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Here Are 16 Good News Stories To Give You Hope in 2024

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It doesn’t take much on the internet to ruin your outlook on life. Politics in 2024 look … bleak, to say the least, and everywhere you turn, there is a new issue to be angry about.

The news constantly bombards us with unsettling realities across the globe, making us feel intimately connected to international conflict, health crises, world hunger, climate change — you name it.

Our abilities to feel empathy for others, to be outraged about injustice, and to pay attention to the painful realities of the moment are beautiful and deserve our energy. 

But these things also make us vulnerable to doom-scrolling, declining mental health, and even misinformation.

Not to resort to the oft-overused Internet phrase “touch grass,” but it’s important to remember that there’s a lot of amazing progress happening beyond our screens — and beyond our own bubbles.

The truth is: There’s a lot to be upset about in 2024. But there’s also a lot to be hopeful about. 

Here are just a few good news stories that we’ll be paying attention to this year: 

Good News in 2024

Wage growth is actually beating inflation.

While the cost of living is still a major challenge for the majority of Americans, hope is on the horizon. 

According to the Center for American Progress, economists have concluded that wages for a typical American worker today are higher than they were before the pandemic and are growing at about a pre-pandemic rate.

CAP also provided an analysis that showed that 57% of workers are making more money now, after adjusting for inflation, than they were a year ago. And 41% of workers have seen a real wage increase of more than 5%. 

In fact, CAP shares, wage growth for a typical worker has seen the second-fastest recovery from 2022 to 2023 than in all recession recoveries since 1980. 

That being said, more progress needs to be made to account for other high costs of living outside of decreased inflation, such as the affordability of child and health care

In fact, 22 states raised their minimum wages this year.

On the first of this year, the minimum wage increased in 22 states, including New York, California, South Dakota, and more. 

This raises pay for nearly 10 million Americans.

It’s an automatic increase for Americans already making minimum wage, but it also helps bump up the pay for those who make just a little more than the minimum, since employers will be adjusting their pay scales accordingly. 

Axios reports that three other states and Washington DC are set to raise the minimum wage later in 2024, as well.

And jobs are on the rise.

Despite ongoing economic issues in the U.S., jobs are indeed on the rise. In December 2023 alone, 216,000 jobs were added across the nation, higher than November's rate of 173,000, according to the Associated Press.

Most notably, however, is how many green jobs are becoming available to workers in the U.S. 

A new report from environmental advocacy group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) has estimated the expected job growth that will come from clean energy projects created by the Inflation Reduction Act.

With the growth of electric vehicle and battery factories plus wind and solar manufacturing, E2 estimates a total of 303,500 jobs each year over a typical five-year construction phase, as well as another 99,600 jobs each year following.

“This report basically reinforces the fact that we’re in the biggest economic revolution in generations, thanks to the IRA and its policies,” E2’s executive director, Bob Keefe, told Canary Media

“The economic boom extends well beyond solar panels and wind turbines, to everything from local construction companies, to restaurants, to real estate, and many other sectors of the economy.”

The American Climate Corps will kick off this summer.

In September of 2023, the Biden administration announced the creation of the American Climate Corps, a new climate jobs training program for young people.

The program officially kicks off in the summer of 2024, sending 20,000 young people, ages 18 to 26, across the country on jobs that will boost the nation’s economy — and climate resilience.

This includes projects like installing solar energy, mitigating wildfire risk, and making homes more energy-efficient. 

The Climate Corps was a long time coming, according to youth climate activists, who began the fight for such a program in 2020.

Renewable energy is dominating.

In 2023, the world saw record-breaking transitions to clean energy, through rapidly declining costs for solar power installation, accelerated wind energy projects, speedy electric battery production, and more.

The International Energy Agency reports that one in five cars sold globally in 2023 was an electric vehicle, and with more than $43.4 billion being spent on battery manufacturing in the U.S., we’re optimistic this trend will continue.

Additionally, solar installations grew globally by 58%, and this exponential growth is only getting started. Solar power is now the cheapest form of electricity in a number of countries, according to EuroNews, and some analysts predict that the cost of solar will drop to 10 cents for every watt of capacity in 2024. 

Africa is finding its place in the global economy.

According to the International Monetary Fund, six of the top-10 performing economies in the world are forecasted to come from Sub-Saharan Africa this year.

While there are still plenty of hurdles in the region, these countries, which include the Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and the DRC, are collectively helping to make a difference in a region that continues to be impacted by poverty and inequality.

Many of these countries are leading in climate innovation, creating resilient infrastructure, agricultural innovations, and clean energy solutions that the rest of the world will need. 

Ghana is entering a ‘malaria elimination’ phase this year.

2024 marks a milestone year for Ghana, which is moving into the “elimination phase” in its long-time battle with malaria, according to Semafor. 

Following years of trials with groundbreaking vaccines, the country has seen a massive reduction in its malaria case loads — and malaria fatality has also decreased.

This plan will be rolled out this year, moving from the current “control phase,” meaning health officials and programs will set their sights on stopping the local transmission of malaria, rather than reducing the number of cases. 

St. Paul, Minnesota swore in an all-women city council.

History was made on election day in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2023, when the city elected a groundbreaking number of women to its city council.

In January, these seven members were sworn into office as the city’s first-ever all-female council. They also make up the youngest and most racially diverse council in the city’s history; all seven members are under 40 years old, and six are women of color.

They include former teachers, nonprofit executives, community organizers, congressional aids, and a civil engineer.

“While this is historic, it should also simply be the way it is,” Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan said at the swearing-in ceremony. “[Young people] are going to dream big and achieve their dreams because of the risk you were willing to take.”

We may see more plastic bans in Europe.

In recent years, we’ve seen a number of bans on plastic products, as governments across the globe attempt to reduce the immense toll of plastic waste on the planet. 

In 2023, the EU banned the export of plastic waste, and in 2024 will decide on what is shaping up to be the world’s biggest attempt to confront the plastic problem.

The proposed regulation includes strict rules. For instance, it outlines that all packaging must be “recyclable” by 2030 and recycled “at scale” by 2035; that recycled material must be used in new plastic packaging by 2030; and that packaging waste should be reduced by 15% per capita by 2040.

Deforestation will continue to decrease in the Amazon Rainforest.

Under the leadership of Brazil’s notoriously eco-conscious President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, deforestation in the Amazon is the lowest it’s been in five years.

Lula recently announced a $204 million reforestation fund and has goals to eliminate all illegal burns by 2030. Also in Lula’s presidency, environmental fines in the Amazon have more than doubled, according to the New York Times.

Additionally, it was announced in September 2023 that Brazil will provide financial support to municipalities that have reduced deforestation rates the most, angling for more action on a local scale.

This summer may also make way for more progress, as Brazil’s space agency will release a full report on the conditions of the Amazon based on satellite data.

New gun laws are going into effect across the country.

At the start of the year, new gun laws went into effect in Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, Illinois, and Colorado.

Minnesota became the 20th state to give family members and law enforcement the right to ask a court to take away guns in certain situations. 

Meanwhile, the state of Washington expanded its 10-day waiting period to purchase any gun — not just semiautomatic weapons — and will also require gun buyers to show proof of a successful safety training program.

Additionally, Illinois has banned high-powered semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines, and Colorado’s newest gun law aims to end the sale of unregistered firearms, or “ghost guns.” 

Finally, in February, a new Michigan law will require more expansive background checks and a safe gun storage law in homes where a child is present.

Artificial intelligence is saving lives.

Despite many objections, AI is seeping its way into the mainstream, and while there are valid concerns about the emerging technology, AI has already proven itself to be incredibly helpful in a number of ways.

The medical field is especially making strides, from discovering new drugs and helping screen for diseases, to even helping doctors with mountains of paperwork

AI is also being used to improve everyday functions like traffic lights, bolster equality and fight racial injustice, and even protect and restore mangrove ecosystems.

While there’s no telling how AI might grow in 2024, here’s to hoping it stays more helpful than harmful.  

Reproductive rights are winning in states across America.

Access to abortion remains a major issue in America — especially on a federal level after the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022. 

However, reproductive rights are winning in elections across the country. In fact, abortion is now protected or expanded in 17 states, and petitions for further ballot measures are circulating in 11 states, showing that communities are organizing and voting for safe, legal, and accessible care. 

Extreme poverty is once again decreasing. 

When COVID-19 rocked the world in 2022, decades of progress on extreme progress were halted.

While the global community is not on track to reach the UN’s goals of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, there is still hope. 

In 2023, India and many other countries in Southeast Asia began to see an upward trend in their economies, now bringing the total number of people in extreme poverty down about 80 million less than its lowest in 2020.

The World Bank defines “extreme poverty” as living on less than $2.15 per day — and as of January 2024, this number clocks in at about 629.5 million people worldwide.

As terrible as this is, it is still a turn in the right direction after the shock of the pandemic.

Wild mammals are making a comeback in Europe.

Thanks to the efforts of a number of conservation organizations, many mammal populations are bouncing back in Europe.

In the first half of the 20th century, many of Europe’s mammals had been reduced to a fraction of their populations as a result of hunting, exploitation, and habitat loss. 

But in the past 50 years, many of these wild mammal populations have made a significant comeback.

According to Our World In Data, the Eurasian beaver and Eurasian buffalo populations have increased by 16% over this time, and the beaver’s recovery is especially exciting. In the first half of the 20th century, there were only a few thousand beavers left in Europe — and today, they total more than 1.2 million. 

Many other wild mammals, including grey wolves, red deer, wild boars, and humpback whales have seen exceptional growth, as well. 

This progress has made it possible for more rewilding projects to accelerate across the continent, as experts aim for continuous recovery of Europe’s diverse species.

The popularity of secondhand shopping is predicted to increase.

The age of fast fashion is coming to an end. An analysis by major online thrift shop ThredUp provided an in-depth look into the 2023 resale market, making some major predictions for the future.

According to the analysis, the global clothes resale market is set to double by 2027, raking in about $350 billion. But money isn’t all that matters; it’s the positive change in shopping habits on a large scale.

There is a whole new wave of secondhand shoppers entering the economy, as 64% of Gen-Z shoppers look for used items before buying something new. ThredUP also predicts that, by 2024, 10% of the global apparel market is expected to be made up of secondhand apparel.

Header image by Johnathan Huang for Good Good Good

Article Details

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