Wrapping up the week with a collection of good news nuggets.
Norway is dismantling their last Arctic coal mine piece by piece and turning the area it sits in into a national park twice the size of Grand Teton in Wyoming. The goal is to turn the Svalbard Archipelago, in particular the Van Mijenfjord, into a howling wilderness once again - the best managed wilderness in the world where polar bears, seals, and countless other Arctic species can thrive in what experts say will be one of the most resilient areas under threat from climate change.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee famously gave the source code to the World Wide Web away for free. But now he has raised over $5.4 million by auctioning off an autographed copy as a non-fungible token, or NFT, in a sale through Sotheby’s. Berners-Lee wrote the code while working at CERN in Switzerland in the early ’90s, creating what he called the “WorldWideWeb” from a NeXT computer. Keeping up his altruistic streak, he's generously donating the proceeds of the source code sale to charity.
Renault has unveiled a more ambitious strategy for electric vehicles, betting on new, affordable versions of its iconic small cars of the past to catch up with VW in the fast-growing sector. In good news for retro fans, the French car company is betting that an electric version of its classic Renault 5 compact car, which was discontinued in the 1990s, will capture the imagination of today's drivers when it goes on sale in the first half of 2024.
Meanwhile, in good news for UK jobs, Nissan has set out plans for £1bn electric car hub in Sunderland. Increase in production at plant will result in 1,650 new jobs and support thousands more in UK supply chain.
The comet 46P/Wirtanen should have called a designated driver when it sailed past Earth in December 2018. That’s because scientists who took a closer look at the comet’s flyby found that it left a shocking amount of alcohol in its wake. Typically, other compounds will outweigh alcohol in a comet’s trail, and the scientists behind the discovery say it will help them discover the chemical composition of the earlier days of the solar system - not to mention that this comet clearly knows how to have a good time.
A karmic war chest will be waiting for one Buddhist monk who’s spent decades rescuing stray dogs in Shanghai and bringing them to his monastery to live in peace and comfort, or to find a new home. Since 1994, Zhi Xiang has rescued over 8,000 homeless pooches from the streets of the Chinese mega-city, caring for all of them. In Buddhism, the highest goal is to reach the fourth stage of consciousness, whereby the trappings of reality fall away as the practitioner realizes life is merely an illusion. Yet the holiest of monks, the Bodhisattvas, don’t choose this path, and instead, like 51-year old Xiang, remain in this world to try and help people (or animals) stuck in the cycle of life to escape.
In the world of conservative politics, all eyes are on Texas right now, as Donald Trump continues his multi-state tour with a visit to the US-Mexico border. But despite loads of hype ahead of the event, the positive news is that the normally reliably pro-Trump Fox News cut off the former president just over a minute into a TV interview, as Mr Trump began ranting about the 2020 election again.
Spain has joined an international campaign to set a date for closing all coal plants by 2030, signing up to a target it looks well-placed to beat by a wide margin.
Dive in Deeper
There are lots of mysteries surrounding the unique and fascinating unicorns of the sea. This 3 minute NatGeo film sets the record straight.