Each week find a round-up of selected news and resources related to global ethical issues and positive solutions that you can use in your solutionary teaching/work.
Here’s some recent news worth knowing:
Young changemakers …
- A college student has developed a method for breaking down plastic film into liquid chemicals that can then be used in creating materials such as nylon.
- Several school districts in the US have altered their dress codes after complaints and campaigns from students citing gender bias.
Good and bad news for nonhuman animals …
- In a paper published in Toxicological Sciences, researchers report that machine-learning software can outperform toxicology tests conducted on animals. Researchers are hoping their work will promote “animal-free testing methods.”
- The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has expanded a wolf hunting season, to allow killing 58 wolves in 2018. The neighboring states of Idaho and Montana also allow wolf hunting.
- Researchers have discovered that wire snares set to capture animals for bushmeat in Cambodia are also crippling baby elephants, whose limbs are more easily ensnared and injured.
- The good news is that bear bile farming in Vietnam is decreasing; but researchers have discovered that the nearly 1,000 captive bears who remain are being starved and killed by their captors, and then their parts are sold.
- A large-scale trade in souvenir seashells has been discovered in places like India and the Philippines, killing mollusks – many of whom are endangered — for their shells. The industry is having a devastating impact on the animals and their habitats.
Taking Solutionary Steps …
- Ireland is likely to become the first country in the world to divest from investments in fossil fuels. A bill passed in the lower house of parliament and is “expected to pass rapidly through the upper house, meaning it could become law before the end of the year.” Ireland’s government currently holds more than €300m in fossil fuel investments.
- The forests ministry in British Columbia (Canada) has decided to restrict huckleberry harvesting in the Kootenay-Boundary region to “preserve a critical food supply for grizzly bears.” Wild huckleberries have been overharvested by humans, which puts the habitat and grizzlies in danger.
- A couple in Kentucky (US) are using the skills of running a restaurant and partnerships with other entities to help support the recovery of people with drug addictions – and they’re finding success.
- Researchers have found that white people in the US are “more likely to acknowledge race as significant if they have been exposed to people with mixed-race backgrounds.” The study’s intent is to reduce “colorblindness” among white people.
Hurting those in need…
- The US Department of Justice has decided to eliminate funding that “supports trafficking survivors who are working to clear their criminal records.” Many victims of sex trafficking “are forced or coerced into committing criminal acts while under the control of human traffickers.”
- A new Kentucky (US) law mandates that only five pulmonologists in Kentucky “may examine miner’s X-rays in benefit claims.” Of those five, three “have acted as expert witnesses for coal companies and insurers in challenges to benefit claims,” which means it may be more difficult for miners suffering from black lung to get appropriate health care and compensation.
Problems that need solutions …
- A new report from the World Bank notes that limited opportunities and barriers for educating girls cost countries $15-30 trillion “in lost lifetime productivity and earnings.” The report highlights the importance and positive effects of a secondary school education for girls.
- Residents in the Mexican town of San Cristóbal de las Casas and surrounding parts of Chiapas have increasingly astounding rates of obesity and death and illness from diabetes. With a major water shortage in the community, for many years residents have turned to drinking soda, including from the nearby Coca-Cola bottling plant.
- Scientists have discovered that rising sea waters could be problematic for the US internet infrastructure, as many of the cables, data transfer stations, and other components are situated near coastal areas.
Be sure to add this resource to your solutionary educator toolkit:
- The National Education Association has created a portal for “Protecting Our Students’ Civil Rights” that includes model policies and other information related to sexual harassment, immigration, trans student protections, and anti-discrimination.
Be sure to forward this to at least ONE person who would benefit from these resources.