by Melanie Vautier

You might have seen a new hashtag emerging on the CANA Facebook page: #goodnewsstories.

You might, equally, wonder what these stories about bananas and tramping tracks have to do with our coal focus.

Well, I’ll tell you!

As you may have noticed, anytime there’s any glimmer of governmental support for winding down the fossil fuel industry, the media loves to bang on about lost jobs and damages to The Economy. This ongoing fear-mongering is damaging to our climate targets, completely misses the bigger picture of what’s at stake if we don’t transition away from fossil fuels, and ignores the potential for significantly more jobs emerging in the renewable energy sector.

The point of all these Good News Stories is to provide another perspective. A positive perspective. Opportunities abound; the world is our oyster. We don’t need to rely on a fossil fuel economy. Kiwi ingenuity is shining – people have started businesses using the changing climate to their advantage; growing bananas or coffee. A new Great Walk is giving new life to a tired mining town, with huge potential for creative tourism opportunities.

All too often the news feed of an environmentalist is gloomy and bleak. It’s exhausting. The standard scare tactics of people just trying to get people to care have been largely ineffective. We are human – we crave inspiration, positivity, humanity, hope. In the face of climate change, there is still an abundance of all of these things. They just get lost among all the other, more catastrophic, click-bait. So CANA’s Good News Stories have come about as an effort to bring some hope and positivity back to environmentalists, and also to reach those who don’t put themselves in that category – just people looking for inspiration.

If you have any stories you would like us to share, personal or otherwise, please email or message us. In the words of my personal favourite Climate Inspirer Paul Hawken, we have an opportunity “to see global warming not as an inevitability but as an invitation to build, innovate, and effect change, a pathway that awakens creativity, compassion, and genius.”

Here’s some examples of people doing just that:

The “Carrot Crusader” Alex Davies started a pop-up restaurant after the Christchurch earthquake, with an emphasis on showcasing local vegetables:

Northland’s “thriving banana growing business” is extending to Gisborne with funding going into growing an East Coast banana economy:

A couple who have become NZ’s first commercial coffee growers:

A new Great Walk bringing life to ex-mining town Blackball:  and

And dairy legend Glen’s mission to make milk a sustainable industry:

Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for more upcoming Good News…or even go out and make some!