7 min read

no. 87: what if Big Oil paid to clean up after disasters?

This week's good news includes a climate superfund, conservation efforts saving a stingless bee in Peru, and composting becoming mandatory in France.
sand dunes in front of snow capped mountains
Photo by Colin Lloyd / Unsplash

Hey hey,

Happy Friday!

Hope your week was a great one. I'm fortunate enough to be in the middle of some travels to Colorado and California, catching some amazing scenery filled with mountains, sunlight, friends & family, and lots of good times.

But that hasn't stopped the good stories from coming! This edition, we have 22, and they're all pretty great...

So enjoy! It's time to 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 🌎🌏🌍💚.

The good from Friday, February 2

white red yellow and blue plastic straw lot
Photo by FlyD / Unsplash

The EU drafted a plan that would require the companies responsible for microplastic pollution to pay for at least 80% of the costs of cleanup, making these polluters accountable for their damages to our home. (Eco Watch)

Conservation efforts in Peru are underway to save a species of stingless bee that plays a big role in pollinating plants in the Amazon rainforest, spearheaded by indigenous beekeepers who are educating local communities. (NYT)

FEMA will now reimburse state and local governments that install clean energy tech like solar panels to schools and public buildings following natural disasters, to promote energy independence and resiliency. (NYT)

New Zealand will become one of the first countries to ban PFAs starting in 2027 which are harmful “forever chemicals” that take hundreds of years to break down, thus protecting their citizen’s health, and hopefully, the rest of the world will follow their lead. (Eco Watch)

The good from Monday, February 5

a bowl of food on a stove with flames coming out of it
Photo by Lucas Santos / Unsplash

The world’s largest jeweler will now only use recycled silver and gold from industrial waste, electronics, and old jewelry, joining several others in reducing energy and mining for a lower environmental impact. (Reuters)

A “climate superfund” to make fossil fuel companies pay to rebuild after climate disasters has been proposed by four states through several Bills that demand Big Oil pays the states millions of dollars for improvements, retrofitting, and increased resiliency. (Grist)

Composting is now mandatory in France, which will drastically reduce food waste which accounts for a third of overall household waste and 8% of humanity’s emissions. (Euronews)

Cryptocurrency mining companies will now be required to report electricity usage in the US starting next week to provide accountability and transparency into the energy demands this mining requires. (The Verge)

A good story from Tuesday, February 6

black and yellow stop print on gray concrete floor
Photo by Nick Fewings / Unsplash

History was just made because the US paused the approval of LNG exports, which might be the biggest recent win to come as a direct result of our action.

See the US has made commitments to phase out dangerous fossil fuels, yet are already the world’s biggest exporter of liquified natural gas...

And there’s a lot of evidence that these exports actually raise energy prices, hurt communities where the facilities are built, and can be more harmful to the planet than coal. Which means it’s better for almost everyone to stop this.

Almost everyone, because a few powerful key players who are the only ones to benefit have had enough control to keep this going...

Until now.

Because the process to approve more terminals to be built has been paused to review the impact these would have, and to determine if it’s actually in the public’s best interest. And this outcome only happened because of the public (you and me) saying we don’t want these projects.

President Biden’s official statement said they’re heeding the calls of people using their voices to demand action. In other words, when we put on pressure for the world to be better, it can and will become reality.

So thank you to everyone who played a part, and let’s make this just the start!

The good from Wednesday, February 7

two white-and-black Pandas lying on floor during daytime
Photo by Pascal Müller / Unsplash

Wild panda populations have nearly doubled in 40 years thanks to an increased focus on conservation and protected areas for these beautiful animals. (The Straits Times)

Many of our planet’s forests are doing better than we thought, like England which has more forest coverage today than any time in the past 700 years, while China added 607,000 square kilometers of forest since 1992. Let’s agree to continue this trend ;) (Bloomberg)

Citizens of Paris just voted to triple parking fees for large SUVs to discourage "bulky, polluting" vehicles and continue their goal of becoming a more bike-friendly city. (Reuters)

Climate Grannies like Hazel Chandler are taking action to protect their grandchildren by using their experience and wisdom to make the planet better through protests, lobbying politicians, and getting other older voters engaged on climate issues. Honestly, they are iconic. (Inside Climate News)

The good from Thursday, February 8

a couple of otters swimming in a body of water
Photo by Anchor Lee / Unsplash

Conversation efforts brought back sea otters to the California coast who are now protecting it by eating striped shore crabs which decreases erosion of salt marshes that provide habitat for a bunch of other species in a beautiful example of marine ecology. (Nature Publishing Group)

Analysis shows that the world hit peak sales of gas-powered cars back in 2017, having dropped 23% since, while electric vehicles have become the largest clean sector. (Bloomberg)

Several recent sightings of jaguars in Arizona and New Mexico hint that they’re reestablishing in the Southwest thanks to wildlife corridors, 60 years after being hunted to local extinction, prompting conservationists to urge these corridors to remain intact. (The Guardian)

A new training program in New York City is teaching young adults specific skills to land high-paying jobs in the growing clean energy sector with over 100 trainees having already completed the program. (Gothamist)

Bonus stories

The Best Way to Keep Elephant Populations Stable Over Time Is to Allow Them to Roam Freely, Scientists Find - EcoWatch
Scientists report that the best way to keep elephant numbers stable is to let them roam freely in protected areas connected to buffer zones.
Democratic lawmakers propose legislation to study AI’s environmental impacts
The legislation would give new responsibilities to the EPA, the DOE, and NIST.
Successful IVF Breakthrough Could Save Northern White Rhino - EcoWatch
In a major breakthrough, the first successful southern white rhino in vitro fertilization has been carried out by scientists.
Brown hairstreak: the rare butterfly quietly retaking London and beyond
Species declined in Britain in 20th century but is beginning to thrive again – possibly due to climate crisis
From urchin crushing to lab-grown kelp, efforts to save California’s kelp forests show promise
After purple urchins helped nearly wipe out 96% of California’s iconic underwater bull kelp forests over a six-year span, biologists say they are seeing promising signs that efforts to save them may be helping.

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