Good News Wednesday

Mid week bundle of upbeat good news nuggets.

  • There were two surprising things about a recent Gallup survey into life satisfaction in the US. The first was that more Americans consider themselves to be thriving than at any point for more than a decade. Despite all the country's recent travails, three in five Americans say they are pretty happy with their lot. The second surprise was how little media coverage this received. (Though perhaps this is not so surprising, for we are well accustomed to newsrooms ignoring the positives.)

  • On a similar theme, some newspapers have been wrestling with the question of whether to print politicians’ lies/false statements/untruths/misleading claims - especially when those politicians are saying these things with the expectation that their statements will be covered and amplified by the media? In March, the 200 year old Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland decided to stop printing the fibs and mendacious stunts that politicians commit. The good news, they say, is that their readers prefer this new approach.

  • Hippos, walruses and killer whales could receive greater legal protection under UK government proposals to extend the ban on ivory poaching. The plans would see the Ivory Act broadened to cover more animals, with ministers saying elephants are not the only species at risk. The proposed protections have opened for public consultation and the Department for Environment has urged industry stakeholders and members of the public to share their views.

  • Hats off to 65-year-old Twyanna Williams, a grandmother of four, who just graduated from high school. What’s more, she was honoured as the valedictorian of her class at South Philadelphia High School. “I would like for the whole world to know that it’s never too late to go back to school, no matter what age you drop out,” Twyanna commented. “It’s never too late. It is important. Education is very important.”

  • Shell and Scottish Power are joining forces to develop what could be the world's first large-scale floating wind farms off Scotland's north-east coast. The FTSE 100 oil and gas giant and the subsidiary of Spain's Iberdrola have jointly submitted "multiple proposals" to Scotland's first offshore wind leasing round in a decade. Up to 10 gigawatts of new offshore wind capacity is up for grabs in the round - roughly doubling the UK's current offshore installed capacity - that could attract investment of about £8bn.

  • Maine has enacted a groundbreaking law that will ban the use of toxic PFAS compounds in all products by 2030. Though states and the federal government have passed piecemeal laws regulating the dangerous chemicals’ use, Maine is the nation’s first state and world’s first government to enact a broad prohibition on the class of about 9,000 compounds, which are dubbed “forever chemicals” because they don’t fully break down and accumulate in the environment and humans.

  • The Bank of Japan will offer zero-interest loans to lenders that finance climate-change projects as it becomes the latest central bank to act on emissions.


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