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I’ve had trouble watching the news lately. I find the focus negative for the most part – negativity sells airtime. Because humanity is still in its formative years, there’s plenty of bad news to be had.
Much of that bad news stems from the issues of racism, gender and economic inequality, and prejudice. We need to educate ourselves about all of it on the way to eradicating it, but that’s not the whole story.
Averse to all that bad news, I determined that I would find some good news to focus on with a little digging. So here are some examples of positive news, happening all around the planet:
1. Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard recently donated his entire company worth $3 billion to fight climate change:
Patagonia’s non-voting stock, worth close to $3 billion, will be owned by a collective that will use all profits that aren’t reinvested into the business to fight climate change. The company expects to contribute about $100 million a year, depending on the health of the business. The privately held stock will now be owned by a climate-focused trust and group of nonprofit organizations, called the Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective, respectively. The company said in a statement noting, “every dollar that is not reinvested back into Patagonia will be distributed as dividends to protect the planet.”
“The earth is our only shareholder,” Chouinard said. “If we have any hope of a thriving planet, much less a business – it is going to take all of us doing what we can with resources we have. This is what we can do.”
The Baha’i writings contain much emphasis on philanthropy, conservation, and concern for the common good. Mr. Chouinard has set an example of how one person can make a difference. As the Baha’i teachings say, we all have talents and faculties that can contribute to the advancement of our planet:
In all the cycles of the prophets the philanthropic affairs were confined to their respective peoples only – with the exception of small matters, such as charity, which was permissible to extend to others. But in this wonderful [Baha’i] dispensation, philanthropic affairs are for all humanity, without any exception, because it is the manifestation of the mercifulness of God. Therefore, every universal matter – that is, one that belongs to all the world of humanity – is divine; and every matter that is sectarian and special is not universal in character – that is, it is limited. Therefore, my hope is that the friends of God, every one of them, may become as the mercy of God to all mankind.
2. The Great Blue Wall:
Ten countries have joined a sea conservation network called the Great Blue Wall Initiative. This project for the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) countries aims to protect 2 million square kilometers of ocean. Objectives to be achieved by 2030 are: biodiversity (conservation), climate change (restore critical blue ecosystems), and the development of a Blue Economy that will create 1 million jobs and benefit 70 million people.
James Michel, former President of Seychelles said: “The Great Blue Wall initiative is a unique approach for the region, Africa and the world subsequently. It promises to play an instrumental role in helping to achieve a nature-people positive world; a planet in balance. This is a unique opportunity to move forward at an unprecedented speed. I pledge my full support for this visionary initiative.”
When nobly-minded people join together to pool knowledge and resources, an enormous transformation can occur in the world. According to the Baha’i teachings, unity with a common goal to incorporate science and spirituality is the answer. “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established,” Baha’u’llah wrote. “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.”
3. The Inflation Reduction Act:
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 is the most significant climate legislation in U.S. history, offering funding, programs, and incentives to speed the transition toward a clean energy economy. Green Power Partners and other stakeholders can take advantage of incentives to invest in clean energy and reduce emissions. Preliminary estimates say that the IRA can cut U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions down from 31% to 44% by the year 2030.
In the same vein, Portugal’s new government has moved its target of reaching 80% clean energy in electricity production forward to 2026, four years earlier than previously planned.
4. The Blue Wind Project:
A major new wind farm will become the world’s largest floating offshore wind facility. Project “Gwynt Glas” is scheduled to be built off the coast of England and Wales. The project will be 20 times larger than the biggest floating facility built anywhere to date. Energy company EDF announced that the wind farm will operate in the Celtic Sea and in Welsh and English waters. “Gwynt Glas” which means, “blue wind” will generate one gigawatt of power, enough for approximately 927,400 homes.
The really good news is that these innovations and advances are just the beginning.
Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith said, “All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.” I believe, although it may seem in some ways we are moving backward, that the tremendous challenges we now face have always been latent. Pollution, poverty, and materialism have existed for some time, but as the world gets smaller and communication greater, we are becoming more aware of the work that needs to be done. In his book The World Order of Baha’u’llah, Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, wrote:
We stand on the threshold of an age whose convulsions proclaim alike the death-pangs of the old order and the birth-pangs of the new. Through the generating influence of the Faith announced by Baha’u’llah this New World Order may be said to have been conceived. We can, at the present moment, experience its stirrings in the womb of a travailing age — an age waiting for the appointed hour at which it can cast its burden and yield its fairest fruit.
5. Woman feeds over 1,600 with food from her garden:
Finally, in a modest story of charity, service, determination, and community, Carly Burd, living in Harlow, England, transformed her garden into a paradise of organic fruits and vegetables – that she then provided free of charge to the vulnerable and low-income people in her community.
Ms. Burd represents every good person who tries her best to help others.
She also rescued food designated for the landfill and donated it to those in need. Her charity initiative, “A Meal on Me With Love,” was recently put in jeopardy when someone broke into her garden and dumped over 5 kilos of salt across the land, killing all her produce. Burd, who suffers from Lupus and MS, as well as being low-income herself, was devastated.
However, after posting a video about the vandalism, donations have skyrocketed on her charity’s GoFundMe page to the tune of $243,000 since this last April. Immensely grateful, Burd and volunteers are moving forward to repopulate the garden as well as make a “seating area where elders can come down and we can have tea and coffee and cakes and chats.” Burd also wants to create “cook stations” on the land to give different local ethnic groups a place to cook and share meals.
One kind woman, a caring community, and the resilience of the human spirit turned bad news into good. So keep looking for more good news coming on the horizon – and perhaps if you can, create some of your own!