nature, biodiversity, wildlife loss, extinction, study
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‘Mutilating the Tree of Life’: Wildlife Loss Accelerating, Scientists Warn (Maria)

The author writes, “Groups of animal species are vanishing at a rate 35 times higher than average due to human activity, according to researchers, who say it is further evidence that a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is under way and accelerating. Scientists analyzing the rate at which closely related animal species have gone extinct in the past 500 years have found they would have taken 18,000 years to vanish in the absence of humans, and the rate at which they are being lost is increasing. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that at least 73 mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian species groupings have gone extinct since 1500.” 

What Republicans Are Doing to Wisconsin Is a Warning Sign to All Americans (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “There is a long history in the United States of skewed electoral systems being used to suppress the voices of minority voters, and Wisconsin’s is only the latest example. Like their predecessors in other states, Wisconsin Republicans have been remarkably frank about their intention of ensuring that minorities stay in their place.” 

A Member of the Secret Panel Studying Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice’s Impeachment Backed Her Rival (Al)

The author writes, “One of the former Wisconsin Supreme Court justices tapped to investigate impeaching newly elected Justice Janet Protasiewicz for taking Democratic Party money accepted donations from the state Republican Party when he was on the court. The former justice, Republican David Prosser, gave $500 to the conservative candidate who lost to Protasiewicz, did not recuse from cases involving a law he helped pass as a lawmaker and was investigated after a physical altercation with a liberal justice.”

Wrongful Convictions Cost Chicago Taxpayers $153M From 2019 to 2023 (Dana)

From WTTW News: “Chicago taxpayers spent $153 million to resolve lawsuits brought by more than three dozen people wrongfully convicted based on evidence gathered by the Chicago Police Department between January 2019 and June 2023, according to an analysis of city data by WTTW News. … Cases that involved at least one officer with repeated claims of misconduct accounted for 47% of the cost borne by taxpayers to resolve police misconduct cases between 2019 and 2021, according to the analysis.”

The Summer From Hell Was Just a Warning (Laura)

From E&E News: “It’s been a summer of norm-shattering extremes — with temperatures beyond human memory, catastrophic floods from Beijing to Vermont, choking wildfires and climate records tumbling on every continent. Welcome to the rest of our lives. To the scientists studying the planet’s warming, this season of heat deaths, burn-inducing sidewalks and coast-to-coast tropical cyclones is just a sign of the havoc to come as humans keep pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

They Played Football as Children. Now Their Families Mourn (Sean)

From Rolling Stone: “CTE isn’t just about diagnosed concussions, most of which go on to heal with no obvious, lasting effects. It’s about repeated, seemingly benign assaults to brain tissue, little ‘dings’ that could occur dozens of times in a single game and that a player may not even clock but that nonetheless cause damage at the cellular level. … This means that when kids across America suit up this fall to square off on the gridiron, every hit will matter, every ‘ding’ and every bell rung will count toward an unspecified number past which the brain might be permanently impaired. It means that no amount of concussion protocols can definitively stave off disaster, that some level of danger is lurking in every play. It means that America’s greatest game is hurting our children in insidious and incalculable ways, and that addressing the issue might mean fundamentally changing the way we teach a game that has become fundamental to America’s sense of self.” 

Archaeologists Discover More Than 100 Ancient Drawings in a Spanish Cave (Mili)

The author writes, “Two years ago, when a team of archaeologists spotted a painting of an extinct wild bull called an auroch on the wall of a cave in Spain’s Cova Dones, located in Millares, near Valencia, they knew it was important. While Spain has the largest number of Paleolithic cave art sites, most are concentrated in the country’s northern region, while few have been documented in Eastern Iberia. … Inside, the archaeologists documented more than 100 drawings and engravings, which they believe are at least 24,000 years old, according to the study published last week in Antiquity. The team dated the drawings to the Paleolithic Period by examining weathering on the drawings and claw marks from a cave bear that later became extinct.”


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