What better way to kick start the week than with an upbeat bundle of good news nuggets?
The European Commission has put forward legislation to reverse biodiversity loss, a move described by nature campaigners as a “huge milestone”. Under the proposals, EU member states would have legally binding targets for restoring and protecting a fifth of all land and marine ecosystems by 2030. Other targets include halving the use of chemical pesticides and reversing the decline of pollinators by 2030. Around €100bn (£85bn / $104bn) will be made available for member states to spend on biodiversity. Meanwhile, lawmakers in the US have passed a landmark bill to conserve the country’s endangered species. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will create an annual budget of more than $1.3bn (£1.06bn), given to states, territories and tribal nations for wildlife conservation.
Gains Beat Costs
Using a benefit-risk analysis, researchers have found that mangroves and coral reefs are cost-effective in reducing coastal flooding, says the University of California, Santa Cruz. Using risk and insurance industry techniques, the good news is that researchers were able to show that the gains from reduced damage from floods outweighed the costs of restoring the corals and mangroves, leading to a favourable return on investment.
It's remarkable to witness hundreds, even thousands, of jackdaws simultaneously taking flight. Around sunrise on winter mornings, the birds - found across Europe, North Africa and western Asia - leave their roost all at once, creating large, noisy masses in the sky. In a study published in Current Biology, researchers concluded that the birds use vocalizations to “vote” on when to depart. “When a bird calls, it’s casting a vote or signaling it wants to leave,” says Alex Thornton, an ecologist at England's University of Exeter. When the calling reaches a “sufficient level,” they take off.
The feeling of happiness that comes when other people are happy.
Built to Last
Two years ago, Caroline Morrison, a French-American entrepreneur opened Landline, a general store in Paris featuring built-to-last housewares, toys, clothing, and cleaning supplies, all ethically produced and largely made of natural materials. She is succeeding despite the contrarian bent of her business model: selling goods that don't need replacing. The idea is encouraging consumers to go back to how they used to consume, when things had value and meaning, before disposable living. Items sold in the shop can be repaired, reused, or passed down from one generation to the next. Morrison encourages her customers to stretch and change their consumption habits for everything in their lives.
A paper published in the Lancet, the esteemed medical journal, estimates that covid-19 vaccines prevented around 20m deaths in the first year of their roll-out.
US Cheapest EV
Chevy just slashed the starting price of its Bolt EV by 27 percent to $26,595, making it the cheapest electric vehicle in North America. But that is still miles from the price of China's cheapest at $4,200.
Austria just passed legislation requiring all new or replacement heating systems to be renewable from next year. By 2035, all oil and coal heating systems must be replaced by renewable ones, and by 2040 all gas heating systems must also be replaced. People with low incomes will receive 100 percent of the costs.
Quote of the Day
"Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's a day you've had everything to do and you've done it."
On this Day
27 June 1898: Canadian-American adventurer Joshua Slocum arrives in Newport, Rhode Island, completing the first solo circumnavigation of the globe.
Dive in Deeper
Musical Mood Booster
Superb mash-up of movie clips spliced to sync with Haddaway's What is Love