from the world's big
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Jordan Hall speculates on the fate of the species.
- Neurohacker Collective co-founder, Jordan Hall, believes we might be heading toward a "Star Trek" future, though "Mad Max" is entirely possible.
- As human systems become more complicated and interconnected, the harder they are to fix when something breaks down.
- COVID-19 offers insight into the dangers of introducing too much complexity to a globally-connected species.
John Hoyt as Dr. Phillip Boyce and Leonard Nimoy as Commander Spock (Mr. Spock) in the STAR TREK: The Original Series episode, "The Cage." This is the pilot episode completed early 1965, but not broadcast until October 4, 1988.
Photo by CBS via Getty Images<p>Onto the second order. "Well, I guess, today," Hall says, laughing, the day the stock market craters.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Suddenly you begin to realize that a phenomenon at the first order spills over into other seemingly disconnected modes of the larger cultural milieu. It turns out that when governments are shutting down entire regions and people are choosing not to go to work, that has impact on the economy. An event that occurs in one system can very easily spill over into other systems, which by the way has feedback."</p><p>For the third order, we peer ahead to October, making me question <a href="https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2020-03-10/coachella-rescheduled-postponed-stagecoach-october" target="_blank">Coachella's rescheduling</a>, as if we didn't learn anything from the Spanish influenza. (Most of the 30-50 million people died the second year.) Sometimes our optimism does more bad than good. Hall picks it up, portending the possible.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"It turns out that we're in an economic depression <em>and</em> the virus has blown through our medical system <em>and</em> we've actually got 25 million people who are sick. Think about the degrading factor there. We've got a situation where the ability to make effective, nuanced choices at the political level is being degraded, both sociologically—people are panicking—and even practically. Many of the people who are leadership positions could themselves be sick."</p><p>A decade ago Hall was asked to consider questions of asymmetric warfare and global terrorism. His response? Get rid of the Pentagon. Minor tweaks won't solve an issue that requires a comprehensive systemic reboot, whether via a President Trump or President Biden. The flood is coming. </p><p>Still, Hall concludes, "Star Trek" is possible, more so than "Mad Max." We are optimistic animals, by nature, no matter how complex or complicated. He easily transitions between theoretical models and the model playing out in front of us. That doesn't make any of this easy. We have a lot of work ahead. </p><p>Hall compares our upcoming struggles to homesteading. We might have to fire up very old muscle memories, and soon—plowing and digging and planting. There is precedent: the Jews breaking ground in Israel; many wanted to leave given the work required. Yet they endured. Maybe, just maybe, things won't be so complicated when we reboot. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The ability to make meaningful change at the individual level, and at a collective level, is always premised on being in a particular disposition. Some people refer to as the liminal space, a moment of clarity. You're an addict, you will not make changes, you will continue to take the shortest path, the easiest path, which unfortunately is the path to self-destruction. Something about reality, nature, hits you hard enough: a rock bottom event that gives you a moment of clarity. In that moment of clarity you actually can make really significant change."</p><p><span></span>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a>. His next book is "</em><em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Answer: When 22 men make more money than all of the women in Africa, an Oxfam study says absolutely.
- Worldwide, women and girls contribute an estimated $10.8 trillion to the global economy for care work that they are not paid for.
- Women around the globe do more than 75 percent of all unpaid care work.
- Women make up only 18 percent of cabinet ministers around the world and 24 percent of parliamentarians.
Gender, division of labor, and pay<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY2MTQyNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTU5NjI4N30.g0sjLCM4n0GvUA0C4E1ptf4dWk6ZD5xn2mGbWZGKDVs/img.jpg?width=980" id="846f9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="da5f2848d995b014a380687f202c428e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Source: Time to Care Report, Oxfam<p>Women and girls worldwide contribute an estimated $10.8 trillion to the global economy that they are not paid for. They collectively spend 12.5 billion hours per day on unpaid care work. Care work includes occupations like child care, healthcare work, teaching, and domestic labor. Though this kind of work is often left out of national economic equations, the monetary value of it is triple the worth of the global tech industry, according to an Oxfam report. Women around the globe, particularly those who live in poverty, do more than 75% of all unpaid care work. Despite its social importance and economic value, this labor is <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/10/why-gender-and-income-inequality-are-linked/" target="_blank">persistently</a> undervalued and taken for granted by governments and companies around the world. </p><p>It manifests in different ways. In the United States, <a href="https://time.com/longform/teaching-in-america/" target="_blank">teachers</a>, nurses, child social workers, <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/11/childcare-workers-cant-afford-childcare/414496/" target="_blank">day care workers</a>, and other "care" jobs, which have been historically dominated by women, are underpaid. Furthermore, on an average day, women in the U.S. spend nearly 40 percent more time on unpaid care, like household duties, than men. Zoom out to a global scale and these issues are magnified in less wealthy nations like Africa where women aren't paid at all for this work. They end up trapped in poverty, unable to get an education and achieve financial security. They are also barred from government positions in which they can influence social and economic policy.</p>
Economic and political inequality<p>Though men around the world are certainly suffering under the widening income gap and facing poverty, there is clearly a systemic gender disparity when most billionaires are men and most of the people occupying the lowest paid or unpaid jobs are women. Globally, men own more than 50% more wealth than women, and they also control government and economic decisions that could fix this system. Women make up only 18% of cabinet ministers around the world and 24% of parliamentarians. </p><p>The result has been a global economy designed by men, for men, that undervalues work done primarily by women, and especially marginalized women in already economically disadvantaged nations. </p><p>"When 22 men have more wealth than all the women in Africa combined, it's clear that our economy is just plain sexist," Oxfam GB's chief executive <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/africa-wealth-inequality-oxfam-study-davos-latest-tax-a9290791.html" target="_blank">Danny Sriskandarajah said</a>.</p><p>He noted that if world leaders care about reducing poverty and inequality, they need to invest in public services like care that make life less grueling for people with care responsibilities and hold back women and girls. Yet, closing the growing wealth gap is not on the top of the agenda of most world leaders. In fact, many of them continue to facilitate policies that widen it, such as tax cuts for billionaires, cuts in public spending, and privatization.</p>
We need solutions now<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY2MTQ1My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTI0OTA1N30.Y4_QVRte-3FejugjwZWY1GDzHSP6HFu2H4p0IiiRA8o/img.png?width=980" id="1d35b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5dfbac298423083ef84ae718fdae6c5c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Source: Time to Care Report, Oxfam<p>What it boils down to is a gendered discrimination of values in which neoliberal economic values are prioritized above social values like education and healthcare. The Oxfam report warns that aging populations, cuts in public spending, and the climate crisis will exacerbate gender-based economic inequality. Part of the solution is taxing the wealthy and learning to value care. </p><p>"Getting the richest 1% to pay just 0.5% tax on their wealth – just on their wealth, not their income – would create enough money over the next 10 years to pay for 117m jobs, in education, health and elderly care," said Katy Chakrabortty from Oxfam GB.</p><p>When we invest in social values, women are helped economically, but everyone reaps the benefits. Caregiving is going to be more valuable than ever in the next ten years. It's estimated that by 2030, 2.3 billion people will be in need of care. That's 200 million up from 2015 according to the Oxfam report. Part of this has to do with the climate crisis, which is deeply entangled with issues of human care. Over the next five years, it's estimated that 2.4 billion people will be living with water shortages. Already, women and girls are disproportionately affected by this because they need to walk further to find water to nourish their communities, adding to their unpaid workload. </p><p>By thinking beyond profit and choosing to invest in water, infrastructure, and child and health care, governments can improve quality of life and liberate laborers from hours of work per day. As of now, many of them are only bolstering a system under which billions of people, disproportionately women, are suffocating under the mass of concentrated wealth held by a small group of men who grow richer and richer. </p><p><a href="https://ousweb-prodv2-shared-media.s3.amazonaws.com/media/documents/FINAL_bp-time-to-care-inequality-200120-en.pdf" target="_blank">Read the report here.</a></p>
Cities of the future won't just be incredibly populated, they'll also be smarter than ever.
- Globally we are adding about 3 million people to urban areas each week. Over the course of the year, this number can be equated to roughly 50 Chicagos.
- This influx of people could make everyday life in urban areas more chaotic than ever. We will need a new playbook for how cities can better handle this massive influx of people.
- With such population surges, we can use citizen-centric data—computational power—to make the infrastructure of cities run smoother and more efficiently.