Hope is a precious commodity, particularly when the world is giving off more crazy than normal. Hope is what fuels the fire in our bellies, pushing us to keep calm and carry on. It’s what inspires us to work towards our goals and see challenges as opportunities. Hope even has physical and psychological effects – boosting our immune function, decreasing pain and reducing anxiety and depression.
If you’re in need of some tips for finding hope, check out this great TED Talk. Alternatively, below we are shining the spotlight on some of the happy events that are unfolding as we write. There’s nothing quite like a dose of positivity to refuel you.
- In the biggest step yet towards ending plastic pollution, 175 nations will commit to a treaty by the end of 2024, imposing restrictions on plastic production, use and design. It’s a huge victory for the environment - one that will hopefully reduce plastic waste, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and basically help every living creature on the planet. So yeah, it’s significant.
- It seems a week rarely passes without the announcement of some new weapon in the fight against climate change. One of the latest discoveries originates here in Australia, where researchers have found a tiny marine microbe that can absorb carbon naturally. It’s estimated that the microbe (which can be found in oceans around the world) has the potential to sink 0.02–0.15 gigatons of carbon each year. This could play a huge role in removing 10 gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere, which scientists aspire to do annually until 2050, in order to hit climate targets.
- Drones serve all kinds of purposes: they take incredible photos, find people lost in the wilderness and even deliver packages. But how’s this for cool: a few months ago, a drone in Sweden
winched a defibrillator (complete with instructions) down from the sky to revive a heart attack patient. This particular drone was electronically integrated into the local emergency dispatch system; as a result, it arrived on the scene before an ambulance could – just three minutes after the alarm was raised.
- OK, we had to check this story twice. Several years back, a Scottish woman named Joy Milne metaphorically blew scientists’ minds when she discovered that she could ‘smell’ Parkinson’s disease on people. Though no-one knows where this superpower came from, scientists have now managed to replicate it with an artificially intelligent device known as an ‘e-nose’. Given that Parkinson’s is currently only detectable once people develop symptoms – by which point damage to nerve cells is irreversible – any inroad into early detection would be a game (and life) changer.
- London is the world’s most congested city (measured by time lost to traffic jams), so it may surprise you to learn that several of its roads are closed to cars from time to time to protect local toads. For the past month, for example, a stretch of road near Richmond has been blocked, so toads can cross safely to nearby ponds, where they breed. It’s part of a wider Toads on Roads project that has been keeping cars away from migratory crossings throughout the UK for over 20 years. In 2021 alone, more than 81,000 toads were helped across roads. All creatures great and small, hey?
On that promising note, we leave you for now and hope we’ve provided some reasons to feel optimistic about the world we live in.
– The Coach Place Global
Image by Laura Seaman
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