butterfly

Our top 5 good news stories of 2021

It's not all doom and gloom.

As we reflect on the past year, let's remember the good — the people, communities, ideas, and science that are creating a more healthy and sustainable planet.


The environment can be a depressing beat. But here are the top five good news stories from our newsroom over the past year that remind us there is hope.

1. The pesticide ban movement gains momentum

pesticide ban

Cities and counties are increasingly banning toxic pesticides—and some are taking aim at fertilizers.

2. A Listen Into Landscape

good news podcast

A series of audio postcards spotlighting peace, place, and connection to landscape from the perspective of those working in nature.

3. How artificial intelligence can help save us from air pollution

artificial intelligence

Researchers find AI may outperform traditional models, which could give more advance warning of bad air days, and reduce harmful exposures and hospital visits.

4. From butterfly wings to shrimp claws: Mimicking nature on the nanoscale

green chemistry

Innovators look to biomimicry to address sustainability challenges.

5. Planting a million trees in the semi-arid desert to combat climate change

planting trees

Tucson's ambitious tree planting goal aims to improve the health of residents, wildlife, and the watershed.

Have a good news story tip? We want to hear about it, write us at feedback@ehn.org.

Banner photo: Metalmark Butterfly. (Credit: Andreas Kay/flickr)

Loggers warned to steer clear of newly mapped old-growth forest patches in central B.C.

Mapped areas follow watchdog investigation that found biodiversity may be at ‘high risk’ in Prince George timber area.

Sunrise in the woods

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bc lawsuit climate commitment reporting
Province of British Columbi/Flickr

Sierra Club BC loses lawsuit on climate commitment reporting

A new ruling says the province only needs to update the public on shorter-term targets. Advocates say that’s not enough.

‘Once you've clear cut it, that's it’

Kwakiutl Hereditary Chiefs issued a cease-and-desist order on old-growth logging in their territory. It continued anyway.
Salt marsh microbes & methane emissions
James Loesch/Flickr

Salt marsh microbes threaten to reshape the atmosphere

Turf wars between microbes dictate how much carbon salt marshes store and how much methane they pump into the air.
Venezuela’s oil spill crisis
NASA Johnson/Flickr

Venezuela’s oil spill crisis reached new heights in 2022: report

There were 86 oil spills and gas leaks in Venezuela last year, according to a report published by the Observatory of Political Ecology of Venezuela.

Violence in Brazil’s Amazon
Palácio do Planalto/Flickr

Violence in Brazil’s Amazon are also crimes against humanity, lawyers tell international court

Three organizations, including Greenpeace Brazil, filed a case with the International Criminal Court (ICC) pressing for the investigation into a network of politicians, law enforcement and business executives they suspect are responsible for systematic attacks against land defenders.

Climate change is threatening Madagascar's famous forests – our study shows how serious it is

Climate change is a huge threat to Madagascar’s four forest types – urgent action is needed to ensure they don’t disappear completely.
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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

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Pittsburgh environmental

What I learned reporting on environmental health in Pittsburgh in 2022

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renewable energy at schools

Western Pennsylvania can meet its climate goals — if the region stops subsidizing natural gas

A new proposed plan would lead to a 97% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and create 15,353 new jobs by 2050.

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