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Cultivating Hope + Great News + Off to Grandmas

Cultivating Hope + Great News + Off to Grandmas

Good Morning from Snowy Warren Grove, Prince Edward Island
We prepared as a lot of Islanders do when a snowstorm is pending. We fill the bathtub, and several pots on the propane stove with water, line up the flashlights, candles, matches, firewood and storm chips; Miss Vickies is my weakness.

Here is a photo from 6 o’clock last night and the other at 8:30 am this morning—the difference a few hours can make.

I am aware heading into a new year this virus affects life in so many ways. It can be stress inducing. But I need to be remind myself to be grateful and stay positive. There have been many accomplishments made locally and globally.
Cultivating Hope
COVID-19 vaccines are the most successful global health initiative ever undertaken. Nine billion doses were administered across 184 countries, and almost 60% of the planet has received at least one dose. In less than two years, we came up with a way to overcome a new disease and rolled it out to more than half of humanity.
In environmental news, the only way to stop a runaway train is for us to jump on board and pump the brakes. Great news out of Europe.
A report shows that renewables overtook fossil fuels as the number one power source in the EU for the first time in 2020. Renewables generated 38% of electricity, compared to 37% for fossil fuels. To date, 9 EU Member States have phased out coal, 13 others have committed to a phase-out date, and four are considering possible timelines. Also, compared to 2019, EU27 greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 fell by almost 10%. An unprecedented drop in emissions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is more positive news on the environmental front. Check out Corporate Knights, a voice for clean capitalism website
I recently purchased Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know by Ronald Bailey and Marian L. Tupy.
“Since journalism focuses on dramatic things and events that go wrong, the nature of news thus tends to mislead readers and viewers into thinking that the world is in worse shape than it really is.”
The authors’ liner notes above align with my thoughts about commercial media channels. The channels need to attract viewership to keep advertisers paying. And commercial media understands the human propensity for the negative; so they continue to feed it. Or at least until we stop falling for it one by one.
"A society with too few independent thinkers is vulnerable to control by disturbed and opportunistic leaders. A society which wants to create and maintain a free and democratic social system must create responsible independence of thought among its young." ~ John Dewey
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought
without accepting it. Aristotle
Reading the chapter outlines of all 78 trends in the book is inspiring:
  1. The Great Enrichment — world economic growth on a steady upward trajectory. 
  2. The End of Poverty — only 8.6% — and falling — of humanity now live in poverty. 
  3. Are We Running Out of Resources? — spoiler alert; NO. They’re more abundant than ever. 
  4. Peak Population — world population growth is rapidly slowing and projected to peak this century. 
  5. The End of Famine — famines have virtually disappeared outside of war zones. 
  6. More Land for Nature — huge gains in the global tree canopy are offsetting declines in the tropics. 
  7. Planet City — 55% of humanity now live in cities with higher wealth and lower environmental impact. 
  8. Democracy on the March — democracies are increasing as autocracies decline 
  9. The Long Peace — war between countries has become a rare event 
  10. A Safer World — death by natural disaster has dropped 99% in the past 100 years 
People Trends
  • Life options are expanding
  • Global happiness is rising
  • Global income is rising
  • Global income inequality is falling
  • Slum living is declining
  • Empowering women
  • Choosing smaller families
  • Achieving universal literacy
  • More kids in school
  • More years in school
  • IQ scores rising massively
  • Decriminalizing LGBTQ
  • Global free press progress, with setbacks
  • Life expectancy is rising
Health Trends
  • The global death rate is falling
  • Vastly fewer children die young
  • Mothers are living longer
  • Vaccines are saving lives
  • Overcoming HIV/AIDS
  • Trouncing tuberculosis
  • Malaria retreats
  • Winning the war on cancer
  • Tobacco’s last stand
  • Accelerating vaccine discoveries
Violence Trends
  • The global murder rate is falling
  • Capital punishment plummets
  • Battle death rate is declining
  • Genocides are disappearing
  • The military spending ratio is falling
  • Armies shrink as a proportion of the population
  • Nuclear arsenals dwindle
Work Trends
  • Working less for more
  • Work grows safer
  • Children labour less 
  • Service sector work is rapidly increasing
  • The wage gap between men and women is narrowing
  • Universal emancipation
Natural Resources Trends
  • Peak farmland
  • Conserving more land and sea
  • Decarbonizing the economy
  • No peak oil
  • Rising natural gas reserves 
  • Using water more efficiently
  • Producing more with less
Farm Trends
  • Hunger retreats
  • Grain cornucopia
  • Yields increasing
  • Farming and eating more fish
  • Protein boom
Tech Trends
  • Increasing global access to electricity
  • Lighting costs near nothing now
  • Solar power ever-cheaper
  • More access to clean drinking water
  • Improving sanitation
  • Mobile phone revolution
  • Internet explosion
  • Vastly cheaper computation
  • Global tourism rises (pre-pandemic)
  • Tariffs are falling
U.S. Trends
  • Share of spending on household basics declines
  • Lower cost and higher adaption of new technologies
  • Violent crimes are falling steeply
  • Declining racist attitudes
  • Air pollution is falling steeply
  • Bigger and better housing
  • Raising vaccination and plunging infectious disease.
  • Air travel is getting cheaper
  • Cancer incidence and death rates at 26 year low
The authors write, “You can’t fix what is wrong in the world if you don’t know what’s actually happening…the dark view of the prospects for humanity and the natural world is, in large part, badly mistaken…of course, some global trends are negative…however, many of the global trends we describe are already helping redress such problems…the nature of news thus tends to mislead readers and viewers into thinking that the world is in worse shape than it really is…most of us attend far more to bad rather than to good news.”
"A lot of what is most beautiful about the world arises from struggle." ~ Malcolm Gladwell
On the community front, there were wins for Indigenous groups, too.
Indigenous people continued to face persecution in many parts of the world in 2021, but there were some signs of progress.
Canada and Australia pledged to pay reparations to Indigenous children who had been forcibly removed from their parents as children. Of course, the reparations won’t make up for what happened, but they mark a shift in tone.
Elsewhere, Indigenous politicians rose to prominent leadership roles. For example, Canada appointed its first indigenous governor-general (Mary Simon); and New Zealand (Dame Cindy Kiro). And Deb Haaland became the first indigenous US cabinet secretary.

Keep HOPE alive.

"Hope is sweet. Hope is illumining. Hope is fulfilling. Hope can be everlasting. Therefore, do not give up hope, even in the sunset of your life." ~ Sri Chinmoy 
Music I Enjoyed This Week:
Jazz: Sample Listen Here Street of Dreams by The Bill Charlap Trio
Classical: Sample Listen Here Paris by Hilary Hahn
Amazing Video...
I wish you a wonderful and safe weekend.
With love from Prince Edward Island,
Bruce + Millie
ps. Your Morning Smile.
My three-year-old son, Jack, was as excited as he could be to visit his grandma and grandpa in Florida, especially since it meant taking his first trip on an airplane.
We'd just boarded and got buckled in when Jack looked around the plane and frowned. "What is it?" I asked, wondering if he was nervous.
He then asked me, a bit worried, "Are ALL these people going to Grandma's house too?"
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Ellen - January 8, 2022

Very nice post.
Have fun at Grandma’s.

Lillian. Paul - January 8, 2022

Love your interesting & very positive blog this morning Bruce. We wish you sunshine afer the storm.

Marlene Boakes - January 8, 2022

Wow, you have some snow, for sure!! Just got this in and thought it was worth sharing:
Sunshine is not cancelled
Love is not cancelled
Relationships are not cancelled
Reading is not cancelled
Naps are not cancelled
Going for a walk is not cancelled
Kindness is not cancelled
Imagination is not cancelled
Have a great day!!!

Nancy Koken - January 8, 2022

Your Blogs are so welcome every time I see them in my in-box. I visited PEI many years ago on a church tour. I remember it as being an absolutely peaceful place and that is why I began to read your messages. Now I am hooked on the upcoming photos, words and information. The peace that I experienced then rushes back to me again and again.
Thank you for sharing this with me and so many others looking for that peace in this day and age.

Allan Parker - January 8, 2022

I am positive the jokes in Bruce’s blogs are getting better too !!

Bep Demings-Mattern - January 8, 2022

Thank you very much for this positive blog. I feel much better this morning.

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