Bodie Hills California
It might seem like there is a constant sooty black cloud of doom hovering over any green efforts, but the environmental movement has made huge strides since the first Earth Day kicked off in 1970. Here are 10 of the most recent signs of hope.
The sage grouse is bouncing back in the American West. The bird, whose population was just 100,000 in 2010 is now at roughly 425,000, a dramatic improvement thanks to conservation efforts.
Greenhouse gas emissions dropped in 2015. That’s one small step for the world. Greenhouse gasses are a cause of global warming, and to keep the temperature down, we have to keep greenhouse gasses down as well.
Teddy is safe! The Louisiana Black Bear, inspiration for teddy bears beloved the world over, was taken off the endangered list earlier this year. Their numbers are improving thanks to a dedicated effort to preserve the bears’ habitat.
Scientists recently discovered that mercury scrubbers, which reduce the mercury content of smoke emitted by power plants, are also reducing another toxic type of pollutant. Technology working even better than expected is always a winning situation!
Fisheries in the United States are slowly recovering from decades of overfishing. According to NOAA, since 2000, 39 fish stocks have been rebuilt in the waters off the American coasts.
Green Sea Turtles were removed from the endangered lists earlier this year. They are now threatened, which isn’t great, but is better than endangered.
Forest loss is slowing around the world. In some places, the forests are even growing back. The Amazon is still struggling, but not as much as it used to.
Coal is being phased out in the UK. Coal has a bad reputation as a serious source of pollution, and its reputation is finally catching up with it, as countries look to other power sources such as nuclear and renewables.
Self-driving cars are coming into their own. Though there aren’t enough on the road yet to make a significant dent in emissions, fleets of self-driving cars and trucks could make transportation more fuel-efficient and safer.
This one is an oldie, but a goodie. One of the inspirations for Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was the devastatingly sharp decline in birds due to the pesticide DDT. But now, 34 years after it was banned, Bald Eagles are making a comeback. You can watch Washington DC’s newly hatched patriotic eagle chicks here.