Hitting the headlines
By Roger Childs
Plenty of bad news featured on front pages and in lead stories on radio and television. Take American alone: Trump pulled out of the Paris climate change accord; a series of devastating hurricanes hit the Caribbean and southern states; and California had two of its worst ever fires.
In the early part of the year, New Zealand had very little summer as the rain continued to fall every few days, then later in November – December, some areas were experiencing drought.
The Arctic ice sheet continued to melt, as did parts of Antarctica.
However, beyond the headlines, there were plenty of good things happening.
The good news from Future Crunch
Chile set aside 11 million acres of land for national parks in Patagonia, following the largest ever private land donation from a private entity to a country. Smithsonian
China invested more than $100 billion into treating and preventing water pollution, and launched nearly 8,000 water clean-up projects in the first half of 2017. Reuters
The United States, Russia, China and the European Union reached a deal to make the Arctic off-limits to commercial fishers for the next 16 years. Science Mag
In July, 1.5 million people in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh set a new Guinness record for reforestation by planting more than 67 million trees in a 12 hour period. RT
In August, the Canadian government and Inuit groups signed a deal to create the ‘Serengeti of the Arctic’ by far the largest marine reserve in the country’s history. Globe & Mail
A month later, one of the world’s largest marine parks was created off the coast of Easter Island, and will protect 142 species, including 27 threatened with extinction. Guardian
The EU imposed new, stricter limits on pollutants such as nitrogen, sulphur, mercury and particulates that will apply to all 2,900 of Europe’s large power plants. Reuters
China carried out its largest ever crackdown on pollution, reprimanding, fining or jailing officials in 80,000 factories, 40% of the country’s total. NPR
Indonesia pledged $1 billion to clean up its seas from plastic, Kenya announced a ban on plastic bags, and Chile said it will ban them in its coastal cities (30 countries now have existing or impending bans in place). ABC
Eleven countries continued their plan to build a wall of trees from east to west across Africa in order to push back the desert. In Senegal, it’s already working. BBC World Hacks
Cameroon committed to restoring over 12 million hectares of forest in the Congo Basin, and Brazil started a project to plan 73 million trees, the largest tropical reforestation project in history. Fast Co.
In November, Mexico’s government created a new 148,000 square kilometer ocean reserve, ‘the Galapagos of North America’ for the conservation of hundreds of species, including rays, humpback whales, sea turtles, lizards and migratory birds. Reuters
In 2017, the ozone hole shrunk to its smallest size since 1988, the year Bobby McFerrin topped the charts with ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy.’ CNET
Warm acknowledgement to Future Crunch and all the sources listed above. To see the full list of 99 positives in 2017, go to