OGN Thursday

Updated: Jan 17

Today's round up of good news snippets from around the world.

  • The life-or-death journey made by mule deer during the second-longest big game migration in North America came down to their ability to squeeze through a fence - a discovery made by scientists using wildlife GPS tracking techniques to map animal migrations in the West in unprecedented detail. The resulting atlas of migration corridors in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming published by the U.S. Geological Survey is very good news, as it will help elk, mule deer, antelope, and other animals by focusing efforts to reduce man-made obstacles along their journeys, biologists and wildlife advocates say.

  • In remarkably positive news, the latest analysis by climate tracking experts suggests that the goals of the UN Paris climate agreement are getting "within reach." A lot has happened in the last 3 months to make a truly radical difference and to give cause for optimism.

  • One of the clearest signs yet that businesses are adapting to the new administration came from General Motors. The carmaker is withdrawing its support from the current government’s legal challenge to California’s vehicle-emission standards, the toughest in America. Mr Biden will bring in “ambitious” targets when he takes office, when he will also have a new climate tsar.

  • Canada’s largest indigenous-owned solar farm has just been opened in the Northern Alberta. It will provide solar electricity for three First Nations tribes, decreasing their reliance on the diesel-fired plant that has supplied them for decades. “We work with the sun, we work with the wind, we work with mother nature and we work the water for the children of the future - to give them a better life, a cleaner life,” said Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan.

  • In yet another repudiation of Trump's election fraud claims, his close ally US Attorney General William Barr says his justice department has found no proof to back President Donald Trump's claims of fraud in the 2020 election.

  • Scientists have hailed a 'once in a generation' breakthrough by Artificial Intelligence for our understanding of the human body, paving the way for new treatments for dozens of diseases, from malaria to cancer.

  • In good news for UK media, Facebook is to pay mainstream news outlets millions of pounds a year to license their articles. Most British newspaper groups have signed up to the programme, under which their articles will appear in a dedicated news section on the site that is due to launch in January. The direct cash injection will please a news industry that has largely lost out to Facebook in the battle for the UK advertising market.

  • You probably heard about the strange steel monolith that was discovered in Utah the other day (and then, just as mysteriously, disappeared). Now another has popped up in Romania. OGN reckons we can expect a lot more such sightings in the coming weeks. It will be a welcome distraction.

  • In a world first, Chinese city of Shenzhen (population 12 million) has converted all its 16,000 buses to be fully electric. If China is to meet its pledge to be net zero by 2060, such initiatives will be essential, despite the enormous upfront costs.

  • What are you doing tonight between 20.00 and 21.30 GMT? Why not join a special live screening and US premiere of Upstream, an erie, hypnotic and experimental film by writer Robert Macfarlane and director Rob Petit. Filmed entirely from the air, this groundbreaking film follows the course of the River Dee in Scotland all the way to its source in the Cairngorm mountains, the highest of any river in Britain. With words spoken by Julie Fowlis and an original score by the Oscar-nominated composer Hauschka. It's free! Sign up here

  • Take inspiration from Kevin Barber: He was just 15 years old when he took action to help the homeless in his home city of San Diego. He watched a TED Talk by Albuquerque’s mayor who had launched an initiative giving homeless people a daily job to clean up the streets. ⁠Kevin liked the idea and, with the help of his mom, he started a GoFundMe to launch his own programme which he named Wheels of Change.⁠ In partnership with the Alfa Project - a non-profit focused on ending homelessness in San Diego - Wheels of Change now employs 20 people a day, who are each paid $52 at the end of their 4-hour shift. Thanks to this initiative, 180 tons of trash have been cleaned up from San Diego’s streets since it was launched in 2018.⁠ Kevin, now 19, plans to employ 5,200 homeless people next year.⁠