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Thursday's Good News

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

Global round up of positive news nuggets to brighten the day.


Please Tax Us

Hundreds of members of the super-rich elite are calling on global governments to “tax us, the ultra rich, now” and use the funds to help billions of people struggling with cost of living crisis. The Disney heiress Abigail Disney and the Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo (pictured) are among the 205 millionaires and billionaires calling on world leaders meeting in Davos to introduce wealth taxes to help tackle “extreme inequality”. They said “the cost of action is much cheaper than the cost of inaction – it’s time to get on with the job”.


Record Pups

A record number of baby seals have been spotted on a five-mile stretch of coast in Norfolk, south east England. A total of 3,796 seal pups have been born so far this winter, while 1,169 adults have been spotted by volunteers. This year’s figure is almost double the count during the winter of 2019-20, when 2,069 pups were counted. Peter Ansell, the chair of Friends of Horsey Seals, said: “It is a sign of a healthy colony. It’s down to the fish. At the moment the North Sea is providing enough fish for thousands of seals and this is a nice place for them to come ashore and do their breeding.” Roughly half of the world’s population of grey seals live around Britain’s coastline.


Vital Carbon Sink

Legislators in Argentina’s southernmost province of Tierra del Fuego have approved a law to permanently protect the land and sea of the Mitre Peninsula at the tip of South America, considered to be one of the region’s last wild places. The Mitre Peninsula is known to encompass Argentina’s most important carbon sink through a range of peatlands and the surrounding ocean swirls with giant kelp forests. Indeed, it's home to 30 percent of the world's kemp forests. The newly protected area will span 486,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) - about three times as big as London - and create a haven for numerous species, such as the endangered southern river otter.


The Svingerud Stone

Archaeologists in Norway have found what they claim is the world’s oldest runestone, saying the inscriptions are up to 2,000 years old and date back to the earliest days of the enigmatic history of runic writing. The flat, square block of brownish sandstone has carved scribbles, which may be the earliest example of words recorded in writing in Scandinavia, the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo says. Runes are the characters in several Germanic alphabets that were used in northern Europe from ancient times until the adoption of the Latin alphabet.


Greener Lawns

In the U.S., more than 40 million acres of land is covered in some form of lawn. These lawns have the ability to act as carbon sinks that absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, but the substantial carbon cost of lawn maintenance often counteracts the benefits, making lawns climate change contributors. In a new study, researchers encourage the planting of trees in place of “imperial” lawns to help fight the climate crisis. Auckland University of Technology professor Len Gillman, who was the study’s lead author, said that while letting your pristine lawn go wild “might cut down on the emissions due to maintenance, it’s not going far enough. In terms of climate change we need to absorb as much carbon as we possibly can from the atmosphere… The biggest difference is that shrubs and trees will store vastly more carbon than a lawn."

 
 
Clean Water

Between 2000 and 2020, the global population with access to safely managed drinking water services has increased from 3.8 billion to 5.8 billion people, says the WHO. That means 90 percent of human beings now have access to either basic or safely managed drinking water services - the highest proportion in our species' history.

 

When Mick Jagger insisted that his wrinkles were actually laugh lines, jazz singer George Melly replied: “Surely nothing could be that funny.”

 
On this Day

19 January 1955: U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower held the first-ever televised presidential press conference.

 





 
Mood Booster

Juicy mangoes await at the top of the canopy, but this baby orangutan needs a helping hand.



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