Optimism for 2016

Once you get interested in politics and science, and have access to the internet, it’s easy to believe that the world is about to end. Drowned islands, more natural disasters, economic inequality, internet trolls, embarrassing politicians, enduring racism, sexism, and homophobia, technological unemployment, nuclear weapons (potentially) in the hands of Donald Trump

I’ve found there’s a balancing act here. I want to be informed enough to care, yet hopeful enough to put effort into making things better.

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I find black humour helps with this but, also, facts!

  1. Every day brings new technology and projects that can help save the planet, and us
    1. 95% of the heating needs of the Scottish Borders Campus are now met using waste heat from sewage
    2. Urban farming is now a reality and it’s being scaled up
    3. People are coming up with new (or renewed) ways of running the economy which might just be better for everyone
  2. People really do care
    1. Living in tiny houses is environmentally friendly and they’re so cute
    2. All the semi-vegetarians out there who are helping save the planet by not eating so much beef
    3. And as a culture we’re working to expand our circle of sympathy so that we treat more and more humans (and non-humans) as worthy of kindness and respect
  3. And people are speaking out against mass stupidity as well
    1. J.J. Abrams called out Hasbro for forgetting who the main character of The Force Awakens is
    2. J.K. Rowling confirmed that Hermione can too be black
    3. Listen to Aamer Rahman on reverse racism

OK, though, I have to admit – I’m kind of struggling to come up with a strong argument for why we should feel confident about the future. Anyone got some ideas?


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