Getting the weekend off to a positive start with a global round up of good news nuggets.
Member states of the U.N. General Assembly - the highest UN body that wields considerable influence over its member states - adopted a historic resolution: the recognition that it’s a universal human right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. While U.N. resolutions are not legally binding on member states, they can be “catalysts for change.” That would be good news!
Fluorescent to LED
Vermont is poised to lead the nation in energy-efficient lighting. It will be the country’s first to phase out the sale of linear fluorescent lamps - those ubiquitous, tube-shaped fixtures of public schools, grocery stores, and other large buildings. The new law, which will go into effect on 1 January 2024, is meant to encourage energy savings, since fluorescents can easily be replaced with LED lights that use less electricity and last longer. According to a recent report from the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a typical school with 980 fluorescent lamps could save $3,700 a year by switching to LEDs.
An Indigenous community in Ecuador has finally obtained national protections for part of its territory after decades of fighting off deforestation and pollution in its mega-diverse rainforests. Ecuador’s National System of Protected Areas now includes the 5,497 hectare (13,583 acre) ancestral Tiwi Nunka Forest, which the Shuar Indigenous community lives in and relies on for sustenance and many cultural practices. The decision means that the land should be safe from future exploitation, including mining, cattle ranching and agricultural encroachment - activities that have worried the community’s 35 Shuar families for decades. It also means that the community is free to sustainably manage the local natural resources as it sees fit.
Novel Jet Fuel
Scientists in Switzerland say they've figured out how to make jet fuel from nothing more than water, carbon dioxide and sunlight. New research published in the journal Joule explains how the team built a solar tower to handle the entire process. The tower uses solar energy to produce synthetic alternative fuels instead of ones derived from fossil fuels. The kerosene the solar tower makes is supposedly ready for normal use in aviation, including storage and flying - which, given the sky-high carbon footprint of air travel, is an extremely intriguing proposition.
Jet fuel is just as intimately connected to climate change as power grids, and a rising tide lifts all boats. Here's hoping energy experts will keep going until the job is done.
The strip or shaped piece used for the sides of the fingers of a glove.
Origin: The French word fourchette (pronounced "foor-SHET") means 'fork.' It was applied to this item presumably because of the forking pattern of the fingers.
Congressional leaders and Kansas officials praised aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart for advancing the cause of women’s rights during her barrier-breaking career at a ceremony unveiling her statue in the U.S. Capitol. Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, joins President Dwight Eisenhower as Kansas icons enshrined in the National Statuary Hall Collection. She is the 11th woman honored with a statue in the collection, where each state is represented by two people of significance. U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas said that while Earhart is best known for flying across the ocean, she was also a military nurse, social worker, author, and a champion for women’s advancement.
A new two-year pilot program launched this month will spread the benefits of solar power to Delaware residents who otherwise would not be able to afford installing the green energy.
The Solar Pilot Program seeks to test future expansion of photovoltaic systems into low- and moderate-income populations, which have been underserved in the U.S. by existing renewable energy assistance. In good news for residents of the state, low-income residents can get an installation of up to 4 kilowatts with no out-of-pocket costs. For moderate-income residents, the program covers 70 percent of the cost for up to 6 kilowatts.
Quote of the Day
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
On this Day
6 August 1926: Gertrude Ederle, age 19, of New York became the first woman to swim the English Channel, breaking the men's record by nearly two hours.
Hilarious compilation of parrots singing, laughing, barking and playing with toys.