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Just Good News Tuesday

Today's eclectic global round up of positive news nuggets.

Leonardo DiCaprio raising a glass of champagne
Leonardo DiCaprio
Green Colours

It is, perhaps, a fitting initiative for Hollywood’s most prominent environmental campaigner. Leonardo DiCaprio’s French vineyard has announced it will begin releasing its Telmont champagne in bottles of varying colours of green in order to be more eco-friendly. Approximately 193,000 bottles are due to go on sale in every colour from “green to cinnamon” this year. The idea is to make use of the considerable amount of glass that normally gets discarded as bottle-making furnaces switch between colours. The new scheme is part of Telmont’s drive to become the first “climate-positive” champagne house by the end of the decade.

Good News For Wildlife Conservation...

Whales Get 'Personhood': Indigenous leaders of New Zealand, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands signed a historic treaty that recognizes whales as legal persons in a move conservationists believe will apply pressure to national governments to offer greater protections for the large mammals. “It’s fitting that the traditional guardians are initiating this,” said Mere Takoko, a Māori conservationist who leads Hinemoana Halo Ocean Initiative, the group that spearheaded the treaty. “For us, by restoring those world populations we also restore our communities.”

Blanket Protections: The Biden administration has restored threatened species protections in the U.S. dropped by Trump. Among the changes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will reinstate a decades-old regulation that mandates blanket protections for animals and plants newly classified as threatened. That means officials won’t have to craft specific plans to shield each individual species while protections are pending.

Happier Hens: According to the latest statistics from the US Department of Agriculture, more than 40 percent of hens used for eggs in the United States are now cage-free, and 11 states have banned the practice of caging hens. Just 15 years ago, that number was only 3 percent. While free-range is still the only genuinely humane way to farm chickens, this does represent progress towards that goal, says the Humane Society.


Shackleton's barometer
The barometer comes with a letter attesting to its history | Credit: Corin Messer/BNPS
Greatest of Men

A barometer used by famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton on his final expedition has been rediscovered 102 years later. The scientific instrument was fixed to the wall of Sir Ernest’s private cabin on RYS Quest, the ship on which he died of suspected heart failure in South Georgia Harbour. Dr Leonard Hussey, the medic who tried to save Sir Ernest in his cabin, later took the barometer as a keepsake by which to remember him. Dr Hussey gave the device to a friend, a Major Woods, and a descendant of his has now offered it for sale at auction for £8,000. Andrew Aldridge, an auctioneer at the firm, said: “Sir Ernest Shackleton has been called ‘the greatest leader that ever came on God’s earth bar none’. This unique piece of memorabilia provides a tangible link to not only his final expedition but the last moments of this greatest of men.”


Slovakia stopped production at its last coal-fired power plant this week. Its electricity will now come almost entirely from nuclear and renewable sources. Slovakia originally slated its coal phaseout for 2030 but has now expedited this to mid-2024, when it will join Belgium, Austria, Sweden and Portugal as Europe's coal-free countries.

Shipping Emissions Tax

Two weeks of talks at the United Nations shipping agency concluded in London on Friday, with a clear majority of countries emerging in favour of introducing the world’s first-ever global emissions levy. The International Maritime Organization held its latest round of negotiations to discuss how to move forward on the climate regulation of the shipping industry, which accounts for around 3 percent of global carbon emissions. Thirty-four countries from high- and low-income states expressed backing a universal greenhouse gas price, reflecting a significant upswing in support from the last round of talks in 2023. Campaigners attributed building momentum for the policy to support from Caribbean Island states and said it now appeared likely that the measure would be adopted by the IMO next year.


"Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day." W. Earl Hall

On This Day

Original cast of Dallas

2 April 1978: The soap opera Dallas debuted as a five-part miniseries on American television; hugely popular, it became a running series and revolutionized prime-time dramas.


Mood Booster

A Joy Story - Oscar Winning Animation. See how life can change when our perspective changes.


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