Good News Headlines 7/3/2023
by Paige Bennett, EcoWatch
The Western Joshua Tree Conservation Act has passed in California. The act is the first legislation in the state to protect a species from climate change. It prohibits any person or public agency from importing, exporting, removing, owning, buying or selling western Joshua trees or any of their parts, and the legislation requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with Indigenous tribes and the public, to establish a conservation plan for the species. The act passed as part of a budget agreement in California and is expected to be signed by Governor Gavin Newsom this week and take effect as law on July 1.
by Jacalyn Wetzel, Upworthy
When our hearts do something funky that make us acutely aware of its existence, the immediate thought is you’re having a heart attack. Which can lead to more anxiety, thus more heart flip flops. It becomes a vicious cycle until you either get it checked out or it stops on its own because your brain decides to do you a solid and let you forget your heart was being weird five minutes ago. It is really very interesting to know your brain has that much power over what your body does when you’re just sitting there existing. But for those that experience the unwelcome excitement of anxiety related heart palpitations, there’s a neat trick to get your heart back to feeling normal.
by Maria Godoy, NPR
Late morning on a sunny weekday near the end of the school year, a group of kids shot baskets into a shiny orange hoop in the schoolyard at the Add B. Anderson School in West Philadelphia. A year ago, all these kids had to shoot into was a trash can they would drag outside. “That yard was literally just concrete,” says Laurena Zeller, the principal at Anderson. “Broken concrete with a little weeds in between.” Now, the space has been transformed. There’s a running track, a basketball court, picnic tables and lots of cheerful blue, new play equipment. Newly planted trees provide dappled shade. There are also two new rain gardens with colorful flowering plants.
by Casey Kleczek, The Guardian
Early on a January morning, a dozen nuns hopped on a Zoom call and waited patiently for their turn to speak softly, sweetly to plants. One of the sisters sang a song; another played the flute; several recited poetry and prayers. The intended audience of their kind words were dozens of kelp seedlings, which had a big task: grow big and healthy enough to be planted in the waters off the shores of Long Island, New York. The sisters are a part of a unique collaboration: situated on the edge of a bay, they have helped a group of women from the Shinnecock, a local Indigenous tribe, start a kelp farm in the hopes of cleaning up the pollution in their shared backyard.
by Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, EcoWatch
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the $7 billion Solar for All grants competition to increase affordable solar energy access to millions of low-income households, a press release from the EPA said. As part of President Joe Biden’s Investing in America plan, the availability of more residential solar will provide lower-cost energy while leveling the renewable energy access playing field and helping to mitigate the climate crisis. The Solar for All grants competition was created by the Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) and will award as many as 60 grants to states, Tribal governments, territories, municipalities.