Breaking (Bad) News stories are a dime a dozen. The outrage fires burn hot, and you can’t take your eyes off them. Fear-mongering headlines steal the show. Our intellectual mind tells us we can resolve these problems—the illusion of control. Bad new stories are beyond your control and will be resolved without your input, thus not worth sacrificing your inner peace.
Current headlines are the extreme heat around the world. How long before the planet is unlivable, we wonder. “Devastating California wildfire grows near Yosemite National Park amid sweltering temperatures” and “Alaska experiencing wildfires it’s never seen before.”
The bad news cup is overflowing. Consequently, fear of disaster is swarming our thinking hours. That’s bad for our health and cost us time. Making time to read how businesses are responding and millions of people are working to reverse the danger becomes a salve for our anxieties.
People claiming that small positive happenings are too little and too late have caved in to hopelessness. Their negativity is a part of the problem. For our mental health, we need good news supplements to preserve our hope in humanity. Fortunately, there is good news out there.
The Guardian, a British daily newspaper with a circulation of more than a million, is the first global news organization to refuse to accept advertising from oil and gas companies. “The ban will apply to any business primarily involved in extracting fossil fuels, including many of the world’s largest polluters.” Every endeavor begins with a small step. read more
Ecologist Helena Herr at the University of Hamburg in Germany tells us, “We are witnessing the recovery of a large marine mammal species, and this is pretty rare in our times of biodiversity loss and species loss.” An increased number of whales translates to more nutrients from their feces that fertilize microscopic phytoplankton plants that feed small animals which sustain dolphins and other marine species. Like trees on forest floors support life for insects, dead whales sink to the ocean floor, where the carcasses help mitigate global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A step in the right direction encourages others to follow. read more
“Fridays for Future” movement was initiated by Greta Thunberg (born 2003). In 1991, Jane Goodall (born 1934) “gave birth” to Roots & Shoots—”everyone can make a difference.” Initially, the Tanzania group was mocked for picking up trash on the beaches without getting paid. “But soon,” Jane tells us, “an explosion of activity gave rise to a new phenomenon in Tanzania: volunteerism.” More and more schools joined, planting trees in their barren schoolyards. Trees grow fast in the tropical climate, and soon the schools, students, and birds enjoyed the shade. Roots & Shoots groups are now around the globe finding unique ways to help the planet. read more
#No Mow May, launched by Plantlife in 2020, is a growing campaign encouraging people to lock up lawn mowers in May. Lawns are a potential hotspot for biodiversity that support bees and wildlife. Coloradans, where I reside in summer, are letting the wildflowers in their lawns bloom, providing a feast of nectar for our hungry pollinators and homes for our butterflies. More communities are planting tall shoreline native grasses around bodies of water that protect and enhance the aquatic ecosystem. Yard-by-yard, people are taking steps to cultivate their yards that are both healthy for the planet and beautiful to our eyes. read more
The old ways of thinking are getting pushed aside, generation by generation—and that’s Good News indeed.