As we move into 2023, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the negative events of the past year. However, amidst the challenges of 2022, there were also many positive developments that give reason for hope as we enter the new year. From advancements in technology to progress in social and environmental issues, the world is constantly evolving for the better.
In this article, we will present 15 examples of ways the world is improving right now. From innovative solutions to global problems to the small yet impactful acts of kindness, these examples serve as a reminder that there is still much good in the world and that we should have faith in humanity's ability to make a positive change.
1. Space Views
In June of 2022, NASA unveiled the first full color image from the James Webb Space Telescope. It’s the highest resolution image of our universe anyone has ever seen.
The James Webb telescope detects infrared light, meaning scientists can now see further back in time than ever before, and discover our universe in a way that’s never been done before.
2. ALS Drug
Remember the viral Ice Bucket Challenge from a few years ago? The challenge launched a massive donation campaign to raise money for the ALS association.
They raised so much money that the ALS Association spent $2.2 million of the money from the challenge towards developing a new treatment for ALS.
In 2022, the FDA approved the drug for use.
3. Coral Reefs Are Healing
In a major climate win, new data showed that parts of the Great Barrier Reef have the highest amount of coral seen in 36 years!
Even better — scientists found a way to successfully transplant coral between reefs, giving hope that the reef could heal from decades of damage.
4. Free Books
In April of 2022, the Brooklyn Public Library announced that any teenager in America would be eligible for an e-library card.
Teens can sign out audiobooks and ebooks from wherever they live.
The move is designed to combat censorship, with certain titles listed as “always available.”
5. Alzheimer’s Research Breakthrough
In a huge win for Alzheimer’s research, a new drug showed massive promise to slow down the disease.
In a Phase 3 trial, the drug slowed the disease by 27% over several months.
It’s the first time any drug has shown so much efficacy against the disease.
6. Nuclear Fusion and the Holy Grail of Clean Energy
Scientists reached a major milestone with a successful nuclear fusion experiment.
For the first time ever, the process of fusing atoms produced more electricity than it consumed.
It’s not quite Iron Man level yet, but it could pave the way for a carbon-free energy future.
7. HIV Vaccine
Researchers made huge progress on something they’ve been working on for decades: An HIV vaccine.
A new clinical trial showed promising results, with the vaccine producing antibodies in 97% of participants.
If successful, more than 38 million people could finally have a cure.
8. Free Meals
Before heading into the 2022/2023 school year, California became the first state to offer free meals to all schoolchildren, regardless of their family’s income.
Several other states, including Maine and Colorado, also passed similar bills.
It’s designed to end the stigma of food insecurity and lead to lower drop-out rates.
9. Blast Off
Fifty years after Apollo 17, NASA launched its Artemis 1 mission and went back to the moon.
The historic spaceflight launched after several weather delays and technical difficulties, and spent 25 days and travelled 1.4 million miles through space.
It’s NASA’s first step in eventually sending humans back to the moon.
10. Conservation Comeback
In conservation news, wildlife made a huge comeback in Europe.
Thanks to conservation efforts and laws protecting wildlife habitats, several mammal numbers went up across the board, with an increase in some cases of up to 1700%.
11. A Groundbreaking Surgery
In North Carolina, surgeons performed a groundbreaking surgery on a six-month-old baby, transplanting a heart and immune system tissue at the same time.
This technique could eliminate transplant recipients needing to be on lifelong anti-rejection drugs.
12. The Ozone Layer is Recovering
The ozone layer was the healthiest it’s been in 40 years!
Scientists say that chemicals that damaged the layer declined more than 50%, providing hope that the ozone layer may one day recover.
13. Clean Transportation
In great news for clean transportation, electric vehicle sales hit a tipping point in 2022.
EV’s accounted for 5.6% of all vehicles sold – a pretty big increase from the 1.9% they made up in 2019.
14. Cancer Breakthrough
In a huge breakthrough in the fight against cancer, a new trial for a cancer drug led to every single patient being in remission.
At the end of the six month period, all twelve patients had no identifiable cancer, and their scans came back clear.
15. Renewable Energy on the Rise
In a major win for renewable energy, renewables met 100% of the rise in electricity demand during the first half of 2022.
It prevented a 4% increase in fossil fuel generation, saving 230 metric tons of CO2 emissions.