5 Positive News Stories to Lift Your Spirits This Week

positive news australia

Positive News is an ongoing series from The Latch turning the spotlight on all the good in the world that you may have missed.

Life is tough and the news cycle ain’t helping anything right now. Disaster, drama, and death sell papers and get eyeballs on the page but they don’t do much for our mental health.

If you’ve felt like simply switching off from the constant barrage of updates charting the world’s lurch from one crisis to the next, we’re here to provide you with a much-needed antidote.

Good stuff happens all the time. It just doesn’t get quite the same coverage as bad stuff. That means we end up thinking that everything that’s going on in the world is terrible when it really isn’t.

Here are five of the best news stories we’ve seen this week to put a spring in your step and make the world feel just that little bit brighter.

Over a Third of Global Energy Came From Clean Sources in 2021

New data, released this week by independent energy think take Ember, has found that over a third of global energy was sourced from clean fuel in 2021.

Their new survey revealed that 10% of all energy used around the world last year came from either wind or solar power, with over 50 countries internationally reaching this level of renewable energy use.

The generation of solar energy grew by 23% last year, with wind up by 14%. With 38% in total coming from green sources, this puts clean energy above coal (36%) in global energy for the first time.

However, the report also says that with global energy demands rising, coal is continuing to expand to meet that demand. They recommend more nations adopt the resolve of countries like the US, Germany, the UK, and Canada in shifting their energy grids to 100% clean energy in the next 15 years.

WWF Buys Netting Rights in Far North Queensland

The World Wide Fund for Nature Australia has effectively created a 100,000 km square nature reserve off of the Far North Queensland coast by buying a commercial gill net licence for the region.

The charity, which obviously has no plans to use the licence for fishing, has said that the area will now be free from netted fishing which will allow dugongs, dolphins, and turtles to roam free.

“Creating one of the largest safe havens for dugongs in the world is a globally significant initiative,” said WWF- Australia Head of Oceans, Richard Leck.

“Marine turtles, snubfin dolphins, sawfish, hammerhead sharks and the critically endangered Bizant River shark are just some of the other threatened species to benefit.

“By purchasing gill net licences WWF has done the heavy lifting. Now we’re calling on the Australian and Queensland governments to create a special management area over the Reef’s far north to permanently protect this area from commercial gill net fishing”.

The move is just one part of the WWF’s plan for a ‘Net Free North,’ and they have previously purchased similar licences in other parts of Northern Australia.

Platypus Making a Comeback After Black Summer 

Landholders along riverbanks affected during the Black Summer Bushfires are pitching in to help restore platypus habitats and help the animals make a comeback.

Billions of animals were affected by the devastating fires that tore through the east coast of the country in 2019-2020, however, scientists are determined to give many of them the best shot at recovery.

Kevin Chaplin, who lives in the Gilmore Valley where local land services have been working, has said the banks along his local rivers have been stabilised beyond belief.

“Within a day of the works being completed we saw platypus,” he said.

Holocaust Survivors Reunited After 80 Years

Jack Waksal and Sam Ron were once labouring shoulder to shoulder at the Pionki Concentration Camp in Poland during WWII and were fast friends during this terrible time.

Waksal escaped the camp while Ron was transferred to another and eventually liberated. Neither one knew what happened to the other and yet, nearly 80 years later, a chance encounter reunited the pair in Florida.

Both had emigrated to the United States after the war, both living in Ohio, before moving down to South Florida. At a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum dinner last Sunday, the pair recognised each other.

“He jumped off the seat and came running over to my seat and says you’re my brother, I was very emotional, I’m normally not a very emotional guy,” Ron explained.

“I’m so glad that I got somebody [who] was in my camp and working with me together,” Waksal said.

The two believe that their friendship and long, successful lives following the Holocaust are a triumph and revenge over Adolf Hitler and the Nazi war machine.

Teaching people not to hate has long been a passion of Ron’s and he said this hope and belief in the world and himself is what got him through.

The EU Takes Aim at Fast Fashion

The European Union on Wednesday announced that they would require manufacturers to use a minimum percentage of recycled materials in their products as well as ban the destruction of unsold products by retailers.

The proposed new rules are set to come into effect in 2030, while the European Commission is also seeking to bring in rules to tackle the release of microplastics from clothing and improve the working conditions of those in the fast-fashion industry.

“We want sustainable products to become the norm,” commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said.

“The clothes we wear should last longer than three washes.”

“By 2030 textiles placed on the EU market should be long-lived and recyclable, made to a large extent of recycled fibres.”

Almost 75% of the clothing sold in the EU is imported and these new rules would require manufacturers in Bangladesh, China, and Turkey – the main producers of clothing sold in the area – to improve their standards.

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