There’s been a lot of negative feedback about last year. The New York Times asked “2016: Worst. Year. Ever?” We’re not sure we agree with their assessment, so let’s spend some time with the good news from 2016.
GOOD NEWS FACT #1:
The Giant Panda has officially been removed from the endangered species list and their status changed to ‘vulnerable’. There are now an estimated total of 2,060 pandas, up from just over 1,200 in the 1980s.
GOOD NEWS FACT #2:
Solar panels became cheaper than fossil fuels. Solar and wind is now the same price or cheaper than new fossil fuel capacity in more than 30 countries.
GOOD NEWS FACT #3:
India planted a world record 50 million trees in 24 hours. As part of the Paris Climate Agreement signed on Earth Day 2016, India designated $6.2 billion to bring India’s forest cover to 235 million acres by 2030.
GOOD NEWS FACT #4:
Tiger numbers are growing. For the first time in 100 years, the number of wild tigers is increasing. According to the most recent data, around 3,890 tigers now exist in the wild—up from an estimated 3,200 in 2010.
GOOD NEWS FACT #5:
A new Ebola vaccine is 100% effective. “This trial, confirming the 100 percent efficacy of the rVSV Ebola vaccine, is a simply remarkable outcome,” said Dr. Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust.
GOOD NEWS FACT #6:
41 new marine sanctuaries were created in 20 countries, to protect oceans from the threat of climate change and pollution. In amongst these is a vast Antarctic marine sanctuary – the world’s largest marine reserve.
GOOD NEWS FACT #7:
Over the last decade, newly enforced safety procedures have decreased the number of airline accidents. Given the expected worldwide air traffic of about 35,000,000 flights, the accident rate is one fatal passenger flight accident per 3,200,000 flights.
GOOD NEWS FACT #8:
Colombia’s government has secured a groundbreaking peace deal with leftist Farc rebels – ending a 52-year conflict that has killed more than 220,000 people and driven almost 8 million from their homes. The Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos won the 2016 Nobel Peace prize for his efforts to negotiate the peace deal.
GOOD NEWS FACT #9:
China has the biggest ivory market in the world – some estimates suggest 70% of the world’s trade ends up there. With African elephant populations plummeting because of poaching for the ivory trade, this announcement is being hailed as a ‘game-changer’.
GOOD NEWS FACT #10:
Thanks in part to donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge, the University of Massachusetts Medical School has identified a third gene that is a cause for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord.
GOOD NEWS FACT #11:
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a large mass of marine debris particles in the North Pacific Ocean. After successful testing in the North Sea in 2016, the Ocean Cleanup aims to clean up to 42% of these ocean-borne plastics over the next 10 years.
And that’s a wrap – here’s the last post from our ‘glass-half-full’ series of 2016 Good News facts.
We hope you’re feeling just a little more optimistic about last year’s events.
GOOD NEWS FACT #12:
A new treatment for melanoma has seen a jump in survival rates – from 1% to 40%. The drug has been approved for use in the UK, and in the US the FDA gave itthe drug the go-ahead under its “Fast Track” program.
Who doesn’t love a Baker’s Dozen? Here’s a sweet story from the 2016 New Zealand earthquake.
GOOD NEWS FACT #13:
Following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in the small town of Kaikoura (NZ), its residents were evacuated along with all of their possessions. One of the residents had some unusual baggage — the cargo manifest listed 192 people, one cat, 14 dogs and about 30,000 bees. Considering that an estimated 1/3 of our food is dependent on pollination by bees, we’re thrilled these little insects made their escape.