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01 / 05
1,000 Bits of Good News You May Have Missed in 2023

Blog Post | Human Development

1,000 Bits of Good News You May Have Missed in 2023

A necessary balance to the torrent of negativity.

Reading the news can leave you depressed and misinformed. It’s partisan, shallow, and, above all, hopelessly negative. As Steven Pinker from Harvard University quipped, “The news is a nonrandom sample of the worst events happening on the planet on a given day.”

So, why does Human Progress feature so many news items? And why did I compile them in this giant list? Here are a few reasons:

  • Negative headlines get more clicks. Promoting positive stories provides a necessary balance to the torrent of negativity.
  • Statistics are vital to a proper understanding of the world, but many find anecdotes more compelling.
  • Many people acknowledge humanity’s progress compared to the past but remain unreasonably pessimistic about the present—not to mention the future. Positive news can help improve their state of mind.
  • We have agency to make the world better. It is appropriate to recognize and be grateful for those who do.

Below is a nonrandom sample (n = ~1000) of positive news we collected this year, separated by topic area. Please scroll, skim, and click. Or—to be even more enlightened—read this blog post and then look through our collection of long-term trends and datasets.

Agriculture

Aquaculture

Farming robots and drones

Food abundance

Genetic modification

Indoor farming

Lab-grown produce

Pollination

Other innovations

Conservation and Biodiversity

Big cats

Birds

Turtles

Whales

Other comebacks

Forests

Reefs

Rivers and lakes

Surveillance and discovery

Rewilding and conservation

De-extinction

Culture and tolerance

Gender equality

General wellbeing

LGBT

Treatment of animals

Energy and natural Resources

Fission

Fusion

Fossil fuels

Other energy

Recycling and resource efficiency

Resource abundance

Environment and pollution

Climate change

Disaster resilience

Air pollution

Water pollution

Growth and development

Education

Economic growth

Housing and urbanization

Labor and employment

Health

Cancer

Disability and assistive technology

Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Diabetes

Heart disease and stroke

Other non-communicable diseases

HIV/AIDS

Malaria

Other communicable diseases

Maternal care

Fertility and birth control

Mental health and addiction

Weight and nutrition

Longevity and mortality 

Surgery and emergency medicine

Measurement and imaging

Health systems

Other innovations

Freedom

    Technology 

    Artificial intelligence

    Communications

    Computing

    Construction and manufacturing

    Drones

    Robotics and automation

    Autonomous vehicles

    Transportation

    Other innovations

    Science

    AI in science

    Biology

    Chemistry and materials

      Physics

      Space

      Violence

      Crime

      War

      CNN | LGBT

      Thailand to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

      “Thailand will become the first nation in Southeast Asia to legalize same-sex marriage after the kingdom’s Senate approved a marriage equality bill on Tuesday, with supporters calling it a ‘monumental step forward for LGBTQ+ rights.’

      The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of passing the bill following a final reading, with 130 senators voting in favor. Only four members opposed the bill.

      The bill still requires endorsement from the king before marriage equality can become reality in Thailand, but this process is considered a formality. The law will then come into effect 120 days after it is published in the royal gazette.

      The result of the vote means that Thailand will become only the third place in Asia to allow for marriage equality after Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in 2019 and Nepal in 2023.”

      From CNN.

      Axios | LGBT

      Study: Same-Sex Marriage in 20 Years Had No Negative Effects on Marriage Rates

      “A review of nearly 100 studies examining the consequences of same-sex marriage on multiple measures of family formation and well-being found no harm to different-sex unions, a report from RAND and UCLA found.

      The analysis found that after states legalized marriage for same-sex couples, marriage numbers jumped in those states at rates greater than what could be accounted for by the new marriages of same-sex couples alone. Researchers found no consistent evidence of an increase in divorce as a consequence of legalizing marriage for same-sex couples. The analysis suggests that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples had, if anything, led to a small positive impact on marriage attitudes among high school seniors.”

      From Axios.

      Politico | LGBT

      Liechtenstein Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in Near-Unanimous Vote

      “Liechtenstein’s parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage on Thursday, making it the 22nd country in Europe to do so.

      Lawmakers in the German-speaking microstate voted nearly unanimously in favor of the measure, with 24 of the 25 MPs supporting it, Liechtensteiner Vaterland reported.”

      From Politico.

      BBC | LGBT

      Thailand Moves to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

      “Thailand has taken a historic step closer to marriage equality after the lower house passed a bill giving legal recognition to same-sex marriage.

      It still needs approval from the Senate and royal endorsement to become law.

      But it is widely expected to happen by the end of 2024, making Thailand the only South East Asian country to recognise same-sex unions.”

      From BBC.