It’s easy to be overwhelmed by climate news. Floods, wildfires, hurricanes, all happening more and more often and on epic scales. Every headline reminds us the stakes are high and the consequences of inaction are dire. The time to act is now.

But the good news? People are taking action. Every day victories are won, great and small. Momentum is building. The solutions are taking shape.

Those stories matter too. They carry an important truth – we have the tools and ability to prevent the worst outcomes of climate change. We just need the courage to act.

Inspired by the 51st celebration of Earth Day, Project 51 continues to add dispatches of good news and bits of inspiration from the climate front. Each one is a reason to stay engaged. Each is also a reminder: if we keep making progress and piling up the good news, sooner or later those scales are going to tip in our favor. These little victories light the way.

  • Iowa City planted 1,200 trees in 2021, plus 333 from the Root for Trees program, more than tripling the previous year’s record. The Root for Trees program aims to help residents plant 800 more in 2022.

  • For one breezy day in March, wind was the second highest source of U.S. electricity for the first time ever.

  • Electric vehicles charged at Iowa City’s public charging stations have resulting in more than 172,619 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions savings. That is like planting 2,000 trees and letting them grow for 10 years!

  • A team of engineers at Stanford University has developed a solar cell that can generate some electricity at night.

  • The newest winner of the Pritzker Prize of Architecture, Francis Kéré, has delivered sustainable public buildings and well-deserved recognition to his native Burkina Faso.

  • A new book by Leah Thomas, The Intersectional Environmentalist, imagines a more equitable and diverse future of environmentalism.

  • New research suggests that by increasing tree cover, 1 in 4 lives can be saved in future high heat events.


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