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    Daily Digest 6/21 – Good News Friday: Renewables Winning Against Coal And Gas, Making ‘Plastic’ From Cactus Juice

    by Daily Digest

    Friday, June 21, 2019, 6:22 AM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header "Good News Friday." We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


Anti-Robocall Bill Gets Bipartisan Backing (jdargis)

The revamped bill was unveiled by the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Frank Pallone Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, and the committee’s ranking member, Greg Walden, Republican of Oregon. It would apply to both wireless phones and land lines, according to Mr. Pallone, who said he was optimistic about the bill’s chances of winning House and Senate approval and being signed by President Trump.

Sadiq Khan announces car-free day in London to tackle air pollution (ZWW)

Fiona Sutherland from London Play, a charity that campaigns for more opportunities for children to play in the city, said: “[This] will give people the opportunity to witness a transformation on their doorstep. When cars no longer dominate, what we often forget is valuable public space. For a few hours, children, whose lives are most negatively affected by traffic, will take priority. We hope that it will be the beginning of long-term change.”

Renewables are winning the economics battle against new coal and gas, stunning study shows (RS)

BNEF projects prices will continue to fall for the next decade and beyond, with the cost of solar panels and wind power dropping by another third by 2030. Overall, by 2050, the cost of solar electricity is expected to drop 63% compared to today, and the cost of wind will likely drop 48%.

Fake Meat Will Save Us (jdargis)

Industrial agriculture to produce meat is the coal-mining of food production. Producing a single beef burger takes about 660 gallons of water — equivalent to a full week of water use by the average household in the United States. At the same time, unhealthy diets pose a greater risk of early death than unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use combined, as the medical journal Lancet recently reported.

Prehistoric People Built Little Artificial Islands in Scottish Lochs (tmn)

In 2016 and 2017, with Murray’s help, Garrow and Sturt set out to learn more about the islets around Lewis. They used combinations of sonar, underwater diver surveys, aerial photography, GPS, coring, and excavation to learn more about what the places were made out of, and when they were built. To approximate the age of the crannogs, the team radiocarbon dated some of the objects found nearby. Fragments from the islets of Arnish, Bhorgastail, Duna (Ranish), and Langabhat all point to people first building and visiting them during the Neolithic period, between 3640–3360 B.C.

I Was a Newbie Bird Counter (drbost)

Birding data is valuable because birds are one of the most accessible manifestations of biodiversity in the world. “Flowers are ephemeral, butterflies are hard to identify, and mammals are well hidden,” Wood says. “But birds—they are singing, they are pretty, they are out in the open in almost all habitats. While they’re not going to tell us about what’s happening with every indicator of biodiversity, they give us an overall idea about what’s happening in natural systems.”

Three Surprising Solutions To Climate Change (RS)

Project Drawdown calculated that educating girls could reduce 51.48 gigatons of carbon emissions. Give women access to family-planning resources, and we save another 59.6 GT.

“Women who have more access to education and more opportunity tend to have fewer children, and a little bit later in life,” Foley said. It’s the only effective way, short of coercion, to reduce human population growth, which lies at the foundation of all of the earth’s environmental woes.

How to make biodegradable ‘plastic’ from cactus juice (ZWW)

This Mexican researcher has discovered a way to turn cactus leaves into a material with similar properties to plastic.

She says it’s not toxic and is biodegradable.

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