Health News

Emergency Health Care Improved by Innovative App

(3BL Media and Just Means)- "One picture is worth a thousand clinical words," said Crystal Law, MIT Alumna, former EMT and Co-Founder of Twiage.

My Five-Minute Vacation: Organic, Fair and Delicious

“There is no such thing as a socially responsible business because that term
suggests that an enterprise has reached a destination and there is no more work to be done."

Honest Tea co-founder and TeaEO, Seth Goldman.

Coca Cola is the David that the Slingshot Needs.

"The Slingshot is the little tool that David needs to defeat Goliath"—Dean Kamen.

If We Can't Make Fracking Unnecessary, Can We At Least Make It Safer?

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - Russell Gold’s pragmatic piece about fracking in the Wall Street Journal makes a number of excellent points. First, our economy has such an enormous appetite for energy, that there is no way we can simultaneously give up coal, oil, nuclear and natural gas, as much as the environment would like us to, without bringing things to a screeching halt. So pick your poison.

Conventional wisdom has been that gas is the lesser of the four evils, especially after Fukushima, where nuclear lost most of whatever remaining luster it had. Even the esteemed Rocky Mountain Institute said we could wean ourselves off the other three, while growing the economy, so long as we had natural gas as a “bridge fuel.” That was before the precipitous drop in gas prices due to the discovery of Marcellus Shale and before the realization of the many issues associated with fracking.

Gold mentions several of them: the leaks, the lack of water testing or understanding as to what constitutes a safe and suitable site, and the lack of quality control throughout the process.

He does not mention several other issues including the question of earthquakes triggered by fracking, and the presence of radon in the gas. Radon has a radioactive half-life of 2-3 days. The means that by the time it reaches New York from places like Louisiana, it is no longer radioactive. But it can get to New York a lot faster from Pennsylvania.

Mr. Gold focuses more on pre-testing water before drilling in order to protect companies from “abusive false claims” of water contamination, than he does on legitimate claims.

As to the question of leaks, which the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently found were serious enough to make natural gas less climate-friendly than diesel fuel (though still more benign than coal), he says it’s just a matter of finding the leaks and fixing them. That could be easier said than done, considering the shoddy state of much of our infrastructure, including oil and gas pipelines. There is also the fact that some of the leakage is intentional. Many natural gas wells operating in remote areas without electricity use pneumatic controllers that are powered by a flow of gas that spins a turbine before being released into the atmosphere. Annual releases of as much as 50 billion cubic feet have been recorded in recent years. The EPA has begun regulating these releases under the Clean Air Act, which has led to newer designs with lower emissions that are now being deployed. But these emissions could be cut to zero if solar powered electric units with backup batteries were used instead.

But perhaps the biggest omission is any discussion of any of the work that is currently taking place to actually make fracking safer.

Resilience: One Family's Story—and Lessons for Business and Society

Resilience is a word that has gotten a lot of play lately. In a world that has us spending more and more time bracing for what might be coming, it's something we're starting to think we maybe should have more of.

This article in Harvard Business Review talks about resilience in terms of getting back up after being knocked down. They say that "this will be a key to survival in a world where 'surprises are the new normal.'”

The Huairou Commission, a women's disaster relief organization, defines resilience as “the capacity of a community to organize itself to reduce the impact of disasters by protecting lives, homes, assets, basic services and infrastructure.”

Then there are cultural dimensions. Some have suggested that indigenous cultures are inherently more resilient. Have the modern conveniences of life made us soft, lazy and totally dependent on relatively fragile technology, thus more vulnerable to shocks? What can we learn from indigenous cultures about resiliency to make life safer for us and for them? Questions like these are being are being studied at places such as the Center for American Indian Resilience at the University of Arizona and at the Australian Indigenous Resiliency Project, particularly with respect to public health concerns.

Psychology Today describes it in terms of the ability to remain calm in the face of disaster.

Scientists are also studying the biological roots of resilience, trying to understand why some people can recover from trauma better than others. They have identified a neuropeptide marker Y, and a gene involved in hormonal feedback loops.

Jill Klein is a psychologist who teaches marketing at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Growing up, she was strongly influenced by the fact that her father, two aunts and her grandmother were all Holocaust survivors, having been taken from their home and shipped off to Auschwitz in 1944. Her grandfather, Herman, was sent to the gas chamber upon his arrival.

She has written a meticulous account of their experiences based hundreds of hours of interviews as well as the diaries kept by her two aunts, who were young women at the time. She also did a great deal of independent research to put their subjective accounts into an historical context. The result is the fine memoir entitled We Got the Water: Tracing My Family’s Path Through Auschwitz.

Slow Social Innovation

Guest blog by Cheryl Heller Founding Chair of MFA Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts, New York City

Why give a damn:

Business Leaders to Converge in Washington for CSR Talks

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - On April 7 and 8, business leaders will meet in Washington D.C. for the Catalyzing Growth in Emerging Markets conference. The event will address how cross-sector interests converge to achieve shared value and examine how the practice of International Corporate Volunteerism, global pro bono, is contributing to socio-economic growth in emerging and frontier markets. The event is hosted by PYXERA Global.

CVS Will Stop Selling Cigarettes By October

(3BL/JustMeans) - Chain pharmacies are increasingly retooling themselves as health and wellness centers. There are several reasons why, including the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of access to health care coverage. Some chain pharmacies are now running retail health clinics. Over 1,600 such clinics are operated by CVS Caremark, Walgreens, Rite Aid and other chain stores.

SunFunder Turns the Lights On For Those Off the Grid

People living in small villages in developing countries have the opportunity to leapfrog past the centralized power generation model, straight into distributed renewables, much as they have already done with cell phones, bypassing the world of land lines altogether. This is a win-win for everyone, particularly the 1.5 billion people currently living in energy poverty.


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