Good News Digest #1
Bad news related to climate change is hitting us at all angles. Fear and urgency are dominating the climate conversation. Yet positive climate stories and solutions are equally, if not more effective drivers of climate action.
They prove that solutions are working and are ready to be scaled. They show that nature is resilient and comes up with surprising ways of preserving itself. They send a clear signal to governments, policymakers, corporations and the wider public that there is a growing demand for cleaner technology and climate policy.
If you feel like you are drowning in bad news, we have collected lasts week’s climate change success stories to get you through the week.
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Climate change is talked – or sung – about more than ever
Capitol Hill — Environmentalists and lawmakers are placing Climate Change at the forefront of the national conversation. Since Democrats took back control of the House, around 14 congressional hearings have been held on topics related to climate change. The biggest conversation-starter on climate change has been the Green New Deal — proposing to develop an electric grid relying 100% renewable energy.
Read more: Environmentalists see victory with Green New Deal blitz
2020 Elections — Youth voter turnout is at an all-time high, which means 2020 presidential candidates have no choice but to take into account youth public opinion. With climate change and immigration as top priorities for young voters, candidates must focus on these issues and introduce comprehensive reform in order to garner their support.
Read more: Climate Change and Immigration Will Win the Youth Vote
Earth Day — Rapper Lil Dicky celebrated Earth Day with the release of ‘Earth,’ a music video featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and other celebrities as a call for action to protect the environment. The profits from the streaming and sales of the video are going towards select charities fighting climate change.
Renewables and their pathway to normalization
Maine – last week, Maine-based Ocean Renewable Power Co. launched the RivGen Power System, a fully submerged turbine generator that harnesses the power of river currents to produce energy. The company is looking to deploy its clean energy systems to isolated communities that rely heavily on oil and help them make the transition to clean energy. Maine is currently the most oil-dependent state in the country, but that is soon to change.
Read more: Maine company launches renewable energy system designed to power remote communities around the world
Massachusetts – The Pilgrim nuclear plant is shutting down due to rising costs, soon to be replaced by another carbon-free source: the Vineyard Wind project, a farm of 84 offshore wind turbines. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities awarded the project a 20-year contract to provide electricity at 8.9 cents per kilowatt-hour, which would save ratepayers $1.3 billion in energy costs over the deal’s lifetime.
Read more: Offshore wind farms are spinning up in the US – at last
Puerto Rico – Last week, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló signed a law to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2050. The island is projected to draw 40 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2025 and to give up coal by 2028.
Learning to manage our resources
Colorado River – last Tuesday, President Trump signed a plan to limit water usage from the Colorado River due to prolonged drought, climate change, and increasing demand of water flows. Negotiated by the 7 states that draw water from the river, this plan aims to keep 2 key reservoirs, Lakes Powell and Mead, from falling so low they cannot deliver water or produce hydropower.
Read more: Trump signs Colorado River drought plan
Reebok — in August, Reebok unveiled its Cotton + Corn sneaker, substituting petroleum with bio-based materials. This week, Reebok replaced the leather patches with vegan alternatives, and is setting the trend for durable, zero-waste, and animal-friendly shoes.
Nature as our most powerful ally
The Ocean – New research explores how ice small particles floating in water lessen the energy from waves and weaken their ability to shatter sea ice. While this phenomenon cannot fix the decline in sea ice, it may slow down the process.
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