Tired of news about adverse environmental trends and prophecies of global catastrophe, a friend of mine not long ago suggested the creation of an Environmental Good News Service. While that’s beyond the scope of a blog post, here are a few nutritious morsels to swallow:
- After 90 years without reports of nesting American White Pelicans in Minnesota – from about 1878 to 1968 – Minnesota DNR estimates there are now 22,000 pairs, about one-fifth of the global population. Volunteer and government restoration work and regulations have helped restore the bird.
- Crow Wing County has enacted stormwater requirements emphasizing green methods of controlling runoff. These include natural filtration, rain gardens, and berms. Implemented plans have reduced phosphorus by approximately 4 tons of algae in lakes and streams. Other local governments are following suit.
- Despite our unusually warm summer, the Twin Cities escaped without a single smog standard violation.
- Pollution reduction activities such as collection and disposal of PCB transformers and the phaseout of products that emitted mercury such as batteries and paint have contributed to a decline in mercury concentrations in air around the Great Lakes, and in their fish as well.
- In one year, recycling in Minnesota reduces emissions equal to taking 1.2 million cars off the road.
No one should dismiss our formidable environmental challenges, but dwelling on them round-the-clock will have us reaching for anti-anxiety medication – and perhaps giving up on making environmental change. So maybe it is time after all for the Environmental Good News Service. Anyone got some startup capital?