What better way to start the week than with a global round-up of positive news nuggets?
Fallen Leaf Art
Raking paths and forming patterns, land artist Nikola Faller creates charming, ephemeral sculptures out of fallen leaves. The patterns are drawn with a rake instead of a pencil, but the effect is the same, showcasing the power of art in just about any medium. Why not try it yourself? See more of Faller’s artistry on Instagram, which includes much more than just leaf art.
Green New Deal
Students at more than 50 high schools across the United States are launching a Green New Deal for Schools campaign, with the hope of getting climate policies enacted that will require school districts to add climate education to their curriculums and plan for climate disasters. The ultimate goal of the initiative, organized by the youth climate justice organization Sunrise Movement, is for federal legislation to be enacted to implement climate education policies in schools nationwide.
Since its publication in 1943, The Little Prince has become one of history’s best-selling books, with over 200 million copies sold in numerous languages. The novella follows a young boy from a tiny, faraway planet who stops by Earth while traveling across the universe. Its author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, was born in France in 1900, but wrote and illustrated much of the story while living in New York. Now, to mark the tale’s 80th birthday, a new monument has been unveiled on the Upper East Side of Manhattan: a four-foot-tall bronze statue of the titular character. The statue sits on a wall outside the Fifth Avenue headquarters of Villa Albertine, a French cultural institution. The Morgan Library and Museum holds the original manuscript and drawings just a few miles down the road.
Good Manners Win
According to the World Values Survey by The Times, when British adults were asked to consider 12 qualities that children could be taught at home, and to pick five that are especially important, 12% of British adults chose obedience, down from 42% in 1990. The proportion of people choosing "thrift" also fell, from 26% in 1990 to 19%. By contrast, 48% chose "hard work", up from 29%; 37% valued "imagination", up from 18%; and 53% selected "independence", up from 42%. As in 1990, "good manners" (selected by 85% of respondents) remained the most valued quality.
In the last three decades humanity has made extraordinary strides in combating the threat of communicable disease. In 1990, diseases like malaria and tuberculosis made up almost a third of the global health burden, but by 2019 that had fallen to around a sixth, reports the Financial Times. Overall, the number of healthy years of life lost due to infectious diseases more than halved during this period.
The Slow Route
Zero-emissions long-distance aviation is absolutely possible... Provided you're not in a hurry. Solar Airship One will take 20 days to fly all the way around the equator, some 40,000 km (25,000 miles), in a single zero-emissions hop. The 151m (495ft) long airship will have its entire upper surface covered in solar film - all 4,800 sq.m (51,700 sq.ft) of it. Lift off is expected in 2026.
Based on what we're seeing happen in Europe and China, it takes around six years for electric vehicles to go from 1% to 10% of new car sales, and then another six to get to 80%. Assuming that kind of exponential growth, EVs will make up between 62% and 86% of global car sales by 2030. Sounds insanely optimistic - until you read this report from RMI.
“The news media are, for the most part, the bringers of bad news... and it's not entirely the media's fault, bad news gets higher ratings and sells more papers than good news.” Peter McWilliams
On this Day
30 September 1659: Robinson Crusoe is shipwrecked (according to Daniel Defoe's famous novel).
First Look: Planet Earth III - New series narrated by Sir David Attenborough launches on 19 October.