Good News for Today Feature — 2019 December Updates

By: The Millennial Source
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Most of us have the ability to access all the latest news of the world in just a few clicks of a button. Unfortunately, thanks to the media’s tendency to feature the loudest, most dramatic stories, all this available content tends to bear something of a negative slant. All anyone has to do is spend a few hours scouring news sites to come away thinking that the internet is an overwhelmingly bleak, noisy place. 

So in keeping with our mission of journalistic neutrality at The Millennial Source, we wanted to take a few moments and do justice to just a few of the many positive efforts undertaken by people, businesses and governments around the world. Here are four pieces of good news, just in case you were worried that there was nothing positive left to report on. 

The Humpback whale population rises after facing near extinction

A recent study authored by Grant Adams and John Best, from the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, found that the western South Atlantic humpback population has grown to a total of 25,000.

Extensive commercial whaling in the 19th century had led to a dramatic decline in the humpback population. Late in the 20th century, it was widely believed that only 450 humpback whales remained in the wild.

When scientists noticed the dwindling numbers, a moratorium on commercial whaling was adopted by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to protect the struggling species. This protection measure was adopted in 1986 with pushback from only a few nations, such as Japan.  

The humpback population is now believed to resemble pre-whaling numbers. 

In response to the study, Best said, “We were surprised to learn that the population was recovering more quickly than past studies had suggested.” 

This “past study” is a reference to a previous report conducted by the IWC between 2006 and 2015 that suggested that the number of humpbacks had grown to only 30% of their pre-whaling population.

“Accounting for pre-modern whaling and struck-and-lost rates where whales were shot or harpooned but escaped and later died, made us realize the population was more productive than we previously believed,” said Adams.

World’s First Community of 3D Printed Homes is Set to House Mexico’s Poorest Families

New Story, a non-for-profit aiming to end homelessness worldwide, has partnered with ICON, a construction technology company, to build a community of 3D homes for residents of some of Mexico’s poorest regions. 

One of these targeted communities is located in the Mexican state of Tabasco and will receive a reported total of 50 new homes. 

After 18 months of planning, New Story announced the successful completion of two 3D homes. These properties were completed using a 3D printer called Vulcan II. 

“This printer, designed to tackle housing shortages for vulnerable populations, is the first of its kind,” a New Story ad claims

According to their press release, New Story will select families to live in the newly printed properties based on need. In Tabasco, the median family income per month is $76.50. According to the National Institute of Statistics, the average household income was 13,239 pesos ($843) a month in Mexico in 2016. 

The families selected will reportedly be the 50 within this community who show the “greatest financial and physical need.”  

ICON Press Kit 

After Five Years of Drought, Kenyan Region Finally Gets Clean Water Thanks to Solar-Powered Saltwater Plant

For the last five years, the coastal town of Kuinga, Kenya, has suffered without access to clean water and has been forced to use unclean well-water and salt-water from the Indian Ocean.

However, a new solar-powered desalination plant supplied by the NGO GivePower has been able to deliver clean water to more than 35,000 people on a daily basis. With their mission of bringing water, food, and energy to the areas that need it most, GivePower now intends to replicate their success in other drought prone locations. 

According to UNICEF and The World Health Organization (WHO), half of the world’s population could live in water-stressed areas by 2025, making desalinating systems with their ability to produce clean ocean water especially vital.   

Hayes Barnard, the President of GivePower, told Business Insider that “you have to find a way to pull water out of the ocean in a scalable way, in a sustainable way.”

Ford has been using 1.2 billion plastic bottles a year for auto parts since the 1990s

Since the 1990s, Ford has been using plastic bottles to manufacture various auto parts.

According to the environmental advocacy group Earth Day Network, a million plastic bottles are bought every minute around the world and that number is set to top half a trillion by 2021. Less than half of those bottles end up getting recycled.

“We do it because it makes sense technically and economically as much as it makes sense for the environment,” said Thomas Sweder, a design engineer for the Ford Motor Company. “This material is very well suited for the parts we’re making with it, and is extremely functional.”

“The underbody shield is a large part, and for a part that big, if we use solid plastic, it would likely weigh three times as much. We look for the most durable and highest performing materials to work with to make our parts, and in this case, we are also creating many environmental benefits.”

Ford announced in February of this year that several of their buildings will soon be 100% powered by locally sourced renewable energy. The automobile giant also recently reached out to McDonald’s coffee suppliers to recycle their coffee bio waste and use it for the production of headlights. Ford promotes the fact that their vehicles feature recycled products.