Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ten Stories to Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving

1. In Western Australia, a species once thought to be locally extinct (extinct in that area only-not globally), was spotted again after a decade long absence. Highly sensitive to habaitat disturbances, it seems like the spectacled hare-wallaby has managed to prevail.

2. Climate change and the need to be green are topics familiar to most people in western countries, but greening up practices is harder in areas where hunger and access to basic sanitation are real problems. That hasn't stopped Ethiopia from deciding to transform sewage to fertilizer and biogas. Talk about an interesting source of renewable energy.

Wind energy is more affordable than ever
3. Solar and wind power have been out of reach for most due to their high costs.  Prices are changing though and wind and solar power are more affordable than ever, with prices down 50-70% in recent years. While not yet a replacement for goal and natural gas, I'm thankful we're getting closer.

4. I'm proud to be an American after the U.S. pledged 3 billion dollars to the Green Climate Fund. The U.S.'s pledge puts us significantly closer to the goal of 10-15 billion raised (we're just under 7 right now). The GCF redistributes money from developed countries to less developed countries and helps them tackle climate change.

5. You've probably heard about the Galapagos Islands, a series of Islands with high biodiversity. Well, giant tortoises were once very near extinction on these islands, but they're making a comeback! Only 15 were left in the 60s but now there are over 1,000!

6. The second most populated country in the world, India, recently announced it will invest 1 billion dollars to renewable energy. They're looking to double their wind energy capacity by 2019. Way to step it up India.

7.  In what is one of the most exciting stories of an "extinct" species coming back from the dead I've read in a while, it looks like there's at least one Sumatran rhino left in the wild. Whether or not enough Sumatrans rhinos exist to maintain a sustainable population is uncertain and perhaps unlikely, but there might be some hope left, and that's good news.
Air pollution

8. Obama is expected to announce even stricter regulations on ozone emissions sometime today. I'm thankful we'll see less smog from factories and power plants. Everyone deserves clean air to breathe.

9.  Arizona residents have a new neighbor, not seen in decades, the gray wolf is back. A female wolf has been spotted wandering around the state. Let's hope a male decides to join her.

10. Finally, China and U.S. made the headlines globally when they reached a climate deal. China agreed to slow and curb carbon emissions. This historic deal means China will reach peak emissions by 2030 and then curb them, putting an actual deadline out there for the first time. This something we all should be thankful for.

Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving! There's a lot of work to be done but there's a lot to be thankful for too!

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