Good News Headlines 4/24/2023

New Photo

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, left, with First Lady Trudi Inslee at an assault weapons ban press conference. Photo courtesy the Washington State Governors’ Office.

Semi-Automatic Rifle Ban Passes Washington State Legislature

by Lisa Baumann, HuffPost

A ban on dozens of semi-automatic rifles cleared the Washington state Legislature on Wednesday and the governor is expected to sign it into law. The high-powered firearms — once banned nationwide — are now the weapon of choice among young men responsible for most of the country’s devastating mass shootings. The ban comes after multiple failed attempts in the state’s Legislature, and in a year that has seen the most mass shootings during the first 100 days of a calendar year since 2009. The Washington law would cover more than 50 gun models which fire one bullet per trigger pull and automatically reload for a subsequent shot.

Supreme Court Temporarily Preserves Abortion Pill Access

by Justin Klawans, The Week

The Supreme Court upheld nationwide access to the abortion pill mifepristone — at least for the time being. In its first major weigh-in since overturning Roe v. Wade, the court blocked a decision by Texas U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk that would have overturned the FDA’s approval of the drug. The Supreme Court issued a brief emergency action against Kacsmaryk’s ruling, and did not specify why they blocked his decision. However, the case is expected to be litigated for months, and it is likely that the justices upheld the status quo simply to give themselves time to consider their next steps.

Cultivating Mushrooms By Trees Could Feed Millions While Mitigating Climate Change, Research Finds

by Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, EcoWatch

Edible mushrooms are a healthy and valuable source of protein, fiber, antioxidants and selenium, a mineral that protects against infections and cell damage. A new study by scientists from the University of Stirling in Scotland has found that growing edible mushrooms adjacent to trees can not only provide food for millions, it can mitigate climate change impacts by capturing carbon, a press release from the University of Stirling said. When we compared this to other major food groups, this is the only one that would result in such benefits — all other major food categories lead to a greenhouse gas emission during production.

Chipotle Goes Electric With Rooftop Solar, Wind Energy and EV Chargers

by Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, EcoWatch

What could be better than sitting outside, enjoying a burrito made with fresh ingredients on a spring day? A burrito served in biodegradable packaging, made by a restaurant powered exclusively by renewables that provides electric vehicle (EV) chargers to its customers — at least that’s what Chipotle Mexican Grill’s new “Responsible Restaurants” model is counting on. As part of its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2040, the fast-casual restaurant chain is trying out an all-electric restaurant powered by 100 percent solar and wind energy.

The World Sees Invasive Seaweed. This Gardener Sees Housing Bricks

by Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor

Sargassum, the invasive, sewage-scented seaweed piling up on beaches across the Caribbean, isn’t something most people look upon kindly. But for Omar de Jesús Vazquez Sánchez, his first encounter was “love at first sight.” “Everyone said, ‘It smells horrible!’ and I remember thinking, ‘There’s something more here,’” says Mr. Vazquez, the founder of Sargablock, a small company in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula that transforms the algae into construction blocks. A record amount of sargassum is turning crystal blue Caribbean coast waters brown and smelling of rotten eggs in tourist spots from Mexico to Caribbean islands and now along the beaches of Florida’s east coast.