Reading Time: 10 minutes In 2004, a tsunami and earthquake killed almost 230,000 people in 14 Indian Ocean countries. Many forms of relief then mouldered on the beaches—used clothes, high heel shoes, expired medicines—because “in-kind” donations are well known not to be effective forms of aid on a global scale. The wrong hair products to survivors of Hurricane Katrina. […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes Fifty-four years ago, in 1968, American biologist Paul Ehrlich warned that a human “population bomb” threatened global catastrophe. The world’s population at the time was 3.54 billion.
On November 15, 2022, the UN estimate of Earth’s human population flew past eight billion.
Religious beliefs and practices are a major part of the problem. Increasing secularism can only help.
Reading Time: 4 minutes November 15 is the UN’s estimated date for the eight billionth person to join the living human species. We might have hit that number a few days prior, or a few weeks ago. We might meet it tomorrow, or the day after. But some of we eight billion really like the feel of concrete dates. […]
Reading Time: 8 minutes In the late 2000s, research blossomed around our use of online avatars. Did our videogame icons and social media profiles represent our actual selves, our ideal selves, or something else entirely? And did they have a reciprocal impact, a “Proteus effect” that transformed self-perception? Did we change in the real world based how our online […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes Last November, government ministers at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) agreed to The Glasgow Climate Pact. It was both ambitious, in setting key targets for emissions reductions by 2030, and also heavily criticized, including by the Scientist Rebellion, for not going far enough. Critics noted that nations needed to […]
Reading Time: 13 minutes At 4 a.m. on Sunday, I just needed fifteen minutes to finish a news brief. Fifteen minutes, and I’d be ready to leave for a trip to a pueblo two hours away. Fifteen minutes, and I’d switch modes completely: from English to Spanish, from digital to analog, and from the high-minded literary life to something […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes Brace yourself for some messy science reporting in the days ahead. On October 26, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, a summary of where we stand with atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. WMO pulled no punches with its presser headline, “More bad news for the planet: greenhouse […]