The environment and personal behaviour
People who raise the hue and cry for the government to do something about the environmental issues the world faces should start the solution at the personal level. There are a myraid of things that an individual (multiply by approximately 200,000,000 to get the gross effect) can do on a daily basis. I will list a few:
- Stop driving everywhere. That effects petroleum consumption, carbon emissions, and one's weight. Walk or bicycle, or at the very least use public transport. Yes, I know that for some it is a humiliation beyond comprehension to ride with "the po' folk". In a lot of cases I think people would find a surprise at who *actually* rides the buses, the Els, and other public conveyances. I certainly had no trouble getting around Manhattan on the subway, other than figuring out the usual point-A-to-point-B issues.
- Unless one's profession requires living remotely (farming and ranching come to mind), think about why one feels the need to live somewhere that requires more than a couple of miles of driving to obtain daily necessities, or to commute to work. What is truly one's motivation for a home that is far removed from a community, and does not function in any productive fashion?
- Lose weight. It takes more energy to haul obese people around; it costs more in the medical care to keep obese people at least functional (not to mention the chemical by-products from pharmaceutical manufacturing); it costs more to clothe them, and (rather obviously) to feed them. (see #1).
- Pay attention not only to what one eats, but whence it comes, and the footprint it takes to produce. As an example: beef cattle are the least efficient in terms of the space required to produce by a fairly wide margin. I don't have the statistics that I read recently right at hand, but I think I'll track them down for the purposes of this discussion. If one needs meat (as I do on occasion), as the commercial says: Eat mor chikin. Or fish. Or rabbit. And, whenever possible, eat local produce (minimal transportation, refrigeration and packaging).
- Pay attention to packaging. Is it necessary to buy everything in hermetically sealed plastic which will require a couple of centuries at minimum to bio-degrade, or packaged in metal?
- Stop making babies. Encourage other people to stop making babies. It's environmentally irresponsible (see the first five items, and multiply by the number of children). It is socially irresponsible, since so many of them will be more likely to be part of a problem than part of a solution.
- Vacations: they're a psychological appendage which for practical purposes is about as useful as wings on a chicken; they are a barbaric leftover from the industrial revolution. There is so much to be done right where one lives - instead of stuffing kith and kin into the minivan or SUV and driving all over the place, find constructive work to do (that is dissociated with one's 'day job') within one's community. "A change of work is the best rest." [Conan Doyle]
Just a few thoughts - anyone with functioning brains can extrapolate from there.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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