Until a century or so ago, almost no one lived alone. Now in the US, more than one in four lives alone, and in big cities that’s much higher

April 6, 2020 Issue, New Yorker, The History of Loneliness, by Jill Lepore, March 30, 2020 Until a century or so ago, almost no one lived alone; now many endure shutdowns and lockdowns on their own. How did modern life get so lonely? Solitude and seclusion are different from loneliness, a state of profound distress. The female chimpanzee at the Philadelphia …

Climate change: Masculine marketing of utility vehicles linked to rising emissions

22 March 2020, New Zealand Herald, citing New Zealand Medical Journal  Promoting hefty trucks and SUVs as macho status symbols could be linked to climate change, according to a new study about New Zealand’s rising vehicle emissions. The research paper Beasts, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal last quarter, found that light utility vehicles were both the heaviest emitters of carbon …

Lost time, health, stress and the other high costs of traffic

Stuck and Stressed: The High Costs of Traffic, New York Times, March 2020 According to one study, commuting is one of the least pleasant things we do. But it’s not just an annoying time waster — there’s a case that it’s a public health issue. According to analysis by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the average American commuter spends 42 hours per …

Big Step Decarbonization Action Areas + Health benefits are at least $94/ton of CO2 reduced

Energy Pollution: Electricity production represents about 28 percent of U.S.greenhouse gas emissions each year. Problem: Because of our heavy reliance on polluting fossil fuels to produce electricity, millions of individuals in the United States live in areas that exceed air quality standards and are at risk of serious respiratory and cardiovascular illness. In 2016, an estimated 64,200 premature U.S. deaths were caused by exposure to dangerous fine …

Fasting Could Have a Powerful Effect on Our Circadian Rhythm: Research indicates that fasting could reset our internal clock and help protect against aging related illness

Sassone-Corsi says that it’s crucial that each and every one of the clocks in every cell in the body stay somewhat in time with one another. If the clocks become “misaligned,” it can cause a number of metabolic disorders or inflammatory responses, many of which are actually associated with aging. By Emma Betuel, Inverse, March 2020 Photo by Karl Tapales …

Mental health effects from air pollution + air pollution in childhood linked to schizophrenia

January 7, 2020, Science Daily, Source: Aarhus University. Summary: Children who grow up in areas with heavy air pollution have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia. Air pollution affects physical health, and research results now conclude that it also affects our psychological health. The study, which combines genetic data from iPSYCH with air pollution data from the Department of Environmental …

Trees cool air, slow runoff, and boost students and public health. Should trees be seen as a public utility which all must be able to access?

Benefits of trees include slowing stormwater runoff, cooling air temperatures, and even boosting student achievement and public health. Trees capture more than a third of rainfall, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), easing the strain on flooding and stormwater infrastructure. Their shade helps lower energy use by nearly half, according to the EPA, while reducing carbon emissions by …

Blue Spaces: Why time spent near water is the secret of happiness

The Guardian| Elle Hunt Nov 2019 ‘People who visit the coast at least twice weekly tend to experience better general and mental health,’ says Dr. Lewis Elliott. James Galpin/Getty Images After her mother’s sudden death, Catherine Kelly felt the call of the sea. She was in her 20s and had been working as a geographer in London away from her …

‘There’s something terribly wrong’: Americans are dying young at alarming rates

“There’s something more fundamental about how people are feeling at some level — whether it’s economic, whether it’s stress, whether it’s deterioration of family,” she said. “People are feeling worse about themselves and their futures, and that’s leading them to do things that are self-destructive and not promoting health.”  Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, Nov 26 © Bonnie Jo Mount/Washington Post Brian …

The right to have children humanely: to “have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities”

The first step is renouncing the individualism celebrated by capitalism and recognizing the interdependence that is essential for long-term survival. We depend on our water supply to be clean, and our rivers depend on us not to poison them. We ask our neighbors to watch our dogs or water our plants while we’re away, and offer our help in kind. …