Saturday's Good News

Updated: May 7

Getting the weekend off to a sunny start with an uplifting bundle of good news nuggets.



Photobomb

Tom Hanks recently photobombed a bridal party in Pittsburgh, much to the delight of the bride-to-be. “Hi, I’m Tom Hanks, I would love to get a photo with you,” said the A-lister after he spotted bride Grace Gwaltney all in white outside the Fairmont Hotel. “We all lost it,” wedding photographer Rachel Rowland told RCRA. “The bridesmaids shuffled out of the limo, and he posed with photos and congratulated everyone, and then as fast as he popped in, he was gone. It was just so sweet and fun!”


Illuminated Starbucks sign at a drive-thru
Coffee and Charging

The number of electric cars on the roads is going up rapidly. Given this growth, Starbucks wants to install EV chargers in its coffeehouse parking lots along the 1,350-mile route from Denver to Seattle. The company hopes that a stop for morning coffee and breakfast while charging a vehicle will be a perfect complement. Welcome to the the gas station of the future.


A small waterfall in a Panama jungle
Rights of Nature

Following in the footsteps of other countries, Panama has also now enshrined the rights of Nature into law. Panama is one of the 25 most mega-diverse countries in the world, boasting an impressive array of marine and terrestrial wildlife, including many endemic species. It, therefore, plays a pivotal role in preserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change. “In short, this law recognizes that just as humans have inherent rights for existing, that Nature does as well,” explains Michelle Bender, a director at the Earth Law Center. Additionally, because western legal systems largely function under a 'rights-based' framework, recognizing Nature’s inherent rights provides the natural world (and people wanting to protect it) a legal basis with which to advocate for more protective policies and under which to bring causes of action, Bender told EcoWatch.


Jennifer Williams standing in front of her portable libraries, containing about 50 books
The Book Lady

In 2017, Jennifer Williams, a fifth-grade teacher, started buying books and distributing them around her community of Danville, Virginia. “Wherever I go, I carry books,” said Williams. She noticed a discrepancy in her students: those who owned books at home were generally more successful in school and had better cognitive and literacy skills. Williams regularly donates huge numbers of books to schools and families, and ensures the 40 local Little Free Libraries are stocked with books for all ages. Her plan is to donate a million books to kids.


Disclosure Rules

The top financial regulator of the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has announced new regulations that will require disclosures from public corporations about their climate risks and carbon footprints. This marks a huge step towards acknowledging the reality and the risks of climate change, and fits into a global trend among regulators worldwide.


Tropical forest shrouded in low cloud cover
Forest Benefits

The world’s forests play a far greater and more complex role in tackling climate crisis than previously thought, due to their physical effects on global and local temperatures, according to new research. The role of forests as carbon sponges is well established. But comprehensive new data suggests that forests deliver climate benefits well beyond just storing carbon, helping to keep air near and far cool and moist due to the way they physically transform energy and water. The study, which is the first to pinpoint the non-carbon dioxide benefits of different forests, found that the band of tropical rainforests spanning Latin America, central Africa and south-east Asia generate the most local and global benefits. The findings are published in the journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change.


Panoramic view of London along the Thames
Cleaner Air

London’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) was introduced in 2019 to reduce the city’s air pollution by applying a charge of £12.50 a day ($16.50) to the most polluting vehicles in the city centre. Now, Sadiq Khan, London's mayor, has extended the boundaries of the ULEZ to all of Greater London. Starting in 2023, anyone driving a vehicle with high tailpipe emissions within London city limits will have to pay the fee. This rule will extend to all gas-powered cars and trucks made before 2005 and any diesel car or truck manufactured before 2014.

 
Quote of the Day

"If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers." Doug Larson

 
On this Day

26 March 2015: Richard III of England (1452-1485) is reburied at Leicester Cathedral in England, after being discovered under a carpark in Leicester in 2012.

 

Dive in Deeper


Ides of March Gold Coin


A 2,000 year old Roman coin minted by Brutus as a salute to Julius Caesar’s assassination is up for auction. “It’s priceless, but it still has a price tag,” says the auction house. Read on...


British Classic


Fancy zipping around town in a retro red Mini, evoking the Swinging Sixties, but with zero emissions thanks to an updated electric motor? Read on...

 
Musical Mood Booster

Abba's Dancing Queen cleverly cut into 66 dance scenes from the movies.