Good News Headlines 6/19/2023
by Geoffrey Lean, The Guardian
Plastic production has soared some 30-fold since it came into widespread use in the 1960s. We now churn out about 430m tonnes a year, easily outweighing the combined mass of all 8 billion people alive. Left unabated, it continues to accelerate: plastic consumption is due to nearly double by 2050. Now there is a chance that this huge growth will stop, even go into reverse. This month in Paris, the world’s governments agreed to draft a new treaty to control plastics. The UN says it could cut production by a massive 80% by 2040. Such a treaty – scheduled for agreement next year – cannot come soon enough.
by Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams
In a move heralded as a model for others to follow, Democratic Gov. Maura Healey announced Tuesday that the state is “launching the Massachusetts Community Climate Bank—a financial engine for cutting emissions and improving health, equity, and economic security.” “This first-of-its-kind initiative is going to make our state more competitive, affordable, and equitable—and it’s going to show that in Massachusetts, we can lead the world by leading with our values and leaving no community behind,” Healey said of the country’s only green bank focused on affordable housing.
by Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, EcoWatch
A historic climate change trial begins today in Helena, Montana, where 16 young people have sued the state for fossil fuel policies — like its continued support of coal and natural gas — that they argue are destroying the environment, making the climate crisis worse and robbing them and other young residents of their futures. Since 2015, dozens of lawsuits about climate change have been filed by young people all over the U.S., but this is the first in the country to go to trial. The plaintiffs say the Montana government has not kept its state constitutional directive to “maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and future generations,” The New York Times reported.
by Taiyler S. Mitchell, HuffPost
The White House announced a new set of actions to protect youth members of the LGBTQ community from political attacks by Republicans across the country, including appointing a new coordinator to combat the national surge of school book bans and providing a $1.7 million grant for youth mental health services. The joint Biden-Harris announcement comes as Republican-backed anti-LGBTQ legislation has overtaken the nation. In just 2023 alone, almost 500 such bills have been introduced across various states — such as Louisiana, Florida and Montana. Many of the bills have targeted limiting gender-affirming care, transgender youth sport participation, drag shows and discussions of gender and sexuality in schools.
by Andrew Gregory, The Guardian
Walking for 30 minutes a day and practising yoga can help reduce fatigue in cancer patients and cut the risk of the disease spreading, coming back or resulting in death, research suggests. Globally, more than 18 million people develop cancer every year. It is well known that being inactive raises your risk of various forms of the disease. Now the world’s leading cancer researchers are learning more about the benefits of getting or staying active after being diagnosed. For decades, many oncologists and health professionals have remained reluctant to push patients to exercise in the wake of sometimes gruelling treatment regimes. But the tide appears to be turning.