Good News Today

Friday's selection of upbeat news nuggets.

  • In a major win for environmentalists and marine ecosystems, Chile has passed a plastic regulation bill that will cut the country’s plastic waste by over 23,000 tons per year. According to EcoWatch, the bill is expected to ban single-use Styrofoam containers and smaller plastic items over the next six months, while the entire program will be in place by 2024.

  • European Union agriculture ministers say negotiators are close to a deal that aims to reform the bloc’s huge farming subsidy programme, protect small farms and bring agriculture in line with environmental goals.

  • A renowned astrophysicist has become the first woman to be appointed Astronomer Royal for Scotland and hopes to spark children's interest in science. Professor Catherine Heymans has been awarded the prestigious title, which dates back almost 200 years. Professor Heymans is a world-leading expert on the physics of the so-called dark universe and a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh.

  • Ford is increasing its investment in its electric vehicle future to $30 billion by 2025, up from a previous spend of $22 billion by 2023. The company expects 40 percent of its global vehicle volume to be fully electric by 2030.

  • There's a bit of a spat going on in Amsterdam, the city famous for (amongst other things) being a cyclist's paradise. It seems cyclists are a bit upset that the authorities are 'unfairly' prioritising pedestrians in the city’s historic centre. Whatever the truth, the good news would surely be that such an argument was routine everywhere else. Once, of course, those cities were also virtually car free and a cyclist and/or pedestrian haven!

  • Meanwhile, the shit has truly hit the fan in Tasmania with a shenanigan over a large sign depicting a penguin projectile-pooing going all the way to the state’s integrity commission. The Pooseum - “where talking about poo is not taboo” - contains a large selection of animal dropping displays and informative exhibitions explaining all the practical uses of dung in the wild and in modern society. The local council is saying they don't approve of the size of the sign but everybody knows their complaint is more to do with the fact that 'they just don't like it'. Who gives a shit?

  • As you are no doubt aware Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson's former chief aid, has been endeavouring to re-write history before House of Commons select committees. Much of his effort seems to be back-firing. In a subtle jibe at Cummings the morning after his seven-hour evidence session to two parliamentary committees, a Conservative backbencher, Dehenna Davison, displayed a “Barnard Castle eye test” behind her during a virtual appearance in the Commons.

  • Mass vaccination of children against Covid-19 moved a step closer as Moderna became the second manufacturer to announce successful trial results, showing its vaccine can stop transmission in people aged 12 to 18. Pfizer’s vaccine has already been given emergency approval for adolescents aged 12 to 15 in the US by the regulator, after its trials were said to show better efficacy even than in participants aged 16 to 25. It has begun a trial in young children, from six months to 11 years old.

  • The Bank of England has set out plans to use its £20 billion ($28.4 billion) of corporate bond holdings to nudge companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions faster, as part of a wider government strategy to achieve net-zero emissions.

  • Joe Biden's administration has unveiled more positive environmental news as they progress their plan to get the first-ever wind farms floating off the California coast, capable of powering 1.6 million homes. White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said the breakthrough “will set the stage for the long-term development of clean energy and the growth of a brand new made-in-America industry” that takes advantage of a “world-class offshore wind resource.”

  • How about this for kindness: Abhi's parents own the Lucky Spot convenience store in Massachusetts. Abhi said his mother sold a lottery ticket to one of their regular customers. The ticket sat discarded in the store for 10 days after the customer assumed it wasn't worth anything. "One evening, I was going through the tickets from the trash and noticed that she didn't scratch the number," Abhi told the local TV station. "I scratched the number and it was a $1 million winning ticket." The family decided to return the ticket. Since the customer visited the store often, they knew where to find her. "As soon as she came in, I handed her the winning ticket, and she freaked out and cried like a baby," he said.

Dive in Deeper

Wingsuit adrenalin rush

Brandon Mikesell takes the line less traveled and soars down Le Brévent in Chamonix, threading his way through trees, rocks, and cliffs along the way.