Street Artists Are Joining the Fight to Save the Environment

World Wide (Conversation) – In these times of rising activism on climate change and other environmental threats, a new band of campaigners has joined the fight: street artists. And these artists are using the landscape, communities and social media to spread their message. Banksy, probably the most famous street artist in the world, recently made his views clear through a new piece in Wales featuring a boy under what looks like snow, but is actually pollution from an industrial bin. Banksy has always been overtly political and controversial, but this…

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The Real Problem with Toxic Masculinity Is That It Assumes There Is Only One Way of Being a Man

United States (Conversation) – For centuries, male violence and acts of aggression were often the way that power was understood and patriarchy upheld. In contemporary times, in more moderate societies, this has become somewhat tempered, yet it still exists in different forms and has now been given the name “toxic masculinity”. This phrase has long been used by academics to define regular acts of aggression used by men in positions of power to dominate people around them. In the late 1980s, Australian sociologist Raewyn Connell described the ways that white…

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Racism in a Networked World: How Groups and Individuals Spread Racist Hate Online

World Wide (Conversation) – Living in a networked world has many advantages. We get our news online almost as soon as it happens, we stay in touch with friends via social media, and we advance our careers through online professional networks. But there is a darker side to the internet that sees far-right groups exploit these unique features to spread divisive ideas, racial hate and mistrust. Scholars of racism refer to this type of racist communication online as “cyber-racism”. Even the creators of the internet are aware they may have…

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Why Costa Rica Tops the Happiness Index

Costa Rica (Yes) –  A child growing up in the Costa Rican countryside is surrounded by some of the most beautiful and biodiverse landscapes in the world. The government of this tiny Central American country aims to keep it that way. But preserving this land of tropical rainforests isn’t Costa Rica’s only accomplishment. The government ensures all citizens have access to health care and education, and the country actively promotes peace around the world. So when the New Economics Foundation released its second Happy Planet Index, a ranking of countries based on their…

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This Twitter Account Celebrates Women in Japan, One Short Profile a Day

Japan (GV) – Celebrating Women in Japan is a project that publishes short profiles of prominent women in Japan on Facebook and Twitter once a day, every day. One recent woman profiled was influential manga creator Rumiko Takahashi. Yesterday, Rumiko Takahashi was awarded the Grand Prix at the prestigious Angouleme International Comics Festival for her contribution to the development of manga. Congratulations. Her work was described as ‘extremely progressive’. #Japan #CelebratingWomeninJapan pic.twitter.com/YkowwZqKCB — CelebratingWomeninJapan (@womenofjapan) January 25, 2019 The project is spearheaded by Melanie Brock, an international business consultant in Japan and…

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The World’s Shellfish Are Under Threat as Our Oceans Become More Acidic

World Wide (Conversation) – For the past few million years the world’s oceans have existed in a slightly alkaline state, with an average pH of 8.2. Now, with carbon emissions escalating, there is more CO₂ in the world’s atmosphere. This dissolves in the oceans, altering the chemistry of the seawater by lowering the pH and making it more acidic – up to 30% more in the past 200 years. This growing acidification of the oceans is becoming a serious problem for the production of shellfish around the world. Shellfish are…

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How to Target Resources in Efforts to End Female Genital Mutilation

Africa (Conversation) – A new study shows that 130 million women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in 29 of the highest prevalence countries, many of which are in Africa. And 30 million more girls in Africa under the age of 15 will be at risk in the coming decade. FGM types I-III comprise all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. The practice is concentrated in Africa, the Middle East and Asia and is carried out mainly for cultural and economic…

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Europe’s Refugee Crisis Explains Why Border Walls Don’t Stop Migration

United States (Conversation) – President Trump has long called migration a security crisis, but in recent weeks he has also referred to the situation along the southern border as a humanitarian crisis. As he ended the government shutdown in a televised speech on Jan. 25, Trump reiterated his claim that a border wall between the United States and Mexico would save the lives of Central American migrants, many of whom are women and children. “Walls work,” he said. “They save good people from attempting a very dangerous journey from other…

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3 Ways to Make Your Voice Heard Besides Protesting

United States (Conversation) – More Americans are trying to make their voices heard these days. Approximately one in five Americans participated in a protest or rally between early 2016 and early 2018, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll. A similar proportion reported they expected to become more involved in political causes in the next year. Similarly, the number of women running for state and federal offices soared during the 2018 midterm elections. The ease of using social media appears to be ramping up virtual protesting too. In addition…

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How Global Warming Is Adding to the Health Risks of Poor People

World Wide (Conversation) – There is mounting evidence of the impact of climate change on human habitat and health, on plant and animal life, on water resources and shorelines. These changes are felt unevenly within – and between – nations and communities. This is due to differences in access to resources, infrastructure, social structure, and government policy. Climate change is, and will continue to be, most severely felt by the poorest people in any population, particularly those living in poorly-resourced, isolated and extreme environments. But extreme weather events, famine and…

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