As the year comes to an end, let’s take a moment to remember the positives, and some of the good things that happened in 2023.
It’s no secret that 2023 has been an incredibly difficult year for many. With the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Israel–Hamas war, and the ongoing cost of living crisis, the news has been relentlessly grim.
But, despite the darkness, there is still light to be found. Let’s take a look at ten good things that happened in 2023.
- As the year comes to an end, let’s take a moment to remember the positives, and some of the good things that happened in 2023.
- 10. Cancer – advancements in treatment brings hope
- 9. Childhood reading – a boost for children’s literacy
- 8. HIV/AIDs – the battle against the world’s deadliest pandemic
- 7. Alzhiemer’s – new drugs bring glimmer of hope
- 6. Renewable energy – the fight against climate change roars on
- 5. Amazon Rainforest – deforestation rates decreasing
- 4. Animal Kingdom – biodiversity increases
- 3. LGBTQ+ rights – some wins among the losses
- 2. The Ozone Layer – on track to heal completely
- 1. Gender pay gap – narrowing as the years go on
10. Cancer – advancements in treatment brings hope
Cancer remains one of the biggest killers in the world, but this year, some advancements in treatment have offered a glimmer of hope for many.
England has recently approved a medication which has been proven to prevent breast cancer.
Treatment for cervical cancer has also been found in the form of cost-effective drugs that have been described as “the biggest improvement in outcome in this disease in over 20 years”.
Good news has come from the US also, with recent data revealing that death by cancer has decreased by a third since 1991.
9. Childhood reading – a boost for children’s literacy
In Ireland and Britain, there has been a surprising upturn in the number of children reading. This year, Irish and British children have read over 27 million books (25% more than in 2022). Read our article on this increase here.
The negative impacts of social media are well documented, but it seems that at least part of this increase has come from ‘Booktok,’ which allows users to write book reviews that they can share with their friends.
8. HIV/AIDs – the battle against the world’s deadliest pandemic
HIV/AIDS has scarred generations of people and has been called the world’s deadliest pandemic.
In July this year, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS announced that the lowest number of new infections in decades was recorded in 2022. This is certainly one of the good things that happened in 2023.
It also shared that around 21 million AIDS-related deaths had been avoided in the last 30 years due to improved access to treatment.
7. Alzhiemer’s – new drugs bring glimmer of hope
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that is anticipated to impact nearly 2 million British people by 2040. Two new drugs that have been evidenced to slow the decline in people with Alzheimer’s are set to be approved in the UK next year.
The drugs, named Lecanemab and Donanemab, will not cure the disease completely but certainly mark a turning point in its devastating impact.
6. Renewable energy – the fight against climate change roars on
A report by the IEA (International Energy Agency) shared some good news in October this year. By 2030, they say, renewable energy will provide 50% of the earth’s electricity.
In a time when the world is already feeling the impact of climate change, this is certainly one of the good things that happened in 2023.
5. Amazon Rainforest – deforestation rates decreasing
The Amazon rainforest has been called the lungs of the earth. The healthier they are, the healthier we are as the earth’s inhabitants.
Deforestation has been a consistent threat to the rainforest, but there has been cause for optimism in 2023.
Research by Amazon Conservation, a charity that monitors the Amazon, has shared that deforestation rates have decreased by nearly 56% in 2023 compared to 2022.
4. Animal Kingdom – biodiversity increases
There have been some major advancements in the animal kingdom this year, heralding some much-needed good news for biodiversity.
In Brazil, the golden lion tamarin was almost extinct due to rampant poaching. Due to conservationists, there are now more of them living in the Atlantic rainforest than at any time in the last 50 years.
Until 2023, the scimitar-horned oryx was noted as being ‘extinct in the wild’. But after a successful reintroduction, the oryx has returned to its natural habitat in Chad.
In Scotland, the population of golden eagles has also seen an upsurge, while the bittern has seen a steady incline in England.
3. LGBTQ+ rights – some wins among the losses
While some countries have seen a worrying reduction in the rights of LGBTQ+ people and an upsurge in hate crimes, we have continued to make some positive steps elsewhere.
In November, Nepal became one of the first Asian countries to register a gay marriage. In Europe, Latvia voted to legalise same-sex partnerships. Same-sex couples were also legally recognised for the first time in Peru and South Korea in 2023.
2. The Ozone Layer – on track to heal completely
The ozone layer provides the world with essential protection from UV radiation, but in the mid-80s, scientists observed that a hole had emerged.
Since then, efforts have been made to ban dangerous CFC gases, and this has helped. In fact, scientists have said that the layer is on track to heal completely by the middle of the 21st century.
1. Gender pay gap – narrowing as the years go on
The gender pay gap has been observed in many sectors and continues to disadvantage working women.
Although the pay gap is still a reality, the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US has confirmed that as of 2023, the gap between full-time female workers and their male colleagues is now narrower than ever.
There is still work to be done, but this is definitely something to be celebrated.
There is no doubt that there are many causes that need our attention and our action, but it is good to also focus on the positive steps we have taken. We hope that these ten good things that happened in 2023 help you feel a little brighter as you enter into the new year.