Good News Headlines 9/4/2023

Takahevia Inaturalist

The flagship species of the Fiordland Temperate Forests ecoregion is the South Island takahē. Image credit: Courtesy of Benackerley, iNaturalist

Prehistoric Bird Once Thought Extinct Returns To New Zealand Wild

by Tess McClure, The Guardian

Tā Tipene O’Regan, 87 years old, leaned into his carved walking stick and reached down to a large wooden box. He paused a second, then slowly lifted the lid. Out shot the hefty body of a bright turquoise bird, legs windmilling, launching from its cage like a football from a slingshot. “I am now largely blind, but I still saw them,” O’Regan says: a flash of blue feathers and bright red legs racing for the tussocks. That streak of colour was the takahē: a large, flightless bird, that was believed for decades to be extinct. Eighteen of the birds were released in the Lake Whakatipu Waimāori valley, an alpine area of New Zealand’s South Island last week.

EU Fossil Generation Hits Record Low As Demand Falls

by Matt Ewen and Sarah Brown, Ember

The first half of 2023 saw a collapse in EU fossil generation, leading to the lowest output on record. Wind and solar continued their growth, with solar generation increasing by 13% and wind by 5%. Hydro and nuclear are recovering from their historic lows in 2022, though their long term outlook is uncertain. The fossil fall was predominantly driven by a significant drop in electricity demand, amid persistently high gas and power prices, a reduction in industrial output and emergency measures over winter. To accommodate demand recovery at the same time as ensuring the energy transition remains on track, the EU must accelerate the deployment of clean power.

The World’s Therapists Are Talking To Ukraine

by MaryLou Costa, Reasons to be Cheerful

After Russian armed forces moved on Kyiv in February 2022, Ivan (not his real name) decided that, despite the risks, he would fight to defend his city and his country. After an offensive lasting almost five weeks, Russian troops withdrew in the face of Ukrainian defiance. But for Ivan, a more personal battle was just beginning. His history of panic attacks and anxiety, which predated the war, came surging back. He began to experience trouble breathing if he ventured too far from his home. That’s when he sought out TeleHelp Ukraine, a virtual health service co-founded by Stanford University medical student Solomiia Savchuk in April 2022.

Commercial Cargo Ship Is Crossing Ocean Using ‘Wind Wings’ Like High-Tech Sails

by Andy Corbley, Good News Network

It seems a bit silly, but merchant shipping which long ago ditched its sails for internal combustion is now switching back, but not to any sail you’ve ever seen. Called WindWings, the large wing sails measure around 100 feet (37 meters) in height and can be added to the deck of commercial vessels. Pyxis Ocean, chartered by US global food corporation Cargill, is the first vessel to be retrofitted with two WindWings. Produced by industrialization partner Yara Marine Technologies, they are expected to generate average fuel savings of up to 30% on new vessels, which could be even higher if used in combination with alternative fuels.

12 Obvious Ways To Reduce Emissions That Nobody Is Talking About

by Robin Eveleigh, Positive News

Talk about low-hanging fruit. Here are a dozen fairly simple ideas to slash emissions including: make solar mandatory on new builds, allow onshore wind farms, recycle infrastructure and build clean, axe ‘unnecessary’ domestic and short-haul flights, tax aviation fuel (and end rail tax). Why aren’t we doing them?