Weekly News Roundup January 1st-January 6th

Climate Change

A carbon tax proposition failed in Washington, and a fuel tax hike in France (among other issues) led to protests in France. We should forget the carbon tax for now, and instead focus on other ways to reduce emissions, such as retrofitting energy inefficient buildings. 

A series of high-profile climate related events are planned for 2019. One such event will be the One World Summit hosted by Emmanuel Macron, and will focus on persuading businesses to take a leading role on climate action.

The Washington Post summarizes 11 policy ideas to protect the planet, including incentivizing carbon farming, making it easier to live without cars, being smart about nuclear power, and passing a "Green New Deal".

Across the U.S., local governments are stepping up funding for climate change adaptation measures.

Al Gore believes we are close to a "political tipping point" on climate change.


Expected 2019 education trends include emphasizing hybrid skills, learning without taking time off to go back to school, and a continuing emphasis on soft skills. 

A vast majority of Americans want the new Congress to increase federal spending on K-12 public education.


A new study fed a common type of brain scans to a machine-learning algorithm, and it learned to diagnose early-stage Alzheimer’s disease about six years before a clinical diagnosis could be made which could help give doctors a head-start on treating the disease. 

At some point near the end of 2019 there will be more people worldwide over the age of 65 than under the age of 5 for the first time in our more than 200,000 year history as a species on the planet.

Human Rights

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, the "Trump of the Tropics", has removed LGBT concerns from human rights ministry. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has commended him on his "commitment to democracy and human rights"

Current potential grounds for asylum include a fear of being persecuted due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group. Notably missing is gender, and women across the globe are suffering because of this. 

Mental Health

To get mental health help for a child, desperate parents relinquish custody

A new study looks at the impact of insulin resistance on the course of bipolar disorder. Type 2 diabetes is two to three times more prevalent among people with bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder and insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes are less likely to respond to mood stabilizing medications than those without insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

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