5 more things to celebrate besides the big new climate deal
Last night, people who care about climate change (namely: people with a passing respect for scientific facts) around the world got some pretty good news: The U.S. and China, two of the top carbon emitters on the planet, are going to cooperate to bring down their emissions. That’s a big deal!
As Tony Montana once said: If you’ve got a good high going, you’d better do your damnedest to keep it up!* In that vein, we’ve cherry-picked a few other good news items to keep your serotonin levels elevated – and we’ve even accompanied each one with an appropriate party soundtrack!
1. Glamour picked Sylvia Earle, marine biologist to the star(fishe)s, as one of its Women of the Year for 2014. In addition to having made hundreds of landmark aquatic discoveries, Earle – still going strong on the eve of her 80th birthday — is a role model for women in science. As the number of ladies in labs remains embarrassingly low, we can’t have enough women like her. And Earle’s appearance on this list, alongside more media-friendly figures such as Mindy Kaling, Lupita Nyong’o, and Chelsea Clinton, helps bring more visibility to women in science.
2. By 2016, solar power will cost the same or less than electricity from the grid. And in the past decade, the amount of solar power produced in the U.S. has increased by 139,000 percent. This more or less destroys the argument that universal solar power is not economically feasible, which means that your annual Thanksgiving showdown with your one Republican cousin should go better this year.
3. Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources and the man who played a large part in kicking off the Bakken shale boom, just got hit with a near-$1 billion divorce settlement. This makes Sue Ann Hamm, his ex-wife, one of the wealthiest women in the United States. Share the wealth, Harold!
4. Food insecurity in the United States is down to its lowest level since the 2008 crash — 17.2 percent of households reported being unable to buy enough food, according to a recent Gallup poll. That’s a notable drop from the 2013 rate of 18.9 percent, although still not necessarily reason to jump for joy. However, Elaine Waxman, vice president of research and nutrition at Feeding America, describes the drop as a “glimmer of hope.”
5. The European Space Agency’s Philae Lander touched down on a comet this morning. That’s excellent news. Because if this whole climate deal somehow ends up falling through, we have an option for the gravity-less space colony we’ll have to move to when Earth inevitably fails! Wait, this sounds familiar …
*Tony Montana did not say this, and Grist does not condone the consumption of massive amounts of cocaine.