Monday, September 27

Sick of all the bad news? Sometimes the world improves | World News

Sometimes it takes good old-fashioned negative news to deliver the benefits, if that doesn’t sound counterintuitive. What it does. But it does not matter.

Examples abound. My colleague Nils Pratley has been writing all year about the absurdity of booming supermarkets receiving huge amounts of cash from the government as part of Covid relief measures. Public pressure increased, common sense prevailed, and companies have returned almost £ 2 billion to the public coffers. That is an advantage with nine zeros at the end.

Journalism can inadvertently raise funds for good causes in other ways as well. Libby Brooks recently wrote about the heartbreaking story of a Scottish teenager who took his life after struggling with confinement restrictions. The article helped his parents raise thousands for charity.

Along the same lines, The Guardian has launched its Christmas charity appeal. We do this every year, choosing different beneficiaries each time. This year, the hope is that a large number of articles on the adversity of young people in the face of the pandemic will raise funds for the admirable charities working in this space. If you can help Please do it.

Sometimes good positive / negative journalism even wins awards. This week, several of my colleagues were honored at British Journalism Awards for articles that created change in the real world. Matthew Weaver was instrumental in exposing Dominic Cummings’ wanderlust for springtime travels, a story that dogged the Downing Street agent all the way out.

And our investigative team was honored to unveil allegations of prodigious misuse of funds by the richest woman in Africa, Angolan Isabel dos Santos. He is now under criminal investigation in three countries and cannot access many of his assets abroad.

None of these were Upside stories. But they have a positive effect. This is often worth remembering when reading gloomy news. Only when we learn that things are wrong can we begin to correct them.

Otherwise this week cheered us up a bit:

• First day of vaccination. Three minute read

… And how we got here. Four minute read

• Tesco cuts Christmas plastic. 90 second read

• Laboratory meat. Two minute snack

Laboratory-grown meat, Germany
Laboratory-grown meat, Germany. Photograph: AndreyPopov / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Lucky numbers

The number of Americans willing to receive a Covid 19 vaccine has risen from 50% in September to 63% now. according to a new Gallup poll. Meanwhile, a new Chinese vaccine was reported to be 86% effective after testing in the UAE.

Also global carbon emissions fell by a record amount in 2020, about 7% – and pollution from aviation is about 40% lower than at this time last year.

What we liked

We have always been very fond of night trains, so the prospect of many more in Europe is salivating. There’s nothing like falling asleep in one country and waking up in another entirely (in fact, this is what the British will do on December 31).

We were intrigued by this study that link happiness with places full of birds.

We were pleased with this article from the World Resources Institute that noted six broad areas of climate change progress since the Paris agreement was signed five years ago. And we admire the UK’s First Electric Car Esplanade.

Oh, and this is fun if a little pointless: the piano made of plants.

What we hear

We received great responses to our request for the best things to come out of 2020. We will collect more in an article later in the year, so there is still time to write to us with your silver lights.

In Victoria, Canada, Leanne Harrison welcomed the way the digital world opened up opportunities.

At 75, one thing I hope will continue to move forward as a result of the pandemic is the wide variety of Zoom presentations that I was able to access this year. International events I wouldn’t have been able to attend were right on my iPad, newspaper reporters interviewed people I wouldn’t have seen extensively, online exercise gurus guided me through interesting routines, and courses and lectures came to me. living room: a bonanza. of intellectual wealth.

In Florida, Thomas Olsen was grateful for the little things.

The best thing about this bad year is being kicked off the world’s merry-go-round. It has given me the opportunity to appreciate my surroundings: young squirrels chasing each other playing in a large oak tree; the appreciation of the sunset and the rising of the moon; the return of the direct and unhurried dialogue with my partner; the tendency to make phone calls instead of texting and a chance to plumb my spiritual depths. I’m thankful.

And in Edinburgh, Susan Marr found help from the other side of the world.

I have a cousin whose daughter lives in New Zealand. She decided that one way to keep her children happy was to have a daily theme and dress accordingly. It was tremendous fun. I have been Cilla Black, worn stripes or yellow, or any kind of color, I have been a fortune teller in a circus, dressed in reverse. All this first thing in the morning to catch up on WhatsApp in New Zealand. I was very grateful for these challenges on the dark days when I was upset about not being able to see my children / grandchildren in Edinburgh, my mother in Manchester, and when a close friend died.

Where was the Upside?

The silver lining was literally starling murmurs and this beautiful set of images.

Starlings in the skies.
Starlings in the skies. Photograph: Bougiotis Vangelis / EPA

Thank you for reading. Have a good weekend. Take a walk around the Upside and tell us everything

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