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Warming Trends: Laughing about climate change, fighting water, and investigating the health effects of hydraulic fracturing


Gallows humor

Can you laugh at something tragic like climate change?

The creators of new comedy ventures think so. In fact, comedian Esteban Gast believes that humor is a way to reach people who don’t think much about climate change.

“Survey shows that comedy is a great way to break defenses. Comedy is a great way to get people to hear the truth that you might not otherwise be able to hear. Comedy opens your mind. “Masu,” Gusto said. “We also know that humor and hope change people and motivate them to act.”

Gusto is a co-founder of Climate comedy cohortA group of nine comedians from all over the United States, will work together for the next six months to learn from climate experts and market jokes for future performances and videos.

According to co-founder and comedian Kenice Mobley, the goal is to create a comedy-burning climate communication. This group works to find a balance between informing the audience about climate change without jumping into the story of death and destruction. Rather, the creators of the cohort want their viewers to remain learned, laughed, and inspired.

“I’m very excited to see these projects [comedians] I came up with it, “Moveley said.


Surgical carbon footprint

In the United States, the healthcare sector accounts for 8.5% of greenhouse gas emissions, most of which is due to surgery. In fact, operating room carbon dioxide emissions are three to six times higher than in hospitals as a whole, partly due to heat-trapping anesthetic gas and energy-intensive robotic surgery.

After President Biden last year Announced his goal To reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, Victor Agbafe, a medical student at the University of Michigan, and Nicholas Berlin, a surgeon, are trying to reduce the significant impact of operating rooms on a warming planet. I was prompted to find.

But it can be difficult to make environmentally beneficial changes where human life is at stake, Berlin said. So, he said, “changing our healthcare system is like turning the Titanic around.”

Berlin and Agbafe have published a paper outlining some of the solutions to start working on emission-reducing white whales without compromising patient care.Papers published in Journal of Clinical OncologyEncourages hospitals to procure products locally, effectively meet patients when possible, and reduce emissions in the transport sector. The authors also point out that robot-assisted surgery uses large amounts of energy. This should be taken into account when choosing that option for the patient. for example, Robotic hysterectomyThe author wrote that it has the same carbon effects as a 2,200-mile car journey, helping doctors use robotic techniques to remove a patient’s uterus.

Another major impact is due to anesthetic gas, which accounted for 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2014. Only about 5 percent of the gas given is inhaled by the patient during surgery. The rest is lost in the atmosphere, Studies show.. George Mashour, chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan, said that the general general anesthetic desflurane accounted for 80% of these emissions, but the alternative anesthetic sevoflurane works as well to the climate. The effect of is much smaller. ..He started recently Initiative Reduce sector greenhouse gas emissions from anesthetic use by 80% over the next three years by switching to sevoflurane, eliminating the use of desflurane, and reducing the use of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. .. This is a greenhouse gas that does 300 times more damage From carbon dioxide.

These efforts are urgently needed, as the exacerbation of environmental disasters increases the need for emergency treatment, fossil fuel pollution increases the incidence of cancer, and climate change has a profound impact on human health. Mr. Agbafe said.

“We need to deal with the climate crisis we are working on, and more widely advocated,” he said. “Patients can be treated, but prevention is the best treatment.”


“Climate change is a change in water”

Humans have significantly changed the natural flow of water through developments that wipe out wetlands and floodplains and artificial global warming that changes where it rains. However, some are looking for ways to restore the natural way of water to solve the problem of too much or too little water in these communities.

Erica Heath, author New issue “Water always wins” These people are called “water detectives”. In her book, she travels to places such as England, California, Peru, India and seeks solutions to help water detectives slow down water and function in harmony with the planet. Learn about what you are doing. She restores a natural ecosystem that retains water like a sponge.

Inside Climate News recently discussed the book with Gies. This conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

How does climate change fit into the water story?

Climate change is a change in water. And I think it’s one of the ways people are actually starting to embrace and understand climate change at the visceral level. It is when a particular area is flooded or is experiencing a truly extreme water shortage. The reason is that for every degree of global warming, the air can retain 7% more water vapor.

As a result, there is a dramatic increase in the amount of rain held by a particular storm system and the speed at which it falls. And that’s also why we’re seeing these really extreme droughts. Because the atmosphere is more thirsty, it draws more water from the soil and plants.

Do you think humanity is beginning to embrace the reality that water always wins? Or are we still fighting a losing battle?

The dominant culture is still approaching the water with this dominant attitude. And there are various cultural reasons I’ll cover in this book … and when it comes to water, it’s very short-sighted because I’m thinking of solving linear problems. Floods are occurring here, so build embankments to keep water in the waterways, or because there is a shortage of water elsewhere, build dams and create large pools to store water. To do. But we do not consider the natural system in which water is operating. And that’s why we have all these unintended consequences.

We have reached this kind of turning point looking at how the idea of ​​control is failing. And you know, it doesn’t have to think about water that way. Many indigenous cultures, many traditional cultures, instead looked at water rather than goods or threats and regarded it as a relative or friend. So the idea is that doing the right thing comes with responsibility. There is an interrelationship that we must take care of and grow it in order for it to provide us with what we need.

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What do you want your readers to take away from this book?

Climate change can really be overwhelming. We are waiting for governments to reduce our emissions and they are arguing who should do it first. Meanwhile, things are getting worse in terms of extreme weather and impact.

However, because slowwater projects are specific to a particular basin, people work in communities, protect themselves from extreme water, protect human habitats from floods, and survive droughts later. You can store water underground for this. And while they also provide adaptation in their own communities, they can also contribute to mitigation by carbon storage, which is a very large part of these healthy ecosystems. So I think it’s empowering. There are things you can do to protect yourself and your community now.


In the Permian basin, the threat radius of hydraulic fracturing

In Carlsbad, New Mexico, a community in the Permian basin where the oil and gas drilling industry is strong, resident Kayley Shoup is increasingly being diagnosed with cancer, including his mother. She was unaware that there could be a link between these health problems and the nearby oil and gas business until she participated in her environmental activities.

More than 20,000 people in the county where Carlsbad is located live within half a mile of the oil and gas infrastructure and can leak pollutants that are dangerous to human health. New map Created by advocates Earthworks and the Frack Tracker Alliance, it shows that there are 17.3 million people across the United States, of whom 3.9 million are children, living within 0.5 miles of oil and gas wells, compressors and processors. increase. radius. “

“My story is common in this area,” Shoup said at a press conference about the new map. “The Permian basin is literally in the desert, but in my opinion it’s also a kind of information desert. Many people here accompany living near oil and gas facilities with health care workers in the area. I’m not aware of the risks. “

These facilities emit pollutants such as benzene, which are known as carcinogens that can cause serious illness in children. Even in recent research Elderly people who lived near or downwind of oil and gas wells are at significantly higher risk of death than those who do not live near oil and gas wells, due to air pollutants emitted from the wells. It was suggested that. Oil and gas operations also emit methane, a greenhouse gas that is about 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide when it warms the earth in 20 years.Current regulations and enforcement are weak and data collection for these operations is inadequate, recently Investigation Revealed by the Howard Center for Research Journalism.

The map is “I take action” A button that allows users to send an email to Michael Regan, who is responsible for the Environmental Protection Agency. Ask the EPA to develop stricter regulations on methane and other emissions from oil and gas businesses to protect human health and prevent climate change from deteriorating. Warming Trends: Laughing about climate change, fighting water, and investigating the health effects of hydraulic fracturing

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