7 min read

no. 94: Students are making their voices heard!

This week's good news includes a personal account of 350+ students convening in Albany to protest and lobby for great climte legislation.
Students with signs in the capital building in Albany, NY

Hey friend,

Happy last Friday of March! I hope your month was a great as mine (I might be a little biased since it's my birth month).

This week, I got to take a really incredible and meaningful trip up to Albany, the capital of New York. I joined TREEage, NY Renews, and over 350 students in protesting, meeting with representatives, and lobbying to get some really great legislation passed into the state budget.

Being surrounded by so many passionate students (and teachers!) was truly one of the most inspiring moments of my climate career so far, and gave me a huge dose of hope for our future.

More on all of this below!

If you're feeling inspired today, tell us the highlight of your week in a comment on this post. And have a truly fantastic weekend...

But first, good news time:

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 22

gray concrete building covered trees
Photo by Danist Soh / Unsplash

The Dutch city of Utrecht has become a stunning real world example of solarpunk, with vertical forest residential towers, extensive biking infrastructure, canals that replaced car lanes, and buildings created from recycled waste materials. (Positive.news)

The US just issued strong pollution standards for vehicles which will legally require fewer emissions or face massive penalties, to create $100 billion of yearly benefits for public health, fuel, and maintenance costs. (AP)

The 2024 Paris Olympics are coming this summer and organizers are reusing existing historic venues rather than building new ones, expanding bike infrastructure, and focusing on renewable energy and efficiency to cut emissions in half compared to previous Olympics. (NYT)

KLM Airlines just lost a legal case for misleading consumers through ads that suggested its flights are climate friendly, forcing them to stop the greenwashing campaign, continuing the trend of enforcing more truth and accountability in marketing. (Bloomberg)

A good story from Monday, March 25

a monkey looking up through the leaves of a tree
Photo by Lukas Scheuter / Unsplash

The winners of the British Wildlife Photography Awards came out and the photos are stunning.

The competition takes place to celebrate nature and wildlife photography, raise biodiversity awareness, and encourage discovery, exploration, and conservation. This year’s overall winner is a photo of a bunch of goose barnacles attached to a football (or soccer ball for us Americans) called “Ocean Drifter”.

My personal favorites are a magical looking Fireworks anemone, a jumping squirrel silhouette, and the “Starling at Night” which won the animal portraits category. But with 14,000 submissions these are some of the most unique and mystical photos of nature I’ve ever seen. Like some Slime Mold, a “Treebeard”, and a very powerful photo called “The Shame of Britain”.

But honestly there are so many more to check out.

Nature documentaries, photos, and videos sparked my interest in our environment, and surely these are inspiring others to help protect the amazing diversity of life on Earth. Shoutout to these photographers for showing us so much of this planet’s beauty in a single shot.

Take a look and let me know which is your favorite!

The good from Tuesday, March 26

purple and pink plasma ball
Photo by Hal Gatewood / Unsplash

34 nations met and agreed to work together to unlock the potential of nuclear energy to help achieve a climate-neutral world and move away from coal and gas to protect our health and environment. (AP)

The world’s largest dark sky area was designated to 2.5 million acres in the Oregon outback, and this sanctuary prevents light pollution to provide extremely dark night skies and incredible views of the stars along with responsible outdoor lighting and public education. (The Guardian)

Research has revealed that air pollution levels in Europe have actually improved over the last 20 years, and while more action is needed to get to safe levels and protect public health, quality has improved thanks to policies reducing vehicle and power plant emissions. (The Guardian)

Wildlife experts created a new handbook which provides guidance to protect endangered Asian elephants from threats like road and railway developments so decision makers can help safeguard the species. (Ecowatch)

A good story from Wednesday, March 28

a group of mushrooms sitting on top of a lush green field
Photo by Andrii Motygullin / Unsplash

Nature has a constitutional right to exist, according to a new amendment in Aruba that would make it the second nation in the world to enshrine rights to nature.

This newly proposed constitutional amendment by Aruba’s minister of nature would require the government to protect, conserve, and restore nature and take preventative measures against negative climate impacts.

Not just that nature should exist, or it’d be nice if we had more of it, but instead that the natural world must be systematically protected. And it aims to recognize the human right to a “clean, healthy and sustainable environment”.

This fantastic addition isn’t solidified yet, but should be finalized and set to vote in the coming weeks and if passed it would become the first time Aruba has changed its constitution since becoming independent in 1986.

And they would follow in the footsteps of Ecuador in recognizing the rights of nature.

Because the people within a nation’s borders are but a small fraction of the interconnected plants and animals and fungi that deserve to live a good life too!

A good story from Thursday, March 28

*Transparency: this was a partnership where I was given transportation to Albany and compensated for my time and efforts in reporting this story

350+ students in the Albany Capital building
I snapped this pic in the middle of a big gathering in the center of the Capital

Over 250 students from around New York gathered in Albany to fight for some really great legislation, and I joined them!

Because the state budget is due April 1st, and there are 2 major wins that are close to getting added:

The NY Heat Act will save New Yorkers a lot of money by helping transition to electric heating and capping the cost of utility bills at 6% of annual income, helping 1 in 4 people who currently pay more and saving the average resident $136 each month.

And the Climate Change Superfund Act makes the state’s worst polluters finally pay to repair and address the harm they’ve caused, meaning huge emitters will fund infrastructure to adapt to climate impacts, instead of taxpayers.

Watch the full story to hear from several students on the ground, telling me why they're there and hopeful for the future!

Bonus stories

Ohio greenlights massive solar, storage and agrivoltaics project
Oak Run will be Ohio’s largest solar installation and the nation’s biggest agrivoltaics project, spanning 6,000 acres and totaling 800 MW.
People Hate the Idea of Car-Free Cities—Until They Live in One
Removing cars from urban areas means lower carbon emissions, less air pollution, and fewer road traffic accidents. So why are residents so resistant?
New York State Legislature Votes to Ban CO2 Fracking, Closing a Decade-Old Loophole in State Law - Inside Climate News
The vote is a new win for the state’s anti-fracking movement, which sees the novel process as a way to skirt a ban it pushed through ten years ago, and heads off a Texas-based company that says it would produce net-zero natural gas and sequester carbon dioxide.

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See you again soon,


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