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By Peter Schulte profile image Peter Schulte
4 min read

Canada to end sales of gas-powered cars by 2035

And nine more of humanity's social change milestones from the week of December 18 - 24, 2023.

Good news for humankind!

From the week of December 18 - 24 2023 C.E.

Canada to end sales of gas-powered cars by 2035

Under the new rules, electric or hydrogen-powered cars will account for 20% of new sales by 2026, 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2035. The rules mirror similar 2035 phase-out mandates in China, South Korea, the U.K. and several U.S. states, including California, New York, and Massachusetts.


MIT scientists discover the first new antibiotics in over 60 years using AI

The discovery of a new compound that can kill a drug-resistant bacterium that kills thousands worldwide every year could prove to be a turning point in the fight against antibiotic resistance.


Pope Francis approves blessing same-sex couples in “major step forward”

The Rev. James Martin, a prominent American advocate for LGBTQ+ Catholics, hailed the decision. “The Vatican’s new declaration ‘Fiducia supplicans’ is major step forward in the church’s ministry to LGBTQ people and recognizes the deep desire in many Catholic same-sex couples for God’s presence in their loving relationships,” he posted on X.


Australia and Norway to stop overseas fossil fuel financing

Australia and Norway have formally joined the Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP), a historic alliance aiming at ending international public subsidies for fossil fuels. The CETP was launched during COP26 in Glasgow and has grown to include 41 countries and organizations, signaling a significant step forward in combating the climate catastrophe.


New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to return looted ancient art to Cambodia and Thailand

Thirteen of the works are being returned to Cambodia in concert with an investigation from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York and Homeland Security. Among the works are a large head of Buddha made of stone in the seventh century, and a tenth century sandstone goddess statue from the Koh Ker archaeological site.


Denmark introduces “green tax” for sustainable aviation

Revenue from the new measure is expected to contribute to sustainable fuel use in domestic air transportation by the end of the decade, as well as a pensioner bonus increase of approximately $2.18 billion annually for those receiving the smallest benefits. The Danish government’s goal is to have the nation’s first exclusively green-fueled domestic route operating by 2025.


Papua New Guinea creates two massive new Marine Protected Areas

Together they cover more than 6,200 square miles, tripling the country’s marine area under protection, and are the country’s first to be co-managed by Indigenous communities.


Senegal’s capital Dakar is getting 121 electric buses

The new Bus Rapid Transit system is one of the key components of an ambitious strategy for sustainable urban mobility. It will help improve air quality in Dakar and reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, with around 59,000 tonnes of CO2 avoided per year.


Canada bans import, export of elephant ivory and rhino horns including hunting trophies

According to HSI, the African elephant population has declined by 96% over the last century, and poachers in Africa kill as many as 25,000 elephants and 1,300 rhinos every year. Poaching is the most significant threat to these species, experts say.


U.S. sets policy to seize patents of government-funded drugs if price deemed too high

"We'll make it clear that when drug companies won't sell taxpayer funded drugs at reasonable prices, we will be prepared to allow other companies to provide those drugs for less," White House adviser Lael Brainard said on a press call.


Germany becomes world’s first country to ban the internal combustion engine (2016 C.E.)

In a monumental moment for the climate movement, the European nation's federal council, the Bundesrat, passed a resolution to ban all gas-powered cars beginning in 2030, the first national ban of its kind. Germany has the fourth largest car manufacturing industry in the world.


All of the world’s nations outlaw the internal combustion engine (2047 C.E. ???)

Though much of the global population had already transitioned to electric vehicles, all the world's governments now formally ban manufacturers from selling cars that run on fossil fuels, creating a historic milestone in the fight against climate change.

Archive of Human Genius

These milestones have been added to our database of social change milestones – past, present & future. Filter by topic, country, era, and more.

The season of good cheer?

Merry Christmas! Happy solstice! Happy holidays! Happy New Year!

This, so they say, is the season of good cheer. We are all encouraged and perhaps even expected to be merry and light, tickled red and green with the spirit of Christmas.

And yet, I know that for so many of us the holidays feel nothing like this. They remind us of loved ones no longer with us, or the dysfunction and bad blood festering with those still here. We get disgusted by the rampant consumerism and waste so celebrated this time of year. We look out at the cold, grey, darkness outside our windows and just can't seem to find that spirit within us. Or we get overwhelmed by the need to find just the right gift for everyone and to feign gratitude and excitement every time we get yet another pair of socks we don't need or want.

For many, this is not always the season of good cheer. It can feel more like something just to survive and get through without totally losing our minds.

For those of you out there, like me, who feel something like this over the holidays, I just want to say you're not alone. I do wish you a happy holidays. But maybe more than that, I wish that you have permission to fully feel whatever you actually feel and be wherever you actually are.

You don't need to be merry and light. You don't need to be tickled red and green with the spirit of Christmas. You don't need to be anything.

You can just be you.

Peter Schulte

Life & Career Coach

Founder & Executive Director, Spark of Genius

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