Very dismal news came through in October that the Great Barrier Reef had suffered mass bleaching and a major part of it had died. This led environmental writer Rowan Jacobsen to publish an obituary, “The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old." But there’s still hope, and these positive news stories form 2016 certainly prove it right!
- The US government abandoned its plan for drilling for oil and has done so in the Atlantic Ocean, saving the marine life plenty troubles.
- The US and Mexico planned to bring the dying Colorado River back to life in 2012. In 2016, the results were heart-warming as long-lost vegetation sprang back and birds began to take notice, too.
- British Columbia managed to protect 85% of the world’s largest temperate rainforest, home to the Spirit Bear and aboriginal tribes known as the First Nations.
- Public smoking bans have been implemented by many countries, and people’s health has been improving by an astonishing 21%
- More than 20 countries pledged an astounding $5.3 billion for ocean conservation, and 40 new marine sanctuaries were created, including the world’s biggest one off the coast of Antarctica.
- Scientists at Harvard just may have solved the antibiotic resistant drug problem by creating completely new antibiotic bases.
- Research shows that the acid pollution in the air is back to the levels of the 1930s, before the Industrial Revolution happened.
- The WHO stated that malaria, once a major killer, has been declining steadily since the 2000s and is currently at a 60% decline worldwide! And the measles has been completely eradicated in all of the Americas, the first time for a disease to be eradicated from a world region!
- In the last 25 years, world hunger was at its lowest in 2016! There’s still a long way to go to bring these levels down in places like Africa and Asia, but it’s a start nonetheless.
- Global carbon emissions flatlined for three years straight in 2016. They are not growing…
- The Paris Agreement was a new world record in itself – being the largest and the fastest UN treaty to go to international law from just an agreement…
- Following this, both India and China banned coal mining and India went on to unveil the largest solar plant in the world, saying that it would soon become a major solar power in 2017.
- For the first time ever, the death penalty became illegal in more than half of the world’s countries.
- The ozone hole is healing and scientists expect it to be fully healed by 2050. All because some of us banned CFCs.
- Finally, what’s common between the manatees, giant pandas, humpback whales, green sea turtles and Columbian white-tailed deer? That they were all taken off the endangered list in 2016! The grey wolves are back in Europe and the salmon have started spawning again in the Connecticut river. The grizzlies are back in Yellowstone and for the first time in the last 100 years, the wild tiger population rose just a tad…
Enough to make a grown man cry with tears of happiness. And a happy 2017 to you too, a year brimming with hope and positivity!