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)

environmental justice

LISTEN: Robbie Parks on why hurricanes are getting deadlier

"In places where there are high minority populations they bear, by far, the most burden of deaths from tropical cyclones."

Dr. Robbie Parks joins the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast for a bonus episode to discuss how hurricanes have become deadlier in recent years and how we can better protect vulnerable communities.

Keep reading...Show less
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.

If Biden wins election, industry pollution will be a target for climate policies

If the president wins re-election, his climate team is likely to try to cut greenhouse gases from steel, cement and other hard-to-clean-up manufacturing.
tim peake solar farm
Pixabay

Tim Peake backs idea for solar farms in space as costs fall

Astronaut Maj Peake said the falling cost of launching heavy cargoes into orbit means that complex structures, such as solar power farms, could soon be launched into space, and had the potential to provide significant power.

vegan food meat climate
Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

How to eat sort of vegan without giving up meat and why it would help Earth

Switching half of the world’s meat and dairy intake with plants would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and almost entirely halt deforestation, researchers say.
nuclear power energy climate
big stock photo

Does nuclear power stand a chance in Minnesota amid a moratorium and carbon-free mandate?

Minnesota utilities say nuclear could provide a consistent, clean power source — if a state moratorium was repealed.

Romanian gas pipeline is being back by the EU's tax funds

The European Union is using taxes on pollution to fund a gas pipeline in Romania, claiming it will reduce emissions compared to coal.

‘Towns were erased’: Libyan reporters on the ‘horrifying, harrowing’ aftermath of floods

Journalists who reported on last week’s catastrophic storm say the country’s bloody political tussle has contributed to the collapse of services.

From our Newsroom
children nature

Opinion: When kids feel the magic of nature, they will want to protect it

Improving our quality of life starts with the simple of act of getting kids outdoors.

birds climate change

In the Gulf of Maine, scientists race to save seabirds threatened by climate change

“I could see that, if successful, the methods developed could likely help these species."

fracking economics

Appalachia’s fracking counties are shedding jobs and residents: Study

The 22 counties that produce 90% of Appalachian natural gas lost a combined 10,339 jobs between 2008 and 2021.

Marathon Petroleum y una ciudad de Texas muestran una  potencial crisis de comunicaciones sobre sustancias químicas

Marathon Petroleum y una ciudad de Texas muestran una potencial crisis de comunicaciones sobre sustancias químicas

En los últimos tres años, Marathon ha violado repetidamente la ley de Aire Limpio y tuvo tres emergencias en el semestre de febrero a julio de 2023.

WATCH: How Marathon Petroleum and one Texas city show the potential for a chemical communication crisis

WATCH: How Marathon Petroleum and one Texas city show the potential for a chemical communication crisis

Marathon in Texas City has repeatedly violated the Clean Air Act and had three emergencies in the span of a six month period.

air pollution heart attack

ER visits for heart problems plummeted after Pittsburgh coal processor shut down

Levels of one highly-toxic pollutant fell by 90% and ER visits for heart problems decreased by 42% immediately after the shutdown.

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