Good News Friday

  • The proportion of European children classified as ‘severely deprived’ has decreased from 22.8% in 2009 to 14.6% in 2021. European Parliment (PDF link).
  • In the last decade, global cases of visceral leishmaniasis have decreased from 64,223 in 2011 to 11,689 in 2021, the lowest since 1998. WHO (PDF link).
  • Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has given away nearly $2 billion to 343 organizations over the past seven months. Medium.
  • U.S. military suicides drop as leaders push mental health programs. PBS.
  • Paris, one of the world’s priciest cities, turbocharges affordable housing. Bloomberg.
  • The largest fish in the Amazon, the pirarucu, has been saved from extinction thanks to a community campaign to impose strict fishing regulations. ABC.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • New data shows 11% decline in veteran homelessness since 2020—the biggest drop in more than 5 years. HUD.
  • From 2020 to 2022, Hispanic people saw a 53 percent jump in health insurance coverage rates through the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplace, Black people 49 percent and Native Americans 32 percent. Washington Post.
  • Cigarette smoking in the United States has declined from 20.9% in 2005 to 12.5% in 2020. CDC.
  • Between 2000 and 2016, the age-adjusted prevalence of dementia among the nation’s elderly fell by 30 percent. The Hill.
  • Blindness and visual impairment in India reduced by 47.1% and 51.9% respectively in 2019 in overall population as compared to WHO’s figures of 2010. The Times of India.
  • Minor police encounters plummet after LAPD put limits on stopping drivers and pedestrians. Los Angeles Times.
  • Dilip Mahalanabis has died. He pioneered the use of oral rehydration therapy during a refugee crisis which helped save 54 million lives over the past half century. Financial Times.
  • Samuel L. Katz, a developer of the measles vaccine, dies at 94. Worldwide, measles killed 2.6 million people a year before the availability of vaccines. The New York Times.
  • Chile leads the way in solar energy, far exceeding its goal to reach 20% of energy production from renewable sources by 2025. El Pais.
  • US wholesale inflation eases to 8%, 4th straight slowdown. AP.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • Covid-19 vaccines saved an estimated 20 million lives during their first year. The Economist.
  • Safety net programs in California moved nearly 1.7 million children out of poverty. PPIC.
  • Europe’s improved air quality has saved millions of lives in the last few decades. In the early 1990s, nearly a million premature deaths a year were caused by fine particulate pollution. By 2005, that number had been more than halved, and in 2021 dropped to around 300,000. Euronews.
  • Lab-grown blood given to people in world-first clinical trial. BBC.
  • The movement to replace police with mental health providers for some 911 calls is gaining traction in rural America. Yes! Magazine.
  • Voters in four states have approved ballot measures that will change their state constitutions to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for crime. AP.
  • This coral reef resurrected itself — and showed scientists how to replicate it. NPR.
  • Coming soon: A $25,000 solar-powered electric SUV. Axios.
  • Mixed-race neighborhoods are now the norm in America. Back in 1990, 78 percent of White people lived in predominantly White neighborhoods, where at least 4 of every 5 people were also White. In the 2020 Census, that’s plunged to 44 percent. The Washington Post.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • Between 2000 and 2020, the global population with access to safely managed drinking water services has increased from 3.8 billion to 5.8 billion people. WHO.
  • Although significant gaps remain, disparities between Black and White people continued to narrow at nearly every stage of the criminal justice process between 2016 and 2020. In some cases, the pace of the decline slowed; in others, the disparity gap closed entirely. Council on Criminal Justice.
  • In 2011, 39 percent of Nepalis were multidimensionally poor. The percentage dipped to 17.5 in 2019. The Kathmandu Post.
  • New vaccine to protect people in the EU and worldwide against dengue. European Medicines Agency.
  • Pakistan reduced malaria cases by 45% from 2015-2020. Gavi.
  • In 1993, more than one in four children in the US lived below the poverty threshold. 26 years later, that number has fallen to roughly one in 10. Child Trends.
  • Pilot programs launched across the US and the rest of the world in the last few years have repeatedly shown that universal basic income pulls people out of poverty, improves health outcomes, and makes it easier for people to find jobs and take care of their children. Washington Post.
  • Since 1990, the bipartisan Clean Air Act has reduced fine particulate matter pollution by 41 percent, preventing 370,000 premature deaths each year. NRDC.
  • Clean energy has a tipping point, and 87 countries have reached it. Bloomberg.
  • Same-sex marriage is now legal in all of Mexico’s states. ABC News.
  • Ozone hole continues shrinking in 2022. NASA.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • The wealth of America’s bottom 50 percent has doubled during the pandemic years. The Intercept.
  • Despite COVID-19 Pandemic, record 96% of U.S. households were banked in 2021. FDIC.
  • With Covid prompting more employers to consider remote arrangements, employment has soared among adults with disabilities. The New York Times.
  • People born more recently have a lower risk of dying from influenza. Our World in Data.
  • CO2 emissions rose more slowly in 2022. AP.
  • EU produces record wind and solar energy as it shirks Russian gas. CNN.
  • In race to end homelessness, San Antonio takes the lead. Bloomberg.
  • U.S. military suicides drop as leaders push mental health programs. PBS.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • Once devastated, these Pacific reefs have seen an amazing rebirth. National Geographic.
  • Norway to slash pollution with the world’s first zero-emissions public transport network. Euronews.
  • Home solar panel adoption continues to rise in the U.S. Pew Research Center.
  • Researchers develop new technique that charges EV battery in just 10 minutes. PennState.
  • Global extreme poverty declined substantially over the last generation. Our World in Data.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall

A conversational tone and lots of pictures make this a quick read. Gottschall makes the case that storytelling is what makes us human. When we read, our imagination supplies most of the details, filling in the missing information. The writer is like a screenwriter and the reader is the movie director. Of course, stories appear not just in books, but also in video games, TV, jokes, urban legends, and in song lyrics.

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John Adams: A Life by John Ferling

John Adams smoked tobacco since he was eight. He received a Harvard education and after being a teacher for a short time, he became a lawyer. At one point, the wealthy John Hancock was put on trial for smuggling and John Adams represented him, succeeding in getting the charges dropped. He started courting his future wife Abigail when she was 15 and he was 25. He stopped seeing her, but they met again years later and married when he was 29 and she was 20.

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Good News Friday

  • A program launched in the 1990s has eliminated river blindness completely in Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Guatemala. WHO (PDF link)
  • In the United States, the age-adjusted overall cancer death rate has been steadily declining since the 1990s, with the reductions between 1991 and 2019 translating into nearly 3.5 million cancer deaths avoided. AACR.
  • Breast cancer death rates in the United States dropped by 43% between 1989 and 2020. American Cancer Society (PDF link).
  • Malawi has eliminated trachoma as a public health problem. WHO. Vanuatu has also eliminated trachoma. WHO.
  • Nigeria has recorded a significant decrease in child marriage, with the proportion of girls married before their 18th birthday falling from 44% in 2016 to 30% in 2021. There has also been considerable progress in child mortality, which has decreased from one in eight children dying before their fifth birthday in 2016, to one in ten in 2021. UNICEF (PDF link).
  • Between 2012 and 2021, the rate of violent crime in the United States declined from 26.1 to 16.5 incidents per 1,000 people. Department of Justice (PDF link).
  • Major milestone for Greek energy as renewables power 100% of electricity demand. Euronews.
  • Social Security boost will help millions of kids, too. AP.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.

Good News Friday

  • Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014? It helped fund a new ALS drug that was approved by the FDA this week. NPR.
  • This 100% solar community endured Hurricane Ian with no loss of power and minimal damage. CNN.
  • In 2021, 40% of the electricity produced in the United States was derived from non-fossil fuel sources. US Department of Energy.
  • Guaranteed income programs have been a lifeline across the US, new research shows — especially for parents of color. Bloomberg.
  • Australia’s most-polluting coal plant to shut decade earlier than planned. BBC.
  • California allows affordable housing on some commercial properties. Los Angeles Times.
  • More than twice as many Americans support than oppose the #MeToo movement. Pew Research Center.
  • U.S. jobless claims hit lowest level in five months. The Wall Street Journal.

For more good news, check out The Progress Network, and Future Crunch.