6 min read

no. 91: policy is powerful

This week depaving continues to grow around the world, nations are passing legislation to hold polluters accountable, elephants and foxes are being protected, and much more.
A golden trophy
Photo by Giorgio Trovato / Unsplash

Hello again, friend.

Hope your first week of March was a good one!

A bit of personal good news to start this edition: About 2 years ago I realized we don't talk about (or even know about) environmental progress enough... so I started to. First in this newsletter, and then extending into my social media channels.

Fast forward to today, and I'm honored to be featured by Harvard C-CHANGE and Pique Action as one of the 17 Climate Creators to Watch in 2024 alongside some truly fantastic and inspiring leaders!

Together, we're reshaping the narrative and changing the world for the better 🪴💚

Whether you've been here from the start or you're brand new, I couldn't have done any of this without you! Thanks for choosing to be here learning about environmental progress, and for all the amazing actions we've already taken as a community.

This is just the start... :)

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, March 1

green leafed plant on gray concrete wall
Photo by Chris Lawton / Unsplash

Depaving is expanding across the world which replaces concrete and asphalt with soil and plants in cities like Portland, Oregon, Leuven, Belgium, Hamilton, Ontario, and Paris, France to reduce flooding and heatwaves while improving mental health. (BBC)

425 square miles of ocean were closed in the 1990s to protect various fish, but 20 years later the species recovered much quicker than expected, reminding us of the power of nature with fishermen and conservationists agreeing to both protect habitats and livelihoods. (Independent)

New York has sued the world’s biggest meatpacker for misleading the public on impossible environmental claims (Bloomberg), while Chicago has sued 5 major oil companies, also for deceiving the public, so hopefully, a lot more accountability and truth is on the way. (Ecowatch)

Crocodiles have had a historic level of recovery in Costa Rica waters thanks to conservation efforts and are now thriving to the point where some locals need to be careful. (Tico Times)

A good story from Monday, March 4


Two island foxes approached me with curiosity on a hike

🦊 Did you hear that these little island foxes had the most successful mammal recovery ever? Probably not, cause good news isn’t talked about enough, but…

I went camping on Santa Cruz in the Channel Islands National Park and not only was it stunning but it was teeming with curious foxes everywhere I turned.

They’re found nowhere else on Earth and weigh just 4 pounds, but 20 years ago they were headed straight for extinction. See park rangers told me these island foxes were the apex predators for thousands of years, making them extremely fearless and curious.

Which is exciting when they wander right up to you to say hi, but not the best when feral pigs brought in by farmers wiped their population to under 100.

The Island Fox Recovery Program by The Nature Conservancy, National Park Service, and others launched to save them, involving a 6-year breeding program fostering 85 pups. They also removed the invasive pigs and golden eagles that came with them, which boosted fox survival rates to an astounding 90%, with a population boom to nearly 3,000 today.

Pleasantly stunning scientists and conservationists, and becoming the fastest recovery of any mammal under the Endangered Species Act.

They’re still monitored and protected from diseases while living their best lives on this island paradise. And shoutout to these organizations because if we did it for these homies, we can do it again for more.

The good from Tuesday, March 5

a pile of garbage sitting on the side of a road
Photo by Enis S / Unsplash

All 200,000 businesses in New York City can no longer just dump their trash on the sidewalk and instead must now use bins with a lid (like the rest of the world) which should reduce litter, smell, and rat swarms. (ABC7)

A series of golf courses across the US have closed and become nature preserves, wetlands, and parks to reduce flood risks and create amazing spaces for wild animals and plants to thrive in and for people to walk around in and fill their souls. (NYT)

Hoboken, New Jersey has not had a single traffic death since 2017 after implementing safety measures like removing street parking spaces near intersections. (AP)

Bangladesh has officially ended all licenses to capture critically endangered Asian Elephants, who had previously been exploited for street shows and used to help transport logs, to protect the remaining wild populations. (Ecowatch)

The good from Wednesday, March 6

person holding plastic while standing on wall
Photo by Karina Tess / Unsplash

Groups of shareholders in huge companies have been successfully securing commitments to reduce plastics by using their power to negotiate resolutions and make it crystal clear to these companies that they must address global plastic pollution now. (Grist)

The race is on to recycle rare earth magnets in wind turbines with 20 different teams now working on sustainable recycling solutions to reuse these instead of mining for new ones to create a circular supply chain. (Canary Media)

A new MethaneSAT launched into space last week with high-resolution sensors to identify methane on Earth to find leaks, hold emitters accountable, and support new regulations. (NYT)

The US Department of Energy released new standards for washers and dryers that will require the brands making these to implement more efficiency to save households billions of dollars in utilities and decrease emissions. (Ecowatch)

The good from Thursday, March 7

white and yellow plastic pack break free from fossil fuels
Photo by Eelco Böhtlingk / Unsplash

The EU drafted a proposal to make fossil fuel companies pay poorer countries to help address climate impacts, and while it will need global support to be approved, it would be a big move to make the worst polluters help alleviate some problems they’ve caused. (Reuters)

France has proposed a financial penalty for fast fashion brands that are causing huge environmental harm like Shein, and they’re also considering banning fast fashion advertising and further incentivizing sustainable alternatives. (Ecowatch)

A new bill has passed in Washington State that will ban octopus farming before it even begins as it would cause intense suffering and planetary harm. (WAN)

New York City unveiled the Green Economy Action Plan which will create “green-collar” jobs, set up training facilities in every borough, improve education, and a lot more to establish the city as a green economy leader. (Nyc.gov)

Bonus stories

U.S. EPA Announces $1 Billion Toward Cleanup of Superfund Hazardous Waste Sites - EcoWatch
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced more than $1 billion for the cleanup of Superfund hazardous waste sites.
Well-Managed Solar Parks Could Boost Pollinators in UK, Study Says - EcoWatch
Well-managed solar parks that feature solar panels and vegetation could boost pollinator populations and biodiversity.
Span’s plan to get its smart electrical panels into more homes
The startup is expanding its product line to help small homes and apartments add heat pumps, induction stoves and EVs — and help utilities manage them.

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