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Good News Saturday

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

To ensure the weekend gets off to a sunny start, here's today's collection of good news nuggets.


The Bodleian Library, Oxford
Win-Win Scenario

The world moving away from fossil fuels will be beneficial not only for the environment but also for the global economy. A peer-reviewed paper from researchers at Oxford University reveals that the switch to a decarbonized energy system by 2050 could also yield a saving of $12 trillion. Early studies predicted the transition would be a costly affair, thus deterring many companies from investing and making governments nervous about setting policies that would reduce reliance on fossil fuels. With renewable energy prices now hitting parity or even falling below the prices of energy generated using fossil fuels, the question that needs to be answered is whether we need to accelerate the switch to cleaner energy. Researchers at Oxford university dug deep into historical data about energy prices to find out that the answer is a resounding: yes!


Weird Royal Ritual

79-year-old John Chapple, who is the official palace beekeeper, said that he was not aware that informing the bees of the Queen's death was part of his role. On discovering this ancient practice, he travelled to Buckingham Palace to carry out the ritual. He placed black ribbons tied into bows on the hives before informing them that their mistress had died and that a new master would be in charge from now on. Afterwards he urged the bees to be good to their new boss, King Charles.

 

Oh dear, what a shame. The ghastly Vladimir Putin feels snubbed for not being invited to the Queen's funeral. How terrible. In other news, the World Queuing Championships scheduled for next Spring have been cancelled, permanently. Organisers don't expect the 5 mile queue by the public to pay their respects to the Queen, lying in state in Westminster Hall, will ever be beaten.

 
Comet Leonard
Credit: Gerald Rhemann | Astronomy Photographer of the Year
Astonishing

A rare photograph of a comet that will never be seen from Earth again has won a prestigious photography prize. The image shows a piece of Comet Leonard's tail breaking off and being carried away by the solar wind. The comet made a brief appearance to Earth after being discovered in 2021, but has now left our Solar System. The Royal Observatory Greenwich in London runs the Astronomy Photography of the Year competition and called the image "astonishing". The picture was taken on Christmas Day 2021 from an observatory in Namibia, home to some of the world's darkest skies.


Bowl of capers
Healthy Snack

If you enjoy capers, we have good news for you. According to a recent study, a commonly found compound in pickled capers, quercetin, activates proteins required for normal human brain and heart activity. Capers have been used as folk medicine for hundreds if not thousands of years. Now it seems capers are the perfect snack for both their olive-like taste and their health benefits.

 
Scacchic

Of or pertaining to chess. For example, The Queen’s Gambit is scacchic.

Pronounced skak.kik

 
Blue Whale swimming off Sri Lanka
Credit: IFAW | Christian Loader
Good Move

The world’s largest shipping company is rerouting its ships to protect the world’s largest animals. In an effort to protect a unique population of these endangered gentle giants from the threat of vessel strikes, MSC has rerouted their shipping lanes near the coast of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. The blue whales here aren’t migratory and have distinct vocalizations. The vessels will now travel about 15 nautical miles (roughly 17 miles) to the south of the previous shipping route. The move comes in response to a request from the International Fund for Animal Welfare and OceanCare. The really good news would be if this could lead to a chain reaction of permanent changes to the official shipping lane for all operators.


Meanwhile, Indonesia has pledged to increase its marine protected areas by from 284,000 km2 to 325,000 km2 by 2030. The country is home to some of the most diverse marine life on the planet, especially its corals and reef fish. By 2045, the government plans to triple coverage to 975,000 km2.


Energy Predictions

One of the hallmarks of the global clean energy revolution is the consistent inability of most journalists to predict its speed. Case in point: the polysilicon sector is now betting on annual sales of 940GW of solar by 2025. That's almost 6 percent of global electricity demand, every year, or the equivalent of the world’s entire fleet of 438 nuclear plants every 20 months, says Bloomberg. It's not just that journalists underestimate clean energy, it's that they consistently overestimate coal too. Remember the US coal surge last year? It's already finished. And in China, coal consumption fell for 12 straight months between June 2021 and June 2022, says Climate Brief.

 
Quote of the Day

“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.”

Joe Girard

 
On this Day

17 September 1835: Charles Darwins lands on Chatham in the Galapagos archipelago.

 



 
Mood Booster

A future king does the weather forecast for BBC Scotland.



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