Good News Today

Tuesday's upbeat collection of good news nuggets.

  • In that sweet spot where forestry meets technology, a Toronto-based startup called Flash Forest is employing aerial drones to plant trees 10 times quicker than a single worker planting with shovels, with a goal of planting a full 1 billion trees by 2028. The company modifies drones to fire rapidly germinating tree seeds into the soil, combining technology, software, and ecological science to outperform traditional tree-planting efforts at a time when accelerated global reforestation is much needed. Moreover, this technology does its job at a cost that is 80 percent cheaper than traditional tree planting methods.

  • Bosnia: Maida Bilal has just won an environmental prize for leading a group of women from her village in a 503-day blockade of heavy equipment that resulted in the cancellation of permits for two proposed dams on the Kruščica River. The Balkans are home to the last free-flowing rivers in Europe and her initiative has successfully preserved thousands of miles of pristine rivers.

  • The New England Aquarium last week agreed to let in a visitor who presented a ticket that was 38 years old but which specified that it allowed for a return visit "at anytime in the future."

  • Shakespeare's Globe: If you can’t get into the Wooden O in London for the new summer season then fear not: most of the shows are being streamed. Furthermore, the Globe Player also has heaps of past productions to rent.

  • Lightning is an incredible display of the power of nature, but a new study shows this natural phenomenon has more benefits for our world than previously thought. Researchers from Penn State University analyzed atmospheric measurements from a NASA jet and found that lightning appears to be an important source of air-cleaning chemicals. This is part of the reason why the air feels so clear after a large storm.

  • Australia’s top economists overwhelmingly back government measures to speed the transition to electric cars in order to meet emission reduction targets - by subsidising the purchase of all-electric vehicles, and setting a date to ban the import of traditionally powered cars. That's good news as cars account for about 8 percent of Australia’s total emissions. Yet Australia’s takeup of electric vehicles is dwarfed by the rest of the world. All-electric cars accounted for just 0.7 percent of new car sales in Australia in 2020 compared with 5 percent in China and 3.5 percent in the European Union.

  • The northern Adriatic island of Krk, one of the biggest in Croatia, is heading towards energy self-sufficiency by the end of the decade in what environmentalists say is an example for the Mediterranean in transition to green and sustainable power. The targeted mix is 60 percent of solar power, 30 percent wind and 10 percent biomass.

  • Upmarket UK retailer, Selfridges, has launched garden centres at its stores in London, Manchester and Birmingham, capitalising on the gardening boom that accelerated during lockdown. Selfridges said it was launching the new range after the number of gardeners rose by 3 million last year, with nearly half of them aged under 45.

Dive in Deeper

La Serenissima

Venetian life resides within the Italian city's hundreds of canals and diverse architecture. This short NatGeo film takes you to the historical, hidden places of Venice to reveal ancient folk traditions.