Shineanthology’s Weblog

An anthology of optimistic, near future SF

Good news from around the globe, part 2

And while the credit crisis deepens, fights flare up in Gaza, Russia closes its gas supplies to Ukraine (and a large part of Europe), and oil company workers strike in India, we continue looking at the bright side of life. Yet, for every action there’s a reaction (well, at least in physics…;-):


  • Obama plans to invest in broadband to put America back to work (as originally brought to my attention via the FreePress Twitter);
  • Sales of fuel-efficient, low CO2-emitting cars are skyrocketing in The Netherlands (article is in Dutch, and I don’t have the time to translate it: suffice it to say that cars like the Peugeot 107, the Citroën C1, the Toyota Aygo and the Toyota Prius are selling so fast that delivery times have gone up to ten weeks for an Aygo, and five months for a 107. This is partly — probably mostly — due to fiscal stimulation from the government. Typically, since all these models are *very* similar to each other, they’re all made in the Toyota factory in the Czech Republic: that car factory is one of the very few that is producing at full throttle at the moment. Hence, fiscal stimulation packages of a government — like the German policy with renewable energy — for more environmentally friendly products can be very successful, indeed!);
  • Not only in Europe: an electric car is touring India;
  • Without government stimulation in Japan: Japanese geothermal projects to pick up after 20 years;
  • Scientific research — in this case neuroscience — keeps marching forward: here it discovers ‘blindsight’ in a blind man;

GeothermalTherefore, gas shortages in Europe and oil shortages in India may very well accelerate the introduction of more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly cars. The credit crisis may help the upcoming US government focus on sustainable job developments. The only thing keeps me seething with frustration is the ongoing Israel/Palestina conflict: somebody who can come up with a humanitarian and long-lasting solution for that not only deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, but should have that price named after her/him.



  Matthew Sanborn Smith wrote @

Jetse, I’m not just saying this because I sent you a tweet story. I really like the fact that you’re focusing on the positive. I’m very excited about the future though my environmentalist friends are always trying to bring me down. I’ve got what may be a naive faith in science to fix our problems. Thanks!

  gillian wrote @

“Blind sight in a blind man”is based on the activation of hidden pathways in the brain when someone loses his vision. Some devices transforming sound into shapes and colors have been developed in order to help blind persons. See and

  Eva Maria Chapman wrote @

Yes- the Gaza story- a virulence on the face of the world. Poor Obama- so much faith is put in him- but I think he should offer to give equal arms assistance to the Palestinians as he does to israel. Aren’t the Palestinians in the same predicament- a tiny state of oppressed peoples trying to survive in an aggressive setting? Fair’s fair! And it exposes the lucrative Arms trade that no one talks about. When Israel sqawks loudly- then withdraw the arms- only fair!

[…] an article about positive developments in the world (I’ve already posted plenty of those). Here’s one development that particularly caught my attention, because it is a […]

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