What Was Good About 2022

Published: January 3, 2023

By Jim Lichtman
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Jose Luis Magana/AP

Two Scientific Milestones –

With the increasing threat of global warming the news that scientists were able to successfully create nuclear fusion that would produce more energy than it would cost is a remarkable breakthrough.

“Scientists studying fusion energy at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California announced on Tuesday that they had crossed a long-awaited milestone in reproducing the power of the sun in a laboratory,” The New York Times writes.’”

“‘This is such a wonderful example of a possibility realized, a scientific milestone achieved, and a road ahead to the possibilities for clean energy,’ Arati Prabhakar, the White House science adviser, said during a news conference on Tuesday morning at the Department of Energy’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. ‘And even deeper understanding of the scientific principles that are applied here.’”

“If fusion can be deployed on a large scale, it would offer an energy source devoid of the pollution and greenhouse gases caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the dangerous long-lived radioactive waste created by current nuclear power plants, which use the splitting of uranium to produce energy.

“Most climate scientists and policymakers say that to achieve that goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius, or the even more ambitious target of 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, the world must reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”

NA­­SA’s James Webb Space Telescope was selected for the 2022 Bloomberg 50, its annual list of icons, leaders, and innovators that have changed the global business landscape over the past year,” the Space agency reports.

“Launched Dec. 25, 2021, from French Guiana, the Webb telescope (https://www.nasa.gov/webb) is already providing new views of the universe and uncovering secrets that were previously inaccessible. Webb has seen early galaxies and peered through dusty clouds to see stars forming, such as in the Pillars of Creation. Webb has also provided new imagery of exoplanets and planets in our own solar system.

“Webb is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb’s design pushed the boundaries of space telescope capabilities to solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.”

Midterm Elections: Democracy Wins –

“Voters delivered victories for progressives in districts across the country, including in Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Hawaii, California, Pennsylvania and Vermont, and Democrats kept control of the Senate,” the website Common Dreams reports. “Young people showed up at the polls in record numbers–one out of eight voters in the midterms was under the age of 30.

“Abortion rights won in states where it was on the ballot (California, Michigan and Vermont) and in the “red” state of Kentucky, voters rejected a proposed amendment to the Kentucky constitution that would declare there is no constitutional right to an abortion. Another plus: Every election denier running to oversee state elections lost.”

Respect for Marriage Act Passes –

As reported by NPR, “The Senate has voted to advance a bill that would protect same-sex and interracial marriages under federal law, setting the legislation on a path to final passage.

“The Respect for Marriage Act would not force states to issue same-sex marriage licenses but would require them to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. It also would recognize these marriages under federal law for the consideration of benefits like Medicare and Social Security.

“All 50 Democrats and 12 Republicans voted to advance the bill, clearing a 60-vote threshold.

“The push to codify marriage rights comes in the wake of this summer’s Supreme Court opinion that reversed Roe v. Wade and potentially called other decisions into question. In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas noted that the landmark 2015 case that legalized same-sex marriage, Obergefell v. Hodges, rests on the same legal principles that underscored Roe. No case challenging the right to marry has yet made it to the Supreme Court, but advocates feared Thomas was setting the stage for Obergefell‘s reversal.

“‘The Supreme Court should not be in a position to undermine the stability of families with a stroke of a pen,’ Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said on the Senate floor. Baldwin, the first openly gay member of the Senate, was a sponsor of the bill.

“‘This will give millions of loving couples the certainty, the dignity and the respect that they need and that they deserve,’ she said.”

Bipartisanship Lives –

GoodGoodGood.co, a website promoted by The New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News, GoFundMe, and several other organizations reports, “For years, millions of Americans who experienced a medical emergency could also get a bill from a doctor they did not choose and who did not accept their insurance. The ‘No Surprises Act’ makes those bills illegal.

Bipartisan legislation passed during the Trump administration and fine-tuned by the Biden administration is a major new consumer protection, and covers nearly all emergency medical services and most routine care.

“‘I think this is so pro-consumer, it’s so pro-patient — and its effect will eventually be felt by literally everybody who interacts with a health care system,’ said Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana, who was part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who wrote the bill. He said he counted the bill as among his top achievements as a lawmaker.

“The new law eliminates the risk that an out-of-network doctor or hospital will send an extra, unexpected bill. Currently, those bills add up to billions in costs for consumers each year.”


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