Top 10 Encouraging Eco Stories Since the Death of the U.S. Climate Bill

Sal holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.
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An order for another batch of Chevy Volts is just one of at least 10 positive eco stories since the U.S. climate bill died in late July. (Photo: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)

Since December 2009, when the godfathers of green gathered for an eco sit-down in Denmark and inexplicably produced Nopenhagen, the global environmental news has nose-dived for the worse.

The possible death of up to 80 percent of tropical forest species by 2100. The pending destruction of Ecuador’s largest waterfall by a dam. California’s decision to not outlaw plastic bags. The geniuses in the Tanzanian government who decided to slap a public road across the Serengeti National Park.

The negative stories are seemingly never-ending, topped off by a double shot of pessimism courtesy of the Gulf spill tragedy and the disintegration of the U.S. climate bill.

Still, if you've looked in the right places during the seven weeks since the U.S. climate bill got gassed, at least 10 rays of eco hope have broken through the smog of despair:

10) The U.S. Energy Department announces that the nationwide smart meter army has hit 2 million members.

9) The world’s largest water turbine—which significantly narrows the gap between pie-in-the-sea tidal power and marketplace feasibility—is unveiled in Scotland.

8) The largest wind power project in the United States—with enough turbines to power 600,000 homes in California—officially breaks ground.

7) Due to a better-than-expected response, General Motors announces it will boost production on the Chevrolet Volt electric car from 30,000 units to 45,000 in 2012.

6) A new study claims that Amazonian deforestation fell significantly—16 percent—in 2010.

5) The United Nations announces it will pay Ecuador billions of dollars to not drill for oil in Yasuni National Park.

4) The U.S. Energy Department announces it will award $575 million for carbon capture research and development projects in 15 states.

3) Researchers from Stanford University claim to have discovered a new solar energy conversion process that could be twice as efficient as current methods.

2) In Paris, warmth generated by human bodies in the city's metro will provide heat for a public housing project.

1) To save lives and money, the U.S. Marine Corps orders a first-ever war zone energy audit.

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