Saturday's Good News Nuggets

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

Saturday's collection of good news nuggets to get the weekend off to a sunny start.

  • The jaguar population in Mexico has increased by about 800 animals since 2010, according to a census of the elusive carnivores. The good news confirms that Mexico’s national strategy to protect jaguars is working, researchers recently reported. “It was incredible to see jaguars in so many places where there weren’t any before,” said ecologist Gerardo Ceballos, founder of Mexico’s National Alliance for Jaguar Conservation and lead author of the paper.

  • Good news for Britain: It's heading for the fastest economic growth in the G7, according to the OECD. The UK will expand by 6.9pc this year, up from September’s forecast of 6.7pc growth, the Paris-based think tank said.

  • On a January day some time ago, Jonathan Mearns and Catherine Loveless took a stroll through London and saw many discarded Christmas trees on the streets. “We explored the rental concept and in our research, we learned that 7 million cut trees go into landfill each year and when they rot they emit greenhouse gasses. The average rotting 6ft tree produces 16kg of CO2,” Catherine explained. That is what inspired the two of them to launch London’s Christmas Tree Rental. The company offers living trees in a pot, and after the holidays, people can return them to the farm or one of their London drop off points. Customers can rent the same tree again next year, but when the tree reaches 7 feet, it “retires” and is planted in a forest.

  • The Chicago Tool Library opened in 2019 in Bridgeport. It works just like a traditional library, but instead of books they have shelves full of tools for members to borrow. The library currently has more than 1,500 members and offers more than 2,500 tools, and membership is a pay-what-you-can model. The demand for the library's services has become so high that it's now scoping out potential new locations that can hold twice as many tools as it's currently turning down donations due to the lack of available space. "Probably 90 percent of the tools we have have been donated," they say. "A lot of people own too many things, and they would give their tools to us. So we have too many offers for tools that we don't have the space to accept."

  • Kemp's Ridleys are among the rarest of all the marine turtles, and were close to extinction in the 1980s and, bizarrely, one just washed up on a beach in Wales - 4,000 miles (6,400km) from its normal home in the Gulf of Mexico. Fortunately, it was spotted by a dog walker who alerted Anglesey Sea Zoo, which is now nursing it back to health. And then they'll transport him back over to the Caribbean.

  • It has been another record year for renewable energy, according to the International Energy Agency. About 290GW of new renewable energy generation capacity, mostly in the form of wind turbines and solar panels, has been installed around the world this year, beating the previous record last year. To put that into perspective, 1GW can power around 300,000 homes; so 290GW equates to enough power for roughly 87 million homes. The IEA says that on current trends, renewable energy generating capacity will exceed that of fossil fuels and nuclear energy combined by 2026.

  • The simple of act of staring at a deep-red or near infrared light source for about three minutes has been found to be enough to improve color vision in those suffering from failing eyesight. The potential treatment allows the mitochondria in the human retina to produce more ATP and offers a chance of keeping good color vision long into our golden years. These results have doctors very excited at a potential at-home treatment for reduced sensitivity to color in old age. University College London says: “We demonstrate that we can significantly improve cone mediated color contrast thresholds for a week using a single 3 minute light exposure by an average of 17% and in some older subjects by  20%.” Adding: “This simple and highly economic intervention applied at the population level will significantly impact on the quality of life in the elderly and likely result in reduced social costs that arise from problems associated with reduced vision.”

  • Wise Words: "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Henry Thoreau.

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