Ways the World Got Better in 2022

Imrs php

A MetaFilter thread  discusses several year-end posts on news to be happy about (here, here and here). While some are more exciting than others (and some downright debatable), they touch on:

  • Asteroid redirection (Proof of concept of planetary defense)
  • Kigali agreement to phase out HFCs
  • Animal species comebacks as roadmap to biodiversity (e.g European bison)
  • Malaria vaccine
  • Progress on Lyme disease vaccine
  • free universal school-based lunches in a number of US states
  • Universal USB-C charging port requirement
  • Electric vehicle adoption tipping point
  • location and capping of orphaned oil and gas wells (In infrastructure bill)
  • Increasing recognition of value of access to nature for mental wellbeing (Canada: free national park admissionif prescribed by MD)
  • Military suicide prevention programs
  • Potential HIV vaccination using MRNA technology 
  • Deaccession of art from museums 
  • Electric motorized two-wheelers in Asia (Swappable batteries)
  • Reduced energy consumption in blockchain transaction verification
  • Klamath river restoration through dam demolition (Salmon spawning)
  • Techniques for detection of deepfake videos
  • successful degradation process for fluorinated petrochemicals (“forever chemicals”)
  • Ballot measures repealing slavery for incarcerated prisoners
  • Breakthrough in fusion power
  • Increasing crop yields allowed net decline in total agricultural land
  • The James Webb telescope
  • Large-scale use of genetically engineered “golden rice” to combat vitamin A deficiency
  • Breakthroughs in CRISPR use in cancer treatment
  • Other medical advances against Parkinsonism, diabetes, heart disease etc
  • Advances against racial hatred, gender bias, ageism
  • Justice Dept shifting into gear against Trump
  • School choice legislation
  • Democrats’ Senate majority
  • Worldwide developments in anti-authoritarianism
  • Supreme Court decisions that went ‘the wrong way’ (Justice Ketanji Brown as a ‘force to be reckoned with’)
  • Growing exhaustion with the virtue-signaling and rage-seeking of social media
  • Improving battery technology to sustain renewable energy use

Most of the Metafilter discussion centers around the pros and cons of lab-grown meat, but there is plenty more to be grateful for and hopeful about. 



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