cost than building new wind and solar. By 2030, it’ll be 100%. Money talks…

… so expect to see a lot more of this: “Vietnam is eliminating 15GW of planned coal,” and “South Korea is shutting down 28 coal plants in March.”

Tesla has just produced its one millionth electric car — the first company to achieve this milestone. It is now the world’s largest electric car maker. Electrek

Doctors in the DRC are celebrating as the last Ebola patient was sent home this month, marking the end of the most recent outbreak. CNN

Terrorist incidents in Pakistan decreased by 13% in 2019, and deaths from terrorism fell by 40% compared to 2018. Dawn

A new report by UNESCO shows that since 2000, the world has reached gender parity (equal numbers of boys and girls) for primary and secondary education, as well as youth literacy. Only adult literacy now remains.

Malawi has decriminalised cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes, following in the footsteps of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Lesotho. Guardian

New Zealand has legalised abortion, treating the practice as a health matter rather than a criminal one. People will now be able to access abortions from a health practitioner in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Stuff

In the last few months both Saudi Arabia and Palestine have banned child marriage, making 18 the minimum age for weddings.

In a first for the Arab world, an LGBTQI+ advocacy group has been granted legal protection by Tunisian courts. Al-Monitor

After a decades-long campaign by civil society groups, China has abolished a rule that allowed police to detain sex workers without trial. The Diplomat

Spain is changing its laws to prioritise consent in cases of violence against women. It’s being called the “only yes means yes” law. BBC

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has passed a law declaring that a husband has no right over his wife’s property without her consent. Tribune

In a major victory for press freedom, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has ruled against Ecuador for illegally prosecuting a newspaper. Knight Centre

Peru’s recent crackdown on illegal mining has been a big success, cutting deforestation by 92% since kicking off in February 2019. MAAP

A grassroots effort to restore Appalachia’s mountaintops has seen 187 million trees planted on over 1,000 km² of former mining sites. Seattle Times

Madagascar, one of the planet’s most biodiverse places, has launched a drive to plant 60 million trees to mark 60 years of independence. North Africa Post

In one of the largest reforestation projects in the world, Senegal has planted 152 million mangrove buds in the Casamance Delta in the past decade. BBC

Afghanistan has created its second largest national park, the Bamyan Plateau, home to the ibex, urial and the Persian leopard. Mongabay

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The British government called for a volunteer army to help the NHS. Within four days, 750,000 people had signed up — three times the original target, and the largest volunteer effort since World War II. WaPo

Support for Medicare for All has skyrocketed. 55% of US voters support it, and support for single-payer healthcare has jumped by 9 points. Morning Consult

New Zealand isn’t just flattening the curve - they’re squashing it, thanks to a masterclass in leadership from Jacinda Ardern. The Conversation

A family business in Adelaide that makes packaging for fast-food giants has swung into action to pump out a staggering 145 million masks. FiveAA

A group of 150 employees at a Tunisian factory have chosen to self-isolate for a month, and are now churning out 50,000 face masks a day. BBC

Shenzhen has become the first city in China to ban the eating of cats and dogs, due to fears of future viral outbreaks. DNA India

Amidst the economic fallout, fossil fuel companies have suffered a total bloodbath. Exxon and Peabody Coal are down a stunning 70% compared to 30% for the broader market. Financial Times

In Pakistan, people are pausing outside stores to offer zakat , the traditional Muslim charity tax, for those in need. BBC

Portugal has given all migrants and asylum-seekers full citizenship to ensure they can access public services for the duration of the outbreak. CNN

In South Africa, crime rates have plummeted following bans on sales of alcohol, and the notorious gangs of the Cape Flats have called a truce. BBC

Shipments of PPE from Jack Ma and Alibaba have arrived in Ethiopia, and are now being distributed across the entire African continent. They include six million masks, over a million testing kits and 60,000 protective suits. Daily News

Edit to add:

There are now 95 treatments and 52 vaccines in development for COVID19 in over 200 clinical trials in the US, China and EU. Milken Institute

The largest of these is being run by Oxford University. Almost 1,000 patients from 132 different hospitals across the UK with thousands more expected to join. Harrogate

The Gates Foundation is building seven factories for each of the top seven vaccine candidates. “ Even though we’ll end up picking at most two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven, so we don’t waste time.BI

Over a million people have joined up to create the world’s largest networked supercomputer, and it’s just successfully simulated the opening motion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. Folding@Home

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If only the US had a tenth of this compassion.

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