Curious about Everything

Day: October 19, 2021 (Page 1 of 2)

Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario, a town of 1,300 people, 800km north of Toronto, is selling lots of land for 90% off to attract new residents

Press Release »

Smooth Rocks Falls, a progressive community of 1,300 in northern Ontario that generated nationwide attention in 2017 for offering bold financial incentives, including $500 serviced lots, to reverse its declining population is experiencing a resurgence. During the last four years, 60 new families have moved to the town and the average property value has increased 144 per cent.

Despite Smooth Rock Falls’ recent success, Town Council is not resting on its laurels; it continues to pursue new opportunities and explore ways to diversify its economy. Today, it opened The Near North Industrial Centre, a 9.57-hectare industrial park with 12 turn-key lots. The anchor tenant, a diesel maintenance and repair outfit, is already in place but the remaining lots are available with a range of incentives, including a potential rebate of up to 90 per cent of the purchase price, tax grants, and more.

This fall, Smooth Rock Falls will also be initiating a waterfront master study to explore ways to unlock 140 acres of waterfront land in town. “Being creative and taking risks has resulted in in increased commercial confidence in Smooth Rock Falls,” says Denault. “We’re planning to continue to come up with innovative ways to ensure Smooth Rock Falls continues to grow for years to come.”

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Phthalates are causing a global fertility crisis

Sperm counts are down more than 50%.

Shanna H. Swan, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading environmental and reproductive epidemiologists and a professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. An award-winning scientist, her work examines the impact of environmental exposures, including chemicals such as phthalates and Bisphenol A, on men’s and women’s reproductive health and the neurodevelopment of children.

Search » Phthalates

Case Closed » 99.9% of scientists agree climate emergency caused by humans

» The Guardian

“It is really case closed. There is nobody of significance in the scientific community who doubts human-caused climate change,” said the lead author, Mark Lynas, a visiting fellow at Cornell University.

This echoed the view expressed in August by the world’s leading scientific body, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which said: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.”

The general public does not yet understand how certain experts are, nor is it reflected in political debate. This is especially true in the US, where fossil fuel companies have funded a disinformation campaign that falsely suggests the science is not yet settled, similar to the campaign by tobacco industries to cast doubt on the link between smoking and cancer.

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Study » Mark Lynas, Benjamin Z Houlton, and Simon Perry, IOP Science »

While controls over the Earth’s climate system have undergone rigorous hypothesis-testing since the 1800s, questions over the scientific consensus of the role of human activities in modern climate change continue to arise in public settings. We update previous efforts to quantify the scientific consensus on climate change by searching the recent literature for papers sceptical of anthropogenic-caused global warming. From a dataset of 88125 climate-related papers published since 2012, when this question was last addressed comprehensively, we examine a randomized subset of 3000 such publications. We also use a second sample-weighted approach that was specifically biased with keywords to help identify any sceptical peer-reviewed papers in the whole dataset. We identify four sceptical papers out of the sub-set of 3000, as evidenced by abstracts that were rated as implicitly or explicitly sceptical of human-caused global warming. In our sample utilizing pre-identified sceptical keywords we found 28 papers that were implicitly or explicitly sceptical. We conclude with high statistical confidence that the scientific consensus on human-caused contemporary climate change—expressed as a proportion of the total publications—exceeds 99% in the peer reviewed scientific literature.

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Documentary » Fast fashion retailers are not being honest with their customers

Since 2000, clothing purchases have doubled. Fast fashion is cheap, worn briefly, then discarded, leaving behind mountains of used clothing. Producers and retailers promise sustainability and recycling, but how honest are they with their customers? The truth is that less than 1% new clothing is made from recycled clothing.

70% of all new fashion is made with synthetic fibres. Similar to plastic, these fibres are produced with crude oil and are very difficult to recycle.

Over 120 billion garments per year are produced worldwide, and the mountains of textile waste are growing accordingly. The fast fashion industry is responsible for a significant part of this. Where they once brought out four collections a year, cheap clothing chains now create up to 52 micro-collections annually.

Fast fashion retailers promise their customers they will treat the used clothing sustainably, touting their recycling system. But the giant mounds of worn clothing are too much for second-hand traders to handle. The clothes end up being used as fuel to heat people’s homes. Political measures are needed to tackle the flood of toxic textile waste.

This Deutsche Welle documentary is just over 28 minutes.

Testing shows an unprecedented decline in both reading and math skills in the United States

Kevin Mahnken, The 74 Million »

Thirteen-year-olds saw unprecedented declines in both reading and math between 2012 and 2020, according to scores released this morning from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Consistent with several years of previous data, the results point to a clear and widening cleavage between America’s highest- and lowest-performing students and raise urgent questions about how to reverse prolonged academic stagnation.

The scores offer more discouraging evidence from NAEP, often referred to as “the Nation’s Report Card.” Various iterations of the exam, each tracking different subjects and age groups over several years, have now shown flat or falling numbers.

“It’s really a matter for national concern, this high percentage of students who are not reaching even what I think we’d consider the lowest levels of proficiency,” said George Bohrnstedt, a senior vice president and institute fellow at the American Institutes for Research.

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