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As September ends, Planet Experts looks back on the stories we ran this month and decides which were the most important to the environment and the planet as a whole. We’ve already decided that these six stories were the best things to happen to the environment in September 2015 for their direct impact on the planet, but there were a few more stories that we reported this month that have the potential to be even more important down the line. With that in mind, we offer you a palate cleanser after the bummer that was the five worst stories of September.

Here are the five most promising environmental stories of September 2015.

5) Alabama Puts Climate Change and Evolution in Its Textbooks

Classroom. (Photo Credit: Adityamanutd / WikiMedia Commons)

Classroom. (Photo Credit: Adityamanutd / WikiMedia Commons)

The state of Alabama is updating its science standards for the first time in a decade. Following a unanimous decision by the Republican-led state Board of Education, Alabama teachers will now have to discuss evolution and man-made climate change in the classroom. Personally, it’s a little infuriating that these topics weren’t already part of the state’s curriculum, but progress is progress. “If students want to go into a science field in college or beyond, they have to have a foundation,” said Michael Robinson, a science specialist for the Board. Amen. Read More

4) The World’s Largest PR Firm Is Done With Climate Change Deniers

Tired of losing face (and clients) over its willingness to represent climate change deniers, Edelman, the largest public relations firm on the planet, promised this month that it was done with them. And also, consequently, done with whipping up misinformation campaigns about climate change for said deniers. It even went one step better, pledging that it would no long represent coal companies either. Read More

Malcolm Turnbull at the Les Misérables movie premiere in Sydney, Australia. (Photo Credit: Eva Rinaldi)

Malcolm Turnbull. (Photo: Eva Rinaldi)

3) Australia Just Elected Itself a Badass Over Here

Oh, Australia. So full of deadly monsters, so full of indigenous culture, so skeptical of climate science. Not helping matters was Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a man who led the charge in repealing Australia’s progressive carbon tax and equating environmentalism with socialism. So imagine our elation when Malcolm Turnbull was elected to replace him. Turnbull has called Abbott’s climate policy “bullshit” and remained a staunch advocate of climate action even after he was abandoned by his own party for making it a priority. Well now Turnbull’s back, and we couldn’t be happier.  Read More

2) Sustainability Could Save Cities Trillions of Dollars

Electric tram in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo Credit: LHOON / WikiMedia Commons)

Electric tram in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo: LHOON / WikiMedia Commons)

One of the most stagnant arguments of energy conservatives is that transitioning to a greener economy would be too expensive, resulting in nothing short of financial armageddon. Several studies have come out disproving this argument, and the most recent was released this month by the Global Commission on Economy and Climate. According to the organization, an independent initiative formed by the finance ministers and leading research institutions of seven countries, investing in sustainability programs could save cities trillions of dollars and substantially reduce their emissions. When you add this news to the recent report from the IEA that renewable energy is just getting cheaper, the future looks mighty shiny – and clean! Read More

1) The $35,000 Tesla Is Coming

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Tesla has been teasing a more affordable model of his groundbreaking electric car for years, but now it’s official. On September 2, Musk tweeted that not only will the Model 3 go into production in two years, the company will begin taking pre-orders when it is unveiled in March 2016.

What does this mean? It means one of the safest, cleanest cars in the industry will soon be price-competitive with every other vehicle aimed at Middle America. Read More

For more of the top stories of September 2015, check out these lists:

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2 Responses

  1. Nicola says:

    You’re wrong about Turnbull in Australia. He wasn’t voted in by the public – he was just considered a better option than Abbott by many LNP politicians. Historically he has been more of a moderate with regard to Climate change – certainly not a denier like Abbott but alas now he is PM he is continuing the outdated and denialist beliefs and policies of Abbott – we are truly no better off at all!

    • Hi, Nicola. Thanks for reading! To address your comment: I don’t believe we ever said Turnbull was voted in by the public, and can you give some examples of his continuing Abbott’s policies? We’d love to get the full story on that.

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