Keeping the week on an upbeat track with today's collection of positive news nuggets.
The Spanish city of Seville is digging sustainable cooling - literally, building subterranean canals powered by renewable energy to help cool part of the city above. The Cartuja Qanat project brings technology that was used in ancient Persia to modern-day Spain. Vertical shafts pierced along the canals allow the cooler air to escape, reducing the sweltering air temperature above the surface. Other cities around the world are ‘daylighting’ subterranean waterways that were built over during the 19th century, to mitigate rising temperatures and flooding. One of the biggest recovery projects, the Cheonggyecheon in Seoul, revitalised an entire neighbourhood. Paris, Madrid, Manchester, and New York all have similar projects underway.
Recovering Paris' Forgotten Waterway: A stream named the Bièvre used to flow through the Left Bank, joining the Seine near the Gare Austerlitz. In the 1800s, Victor Hugo described it as an idyllic urban oasis and its water was rumoured to have magical properties. Read on...
Australia: Melbourne has successfully enticed butterflies and bees back into the city, simply by working out which plants are most beneficial to wildlife and well, planting more of them. Over the last five years, native shrubs and perennial herbs with high yields of nectar and pollen have been planted along city streets resulting in a significant increase in the number of bee species and an abundance of butterflies.
Indigenous communities across northern Canada are designating vast swaths of land and ocean - approximately 50 million acres - for permanent conservation. This massive conservation effort will not only serve to preserve ancestral Indigenous lands and ways of life, but ecosystems that promote biodiversity, help sequester carbon, and keep polluting resources out of the air. Scientists have hailed the scale of these conservation efforts as “unprecedented.” Jeff Wells of the National Audubon Society said: “The scale of these land withdrawals is certainly far exceeding even the imaginations of conservationists in the U.S., or really from most of the world.” He continued, “Down here in the U.S, it's considered a triumph to conserve a parcel in the thousands of acres, while these Indigenous-led initiatives in Canada are conserving landscapes in the millions of acres.”
Brazil: Rio de Janeiro is creating the world’s largest community garden, “Hortas Cariocas” which will span several favelas, connected by a green strip of land and eventually end up the size of 15 soccer fields. It’s estimated over 100,000 families will benefit from the project every month, which aims to make organic food more affordable and accessible.
Today's the day that avid fans of The Crown have been waiting for, as Season 5 launches on Netflix. Happily, for viewers who think the series is an accurate historical account, the show now comes with a disclaimer: “Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatization tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign.”
EU EV Sales
Electric and hybrid vehicles accounted for 43 percent of new car sales in the European Union in the third quarter (July-September), according to data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. The EU has backed an effective ban on new fossil-fuel vehicles from 2035, so eventually all cars will have to be zero-emission models.
Quote of the Day
When Mick Jagger insisted that his wrinkles were actually laugh lines, jazz singer George Melly replied, “Surely nothing could be that funny.”
On this Day
9 November 1989: Long a symbol of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, erected in 1961 and eventually extending 28 miles (45 km) to divide the western and eastern sectors of Berlin, was opened by the East German government.
Hilarious collection of clips of dogs having a great time.