15 January 2010

Glass Half Full Edition

Not all of the news out there is bad.

Colorado traffic fatalities are at a thirty year low, down 15% from last year.

Crime is down this year and has been going down for some time. It is near a thirty year low, despite tough economic times.

Most of the methamphetamine available in Colorado originates in Mexico which means that local meth labs aren't creating serious environmental hazards, largely as a result of regulation of over the counter sudafed sales. As of June 2008, nearly all indicators of methamphetamine use were declining in Colorado.

Teen birth rates are at near record lows, and near record low post-Roe v. Wade abortion rates indicate that the falling teen birth rates are due to fewer pregnancies, rather than due to more abortions. DNA evidence makes it possible to hold rapists accountable even more than a decade after the offense takes place, while exonerating many wrongfully convicted offenders.

Colorado has the lowest obesity rate in the nation, the lowest incidence of diabetes, and one of the lowest rates of hypertension and adult physical inactivity. Colorado is also a national leader in the percentage of people who are registered organ donors.

The number of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen by about 20% in fifteen years. Early figures from Pueblo, Colorado (which adopted as a ban on smoking indoors in public places before the rest of the state) show that the smoking ban Colorado recently instituted is likely to have major public health benefits in the state.

The worst appears to be over in the Denver real estate market:

Across the board, economists and real estate experts agree that Denver is at or near the top of the list of US cities that have generally survived the Great Recession with the least amount of damage, and that Denver is well positioned to lead the way into the recovery.

Unlike developers in Las Vegas, developers of suddenly less economic new building projects in Denver aren't abandoning them with construction only half complete.

Housing is more affordable nationwide than it has been for a long time, particularly in historically expensive markets like New York City and California.

Colorado has above average rainfall in 2009, and snowpacks in its most densely populated watersheds are over 90% of normal. Despite the fact that the drought is over in Denver, municipal water consuption is down a third from pre-drought levels. Consumers have dramatically cut water consumption even though they are no longer required to do so due to good water use habits established during the drought.

Colorado's state budget is in better shape than that of California and Illinois where state officials have each, within the past year, resorted to paying people owed money by state government with IOUs because those states were unable to pay their obligations as they came due.

Household savings have reached measurable levels after years of being almost zero or negative, and consumer debt levels are falling dramatically.

The was a net decrease in the number of cars on the road, and a significant improvement in national average fuel economy of the cars that remained on the road, last year.

U.S. coal consumption (and with pollution from burning coal) was down significantly in 2009.

A weaker dollar has made American exports more competitive.

People who need medical marijuana can now consume it in many states, including Colorado, without fear of criminal prosecution.

The U.S. has a timeline to remove its troops from Iraq, is drawing down troops there, had no deaths in Iraq in December, and there is an election scheduled to further legitimatize the civilian government we're leaving behind in Iraq so that it won't immediately dissolve into anarchy when we leave.


Dave Barnes said...

But, then we have:
Rush Limbaugh
Pat Robertson
Danny Glover
filling our airways and cables with hatred and stupidity.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Of course there is bad news. But, it pays to notice what is going right every now and then.

If something is going right, it is often possible to do the same thing over again and get the same result (even if not all of the things done the first time were actually necessary to get the result). The best action to take in response to bad new, in contrast, is rarely self-evident.