Be Healthy by Getting Dirty

Hygiene is harming us. The overuse of antibacterial everything and the kill-all solution of antibiotics seems to be doing harm to us. Don’t get me wrong – we need antibiotics and antibacterial solutions. The thing is that we’ve used them too much.

The good news is you don’t have to be so worried about over-cleaning everything. People, kids in particular, need to have some dirt, germs, and grime around them so their immune system develops.

Most recently, it’s been discover that exposure to certain bacteria can hold back asthma.

To check if the missing bacteria are protective, the researchers inoculated germ-free mice with the FLVR bacteria and found airway inflammation improved in adult offspring of the mice compared with those without the FLVR bacteria.

The findings support the “hygiene hypothesis” of how sterilizing everything may come with a health cost in the long term.

“Maybe we’ve actually cleaned up things too much in our quest to get rid of all these infectious diseases,” Finlay said. “I really do think we have to retool how we behave.”

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Be a Part of the Future: Sign the Leap Manifesto


Canada has been destroying it’s own environment (and trashing international environmental policy) for way too long. As a result of this ignorant neglect a bunch of prominent Canadians have produced the Leap Manifesto.

And it’s good. Really good.

Here’s just a snippet of the Leap Manifesto:

A leap to a non-polluting economy creates countless openings for similar multiple “wins.” We want a universal program to build energy efficient homes, and retrofit existing housing, ensuring that the lowest income communities and neighbourhoods will benefit first and receive job training and opportunities that reduce poverty over the long term. We want training and other resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, ensuring they are fully able to take part in the clean energy economy. This transition should involve the democratic participation of workers themselves. High-speed rail powered by just renewables and affordable public transit can unite every community in this country – in place of more cars, pipelines and exploding trains that endanger and divide us.

And since we know this leap is beginning late, we need to invest in our decaying public infrastructure so that it can withstand increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

Moving to a far more localized and ecologically-based agricultural system would reduce reliance on fossil fuels, capture carbon in the soil, and absorb sudden shocks in the global supply – as well as produce healthier and more affordable food for everyone.

The Leap Manifesto has gotten international attention too because of the upcoming Canadian federal election.

A powerful movement in Canada, animated by a compelling and positive vision for the climate and economy, can force the hand of whichever government comes to power in October. Even if the entire political class has forgotten this, Canadians haven’t.

Check out (and sign!) the Leap Manifesto.

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Economic Discussion of Climate Change Gets Real

We’ve already seen climate refugees and climate wars, yet the business world has been rather slow to react. Many businesses operate with the denial of the economic effects of climate change. Today the head of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has warned the financial world that climate change is the biggest challenge we will collectively face. And we have to do so now!

It’s really good to finally see bankers, economists, and corporate entities catch up to the knowledge put forth by hundreds of organizations from the last millennium.

The U.K. central bank’s Governor Mark Carney, who also chairs the Financial Stability Board, as well as the Group of 20 advanced and developing nations’ task force on financial regulation, said climate change could undermine stability in three ways–by causing banks and insurers direct losses from extreme weather, by creating future liabilities for financial firms and their clients from those seeking compensation for climate-related losses and by the unexpected costs of shifting toward a low-carbon economy.

“The combination of the weight of scientific evidence and the dynamics of the financial system suggest that, in the fullness of time, climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer-term prosperity,” Mr. Carney would say in a speech to insurers in London, according to a text of his remarks.

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Shell Stops Efforts to Drill in the Arctic

For a while now Shell has been trying to suck oil in the arctic. Arctic drilling is extremely dangerous and Shell’s efforts in the north have been ridiculed by Greenpeace. Greenpeace’s efforts have been matched by a ton of organizations (mostly on the west coast) also trying to stop Shell’s folly.

The sane eco-conscious people have won against Shell. Even Bloomberg acknowledges that a reason Shell pulled out of the north is due to activist pressure.

The old-economy company based on hydrocarbon extraction has announced they’ll end their arctic drilling efforts. This means that the company wasted $7 billion dollars!

“Shell will now cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future. This decision reflects both the Burger J well result, the high costs associated with the project, and the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.”

Reacting to the news, Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: “Big oil has sustained an unmitigated defeat. They had a budget of billions, we had a movement of millions. For three years we faced them down, and the people won.

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China Cancelling Debt of Developing World

China has announced that it will provide debt relief to the developing world. President Xi Jinping made the announcement at the UN and anticipates the fund to help the developing world will eventually reach $15 billion. presently the fund is set at $2 billion and will have a positive effect on the poorer nations.

“Looking around the world, the peace and development remain the two major themes of the times,” the Chinese leader said at the summit in New York.
“To solve various global challenges, including the recent refugee crisis in Europe, the fundamental solutions lie in seeking peace and realising development.
“Facing with various challenges and difficulties, we must keep hold of the key of the development. Only the development can eliminate the causes of the conflicts,” Mr Xi said.
His pledges of aid give a big boost to the launch of the UN’s new Global Goals for Sustainable Development – the day after all members states committed themselves to a hugely ambitious programme, the BBC’s James Robbins in New York reports.

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