Solar, wind installations accounted for more than two-thirds of all new power generation in 2019. Now that’s a move in the right directions.

Each week we summarize three pieces of news that give us hope for a brighter, greener future. If you’d like to have have Hopeful Headlines sent directly to your inbox, sign up for our free weekly newsletter!

World Added More Solar, Wind Than Anything Else Last Year

By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Green, September 1, 2020

  • In a first, solar, wind and clean energy accounted for a majority of new power generation worldwide in 2019. Solar alone added 119 gigawatts, 45% of all new capacity, globally.
  • Solar, wind and renewables combined accounted “for more than two-thirds of the additions” in 2019. In 2010, wind and solar made up less than a quarter of energy installations.
  • From the article: “Global installations of natural gas-fired power — which in 2010 was the No. 1 technology installed in more than one-third of the world — fell to a 10-year low in 2019.”

Why it matters: Renewable energy is proving not only to be the clean option, but the affordable one too.

How air conditioning could keep everyone cool without cooking the planet

By Maddie Stone, Grist, September 1, 2020

  • Substituting hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in cooling devices like refrigerators and air conditioners keep 460 billion tons of CO2 emissions from reaching the atmosphere over the next 40 years.
  • The transition is laid on in the Kigali Amendment which is part of the Montreal Protocol. If adopted and implemented, it could reduce warming by up to 0.4 degrees C (0.72 degrees F) this century.
  • From the article: “Despite enjoying rare bipartisan and industry support (American companies are well positioned to become major HFO producers), President Trump has inexplicably failed to send it to the Senate for ratification. If elected, Joe Biden has already committed his administration to embracing the plan.”

Why it matters: This switch has incredible potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s just sitting there waiting to save us from ourselves!

Wildlife double-header!

Mountain lion baby boom: summer is roaring success as 13 kittens born near LA

Associated Press in The Guardian, September 4, 2020

  • Park Officials are reporting the largest mountain lion kitten boom in the 18 years they’ve been studying the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
  • The previous record was four kittens back in 2015.

Why it matters: 1) Kittens are freaking adorable and 2) as an apex predator, they are a valuable indicator of the health of an ecosystem.

J-Pod orca Tahlequah gives birth to new calf

By Brittany Perry, KING5, September 6, 2020

  • Pacific Whale Watch Association believes the orca Tahlequah, or J35, has given birth.
  • From the article: “Tahlequah gained national attention for carrying her dead calf for more than 1,000 miles for at least 17 days back in 2018. While experts have seen orcas mourn their offspring before, J35 clung to her calf for an unusually long period of time. “

Why it matters: 1) Baby orcas are freaking adorable and 2) as an apex predator, they are a valuable indicator of the health of an ecosystem.

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Feature photo by Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash.