Welcome back dearest friends to the show that never ends. The Good News Roundup, Where my team at the GNR newsroom goes out and finds good news stories to get your day off to a good start. And we’re gonna get your November off to a great start. So without further ado, lets get on with the good news.
Half a millions South Korean Workers walk off job in general strike
On Oct. 20, at least half a million workers in South Korea—from across the construction, transportation, service, and other sectors—walked off their jobs in a one-day general strike. The strike will be followed by mass demonstrations in urban centers and rural farmlands, culminating in a national all-people’s mobilization in January 2022. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the country’s largest labor union umbrella with 1.1 million members, is organizing these mobilizations in a broad-based front with South Korea’s urban poor and farmers.
The 15 detailed demands of the strike can be summarized as fitting within three basic areas:
- Abolish “irregular work” (part-time, temporary or contract labor with little or no benefits) and extend labor protections to all workers;
- Give workers power in economic restructuring decisions during times of crisis;
- Nationalize key industries and socialize basic services like education and housing.
This is being reposted from last week’s lightning round, because Killer300 felt it needed more attention. Basically, big things are happening in South Korea. I think all over the world workers are retaking their power, and its a great thing to see.
How to make a desert into a forest
Ties van der Hoeven can already picture it: Not too far into the future, the bearded 41-year-old engineer will be standing on the hills above Lake Bardawil. At the moment, it’s little more than a diminished lagoon amid parched land on the North Coast of the Sinai peninsula, the battered triangle that connects Africa to Asia. Someday, however, Van der Hoeven believes it will be a fully restored reservoir, ringed with trees and wetlands, and teeming with fish, sea grasses, and fields from which the locals will once again harvest vegetables.
“This used to be the land flowing with milk and honey, the promised land, the Garden of Eden,” the Dutch engineer says. “We can turn it into paradise again.”
Together we can make the world a greener, more beautiful place. One location at a time.
How Green Infrastructure can lead to cleaner water
D.C. has already spent or committed nearly $2 billion over the past decade to building gray infrastructure, building massive tunnels deep beneath the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, as large as the tunnels that carry the region’s metro trains. But the District recently marked a major milestone in its gradual embrace of green infrastructure, declaring its first green infrastructure pilot project a success and shifting to a hybrid green-gray infrastructure approach for the final phases of its court-mandated, $2.7 billion stormwater management plan known as the Clean Rivers Project.
Proof that going green works and can help solve all manner of problems.
Carbon capturing sunglasses show glimpse of fashions future
The Huntington Beach, California factory, which opened in September 2020, has giant stainless steel tanks filled with salty water and a mix of microorganisms called methanotrophs. Methane gas is blended into the water, and the organisms eat it to produce PHB, which is then harvested, purified, and refined into a white powder: AirCarbon. “We’re mimicking a process that happens in nature every day,” Herrema says. That powder can then be mixed and melted into different products, including biodegradable forks and eco-friendly resin for eyewear.
Newlight Technologies isn’t the only company that has turned greenhouse gas-eating organisms into tiny polymer-making machines. San Francisco’s Mango Materials creates a variety of biodegradable polymers, including textiles, out of waste methane from a sewage treatment plant. “There are multiple companies in this space, which I think is the most exciting aspect,” says Lisa Y. Stein, a microbial physiology researcher at the University of Alberta. “It does demonstrate that this really is a viable technology for reducing greenhouse gases.”
So basically there are microbes who eat greenhouse gasses, and they are now making plastics filled with them. Neat.
We might get great tax policies for dumb reasons.
Consider the bizarre chain of D.C. logic that has resulted in this policy finally coming close to fruition: After winning total control of the federal government, the Democratic Party decides to pass a big bill full of necessary social programs. That’s good. But it decides that all these programs must be “paid for” with new taxes. That is dumb, as we know, because the United States has a global reserve currency that it can print at will, within the bounds of inflation and the limits of our real economic resources. “Pay-fors” are essentially economic witchcraft. Nevertheless, many Democrats in Congress are strong believers in witchcraft, and they are still allowed to vote.
I mean, as long as it gets done they can do it however they like right?
We already have the tools to fight climate change
Despite all of the doom and gloom that surrounds climate change today, there has never been greater cause for optimism about the future of the environment. The reason why is that we already have the tools we need to meet this formidable challenge. But some tools are better than others, and if we get distracted by the wrong ones we could lose trillions while failing to solve the problem, so it is crucial that we stay focused and use the right tools for the job.
I know things seem bad for the environment, but we have the means to save the world, we need only use them.
Will Hertz’s big Tesla buy make EV’s mainstream
Tesla found a new way to break the internet Monday: Sell 100,000 Model 3 electric sedans to Hertz, the recently bankrupt rental car company.
Much of the ensuing commentary focused on Tesla’s value shooting past $1 trillion, which propelled CEO Elon Musk’s personal fortune to stratospheric new heights.
I mean, I’m not the biggest fan of Elon Musk, but pulling electric cars center stage is something the world desperately needs right now.
Put Gas on Standby
Put Gas on Standby finds that more than a fifth of European gas-fired power plants and nearly a third of US units are lossmaking, and surging fuel prices risk sending many more into the red.
Both new onshore wind and solar investment options are already cheaper than the costs associated with the continued operation of existing gas plants in the US, and we project the costs for both renewable technologies will fall to levels less than half the LRMC for gas by 2030.
Coal isn’t the only energy industry that is outmoded and obsolete, natural gas is also losing the plot, lets get rid of both and make a greener future.
There are two extremely good things to celebrate in Biden’s build back better plan
Progressives have largely been in a state of mourning over the bill’s climate section, ever since the Biden administration dropped its original flagship proposal, the Clean Electricity Performance Program, in the face of opposition from Manchin. But what’s emerged in its place looks impressive. To start, there’s the sheer size of the investment: $550 billion to deal with global warming. The money flies in lots of different directions, from green lending to remediation to building out green-tech manufacturing in the U.S. But most importantly, it will fund the full package of tax credits for clean energy development and electric vehicles that climate hawks had been hoping for. Those financial incentives haven’t gotten a lot of attention from the media, because they fundamentally aren’t that novel or flashy, but as I wrote at length last week, experts think that they alone could lead to major emissions reductions simply by channeling a huge river of subsidies toward a green transitio
Seeing the sausage get made is never pretty, but Biden is getting stuff done and he needs our support.
Trumps real estate empire pays the price for his politics
rump’s business brand was once synonymous with wealth and success, an image that now clashes sharply with a political brand rooted in the anger of his largely rural and working-class voter base. His presidency is now associated in the minds of many with its violent end, as supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Those searing images, along with years of bitter rhetoric, are costing Trump money. Revenues from some of his high-end properties have declined, vacancies in office buildings have increased and his lenders are warning that the company’s revenues may not be sufficient to cover his debt payments, according to Trump’s financial disclosures as president, Trump Organization records filed with government agencies, and reports from companies that track real-estate company finances.
Prospective tenants in New York are shunning his buildings, one real-estate broker said, to avoid being associated with Trump. Organizers of golf tournaments have pulled events from his courses.
Hey remember this loser? As it turns out being President was the worst, dumbest thing Trump ever did because its literally cost him everything he ever built. And people think this idiot is gonna run again in 2024? Why? To lose even more money? To just lose in general?
Dutch Pension Giant ABP to divest from fossil fuels.
Motivated by recent climate reports by the United Nations and International Energy Agency, the Netherlands’ biggest pension fund, the ABP fund, has announced that it will divest from companies that produce fossil fuels.
Another week another company divesting from Coal. Always great to see it.
And that does it for this week. Special thanks to Killer300 and Bhu for all the great stories, and I hope you all have a good week.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.
We won’t always win, but we’ll never lose so long as we keep pushing for something better. The world is getting better but it takes effort and strength to reach it.