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Greener Gas Plants Could Help Power Change in Warming Trend (Maria)

The author writes, “According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2022 was the sixth-warmest year on record. Though not the highest, it’s not a good sign: the ten warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010. That can make the idea of reversing or even reducing carbon emissions to stop rising global warming seem hopeless. But it’s not hopeless. Not only are there new technologies on the horizon, there are also ways to improve current infrastructure. … That’s a point emphasized by a new research study, which estimates that it’s possible to reduce the carbon emissions of natural gas-fired power by as much as 71% a year through a variety of mitigation efforts.” 

Former GOP Candidate Arrested Over Shootings Targeting Democratic Lawmakers’ Homes (Sean)

From Forbes: “Albuquerque Police on Monday arrested a former Republican candidate, who lost a state election in November and falsely claimed the election was ‘rigged,’ in connection with a string of shootings targeting Democratic lawmakers and officials in New Mexico.”

Four Years Later, State’s Lame Duck Law Still Faces Court Challenge (Al)

From Wisconsin Public Radio: “Four years ago, after Democrats swept elections for statewide office in Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers held a ‘lame duck’ session to strip powers from the incoming governor and attorney general before they took office. Today, a legal fight contesting one of the laws continues even as Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul have won reelection and are serving their second terms. The case was brought by Kaul, who is challenging parts of the lame duck laws limiting the power of his office to reach settlements in civil lawsuits. It requires the state Department of Justice to get approval from the Legislature’s budget committee — which is controlled by Republicans — to settle civil lawsuits and civil actions the department prosecutes on behalf of state agencies.”

New Push to Restrict Abortions to Be Introduced in Nebraska (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A Nebraska lawmaker who sponsored a failed total abortion ban last year announced [last week] that she will introduce a new bill … that would ban abortion once cardiac activity can be detected in an embryo, which is generally around the sixth week of pregnancy.”

As Elites Gather in Davos, Conspiracy Theories Gain Traction Online (Sean)

From CBS News: “The annual [World Economic Forum] in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos, which opens Monday, has increasingly become a target of bizarre claims from a growing chorus of commentators who believe the forum involves a group of elites manipulating global events for their own benefit. Experts say what was once a conspiracy theory found in the internet’s underbelly has now hit the mainstream.”

Sacred Groves: How the Spiritual Connection Helps Protect Nature (Laura)

From Yale Environment 360: “From Ethiopia’s highlands to Siberia to the Australian rainforest, there are thousands of sacred forests that have survived thanks to traditional religious and spiritual beliefs. Experts say these places, many now under threat, have ecological importance and must be saved.”

Scientists Divert Lightning Strikes Using a Powerful, Car-Sized Laser (Dana)

The author writes, “In a study, published on Monday in the journal Nature Photonics, researchers describe their attempts to guide lightning with a laser beam on the top of the picturesque Säntis mountain [in Switzerland] at an altitude of over 8,000 feet.”

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