Waiting to Exhale in Hong Kong: The Air Pollution Crisis
How much smog is too much smog?
Air pollution in Hong Kong is worse than it has ever been, and ten times worse than it was in 2005. In fact, it has become such a problem that some worry global corporations located in Hong Kong's central business district will have to relocate due to health concerns.
This problem is certainly not unique to China or the developing world. While air quality has improved in recent years, half of America breathes air that is polluted enough to cause health problems, according to the American Lung Association. The area of Los Angeles-LongBeach-Riverside, CA ranked #1 for high ozone pollution levels out of 277 metropolitan areas in the U.S.
There could be an enormous economic cost to pay for being dirty if cities start to shed major businesses. Furthermore, as Big Think's chief economist Daniel Altman has forecast, a new set of "lifestyle hubs" will gradually replace today's business hubs. The more the air stinks in these cities will only speed up this process.
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How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.
- Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
- Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
- As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
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