Time to revise the geography books.
A new continent has been discovered and you may already have checked it off your travel bucket list. It’s called Zealandia and it stretches 5 million square kilometers in the southwest Pacific. 94% of its area is submerged, but three major landmasses are well above the surface: New Zealand’s North and South Islands and New Caledonia. Zealandia matches all the criteria that make it a continent: It is elevated above the surrounding area, it has a distinctive geology, a well-defined area and a crust thicker than the ocean floor. [The Geological Society of Americas]
This week in “making the world a better place for everyone”:
New York on its way to end legal child marriage.
In the state of New York, it is legal for a 14-year-old child to marry with a parent and judge’s permission. Although not a common occurrence, according to Human Rights Watch, “from 2001 and 2010, 4,000 teenagers under 18 married in New York” and “84% of them were minor girls marrying adult men”.
New York State Assemblymember Amy Paulin introduced a bill to raise the legal age of marriage. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is advancing this new legislation to end child marriage by raising the age of consent to marry from 14 to 18-years-old. [Global Citizen]
Finland enacts marriage equality.
Finland equality law came into effect on Wednesday March 1st, allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. The Finnish parliament had passed the marriage equality legislation in 2014, but it was later derailed by conservative activists. Despite the opposition, the Finnish Parliament voted 120-48 to uphold the law.
Finland now brings to thirteen the number of European countries with marriage equality laws. [Reuters]
Clean energy for the win.
Denmark produces enough wind energy to power 10 million homes.
According to EcoWatch, on February 22nd, Denmark produced enough energy to meet the entire country’s electricity needs. Clean Technica explains that Denmark’s onshore and offshore wind turbines produced “enough to power the equivalent of 10 million average EU households.” Check Europe’s daily wind numbers at Wind Europe. On March 1st, for example, 13.5% of European energy demand was met by wind energy. [EcoWatch]
— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) 19 janvier 2016