Great new feature from Positive News: What went *right* in the last three months?
Doing the Daily Alternative on the basis of its explicit brief - "tools and tales to change the world" - is a fascinating exercise in reality-framing, as we all angst and worry about "post-truth" and "fake news".
We wonder if there's a "slow truth" model that's coming through (some are manifesto-ing and exploring it already). Meaning that people expand the time-and-space in their lives for alternative perspectives. (Scientists claim that this is what scientific process does, intrinsically).
This also means not being instantly reactive either to the 24-hour mainstream news media, or addicted to the sugar-pellets of "newsiness" dropping from social media tubes. It finally means that "the news you need" is "the news that helps you take action".
We've posted a few times recently on this topic - and we show below a great example of how this works in practice.
Positive News has run a page called "What Went Right" since 2017 - a quarterly round-up of stories that show "the other side of the coin" from "shootings in the US to humanitarian crises...from wranglings over Brexit to war clouds over Korea... from terror attacks in London and Manchester, to the US withdrawal from the Paris climate treaty, and the Grenfell Tower fire".
Their Jan-March 2018 edition is worth brooding over. Most of the stories are about specific advances in energy use, environment and sustainability.
These are at micro, local levels - the return of drinking fountains in London to deal with plastic waste, a Manchester hospital banning sugary drinks, Afghanistan's deadliest region now cleared of landmines, or the University of Edinburgh divesting its funds from fossil fuels.
And macro, national/global levels - 100 global cities now getting 70% of their energy from renewables, a Latin American pact to pursue crimes against land defenders, and great nations like India securing collective health care, or South Africa driving down its HIV/Aids infections, or a UK microbeads ban.
Much of the content of these round-ups would confirm the thesis of gurus like Jeremy Rifkin, regularly profiled on this site. He believes systems of governance - at whatever level, globally, nationally, regionally, cities or further down - are beginning to grasp the need to act sustainably, and in a planet-and-human friendly manner. And that a new societal paradigm is being assembled, initiative by initiative - the "great transition" which events like CtrlShift in Wigan celebrate (see our recent Alternative Editorials on this).
There's much to be properly "negative" about. For example, as some posts this week and previously suggest on the DA, we won't get to a much better social media and data-driven society if we don't blow a few whistles.
Yet critique needs hope, to drive its intellect to create better structures and reforms. So we think it's worth dwelling a bit with the "positive" and "constructive" news merchants, in order to build up your stores of can-do optimism.
(For a perspective on "positive" news that takes a sharper line against "climate-change Cassandras and Luddites", see the Human Progress Index. We blogged their post on "the progress humanity made in 2017".)