Does "Population Die-Off" Need To Be Retooled?

One would think humans would have a notion of preservation lofty enough not to get too bogged down in the semantics of the climate debate, but such is not the case.

Cap and trade, polar melting, mega-storms, sea level rise, feedback loops, population die-off.

The language of climate change is strong stuff, so strong that it seems the best work of the Al Gore camp is all for naught unless the communications experts are brought in.

This is the new mandate for green interests seeking to underscore the urgency of the climate change issue--even though the idea of marketing the climate message makes many traditional environmentalists recoil.

The new intersection of communications and global warming inspired Seed Magazine to ask a panel of scientists how much the language of safeguarding the planet--or, if you are of another frame of mind, averting biospheric disaster--really matters.

Most of them came down on the side of the public relations people who have successfully trumpeted the environmental cause. Though the future may indeed be dire, the eco-fundamentalists have proven ill-equipped to convey the climate message compared to the veteran spin masters.

American Univeristy professor of Communications Matthew Nisbet broke down the alchemy of the message.

"The point is not to "sell" the public on climate change, but rather to use research on framing to create communication contexts that move beyond polarization, promote discussion, generate partnerships and connections, and that accurately convey the objective urgency of the problem."

When he spoke with Big Think, Nisbet explained how conservatives have courted PR folks in the past to downplay the climate issue as harmful to business and the economy. He noted one of the most persuasive efforts in environmental spin has been the unlikely teamwork of the ecologists and Christians.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

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Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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Space toilets: How astronauts boldly go where few have gone before

A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.

  • When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
  • Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
  • Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
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Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
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Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

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Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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