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Top 10 hopeful stories for 2010 for consumers and the environment

One thing that cheers me up every year is going to the Green Festival in Seattle sponsored by Green America and other organizations.

It was at my first Green Festival that I met David Korten, cofounder of the Positive Futures Network which publishes Yes! Magazine. Korten, an economist, believes decision making needs to be shifted from global corporations to local communities so everyone can experience healthy, joyful living.

The Green Festival concentrates on what’s being accomplished to heal the earth and its people. I always go home inspired rather than feeling despair, as I often do after watching TV news.

As 2010 draws to a close, Sarah Van Gelder, executive editor of Yes! Magazine, offers these stories as the most hopeful of the year:

1. Climate crisis response takes a new direction, with indigenous people, climate activists, and grassroots leaders offering a solution to the climate crisis based on a recognition of the rights of Mother Earth.

2. Wikileaks lifts the veil on U.S. government actions around the world, offering data points for a bracing, reality-based conversation on the future of war.

3. Momentum is building for the abolition of nuclear weapons with the ratification of the START Treaty.

4. Resilience is the new watchword, as familiar sources of security erode and people are rebuilding their communities to be green and resilient.

5. Health care is still in play, as a federal judge strikes down the individual mandate in the Obama health care package, some advocate the expansion of Medicare to cover more people – or everyone, and Vermont explores adopting a statewide single-payer healthcare system.

6. Corporate power is challenged, as small businesses distance themselves from the Chamber of Commerce and towns and cities declare that the rights of people and nature supersede the rights of corporations.

7. A local economy movement is taking off, as it becomes clear that the corporate economy is a net drain on the well-being of people, the environment, communities, and jobs.

8. Cooperatives are making a comeback, as new model for local, just, and green job creation is gaining national attention.

9. A turn away from homophobia is occurring with the revoking of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the widespread adoption of anti-bullying campaigns.

10. Social movements provide the best hope, as movement leaders are connecting the dots between Wall Street’s plunder, growing poverty, and the climate crisis, and setting priorities instead for people and the planet.

See "10 Most Hopeful Stories of 2010" for more information.

Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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At the end of the year, and the beginning of a new year, it is nice to have a positive story to lift us up.

I like this one: Corporate power is challenged, as small businesses distance themselves from the Chamber of Commerce and towns and cities declare that the rights of people and nature supersede the rights of corporations.

I have come to see this reality myself in the past couple of years. I have attend several buy locally meetings and visit local farmers markets and small mom and pop owned businesses. If everyone would do just their little part, it would make a huge difference.


Hi Robert,

Buying locally is a great way consumers can make a difference in the economy.

I, too, like positive stories about the economy and local efforts. It's good to learn about them in Yes! Magazine and at the Green Festival.

Thanks for your comment.


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