McDonald’s announces its version of a meatless hamburger, known as the ‘McPlant. I’m only being slightly sarcastic when I say this is exactly what the world’s needs right now.

Each week we summarize three pieces of news that give us hope for a greener, brighter future. Follow Emeraldology on social media or sign up for our weekly newsletter to have Hopeful Headlines sent directly to your inbox!

McDonald’s unveils its own meatless patty — the “McPlant”

By Kristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, November 9, 2020

  • After an “encouraging response” from testing a meatless burger patty in Ontario, Canada, McDonald’s is bringing the McPlant to select cities in the United States. They did not give a specific timeframe.
  • Plant-based meat alternatives are gaining popularity in the fast food market, giving more consumers a chance to try them. Burger King, KFC, Tim Horton’s and Dunkin’ already feature meatless products.
  • The Money Quote: “In the future, McPlant could extend across a line of plant-based products including burgers, chicken-substitutes and breakfast sandwiches,” Ian Borden, McDonald’s international president, said in a call with investors on Monday.

Why it matters: Sure, the McPlant sounds like a lab-created shrub that grows hamburgers from some near future dystopia movie. However, there’s no doubt McDonald’s can introduce millions of people to plant-based meat alternatives and perhaps reduce its reliance on mass-produced beef. More important, maybe the McPlant will make more people ask “what’s wrong with beef?”

Wolves win in Colorado after vote for reintroduction by 2023

By Rasha Aridi, The Guardian, Friday, November 6

  • Colorado voters approved a proposition to reintroduce wolves into the state by 2023. Wolves in the state “were hunted and trapped into extinction in the 1940s.”
  • Colorado is looking to Yellowstone’s successful reintroduction in 1995 to model its own. As apex predators, wolves are crucial to “ecological integrity” and their rewilding brought Yellowstone closer to ecological balance.
  • The Money Quote: “Gray wolves once roamed across two-thirds of the continental US. Without wolves at the top of the food chain, the whole ecosystem is out of balance, says Eric Washburn, a campaign manager at the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund, the advocacy group behind the proposition.”

Why it matters: Even more important than Colorado voters “allowing” wolves to return to their state is the notion that wolves are being seen as a crucial part of the state’s ecosystem. The proposition represents another hole in the fictitious brick wall that separates humans from nature. It’s all connected, baby!

Renewable power is growing strongly despite the pandemic.

By Stanley Reed, The New York Times, November 10, 2020

  • The International Energy Agency said renewable energy is “immune to Covid” as the sector continues to grow while the energy industry suffers its worst year in decades due to the pandemic.
  • Even though energy demand is down 5% worldwide, “consumption of electricity generated by wind, solar and hydroelectric sources will grow nearly 7 percent in 2020.” The growth is fueled by government policies and investors favoring clean energy projects.
  • The Money Quote: “The world will add nearly 4 percent to its capacity in 2020 to generate electricity from renewables like wind and solar, despite travel restrictions, factory closures and other obstacles caused by the pandemic. Growth next year is expected to accelerate to around 10 percent, as projects disrupted by the pandemic are brought online and efforts by governments in Europe and Asia to kick-start their economies while also tackling climate change ramp up.”

Why it matters: I think I say this every week, and I have no intention of stopping now: Renewable energy is proving to be better than fossil fuels in every way. I guess we can add pandemic and crisis resiliency to the list…

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Feature photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash.