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By Peter Schulte profile image Peter Schulte
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Biden administration cancels all remaining oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

And nine more social change milestones from the week of September 4 - 10 2023.

Good news for humankind!

From the week of September 4 - 10 2023 C.E.

Biden administration cancels remaining oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

“It is nearly impossible to overstate the importance of today’s announcements for Arctic conservation,” said Jamie Williams, president of the Wilderness Society. “Once again, the Arctic Refuge is free of oil leases. Our climate is a bit safer and there is renewed hope for permanently protecting one of the last great wild landscapes in America.”

Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalizes abortion across country

Mexico’s supreme court has unanimously ruled that state laws prohibiting abortion are unconstitutional and violate women’s rights, in the latest in a series of victories for reproductive rights activists across Latin America.

Africa NGO purchases world’s largest captive rhino population to rewild 2,000 across the continent

Africa’s biggest wildlife NGO, African Parks, secured significant emergency funding that not only allowed them to buy all the rhinos, but also pay for an international, intra-Africa relocation of the animals.

Scientists create a game-changing capsule form of the cholera vaccine

The new vaccine developed by the International Vaccine Institute, Gotovax, and Valneva Sweden is low-cost, lasts longer than alternatives, and is easier and cheaper to deliver around the globe. Cholera kills more than 100,000 people worldwide every year.

Chinese researchers grow world’s first human organ inside a non-human animal

The experiment from the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health experiment grew humanized kidneys in pig embryos. It represents a key step toward building an inexhaustible source of organs for transplants.

H2Fly’s twin-fuselage aircraft makes world-first liquid hydrogen flight

Liquid hydrogen is a giant pain to handle, but it's one of the few technologies with a genuine chance of decarbonizing long-range flight.

U.S. Department of Transportation finally suspends LNG-by-rail rule

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) transport by rail exposes nearby communities to the risk of destructive explosions, choking clouds, and uncontrollable fires and accelerates the burning of fossil fuels.

Scottish government plans trial of four-day week in civil service

Adopting a four-day week has won significant political support, including from Scottish Labour and the Welsh government, but so far only South Cambridgeshire district council has introduced pilot projects to test it in practice, with some success.

The U.S. is on track to close half of its coal-fired generation capacity by 2026

By the end of 2026, based on current announcements from utilities, coal capacity will fall to 159 gigawatts (GW), down from its peak of 318GW in 2011.

Paralyzed woman able to ‘speak’ through digital avatar in world first

The latest technology from the UC-San Francisco uses tiny electrodes implanted on the surface of the brain to detect electrical activity in the part of the brain that controls speech and face movements.

The U.S. formally establishes Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park (1872 C.E.)

Although individual countries designate their own national parks differently, there is a common idea: the conservation of 'wild nature' for posterity and as a symbol of national pride. As of 2023, there are over 6500 national parks worldwide.

The U.S. cancels all oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters (2035 C.E. ???)

In a bid to protect current and future generations from the climate crisis, the U.S. government formally ends all oil and gas development on federal lands and waters. As of 2023, about 24% of the nation's oil production and 11% of natural gas production occurred on federal property.

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NFL logo painted on turf

Football season

The NFL football season started this week. Some people are surprised to hear I love football given the rest of my outward persona. But since I was a kid, I have spent several hours basically every Sunday in the fall watching the Seahawks game. I listen to sports radio and podcasts. I have two fantasy teams. I nerd out on the NFL Draft in the spring.

I feel embarrassed admitting this. It doesn't really cohere with a lot of other parts of my identity and interests. It's questionable ethically for the players from a health perspective. It makes me look "bro-ey."

I could go on defending all the reasons I prioritize it: It connects me to my dead father. It allows me to better connect with folks from different socio-economic and political backgrounds. It nurtures my masculine side.

But mostly, it's just fun. I love it. And, really, I want that to be enough. I don't want to hold everything or even that many things in my life that way. But it's nice to have this. Our lives can get so full of the not fun: needing to make money, worrying about the planet and society, personal healing work, etc. It's liberating to allow myself to have this space in my life that's just fun and not be particularly high-minded about it. In fact, it even feels healing.

What "guilty" pleasure might you more fully allow yourself to just have fun with?

Peter Schulte

Purpose & Leadership Coach

Founder & Executive Director, Spark of Genius


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