99 Reasons 2016 Was a Good Year

Our media feeds are echo chambers. And those echo chambers don’t just reflect our political beliefs; they reflect our feelings about human progress. Bad news is a bubble too.

“If it bleeds, it leads” isn’t a phrase coined by some cut-throat tabloid editor. It’s a potent truth that lies at the heart of the modern day media machine. It’s time for some balance. That’s why our team at Future Crunch spent the year gathering good news stories you probably didn’t hear about,

We at GaiaInnovations have selected a few of the 99 cases below:


Some of the biggest conservation successes in generation

5. In 2016, more than 20 countries pledged more than $5.3 billion for ocean conservation and created 40 new marine sanctuaries covering an area of 3.4 million square km. Reuters

9. In December, the United States and Canada announced a joint permanent ban on all offshore oil and gas activity in the Arctic. CBC News

Huge strides forward for global health

11. In 2016, some of the world’s biggest diseases, like colon cancer, dementia and heart disease, started declining in wealthy countries. New York Times

17. Life expectancy in Africa has increased by 9.4 years since 2000, thanks to improvements in child survival, progress in malaria control and expanded access to ARVs. Quartz

Political and economic progress in many parts of the world

25. 93% of kids around the world learned to read and write this year. That’s the highest proportion in human history. And the gender gap between girls and boys in school narrowed in 2016 too. Medium

27. World hunger reached its lowest point in 25 years. New York Times

31. In 1990, more than 60% of people in East Asia lived in extreme poverty. As of 2016, that proportion has dropped to 3.5%. Vox

35. In June, after years of wrangling, the drive to end female genital mutilation in Africa made a major breakthrough, when the Pan African Parliament endorsed a continent-wide ban. The Wire

We finally started responding seriously to the climate change emergency

42. The Paris Agreement became the fastest (and largest) United Nations treaty to go from agreement to international law in modern history. CBS

74. The average number of large oil spills around the world has been drastically reduced, from an average of 24.5 per year in the 1970s, to just 1.8 a year in 2015. ITOPF

Endangered animals got a some well-deserved breaks

79. At this year’s CITES conference, 183 countries agreed to the strongest protections ever for endangered animals, with big wins for parrots, rhinos, porpoises, rays and elephants. Washington Post

81. Wild wolves started coming back to Europe, and for the first time since the American Revolution, wild salmon began spawning in the Connecticut River. Al Jazeera

86. Humpback whales were removed from the endangered species list, having fully recovered in the last 46 years. Science Mag

The world got more generous

92. In April, Pony Ma Huateng, the chief executive of the Chinese internet giant Tencent, donated $2 billion to charity. South China Morning Post

93. 2015 was America’s most generous year ever, with charitable donations from individuals, estates, foundations and corporations reaching record highs. 2016 is on track to be even bigger. Associated Press

94. In 2016, charitable giving in China rose to $15 billion, a 10 fold increase from just a decade ago Bloomberg


Read the whole article with all the 99 reasons by Angus Hervey from Future Crunch in Medium.


In radio you can listen to political economist Angus Hervey tells Jesse Mulligan why 2016 was, in fact, a very good year.


Category:Positive News
Media Channel Reference: Medium
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