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)

Biden energy agenda exposes regulatory gap

Energy companies are racing to build new energy infrastructure that could have a major influence on emissions and the Biden administration’s agenda, but there’s a catch: Regulators can’t keep up.

Sunrise in the woods

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Some 5,000 solar panels added to longest dam in Switzerland

A Swiss energy firm has installed nearly 5,000 solar panels on the country’s longest dam. The panels will generate clean electricity through the winter, when a drop in rain and meltwater diminishes the production of hydropower across the country.

The new generation of hydropower dams let fish swim straight through

Redesigned turbines are solving the problem that has long plagued hydroelectric dams, churning out green energy while leaving fish unharmed.

The Antarctic and Arctic sounds rarely heard before

The poles are not known for being noisy but a project reveals their weird and wonderful sounds.

We need to better protect the insect world from climate change

From our favorites like bees and butterflies, to the lesser appreciated organisms such as wasps and mosquitoes, insects are facing threats such as climate change, and a myriad of other ills such as habitat loss and pesticide use.

Beavers to return to London 400 years after being hunted to extinction

At least one male and one female beaver will be released Ealing’s Paradise Fields as part of the project, which is designed to protect against urban flooding and create diverse wetland habitats.

Hillary Clinton announces $50 mn fund for women to tackle climate change

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Monday announced a Global Climate Resilience Fund of 50 million dollars for women to fight climate change in association with the Self Employed Women's Association founded by late activist Ela Bhatt.

From our Newsroom
oil and gas wells pollution

What happens if the largest owner of oil and gas wells in the US goes bankrupt?

Diversified Energy’s liabilities exceed its assets, according to a new report, sparking concerns about whether taxpayers will wind up paying to plug its 70,000 wells.

Paul Ehrlich

Paul Ehrlich: A journey through science and politics

In his new book, the famous scientist reflects on an unparalleled career on our fascinating, ever-changing planet.

oil and gas california environmental justice

Will California’s new oil and gas laws protect people from toxic pollution?

California will soon have the largest oil drilling setbacks in the U.S. Experts say other states can learn from this move.

popular stories 2022

Our 5 most popular reads from 2022

A corpse, woodworking dangers, plastic titans ... revisit the stories that stuck with our readers this past year.

Pittsburgh environmental

What I learned reporting on environmental health in Pittsburgh in 2022

For a lot of people, 2022 felt like the first “normal” year since 2020. It didn’t for me.

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