This Week’s Good News From Around The World (March 18th, 2017)

People

World’s Oldest Golfing Club Votes to Admit Women


The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, the world’s oldest golfing club, finally voted to allow women to join its ranks. The decision came on Tuesday after a vote by 621 members yielded an 80 percent majority in favor. After 273 years, the decision is long overdue, but a hopeful sign of the slow erosion of outdated gender norms. [Gervise.com]


Environmentalism

CO2 Emissions Remain Stable for Third Consecutive Year

Despite growth in the global economy, CO2 emissions from the energy sector have not increased in the past three years, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency. Carbon dioxide output has in fact, declined in both the United States and China, a fact that the IEA attributes to widespread switches to renewable energy sources, and away from coal. [NewScientist.com]

North Face Widow Donates Huge Plot of Land to Chilean Parks

Kristine McDivitt Thompkins, the widow of environmentalist and North Face founder Douglas Thompkins, presented the nation of Chile with a sizeable donation of private land that will be used for national parks. The one-million-acre plot of land will become part of Chile’s National Patagonia Parks Network. McDivitt Thompkins said that she was honoring her late husband’s wishes by donating the land, which contains a number of unique species of flora and fauna. [News.Yahoo.com]

World’s Largest Fund Manager Loses Patience With Climate Change Deniers

BlackRock, the world’s largest fund manager with control of just over $5 trillion USD in assets, released a post on its website stating that it would be scrutinizing the climate risks posed by the activities of company directors. BlackRock’s statement also makes it clear that the directors who chose to ignore climate change might well lose their funding from the manager. [Independent.co.uk]

Group of Congressional Republicans Pledge to Search for Climate Solutions

Despite Donald Trump’s proclamation of global warming as a “hoax,” 17 congressional Republicans have signed a voluntary resolution to look for “economically viable” ways to help stop the Earth’s steady temperature increases. These Republicans pledged to study and help address ways to stop climate change, and at least one has said that they may be working toward disentangling the issue from U.S. politics. [Reuters.com]


Medicine

Study Shows Type 2 Diabetes Responds Well to Diet and Activity

New research from McMaster University in Ontario suggests that it may be possible to effectively reverse type 2 diabetes by having patients reduce their caloric intake and increase exercise over a period of as little as 4 months. A recent trial in which type 2 diabetes patients reduced their daily calorie intake by 500-750 calories each day saw pancreatic function return to near normal levels in 40 percent of patients. [NationalPost.com]

Indian Scientists Develop Ultra-Portable ECG Machine

Researchers at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center in Mumbai, India have developed a way to transmit ECG pulses through mobile phones via a credit-card sized device, vastly improving access to the devices especially in rural areas. An ECG, or electro-caridogram, is a device that reads the pulse of a patient and can help doctors monitor individuals in the critical moments after a heart attack. [NDTV.com]

French Scientists Make New Discovery in HIV Fight

A hopeful discovery in Paris, where scientists have discovered a way to potentially spot white blood cells that offer “refuge” to the HIV virus, protecting some of the virus from medication in people who are being treated for HIV. Though the discovery is in its tentative stages, scientists are hopeful that it could lead to a better understanding of how the virus functions, which in turn could lead to more effective treatments down the road. [JapanTimes.co.jp]


Technology

Goodnewspaper Kickstarter Wants to Focus on Hope in Times of Crisis

A new Kickstarter campaign is trying to facilitate the quarterly publication of a newspaper called The Goodnewspaper. The paper intends to offer good news and a sense of hope in a relatively dark time for news — though its creator, Branden Harvey, insists that it won’t turn a blind eye to tragedy, but rather offer hopeful perspectives relevant to important current events. [RelevantMagazine.com]

Kerala Declares Wi-Fi a Basic Human Right

The state of Kerala in India has declared Wi-Fi a basic human right, announcing that it will be working toward making free WiFi available to over 2 million residents in low-income areas, along with 32.8 million who will pay a low service fee. Kerala currently has the highest rate of literacy in India, and Indian officials hope to make it a “digital society” by the year 2020, opening up web communications and job opportunities for many residents. [Progrss.com]

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Dallas Jeffs is a freelance writer, art school grad and lover of all things sci-fi. Visit her personal website HappySpaceNoises for book and art reviews, or follow her on Twitter.