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Happy Thanksgiving Inhabitants!

2012 was filled with many hardships, but it was also marked with milestones in innovation and breakthroughs in thinking that make us truly want to give thanks. From the next generation of sustainable visionaries to what we hope is a climate change thought revolution, we hope you’ll take a quick break from your tryptophan-induced haze to see what we at Inhabitat are most thankful for this year.

Maker Faire Africa, Kids Pee Powered Generator, teens make peep powered generator

The next generation

It seems that today’s youth are robbing us of the chance to gripe about “kids these days” by actually out-innovating, out-philantropizing (apparently that’s a word) and out-smarting many of their elders. From these four African teens who invented a pee-powered generator to this Egyptian 19-year-old who created a next generation quantum space propulsion system to an 18-year-old in Nepal who figured out how to use human hair to replace silicon in solar panels, we’re thankful that we’ll be in good hands when we’re wearing Depends and drinking Ensure.

Obama Wins 2012 Election, obama, climate change, clean energy, green energy, obama, barack obamaPresident Obama photo from Shutterstock

The re-election of a President who is looking towards a clean energy future

Regardless of whether you voted red or blue, there was little doubt that President Obama was the greener candidate. Green jobs, green transportation and green energy were all part of Obama’s gameplan for the future of our nation, so we must admit we were relieved when he pulled ahead on the road to 270 and secured another four years in the White House. We’re looking forward to seeing our commander-in-chief lead the country in creating new clean energy jobs, up the ante on greenhouse gas regulation and boost alternative energy and transportation.

Flooded Subway, hurricane sandy, sandy nyc, sandy subway flooding, hurricane sandy nyc

The de-tabooing of climate change

It’s sad that it took our cities flooding and our neighborhoods going black to do it, but the truth is finally out there in the open – climate change is real. Politicians who up until now were either unwilling to admit the importance or even the existence of climate change have finally acknowledged it and leaders like Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo openly noted that Hurricane Sandy wasn’t just some freak storm. Those that chose to mock the clear and present danger of rising tides just a short while ago were forced to eat their words and perhaps the one positive thing to come out of Hurricane Sandy is that our eyes are now wide open so we can plan, prepare and perhaps even prevent future extreme weather.

General Motors, General Motors solar power, solar power, solar energy, alternative energy

Solar power going mainstream

Okay, so it’s not like solar power is something new but the rate at which it’s getting adopted by major corporations as well as small businesses as an alternative energy source has picked up steam. Companies like General Motors, Ikea and Wal-Mart are now amongst the top users of solar power in the U.S., and while they still have their various issues to iron out when it comes to sustainability, they’re setting an example for others to follow suit. We’re not pie-in-the-sky dreamers – we know that solar power still needs to be perfected before it can completely phase out other sources – but we have to be in it to win it, so we’re excited to see how PV panels have made the public transition from novelty items into a viable source of energy.

jill fehrenbacher, inhabitat, inhabitat team, diane pham, amanda cohen, yuka yoneda, lori zimmer, alyssa alimurung, charley cameronJust a few of us. We seemed to be a very xx chromosome crowd that day. Sorry to the guys on our team!

Our team

We might write about solar and wind power all day but when it comes down to it, our operation is powered by the people. We can’t express how grateful we are to get to work with such talented, passionate and just plain cool writers, editors, and team members from all kinds of walks of life, all around the world. Thank you guys for breathing life into Inhabitat and inspiring us daily.

You, our readers!

And of course this list would not be complete if we didn’t thank our millions of wonderful, loyal, amazing readers around the world for making Inhabitat what it is today. Thank you so, so much for your support, participation and enthusiasm. We hope we are doing the best job we can to inform, entertain and inspire you (and if we’re not, by all means please let us know what we can do differently). Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Have something you’re thankful for? Tell us what it is in the comments below!