Celebrating the start of August with an uplifting bundle of positive news nuggets.
Norwegian climber Kristin Harila and Nepali climber Tenjen Sherpa, known as Lama, smashed the record for the fastest summit of all 14 of the world’s 8,000-metre (26,000-feet) mountains this week. The pair completed the feat in three months and one day after climbing Pakistan’s K2, the last peak on their quest and one considered to be more technically challenging than Mount Everest. “Harila and Lama’s collaboration has showcased the essence of mountaineering unity, transcending borders and cultures to achieve greatness together,” their team said in a statement. They also said the feat wouldn't have been possible without Lama, who has been a guide since the age of 16. The climber's team thanked him for his "profound connection with the mountains."
A farmer in the US has planted a massive field of sunflowers as a surprise gift for his wife. Lee Wilson told local media in Kansas that he planted over one million sunflowers on 80 acres of land for his wife, Renee, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. With the help of his son, he secretly planted the field back in May. "It made me feel very special. It couldn't have been a more perfect anniversary gift than a field of sunflowers," Renee told ABC Kake.
In the first half of this year, wind and solar generated more power than coal in the United States. Five years ago, coal’s share was quadruple that of wind and solar combined.
Quite a Journey
An ex-paratrooper has completed a 19,000 mile walk around the UK coast and raised £500,000 ($643,000) in the process. Chris Lewis, 43, was joined by hundreds of cheering supporters as he finished the final mile of his journey. He began on Llangennith beach on the Gower Peninsula in August 2017. He set off with just £10 in his pocket and has returned with a fiancee, a baby son named Magnus and a pet dog called Jet.
US Gender Pay Gap
The pay gap between what US women with a full-time job earn compared with their male peers is now the smallest on record. Federal data shows women now make 84 cents for every $1 men earn for similar work. When the US government first started tracking pay by gender in 1979, the average working woman made 62 percent of what men in similar jobs earned. It is predicted that the gap will continue to narrow as it is even smaller for women ages 16 to 24.
Linking Up Lions
Lion populations are increasing across Africa thanks to vast, protected landscape mosaics linked by natural corridors, says Mongabay. After years of absence, the big cats have been spotted in parks in Mozambique and Chad, and in Senegal the population of the critically endangered West African lions at Niokolo Koba National Park has doubled since 2011.
In the last six months nearly every mainstream media outlet has pointed out that China is still building a lot of coal, implying the country is hedging its bets on renewables. It's not. In the first half of 2023, around $5 billion has been invested in coal and fossil gas and a similar amount in both hydro and nuclear; $10 billion has been invested in wind, $18 billion in solar, and an astonishing $28 billion in transmission.
"One man can make a difference and every man should try." Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
On this Day
1 August 1980: Icelandic teacher and politician Vigdís Finnbogadóttir became president of Iceland; she was the first woman in the world to be elected head of state in a national election.
In New Guinea, one male is dedicated to making an unforgettable first impression.