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Just Good News Thursday

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Global round up of good news nuggets to get the day off to an inspiring start.


Amazon Rainforest

Brazil’s President Lula has announced that his government will completely stop deforestation by 2030. “Brazil will once again become a global reference in sustainability, tackling climate change, and achieving targets for carbon emission reduction and zero deforestation,” Lula said in a speech on World Environment Day. From all perspectives, if achieved, that's very good news. Brazil is the sixth-largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, according to Climate Watch, nearly half of which come from deforestation. Furthermore, Brazil’s environmental regulator is flexing its muscles - it has just rejected a licence for an offshore oil drilling project near the mouth of the Amazon, proposed by state-run oil company Petrobras, after a nearly nine-year campaign by activists.


Virgin Birth

The first virgin birth by a crocodile has been reported by a reptile park in Costa Rica. An 18-year-old crocodile laid an egg containing a fully formed foetus, despite having been housed alone for 16 years and never mating. The Royal Society, in its journal Biology Letters, said this is the first instance of “facultative parthenogenesis”, or virgin birth, seen in the species. An expert said he “strongly infers” that this means dinosaurs could also have virgin births.


Wolverine sighting in California
Credit: California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Wolverine Sighting

A rare and elusive wolverine has been spotted in California, for only the second in 101 years. Wolverines once roamed freely in the mountainous terrain of California’s Sierra Nevada. But because of trapping, hunting and other human activities, they disappeared from the state in 1922. Now, however, wildlife officials say a solitary wolverine is once again lumbering around the highlands in the eastern part of the state. Though they resemble bears, wolverines are actually the largest member of the weasel family. They don’t have an established population in California, but they’ve hung on in Canada and Alaska and are present in small numbers in the Rocky and Cascade mountains.


Education First

In 2018, Sierra Leone made school free for all students, outlawed corporal punishment, and dedicated a fifth of the national budget to teacher pay, school renovation and other education expenses. Although there are still problems, the result has been a 50 percent increase in enrolment and a dramatic improvement in the quality of education, with impoverished children benefiting the most.



Oldest Ever

When Derek Fawcett fished out a large chunk of oak from the bottom of a trench while building a workshop on his Berkshire estate in southern England, his first thought was that it might be useful for carving. But as he hosed down the find, strange markings began to appear, and the keen whittler realised someone had beaten him to it. Now, radiocarbon dating has shown that the 3ft long piece of wood is 6,000-years-old and holds incisions dating from the Mesolithic era - or middle-stone age - when Britons were still nomadic hunter gatherers. Dating from about 4600 BC, it's the oldest example of carved wood ever found in the UK. It was created 2,000 years before Stonehenge and demonstrates that the tribes of the time had more sophisticated woodworking abilities than previously thought.


Good News on Plastic

Delegates from 180 countries just took the first concrete step toward a legally binding treaty to regulate plastic - described as the most important green deal since the 2015 international climate agreement in Paris. The agreement could put the world on a path to actually tackling the global plastic pollution problem as soon as 2025. The world produces almost 400m tonnes of plastic every year; an estimated 14m tonnes escape into the ocean annually. There is a growing recognition that this vast international problem requires a harmonised global response - and this new deal may just provide it.


Indiaah!

Focusing on growing renewables, India won’t consider proposals for new coal plants for the next five years, reports AP. Energy and environmental experts are celebrating the news from a country that is currently reliant on coal for around 75 percent of its electricity.

 

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Helen Keller

 
On this Day

8 June 1504: Michelangelo's statue of David is believed to have been installed this day in 1504 in the cathedral of Florence. Commissioned in 1501, it's considered the prime statement of the Renaissance ideal of perfect humanity.

 





 
Mood Booster

With the recent sad passing of Astrud Gilberto, let's celebrate her life by enjoying one of her most famous songs.



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