Good News Friday

Updated: Sep 5

What better way to end the week than with an upbeat collection of good news nuggets?


Rediscovered

A rare hummingbird has been rediscovered by a birdwatcher in Colombia after going missing for more than a decade. The Santa Marta sabrewing, a large hummingbird only found in Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, was last seen in 2010 and scientists feared the species might be extinct as the tropical forests it inhabited have largely been cleared for agriculture. But ornithologists are celebrating the rediscovery of Campylopterus phainopeplus after an experienced local birdwatcher captured one on camera.


Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bag use in England has fallen dramatically over the past 8 years, after small charges were implemented by shops. The average Brit now buys around three single-use carrier bags a year, down from a whopping 140 in 2014.


Restitution

US returns looted relics of 'extraordinary cultural value' to Cambodia. New York officials have returned 30 cultural artifacts to Cambodia, including a 10th-century Khmer sculptural 'masterpiece,' after the items were illegally sold to private collectors and a US museum.


Meanwhile, a London museum is to return 72 treasured artifacts, including its collection of Benin bronzes, to Nigeria in what experts described as an 'immensely significant' moment. It makes the Horniman, which won museum of the year in July, the first government-funded institution to hand back treasures looted by British forces from Benin City in 1897.

 
Eudaimonia

Noun: the condition of living well. Eudaimonia is a Greek word that translates to the condition of "good spirit."

 
Magnolia emarginata with its uniquely shaped white flowers
Credit: Haiti National Trust
Magnolia Gives Hope

A conservation team has rediscovered a native magnolia tree in a forest in Haiti for the first time since it was lost to science in 1925. Boasting pure white flowers and uniquely shaped leaves, the northern Haiti magnolia (Magnolia emarginata) was found originally in the forest of Morne Colombo, which has since been destroyed by deforestation. Its discovery has sparked new hope for the potential rewilding of Haiti's forests.


Global Coal

Global coal plant construction peaked in 2015 at 107 GW. By last year, it had dropped to 45 GW, and in the first six months of 2021 only 13.8 GW has been built. 11.4 GW has been retired during the same period, meaning the world has only added 2.4 GW of coal capacity this year. On current trends, humanity will start reducing total coal-fired capacity in 2023, says Global Energy Monitor.


Germany Accelerates

Germany just approved their own version of a Green New Deal. $180 billion is to be spent between 2023 and 2026 to accelerate the shift to an economy that’s cleaner and less dependent on Russia for energy supplies, says Bloomberg. Furthermore, solar in Germany generated a new record in July 2022, accounting for roughly a fifth of the country’s electricity generation and also marking the third record month in a row. The really good news is that total renewables share reached 50.6 percent in July.

 
Quote of the Day

“I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realise I should have been more specific.”

Lily Tomlin

 
On this Day

12 August 1877: American inventor Thomas Alva Edison made perhaps his most original discovery, the phonograph, and his early recordings were indentations embossed into a sheet of tinfoil by a vibrating stylus.

 
Potato U-Turn

Turns out we've been storing our potatoes incorrectly. This food advice u-turn could save you cash, help you avoid stinky cupboards, and keep food waste out of landfills. Read on...


Marine Sanctuaries

US Postal Service releases a wonderful new series of stamps celebrating the rich diversity and beauty within marine sanctuaries and the ecosystems they protect. Read on...

 
Mood Booster

Remarkable 3 minute long wingsuit flight. Sit back and relax. Let this wingsuit flyer soak up the pressure...