Industrial Pollution's Impact "On The Scale Of Malaria"
A new report documents, for the first time, the public health impact of industrial pollutants on local populations in developing countries.
Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn
What's the Latest Development?
The 2012 World's Worst Pollution Problems report, published by the Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland, reveals that hazardous waste materials impact the health and lives of an estimated 125 million people in developing countries around the world. The report used a common metric to evaluate the overall health burden borne by those who are exposed to toxic industrial pollutants. It showed that in some areas, the public health impact is on the same scale as malaria or tuberculosis. Bret Ericson of the Blacksmith Institute says that the number of people affected "is an extremely conservative estimate."
What's the Big Idea?
Stephan Robinson of Green Cross Switzerland says that the increase in mining and resource extraction resulting from the developed world's demand for electronics is the reason why so many toxic sites exist. Ericson cites the Nigerian state of Zamfara as an example: Lead exposure resulting from crushing gold-bearing rocks in village compounds led to such high child mortality rates that "doctors carrying out vaccinations...were shocked to see so few children." He also says that nations need to do a better job in terms of finding and using inexpensive ways to avoid toxic pollution.
VR's coolest feature? Boosting compassion and empathy.
- Virtual reality fills us with awe and adrenaline — and the technology is only at a crude stage, explains VR filmmaker Danfung Dennis. It's capable of inspiring something much greater in us: empathy.
- With coming technological advancements in pixel display, haptics, and sound tracking, VR users will finally be able to know what it's like to really take another person's perspective. Empathy is inherent in humans (and other animal species), but just as it can be squashed, it must be practiced in order to develop.
- "This ability to improve ourselves to become a more empathetic and compassionate society is what I hope we will use this technology for," Dennis says.
We have to practice doing nothing more often.
- Constantly being busy is neurologically taxing and emotionally draining.
- In his new book, Jon Kabat-Zinn writes that you're doing a disservice to others by always being busy.
- Busyness is often an excuse for the discomfort of being alone with your own thoughts.
That's a sharp increase from the 1960s when it took the same share of scientists an average of 35 years to drop out of academia.
- The study tracked the careers of more than 100,000 scientists over 50 years.
- The results showed career lifespans are shrinking, and fewer scientists are getting credited as the lead author on scientific papers.
- Scientists are still pursuing careers in the private sector, however there are key differences between research conducted in academia and industry.
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