Eco Comment – Happy New Year

05 January 2024

I’d already decided that I wanted to start the New Year with good news but then I read some of the papers! It was all so depressing.

Fortunately, I then saw a Facebook post from my brother Chris (Redmond), the poet. His post was about his recent experiences at COP with Liv Torc and the Hot Poets. He was writing in response to a Guardian article ‘I thought most of us were going to die from the climate crisis. I was wrong.’ His post related some of his experiences of working with scientists, farmers, NGOs policy makers and changemakers in the climate space at COP and how yes, everything worked extremely slowly politically, BUT that extraordinary changes were/are already happening. We, the public, are actually demanding that change. What is more surprising is that they, the industries and multinational and national companies, are responding. Data shows that some things aren’t quite as bleak as the media would have us believe. Might the media be said to have an agenda? Good news doesn’t sell newspapers, or does it? Might sharing positive news make the world a happier place?

In response to this I searched for Good News on the internet. Surprisingly (to me) it turns out that there are several sites that share good or positive news. Of the top 25 good news stories from 2023 in Positive News, 15 were concerned with either climate and/or environmental news stories. National newspapers do print good news occasionally and this last weekend saw The Times share with us ‘54 good news stories you may have missed in 2023’. The latest email from The World Wildlife Fund was titled ‘Hope for the Future – How you helped make a difference in 2023’. Projects in the UK include restoring seagrass, oysters, rainforests and creating a UK citizens’ assembly: The People’s Plan for Nature. Worldwide projects have resulted in rising numbers in rhinos, tigers and mountain gorillas.

Despite the weather and the dark nights, all is not doom and gloom. As we dismantle and recycle our Christmas decorations this weekend, we can take heart in the knowledge that there is hope for the world and for humanity. I think the secret is to find something good every day. A friend has a little ritual of writing down something every week and putting the papers in a jar/box and then reading them at the start of the next year. Another friend puts tickets to places they’ve been to in a box and takes pleasure in remembering the events with her son a year on.

However you mark a new year, may it bring you good resolutions and prospective happy memories. ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Susan Morgan
Eco Group

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