It’s not all bad news all the time

Sometimes the daily news can be frightening, and in today’s world, if you are getting news from social media, and are perhaps, an environmentalist like me, it can become a drumbeating echo chamber of negative information. I think we’re having our worldview coloured by either numerous sources or not enough sources; and of course, the quality of those information sources can vary significantly too. We really do need a training course or set of guidelines to help us verify and choose among options offering so-called facts.

Even the best information organizations have their biases, but there are definitely levels when it comes to overall quality, to verification of information, to balanced reporting, to thorough research, and decent analysis of the weight of evidence. Call it the scientific method’s contribution to journalism, if you will.

One source that many people I respect have judged to be a cut above, is The Economist newspaper, which is reliably competent in the categories mentioned. It recently ran the cover story pictured on universal health care. It talked about the world making progress on better health, described practices in different countries that are working well, and asserted that we should be able to do better everywhere, with less difficulty than might be imagined.

Economist helath careI think you can make a similar argument for environmentalism. We are making progress, but it is certainly far too soon to declare victory or relax in our efforts to motivate each other to take action.

I guess the point is, although drama and tragedy sell newspapers, it’s not all bad news, all the time. Take heart, and remember to celebrate the small victories.

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