For the first time, researchers detect significant dip in global atmospheric levels of HCFCs

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Good News for Humankind

The world’s latest milestones for climate, justice, peace, health, and more

June 9 – 16 2024 C.E.

For the first time, researchers detect significant dip in global atmospheric levels of HCFCs

Almost 30 years after nations first agreed to phase out these chemicals, which were widely used for air conditioning and refrigeration, scientists say global concentrations peaked in 2021. Since then, the ozone-depleting potential of HCFCs in the atmosphere has fallen by about three-quarters of a percentage point. Though small, that decline comes sooner than expected and represents a significant milestone for the international effort to preserve the ozone layer.

United States to ban medical debt from credit reports

In a sweeping change that could improve millions of Americans’ ability to own a home or buy a car, the Biden administration proposed a rule to ban medical debt from credit reports. The rule, announced by Vice President Kamala Harris and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra, comes as President Joe Biden beefs up his efforts to persuade Americans his administration is lowering costs, a chief concern for voters in the upcoming election.

China announces 3-year plan to combat ocean litter and clean up coastal areas

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment and three other government bodies have announced a campaign that aims to substantially clear the garbage in coastal areas by 2025, with ongoing, regular clean-ups established by 2027, Chinese news site Sixth Tone reported. It also calls for measures to be bolstered to prevent inland waste from reaching the sea.

Landmark ruling in Suriname grants protections to local and Indigenous communities

A court in Suriname approved an injunction filed on behalf of twelve Indigenous and maroon groups concerned about losing approximately 1,322,013 acres of rainforest to agricultural development. The court said the government doesn’t have the right to grant land without free, prior and informed consent, a process in which developers meet with residents to explain how projects would impact daily life.

San Francisco votes unanimously to become a sanctuary city for trans & nonbinary people

San Francisco, California has become the largest city in the United States to declare itself a sanctuary city for transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, and Two Spirit people to safely receive gender-affirming healthcare. The city’s Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to bar city officials from assisting any out-of-state investigations into individuals who obtain, provide, or help others access gender-affirming care.

Wild horses return to Kazakhstan steppes after two-century absence

The seven horses, four mares from Berlin and a stallion and two other mares from Prague, were flown to the central Asian country on a Czech air force transport plane. The wild horses, known as Przewalski’s horses, once roamed the vast steppe grasslands of central Asia, where horses are believed to have been first domesticated about 5,500 years ago.

New blood test can predict breast cancer return

An “ultra-sensitive” new blood test developed and tested by Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) London can predict if breast cancer will return years before the disease shows up on scans, researchers say. It picks up traces of a tumor’s DNA before a full relapse and was found to be 100% accurate at predicting which patients would see their cancer return. It is hoped that the test can allow treatment to start earlier and improve survival rates.

Vermont becomes first U.S. state to require oil companies to pay for climate change damages

Vermont has enacted a law requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a share of the damage caused by climate change after the state suffered catastrophic summer flooding and damage from other extreme weather. The funds could be used for upgrading stormwater drainage systems; upgrading roads, bridges and railroads; relocating, elevating or retrofitting sewage treatment plants; and making energy-efficient weatherization upgrades to public and private buildings.

Portugal welcomes first wild bison in 10,000 years as part of plan to rewild a quarter-million acres

From Poland to Romania to the U.K., European wood bison are now firmly recognized as one of the best tools for returning what little wilderness Europe has left to as wild a state as possible. In Portugal, the gradual abandonment of the Greater Côa Valley has presented an unprecedented opportunity for rewilding in the small country. The government has already set aside a quarter million acres of land for conservation.

Breakthrough synapse-regenerating ALS pill moves to phase 2 human trials

Spinogenix, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in California, has developed SPG302, a unique once-a-day pill that regenerates the gaps, called synapses, between neurons to restore communication in ALS patients. Following promising results from clinical trials to evaluate the drug’s safety, the FDA has approved the company’s Investigational New Drug application, paving the way for further trials and a possible watershed moment in the treatment of the fatal disease.

46 countries sign the Montreal Protocol in historic move to restore the ozone layer (1987 C.E.)

The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion. It was agreed on 16 September 1987 and entered into force on 1 January 1989. The ozone treaty has since been ratified by 198 parties, making it the first universally ratified treaty in United Nations history

Global community completely restores all ozone holes (2040 C.E. ???)

After decades of international effort to limit the production and release of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) – including CFCs, HFCFs, HFCs, and more – all global ozone holes make a complete recovery in a historic win for public health, environmental protection, and climate action.

These milestones have been added to the Archive of Human Genius – our database of social change milestones – past, present & future.

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