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The Endangered Species Act is 50 years old — and without it humanity may go extinct, scholar says

The Endangered Species Act celebrates its 50th birthday in December 2023, and there is good reason for environmentalists to cheer its legacy. Later described by the Supreme Court as “the most comprehensive legislation for the preservation of endangered species enacted by any nation,” the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has helped protect iconic animals like humpback whales, sea otters, whooping cranes and West Indian manatees....

Originally posted on salon.com

Inside the canine mind: A “talking” dog’s owner on how to best connect with your furry pal

In her new book “I Am Bunny: How a ‘Talking’ Dog Taught Me Everything I Need to Know About Being Human,” author and dog trainer Alexis Devine discusses — what else? — the story of her “talking” pet Sheepadoodle, Bunny.

Although Bunny does not literally use her mouth to speak human language, the canny canine has a series of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) buttons....

Originally posted on salon.com

Smart climate policy is good for people, not just the environment

It is difficult to read about global heating and climate change without being pessimistic. Every new report warning that humanity is entering “uncharted territory” or exceeding our limits as a stable ecosystem can produce feelings of hopelessness and despair. Yet even as Earth roils through unprecedented heatwaves and animals like river dolphins face extinction, there is still hope that climate change can be at least partially mitigated....

Originally posted on salon.com

Autism advocate Temple Grandin explains why we need education tailored for autistic minds

In her 2022 bookVisual Thinkers: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think In Pictures, Patterns and Abstractions,” animal behavior scientist and autism rights advocate Temple Grandin described how there are different types of intelligence. Some people are gifted mechanically, Grandin pointed out; others at mathematics and abstract thinking; still others at the arts; and so on....

Originally posted on salon.com

Rage against machine learning: Lessons from the Luddites in an era of exploitative technology

The dictionary definition of “Luddite” broadly refers to “one who is opposed to especially technological change.” Although the dictionary also mentions that Luddites were a real 19th Century movement, this is not the main way in which people use the term. If a person is a Luddite in the modern age, that supposedly means they are a hard-headed reactionary irrationally frightened by technology....

Originally posted on salon.com