Our top 5 good news stories of 2020

Because we could all use a little more cheer.

We can all agree that 2020 was a challenging year.


Good news feels hard to come by lately. And when you work in environmental news, it can seem even more rare.

Yet, the year was not without progress (yes, seriously!). Check out five good news stories from our newsroom that you may have missed below.

1. A Northeast US climate initiative has had a major side benefit—healthier children

Researchers estimate a climate effort in the Northeast U.S. helped the region reduce toxic air pollution and avoid hundreds of asthma and autism cases, preterm births, and low birth weights.

2. Roadmap points Europe toward safer, sustainable chemicals

EU Commission releases ambitious strategy for getting hormone-disrupting chemicals out of food, products, and packaging.

3. Solar power on the rise at US schools

Report finds an 81% increase in K-12 schools using solar power over the last 5 years.

4. Pittsburgh’s Black farmers work to grow a new future

A small group of new farmers have seeded a movement to change the local food industry.

5. Derrick Z. Jackson: A Rhode Island city gets serious about climate justice

In its climate action plan, Providence, Rhode Island, is giving frontline residents' health equal billing with carbon reduction. Other cities should pay attention.


Banner photo: Ebony Lunsford-Evans, owner of FarmerGirlEB in Pittsburgh, helps a customer. (Credit: Brian Cook)

A poultry plant, years of groundwater contamination and, finally, a court settlement

Residents in Millsboro, Delaware, sued the local Montaire facility, which they suspect is linked to their cancers and other serious health problems.

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www.nytimes.com

Japan’s plan for Fukushima wastewater meets a wall of mistrust in Asia

The government in Tokyo says criticism of its intention to release treated water into the ocean is unscientific. South Korea has called the proposal “utterly intolerable.”
www.nytimes.com

Could the pandemic prompt an 'epidemic of loss' of women in the sciences?

Even before the pandemic, many female scientists felt unsupported in their fields. Now, some are hitting a breaking point.
www.nytimes.com

The next level in office amenities: wild horses

The mustangs at a Nevada office park are an example of the outrageous perks that businesses dangle to impress job candidates, but wildlife advocates are pushing back on efforts to market them.
www.nytimes.com

John Kerry heads to China to talk climate

After contentious talks in Alaska, the visit by President Biden’s climate envoy could signal that the two countries are willing work together on some issues, even as they clash on others.
www.nytimes.com

This glacier in Alaska is moving 100 times faster than normal

The Muldrow Glacier, on the north side of Mount Denali, is undergoing a rare surge.
www.nytimes.com

New rule in cycling forbids the tossing of water bottles

Riders’ water bottles are treasured souvenirs among cycling fans. Cyclists are unhappy with a new rule that outlaws tossing them into the crowd.