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Good News Only Thursday

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

Smorgasbord of tasty good news nuggets from around the world.


US Coastal Restoration

An ambitious plan to save Louisiana’s coastal communities and ecosystems is underway and aims to divert sediment and water from the Mississippi into the Barataria Basin. The $20 billion project is the largest coastal restoration project in the US, and expected to create over 6,200 acres of land in its first decade. How's it all being paid for? Settlement money from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill will foot the bill.


Literacy South America

Reading used to be a luxury reserved for a few in Latin America. Now, it’s the standard. Although there is still some way to go before every child in the region can read, it's clear that there has been substantial progress towards becoming a region of literate citizens, bringing a new promising era of prosperity, as most Latin American countries are approaching full literacy.


Kayakomat's kayak rental dispensing hub
Credit: Kayakomat
Kayakomat

Although kayaking is an increasingly popular activity, not everyone has the money, storage space or transport capabilities required for one of the boats. That's where the Kayakomat comes in, as it's basically an onsite, internet-bookable kayak-rental vending machine. Created by kayak manufacturer Point 65 Sweden, the system has actually been around in its home country since 2006. That said, it's just recently been introduced in several other European countries, and in Canada. For details, see Kayakomat


No Bank Heists

In an example of the law of unintended consequences, Denmark has recorded its first year without bank robberies - because the use of cash has dwindled in recent years, the country’s finance workers’ union says. The increasingly cashless society had led banks to reduce their cash services, leaving little potential loot for robbers. “It’s nothing short of amazing,” said Steen Lund Olsen, the vice-president of the union, Finansforbundet.


Marine Protection

Belize is doubling its marine protected areas as part of a 'blue bonds' agreement that swaps national debt for conservation. The trailblazing approach has proven successful in Seychelles and similar negotiations are underway in the Caribbean (such as Barbados), Africa, and Latin America. “It’s like a bank agreeing to refinance a home if the owner promises to put the savings toward improvements,” says Nature Conservancy.

 
 
Turning Point

Humanity just reached a big turning point. For the first time on record, global smoking prevalence has fallen, from 22.6% of people in 2007, to 19.6% in 2019, reports Tobacco Atlas. That's a hugely consequential shift in behaviour that has the potential to massively reduce harm. Tobacco use causes around 8.7 million deaths and approximately $2 trillion in economic damage every year.

 

"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?" George Carlin

 
On this Day

5 January 1933: Construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a suspension bridge that once boasted the longest main span in the world.

 





 
Mood Booster

Bears dancing in the forest: As winter turns to spring and the bears stop hibernating, they need to shed their winter coats the only way they know how.



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