Howdy, hi, hello, and welcome to the final few days of 2022!
The year has gone so blindingly fast that it doesn’t at all feel like it should be the end of the year, but here I am, and here you are, so I hope you’re thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions or your imminent New Year’s celebrations or which Lindsay Lohan movie to watch today (I recommend Just My Luck – it’s rated fairly low, but it’s also got a McFly cameo and Chris Pine).
Usually, at the end of the month, we wrap up every bit of good sustainability-adjacent news from the few weeks before as a general in-your-face reminder that HUMANITY DOESN’T TOTALLY SUCK and GOOD THINGS DO HAPPEN ON THIS PLANET and IN GENERAL, PEOPLE CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE – but I’m actually writing this in November (and editing in mid-December! Hello past me!), and that means there isn’t a whole lot of December-related news to work with.
So, instead of a December-dedicated post, we’re going back through the year and picking out some absolutely wonderful excellent stupendous news that featured across 2022. So sit back, queue up Just My Luck, and get a super quick dose of serotonin and general good-will-to-all-mankind, before you spend some time appreciating the true talent that is Miss Lindsay Lohan.
- Canada bannned conversion therapy
- 10 countries in the western Indian Ocean created the Great Blue Wall network with the goal of protecting 30% of the oceans by 2030
- Humpback whale numbers have risen from 10,000 to 80,000 thanks to conservation efforts
- 523 acres of California Redwood forest was returned to 10 Native American communities
- Moderna announced clinical trials had begun for HIV treatment
- World’s largest floating wind farm plans approved to be built off United Kingdom coast
- Rhianna’s Clara Lionel Foundation committed $15 million to grassroots climate justice groups
- Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital saved its 90,000th animal, a platypus named Ollie
- Monarch butterfly numbers in California reported to have gone from 2,000 to 250,000
- Researchers cured HIV in a woman for the first time; third cured person ever
- Australia announced its largest coal-fired power plant will close 7 years earlier than planned
- John and Hank Green’s Project For Awesome annual livestream raised $3.2 million for charity in 48 hours
- Denver, Colorado, was given funds to expand their STAR program – an emergency response group of mental health professionals to be sent out to certain 911 calls instead of police
- $4.2 million was donated to forgiving medical debt, giving grants to teachers, supporting Ukraine and more
- The world passed the milestone of 1 terawatt of solar energy capacity; that’s enough to power nearly every country in Europe combined
- Think tank Ember reported that if the current trend of renewable energy installation continues, the world will meet the 1.5C climate target
- Ketanji Brown Jacked became the first ever Black woman promoted to the U.S. Supreme Court
- Solar panels that can generate electricity at night were developed
- For the first time ever, renewable sources of energy met 100% of its electricity demand in California
- Massachusetts incarceration rates hit an all-time low, prompting the closure of two prisons
- Gas-powered cars reported to be in “permanent decline”
- Native American communities reclaimed 18,000 acres of land in Montana
- To revive a declining species, more than 500 glowworms were released across the grounds of a Hampshire hotel over the summer
- 100,000kg of plastic was removed from the biggest Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch
- There are 40% more tigers in the world than in 2015
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans to plant 1 billion trees in the next decade
- Sydney, Australia, now runs on 100% renewable energy, using locally sourced clean energy from wind and solar farms
- 3D-printed ‘living sea walls’ placed in Australia’s harbours to lure back marine life
- A ‘bubble barrier’ is currently at work in the Netherlands to stop plastic pollution
- Plans to plant 6,000 trees in Lincoln, UK, under consideration
- Canada could hit targets of 100% zero-emission electricity by 2035
- Cheetahs have returned to India after 70 years of being extinct
- And a whole bunch of extra stuff in the summer and September Monthly Good News
- A company has developed a bladeless wind turbine suitable for cities that can generate as much electricity as up to 16 solar panels
- Sea urchin grown in a lab for the first time could help coral reefs survive in future
- Naturally occurring lake bacteria could remove plastic pollution from lakes
- A 51% increase in native bird populations have been seen in parts in New Zealand
- Eurasian beavers now a legally protected animal in the UK
- Also everything listed in October’s Monthly Good News
- Norway’s first floating wind farm started producing power
- 100 UK companies adopted a permanent 4 day week with no loss of pay
- EU unveiled plans to fight Europe’s plastic waste
- Boston aquarium saved over 150 sea turtles suffering in the cold
- Australian court blocked proposals for a giant coal mine on climate grounds
- Rolls Royce successfully ran an aircraft engine on hydrogen
- Abu Dhabi reduced the number of single-use plastic bags used there by half a million per day
- 600 activists, including Greta Thunberg, are suing the Swedish government for climate inaction
- Plus last month’s Monthly Good News, with more good news to share
- US researchers hit a breakthrough in clean nuclear power: having more energy come out of a nuclear fusion reaction than they put in
- UK to launch a billion pound home insulation programme
- New York’s citywide curbside compost collection is program up and running successfully
- Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC has pledged to divest from fossil fuels
- Wild arctic foxes bred in Finland for the first time in 25 years
And that’s 2022!
I know this year has been a struggle for many, but the start of a new year can be a turning point. If you’re a fan of setting new goals and challenges for yourself based on dates in the Gregorian calendar, then this is your time! Commit to something that makes the world around you a little better, or the lives of your community a little easier, or your own existence a little sweeter.
But in the meantime – as you’ve still got a few more days of 2022 to go – sit back, relax, and enjoy where you’re at.
Have a wonderful New Years, and maybe try the Lindsay Lohan’s 2003 classic Freaky Friday next. You’ll probably enjoy it.
By Bethany Climpson, Sustainability Engagement Assistant