A compilation of all the good news you probably did not hear about
18 positive news stories you probably missed out
The International Union for Conservation announced that Giant Pandas are no longer endangered in September. This comes from a census of 1,864 pandas in the wild, not including cubs, and marks a rise from 1,596 in 2004. There are now 67 reserves in China covering 5,400 square miles for pandas.
Five trillion pieces of plastic are in the oceans right now -- making it one of five major garbage patches. The Ocean Cleanup Project hopes to remove 40 per cent of that plastic over 10 years by using a ''cleanup boom'' that basically gathers all the floating plastic debris and collects it in a container. This device operates authomatically and runs on power generated from ocean currents.
US veteran homelessness has declined by 50 per cent in the past 10 years. The rates have dropped by 16 per cent from the previous January alone under a strategic partnership between various government agencies.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge funded a study that identified the genetic cause of ALS. This is a major breakthrough that will allow experts to tackle the question of treating, curing, or even preventing ALS in the future.
China announced that it will shut down 1,000 small coal mines and refrain from approving any new coal mines for three years. This also followed a natural decline in fossil fuel energy consumption for the past few years, indicating that a lasting change in the energy sector is imminent.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to reclassify the manatee from “endangered” to “threatened”. The species has flourished in recent years. It went on the endangered list in 1972. Florida alone has seen a 500 per cent increase in the Manatee population -- totalling 6,300 as of January.
The Colombian Government and FARC rebels reached an accord after four years of negotiations and a failed referendum. The conflict lasted for 52 years, killed 220,000 people, and removed 8 million from their homes. The new agreement limits the rebels to particular areas and they will hand over their weapons to UN monitors.
Canada won a 20-year battle to protect the planet’s largest coastal temperate rainforest known as the Great Bear Rainforest. Environmental activists, forestry companies, and First Nations representatives agreed to protect 85 per cent of the forest, cautiously allowing logging activities continuing in the remaining 15 per cent under strict guidelines.
The Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organisation announced that measles has been completely wiped from the Americas, both North and South. It is the fifth disease to be removed from the Americas with preventative vaccines.
Twenty countries made a commitment to protect marine environments, some of the largest belonging to the US, and the UK. The announcement came at the Our Oceans Conference at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Israel developed a pump that turns seawater into fresh water. It provides enough drinking water for 1.5 million people. This technology provides the answer to the worst drought Israel has seen in 900 years.
The Ebola outbreak was one of the worst epidemics in recent history and trials in Guinea have confirmed that the new vaccine has a 100 per cent protection rate. The trials were funded and supported by Merck and the WHO, governments of Canada, Norway and Guinea.
After more than a century Einstein’s theory of gravitational waves has proven correct. A team of scientists has recently recorded the sound of “two distant black holes colliding a billion light-years away” which indicates that Einstein was correct in his calculations.
Costa Rica ran on 100 per cent renewable energy for 76 days straight the second time in a row. Costa Rica’s small size and reliance on industries that are not energy-intensive contributed heavily to this success.