Luca Disbrow / Daily Nexus

Checking Coastal Catastrophe

Human activity is responsible for much of the negative influence experienced by natural environments. Coastal regions specifically face these impacts in great variety, with direct connections between anthropoid-related actions and the decline in biological life. Unfortunately, with much variation in the data collected by biologists, it has been difficult for scientists to characterize the extent of the damage being done to ecosystems without exhausting resources and datasets. In response to this obstacle, researchers from UC Santa Barbara, UC Los Angeles and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey are currently working together to create a simplified risk assessment framework that is relatable to global scenarios and would be responsible for quantifying the potential for ecological diversity loss within specific ecoregions. 

With the use of already-established knowledge of marine life, including mangroves, seagrasses and stony corals, a “weighted risk scoring system” can be derived to rank scenarios based on their risk of causing  biological loss in biogenetic habitats. With the ability to efficiently predict environmental degradation, scientists can prioritize conservation efforts in reach of the best outcome. 

Cynical Seniors

As individuals age, their perceptions of younger generations become increasingly unfavorable. John Protzko and Jonathan Schooler, both researchers at UC Santa Barbara, have conducted two studies on adults that evaluate their tendency to believe that the generalized youth possess traits that are both different and worse than from when these surveyed adults were young.

With cases using 2,764 American adults, patterns show that the research participants hold a harsh standard toward younger populations. Certain individuals who believe in the unchanging nature of personality showed more amiable thoughts toward the youth, given that they themselves may possess a few of the relating traits. On the other hand, those who do not believe that they possess certain negative traits have been shown to believe that younger generations have increasingly adopted them. For example, one who is hygienic would believe that the youth are becoming progressively insanitary. The research for the cause of these common beliefs continues to develop. 

Wealth Isn’t Health 

There is a common belief that a nation’s health is dependent on its wealth. The world, having witnessed the global responses to COVID-19, has seen firsthand the inefficiencies of some very wealthy countries in containing and eradicating the virus in comparison to the successes of other less wealthy nations. UCSB professor Jan Nederveen Pieterse explained how health is dependent on factors unrelated to the economy.

Pieterse claimed that, when there is a high concentration of wealth, privatized corporations benefit more financially than the common consumer, which results in public health crises rather than reassurance of better care. Pieterse established that the perfect framework for public health is tied to three important factors: collective knowledge and social experience, the state’s capability to act decisively and the social cooperation of the public. Market economy also has an effect on response capabilities. In countries such as Denmark and Germany, “coordinated-market economies” tended to do better than the U.S.’s “liberal” and Cuba’s or Vietnam’s “developmental state-led” market economies. 

Unfortunately, Pieterse concluded that there is little hope for the nations to change. This is due to past dependency, the great influence of corporations and the reality that learning requires repetition.