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)

Are Halloween pumpkins a future superfood?

Pumpkins usually only appear over Halloween. But this drought-tolerant, stable and versatile crop is packed with nutrition. Could it be the superfood of the future?
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.
Koch Industries political influence
Fortune Brainstorm TECH/Flickrhttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN MOLONEY/Fortune Brainstorm TECH

‘Get the right cases to the supreme court’: inside Charles Koch’s network

Billionaire’s web of rightwing groups works to bring cases to court that could undermine core functionings of the US government.

Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2023
Photo by Jas Min on Unsplash

Democrats unveil 'most comprehensive plan ever' to address plastics problem

The sweeping bill is unlikely to pass, but its components could still make an impact.

Hurricane Otis and the world we live in now

The unexpected Category 5 storm is just the latest in a series of unprecedented climate disasters this year.
fracking wastewater road dust suppressant
BigStock Photo ID: 8400922
Copyright: gwhitton

Should toxic wastewater from gas drilling be spread on Pennsylvania roads as a dust and snow suppressant?

Members of a gas industry advisory council would like the Department of Environmental Protection to consider the practice. The DEP has yet to be convinced.

Stop locking young people out of legal process in climate cases, say experts

Children are particularly vulnerable to climate crisis yet have little say politically or legally in most of world.

Kelp keeps a record of environmental calamity

By studying where kelp populations have been wiped out and replaced, scientists are developing a new way to understand historical environmental destruction.
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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