7 min read

no. 103: White rhino recovery

This week's good news includes the launch of a rewilding project for 2,000 Southern White Rhinos to be translocated into protected wild areas in Africa.
A river and mountains with trees
The view from Breakneck Ridge

Hey there, friend.

Happy Friday! Believe it or not, tomorrow is June...

But that means it's almost summer! If you're in the US, this was probably a short week for you with Memorial Day on Monday.

I was fortunate enough to go on a beautiful 6-mile hike that took pretty much all day, and I loved every second of it. I was completely offline and immersed in nature. I saw million of caterpillars raining down from the trees, plus lots of birds, snakes, dogs, and people. If you haven't gone hiking recently, this is your sign that you should :).

And one more note before we get to the good news: within the next few weeks, I'm going to be launching a longer form video version of my good news roundups. This will let me take a deeper dive into the stories and really explain why they're great. It's still in development, but in the meantime you can subscribe to the channel so you don't miss the launch!

And now, let's get hopeful...

Enjoy these good stories? I (Jacob) research, fact-check, write, record, and post everything by myself. Consider subscribing as a supporter and/or sharing this newsletter to help Climativity continue to exist! Thank you in advance for helping the world be a little more positive, I couldn't do it without you 🌎🌏🌍💚.

Some hope from Tuesday, May 28

brown and black cicada insect on brown tree trunk during daytime
Photo by Ian Hutchinson / Unsplash

Trillions of cicadas are rising from the ground right now in the biggest emergence since 1803, but apparently we can eat them. Chef Joseph Yoon serves ramp and cicada kimchi, tempura, tortillas, cheesy casseroles, and cicada-stuffed pasta shells...

See eating insects is unusual in the US but standard for about 2 billion people around the world, as they’re packed with nutrition, help address food insecurity, and are an environmentally friendly source of protein. In fact, lots of people believe that adding insects to a diet can feed the world while greatly reducing emissions and environmental damage.

Chef Yoon says cicadas are just like lobsters and can be a shrimp replacement in most dishes, while scientists say cicadas can be safely cooked as long as they weren’t burrowed in soil with chemicals or pesticides, and you should probably avoid them if you have a shellfish allergy.

Now I’m not telling you to go out and eat one, but maybe as we start seeing and hearing these little critters, we can try to not be grossed out but instead open our minds to other possibilities.

Would you try one?

Some hope from Wednesday, May 29

adult rhinoceros
Photo by Keith Markilie / Unsplash

🦏 The “Rhino Rewild” plan to reintroduce 2,000 Southern White Rhinos into protected wild areas in Africa has officially begun with an initial 40 now living in a well-secured conservancy spanning almost 75,000 acres in South Africa (African Parks)

🚀 NASA launched the first of two satellites the size of shoeboxes as a part of their PREFIRE mission that will measure and track heat radiation from Earth’s poles to better predict weather changes and important resilience data for farmers and coastal communities (NASA)

🏙️ 64 office buildings in New York City are being converted to housing as almost a fifth of Manhattan offices were vacant at the beginning of this year, along with newly proposed rezoning which would continue to force developers to make a portion of this affordable to low and middle income renters (Gothamist)

🚌 The Oakland Unified School District is set to become the first major U.S. district to electrify its entire school bus fleet of 74 buses which will provide safer and quieter transportation for children while reducing health impacts, improving air quality, and lowering emissions (Ecowatch)

Some hope from Thursday, May 30

black solar panel under red and gray clouds as sunset
Photo by Karsten Würth / Unsplash

For transparency: today's good news roundup was part of a partnership focused on US policy wins. Including these stories in this newsletter wasn't a part of the partnership, but I thought you'd enjoy it if I included them anyways.

I've covered some of these in the past, but they serve as a great reminder that we are continuing to push, advocate, and get some wins... let's keep our momentum going!

☀️ $7 billion of residential solar grants were announced by President Biden’s administration for a million low-income homes to create 200,000 jobs while saving recipients about$400 a year on energy bills through the Solar For All program. (Reuters)

🫡 The American Climate Corps applications are now open with several hundred jobs already up for conservation, restoration, and clean energy with the White House aiming for 20,000 people gaining employment through the program in its first year. (Grist)

⚡️ All major federal projects and buildings will need to eliminate on-site fossil fuel usage by the end of the decade in the US which will save taxpayers $8 million while reducing 2 million tons of carbon and 16,000 tons of methane emissions. (The Hill)

🪫 Experts say that coal power is done for in the US thanks to new regulations that require a 90% cut in emissions, which very few plants would be able to achieve, so we can start to say goodbye to one of the dirtiest fossil fuels. (The Guardian)

Some hope from Friday, May 31

Cracked glass
Photo by Salah Ait Mokhtar / Unsplash

♻️ In 2020, a few college students including my friend Fran noticed New Orleans had no glass recycling, so they started their own called Glass Half Full which today employs 15 people crushing 7 million pounds of glass into sand for coastal restoration and successfully turned their idea into a thriving operation helping our planet. (NYT)

⛲️ My new favorite competition called the Chelsea flower show was won by Ula Maria’s stunning garden created to make forest bathing accessible to those with muscular dystrophy as nature immersion can boost mental health but often be inaccessible to wheelchairs. (The Guardian)

🌊 A new ruling from an international UN court says that human-made emissions absorbed by the ocean are now considered marine pollution, meaning nations have a legal obligation under international law to further reduce emissions to protect our oceans and small island nations. (Euronews)

😺 The Iberian lynx has made an impressive recovery with populations in Spain and Portugal now at just over 2,000 according to the latest report thanks to coordinated conservation efforts offering promise for the future of these stunning animals. (The Olive Press)

Bonus stories

I invented a pedal-powered home office. Now I exercise – and save energy – at my desk
An Iowa cyclist wanted to stay active while spending all day at his desk. He found the perfect solution
Climate Jobs Are Ramping Up, But a ‘Just Transition’ Is Necessary to Ensure Equity, Experts Say - Inside Climate News
As the U.S. floods the employment market with climate jobs, some are concerned about fossil fuel-dependent communities getting left in the dust.
Earthcare cloud mission launches to resolve climate unknowns
Europe’s Earthcare satellite will tell us if the planet could lose the cooling effect of clouds.
Photographer Creates Stunning Artwork by Taking Close-up Images of Eyes–Each One Is Unique
Her photos show the complex and intricate textures hidden within the human iris which gives our eyes a unique character.

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See you again soon,


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