6 min read

no. 92: 27 years later...

This week I turned 27, solar mural artworks are popping up, Ireland is becoming more circular, and Medellin, Colombia's Green Corridors project is a hit.
birthday confetti
Photo by Jason Leung / Unsplash

Hey friend,

How was your week? Mine was pretty insane.

I took the Amtrak to DC for a White House visit to watch the State of the Union (more on this below), it was my 27th birthday, and the sun officially started setting after 7:00 pm for the first time this year. Woohoo!

If you'll let me get soppy for a moment, I'm so incredibly grateful for all of you who helped me have an incredible 26th year of my life, and I can't wait for what 27 will reveal. I said it before and I'll say it again...

How you live each day is how you live your life, and I'm fortunate enough to get to do it spreading positivity around the world and taking action to make the world a better place. And have all of you by my side. Not too shabby!

Now, let's get to what you came here for...

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 🌎🌏🌍💚.

A good story from Friday, March 8

calm body of water during sunset
Photo by Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

Did you hear about the mural installed on an elementary school that’s actually made from solar panels?

The artwork features the classes of 1906 and 2020, and produces 96% of the energy that regular panels do.

Solar Mural® artworks by Land Art Generator celebrate local culture, provide unique opportunities for artists, and bring pride to communities for embracing environmental friendliness. The world’s first installation was revealed in 2017 called La Monarca to honor the Monarch Butterfly and bring awareness to the issues the vulnerable species faces due to the climate crisis.

Other solar art is both inspiring and helping those who see it like the Arch of Time, a massive artwork that works as a clock and will provide a mesmerizing light display every hour, comfortably shade an outdoor park, and generate 400,000 kWh each year which can power a small neighborhood in Houston.

As solar power gets cheaper it’s growing rapidly which requires space, so developers are getting creative. In addition to the art, they’re being built on former golf courses, floating on water, and appearing in decommissioned plants.

What do you think of solar art??

The good from Monday, March 11

Jacob Simon standing in the White House
I had to run to 3 thrift shops to find nice shoes in time :)

I watched the State of the Union in DC (at the White House!) which included promises to address a lot of our top issues like building on climate action, restoring abortion access, lowering prescription drug prices, and providing humanitarian aid to Gaza. While this was just a speech, I’m optimistic that we’ll soon see these become reality, along with a lot more, so long as we keep the pressure on. (whitehouse.gov)

A massive seed vault in Norway just received seeds from the largest number of new contributors consisting of beans, barley, millet, and more with 111 seed banks across 77 countries now helping preserve biodiversity and protect against threats. (Reuters)

Thailand’s largest freshwater lake just hatched critically endangered Siamese crocodiles for the first time in 7 years thanks to the area getting protected as a wildlife sanctuary by local communities. (Pattaya Mail)

Major snowmobile makers are now selling electric models that are much quieter, create less pollution, and could be an ideal option for commercial and utility use to comply with emissions regulations. (Bloomberg)

The good from Tuesday, March 12

a group of pelicans sitting in the water next to a boat
Photo by Dawn McDonald / Unsplash

$1.3 billion of taxes from ammunition, firearms, hunting equipment, and fuel is being used by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to support conservation, outdoor recreation, and species management. (FWS)

Ireland launched a plan to make their economy more circular and reduce waste by focusing on key strategies for businesses, food waste, and textiles, targeting 0% waste growth by 2030. (The Journal)

Harmful forever chemicals called PFAs that never break down will now be banned in many US food packages like fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, and take-out pizza boxes, hopefully meaning the next step is a complete ban by the FDA. (CNN)

It turns out that nature is gay, proven by a photo of two male humpback whales having intercourse, with scientists having witnessed same-sex behavior between other whales and dolphins too, further proving that around the world, love is love. (The Guardian)

The good from Wednesday, March 13 (my birthday!)

a large group of cans of soda
Photo by Charlie Wollborg / Unsplash

New York is proposing to double the rate for depositing recyclable bottles and cans from 5 cents to 10, the first increase in 40 years, to help support independent “canners” who collect these from streets, parks, and garbage piles to earn income and reduce litter. (Gothamist)

Restaurants in Alabama are using separate containers for oyster shells that avoid the landfill and instead head back into the ocean to improve water quality, expand marine ecosystems by attracting fish and crabs, and naturally prevent coastal erosion. (wrkf)

Medellín, Colombia’s “Green Corridors” project has added 2.5 million plants and 800,000 trees through the city, dropping temperatures by 2 degrees Celcius, improving air quality, and attracting much more biodiversity. Plus the Solarpunk vibes are incredible. (Reasons to be Cheerful)

The Florida Golden Aster flower is no longer endangered thanks to conservation partners propagating and strategically reintroducing populations in key areas over the past 37 years. (FWS)

The good from Thursday, March 14

a person swimming over a colorful coral reef
Photo by NEOM / Unsplash

Scientists put speakers in a degraded coral reef and played recordings of the symphony of snaps, groans, and scratches of a healthy reef ecosystem which made coral larvae up to 7 times more likely to settle there which could help future reef regeneration. (The Guardian)

All sorts of bio-based fabrics are in development to replace the plastics in our clothing coming from natural materials like cotton but also surprising places like spider silk, apples, mushrooms, and shrimp shells. (Grist)

Adam Met from the band AJR has been working on a climate policy plan to speed up renewable energy permitting by piggybacking on existing fossil permits and already has bipartisan political support, making me suddenly like AJR even more. (NYT)

The world-famous picturesque Sycamore Gap tree that was illegally cut down last year has now grown 45 seedlings thanks to action from conservationists literally sprouting some hope. (The Guardian)

Bonus stories

Chart: US smashes record for climatetech investment in 2023
Huge amounts of money, both public and private, are flowing into the U.S. energy transition. But growth needs to accelerate for the country to get on track to meet climate goals.
New York City Ready to Expand Greenways Along Rivers, Railways and Parks - Inside Climate News
Community organizers say the multi-use paths protected from vehicle traffic can connect the city’s boroughs and help increase climate resilience as rainfall, flooding and storms all become more intense.

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