Better Living Through Well Being
A major cause of global warming due to the greenhouse effect is the inefficient combustion of everything from coal and natural gas to charcoal and firewood used throughout the third world and the massive amount of smoke created by slash and burn agriculture. Attention is now being given to the fact that trace gases and soot (black carbon) are 25 to 4,000 times more potent warmers than carbon dioxide (CO2) alone and that curbing these emissions with use of more efficient burners and methods of refrigeration (other than HFCs) will have immediate effects on both air pollution and global warming. This is because trace gases and soot are short-lived pollutants. Once released, they remain in the atmosphere for just a short time, compared to the centuries of CO2, so cutting their emissions would bring much faster benefits than from CO2 mitigation alone. If we can reduce our emissions of methane by 50 percent, black carbon by 90%, and fully replace HFCs by the year 2030, we can cut projected global warming by half in the next 35 years.
Recognition for these and other significant scientific findings reflected in the Frontier of Knowledge Award in Climate Change, has been given to climatologist Veerabhadran Ramanthan, coming just one month after the historic Paris summit on climate change. Ramanthan says that the concentration on curbing the short-lived gases should not exclude efforts to curb CO2, but because limiting CO2 emissions alone will not deliver the Paris target, we need to “press the two levers.” In his view, trace gases and soot represent “a powerful card in our hand, and now is the time to play it.”
Climate change for Ramanthan “is an essentially moral problem which demands that we change our behavior as a society and start to think beyond ourselves and even our children; which means thinking about our own planet and those living far away.” Ten years ago, after working on climate change for over thirty years, producing ‘one bad-news paper after another,’ and then nothing being enacted from all of the scientific evidence, Ramanthan slipped into depression. Just then, he received a call from the Vatican inviting him to join the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. This brought him into contact with important spiritual leaders and instilled a fresh optimism. “We scientists have no moral authority to tell others how to behave, but religious leaders have that authority. There are two points on which all religions agree: the protection of the poor, and the protection of nature, of creation. The struggle against climate change is a point of union between all religions, and also between religion and science,” Ramanthan said.
Greenhouse gas emissions associated with food waste could see a 10-fold net reduction by implementing the cold chain in developing countries. This declaration was made at this year’s World Cold Chain Summit in Singapore, along with a call to action to begin “The Age of Food Efficiency.” The summit is helping to connect a global dialogue on how accessible refrigeration can reduce food waste and feed a growing population with fresh foods that contain necessary micronutrients for good health and development.
“Over the last 20 years, we’ve experienced the ‘Age of Energy Efficiency,’ taking the same power base that produces enough to feed 10 billion people, which is enough for those on the planet today and those that will join us in 2050, and in the process avoid more production and environmental emissions that come with it. The potential to extend food supplies, with the help of an improved green cold chain is extraordinary,” the sponsor said.
Read the full transcript from the Summit at http://naturalleader.com/programs/future-of-food/ .
The U.S. Conference of Mayors has released this year’s survey of 22 major cities regarding issues of hunger and homelessness. Findings show that low wages is the leading cause of hunger and lack of affordable housing is the leading cause of homelessness. Despite improvement in the nation’s economy, more and more people with jobs still need emergency food assistance. Most cities expect the demand to increase moderately in the coming year, and most believe housing shortages will remain the same. The report calls for better use of resources and a broader policy response from Congress to address these issues using a comprehensive approach, including improving jobs, wages, income and strengthening child nutrition programs, which serve as the first line of defense.
A study published in the journal, “Childhood Obesity,” has concluded that a child’s family income matters more than race in determining a preponderance for obesity. Obesity rates among adults and children in the United States have risen steadily in the past few decades. About 18.4 percent of 12-19-year-olds are overweight or obese and there is a 70 percent chance that childhood obesity will continue into adulthood. This is a concerning health issue because obesity can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and abnormal glucose tolerance or diabetes. Fortunately, grass roots efforts in collaboration with public and private partners is changing the tide in teaching students the importance of making healthy food choices and reducing time spent watching TV and video games.
Other articles of interest in this Winter 2016 TMIS eNewsletter:
* Annual survey of nutrition experts predicts nutrition trends for 2016.
* Documentary film, “The Scientist,” focuses on Professor Raphael Mechoulam’s pioneering work with cannabis (begun in the 1960s), the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, and its clinical importance.
* Private company develops a non-toxic insecticide alternative for the cultivation of cannabis.
* CDC reviews the most pressing public health challenges of 2015 and previews plans for 2016.
* Multicare Health System in Washington state launches a new virtual care service with online diagnosis as a safe, fast, and affordable treatment option.
* Winter weather safety tips for electric and gas utility consumers.
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From the Front Page of TMIS News
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Climatologist receives award for demonstrating the global warming impact of other gases and particles and showing that means are available besides limiting CO2 to achieve short-term progress against the clock
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Climate Change category goes in this eighth edition to Indian climatologist Veerabhadran Ramanathan for discovering that human-produced gases and pollutants other than CO2 have a huge power to alter the Earth's climate, and that by acting on them it is possible to make a short-term dent on the rate of global warming.
Ramanathan's work "has inspired him to propose and test practical actions to mitigate climate change in a way that also improves air quality and human health, especially in more impoverished regions of the world," in the words of the jury, which also highlighted the centrality of the scientist's contributions in "assessing the strategies being proposed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement."
The citation also commends Ramanathan's "vision and dedication" in "communicating the risks posed by climate change and air pollution," which has commanded the attention of world leaders and helped "shape public awareness." Ramanathan is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and in recent years has played a key role in advising Pope Francis and other religious leaders on climate-change-related matters.
Ramanathan (Madurai, India, 1944), a professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (University of California, San Diego) since 1990, declared himself optimistic in conversation: "We have the huge task before us to slow down climate change, and this recognition just one month after the summit agreement energizes me to work even harder and to do my best to raise public awareness of the problem. I consider the award a great honor and also an opportunity."
Call to Action for "Age of Food Efficiency" Delivered at World Cold Chain Summit to Reduce Food Waste
Making a bold declaration at its World Cold Chain Summit to Reduce Food Waste in Singapore last month, Carrier, a world leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions, delivered a call to action to begin "The Age of Food Efficiency." The conference, which was held for the first time in Asia, convened 131 delegates from 33 nations, including global leaders in the supply chain private sector, academia and government to discuss and develop scalable, sustainable solutions to expand and improve the cold chain to reduce food loss and waste. Carrier is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
Keynote speakers at the two-day conference included Dr. Joseph Mpagalile, Agro-food Industries officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); Didier Coulomb, general director of the International Institute of Refrigeration; and Clementine O'Connor, sustainable food systems consultant, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
"One third or more of the food we produce each year is never eaten, yet more than 50 percent of the wasted food can have its shelf life extended by the cold chain," said David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems. "Only 10 percent of worldwide perishable foods are refrigerated today, so there is immense opportunity to cut food waste and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions by implementing or improving the cold chain. As a leader in high-technology refrigeration solutions, Carrier actively contributes to the development of the cold chain by providing a communication platform, like this Summit, where all stakeholders have the opportunity to share, learn and build sustainable cold chain solutions to reduce food waste."
"We know there are many reasons why food is lost or wasted -- but among them is the lack of or the underdevelopment of the cold chain," said John Mandyck, UTC Chief Sustainability Officer and co-author of Food Foolish: The Hidden Connection Between Food Waste, Hunger and Climate Change. "Refrigeration is the best technology to ensure food safety for perishable goods and prolong its shelf life. That's why this Summit is so important, as it helps connect a global dialogue on how we can sustainably grow the cold chain -- which in turn, can reduce food waste and feed a growing population with fresh foods containing necessary micronutrients for good health and development.
Mayors' Hunger and Homelessness Report Cites Increased Demand in Emergency Services as Economic Recovery Lags
The 33rd annual assessment of hunger and homelessness, conducted by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and released in Washington, D.C., shows low wages leads the list of causes of hunger citied by officials in the cities surveyed, and lack of affordable housing is seen as the chief cause of homelessness for both families with children and unaccompanied individuals.
The report was released in a telephone press conference by the co-chair of the Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness, Santa Barbara (CA) Mayor Helene Schneider. The Mayor was joined on the call by the Conference's CEO and Executive Director, Tom Cochran, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director, Matthew Doherty and Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) Legal Director Ellen Vollinger.
"This report reflects what we already know to be true. Cities and their partnering agencies, along with local charities and volunteers, have worked extraordinarily well together to respond to the needs of those who are hungry and homeless. Yet, despite their efforts, these challenges persist in an economy that, while on the mend, is still lagging," said Mayor Schneider. "We want to underscore that even with exemplary local programs in place to help those in need, the effects of hunger and homelessness are still felt by many families across the nation. Our federal policies must respond to the growing pressure that the national economy has placed on many localities."
"Without question, the nation's economy is in recovery. However, the slow pace of the recovery has put additional stress on cities and made it much more difficult to respond to the growing needs of hungry and homeless Americans," said USCM CEO and Executive Director Cochran. "Every year, we report on these challenges and, every year, we reiterate the need for more services and greater capacity to help growing numbers of families in need. This year is no different."
Low-income communities more likely to face childhood obesity
Ann Arbor, Michigan
For a long time researchers have tracked high rates of obesity among black and Hispanic kids, but a closer look at communities shows family income matters more than race in predicting which kids are overweight. Using a model created from data on 111,799 Massachusetts students, the University of Michigan Health System showed that as poverty rises, so does the rate of obesity among children in 68 of its public school districts.
Although obesity rates were higher among African-American and Hispanic kids, the relationship disappeared when factoring in family income, according to the study published in the journal Childhood Obesity.
Authors concluded that fewer resources like recreational programs and parks and access to full service grocery stores appear to have a greater impact on the nation's childhood obesity rate than race.
"The findings reveal differences in the inequalities in the physical and social environment in which children are raised," says senior author Kim A. Eagle, M.D., a cardiologist and director at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center. "It illustrates that race and ethnicity in communities may not have a significant connection to obesity status once the community's income is considered."
In low-income communities where places to play and supermarkets may be scarce, it can promote consumption of low nutrition and fast food and little to no physical activity, authors say.
Annual Survey of Nutrition Experts Predicts What's In and Out for 2016
New York, New York
New food and nutrition trends from food like kale or cauliflower, gluten-free or no additives, to diet plans like Paleo or vegan, there's only one way to know what to look for and eat in 2016: ask 450 nutrition pros. The fourth annual "What's Trending in Nutrition" Survey from Pollock Communications and Today's Dietitian does just that and tells us what consumers will seek and avoid in the coming year.
"When it comes to forecasting nutrition trends, there are no better experts than registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs). They are at the forefront of everyday eating habits and purchasing decisions of people from all regional and economic environments. With almost two decades of working on behalf of dietitians, we know they have their finger on the pulse," says Today's Dietitian publisher Mara Honicker.
For 2016, the survey, conducted by the nutrition trade magazine Today's Dietitian and a leading food, health, and wellness public relations agency, Pollock Communications, revealed that clean eating is where it's at, ancient grains stay strong, low fat moves out, and seeds steal the show. Not to mention that shoppers will seek more seafood, read more blogs, buy based on antibiotic-free claims, and continue to favor gluten-free. Whether they're in, out, or staying the course, the following are the top 10 findings for 2016:
Documentary 'The Scientist' About Lifetime Achievements of Prof. Raphael Mechoulam
'The Scientist' a documentary by filmmaker Zach Klein aims to promote the work of Professor Raphael Mechoulam. Filmmaker Zach Klein first met Professor Mechoulam when researching the ways in which Cannabis reduced the symptoms of chemotherapy that his mother was experiencing while being treated for breast cancer. The resulting documentary follows Professor Mechoulam's attempt to answer the potent question: Are we missing something?
While the work of Dr. Mechoulam in the Cannabis field started way back in 1960, he maintained a humble attitude when it comes to the diffusion to the general public of the incredible discoveries he was able to publish. Only a few years ago Dr. Mechoulam agreed to grant an exclusive right to Zach Klein to produce a documentary about his lifetime achievements, to help spread the word and reach out to patients that suffer from medical conditions that can be treated with cannabinoids.
"Here we have a group of compounds, an endogenous system of major importance, it is not being used as much as it should be in the clinic, it is of great promise in the clinic. Let's try to push it forward and maybe this film can push it forward a bit," explained Dr. Mechoulam.
"The Scientist" was produced, over period of 4 years, in association with Fundación CANNA, a non-profit research foundation focusing on the study of Cannabis and its compounds.
"The Scientist" is FREE to watch online through Youtube and the webpage of the documentary http://www.mechoulamthemovie.com, or by visiting the Fundación CANNA website at http://www.fundacion-canna.es
Professor Mechoulam has been investigating Cannabis in medicine for longer than any other scientist and is today recognized as the founding father in the field of cannabinoid research. The Scientist traces his story from his early days as a child of the Holocaust in Bulgaria, through his immigration to Israel, and his career as the chief investigator into the chemistry and biology of the world's most misunderstood plant.
Med-X, Inc. Aiming to Correct the Course of Cannabis in America with New Insecticidal Soil
Los Angeles, California
As of late, despite its nagging presence on the Federal Schedule I Substance list, cannabis reform has been sweeping the country. Thirty-nine of 50 states have some sort of cannabis law on the books to legalize the medical side, and four states: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington as well as the District of Columbia, have completely adopted its legalization. As those remaining states begin to see the massive tax benefits legalization brings, and the medical uses of cannabis are better understood, it won't be long until cannabis is rescheduled or outright legalized federally.
The medical cannabis industry remains one of the least understood and least developed markets out there, mostly because of its questionable legality. This issue of legality not only touches the sale, cultivation, and transportation of cannabis, but also every part of the medical cannabis industry chain. The hurdles surrounding cannabis affect research and development, distribution of product, cultivation equipment production, and even what kind of information about cannabis is accessible to the public.
Clearly, this difference in legality, state by state, causes havoc at every level of the medical cannabis industry. But despite its current limitations, medical cannabis is still a multi-billion dollar industry. There's no denying that Americans want their cannabis and are willing to support the market even through all of these hurdles.
But what happens after cannabis has been legalized?
CDC Year in Review: What's Next for 2016?
CDC has made significant strides combatting some of the biggest threats to Americans' health, including infectious and chronic diseases. In 2015, CDC helped lead global efforts to slow Ebola transmissions in West Africa and make major progress in preventing future outbreaks. Rates of adult cigarette smoking reached an all-time low, and health care industries across the country made commitments to combat antibiotic resistance. CDC continues to lead improvements in all areas of public health, even in those where there has already been great progress.
In 2016, one CDC focus is reversing the number of deaths from infections resistant to antibiotics. At least 23,000 Americans died from these largely preventable infections in 2015. CDC also will continue to find ways to prevent deaths from prescription drug abuse, which has claimed the lives of more than 160,000 Americans over the past decade. And, because smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., CDC remains on the frontlines in the fight to help Americans quit and not start.
"CDC works to protect the health, safety and security of Americans, and 2015 was a particularly challenging and successful year," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "Old and new threats to our health, such as Ebola, dengue, HIV, e-cigarette use among kids, foodborne illness, prescription drug overdoses, and increased drug resistance are just a few of the threats that kept us up at night and will keep us busy in 2016."
MultiCare Health System Launches New Virtual Care Service
Patients not feeling well who want quick and easy access to a health care provider now have a new option in Washington state. MultiCare eCare is a simple online diagnosis and treatment service for common health conditions. MultiCare eCare connects patients to clinicians via email or text at an inexpensive flat fee, making health care more affordable and accessible to anyone with a web-enabled device.
Patients using MultiCare eCare receive prompt virtual care for common medical conditions such as sinus infections, female bladder infections, pink eye, or cold, cough and flu, all for a set fee payable by a credit, debit or health savings card.
Patients start a virtual MultiCare eCare visit by completing an online adaptive interview. Using the latest evidence-based medical guidelines, interviews typically take less than five minutes to complete. The patient's symptoms are instantly sent to a MultiCare Health System board-certified clinician for review and diagnosis, which are completed in less than an hour during business hours. When the diagnosis and treatment are ready, the patient receives a text or email. If a prescription is appropriate, MultiCare eCare allows the patient to instantly send the prescription to the pharmacy of their choice.
Winter Weather Brings Safety Reminder from Consumers Energy: Keep Meters, Furnace Intakes Free of Snow and Ice
Mother Nature's recent delivery of freezing rain, snow and ice to Michigan has Consumers Energy asking people to keep safety in mind by making sure their gas and electric meters and gas furnace fresh air intake pipes are free of snow and ice.
"Since we began meeting the energy needs of Michigan residents nearly 130 years ago, Consumers Energy has always made customer safety our top priority," said Charles Crews, vice president of gas operations. "A simple yet important step is to keep meters, fresh air vents and furnace exhaust pipes clear, particularly following weather that brings a buildup of snow and/or ice."
Crews added that safe removal of snow and ice around meters, intake valves and chimneys can also help prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Carbon monoxide is called the "silent killer" because it is a colorless, odorless and tasteless toxic gas that can be produced when appliances are not operating or venting properly.
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