Journalist Travels Southwest U.S. Chronicling Local Climate Stories
Ari Phillips -- a graduate student in journalism at the University of Texas -- has started a unique project documenting the story of climate change in the U.S. Southwest via Kick Starter. Below he describes the project and I am hoping he will provide periodic guest posts at AoE over the coming months
The U.S. Southwest is under water duress. More water is used in the region each year than the amount of rain and snowfall – a shortfall accounted for by diminishing groundwater reserves.
The Colorado River – the Southwest's only significant source of water – is already over-allocated and slight disruptions can endanger power generation and water supply in the region A recent study called “The Last Drop: Climate Change and the Southwest Water Crisis” found that climate change could add $1 trillion to the costs of water scarcity in the Southwest over the next century.
Water is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to climate change in the Southwest, where models predict a hotter, drier climate developing over the course of the century.
A Great Aridness,a recent book by William deBuys, explores what climate change could mean to the Southwest. In the book’s introduction, Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist who co-directs the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona, says, “climate change will produce winners and losers, and those in the Southwest will be losers. There’s no doubt.”
With my Kickstarter project Energy and Climate Change in the American Southwest I plan to traverse the Southwest this summer reporting on what’s happening with these issues right now – and to determine what impact the so-called losers can have on their fate.
I’ve identified nine critical stories – from the surging natural gas production of Midland, TX to the controversial solar parks of the Mojave Desert – that demand attention for the way they are reshaping the Southwest. In some cases literally, such as with forests devastated by wildfires and bark beetles – both growing in intensity due to climate change. It is unclear what will replace traditional piñon and ponderosa trees as the climate of the Southwest changes and flora and fauna migrate accordingly.
In other cases the reshaping is more socioeconomic rather than physical.
This spring the Navajo Nation signed a contract with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to study what technologies would be best for developing natural resources on the sprawling reservation. Unemployment hovers around 50 percent in the region and a main goal of the project is to improve economic conditions and prevent industry from taking advantage of the tribe, as has historically occurred with mining and oil leasing. Clean energy production also falls in-line with long held cultural beliefs of the Navajo relating to environmental stewardship and preservation.
To create wiser adults, add empathy to the school curriculum.
- Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
- Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
- Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
Philosophers like to present their works as if everything before it was wrong. Sometimes, they even say they have ended the need for more philosophy. So, what happens when somebody realizes they were mistaken?
Sometimes philosophers are wrong and admitting that you could be wrong is a big part of being a real philosopher. While most philosophers make minor adjustments to their arguments to correct for mistakes, others make large shifts in their thinking. Here, we have four philosophers who went back on what they said earlier in often radical ways.
Just before I turned 60, I discovered that sharing my story by drawing could be an effective way to both alleviate my symptoms and combat that stigma.
I've lived much of my life with anxiety and depression, including the negative feelings – shame and self-doubt – that seduced me into believing the stigma around mental illness: that people knew I wasn't good enough; that they would avoid me because I was different or unstable; and that I had to find a way to make them like me.
A joint study by two England universities explores the link between sex and cognitive function with some surprising differences in male and female outcomes in old age.
- A joint study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford in England has linked sexual activity with higher cognitive abilities in older age.
- The results of this study suggest there are significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing/word recall in men. In women, however, there was a significant association between sexual activity in word recall alone - number sequencing was not impacted.
- The differences in testosterone (the male sex hormone) and oxytocin (a predominantly female hormone) may factor into why the male cognitive level changes much more during sexual activity in older age.
Mathematicians studied 100 billion tweets to help computer algorithms better understand our colloquial digital communication.