Good News

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)

solar panel installation
Photo by Bill Mead on Unsplash

How generous subsidies helped Australia to become a leader in solar power

For a brief period over several weekends this spring, the state of South Australia, which has a population of 1.8m, did something no other place of a similar size can claim: generate enough energy from solar panels on the roofs of houses to meet virtually all its electricity needs.

Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
coal miner
Image by Tuna Ölger from Pixabay

As coal mines close, displaced miners find work in renewable energy boom

A battery startup in West Virginia and the mineworkers union may have a blueprint for those left behind in the energy transition.
lng terminal
Unsplash+

Europe's liquefied natural gas buildout collides with waning demand

As part of its efforts to wean itself off Russian energy, Europe has sought to import more natural gas from overseas, erecting new terminals for processing deliveries of liquefied natural gas. But this new capacity is set to far exceed demand, an analysis finds.

los angeles street
Image by JayMantri from Pixabay
hydrogen energy
Big Stock Photo

New Mexico’s wild hydrogen days

State hydrogen projects promoted, killed; meanwhile, the governor goes to Australian hydrogen conference with oil and gas reps.

Cigarette-style climate warnings on food could cut meat consumption, study suggests

Durham University research found warnings of environmental or health impacts reduced choice of meals containing meat by 7-10%.

Lahaina kids go back to school, raising fears of toxic ash from fires

Hawai‘i education officials want to return to normal. But some parents want more time to heal.
From our Newsroom
environmental justice

LISTEN: Carlos Gould on wildfire smoke and our health

“Information matters a lot — trying to explain not just that there’s a problem, but how to do something about it.”

fracking PFAS

“Forever chemicals” in Pennsylvania fracking wells could impact health of surrounding communities: Report

More than 5,000 wells in the state were injected with 160 million pounds of undisclosed, “trade-secret” chemicals, which potentially include PFAS.

800,000 tons of radioactive waste from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry has gone “missing”

800,000 tons of radioactive waste from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry has gone “missing”

Poor recordkeeping on hazardous waste disposal points to potential for bigger problems, according to a new study.

drought climate farming

Opinion: Climate change and soil loss — the new Dust Bowl?

How we can save our soil, stabilize the climate, and prevent a new Dust Bowl.

climate change health care

Severe flooding increasingly cutting people off from health care

Many more Americans will find themselves regularly cut off from essential services, rescue workers and health care long before water actually reaches their homes, a recent study predicts.

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