Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Good News Round for Week 2- August 2017

by Nomad

It's time for a monthly roundup of brighter news than our usual fare.
I have chosen a few stories that might brighten your day somewhat. From free treatment for a killer disease whose victims were once so highly stigmatized to a fresh approach to tackling climate change, there are five links to good news stories coming your way.

Let's begin in the UK.
According to 2015 stats, an estimated 101,200 people are living with HIV in the UK. What's more alarming is that nearly 40% of people diagnosed with HIV in 2015 were diagnosed late, after they should have already started treatment.

In what is seen as an innovative prevention program, the UK plans to make an anti-HIV drug freely available to thousands of NHS patients in September.
HIV drug will be available on the NHS next month

Another health related story.
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that might be rare- accounting for less than one percent of all skin cancer cases, it is also responsible for the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Despite awareness campaigns and the greater access to skin protection creams, the number of people being diagnosed with melanoma has skyrocketed over the past three decades.

Now, thanks to cutting-edge melanoma research being conducted in Israel and the United States, there's every reason to believe that melanoma deaths could be drastically reduced.
Israeli scientists offer rays of hope in fight against skin cancer

After President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, governors joined together to create the bipartisan United States Climate Alliance.
According to a June report in USAToday,
The goal of the alliance is to bring states together to reduce emissions 26%-28% from 2005 levels, in order to meet or exceed the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan, which Trump has promised to undo. The plan, instituted by President Obama in 2015, targeted coal-fired power plants, requiring existing power plants to cut harmful emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.
In another act of defiance, former Republican governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger has set up a new website that offers a searchable database of legislation to help combat climate change. It is, the article points out, "meant to help lawmakers across the country craft their own climate change legislation."
Schwarzenegger launches new effort to counter Trump on climate

Even though we should all be skeptical of technology alone providing the solution to our looming climate change dilemma, it might be a partial panacea. That would involve not only cutting out greenhouse gas emissions but also finding a means to absorb the tons that are already heating up the atmosphere. 
Logically, plants would be the answer. It's how they earn their living.

However, the problem is plants as CO removers are efficient but slow. So, scientists asked, would it possible to find a way to make plants more efficient at absorbing carbon, so that they consumed more carbon in a shorter amount of time?
Plants could be supercharged to absorb more carbon dioxide

And finally, there's this story. Afghanistan War vet Donnie Davis is creating a micro-housing community in Franklinville, New Jersey.
The community will not only provide shelter, counseling, and therapy animals to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder,  it will all be provided free of charge.
Veteran With PTSD is Creating Free Tiny House Community for Others Like Him - Good News Network
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Not all news is bad but finding the good news seems to be something that requires us to make a conscious effort. We owe to ourselves (and each other) not to fall into the trap of becoming hopeless and falling into despair.