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Science

New study shows ozone layer has made 'significant milestone' in its recovery

Environmental progress is possible.

ozone layer, climate change
Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

Change is possible.

The negative effects of climate change are all around us—countless devastating heatwaves, droughts so severe in some areas that long lost ancient relics have reappeared, and in other areas, extreme storms destroy entire communities.

With all the visible decline on our planet, improvements might not be so obvious. But they do exist. All we need to do is look up.

Euro News announced on Sept. 19 that the Earth’s ozone layer, nature’s shield against UV radiation from the sun, has made significant progress against prior damage.

This is not only some much-needed relief against an onslaught of bad news for the environment, it also shows us that a better future is possible with concentrated effort.


It’s been 37 years since researcher Jonathan Shanklin first discovered a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica. His findings instigated arguably the biggest environmental movement of the 1980s, leading to the universally ratified Montreal Protocol, which phased out human-made, ozone-depleting chemicals (aka chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, remember those?) previously found in cleaning products, certain appliances and hairspray—just imagine how much hairspray was probably being used during that time to create the signature '80s coif … yikes.

climate change

Think about the environment, dude!

Giphy

Increased UV radiation can lead to more cases of skin cancer, cataracts and impaired immune systems. It is also believed to be contributing to the increase in melanoma, the most fatal of all skin cancers. And it’s worth noting, since 1990, the risk of developing melanoma has more than doubled.

Though the potential danger of CFCs had been discovered as early as the mid-'70s, it would take a giant scare like a big gaping chasm in the sky for folks to really pay attention. But pretty soon it was a full-blown, mass hysteria sensation. One environmentalist even compared it to “AIDS from the sky” back in 1991.

Fast forward to 2022, and a new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that the overall concentration of those damaging chemicals has dropped just over 50%, back to levels not seen since before 1980.

global warming

That's visible progress.

research.noaa.gov

Of course, progress doesn’t mean perfection. Antarctica, which still experiences a large hole once a year, has seen a slower pace of reduction. But even still, chemicals have fallen 26%, the report revealed. And until it does close, the hole is being closely monitored using 3D imaging.

The Montreal Protocol has been a success in part because it forced corporations to come up with alternative solutions. Today we have plenty of brands that are environmentally conscious, but that wasn’t always the case. And lo and behold, a huge systemic shift caused a huge positive impact.

We still only have one planet to call our home and it will take a collective effort to protect it, just as it did to damage it. It can be easy to get nihilistic (or at the very least, anxious) when only the destruction is visible. That’s why it's important to acknowledge and celebrate the small victories—it helps us hold onto hope and leads to more inspired action. Because, as we can see, for good or for bad, every action counts.

Democracy

A police officer makes a profound statement after pulling over a Black teen

The teen’s emotional response hit him like a punch to the gut.


“Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value."

In October 2016, that was a quote from Albert Einstein that sat atop the Facebook page of Tim McMillan, a police officer in Georgia.

McMillan become a sensation after a post he wrote on his Facebook wall went viral in 2016. In his post, he explains how he pulled over a Black teen for texting while driving:

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via The Sun / YouTube

A touching Elton John commercial.

At 71 years of age, iconic singer-songwriter Elton John is crossing the globe for one last time on his farewell tour.

U.K. retailer John Lewis & Partners is celebrating his life and music with a Christmas ad that takes viewers on a two-minute journey through his entire life.

For the past decade, John Lewis' memorable Christmas ads have become a part of the holiday tradition in the U.K.

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@susandoingsusanthings/TikTok

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So when I present to you a story about a husband leaving behind a sink full of dirty dishes for his wife to find, you’d probably sooner roll your eyes and contemplate hopping over to Instagram instead than give this one a read.

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Pop Culture

3 moments that might convince you Edgar Allan Poe was a time traveler.

In the case of Poe, it was his fiction that was, well, stranger than fiction.


I'm pretty positive that Edgar Allan Poe had (has?) the power to travel through time. Hear me out on this one.

It's not just the well-known circumstances of his life — orphaned at a young age, father of the mystery novel, master of cryptology, maestro of the macabre. Nor am I referring to the head-scratching details of the days leading up to his death: how he was found on the street near a voting poll wearing someone else's clothes, and during his subsequent hospitalization, he was alleged to babble incoherently about an unidentified person named “Reynolds."

And I won't even get into the confounding reports of a nameless figure who, for seven decades, would show up to Poe's gravesite in the early hours of his birthday with a glass of cognac and three roses.


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Education

A teacher asked a great question about superintendent pay. Then, all hell broke loose.

Her earnest question about inequality in our education system was met with a grotesque abuse of power.


Why should a superintendent get a raise while teachers in the same district struggling to make ends meet see their paychecks flatline — year after year after year?

Teacher Deyshia Hargrave begged the question. Minutes later, she was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a cop car.

The scene was captured below by YouTube user Chris Rosa, who attended a board meeting for Vermilion Parish Schools in Louisiana.

You can watch Hargrave begin speaking about 33 seconds in. The situation starts becoming contentious around 6:35 minutes. Hargrave is arrested at 8:35, and then walked outside in handcuffs and placed in the back of police vehicle.


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Family

A doctor specializing in child development shares 5 of her most surprising parenting tips

"How To Discipline Your Child So They Actually Learn" is one of her more popular videos.

via drkristynsommer / TikTok

Parenting is the most important job that most people will ever have in life. Your decisions as a parent will be some of the most important determining factors in whether your child becomes a happy and productive adult or not. It's a huge responsibility.

Parenting is a difficult and important undertaking, but many parents simply repeat the same strategies used by their parents. How often do we hear people rationalize their decisions by saying, "That's what my parents did and I came out OK."

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