Good News! #2

Installment #2: March 31, 2023

Sarah Rodriguez, Reporter

Clicking on a news article can sometimes lead down a tunnel of negative stories. It’s nice to take a break and remember there are still good things happening every day around the world.

This is the second installment in our series, Good News!, where we find happy stories and share them. Know something good going on? Let us know!


Progress for Australian Beaches

One of the CSIRO team members cleans up trash on an Australian beach. Courtesy of CSIRO.

A new survey concludes that pollution on Australian beaches has dropped by over 29% since 2013. Australia’s national science agency found that economic changes led to the most change in the amount of pollution on the beaches. 

“Local governments are moving away from a collect and dump mindset to a sort and improve approach,” said CSIRO researcher and the paper’s co-authority, Dr. Denise Hardesty. Using different strategies improved the wellbeing for the coastlines and is being used as a model for other countries to clear pollution from their beaches, too.


A Win for the Bees

The US Department of Agriculture just approved the world’s first vaccine for bees. This new vaccine – developed by honeybee biotech company Dalan Animal Health – boosts the bees’ immune system to fight against American foulbrood disease, a bacterial infection known to attack colonies through larvae. It’s one of the most devastating dangers facing honeybees.

“Our vaccine is a breakthrough in protecting honeybees, impacting food production on a global scale,” said Dr. Annette Kleiser, CEO of Dalan Animal Health, in a statement.

Before the vaccine was developed, the only way to treat the infected hives was to incinerate them and hope the bacteria didn’t spread to other colonies. Now, bees can be protected and treated for the condition. Honeybees serve a vital role in both agriculture and global ecosystems, so boosting their health and population positively affects both of these environments.

“This is an exciting step forward for beekeepers,” said Trevor Tauser, board member of the California Beekeepers Association.


A Solution to Pollution

Chemical engineer Kevin Sivula in the laboratory where his team developed their revolutionary device. Photo from The Good News Network.

Chemical engineers Kevin Sivula, Marina Caretti and their team created a device that can turn water into fuel to replace gasoline. The system is entirely solar-powered and works like a plant to absorb water from the air around it. Hydrogen gas produced from the device can be used to power trucks, trains, or planes via hydrogen fuel cell batteries.

Besides transportation, they hope their system can change the field of energy as a whole.

“I think that our approach will open new horizons for a wide range of applications,” said Caretti.


The Legacy of the ESA 50 Years Later

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA), which provides a framework to protect and conserve animal habitats and threatened species. The act has been able to prevent the extinction of over 99% of the species on its list of endangered species. As a direct result of the ESA, American Alligators, gray wolves, bald eagles, humpback whales, and more have been taken off the endangered species list.

According to EarthTalk, “Without the ESA, at least 227 species would likely have gone extinct by now since the law’s passage in 1973. In addition, 110 species have seen tremendous recovery since being protected by the act.”


Saying Goodbye to the Grind: TikTok Raises Over $100,000 for a Navy Veteran to Retire

Warren Marion, left, and Rory McCarty, right, in front of the Walmart where Marion used to work. Photo taken by Rory McCarty.

The Internet rallied together to raise over $100,000 for a Navy veteran to retire from Walmart after a Tiktok of the 82-year-old went viral. TikTok user Rory McCarty used his social media platform to share a video of a Maryland Walmart employee he came across. He was surprised to find out Warren “Butch” Marion, an 82-year-old Navy veteran, was still working 8-9 hour shifts. 

“I wanted to help this Navy Veteran to live the remainder of his years traveling to see his kids in Florida. Get him off his feet for 8 hrs at a time. And do the things he would love to do that he may not be able to for financial reasons,” said McCarty, who has 300,000 followers on his Bug Boys TikTok account.

Viewers empathized with the TikToker’s feelings and contributed to the GoFundMe set up for Marion. Rory McCarty was able to raise $108,000 – enough for him to finally retire. 


Some Fun Facts Before You Go

Snails nap just like us; some of their naps can last up to 3 years!

The iconic Hollywood sign In Los Angeles used to say “Hollywoodland” to advertise a neighborhood development. It changed to “Hollywood” in 1949.

Iceland grows 5 centimeters per year as a result of moving tectonic plates.

Elephants are the only mammal that cannot jump – their knees won’t allow them.

Raspberries are actually a member of the rose family of plants, along with apples, pears, and plums.


Check out our first installment of Good News!, also by Sarah Rodriguez, by clicking here.