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Harmful Gases Destroying Ozone Layer Declining Faster Than Expected: Study (Maria)

The author writes, “International efforts to protect the ozone layer have been a ‘huge global success,’ scientists have said, after revealing that damaging gases in the atmosphere were declining faster than expected. The Montreal protocol, signed in 1987, aimed to phase out ozone-depleting substances found primarily in refrigeration, air conditioning and aerosol sprays. A study has found that atmospheric levels of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), harmful gases responsible for holes in the ozone layer, peaked in 2021 — five years ahead of projections. ‘This has been a huge global success. We’re seeing that things are going in the right direction,’ the study’s lead author, Luke Western from the University of Bristol, said.”

Trump’s Bizarre Moments With Dr. Phil and Hannity Should Alarm Us All (DonkeyHotey)

From The New Republic: “Earth to media: The criminal prosecutions of Trump are legitimate. The ‘revenge’ he’s promising would be wholly illegitimate. Time to make that a whole lot clearer.”

Kansas Supreme Court Rules Voting Isn’t a Fundamental Right. What’s Next? (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A split Kansas Supreme Court ruling last week issued in a lawsuit over a 2021 election law found that voting is not a fundamental right listed in the state Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The finding drew sharp criticism from three dissenting justices on the high court. The Associated Press looks at what the ruling might mean for Kansas residents and future elections.”

Medical College of Wisconsin Aims To Curb Suicides by Collaborating With Gun Owners, Veterans (Al)

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “A person is least likely to survive a suicide attempt if the means is a firearm. According to the Medical College of Wisconsin, firearm injury has nearly a 90% fatality rate. Meanwhile, in Houston, researchers made a startling discovery: nearly one in four gun suicide survivors said they deliberated for less than five minutes before their attempt. That lethal swiftness of gun suicides is why the Medical College of Wisconsin is facilitating a program that literally puts safer gun ownership on the map.”

Tens of Millions of Acres of Cropland Lie Abandoned, Study Shows (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “About 30 million acres of U.S. cropland have been abandoned since the 1980s, a new analysis suggests. The study, published in Environmental Research Letters, offers a detailed look at land with immense environmental and economic potential — land that, researchers write, was abandoned at a rate of over a million acres a year between 1986 and 2018.”

Identity Crisis: Climate Destroying Wonders That Gave US Parks Their Names (Laura)

The author writes, “Glacier National Park’s ice fortress is crumbling. The giant trees of Sequoia National Park are ablaze. And even the tenacious cacti of Saguaro National Park are struggling to endure a decades-long drought. Since their creation, national parks have embodied the pioneering spirit of America in their vast expanses and breathtaking landscapes. But today, the climate crisis imperils the very symbols of many parks, leaving them facing a future where their names could be cruel ironies.”

Fake Beauty Queens Charm Judges at the Miss AI Pageant (Dana)

From NPR: “Beauty pageant contestants have always been judged by their looks, and, in recent decades, by their do-gooderly deeds and winning personalities. Still, one thing that’s remained consistent throughout beauty pageant history is that you had to be a human to enter. But now that’s changing. Models created using generative artificial intelligence (AI) are competing in the inaugural ‘Miss AI’ pageant this month.”

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