Laos has officially eliminated elephantiasis as a public health problem

Good news for humankind!

From the week of October 16 – 22 2023 C.E.

Laos has officially eliminated elephantiasis as a public health problem

For centuries, this disease has afflicted millions of people worldwide, causing pain, severe disability and social stigmatization. Over the past 15 years, the population requiring interventions to eliminate lymphatic filariasis globally has reduced by 53%.

U.S. announces ‘largest ever’ investment in its electric grid to advance climate goals

The Biden administration has announced $3.46 billion in funding to upgrade the U.S.’s aging electric grid, the largest investment to date in the grid. The funding will help get more than 35 gigawatts of renewable energy online, equivalent to about half of the utility-scale solar capacity in the nation in 2022.

Paraguay adopts new law to improve carbon credit market

The legislation creates a registry for carbon credit projects within the National Directorate of Climate Change to serve as the official record of every carbon credit program active in Paraguay and ensure that land isn’t being registered more than once — a common problem in the global carbon credit market.

Breakthrough in recycling EV batteries can recover 100% of aluminum and 98% of lithium

Researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology have developed an incredibly efficient way to recycle metals from spent batteries, and at the same time minimize the loss of valuable raw materials such as nickel, cobalt and manganese. No expensive or harmful chemicals are required in the process.

Judge overturns Galveston’s discriminatory electoral map in a voting rights victory

The court’s decision requires Galveston County to redraw its 2021 map by October 20. The revised lines must include at least one district with a majority of Black and Latino people among the four districts that elect representatives to the county’s commissioners’ court.

Indigenous seed collectors grow a network of restoration across Brazil

The seed collector networks are the base of the ecological restoration chain and will play an essential role in enabling Brazil to reach its goal of restoring 12.5 million hectares (30.9 million acres) of native vegetation by 2030 — vital in the fight to avoid climate breakdown.

Hong Kong courts rule in same-sex couples’ favor

Hong Kong’s Court of Appeals ruled in favor of two same-sex couples in separate cases involving their rights to own and rent public housing. While same-sex marriage is not legal in the city, the rulings follow other decisions that have firmly established same-sex couples’ rights to equal treatment under the law.

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe celebrates the return of salmon after century-long wait

More than a century ago, two dams were placed on the Elwha, blocking almost 90 miles of the river and its tributaries in Washington State. The dams were removed in August of 2014. Now, for the first time in more than a hundred years, members of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe are fishing for coho salmon on the free-flowing river.

Germany successfully auctions off 7 GW of offshore wind projects

It is Germany’s largest-ever offshore wind auction and marks a substantial milestone in Germany’s quest for renewable energy expansion and is worth about $13.96 billion.

Breakthrough human-like bioprinted skin heals wounds better and faster

For the first time, scientists from Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have combined the six primary skin cell types with specialized hydrogels to ‘print’ a thick, multilayered skin that, when transplanted, successfully integrated with surrounding tissue to heal wounds faster and with less scarring.

Cambodia and Laos wipe out trachoma as a public health problem (2017 C.E.)

Trachoma is an eye disease caused by infection with Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. It is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide.

Humanity reduces incidence of neglected tropical diseases worldwide to less than 1% of 2000 levels (2041 C.E. ???)

NTDs are a group of 20 diseases which are preventable and treatable, yet still affected more than 1.7 billion people every year as of 2022. Through concerted efforts over the span of decades, the global community managed to all but eliminate these debilitating, often deadly, diseases.

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I’ve felt torn about writing something about what’s happening in Israel and Palestine.

While I’m used to sharp division in our society and generally not afraid of owning an opinion others may not like, the division playing out over the last few weeks feels different. Even among close friends and people I identify fairly closely with politically, there are wildly different opinions and searing outrage being hurled back and forth at one another. There is basically nothing I can say that won’t piss off someone that I care about and whose position I have sincere empathy for.

I also think my opinion is almost completely worthless here. I know quite little of the nuance and history of the conflict. And I have not been diligently keeping up with the story over the last few weeks. Does the world need another uninformed opinion? Would anything I say just boil down to yet another “look at me!”?

And yet, not acknowledging what is happening when so many people I care about are hurting doesn’t feel right either. I don’t want to act as if nothing has happened.

So here’s where I’m at with it, for whatever it’s worth: I am heartbroken, afraid, and so f***ing frustrated. I’m frustrated with those within both Palestine and Israel who insist on war and violence. I’m frustrated with those here on social media spouting our certainties, oversimplifications, and condemnations when the situation seems to be calling for more grey, more complexity, and more love.

I stand with anyone on any side working earnestly toward true peace and justice for all. And I feel lost because I’m not sure who that is or how to translate that into meaningful words or actions.

Peter Schulte

Purpose & Leadership Coach

Founder & Executive Director, Spark of Genius


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