Jordon Brown 2 minute read

Muddled myths, rainforest rescuers and belching bovines: The best of Vital Signs 2023


Since Vital Signs launched in August, more than 250,000 people have stopped by to get informed and inspired by environmental news and stories.

Here’s a look at our reader favorites this year, from expert tips to satisfying deep dives. Make sure you didn’t miss any of these great stories:

Top climate story

An electric yellow school bus parked in front of the U.S. Capitol building

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act were two huge steps forward for investment in green energy in the U.S. 

The next five years will see more than 125,000 jobs in manufacturing for electric vehicles, batteries, components and chargers. This is on top of the 179,000 EV jobs manufacturers announced in the last eight years. 

Top news you can use

Image of a heat pump outside a brick home.

The heat pump advice may seem like it’s only relevant for the winter months, but, in fact, heat pumps heat and cool your home. 

They’re environmentally friendly, and, because of the Inflation Reduction Act, getting a heat pump could be your best economic decision. Low-income households could save $8,000, while those with higher incomes could get $2,000 in savings for a new heat pump.

Top multimedia story

Ramiro Ortiz standing in front of a river

The Indigenous communities of the Amazon rainforest often act as its stewards and defenders. The A'i Cofán people of Ecuador have stood firm against unwanted drilling in their lands, going so far as to block access roads with spears.

The $1.5 billion LEAF program, designed to protect the world’s rainforests, offers Indigenous leaders like Tuntiak Katan and Juan Carlos Jintiach a glimmer of hope in stopping deforestation. 

Top exposé

A large wind turbine fan on the ground before it is installed

From false claims about wind turbines beaching whales, to solar panels making the planet hotter, viral myths can drive down support for renewable energy. 

Thankfully, some states, like New York, California and Illinois, are fighting back. One key component to stopping disinformation is good information, which you can help share. 

Top story related to flatulence

A cow who looks pretty surprised

So, you Googled “cow farts.” We’ve all been there. It’s perfectly valid climate research, because tackling methane emissions from livestock is important in the climate fight. 

Farmers are testing new systems that can help reduce the amount of methane coming from manure, and even new food additives that can cut the methane from cow burps by around 30%. Since methane has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after its release, cutting methane pollution can produce rapid climate results. 

From all of us at Vital Signs, thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more insightful, inspiring stories. 

Hope for a warming planet

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