Positive Climate News This Year
It is really easy to look at the negatives of this new decade. Dealing with news ranging from inflation to the delay of our favorite shows and movies, we simply forget all the good things that are happening around us. The threat of climate change has been looming over us for quite some time now. In fact, Bard Graduate Programs in Sustainability claims that we have until 2050 to decarbonize the global economy before it’s too late. Yet to some surprise, this year has actually brought some good in this area of study.
One positive event that happened in 2022 is the discovery of sea grass off the coast of Australia. According to euronews.green, a specific type of sea grass has been expanding and growing for over four millennia, thus covering an area roughly three times the size of Manhattan. For reference, Manhattan can fit over 11,000 football fields. That is the monstrous size of these plants. The lead author on the research Elizabeth Sinclair tells us that to find the different plants growing in the meadow, you must test their DNA. After doing so, the researchers found out it was all one plant that has been producing asexually! This information is significant because scientists have believed that sexual reproduction of plants to be the best way to adapt to climate change. However, it is now known that the changes in a plant's genetics from asexual reproduction aren’t a determinant of a plant’s survival.
Another positive climate event in 2022 is the reduction in the price of solar panels. The Solar Nerd states, “President Biden issued executive actions to suspend some tariffs on solar panels.” With these taxes lifted, solar panels should become more affordable for families across the country. When more solar panels are installed, the use of non-renewable energy in the household should decrease.
Finally, Heinen Tatski from the University of Kuopio in Finland discovered that human urine can be an effective crop fertilizer in the place of industrial fertilizer (Scientific American). Our urine consists of nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus — common elements in fertilizers. When excreted by the human body, it is also in a form easily consumable for plants and soil. This is beneficial because unlike industrial fertilizers, urine won’t pollute water systems. Unfortunately, this new discovery cannot be implemented immediately on industrial farms because that would mean implementing a new sewage system to separate urine from toilets. Even so, the discovery can still be implemented on small farms.