Anna

I thoroughly appreciated Daniel Person’s examination in the Seattle Weekly of the role Cliff Mass has taken on in the region’s conversation about climate science. Mass has gained acclaim and stature as a public figure, a translator of science for the masses. He seems to very much enjoy that platform. His giddiness about high traffic to his site makes me wonder whether he has other motives outside for playing the contrarian.

The US signed on to the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. But is our country actually living up to its standards here at home? The United Nations is checking in on the living conditions of the 2.7 million Native Americans in the US.

If you missed it on NPR a while back, Adam Frank had what I thought was a useful take on climate messaging. Basically he suggests that we need to say that “climate change is not our fault,” thus lifting the sense of blame or complicity people feel when it comes to our oil-fueled society. The message about climate change has perhaps too often been (explicitly or implicitly) that we are in this mess because we are greedy and selfish, even inherently bad. But that tact might be counterproductive, turning people away rather than inspiring solutions. Here’s his reframe: Fossil fuels got us amazing things and brought humans to amazing places. We put the stuff to work building society as we know it and it’s been mostly positive. We did it largely without knowing what would happen as a consequence. That’s what humans do: build civilizations out of whatever we can get our hands on—stone, fire, iron, rope, canvas…oil. So, “while triggering climate change might not be our fault, not doing everything we can about it now that we know it’s happening—that would be our fault. Worse, it would be our failure as a species.”

Serena

Well, this is horrifying: people in America are getting shot by toddlers an average of once a week in 2015.

A guy in Montreal is spending his spare cash putting up campaign signs of himself. He’s not running for anything. He just wanted a sign. Maybe that’s what Donald Trump thinks he’s actually doing, too? Fingers crossed!

  • Orion Magazine has ten words technology borrowed from nature.

    Who isn’t fascinated by “preppers”? Especially us enviro types sighing before the prospect of our climate-pocalypse. Well, here’s some fresh fascination for you: the elite 1% (or 0.001%?) of the prepper world.

    Alan

    I missed this piece when the Atlantic first published it in 2012. Weird and fascinating and scary: how parasites afflict not only our bodies but our minds. A parasitic protozoan carried by cats, for example, may be among the chief causes of schizophrenia. Teaser: “Schizophrenia did not rise in prevalence until the latter half of the 18th century, when for the first time people in Paris and London started keeping cats as pets.” (And on the subject of reforming the mental health care “system” of the United States, this National Journal webcast about an impressively bipartisan bill now in Congress is a superb primer.)

    Kristin

    Want more innovation? Give more people the opportunity to innovate (with a basic income).

    GIF of 100 people in cars, bikes, buses.

    Why is it normal for Japanese kids as young as 6 to walk to school and do errands alone? Maybe because Japan creates a culture of cooperation, where, for example, schoolkids take turns cleaning bathrooms and serving lunch, learning both the consequences of making a mess and the confidence that everyone can be depended on to help out.