As Christmas approaches, let’s look at the sweeter side. Let’s pick five topics and hunt for better news. The topics are war, energy, economics, water, and our attitudes.

War:

Donald Trump is winning the war against the Islamic State. Ross Douthat of the New York Times, a tough critic of our 45th president, makes the case here.

Energy:

At Michigan State, a research professor has created a type of transparent plastic that generates solar electricity. If he can improve its efficiencies, the architectural glass walls of future office buildings could be a source of up to 40 percent of the nation’s power supply.

Economics:

Where in the world could 216 immigrant-founded companies find a home and then earn $5.3 trillion in global revenue in 2016? Why, in the United States, of course. Companies started by immigrants make up 52 percent of the Fortune 500 and 57 percent of the top 35 companies.

Water:

Professor Rahul Nair of the University of Manchester in the UK is testing a new graphene-oxide membrane that can efficiently filter out salts from seawater, potentially solving our planet’s oldest threat to health.

Our Attitudes:

Researchers at New York University discovered that people tend to overstate their anxieties and therefore surveys which only ask once are biased to the downside.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Next note on January 2, 2018.