Climate-Conscious Cooking and a Mission for Manatees in This Week’s Earth Optimism

These stories celebrate success, uncover a spark of hope, share a new idea, or might just make you feel good about Planet Earth.


A Mission for Manatees

Feeding wildlife is more often than not a huge no-no. But in Florida, US Fish and Wildlife is planning to trial a feeding for the state’s beloved manatees. Manatees have been teetering on the brink, hit hard by human disturbances, particularly boat strikes and pollution. This feeding could offer the threatened marine mammals a fighting chance at survival this winter. USFWS authorities stress that citizens should not feed manatees or other wildlife and understand this is a controlled effort. Read more about this action in HuffPost: Florida Planning to Feed Starving Manatees in New Trial Program.

Soundscapes Under the Sea

What do the sounds of the reef tell us about marine life? On an Indonesian reef once devastated by blast fishing – a method as violent as its name conveys – the sounds of life are signaling a vibrant rebound. The Guardian has a sample of this aquatic soundscape and more insight from researchers about how sounds can signal hope in Listen to the Fish Sing: Scientists Record ‘Mind-Blowing’ Noises of Restored Coral Reef.

Cleaner Kitchens

Methane gas is a known pollutant and harmful to human health, and you might be burning it in your kitchen. Gas stoves are considered preferable to electric here in the US, but a cleaner alternative is attracting attention thanks to climate-conscious chefs. Jon Kung, a popular chef on Tiktok, shares more about cooking with induction in A Tiktok Food Star on Why Gas Stoves Are Overrated from Vox.

Fixing Photosynthesis

How can we solve our global hunger crisis while also conserving more land? Scientists have one possible solution: fix photosynthesis. The New Yorker’s Creating a Better Leaf highlights how modifying the way crops photosynthesize would allow them to grow more efficiently – on less land and using fewer resources. It’s not a silver bullet, but the science and history behind this feat of engineering are incredibly fascinating. (You can also watch a trailer to get a quick glimpse of this project, Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE), on YouTube.)

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