10 Good News Stories to Brighten Your View of the World

The world has expanded access to fresh water, restored sight to four million blind people, and made clean energy cost the same (or less) than fossil fuels. We've made some big strides this year.
Tasmanian Devil. Image: Wayne McLean / CC-BY-SA-2.0
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10. Some Species Are Returning from the Brink of Extinction

Conservation efforts pay off, and that’s what the Conservation Optimism Summit celebrates every year.

That’s where we learned more than a few species have come back from the brink of extinction. Check out the list of good things to celebrate this year:

  • The Reef Manta Ray on South America’s coast
  • The Giant Panda in China
  • The Large Blue Butterfly in Northern Europe
  • The Arabian Oryx in Egypt and Saudi Arabia
  • The Tasmanian Devil in—where else?—Tasmania
  • The Echo Parakeet on Reunion and Mauritus Islands

One of the largest misconceptions in wildlife conservation is the view that it doesn’t help, or that people can’t do anything in their everyday lives. These efforts do pay off, and we can see it happening every year.

Source: The Guardian

9. Plastic Waste Might Have a Better Solution

10 good news stories plastic worm
Source: Photograph: CSIC Communications Department/PA

While keeping her beehives, scientist Federica Bertocchini noticed that wax worms had eaten their way out of a plastic bag.

Why is that a big deal? Plastics can stick around for decades before beginning to break down, and that hurts the environment. We have mountains of plastic waste stored around the world, and we don’t have a great long-term solution for them.

But these worms might have just shown us a way to break down plastics centuries ahead of time.

The worms can eat right through a plastic bag in a matter of hours.

Scientists are now working in labs to recreate the digestive process the wax worm uses. It’s a promising solution straight out of nature.

Source: The Atlantic

8. We Can Turn Seawater into Drinking Water

10 good news stories graphene water sieve
Source: Reuters

Graphene, a recently invented super material, has more potential applications than we can implement at the moment. Seriously, this material is 200 times stronger than steel.

One of those applications has become a way of turning sea water into drinking water. That’s huge. The sieve uses graphene’s atom-thick filters to catch the salt that we normally couldn’t catch.

Israel developed a desalination process not long ago, and it provides more fresh water than it needs. But the graphene sieve could be adapted for a wider range of locations, and could be used in small or large quantities.

The best part? The inventors believe the technology can be scaled up to service tens of millions of people in the future.

Source: Yahoo News

7. Clean Energy Is Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels in 30 Countries

10 good news stories wind turbine
Source: Wikimedia