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)

climate change COP28

An audio diary from the COP28 climate conference, Part 1

Sights, sounds and scenes from the largest climate gathering on the planet.

Dr. Robbie Parks joins the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast to give listeners a front row seat at the largest, most consequential climate change conference on the planet.

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.
solar panel

How microgrids could help Colorado mountain towns in the winter

San Miguel Power sees community-sized solar grids as a way for small mountain towns to keep the lights burning through storms and avalanches.

Where the world warmed the most in Earth’s hottest year
Photo by Ilse Orsel on Unsplash

Where the world warmed the most in Earth’s hottest year

A Washington Post analysis of climate data found one-fifth of the planet was 2 degrees Celsius warmer than in the late 1800s, before humans started burning fossil fuels on a large scale.
john kerry
Image by 12019 from Pixabay

John Kerry bows out as U.S. climate envoy

Mr. Kerry, 80, is expected to work on President Biden’s re-election campaign to stress the administration’s climate achievements.
How the humble stink bug helped Australia miss a major EV milestone
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

How the humble stink bug helped Australia miss a major EV milestone

Just as thousands of motorists were expecting a Christmas car delivery, the cargo ship holding them off the coast of Brisbane turned around and returned to China. The reason? The discovery of yellow-spotted stink bugs.

climate justice
Photo by Nik on Unsplash

How this climate activist justifies political violence

“The reason that people contemplate escalation is that there are no risk-free options left,” says the author of "How to Blow Up a Pipeline."

Biden administration to fine oil and gas companies for excess methane

The Biden administration announced new moves on Friday to curb the release from oil and gas facilities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is responsible for more than a quarter of the warming the planet is currently experiencing.

From our Newsroom
COP28 climate change conference

An audio diary from the COP28 climate conference, Part 2

The sights, sounds and scenes from the largest climate gathering on the planet.

republican climate change denial

Opinion: House Speaker Mike Johnson’s climate change playbook — deny the science, take the funding

The two-faced charade of climate denial while diving into the pot of federal renewable incentives and tax breaks.

childrens health climate change

Delays in joining the RGGI regional climate program means excess ER visits and child illness in Pennsylvania

Up to 128 premature deaths from air pollution could have been prevented if the state had entered the program in 2022 as planned.

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.

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