Grant’s Top 10 Happy Eco News Stories of 2022
As 2022 winds down and comes to a close, it is essential to reflect on the year that passed and consider all the good things that occurred.
Grant Brown, Founder, Happy Eco News
Humanity has never faced a more significant challenge, and if you follow mainstream news, you might think there is no reason for hope. But I see it differently. I look around, and I see thousands, if not millions, of dedicated people working every day for little or no pay, to make their world and the world of future generations a better place.
I am inspired and honoured to help tell their stories and help a few others find some hope.
Here are my top 10 Happy Eco News stories from 2022 (in no particular order):
The repercussions of climate catastrophe are well documented, but most studies have focussed on physical health. They never seem to talk about the mental health crisis happening in plain sight. This article talks about the benefits of activism from a mental health perspective. It is true that people who take action feel better about themselves and the prospect of fixing the climate crisis in time.
Ellie Goulding is a UK pop star, friend to royals and an everyday girl next door. In this article, she is candid and open about her climate anxiety, the importance of positive climate messaging and how taking action has led to an improved outlook for the future.
Happy Eco News is not just about climate issues. We are very much interested in all aspects of environmentalism. One of my favourites is rewilding – leaving human-damaged places alone by removing us from the equation (or by providing some strategic help). When left alone, these places regenerate native plants and eventually heal. The rewilded areas provide valuable wildlife habitats and protect our fragile ecosystems and biodiversity. I also love to travel, so it would be wonderful to go and visit these Top 5 locations for rewilding.
Perfection is Impossible, and That’s Okay
Carly Pusch hosts the podcast Consciously Clueless and has an honest, bright, refreshing view of the world. In her guest blog post on Happy Eco News, Carly explains why we need to forget about climate perfection and just get on with doing what we can.
Our very own Jamie D’Souza is an activist who took it one step further than anyone I know. She ran for public office for the Green Party in Montréal, her home riding. Jamie wants to make a difference and will step up to do what it takes. I admire a person willing to invest fully into doing the right thing, and Jamie is one of those special people who go the extra mile.
I didn’t know Sharon Michelle before she started guest-writing for Happy Eco News; then in a stroke of fate, in March of 2022, I moved to her home country of England. We connected over email and planned our first of many hikes through the English countryside with her awesome dog, Kobi. I feel very fortunate to call an intellectual and sensitive person like Michelle my friend, and even more fortunate to have her write for all our benefit. In her article called Paying Respects, Sharon articulates a sense of loss and grief that we all feel but most cannot quite put a finger on and shares why it’s OK to feel this way.
Dulcie Ruttley-Dornan is another one of those people that is completely engaged and fully switched on. Thankfully for society, she is also interested in helping her community. In her Waterways Children’s Centre article, Dulcie explains the human impacts an urban garden and nature centre can have in a community, especially on its younger members. Kids are our future, and it is extremely important to ensure they get their hands dirty and experience it fully.
This one is my own; I wrote it after hearing about Ms. Sophie Howe on the Podcast Outrage and optimism. Here is a person that is arguably the first of her kind; the Future Generation’s Commissioner for Wales. No other country I know of has acknowledged the importance of ensuring the future is habitable for our grandchildren. Not only has Wales acknowledged this importance, but they have underscored it by giving the office some serious authority. All major infrastructure projects must be vetted by this office. This is the way forward and gives me hope for the future.
This year, one of my personal heroes proved the worthiness of his claim to the title. Patagonia apparel company founder Yvonne Chouinard gave his $3 billion dollar per year business to an environmental organization. The company’s profits will no longer be paid as dividends to investors or contribute to his already substantial personal wealth. It will now be focussed on efforts to lobby the government and make changes to increase and strengthen laws that protect our environment. Now the environment has a well-funded ally in the nonprofit Holdfast Collective and will be able to counteract the huge industrial lobbies that until now have been able to amplify the voices of a few over the needs of the many.
One of my favourite things is a wild river. The energy, the sound, the wildness and the natural habitat surrounding it appeals to me deeply. I found my appreciation for nature along the banks of wild rivers of the Coastal mountains of British Columbia. I have seen firsthand what happens to the places I love so deeply when the natural flow of water is interrupted and stopped. Thankfully I have also seen what happens when the dams are removed; life flourishes again. Where once stood a sterile reservoir, now a wild river flows, full of life and vitality. This article brings me great hope that, finally, humanity is beginning to place a higher value on an intact watershed than on obsolete 19th-century technology that tries to tame and subdue nature.