The Bad News of 2008 Is Also the Good News


Photo Credit: Dan Bush, McFall

It has been a rocky year for many in 2008. With an ailing economy, viral job loss, busted mortgages, roller coaster oil prices and stock markets, and a grim forecast , it is easy to neglect the good news. But the good news is the same as the bad news, depending on how you look at it or phrase it:

Read further for 7 bad AND good news events of 2008

1) HOUSING


The Bad News:

People are losing their homes or are struggling to make home payments. New home sales are way down.

The Good News:

More home buyers are learning to live within their means and purchase homes primarily to live in rather than as an investment to make a profit on later. Current home owners are getting creative by renting out rooms in their homes or moving into smaller homes that fit their budget and their desired footprint. There is also a growing movement to return to the era of building one’s own home, not by contracting a builder, but actually building it with their own hands.

2) THE ECONOMY

The Bad News:

The stock market is collapsing with no end in sight. The economy has lost trillions in value as a result.

The Good News:

Investors will gravitate towards more tangible, ecologically sound goods and services, rather than abstract ideas or future forecasts with no other investment intention other than making a quick profit in a pyramid scheme. Renewable energy, efficient transportation, and local food production are just a few futures with guaranteed returns.

3) BANK FAILURES

The Bad News:

Banks are failing. Lending is at a standstill.

The Good News:

With lending coming to a halt, so does debt. This inspires people to rethink purchasing things they don’t need, sell things that they don’t need, and use a less wasteful pay-as-you-go system for things they absolutely need.

4) JOBS

The Bad News:

Layoffs!

The Good News:

People have a small window of opportunity to re-realize their real mission in life, start a small business from scratch, or dust off the cobwebs in their attic and find that old dream journal. Essential, non-luxury, goods and services will always be needed. As large corporations are cutting thousands of workers, many smaller and more local businesses are able to fill the gap by providing quality goods and services with less footprint. Green collar jobs will be most likely be the fastest growing job market, starting in 2009.

5) THE AUTO INDUSTRY

The Bad News:

The big three car companies are going bankrupt. An industry which has been a defining ingredient in American economic growth is on the brink of collapse. And thousands of jobs in those industries are being lost a result.

The Good News:

People are Driving Less, holding onto perfectly good vehicles for longer periods of time, and finding other ways to get around. For the first time in decades, Americans drove fewer miles. As a result there were about 5,000 fewer auto related deaths this last year compared to normal. While driving has decreased, public transit ridership has increased. Hard working auto workers are freed up to work within the public transit sector, an industry which might have many billions of extra dollars subsidizing it, starting next year.

6) CONSUMERISM

The Bad News:

This was the ‘worst’ holiday shopping season in decades after an already slow year for retail . Businesses which depend on up to 40% of their profits during the holiday season are now on the brink of failure.

The Good News:

People are buying less junk. Less junk is being deposited into the waste stream. There has also been an increase in alternative gifting. As consumers are becoming more frugal, businesses which provide longer lasting, higher quality goods and services will get more business and develop a less susceptible, long term relationship with their customers . Good news.

7) PLANET EARTH

Bad News:

The Earth is in Peril. The poles are melting, more species of animals and plants are becoming extinct, oxygen producing forests are disappearing, dead zones are expanding in oceans where life was once abundant, and the list goes on.

The Good News:

It's not over yet!We can't ignore the real problems that are present today, but we don't have to buy into the fear tactics used by the those who are demanding that we re-invest in failing concepts that were unsustainable in the first place. It is a very promising time of re-realizing and restructuring for a better future and a stronger foundation in 2009 and beyond.I hope that next year brings us as much good news. Happy 2009 TreeHugger readers!Further Reading:Scientists' Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for 2009
How to Go Green
Toward a More Sustainable 2009
New Deal 2009? Three Plans to Rescue the Economy and the Earth with Public Transportation

Tags: Buy Nothing | Consumerism | Driving | Economics | Environmental Footprint | Jobs | Living With Less | Transportation

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