Finally Good News

Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

The great outdoors

Lunch outdoors_20120201 (Photo credit: csmramsden)

The BBC recently ran a lengthy report on an interesting and hugely beneficial public-inclusive science project called the Open Air Laboratories (Opal). This was a five-year effort (although they hope to continue) whose aim was to get the public “outdoors and involved in scientific research.” It worked, and involved over 500,000 people and 25,000 surveys.

Although data collection – concerning the surrounding local and area wildlife –was an objective to the project the main impetus was “just to get people out and enjoying the outdoors, ” said Dr. Linda Davies, Opal project director. This has proven to be a big hit with the public and one that is arguably necessary now more than ever. There seems to be a big disconnect between our lives and that of ‘life outside,’ namely nature and the environment; it’s as if many of us believe we’re renting a room from nature, like a hotel, and don’t actually live in the same house with ‘it.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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Désert-du-Thar - Water Scarcity in the making

Desert tribes living in the Thar Desert near Jaisalmer, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just last week international new sources ran reports on Beijing’s dangerous air quality, complete with pictures on the BBC and CNN of a thick blanket of yellow smog covering the streets – apparently at record, toxic levels. This, it could be said, is the cost of China’s rapid economic expansion over the last two decades. But before cynicism takes hold, there have also been unlikely reports of new environmental agendas emerging from the most populous country on earth; positive advances in tackling water scarcity and preservation.

This may seem like an inessential area of concern, but water scarcity will emerge as one of the greatest challenges to mankind in the foreseeable future. And the BBC have just run a piece on China being the global leader in investments to protect watersheds – “preserving or reviving natural features, such as wetlands, streams and forests that can store and filter freshwater supplies.” This is good news, and also shows that governmental and private sector decision-makers are thinking much longer term, unlike the U.S. or Russia. Read the rest of this entry »

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo is working closely with companies in order to help the natural world facilitate further advances in technology and industry

It was encouraging to read an article on the BBC about the San Diego Zoo working closely with companies in order to help the natural world facilitate further advances in technology and industry. This is the first zoo in the world to open a ‘Centre for Bioinspiration’ hoping to inspire and aid human problems with the ‘biomimicry’ of nature. It may seem surprising, actually, that this is not already happening, when one thinks of the medicine from the natural world humans have collected and used – the list is limitless. But, with the increasing loss of biodiversity and extinction of species being very real threats, this may provide a learning bridge and also a means to re-discover the necessity of our coexistence.

Currently, butterflies are being studied at the zoo, hoping to inform the new design of the Mirasol e-reader display; the list of what humankind has managed to ‘steal’ from nature is enormous: Velcro, wing design in airplanes and wind turbines and all manner of sustainable environmental structures. The head of this new auspicious collaboration, Larry Stambaugh, has the simple goal of learning from the greatest teacher of all – nature: “The zoo’s scientists and animal care staff will research the biology of plants and animals, and the centre then aims to collaborate with organisations around the world to develop actual products.” Read the rest of this entry »

CoffeeThe Finally Good News blog was established to find a special niche in the transmission of information, namely news items in technology, science or the environment; or unbelievably in the political sphere, that somehow transcend the negative downward spiral of most reportage and some could even argue, our societies. And there is much to cheer about out there.

But, even the optimists in our ranks (of which there are many) must pause for a moment when the idea of irreversible climate change means a reduction in not air, trees or even decent weather… but rather coffee! Read the rest of this entry »

Forestry Investments

Forestry Investments

The last decade has seen a massive transformation in ‘green’ consumer consciousness, one that is proving to be as much a political instigator and protocol changer as the multitude of scientists warning us about climate change. Indeed, this current generation of media savvy individuals have real political clout, are informed and vocal about what they want – ethical, responsible, honest products and services. This winning combination is what is affecting positive global change and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Whether it’s renewable energy investments like solar panels in the Sahara desert, planting and harvesting trees in Brazil or the notion of finding a way to turn a profit with carbon capture and storage innovations, businesses across every sector must realize that the future has to be one that is sustainable. So, it’s very encouraging to see a new, progressive era of entrepreneurs and start-ups emerging with more than just money on their minds.

Everything from fair trade shoes and clothing, to locally sourced and seasonal food to the aforementioned solar and timbre industries are becoming the vanguard of new business enterprises. The last industry, in particular, is currently gaining much media attention by having young businessmen like Andrew Skeene and Omari Bowers and their company, Global Forestry Investments, forming over an ingenious idea to sell sustainable forestry investments in Brazil. It’s easy to not realize how profitable timbre is, and these gentleman found that by taking tracts of unused land and planting trees in Brazil they are able to find investors that are almost guaranteed a 20% return on their investment and are able to ethically help those in the forest communities and the environment as a whole. Read the rest of this entry »

The ever-evolving dilemma of climate change has put an incredible strain on scientists and politicians to navigate ‘a way out of this.’ Europe and its leaders have largely been at the forefront of adapting new means to approach our finite resources – North America and the Far East, by contrast, are seemingly always looking for ways to avoid stringent new measures to cap Fuel. The reasons for this delay are partly technological, but mainly financial and constituency-related: don’t rock the boat, there’s an election approaching.

Biofuels are an example of what only a few years ago, were heralded to be a significant breakthrough in managing our population’s fuel needs responsibly. Read the rest of this entry »

As most of the press, broadsheets or blogs, are predicated on facilitating drama –one way or another – negative stories always trump those waving a flag of encouragement. I don’t know if this is a human quirk, a prehistoric perversion

marine protected area

marine protected area

akin to staring at a car wreck, or if it has more to do with a modern model of ‘what sells?’ Perhaps both. Nonetheless, it’s lovely to read about multinational environmental initiatives that work, and are actually on schedule!

From the diminishing ice in the Arctic (now at unforeseen dangerously low levels), to political fumbling over Kyoto or renewable energy investments – the news is hardly ever good. A classic case of humans hoping environmental problems will just go away if they avert their eyes. Read the rest of this entry »


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