Good News Headlines 9/18/2023
by Michaela Haas, Reasons to be Cheerful
Third-grader Noah Hill at Dr. Ronald E. McNair Public School 5 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, has learned a very simple method to calm himself: “Breathe in through your nose,” he says, closing his eyes behind his dark-rimmed glasses to take an inbreath, “and breathe out with a whisper.” This is the so-called “ocean breathing” he has been taught at his school, and he’s a fan: “Breathing like that takes my stress away,” he says. At the start of this school year, all public schools in New York — from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 — are required to offer two to five minutes of mindful breathing every day to improve mental health.
by Dharna Noor, The Guardian
New York University plans to divest from fossil fuels, the Guardian has learned, following years of pressure from student activists. The move from one of the US’s largest private universities, whose endowment totals over $5bn, represents a significant win for the climate movement, organizers said. The university first formalized the commitment in an August letter from William R Berkley, chair of NYU’s board of trustees, which was seen by the Guardian, addressed to a student activist group. NYU has taken other steps to address the climate crisis including slashing greenhouse gas emissions from building energy.
by Andy Corbley, Good News Network
In Indonesia, the worsening plastic pollution crisis has led young Sam Benchegjib to start Sungai Watch – an environmental organization dedicated to keeping Indonesia’s waterways clean by installing river barriers to prevent plastic and other trash from entering the ocean. An average of 2,000 kilograms (4,400 pounds) of plastic waste per week can leak into the ocean from just a single village. Proper management of plastic waste is lacking in coastal communities in the country, the No. 2 contributor to the ocean plastic crisis, pushing the government to vow $1 billion to cut 70% of its marine plastic waste by 2025.
Thousands rallied in Australia on Sunday to support recognising the country’s Indigenous people in the constitution, a proposal that is struggling ahead of a referendum next month. If approved on Oct. 14, the measure would enshrine Indigenous people in the constitution and set up an advisory body to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people input on policies that affect them. Indigenous Australians, who account for 3.8% of the population, face disadvantages including discrimination, poor health and education outcomes and high incarceration rates. Yes23, the group behind “Walk for Yes” events, said around 20,000 people attended in Brisbane, Australia’s third-biggest city.
by Tana Weingartner, NPR
This country’s Grand Canyon, with its awe-inspiring layers of sculpted rich, red rock, is a marvel that draws millions of tourists to gape at its beauty or climb its rugged walls. The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu in Peru is a collection of dramatic landscapes and buildings that are considered the most valuable remains of the Inca civilization. The Grand Canyon and Machu Picchu are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Of just over a thousand sites worldwide deemed of universal importance and value to humankind, there are only 24 in the United States that carry that distinction. Now, after more than a decade of work and planning, ancient earthworks in Ohio are poised to join them.