Bite sized chunks of good news nuggets to perk up the day.
The critically endangered monarch butterfly grew its presence in Mexico last year, giving renewed optimism to researchers who track the fluttering orange and black migrants despite a decades-long population decrease. Last winter, the pockets of Mexican forest where the intrepid insects end up each year saw 35 percent more butterflies than in 2020, according to the study led by the environmental organization World Wildlife Fund.
And the award for silliest lil’ stinker goes to … Barrett Golden, a 2-year-old who took his mom’s phone, opened the DoorDash app and placed an order for 31 cheeseburgers from McDonald’s. (The total was a whopping $91.70, including a generous 25% tip the toddler left.) Was this an innocent accident or the perfect prank? Since Barrett's only 2, probably the former, but it's deliciously hilarious nonetheless. In a perfect twist, Barrett doesn’t even like cheeseburgers, so Barrett’s mom offered them up for free to hungry neighbors.
Every day this week we are featuring one of the winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize. Today it's the turn of Alex Lucitante and Alexandra Narvaez who spearheaded an Indigenous movement to protect their people’s ancestral territory from gold mining. Their leadership resulted in a historic legal victory when Ecuador’s courts canceled 52 illegal gold mining concessions, which were illegally granted without the consent of their Cofán community. The community’s legal success protects 79,000 acres of pristine, biodiverse rainforest in the headwaters of Ecuador’s Aguarico River, which is sacred to the Cofán.
Australian company to ship baby formula to shortage-hit US. President Joe Biden tweeted the “good news”, saying the equivalent of 27.5m bottles of infant formula were on the way.
Fipple: the mouthpiece of a recorder or similar wind instrument.
In the energy standoff between Europe and Russia, Germany has taken many measures to accelerate the phasing out of oil and gas. Now, it has cut train, tram, and bus costs to just nine euros ($9.56) a month to try and get people out of their cars and on to public transport. It's a 90 percent cut from the previous monthly cost.
The world’s biggest economies are to stop funding any overseas fossil fuel development from the end of this year. The agreement could shift about $33bn (£26bn) a year from fossil fuels to clean energy sources, according to analysts’ estimates. The energy and environment ministers from all G7 countries agreed at a meeting in Berlin to end taxpayer funding for oil, gas and coal projects overseas. The member countries are Japan – which held firm against such a pledge before last year’s Cop26 climate summit – the UK, the US, Canada, Italy, France and this year’s host country, Germany.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a recent speech to graduates at Seton Hall University in New Jersey said: “You hold the cards. Your talent is in demand from multinational companies and big financial institutions. You will have plenty of opportunities to choose from. My message to you is simple: Don’t work for climate-wreckers. Use your talents to drive us towards a renewable future.”
Carbon Negative Shot
This is the Biden administration's initiative to facilitate the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while also driving down the cost of the technology - and it has just pledged to inject $3.5 billion in funding for a set of regional direct air capture hubs. The aim is to deploy carbon capture technologies on a gigaton scale by 2050 by driving down the cost of carbon capture and storage to $100 per ton. For some perspective, a gigaton is equal to one billion metric tons - and right now the world’s largest direct air capture plant collects around 4,000 tons of CO2 annually. Planning on gigaton removal is good news and definitely part of the solution as the human species generates a whopping 30 billion tons of CO2 each year.
Quote of the Day
"If you want your children to listen, try talking softly to someone else."
On this Day
31 May 2005: It was publicly revealed that former FBI official Mark Felt was “Deep Throat,” the anonymous informant at the centre of the Watergate scandal that involved U.S. President Richard Nixon's administration.
Dive in Deeper
Mission Impossible: Operation Rogue Violins