Things Are Good: OECD Wants International Action Against Climate Change

One of the most influential international economic is calling for a bigger push to combat climate change. The Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Angel Gurría, gave a talk this week (above) advocating for greater international effort to reach a sustainable economy in regards to the environment. He argued that we need ...

Things Are Good: Nuclear Weapon Ban Signed at UN

Nuclear weapons are an existential threat to humanity. If they are used in violence it is likely that the planet would enter a period of nuclear winter – meaning that if you don’t die in the initial waves of explosions you’ll die from starvation. Not a good thing to think about. Thankfully, yesterday 122 members ...

Things Are Good: International Leaders of Geothermal Energy Agree to Work Together

Geothermal energy is very simple in principal: drill a hole into the hot earth and use the naturally occurring heat to get turbines spinning. In practice it can be very hard. To bridge the practical difficulties getting geothermal around the world running leaders behind the technology are gathered in Florence to discuss ways to accelerate ...

Things Are Good: UNESCO Exploring Underwater Mayan Heritage

Guatemala is a gorgeous country with a rich Mayan history, particularly around Lake Atitlán (and the more famous Tikal). The country will now be home to a UNESCO project toking at best practices for underwater archaeology. The main idea is to work with the local population to ensure cultural sensitivity and to match that care ...

Things Are Good: Respecting Human Rights When Negotiating Trade Deals

money Donald Trump ran a campaign that championed the need to renegotiate the North American Free trade Agreement (NAFTA) to better help Americans. Trump’s erratic behaviour means we won’t know if NAFTA will ever be renegotiated, however the need to talk about trade in a new lens is needed (of course, we have no idea ...

Things Are Good: UNESCO Adds 8 New Geological Sites

UNESCO added eight new sites to their ‘Global Geopark.’ The sites each demonstrate the amazing and great geology of our planet, and the diversity of Earth. The new locations are spread around the world including China, France, Mexico, and Iran (in the video above). If you go to these destinations remember to travel as efficiently ...

Things Are Good: 47 Developing Countries Leapfrogging to Renewables

At the tail end of the Marrakech UN conference on the climate 47 countries formed the Climate Vulnerable Forum to share the one goal: getting to 100% renewable energy as fast as possible. Previously, economists and politicians argued that developing countries will need to use coal or other destructive carbon-based energy before upgrading to renewables. ...

Things Are Good: A New Look at an Old Place Wins Prestigious Japanese Award

Hajime Narukawa has won the Good Design Award for a making a map. It might seem trite to some of you but a map has the power to change the way we think about the world. Sadly the most popular map printed today uses the Mercator projection which was originally designed for mariners (and worked ...

Things Are Good: AU Passport Launches for Government Workers

The African Union has announced that a significant step has been made to creating free movement between borders. That significant step is a special passport for government officials and head of state who need to travel between countries. The passport is only useful for a small group of people but it shows that the AU ...

Things Are Good: Happy World Oceans Day

The world’s oceans are incredibly important to the overall wellbeing of our planet. They absorb a lot of CO2 and harbour multiple ecosystems that we are still learning about. Despite the importance of the world’s oceans we often ignore their health. World Oceans Day is today and it’s a reminder how amazing these oceans are ...

Things Are Good: Summary of COP21 Climate Deal

The Paris climate (COP21) talks are over and the deal has been struck, many are rightly calling this deal a huge step forward! All countries agreed to cutting emissions while running a more efficient world economy. Nations of the world have agreed that our current trajectory of wastefulness will make life for everything on the ...

Things Are Good: A Space Race Approach to Fighting Climate Change

Here’s a neat idea: save the planet using the research and development practices used during the space race. The state-lead push for advanced science led to really fun things like cellphones and laser eye surgery. Imagine what we as a species could create if we had the same push into sustainability like we did during ...

Things Are Good: 8 Development Banks Combine Efforts for Sustainable Development

Eight development banks from around the world have decided the best way to encourage more sustainable transit development is to combine their efforts. They are looking at accelerating their investments in transport solutions that are better for the environment than current transport solutions. Transportation consumes a heck of a lot of oil and even marginal ...

Things Are Good: Preemptively React to Disasters to Save Lives

It might sound odd, but if we react to disasters before they happen we can save lives. The Food Security Climate Resilience Facility wants developed nations to release support for impending disasters before they happen. How do we know when disasters will happen when they seem so unpredictable? We can’t foresee all disasters but some ...

Things Are Good: How CO2 is Measured

Today, world leaders are meeting in Paris to discuss climate change at the COP21 conference. They are going to be discussing many issues around climate change from how to lower emissions to how to deal with rising sea levels. It is up to every country to change how their policies to be more sustainable and ...

Things Are Good: Keystone XL is Done, COP 21 Set to Start

You probably already heard the good news about the end of Keystone XL with Obama killing the proposal. This is a good symbolic step in ending the exploitation of the tar sands in Alberta, plus this comes just a few weeks before COP21. COP21 is the upcoming United Nations climate change conference which is set ...

Things Are Good: Using Comics to Explain Complex Economics

Economix Comix is a series of comics that looks at, you guessed it, economics. Using comics is a great way to translate really complex economic ideas into something which is more relatable and understandable. Late last year the artist (and brain) behind the series of comics released a look at the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). ...

Things Are Good: We Are in the Anthropocene Epoch

Human civilization has undoubtedly changed the surface of the planet on a massive scale. There will be evidence of our civilization’s impact for millions of years to come. This may not strike you as good news considering it implies we’ve altered the planet in a way only nature itself could have done. The good news ...

Things Are Good: A Look Into the Ig Nobel Awards

The Ig Nobel Prize is dedicated to science that makes you laugh then makes you think. It’s a fun and great way to get people engaged in science while exploring questions that sound rather bizarre. As founder of the Ig Nobel awards, Marc Abrahams explores the world’s most improbable research. In this thought-provoking (and occasionally ...

Things Are Good: LHC Data Freely Accessible from CERN

The Large Hadron Collider run by CERN is making huge insights into the fundamental workings of the universe. Already it has found evidence the Higgs-Boson and other groovy particles in physics. Now CERN is setting all that data that’s been collected free to use! Now you can use research generated by one of the most ...

Things Are Good: China and US Agree to Cut Emissions

The world’s largest polluters have agreed that they have a problem and they need to stop it. The USA and China have come to terms with the fact that they are the worst polluters and have both decided to take action using various policy tools and joint cooperation. This is important for many reasons, for ...

Things Are Good: Investors: Good Economics is Taking Action on Climate Change

It’s no secret that carbon trade, carbon caps, and various other policy tools improve economies and diminish negative environmental impacts caused by economic activity. Yet, the myth that having a sustainable economy isn’t possible with a growing economy. Environmentalists have been arguing for better policy and enforcement for decades, and now global investors are also ...

Things Are Good: Norway Pays to Protect Liberia’s Forests

Deforestation is killing the planet and has been linked to the current ebola outbreak. Still, many places (Canada included) cut down hectares of land as if it’s nothing. Norway is apparently sick of tho attitude and has made a deal with Liberia to protect their woodlands. “We have funded efforts in Indonesia and Brazil, but ...

Things Are Good: Rockefellers Got Rich From Oil, Switching to Renewables

As the UN climate summit continues there is good news coming from it. It’s worth noting that Canada is not part of any of this good news thanks to the climate-change denying Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The “pro-corprate” Harper is actively doing the opposite of corporations: supporting renewable energy. Even Shell (of all companies!) has ...

Things Are Good: Ozone Layer is Recovering

Many years ago a bunch of countries decided to take action to stop damaging the ozone layer in the hopes that it will eventually recover. It’s great to see that the efforts of working together to protect the environment of come to fruition and let’s hope we see efforts like this directed towards climate change. ...