from the world's big
Why Environmentalists Should Get Out More
Alex Matthiessen is the President of Riverkeeper, a New York State-based clean water advocacy organization widely considered to be among the most successful non-profits of its kind. Prior to his tenure at Riverkeeper, Mr. Matthiessen was a Special Assistant at the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he developed the Green Energy Parks initiative. He has also served as a macroeconomic policy analyst in Indonesia for the Harvard Institute for International Development and worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Hudson River Improvement Fund, Catskill Mountainkeeper, and Waterkeeper Alliance.
Question: Does nature hold spiritual value for you?
Alex Matthiessen: It does, you know, I was not raised in a religious household, so I’m not part of any, you know, organized or formal religion and so for me for a long time since I was a kid being in nature has been, you know, my source of inspiration and my connectedness to the world and I find being in nature, you know, an intensely spiritual experience and I just wish I could spend more time at it. I mean the irony, of course, for a lot of us environmentalists is that this work is so all consuming and so challenging that you end up working very, very long hours and don’t get as much of a chance to get out in nature as you like but it’s critically important and one of the things I would say to kinda average Americans in addition to supporting groups like ours, in addition to getting much more politically and civically engaged than we’ve traditionally been in the past is to get your kids out in nature and to give them the chance to make that connection with nature and with wildlife and to develop a real deep appreciation for nature and for the species that we share this planet with, and also for all the benefits that the natural world gives us in terms of our ability to live life on this planet and, you know, then the other thing I’d say too is that part of what motivates this work is that, you know, to be honest, is an emotional one.
I have an enormous amount of anger and then frustration that we humans, you know, as talented and beautiful as we are as a species and the things that we’ve created in terms of the arts and music and even political systems and figure out a way to kind of live among one another for the most part successfully that we are also capable of such destruction and such greedy behavior and that we don’t have more of a moral imperative to not just protect ourselves but protect the other species and natural systems that we share this planet with. I find it disgraceful in a certain way and this is what worries me about America in particular because we have been seen as a model democracy to a certain extent, although I think that’s less true now, I don’t think our democracy is quite as—doesn’t meet quite the high standards that I think that our founders had in mind these days. But we really have been seen as generally a role model for the rest of world in the way we conduct our lives, in the way we run our economy and in particular the way we consume things and I think that’s very frightening and even though our role has been diminished and our standing has been diminished in the last 7 or 8 years worldwide, I think we still have a big influence and thus a great opportunity to do things differently here and just say “Okay, yeah, we did it, we did it this way for a long time, we were very rapacious and consumptive for a long time and we’ve realized that that’s not the way to go and we’re gonna go off in a new direction and we wanna encourage you guys to do the same thing” meaning all the other countries and of course we have an obligation to help them do that because part of the reason that we’re in the mess we’re in is because of all the pollution and the problems we’ve created over a long, long time. I think we do have a moral and an economic and financial obligation to help assist some of these other countries that are trying to grow economically and to improve their quality of life and so on to help them make that transition.
Renewing a spiritual connection with nature is a must not only for average Americans, but also for green activists locked in offices.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are incredibly rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also very rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
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.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.