What better way to start the week than with a global round up of good news nuggets?
The Canadian federal government has signed a major nature agreement with the province of British Columbia and First Nations to jointly support the goal of protecting 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030. The $500 million commitment from both governments aims to conserve and protect land, species, and biodiversity in B.C. and is part of a collaboration with First Nations to reverse the loss of nature.
Now and Then
The Beatles have no. 1 songs both Now (2023) and Then (1963). Sixty years after The Beatles earned their first no.1 hit, From Me To You, the Fab Four have earned their 17th hit in the U.K. with Now and Then, breaking the record for the longest duration between first and last no. 1.
Beans is How
They’re the butt of endless jokes, but now it seems the humble bean is having a moment. Living up to its superfood reputation, new research suggests that they might just help save the world. The Breakthrough Effect, a study by academics at England's University of Exeter, found that swapping burgers for beans and other plant-based foods on public sector menus - from prisons to schools and hospitals - could act as one of three “super-leverage” tipping points capable of triggering a cascade of decarbonization. No wonder the UN has started a campaign to “fix the future with beans,” called Beans is How, which aims to double global bean consumption by 2028. Increasing bean consumption has the potential to not only deliver massive CO2 savings, but also slash deforestation and free up land used for growing livestock feed.
Residents at a retirement home in Northumberland, north east England, were delighted when a little therapy pony came to visit. Residents were all smiles when Monet, a handsome miniature pony, arrived at the home. Katy Smith, owner of KL Pony Therapy, led Monet all around Scarbrough Court so that residents could pet and stroke him. They even stopped off at some residents’ rooms so that they could be introduced. The benefits of spending time with animals for older people are immense. Research has shown that having something to pet or touch can result in lower blood pressure, better heart rate and reduced stress. Pets can provide emotional stability during stressful situations, helping to reduce anxiety and depression.
The Klamath River is now flowing freely through Wards Canyon in Northern California, after crews finished removing the first of four dams last week as part of the world’s largest dam removal project. The other three dams slated for removal will come down next year. When demolition is completed, more than 400 miles of river will have opened for threatened species of fish and other wildlife. Native tribes have been advocating for the dams’ removal for years, and have been collecting billions of native seeds for the past five years to replant once the river has been restored. And in more good news for California...
For the first time in three years, California is drought-free! And the state is forecast to receive above-average rainfall for the winter season.
Joe and Xi
China, the world’s largest emitter of methane, has unveiled a long-awaited plan to tackle the potent greenhouse gas ahead of a rare meeting between president Xi Jinping and US president Joe Biden, fuelling speculation that the world’s two largest economies could agree a new climate deal. That would be good news! The meeting between Mr Biden and Mr Xi is scheduled to take place this week on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco.
What Grips Your Soul?
In his book, The Way to Love, Jesuit priest Anthony de Mello asks you to find what grips your soul: "You must cultivate activities that you love. You must discover work that you do, not for its utility, but for itself, whether it succeeds or not, whether you are praised for it or not, whether you are loved and rewarded for it or not, whether people know about it and are grateful to you for it or not. How many activities can you count in your life that you engage in simply because they delight you and grip your soul? Find them out, cultivate them, for they are your passport to freedom and to love."
"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere." Carl Sagan
On This Day
13 November 1856: The Great Bell of Big Ben first chimes at the foot of the still unfinished clock tower outside the Palace of Westminster.
Alternative reality in North Korea: Band performing Queen's I Want to Break Free. Well, dubbed to look like that's what they're performing.