This week The Guardian reported on a surge in bike ridership in the US, and missed a golden opportunity to use the phrase bikesplosion. Luckily, we’re here to right that wrong and applaud the growth of carbon-free transportation.

Each week we summarize three pieces of news that give us hope for a greener future, and inspire us to take individual action against climate change.

Loving bikesplosion and other good climate news? Sign up for our weekly newsletter to have Hopeful Headlines sent your email inbox every Thursday!

Cycling ‘explosion’: coronavirus fuels surge in US bike ridership

By Miranda Bryant, The Guardian, May 13, 2020

  • Bike data collecting group Eco-Counter reported over 100% growth in the southwest region of the US in the two weeks leading up to May 4 – now that’s a bikesplosion.
  • Per the article: “Bikeshare data shows that cycling has also become an open-air – and socially distant – alternative to public transport for essential workers.”
  • In response, cities including Oakland, Seattle, Boston, Minneapolis, Burlington, Philadelphia, New York and San Francisco have created “slow streets” which are closed to through car traffic and safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

In a First, Renewable Energy Is Poised to Eclipse Coal in U.S.

By Brad Plumer, The New York Times, May 13, 2020

  • Government projections show the US is on pace “to produce more electricity this year from renewable power than from coal for the first time on record.”
  • Despite efforts from the Trump administration, coronavirus, renewable energy, and cheap natural gas are accelerating the demise of coal-burning power plants.
  • Per the article: “In just the first four and a half months of this year, America’s fleet of wind turbines, solar panels and hydroelectric dams have produced more electricity than coal on 90 separate days — shattering last year’s record of 38 days for the entire year. On May 1 in Texas, wind power alone supplied nearly three times as much electricity as coal did.”

Amazonian Indigenous Community Wins 24-Year Lawsuit Against Illegal Loggers

By Sophie Hirsh, Green Matters, May 14, 2020

  • The Ashaninka indigenous community won a 24-year lawsuit against Brazil’s Cameli family, which owns timber companies that illegally logged a quarter of the tribe’s land in the 1980s.
  • The $3 million (20 million Brazilian real) settlement “will be used to protect the Ashaninka tribe and the Amazon.”
  • Per the article: “As explained by the WWF, over the past 50 years, humans have clear-cut 17 percent of the Amazon rainforest in order to develop it. Cattle ranching (raising cows for beef and dairy) accounts for about 80 percent of that deforestation. The remaining 20 percent of Amazon deforestation is attributed to humans cutting down land for timber (for wood and paper products), palm oilsoybeans to feed livestock, and more.”

A bonus bump of good news:

Humpback Whales Have Made a Remarkable Recovery, Giving Us Hope for the Planet

By Dr. Kirsten Thompson, Time, May 16, 2020

  • Antarctic humpback whale populations off the coast of Brazil have returned to pre-whaling numbers, according to a recent study. Records indicate the population decreased from 27,000 in the 1830’s to 450 in the mid 1950s due to commercial whaling.
  • A 1986 worldwide whaling ban has brought the population back to nearly 93% of its former size.
  • Why does it matter? Per the article: “On average a single whale stores around 33 tonnes of CO2. If we consider only the Antarctic humpback whales that breed in Brazil, protecting this population alone has resulted in 813,780 tonnes of CO2 being stored in the deep sea. That’s around twice the yearly CO2 emissions of a small country like Bermuda or Belize, according to 2018 emissions data. That’s because when a whale dies naturally, it exports carbon stored in its gigantic body to the deep sea, keeping it locked up for centuries.

Feeling refreshed after the good news about bikesplosion? Share that feeling using the icons below!

Feature photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash.