This will be the last Renegade Octopus post for 2016; I will likely be too exhausted to post over the next week, given my day job will involve people wildly celebrating without concern for the staff wherever they happen to be. That said, I have a few things to say about this last year.
First, I’m doing tolerably with my Patreon; it provides about $30 each month, and I appreciate everyone contributing to it. If you like what I do here, do please consider pitching in a buck or two each month.
2016 brought us some nice new products in the game front; Paizo brought us Horror Gaming, Posthuman Studios brought X-Risks out, Monte Cook Games made more cool things for their Cypher-powered product lines, and Fate Core has had a steady trickle of resources come out from Evil Hat.
It also brought us a vaccine for ebola, a reduction in extreme poverty on a global scale, there are new marine sanctuaries and a fair commitment to fighting climate change around the globe, acid pollution levels are down a great deal, and the ozone layer seems to be recovering still. Some of the biggest diseases in the world are starting to decline, malaria deaths are going down, and there’s progress in fighting antibiotic-resistant diseases.
Homelessness in the US is down 35% since 2007, the African Union has announced a passport that covers all the members of it, teenage pregnancy rates have dropped for the 24th year straight in the US and UK, and global carbon emissions from greenhouse gas stayed flat this last year. The Chinese government has banned new coal mines and doubled their goal for renewable energy resources, and 25% of the EU has announced that they’e quit coal entirely.
Holland has 1/3 of their jail cells empty, as crime continues to decline there. Countries are commiting to reduced – or absolutely no – deforestation, overfishing is starting to be dealt with finally thanks to improved research and technology, India planted 50 million trees in a single day, the Italian government is fighting back against food waste, and endangered animals of all kinds are getting a much-needed break.
Global spending on aid went up 7%, spending on refugees has doubled, the city of Paris has decided to sell ‘love locks’ and donate the funds to refugees, and charitable spending in China is up to $15 billion. Refugees are being taken in and integrated into their new countries around the world.
So 2016 has had a lot of good things happen. Unfortunately, it also had a spike in xenophobia, bigotry, and fear-driven violence in many places. The US right wing seems hell-bent on disenfranchising anyone that isn’t straight, cisgender, and white. The UK had the Brexit vote land things in the lap of bigots who don’t quite know what to do now that they’ve won. Numerous celebrities who’ve spent their lives making the world a better place have died, and only three monstrous bigots went with them. The last few months have felt outright malevolent in character to those of us living in the US.
Which is why it’s important to look at the huge list of good things that have happened and to prepare to fight back against intolerance, xenophobia, and bigotry in all its ugly forms. 2016 is ending on a somewhat bitter note for the Octopus; but I can promise you that I intend to be here in 2017, doing my best to help fight for inclusive spaces, diversity, and freedom from the narrow-minded bigots who want us all to dance to their overdone tune about macho men and buxom women.
See you all next year, ready for the fight!