Wrapping up the week with an eclectic bundle of upbeat news nuggets.
It's been a spectacularly good week for 28 year old Canadian singer Justin Bieber - he has just sold his share of the rights to his music for a reported $200m. Hipgnosis Songs Capital, which now owns the Canadian's share of his back catalogue, will henceforth receive a payment any time one of the songs is played in public. Musicians are increasingly selling stakes in their work to music funds, though the trend is more common among older artists, with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon all recently securing multimillion-dollar deals for their work.
Bees could be ensured safe flight around Europe via ‘buzz lines’ under a new deal unveiled this week. Creating a network of ecological corridors is one of a number of measures in the European Commission’s ‘New Deal for Pollinators’. The deal aims to do that by targeting their key adversaries: pesticides, pollution, invasive alien species, and changing land use. The EU has set out a seven-year plan to get imperilled insects back on track by 2030. The Commission says it will work with countries to prepare a blueprint for a network of ecological corridors, so-called ‘buzz lines'. Restoring habitats in agricultural landscapes - with more support for ‘pollinator-friendly’ farming - and enhancing green spaces in cities are two planks of this plan.
World’s First Vaccine for Honeybees: The world’s first vaccine for honeybees has been approved for use, raising hopes of a new weapon against diseases that routinely ravage colonies that are relied upon for food pollination. More...
To avoid powering up dirty coal-fired power stations during the cold spell, the National Grid’s electricity system operator in the UK is offering households the opportunity to take advantage of its live demand flexibility service, where at peak demand (between the hours of 5pm and 6 pm), customers who reduce their energy consumption will be given financial compensation.
Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest, is a pristine area of 16.7 million acres that serves as a major carbon sink and provides habitat for wildlife such as salmon and trout, brown bears and bald eagles. So it's good news that the Biden administration has announced it is reinstating restrictions on logging and road-building - thus repealing a Trump administration decision that stripped safeguards for this vast forest in southeastern Alaska.
World's Healthiest Forests: A new study has found that the world's healthiest, most biodiverse, and most resilient forests are found in Indigenous protected areas. Read on...
Cape Verde, a 10-island archipelago off the western coast of Africa, has reached a deal to exchange millions of dollars in national debt for investments in a new climate and environmental fund. The “debt-for-nature” swap is intended to ease the former Portuguese colony’s debt burden while allowing the country to conserve its ecosystems. Cape Verde owes around $550m to Portuguese banks, and this agreement to redirect debt repayments into a climate fund mirrors a similar deal that was negotiated in 2016 between the Seychelles and its foreign creditors. Similarly, Barbados is set to unlock funding for conservation of its entire marine ecosystem in a "blue bond" deal.
Change of Tack
Last year, OGN reported that production had started on the world's first solar electric car, called Lightyear 0, offered at a whopping $250,000. But now it has stopped. Despite only starting production on the vehicle three months ago, Lightyear is restructuring to focus on building a more affordable model, the Lightyear 2 for around $43,500. "We are now redirecting all our energy towards building Lightyear 2," says Lightyear's CEO. The company opened the waitlist for Lightyear 2, a five-seater hatchback with a promised range of 500 miles per charge, earlier this month at CES in Las Vegas. The company hasn't shared many details on the car, but already the Lightyear 2 is claimed to have over 40,000 reservations from individual buyers and about 20,000 pre-orders from fleet.
"The only tired I was, was tired of giving in." Rosa Parks
On this Day
27 January 1880: Lightbulb moment: American inventor Thomas Edison patented the incandescent lamp.
Easy to understand comparison of the CO2 emissions of travelling by electric car, fossil-fuel car and electric bus. Read on...
Hiker photographs the incredibly rare phenomenon of an 'ice pancake' in the Scottish Highlands. Read on...
From the Archives
Uplifting Quotes About Fridays: It's the gateway to the weekend, so here are a dozen celebratory quotations. Read on...
The world of competitive dog surfing at Huntington beach, California.