2016 for many may have been a dismal year for the sheer amount of celebrities that passed as well as some life altering world events. Even as the year closes, there does seem to be a bright side.
A friend of mine did a screen grab of something seen on 4Chan about 2016 actually being a not so bad year. However after doing a little digging, the post can actually be attributed to Matt Strange who also is “an International Man of Mystery”. This post deserved looking into, as it does give a “glass ½ full” look at 2016. Despite how you may feel about the US elections, Brexit or even the multitude of celebrity deaths that have occurred, there are some things to be cheerful about. Let’s look at some of what this post said and fact check it.
There is an Ebola Vaccine now
Fact: While still in the experimental phases, the vaccine looks to give 100% protection to patients. Keep in mind that it takes about 10 years to get a vaccine from conception to public availability, but this is being fast-tracked. If successful, it may be on the market late next year.
Several animals were removed from the endangered species list this year. Giant Pandas, Manatees, Columbian White tailed deer, Green Sea Turtles, and Humpback Whales were all declared to be relatively safe from extinction. Which is great news but the Great Apes are in trouble.
Suicide rates down globally
This one is tricky. This year it was reported that rates went up for women, and it was reported that suicide hotline calls were up post-election. This is something to keep an eye on as the US transitions over to the new administration.
“Leo got dat oscar”
Fact: While Leonardo DiCaprio did indeed get his Oscar, there still was huge backlash with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’s process of determining nominees when it was noted that no minorities got any nods, prompting the #OscarsSoWhite campaign. The Academy responded however by adding 3 minority governors but, only time will tell if the change is meaningful.
“93% of the world’s children learned to read and write – the highest percentage IN HUMAN HISTORY”
Fact: UNESCO states that, “… considerable efforts countries made with partners had raised the global adult literacy rate from 61 per cent in 1960 to 85 per cent in 2015 and that global youth literacy had reached an encouraging 90 per cent in 2014.” but there is still work to be done as close to 800 million adults still cannot read. Not to mention that the United States ranks 7th worldwide.
Gene responsible for ALS found
Fact: So it looks like the Ice Bucket Challenge wasn’t a complete waste. Just within the past few weeks, scientists at the Barrow Neurological Institute identified the genes that cause Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which may now help them find new drugs that may eventually cure this disease.
The Ozone layer is repairing itself
Fact: Over the past 2 years, many news outlets have reported that the Antarctic ozone layer has been fixing itself, and part of that is due to the Montreal Protocol. The question is, with changing governments not just in the US but worldwide, can this healing be sustained?
As you can see, there has indeed been some good news in 2016. However, that doesn’t mean we can just rest on our laurels. Whatever causes we choose to fight for still need people to get involved in order to make things sustainable for coming generations.