Kicking off the week with a raft of good news nuggets.
Whilst the G7 has recently agreed to stop international financing of coal projects this year, Bloomberg reports the further good news that over half of the Chinese-backed overseas coal-fired power plant projects have been cancelled, underscoring the rising forces against coal investments globally. It's yet another sign that financing costs and risks related to coal projects have surged, while clean energy like solar power have became cheaper to produce.
What do cars, herrings, luxury apartments, guns, pre-rolled spliffs, $1.5m lottery draws and chickens have in common? These are just some of the vaccination incentives being offered around the world.
Message from the past: A pilot assigned to "wake up" a Delta plane that had been in storage since the early days of the pandemic came across a moving little note from the pilot who had been the last to fly it, all the way back on March 2020. After musing about the strange reality of the pandemic, Capt. Chris Dennis offered this hopeful sentiment: "If you are here to pick it up then the light must be at the end of the tunnel. Amazing how fast it changed. Have a safe flight bringing it out of storage!" And, fingers crossed, we'll all be able to travel again soon...
Sticking to the aviation theme: A team of scientists from Bath University, England, has developed a new and remarkably lightweight material capable of insulating aircraft engines and reducing noise by up to 16 decibels, cutting the 105-decibel scream of jet engines taking off to the level of a hairdryer, according to a recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports. And the new insulating material could roll out in the next 18 months.
Congratulations to Vermont as it becomes the first US state to reach its 80 percent vaccination goal and is now shedding all statewide restrictions.
And congratulations to Costa Rica - it's leading the clean energy revolution with 99 percent of the country’s electricity generated from renewables in 2020.
An electric flying race car - the Alauda Airspeeder Mk3, a 4m long multicopter - has taken flight for the first time in Australia, ahead of a proposed series of remotely piloted races later in the year. The vehicle has a thrust-to-weight ratio exceeding some of the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft. Sounds fun!
Apple is giving $5 million to four historically Black universities to help expand their engineering programs for designing the chips that power electronic devices. The money comes from Apple's broader racial justice initiative, which it announced last year with $100 million in initial funding.
Volvo plans to build cars using steel made without fossil fuels by 2026, as part of a deal with a compariot steelmaker in Sweden that will significantly reduce the carbon emissions from manufacturing its vehicles. By replacing coal with hydrogen in a crucial part of the process, Volvo expects to reduce emissions from steelmaking by at least 90 percent. Of course, the really good news would be if all automakers shifted to this new process.
Dive in to some good news articles
In the spirit of Banksy
Collection of random acts of anarchic street art from around the world that's guaranteed to lift your spirits and get the week off to an upbeat start.