climate crisis, environment, biodiversity, legislation, Endangered Species Act
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After Helping to Prevent Extinctions for 50 Years, the Endangered Species Act May Be in Peril (Maria)

The author writes, “Fifty years after the law took effect, environmental advocates and scientists say [the Endangered Species Act is] as essential as ever. Habitat loss, pollution, climate change and disease are putting an estimated 1 million species worldwide at risk. Yet the law has become so controversial that Congress hasn’t updated it since 1992 — and some worry it won’t last another half-century. … ‘Its biggest challenge is it’s starving,’ said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of the advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife.”

What 2020 Did — And Didn’t — Change About How Americans Vote (Reader Steve)

From FiveThirtyEight: “In the ongoing experiment that is democracy, every election creates ripple effects for the ones to follow. But occasionally there is an election cycle so disruptive, it changes practically everything. We saw it in 2000, when the contested presidential results in Florida led to a complete overhaul of America’s election infrastructure. The 2020 election was the latest watershed moment. The COVID-19 pandemic and former President Donald Trump’s false claims of a stolen election led to an avalanche of changes in how Americans vote.” 

Florida Bans AP Psychology for Violating Draconian ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Florida has banned Advanced Placement Psychology in all public schools because the course includes content on sexual orientation and gender identity, a violation of the state’s draconian ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. The College Board revealed the ban on Thursday, adding that it has heard from teachers across the state who are heartbroken by the news.”

Army Chief Retires as Tuberville Hold Snarls the Pentagon’s Top Ranks (Dana)

The author writes, “And then there were two. For the first time in U.S. history, two of the eight seats on the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff are filled by interim officers, thanks to Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s eight-month-long hold on military promotions. … The Republican senator placed the procedural hold on all senior military nominations in protest of the Pentagon’s new policy of reimbursing troops who travel to seek abortions.”

‘It’s Destroyed Me Completely’: Kenyan Moderators Decry Toll of Training of AI Models (Reader Jim)

From The Guardian: “The images pop up in Mophat Okinyi’s mind when he’s alone, or when he’s about to sleep. Okinyi, a former content moderator for Open AI’s ChatGPT in Nairobi, Kenya, is one of four people in that role who have filed a petition to the Kenyan government calling for an investigation into what they describe as exploitative conditions for contractors reviewing the content that powers artificial intelligence programs.”

The Art of Iceberg Chasing in Newfoundland (Sean)

From National Geographic: “Each year, massive hunks of 10,000-year-old glaciers drift toward Canada’s east coast. Their beauty can be ephemeral — but social media is helping more travelers to find them.”

Crawford Lake Shows Humans Started a New Chapter in Geologic Time, Scientists Say (Laura)

The author writes, “A humble lake in a Canadian suburb may soon become the symbolic starting point for a radical new chapter in Earth’s official history: the Anthropocene, or the age of humans. A group of scientists said [last month] the best evidence for humanity’s overwhelming impact on the planet could be found at Crawford Lake in Milton, Ontario.”


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