6 min read

no. 83: The first all-women city council in a big US city

This week's good news includes the first all-women city council in a big US city, saiga recovering from near extinction, and South Korea banning the dog meat trade.
saint paul minnesota
Photo by Bao Chau / Unsplash

A very happy Friday to you!

I'm in Florida for the long weekend (Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US) at a friend's house getting some much-needed warmth and sunshine in my bones.

I know that the year just started, but believe it or not, we're already 12 days in.

How's it been so far?

Let's go over some amazing stories from the week to make it a bit better.

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 🌎🌏🌍💚.

BTW - I'm hosting an in-person meetup event in NYC later this month, and as a newsletter subscriber, you're going to get early access to the very limited tickets! Supporters will get first dibs, followed by all subscribers. Excited for this one... keep your eyes peeled :)

The good from Monday, January 8

brown saiga deer on green grass field during daytime
Photo by Dasha Urvachova / Unsplash

Saiga are officially no longer critically endangered! These are animals that look straight out of Star Wars but do actually live on Earth (in Central Asia) and have recovered from 48,000 to nearly 2 million individuals thanks to conservation efforts. (GNN)

For the second year running, major banks made more money investing in green projects than fossil fuels, reaffirming that being better for the planet is also better for the wallet. (Bloomberg)

A startup called Canvus is repurposing retired wind turbine blades into cool furniture and functional art for public spaces in Chicago, Colorado Springs, California, and Ohio, and frankly, I’m a big fan ;) (Ecowatch)

55% of Germany’s power in 2023 came from renewable energy sources, as Europe’s biggest economy continues to lead the transition to clean energy. (Ecowatch)

The good from Tuesday, January 9

a stop sign attached to the side of a school bus
Photo by Robin Jonathan Deutsch / Unsplash

100 groups called for logging to end in the oldest forests in Poland, and the government just complied, ordering a 6-month logging halt in 10 valuable forests as a first step towards permanent protections. (Reuters)

Two Indian software engineers declined fancy tech jobs and are instead tackling wildlife crime by digitizing case data and enabling real-time monitoring, joining India's fight to end poaching and protect threatened species. (GNN)

Two indigenous farmers in Toronto are improving food insecurity and access to fresh, culturally appropriate foods in diverse and low-income neighborhoods. (The Narwhal)

The US is investing a billion dollars in electric and low-emissions school buses to reduce pollution and diesel fumes that cause child asthma, with 86% of the money going to low-income, rural, and tribal communities. (Washington Post)

Question of the day: what do you think of electrifying school buses, which reduce emissions and health impacts but require invasive mining, and cost more upfront but require less maintenance (and of course no gas)? Let us know your thoughts in a comment at the end of this post!

The good from Wednesday, January 10

barbie dolls in red and white dress dancing
Photo by Sean Bernstein / Unsplash

South Korea has unanimously banned the “pawful” trade of dog meat after decades of deliberation in a vote on Tuesday which will save an estimated 1 million dogs every year. (TIME)

The youngest and first openly gay prime minister in France was just appointed by President Macron. (CNBC)

St. Paul, Minnesota just became the first big US city to have an all-women city council made up of 7 women all under 40 years old, and a majority are women of color. (CBS)

An electricity co-op in New Mexico now has 100% renewable energy during the day for its 30,000 members thanks to those very members saying peace out to a nasty coal producer and adopting solar and green hydrogen instead. (Reasons to be Cheerful)

The good from Thursday, January 11

selective focus of white snow butte glacier
Photo by Cassie Matias / Unsplash

An insane plan was proposed to prevent sea level rise by placing an underwater barrier in front of a glacier to block warm currents from reaching and melting ice. It would be massively expensive, but cool to imagine all the unique solutions out there. (NYT)

Chile just became the 45th country to ban animal cosmetic testing, joining Brazil, Mexico, Canada, India, South Korea, Australia, and many more switching to “Cruelty-Free” products. (WAN)

US emissions actually declined last year by 1.9% despite growing the economy for the first time since before the pandemic, which certainly isn’t enough, but is a good sign. (Bloomberg)

Hawaii has fully replaced its last coal plant with a giant battery with the same capacity that sucks up and stores renewable power during the day to dispense at night. (Canary Media)

^ This action is sponsored by EPA Action & Urban Legend and will help their mission of getting 5,000 new "climate voters" for 2024 🌎🌍🌏. Undoubtedly, one of the most impactful things we can do is get folks elected who care about the planet. As always, thanks for your support and actions!

Bonus stories

This 16th-century map is teeming with sea monsters. Most are based on a real mammal.
At a time when the mortality rate for distant maritime voyages was 50 percent, the Bible, legend, and lore gave birth to a sea full of extraordinary danger.

This restaurant in Rome serves your dog and you side by side...?!

‘Electricity is fundamental to quality of life’: the man bringing off-grid, pay-as-you-go power to Africa
Mansoor Hamayun, the co-founder and chief executive of Bboxx, started out with a university project to bring solar power to a few villages in Rwanda. Now he is set to expand tenfold across sub-Saharan Africa
Solar Pumps Are Empowering Women Farmers in India
On top of its climate benefits, the technology is boosting women’s income and confidence while challenging traditional gender norms.

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See you again soon,


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