Mother Earth, Brother Newt

After the Office of the President went eight years without tackling many of our contemporary crises, there’s a lot to be done. It makes you wish Hillary had won and installed an exclusively female cabinet—on account of women’s ability to multi-task more effectively than men, I mean. 

And one would hope women have more than that going for them. Just look at how Limburger and The Newt—two men—reacted to a Washington Post/ABC poll indicating 57% of respondents supported a government-created “health insurance plan to compete with private insurers.”

Limburger called it “fraudulent”; The Newt, “rigged”. Their major complaint was that more donkeys were questioned than elephants. Well…you see boys, we have a representative democracy and as the donkeys control the White House and both ends of the legislature, one could logically infer that, at this moment in our esteemed history, more people prefer riding donkeys than elephants.

But fine, fine. I’m all for fairness. Next time the pollsters should have as many elephants as donkeys on their call lists. Wait! The respondents were called at random and self-identified as donkey, elephant or muskrat (independent)? Back to the drawing board, boys…

Meanwhile, the fate of the world could be decided in a mere six weeks. The UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen is fast approaching and the American legislature has had their collective (mostly-male) eye on the healthcare ball. Without having emission reduction targets set by Congress prior to the Conference, it will be difficult for American diplomats to agree in earnest to any binding caps on CO2 output.

Europe, for its part, has taken the lead, announcing its willingness to cut 95% of CO2 emissions by 2050. However, it has not announced how it will achieve its more modest goals for the 2020 deadline.

The world needs a woman who can simultaneously care for the health of people and the planet, a woman like Mother Earth.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less
Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

Keep reading Show less

The culprit of increased depression among teens? Smartphones, new research suggests.

A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.

A teenager eyes her smartphone as people enjoy a warm day on the day of silence, one day prior to the presidential elections, when candidates and political parties are not allowed to voice their political meaning on April 14, 2018 in Kotor, Montenegro. Citizens from Montenegro, the youngest NATO member, will vote for a new president on Sunday 15 2018. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
Surprising Science
  • In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
  • The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
  • Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
Keep reading Show less

U.S. reacts to New Zealand's gun ban

On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
  • Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
  • The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
Keep reading Show less