I'm going to cite Sarah Van Gelder's article from Common Dreams. It is a listicle (n. an article consisting primarily of a list) from Yes magazine. I would like to copy it word for word, but I'll follow fair use and just give the high points.
- People fell in love with local foods.
- A home-grown U.S. pro-democracy movement brought greater integrity to the elections process. (My note: Acorn and the 50-state strategy both figure strongly here.)
- Happiness got redefined. As people discovered that debt and overconsumption cause stress to families, the planet, and each of us, many turned instead to friends, family, good works, spirituality, and personal growth as the keys to a good life.
- Media became radically decentralized and inclusive, with anyone able to report on events and to post video, tweets, photos, and commentary. Governments found secrecy much harder to come by. Fact checking became a participatory activity.
- Prison overcrowding, budget shortfalls, and powerful advocacy turned the public against draconian prison terms and the drug war in favor of limited prison time for nonviolent offenses and alternatives like treatment and community service.
- People went local to rebuild the economy. Instead of competing to get corporations to locate in their communities, they began building economies based on local strengths and local needs, striving to be green and to offer living wages and dignity to employees.
- Populist resistance grew to corporate power and big government.
- The stage was set for nuclear abolition: A global consensus grew around the need to abolish nuclear weapons.
- Indigenous people's rights were recognized in an official United Nations declaration. Indigenous peoples began using their new-found clout to protect their ways of life and the biosphere, stewarding sources of invaluable cultural and biological diversity.
- The United States elected an African-American president. But, as has been painfully clear, it does not guarantee progressive policies will come out of the White House.
- A new guiding philosophy emerged based on respect for all people and all life. Earth Charter, formally launched in 2000, received endorsements of thousands of organizations representing millions of people during the ‘00s, revealing the potential for a new worldview to take hold based in environmental sustainability and social justice.
- A "Survival" Movement swept the world; millions took action to confront the climate crisis, making changes at home and at work, greening cities, resisting coal and deforestation. Look to this movement to grow rapidly, post-Copenhagen.
Speaking of 'above it all' . . . I am launching another blog this year called 10:10 Above It All to chronicle 10 projects I am planning for 2010. Above it all has a whole series of meanings. One of the meanings is an emotional one. I want to rise above the anger, shame and frustration I feel as an American and as an older woman in a patriarchal culture of youth. I could easily dive into despair or perpetual rage. For my health and well being I need to avoid getting caught up in the stink of it all. I took most of this last year off writing my blog, so I might take awhile to get back into a groove with writing.
Jan. 18th Update: I have followed an instinct that struck me - and hung around for a week - to abandon the 10:10 Above it All project. All I know is the time isn't right. The concept is still brilliant, if I do say so myself. I am just not ready it seems.
Art by Chris Kenny