By Peter Giger
The speed and scale of the response to COVID-19 by governments, businesses and individuals seems to provide hope that we can react to the climate change crisis in a similarly decisive manner - but history tells us that humans do not react to slow-moving and distant threats.
A Game of Jenga<p>Think of it as a game of Jenga and the planet's climate system as the tower. For generations, we have been slowly removing blocks. But at some point, we will remove a pivotal block, such as the collapse of one of the major global ocean circulation systems, for example the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), that will cause all or part of the global climate system to fall into a planetary emergency.</p><p>But worse still, it could cause runaway damage: Where the tipping points form a domino-like cascade, where breaching one triggers breaches of others, creating an unstoppable shift to a radically and swiftly changing climate.</p><p>One of the most concerning tipping points is mass methane release. Methane can be found in deep freeze storage within permafrost and at the bottom of the deepest oceans in the form of methane hydrates. But rising sea and air temperatures are beginning to thaw these stores of methane.</p><p>This would release a powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, 30-times more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming agent. This would drastically increase temperatures and rush us towards the breach of other tipping points.</p><p>This could include the acceleration of ice thaw on all three of the globe's large, land-based ice sheets – Greenland, West Antarctica and the Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica. The potential collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is seen as a key tipping point, as its loss could eventually <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/324/5929/901" target="_blank">raise global sea levels by 3.3 meters</a> with important regional variations.</p><p>More than that, we would be on the irreversible path to full land-ice melt, causing sea levels to rise by up to 30 meters, roughly at the rate of two meters per century, or maybe faster. Just look at the raised beaches around the world, at the last high stand of global sea level, at the end of the Pleistocene period around 120,0000 years ago, to see the evidence of such a warm world, which was just 2°C warmer than the present day.</p>
Cutting Off Circulation<p>As well as devastating low-lying and coastal areas around the world, melting polar ice could set off another tipping point: a disablement to the AMOC.</p><p>This circulation system drives a northward flow of warm, salty water on the upper layers of the ocean from the tropics to the northeast Atlantic region, and a southward flow of cold water deep in the ocean.</p><p>The ocean conveyor belt has a major effect on the climate, seasonal cycles and temperature in western and northern Europe. It means the region is warmer than other areas of similar latitude.</p><p>But melting ice from the Greenland ice sheet could threaten the AMOC system. It would dilute the salty sea water in the north Atlantic, making the water lighter and less able or unable to sink. This would slow the engine that drives this ocean circulation.</p><p><a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/atlantic-conveyor-belt-has-slowed-15-per-cent-since-mid-twentieth-century" target="_blank">Recent research</a> suggests the AMOC has already weakened by around 15% since the middle of the 20th century. If this continues, it could have a major impact on the climate of the northern hemisphere, but particularly Europe. It may even lead to the <a href="https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/39731?show=full" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cessation of arable farming</a> in the UK, for instance.</p><p>It may also reduce rainfall over the Amazon basin, impact the monsoon systems in Asia and, by bringing warm waters into the Southern Ocean, further destabilize ice in Antarctica and accelerate global sea level rise.</p>
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation has a major effect on the climate. Praetorius (2018)
Is it Time to Declare a Climate Emergency?<p>At what stage, and at what rise in global temperatures, will these tipping points be reached? No one is entirely sure. It may take centuries, millennia or it could be imminent.</p><p>But as COVID-19 taught us, we need to prepare for the expected. We were aware of the risk of a pandemic. We also knew that we were not sufficiently prepared. But we didn't act in a meaningful manner. Thankfully, we have been able to fast-track the production of vaccines to combat COVID-19. But there is no vaccine for climate change once we have passed these tipping points.</p><p><a href="https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2021" target="_blank">We need to act now on our climate</a>. Act like these tipping points are imminent. And stop thinking of climate change as a slow-moving, long-term threat that enables us to kick the problem down the road and let future generations deal with it. We must take immediate action to reduce global warming and fulfill our commitments to the <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Paris Agreement</a>, and build resilience with these tipping points in mind.</p><p>We need to plan now to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, but we also need to plan for the impacts, such as the ability to feed everyone on the planet, develop plans to manage flood risk, as well as manage the social and geopolitical impacts of human migrations that will be a consequence of fight or flight decisions.</p><p>Breaching these tipping points would be cataclysmic and potentially far more devastating than COVID-19. Some may not enjoy hearing these messages, or consider them to be in the realm of science fiction. But if it injects a sense of urgency to make us respond to climate change like we have done to the pandemic, then we must talk more about what has happened before and will happen again.</p><p>Otherwise we will continue playing Jenga with our planet. And ultimately, there will only be one loser – us.</p>
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Nearly 1.6 million people in the southern part of Madagascar have faced food insecurity since 2016, experiencing one drought after another, the United Nations World Food Program reported.
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Like many other plant-based foods and products, CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. However, there are little to no regulations within the hemp industry when it comes to deeming a product as organic, which makes it increasingly difficult for shoppers to find the best CBD oil products available on the market.
Charlotte's Web<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDcwMjk3NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzQ0NjM4N30.SaQ85SK10-MWjN3PwHo2RqpiUBdjhD0IRnHKTqKaU7Q/img.jpg?width=980" id="84700" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a2174067dcc0c4094be25b3472ce08c8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="charlottes web cbd oil" data-width="1244" data-height="1244" /><p>Perhaps one of the most well-known brands in the CBD landscape, Charlotte's Web has been growing sustainable hemp plants for several years. The company is currently in the process of achieving official USDA Organic Certification, but it already practices organic and sustainable cultivation techniques to enhance the overall health of the soil and the hemp plants themselves, which creates some of the highest quality CBD extracts. Charlotte's Web offers CBD oils in a range of different concentration options, and some even come in a few flavor options such as chocolate mint, orange blossom, and lemon twist.</p>
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By Suresh Dhaniyala and Byron Erath
A fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been found in at least 10 states, and people are wondering: How do I protect myself now?
Airborne Particles Are Still the Biggest Problem<p>The <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-it-matters-that-the-coronavirus-is-changing-and-what-this-means-for-vaccine-effectiveness-152383" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">SARS-CoV-2 variants</a> are believed to spread primarily through the air rather than on surfaces.</p><p>When someone with the coronavirus in their respiratory tract coughs, talks, sings or even just breathes, infectious respiratory droplets can be expelled into the air. These droplets are tiny, predominantly in the range of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021850211001200?casa_token=KtyrsEfbeqcAAAAA:vv10sSxm33tzg0EQvNMIFtV7GCu5gE9QAzuyzHKr2_4Cl0OFkUJoGwzn4d0ZnEWS19NsOTuH" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1-100 micrometers</a>. For comparison, a human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter.</p><p>The larger droplets fall to the ground quickly, rarely traveling farther than 6 feet from the source. The bigger problem for disease transmission is the tiniest droplets – those less than 10 micrometers in diameter – which can remain suspended in the air as aerosols for <a href="https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/50/5/693/325466" target="_blank">hours at a time</a>.</p>
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bb67b83dcafe589f350daf3df60fa29d"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UNCNM7AZPFg?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
What Can You Do to Stay Safe?<p>1) Pay attention to the type of face mask you use, and how it fits.</p><p>Most off-the-shelf face coverings are not 100% effective at preventing droplet emission. With the new variant spreading more easily and likely infectious at lower concentrations, it's important to select coverings with materials that are most effective at stopping droplet spread.</p><p>When available, N95 and surgical masks consistently perform the best. Otherwise, face coverings that use <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352431620301802?casa_token=-Dj6nGBAm24AAAAA:qq9BpbzCKaPDFcV73ohA2fCnhE_Zlkss6Bei3kUwq9QYndhHj0Vafbbd-ef_855lx6knDfUt" target="_blank">multiple layers of material</a> are preferable. Ideally, the material should be a tight weave. High thread count cotton sheets are an example. Proper fit is also crucial, as gaps around the nose and mouth can <a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.0c03252" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">decrease the effectiveness by 50%</a>.</p><p>2) Follow social distancing guidelines.</p><p>While the current social distancing guidelines are not perfect – <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-a-smoky-bar-can-teach-us-about-the-6-foot-rule-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-145517" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">6 feet isn't always enough</a> – they do offer a useful starting point. Because aerosol concentrations levels and infectivity are highest in the space immediately surrounding anyone with the virus, increasing physical distancing can help reduce risk. Remember that people are infectious <a href="https://medical.mit.edu/faqs/COVID-19#faq-10" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">before they start showing symptoms</a>, and they many never show symptoms, so don't count on seeing signs of illness.</p><p>3) Think carefully about the environment when entering an enclosed area, both the ventilation and how people interact.</p><p>Limiting the size of gatherings helps reduce the potential for exposure. Controlling indoor environments in other ways can also be a highly effective strategy for reducing risk. This includes <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-a-smoky-bar-can-teach-us-about-the-6-foot-rule-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-145517" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">increasing ventilation rates</a> to bring in <a href="https://theconversation.com/keeping-indoor-air-clean-can-reduce-the-chance-of-spreading-coronavirus-149512" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">fresh air and filtering existing air</a> to dilute aerosol concentrations.</p><p>On a personal level, it is helpful to pay attention to the types of interactions that are taking place. For example, many individuals shouting can create a higher risk than one individual speaking. In all cases, it's important to minimize the amount of time spent indoors with others.</p><p>The CDC has warned that B.1.1.7 could <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7003e2.htm?s_cid=mm7003e2_w" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant</a> in the U.S. by March. Other fast-spreading variants have also been found in <a href="https://virological.org/t/genomic-characterisation-of-an-emergent-sars-cov-2-lineage-in-manaus-preliminary-findings/586" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Brazil</a> and <a href="https://www.who.int/csr/don/31-december-2020-sars-cov2-variants/en/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">South Africa</a>. Increased vigilance and complying with health guidelines should continue to be of highest priority.</p>
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By Alisha Moopen
As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic gains strength in many parts of the world, it is evident that the old normal has slipped, and a new sense of normalcy is setting in. This has been evident with the arrival of the work-from-home, study-from-home and socialize-from-home model, whenever possible.
The effects of COVID-19 on workers' lives. Ipsos-World Economic Forum
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Taking business trips – or even just commuting to work – can produce a lot of carbon pollution. But for a long time, many people resisted the alternative of remote work and virtual meetings.
By Natalie Marchant
- The Great American Rail-Trail will be almost 6,000km when complete, and will serve 50 million people within 80km of the route.
- Trails have proved invaluable for recreation and transport during lockdown.
- Cycling and safe routes are vital for cities planning their post-pandemic recovery.
Stretching almost 6,000km and crossing 12 states, the Great American Rail-Trail will enable cyclists, hikers and riders to traverse the entire US.
COVID-19 Lockdown Proves Rail Trails Invaluable<p>Rail trails – paths built on disused railway tracks – and other recreational routes have proved invaluable respites for many during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing alternative commuting routes and space for people to exercise, often near built-up urban areas.</p><p>"This year has proven how vital projects like the Great American Rail-Trail are to the country. Millions of people have found their way outside on trails as a way to cope with the pandemic," said Ryan Chao, president of RTC.</p><p>"As the Great American Rail-Trail connects more towns, cities, states and regions, this infrastructure serves as the backbone of resilient communities, while uniting us around a bold, ambitious and impactful vision."</p>
Great American Rail-Trail. Rails-to-trails
Cycling Increasingly Popular During Pandemic<p>While multi-use trails can be used by anyone from joggers to horse riders, cycling has become particularly popular during lockdown both as a form of exercise and a method of transport. <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-commuting/boost-for-bikes-as-europeans-gear-up-for-coronavirus-commute-idUKKBN22N1NK" target="_blank">Bike sales soared across the world</a> as people sought to avoid public transport.</p><p>There are the obvious <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-top-5-benefits-of-cycling" target="_blank">health benefits of traveling by bike</a>. Not only does it provide an aerobic workout and trigger the body's feel-good chemicals, endorphins, cycling is also easy on the joints, builds muscle, increases bone density and helps with everyday activities. Cycling is also seen as a way of handling post-pandemic pollution levels.</p><p>Paris is just one place <a href="https://www.weforum.org/videos/paris-is-planning-to-become-a-15-minute-city-897c12513b" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">planning to become a '15-minute city'</a>, where everything you need is within a 15-minute radius by foot or by bike.</p><p>Milan is implementing a similar program, while Buenos Aires has introduced free bike rental schemes. Europe has spent <a href="https://fr.weforum.org/videos/20195-this-is-covid-19-s-positive-effect-on-cycling-across-the-world" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1 billion euros on cycling infrastructure</a> since the pandemic began, according to the European Cyclists' Federation.</p>
Cycling Routes Across the World<p>At around 5,955km, the Great American Rail-Trail may be particularly ambitious in terms of scale, but it is one of many innovative cycling projects across the world. The <a href="https://en.eurovelo.com/ev6" target="_blank">4,450km EuroVelo 6 route</a> runs through 10 countries as it crosses Europe between the Atlantic and the Black Sea.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.transpenninetrail.org.uk/?doing_wp_cron=1608492448.9104659557342529296875" target="_blank">346km Transpennine Trail</a> across the north of England, which opened in 2001, uses disused railway tracks left empty after the decline of the coal industry and passes through city centers, heritage sites and national parks on its way between coastlines.</p><p>Last year, the UK launched the <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/09/the-uk-has-opened-a-1-300-km-cycle-trail-linking-england-and-scotland/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1,300km Great North Trail</a> running from the Peak District in the north of England to John O'Groats at Scotland's north-eastern tip.</p><p>In the Belgian province of Limburg, the <a href="https://www.visitlimburg.be/en/cycling-through-water" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cycling Through Water path</a> enables cyclists to cut through the ponds of Bokrijk. The 200-meter path is at eye-level with the water, allowing riders to glide across the lake.</p><p>Meanwhile the 7.6km Xiamen bicycle skyway is the world's <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/06/these-are-the-5-most-exciting-cycling-projects-in-the-world/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">longest elevated cycle path</a> and runs above the Chinese city's road network. It has capacity for about 2,000 cyclists during rush hour, with much of it suspended under an elevated bus lane, providing shelter from the weather.</p>
By Julia Conley
Bloomberg's year-end report on the wealth of the world's billionaires shows that the richest 500 people on the planet added $1.8 trillion to their combined wealth in 2020, accumulating a total net worth of $7.6 trillion.
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By John R. Platt
Let's be honest: This has been a truly exhausting year.
We started 2020 already worn thin by three years of the Trump administration, with its constant assaults on the environment and human decency on display almost every single day — and it got worse from there.
By Laurie Archbald-Pannone, Kathleen C. Brown, Ryan Huerto, Sue Mattison and Thomas A. Russo
Earlier this fall, many of the nation's restaurants opened their doors to patrons to eat inside, especially as the weather turned cold in places. Now, as COVID-19 cases surge across the country, some cities and towns have banned indoor dining while others have permitted it with restrictions. Still other geographies have no bans at all.
The Conversation / CC BY
Not an Option<p><strong>Dr. Laurie Archbald-Pannone, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Virgina</strong></p><p>No. March 12, 2020 was the last day I ate indoors at a restaurant. At the time, there was mild apprehension – but much changed that week. The COVID-19 pandemic altered many aspects of "normalcy," and for me eating inside at a restaurant is one of those activities. I loved eating out and typically would eat out three times a week (sometimes more!). But understanding how the COVID-19 infection is transmitted, I feel that being inside without a mask on – even just to eat – is not an option for me. I strongly believe that we need to support our community through these challenging times, so we still get curbside pickup or delivery from our favorite local restaurants at least three times a week – sometimes more! – but it will be a while before I'm back inside. When I do return I'm definitely getting dessert.</p>
Great Risk<p><strong>Dr. Thomas A. Russo, Chief of Infectious Disease Division, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo</strong></p><p>No. And it's been "no" right from the beginning.</p><p>We have a little more information now, but what I <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-lower-your-coronavirus-risk-while-eating-out-restaurant-advice-from-an-infectious-disease-expert-138925" target="_blank">said in the spring</a> hasn't really changed. The <a href="https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.28.20029272v2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">greatest risk</a> of getting infected with SARS-CoV-2 is being indoors with people who aren't using masks at all times. The concern isn't just big respiratory droplets when close to someone talking; it's also the <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-covid-19-superspreaders-are-talking-where-you-sit-in-the-room-matters-145966" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">tiny aerosols</a> that linger in the air.</p><p>Making it even riskier is the generally poor ventilation in many restaurants. The key differences between indoor dining and shopping in a big box store or grocery store are: 1) big stores have more ventilation and greater air space; 2) everyone can wear a mask at all times; 3) you're not fixed in space, so if you see someone who just has a bandanna or their mask drops down below their nose, you can steer clear of them; and 4) it should take less time than dinner out. At a restaurant, you're stuck at that table. If a party near you is having an animated conversation, they could be generating a lot of respiratory secretions.</p><p><a href="https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e415" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Some interesting studies</a> have looked at the airflow and air currents in restaurants in relation to <a href="https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0764_article" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">where people became infected</a>. In one, a person was <a href="https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e415" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">20 feet away</a> from the source for only about 5 minutes, but the person was directly in the airflow and became infected. It's a reminder of what we've been saying – there's <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-a-smoky-bar-can-teach-us-about-the-6-foot-rule-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-145517" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">nothing magical about 6 feet</a>. The high degree of community disease in the U.S. right now increases the likelihood that another diner in the restaurant is infected. If you are tired of cooking and need a break, takeout is the way to go.</p>
Careful Mixed With Trust<p><strong>Sue Mattison, Provost and Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Drake University</strong></p><p>Yes. As an epidemiologist, my response may seem surprising or hypocritical: I do eat at local restaurants, but only because in April, like more than <a href="https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_casesper100klast7days" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">17 million Americans since that time</a>, I tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered. According to the <a href="https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2020/12/08/study-of-healthcare-workers-shows-covid-19-immunity-lasts-many-months/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">latest evidence</a>, I believe I have immunity for now, and perhaps longer. But I am not pushing my luck.</p><p>I have my own list of four restaurants where I eat. I trust these restaurants because each has drastically reduced their number of tables and spaced them at least 6 feet apart, and everyone inside is diligent about wearing a mask. My husband and I also order takeout a lot. It is important to reiterate, however, that evidence shows <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a5.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">restaurants are a significant source of infection</a>, and those who have not recovered from COVID-19 should refrain from eating at restaurants until the community gets a better handle on the spread of infection.</p>
Short-Term Sacrifices<p><strong>Dr. Ryan Huerto, Family Medicine Physician, Health Services Researcher and Clinical Lecturer, University of Michigan</strong></p><p>No. While I understand many factors contribute to indoor dining, such as the mental health toll of social isolation, the opportunity to support small businesses and cold weather, I strongly recommend against indoor dining.</p><p>The risk of contracting COVID-19 from indoor activities is far greater than from physically distanced outdoor activities. The recent spike in COVID-19 infections, deaths and ICU bed shortages is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/the-post-thanksgiving-covid-19-surge-is-here-what-to-expect-now" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">likely linked to indoor gatherings during Thanksgiving</a>.</p><p>On Dec. 22, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">201,674 infections and 3,239 deaths</a> due to COVID-19 were reported. This death toll is equivalent to approximately 20 Boeing 737 aircrafts crashing in a single day.</p><p>Even with a COVID-19 vaccine approved, staying home, physically distancing, wearing a mask and good hand hygiene are as important as ever. Think of these as short-term sacrifices to help protect your friends, family, neighbors and essential workers.</p><p>Instead of dining in, please consider exponentially safer alternatives such as ordering delivery or curbside pickup.</p>
Restaurants Pose Big Risk<p><strong>Kathleen C. Brown, Associate Professor of Practice and MPH Program Director, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, University of Tennessee</strong></p><p>No. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a5.htm" target="_blank">reported that patients testing positive were twice as likely</a> to have eaten in a restaurant than those testing negative in the 14 days preceding their test. I regularly get takeout but do not eat in restaurants.</p><p>What I cannot control poses a risk. I have very open and honest conversations with family and friends about where we have been and who we have been with. From there, our risk is pretty clear but still not at zero. The more people I come into contact with, the greater the risk.</p><p>In a restaurant, I am not able to assess the risk posed by other patrons or the staff. Each person in that restaurant has a network of others that, taken together, increases my risk of contracting COVID-19. Currently, Tennessee, where I live, is the <a href="https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_casesper100klast7days" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">second-leading state for cases per 100,000</a>, which means community spread is high.</p><p>In plain language, that means there is an increased likelihood that I may come into contact with someone who is infectious – symptomatic or not – if I eat inside a restaurant. I will continue to pick up my takeout for now.</p><p><em>Disclosure Statement: </em><em>The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.</em></p><p><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://theconversation.com/would-you-eat-indoors-at-a-restaurant-we-asked-five-health-experts-152300" target="_blank">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>
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By Kristy Dahl
In early January of this year, fresh off the experience of writing a year-end blog post for 2019, I started a project that I thought would make writing this year's year-end post easier. I created a little 2020 calendar on which I planned to record the one big thing that happened in the climate change space each day. In my mind I called it "The Daily Big Deal," and I could envision myself sitting here, as I am, on December 17, reviewing the year's climate-related events and deftly knitting them together in the blog post equivalent of a beautiful scarf made of reclaimed yarn. Or an ugly sweater. Or whatever.
Financial commitments to the fossil fuel industry have far outpaced commitments to clean energy in G20 countries since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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By Jessica Corbett
With President Donald Trump's first term soon coming to an end, the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday finalized a rule that critics are calling a last-minute attempt to "sabotage" future efforts by President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration to tackle the intertwined climate and pollution crises.
<div id="79e9e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="10dec355a3d65196f053839e555b698e"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1336748228654587904" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Speaking to @CoralMDavenport @nytimes about the rule announced today by @EPAAWheeler, EPN member Roy Gamse said, "I… https://t.co/nQDJ5Pl66R</div> — Environmental Protection Network (@Environmental Protection Network)<a href="https://twitter.com/EnvProtectioNet/statuses/1336748228654587904">1607540587.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="a96f2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3d5be0826b85983df331ef552ed4573a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1336807701171605507" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">This rule will distort @EPA analysis by discounting the health benefits of air pollution standards & prioritizing t… https://t.co/UnJjArprPn</div> — Rep. Frank Pallone (@Rep. Frank Pallone)<a href="https://twitter.com/FrankPallone/statuses/1336807701171605507">1607554767.0</a></blockquote></div>
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Rebekah Jones, the Florida data scientist who said she was fired in May after refusing to manipulate data on a widely praised coronavirus dashboard that she designed, had an even more dramatic encounter with the state government Monday when the police raided her Tallahassee home.
<div id="57a30" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a7e2c2d30b597bb9502b68ce3806f84f"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1336065787900145665" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">1/ There will be no update today. At 8:30 am this morning, state police came into my house and took all my hardwa… https://t.co/GXDz5hd6Wh</div> — Rebekah Jones (@Rebekah Jones)<a href="https://twitter.com/GeoRebekah/statuses/1336065787900145665">1607377881.0</a></blockquote></div><p>The FDLE said they went to Jones's home to carry out a search warrant based on a complaint from the Department of Health (DOH), Jones' former employer.<br></p><p>"FDLE began an investigation November 10, 2020, after receiving a complaint from the Department of Health (DOH) regarding unauthorized access to a Department of Health messaging system which is part of an emergency alert system, to be used for emergencies only," FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said in a statement reported by the Tallahassee Democrat.</p><p>The case revolves around a message sent by an unidentified individual to the emergency alert system.</p>
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