As Athen’s, Greece hires Europe’s first ‘chief heat officer’ to protect it and keep it survivable from climate crisis imposed heat waves, and France creates a task force to battle its unheard of drought and heat, it’s a race against time. Day after day heat records are being broken around the world. And just when the world should be coming together to fight these and other environmental ravages, we continue to see more divisions between countries, people, friends and families. To me one of the greatest culprits in all this is the constant stream of lies and mis-information being spread by too many errant and purposeful liars and those intentionally wanting to disrupt peace and security.
At a time when our ‘elasticity’ to act on the climate and biodiversity crises is running out, we are diverted and side-tracked from the necessary actions. It’s no coincidence that these same disruptors, including anti-vaxxers who lack trust in any authority and can’t seem able to do math, and supporters of Putin in his murderous tirade, seem to all follow the same theory: keep lying, keep misleading, divert the search for truth to unreliable sources and many will follow, like lemmings to the sea. The problem is that they, despite their minority status (though somehow 40% of Americans believe Q-Anon garbage), garner much of the attention of both the public, the media and politicians. Seed doubt, seed division, seed lies and BINGO a whole society begins to change for the worse, being diverted from what’s really important. And this just when truly urgent action is needed on the environment, which many American legislators seem to understand.
Whether it’s climate crises deniers, anti-science and anti-education perpetrators, or those with anarchic tendencies, they all are bred in the same crib and take their lead from the same false prophets. Like with talk show hothead, Alex Jones, now admitting his lies about a high school massacre, after spreading them for ten years gaining millions of followers, he’ll now have to pay out nearly US$50 million in damages. But, as with oil companies (both private and national) greenwashing and cheating their way to huge profits, his ilk is unlikely to be side-tracked by this court reckoning. I continue to be stumped at understanding how so many, perhaps formerly good-willed people, can be sucked in, even to the point to giving hard earned cash to such destructive forces. They somehow believe they are on the side of truth and freedom, whereas they are really on the side of deception, indenture, and societal and planetary destruction.
In today's Planetary Health Weekly (#32 of the year) read on for much more:
CLIMATE & BIODIVERSITY CRISES UPDATES:
Scientists say temperatures are getting ‘hotter faster’ than their tools can calculate,
Congo to auction land to oil companies: ‘our priority is not to save the planet’,
Olaf Scholz signals U-turn on shutting Germany’s nuclear plantsm & Germany’s energy u-turn: coal instead of gas,
France creates crisis task force amid worst drought on record,
England and France have had their driest July in decades,
At least 24 dead in Uganda floods,
This East African nation is known for stability but drought and rising prices are fueling insecurity,
Culturally relevant Covid-19 vaccine acceptance strategies in sub-Saharan Africa,
Covid-19 boosters this Fall to include Omicron antigen, but questions remain about its value,
BioNTech, Pfizer to start testing universal vaccine for coronaviruses (and BioNTech’s work on precision antibiotics against superbugs),
Bad news for Paxlovid? Coronavirus can find multiple ways to evade it,
Clinical outcomes among patients with 1-year survival following ICU treatment for Covid-19,
Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of Covid, THEN
Striking graphs that show humanity’s domination of the Earth,
How do we fight wildfires as the planet heats up?
Africa revives push for colonial-era reparations,
Everything you need to know about the push to mine Ontario’s 'Ring of Fire',
It’s time to get blown away – falling prices for wind energy,
Is there good news for Monarch butterflies? Scientists disagree,
Humans have broken a fundamental law of the Ocean,
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs hosted a peace and unity gathering – RCMP made arrests,
Quote by top coral reef expert on the Great Barrier Reef,
New events added: The Battery Show North American (Sept. 13-15); Electric Hybrid Vehicle Technology Show North America (Sept. 13-15); The Battery Show Europe (May 23-25, 2023); IUCN Leaders Forum – Call for Youth Change Makers (Oct. 13-15),
Two refugee crises – and their dark lessons for the coming famine,
In addition to all the perils of the current climate climate crisis explained in Bill McGuire’s new book “Hothouse Earth” (see last week's PHW book feature) he adds these,
Timeline: the domestication of animals,
Florida’s hot-hot summers have turned all the baby sea turtles female,
New Book: “The Making of a Pandemic: Social, Political, and Psychological Perspectives on COVID-19” by John Ehrenreich (and review: How decades of greed and bad choices left us vulnerable to a pandemic),
A new way to fight college student depression, and lastly
ENDSHOTS of summer's bounty at a local farmers’ market.
Lots of summer joy and angst. Best, david
David Zakus, Editor and Publisher
Sunrise - Whitefish Lake, Seguin, Ontario - August 10, 2022
ALWAYS WITH UKRAINE SEEKING PEACE, SOLIDARITY AND VICTORY
A police officer givers water to a British soldier wearing a traditional bearskin hat, on guard duty outside Buckingham Palace, during hot weather in London, Monday, July 18, 2022.
Credit: Matt Dunham/AP
The U.K.'s recent heat wave was the Great British Bake Off that no one wanted -- and it was made at least 10 times more likely by human-caused climate change, a new analysis shows.
But the World Weather Attribution project, which carried out the analysis, also said that its findings are likely to be an underestimate, warning that the tools available to scientists have limitations and are creating a blind spot to just how much of a role humans are playing in heat waves.
Heat waves are becoming more frequent and longer globally, and scientists say that human-caused climate change has an influence on all of them.
The tougher question to answer is: "By how much?" To determine human influence on extreme heat, scientists use a combination of observations and climate models, or simulations. While models are often conservative in their findings, observed extreme heat in western Europe increased much more than estimated by the models. Read more at CTV News
“As far as the energy supply in Germany is concerned, the three last nuclear plants are relevant exclusively for electricity production, and only for a small part of it," said Mr Scholz. "Nevertheless, it makes sense [to continue running them]." Germany had been due to close down all of its nuclear power plants by the end of 2022 as part of a longstanding goal of phasing out nuclear power. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and ensuing energy crisis has forced German officials to rethink that stance.
England has recorded its driest July since 1935, and France its driest since 1959, as a record-breaking heatwave swept through both countries. "England had just 35% (23.1mm) of its average rainfall for the month," the UK's national weather service, the Met Office, said in a statement on Monday.The south and east of the country were hit particularly hard by the lack of rainfall. Southern England recorded its driest July on record since 1836, with only 17% of average rainfall, according to the Met office.
Floods in parts of eastern Uganda resulting from torrential rains have killed at least 24 people, the government and Uganda Red Cross said. The torrential rains come right after a prolonged drought in vast swaths of the country that has left many areas parched and crops in fields scorched.
A maelstrom of howling brown dust engulfs travelers through Isiolo. A few weeks earlier, 11 people were reported to have been killed around the north Kenyan town in the space of 10 days.
The pestilence of Covid is still in the dust-choked air, the ground is baked by drought. The murder and misery would seem biblical -- if they were not so very modern.They've already played out on the other side of the continent where climate change and overgrazing have hastened the spread of the Sahara desert south into Mali, Niger, and northern Nigeria.Indeed the Sahel and the Maghreb have experienced widening desertification and, alongside it, frantic humanitarian crises and growing violence, especially from Islamic extremists.In Kenya, the killings in the north do not (yet) have a neo-religious drive. But growing insecurity, in a country that's been traditionally seen as the stable diplomatic and humanitarian hub in the Horn of Africa torn by war, is being fueled by many of the same factors that have set the Sahel aflame.
Globally, nationally and locally, the pandemic continues in many countries, though many erroneously feel it's over, whereas it just continues at a low level (as compared to previous waves), thanks particularly to the lack of collective action. Over the last week, cases continue at about 850,000/day (down 15% from last week); deaths were about the same at about 2400/day; and vaccinations are up sharply to about 11 million/day (from 6m last week).
Vaccination, despite ongoing concerns about its effectiveness, along with other proven public health measures, remain the best way to keep yourself and others safe from serious consequences, including hospitalization and long Covid which is becoming more understood. Get all the shots/boosters you can and practise the other public health measures especially indoors with crowds.
See below for a few global stats and current hotspots:
Credit: This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (green) cultured in the lab. Image captured and colorized at NIAID's Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana. Credit: NIAID
In sub-Saharan Africa, the reasons for low rates of COVID-19 vaccination and unwillingness to accept the vaccine vary, so country-specific solutions are needed. Public health action that is humane, culturally relevant, and recognises the contribution of historical, structural, and other system dynamics has been called for. To meet these objectives, countries should frame their individual remedial strategies on the basis of approaches that WHO and the Lancet Commission on the future of health in sub-Saharan Africa advocate for generating positive health behaviours. Central concepts of proven value that are relevant to COVID-19 vaccination uptake include innovation and task shifting away from conventionally relied upon forms of health informatics and engagement to promote health literacy and achieve health equity through action. Read more at The Lancet
Findings In this exploratory multicenter prospective cohort study that included 246 patients who were alive 1 year following ICU treatment for COVID-19, 74.3% reported physical symptoms, 26.2% reported mental symptoms, and 16.2% reported cognitive symptoms.
Meaning Physical, mental, and cognitive symptoms were frequent 1 year after ICU treatment for COVID-19.
The cardiovascular complications of acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are well described, but the post-acute cardiovascular manifestations of COVID-19 have not yet been comprehensively characterized. Here we used national healthcare databases from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to build a cohort of 153,760 individuals with COVID-19, as well as two sets of control cohorts with 5,637,647 (contemporary controls) and 5,859,411 (historical controls) individuals, to estimate risks and 1-year burdens of a set of pre-specified incident cardiovascular outcomes.
We show that, beyond the first 30 days after infection, individuals with COVID-19 are at increased risk of incident cardiovascular disease spanning several categories, including cerebrovascular disorders, dysrhythmias, ischemic and non-ischemic heart disease, pericarditis, myocarditis, heart failure and thromboembolic disease. These risks and burdens were evident even among individuals who were not hospitalized during the acute phase of the infection and increased in a graded fashion according to the care setting during the acute phase (non-hospitalized, hospitalized and admitted to intensive care).
Our results provide evidence that the risk and 1-year burden of cardiovascular disease in survivors of acute COVID-19 are substantial. Care pathways of those surviving the acute episode of COVID-19 should include attention to cardiovascular health and disease.
To comprehend and tackle those problems, scientists and policymakers need data—precise figures that show how Homo sapiens has transformed nearly the entire Earth in one way or another. To that end, a team of researchers has launched the Human Impacts Database, or HuID, a collection of over 300 (so far) critical figures, from sea level rise to the number of calories we as species get from animal products. Read and See more at WIRED
Dipterocarp tree nursery in Malaysia: note the seedlings are not raised in direct sun. Credit: Dr. Stephen Burchett
If rivers can be granted legal rights (see my Blog #2) what about other natural features and ecosystems such as forests? It’s an idea first suggested nearly fifty years ago by Christopher Stone, an American law professor in his classic essay ‘Should Trees have Standing?’ If revisited perhaps it could help us revalue forests and all their inhabitants. It might even improve respect for their planetary significance.
While major forest fires are devastating both natural woodlands and timber plantations in several continents, another environmental crisis has been somewhat neglected in the international news. A major part of central and southern South America is currently in the grip of the worst drought in human memory, the cost running into billions. To climate scientists this is hardly a surprise, but an inevitable result of the deforestation of large areas in the Amazon basin in recent decades. On a warm day, even in England, the temperature in direct sun is much higher than under the shade of a tree; in the tropics this difference is greater. Not only does continuous forest cover maintain an even temperature at ground level, but even more important it restricts drying out of upper soil levels and maintains a general level of humidity. It’s a reason why trees in cities are becoming more and more important, but for the future of forests it is critical. The forest circulates moisture by transpiration through the leaves of the trees, building up dense clouds which release their moisture as rain. In many areas of tropical forest, the familiar afternoon deluge is a natural part of the cycle. Disruption of this cycle has serious consequences.
Limited breaks in a forest canopy – such as are formed by the fall of individual trees – are repaired fairly rapidly by natural processes, especially in the tropics. Seeds already in the soil germinate, seedlings already present grow faster taking advantage of the increased light, and a minimal new canopy is created within a season. This early repair canopy is often dominated by pioneer tree species, fast growing and relatively short-lived species that give way to the bigger forest trees whose seedlings need nursing (with lower air temperatures and higher humidity) under these early canopy species. Many major forest trees like mahogany cannot cope with high temperatures of direct tropical sun until they are well established as saplings under the shade of these pioneers.
Larger breaks in a forest canopy such as are being created across much of the Amazon, are much more difficult to repair. What has happened in Brazil is that cleared forest areas have become larger and larger, and even where diminishing yields have forced farmers to move on, the forest doesn’t come back. Repairing tropical forest – even where there is a will to do it – is not a simple job. In the late 1980’s I saw successful forest restoration projects in Vietnam. During the American War large areas of forest were destroyed by repeated spraying with defoliants under the trade name Agent Orange. To restore previously forested areas a fast-growing (and nitrogen-fixing) acacia was being planted while seedlings of big dipterocarp trees were being raised under shade in tree nurseries – the seed having been collected direct from trees still standing in undamaged parts of the forest. Once the acacias were well established, creating a provisional canopy, the dipterocarp saplings were planted among them. Where this process had already been in operation for several years a new dipterocarp forest was already becoming established. Saplings of other forest tree species, understory plants and herbs had all started to appear unbidden, their seeds apparently brought in by animals and birds.
When it finally registers that major deforestation has a disastrous effect thousands of miles and several international borders away, perhaps the idea of a regional intervention to protect and restore what has been lost may gain some traction. Urgent action is certainly needed before what many Brazilian scientists have warned may be a ‘tipping point’ in the entire ecosystem. The rights of forests (and the indigenous people who live in them) as legal entities could prevent them from being destroyed, stolen or transformed into farmland. This should be taken seriously and underpinned by international agreement; if rivers can have rights, why not forests?
Fire has burnt through forests for hundreds of millions of years, but now unprecedented wildfires are burning hotter and longer partly due to climate change.
Declining rainfall and longer droughts are making forests so dry that localized lightening can spark a small fire that transforms into an inferno before firefighters can limit the damage.
Such was the scale of the Australian Black Summer megafires of 2019-20 that burnt nearly 60 million acres (24 million hectares) that once fire-resistant wet forests are also going up in flames.
And as we continue to heat the planet by burning fossil fuels, those fires are set to worsen, endangering more people and wildlife. "We are not on track to reduce risk now," said Hamish Clarke, senior research fellow at the school of ecosystem and forest sciences at the University of Melbourne in Australia. "We need to change course urgently and seriously reduce greenhouse gas emissions." See more at DW
In a joint initiative, African countries are renewing their efforts to obtain reparations from European countries for the transatlantic slave trade and other colonial-era wrongs committed centuries ago.The slave trade — which affected millions of Africans — was the largest forced migration in history and one of the most inhumane. Over 400 years, Africans were transported to many areas of the world, yet no reparations have as yet been paid. The process is proving much slower than many Africans expected. Read more at DW
Bigger and bigger – the trend is clear. New wind farms dwarf their ancestors. This way they can catch more wind since it's more or less always windy on higher altitudes. Credit: Warpnews
📉 What people think
It is a recurring pattern on renewable energy: information tends to spread poorly or wrongly. And wind power is no exception.
Indeed, when asked about the recent evolution of wind power costs, nearly a third (29 percent) of respondents believe they have remained steady. All the more interesting, 23 percent of the answers indicated the respondents thought that these costs had increased by 70 percent!.
📈 Here are the facts
A first distinguo is essential to establish. Wind power can be divided into two separate (however related obviously) industries: offshore and onshore. The wind is wind, but building a windmill amid a wild sea or in the countryside requires different engineering features.
However, in either case, one fact has been clearly stated. The costs related to wind power have dropped by 48 to 70 percent over the last few years. Two different variables can explain this.
First, the resource necessary for the functioning of a windmill does not need to be dug out of the ground. Coal or petrol must be extracted before being transformed into useable energy. Wind (just like the sun in the case of solar panels) is permanently available and requires no effort to reach. The only operating cost is installing the conversion tool (the windmill) and maintenance.
Denmark (48 percent), Ireland (38 percent), and Germany (27 percent) are leading the pack; they have the most significant share of wind-produced electricity in their total production. Read more at Warp News
LAST MONTH, GOVERNMENT officials met in Washington, DC, for the first Monarch Butterfly Summit, just as the milkweed in the “Monarch Waystations” that are now ubiquitous across American lawns began to bloom. Like everyone, they were worried about the iconic insect’s fate, following decades of notable population decline in the butterfly’s winter colonies.
There are two distinct (but genetically identical) populations of monarchs in the United States, and both are migratory. Monarchs west of the Rocky Mountains spend their winters in Southern California, while those east of the range fly thousands of miles from as far north as Ontario to central Mexico, where they wait out the cold months in stands of oyamel fir trees. Since the mid-90’s, scientists have found that the number of butterflies that make it to Mexico has fallen by about 70 percent. They blame bad weather, deforestation, and automobile collisions for the decline.
In 2020 alone, 26% fewer eastern monarchs made it to Mexico than the year before, having been waylaid by storm and drought. Those that survived the journey found their already-tiny wintering grounds reduced by illegal logging. In 2019, researchers concluded that the western monarch was “hovering at its quasi-extinction threshold” after a 97 percent reduction in that subpopulation since the 1980s.
So it may be surprising—and perhaps controversial—that a recent study published in the journal Global Change Biology suggests that some populations of monarch butterflies are actually on the rise. “There is no monarch butterfly apocalypse,” says Andrew Davis, an ecology professor at the University of Georgia (UGA) and coauthor of the study. “Not in the United States, anyway.” Read more at Wired
ON NOVEMBER 19, 1969, the CSS Hudson slipped through the frigid waters of Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia and out into the open ocean. The research vessel was embarking on what many of the marine scientists on board thought of as the last great, uncharted oceanic voyage: The first complete circumnavigation of the Americas. The ship was bound for Rio de Janeiro, where it would pick up more scientists before passing through Cape Horn—the southernmost point in the Americas—and then head north through the Pacific to traverse the ice-packed Northern Passage back to Halifax Harbour.
Along the way, the Hudson would make frequent stops so its scientists could collect samples and take measurements. One of those scientists, Ray Sheldon, had boarded the Hudson in Valparaíso, Chile. A marine ecologist at Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Sheldon was fascinated by the microscopic plankton that seemed to be everywhere in the ocean: How far and wide did these tiny organisms spread? To find out, Sheldon and his colleagues hauled buckets of seawater up to the Hudson’s laboratory and used a plankton-counting machine to total up the size and number of creatures they found.
Life in the ocean, they discovered, followed a simple mathematical rule: The abundance of an organism is closely linked to its body size. To put it another way, the smaller the organism, the more of them you find in the ocean. Krill are a billion times smaller than tuna, for example, but they are also a billion times more abundant.
What was more surprising was how precisely this rule seemed to play out...
Of course, overfishing isn’t the only challenge that marine populations are facing. A worst-case scenario of 5 degrees Celsius of warming would be too hot for 50 percent of fish species, and even 1.5 degrees of warming would still be too much for 10 percent of fish, according to one study. Overfishing means these populations are starting from a much weaker point than they would otherwise be. Take too many fish out of the ocean and you reduce genetic diversity, weaken food webs, and allow ocean habitats to degrade, all of which makes an individual ecosystem more vulnerable to changes. “What’s important is that as you fish out a system and then it’s warmed, it’s much less resilient to that warming,” says Blanchard.Read more at Wired
SPOTLIGHT ON INDIGENOUS WELLNESS
Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs Hosted a Peace and Unity Gathering - RCMP made arrests
Credit: The Narwhal
Two weeks ago Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs welcomed a delegation from across the country and beyond to the yintah (territory) for a Peace and Unity Summit. Through the four-day event, the chiefs brought together Indigenous leaders, politicians, conservation groups and others to uplift Indigenous sovereignty, share space and join in solidarity with the Hereditary Chiefs in their opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
“It’s really heartwarming to see all the people coming together in peace and unity across Canada to maintain the solidarity of the Wet’suwet’en,” Dinï ze’ (Hereditary Chief) Madeek told attendees at the event.
“You make history by being peaceful. By being here, being together, being united, knowing that we all have the same heart,” Dinï ze’ Na’Moks said.
Arrests weren’t part of the plan.
But on the morning of the first day, July 26, more than 30 attendees witnessed a land defender get arrested by the RCMP. They had just travelled the 110 kilometres from Smithers, B.C., to the Gidimt’en camp — a reoccupation of the yintah and village site. They were there to see a feast hall that is being built, meet those living on the land and then go rafting down the Wedzin Kwa (Morice River). As people were starting introductions, a land defender shouted, “someone is getting arrested right now, we need people over at the bridge.”
The guests of the chiefs — which included Cedar George-Parker from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, several other Indigenous leaders, Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen, from the B.C. Green party, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, executive director of the David Suzuki Foundation, and other allies — raced over to see what was happening. Read more at The Narwhal
Quote Of The Week:
John ‘Charlie’ Veron. Credit: Rebecca Wright/CNN
"Charlie is a legendary figure in coral reef circles. There's no-one else in the world who has seen what Charlie has seen," says Richard Leck, the Head of Oceans at WWF Australia. "He comes with a level of experience and gravitas that few other people and organizations could match and that's where his enormous influence comes from."
After the recent mass bleaching events, Veron dived in multiple areas of the Great Barrier Reef to see the damage for himself.
"I was seeing it and feeling it and it was absolutely horrific, there's no other way to describe it," he says.
In the summer of 2018, experts say no bleaching occurred, which has helped some of the bleached coral to begin the recovery process. But Veron says it takes about 10 years for corals to recover fully, and they simply don't have that sort of time.
"For most years, say five out of seven years, there will be now mass bleaching on coral reefs around the world," he says.
Veron says he hates to predict the future for the Great Barrier Reef, because it "can't be anything other than absolute massive death."
Charlie Veron, former Chief Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science
International Health Trends and Perspectives (a new journal based at Toronto Metropolitan University, formerly Ryerson University, Toronto) is dedicating a special issue to the topic of Planetary Health to highlight research, theoretical and community based contributions of scientists, scholars and activists globally. It is inviting manuscripts that are solutions and equity-focused. See the call for papers and details here: https://bit.ly/3tDixHT
November 21-23, 2022: Canadian Conference on Global HealthJoin us in Toronto for the 28th Canadian Conference on Global Health (CCGH). This year's hybrid event will explore the theme of: "Inclusive Global Health in Uncertain Times: Research and Practice".
In Addition to All the Perils of the Current Climate Crisis Explained in Bill McGuire’s New Book “Hothouse Earth” (as featured in last week's PHW) He Adds These:
Credit: Book Cover
Stings in the tail:
Five unexpected threats posed by the pumping of carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere
Under our feet As vast,
thick sheets of ice disappear from high mountains and from the poles, rock
crusts that had previously been compressed are beginning to rebound,
threatening to trigger earthquakes and tsunamis. “We are on track to bequeath
to our children and their children not only a far hotter world, but also a more
geologically fractious one,” says Bill McGuire.
New battlefields As
crops burn and hunger spreads, communities are coming into conflict and the
election of populist leaders – who will promise the Earth to their people – is
likely to become commonplace. Most worrying are the tensions over dwindling
water supplies that are growing between India, Pakistan and China, all
possessors of atomic weapons. “The last thing we need is a hot war over water
between two of the world’s nuclear powers,” McGuire observes.
Methane bombs Produced by
wetlands, cattle and termites, methane is 86 times more potent in its power to
heat the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, though fortunately it hangs around for
much less time. The problem is that much of the world’s methane is trapped in
layers of Arctic permafrost. As these melt, more methane will be released and our
world will get even hotter.
Losing the Gulf Stream As the ice
caps melt, the resulting cold water pouring from the Arctic threatens to block
or divert the Gulf Stream, which carries a prodigious amount of heat from the
tropics to the seas around Europe. Signs now suggest the Gulf Stream is already
weakening and could shut down completely before end of the century, triggering
powerful winter storms over Europe.
Calorie crunch Four-fifths
of all calories consumed across the world come from just 10 crop plants
including wheat, maize and rice. Many of these staples will not grow well under
the higher temperatures that will soon become the norm, pointing towards a
massive cut in the availability of food, which will have a catastrophic impact
across the planet, says McGuire.
While dogs weren’t always our docile companions, research indicates that they were likely one of the first animals to be domesticated by humans. In fact, genetic evidence suggests that dogs split from their wild wolf ancestors around 33,000 years ago.
When did humans domesticate other animals, and why? This timeline highlights the domestication period of 15 different animals, based on archeological findings.
Because exact timing is tricky to pinpoint and research on the topic is ongoing, these estimates may vary by thousands of years.
Florida's Hot-Hot Summers Have Turned All the Baby Sea Turtles Female
A researcher releases sea turtle hatchlings into the Atlantic Ocean in a joint effort between the United States Coast Guard and the Gumbo-Limbo Nature Center. Credit: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)
The climate crisis has created a huge sex imbalance for Florida’s sea turtles. More frequent and hotter heat waves baking the sand on the state’s beaches means that seemingly every new hatchling is female, turtle
researchers told Reuters.Female sea turtles bury their eggs in the sand along the shore, where the eggs nest for about two months. The sex of the turtles is not determined during or soon after fertilization; instead the temperature of the sand along the shore helps determine if the turtle will be male or female.
New Book: “The Making of a Pandemic: Social, Political, and Psychological Perspectives on Covid-19” by John Ehrenreich ... How Decades of Greed and Bad Choices Left Us Vulnerable to a Pandemic
Credit: Book Cover
Before you crack open John Ehrenreich’s new book, “The Making of a Pandemic: Social, Political, and Psychological Perspectives on Covid-19,” both the rather bland title and the lengthy compilation of footnotes may give you the impression that you are about to read a dry academic text. Instead, the book turns out to be an examination, indeed an indictment, of the last few decades of American politics, business and society. This pandemic book spends relatively little time on the years of the pandemic, but it paints a grim picture of decisions and events from dozens of years before.
Ehrenreich’s critique won’t be a surprise to people familiar with his work, and his main point presents a compelling, and occasionally edgy, case for our deep malfeasance. He wants to go beyond a technical analysis of why we found ourselves short of ventilators. He wants us to look back further to pinpoint the policies that caused the pandemic to hit us so hard — things we don’t immediately associate with the coronavirus, such as the growth of factory farms, the overuse of antibiotics and policies that promote individual wealth over equality.
One recent international study found that approximately 19% of first-year college students across eight countries were diagnosed with depression within the previous year.
New research published in Psychological Science points to an important risk factor for college student depression: the feeling that one doesn’t belong.
A sense of belonging involves more than simply having social contacts. Belonging also goes beyond feeling supported by others or having close relationships. A college student could have a close group of friends on campus and spend a lot of time with those friends but still feel like they don’t belong at their college or university.
Belonging is about feeling valued by a group or institution. A student who doesn’t have a sense of belonging may feel like a “visitor” or interloper instead of an integrated, respected part of their college community.
The feeling that one doesn’t belong may be especially pernicious for college students who are adolescents or young adults. These students are in a critical time period for building social networks and often adjusting to living away from family for the first time.
Publisher and Editor: Dr. David Zakus Production: Aisha Saleem & Julia Chalmers Social Media: Mahdia Abidi, Shalini Kainth and Ishneer Mankoo Website, Index and Advisory: Eunice Anteh, Gaël Chetaille, Carlos Jimenez, Evans Oppong, Jonathan Zakus, Dr. Aimée-Angélique Bouka & Elisabeth Huang
Bloggers: Edward Milner, Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, Aisha Saleem and Dr. Jay Kravitz