Current Event and Fanaticism Apocalypse

Current Event:

Air Pollution linked to heightened risk of type 2 diabetes in obese Latino children 

According to a new USC study, latino children who live in areas with higher levels of air pollution have a heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Scientist’s tracked children’s health and levels of residential air pollution for 3.5 years before relating the polluted air to a breakdown in beta cells, special pancreatic cells that secrete insulin and help maintain the right sugar level in the bloodstream. By the time the children were 18, their insulin-creating pancreatic cells decreased by 13% in efficiency.

According to the U.S. EPA these children lived in towns that had excess nitrogen dioxide and tiny air pollution particles (from cars and power plants).

It turned out that the beta cells in the children that were still functional were overworking to compensate for the damaged cells. As the cells failed to secrete insulin, regulation of sugar in the bloodstream overwhelmed the system, heightening the risk of diabetes.Diabetes has quadrupled in the past four decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the trend continues, 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes by 2050. Serious complications include blindness, kidney failure, limb amputation or early death.

The findings suggest that the negative effects of elevated and chronic exposure to nitrogen dioxide and tiny dirty air particles begin in early life.

Air Pollution linked heightened risk of Type 2 diabetes


Fanaticism of the Apocalypse 

I honestly didn’t really like this book. It was hard to stick with it through the beginning because I disagreed with most of the stuff Bruckner was saying. Over and over again it was brought up that man is the evil of this planet. We are the cause for our own death, which will supposedly come around 2060,

Human beings, a harmful and invasive race, could be eliminated without difficulty”.

Bruckner seems somewhat angry at the thought of having been promised a future based on inexhaustible resources. His arguments are parallel to those who contend that while climate change is indeed happening and humans may be responsible, it is not a major problem, and we don’t need to do anything about it. I somewhat agree with this statement. Climate change is real and is happening but I don’t believe there is any true way we can stop it or even slow it down no matter how much we try to.

I do agree with Bruckner’s idea about future generations. Today’s world we tend to think too far into the future. We like to pretend we know what will happen but we don’t like to admit that we truly don’t know. Saving land for the future generation is a good idea but we don’t know if the future generation will use the land in the way we want them to. They may not care about it and may use it for industrial purposes. Also, future generations may not happen. Mentioned above, humanity is supposed to disappear by 2060. We should use the land to help people who are homeless, who need land and food right now. We are putting those people aside and only thinking for our future kin.

In the end Bruckner suggests two options for ecologism’s future. Either it chooses,

“anti-humanism as its principle, celebrating rivers and forests the better to castigate human beings” (p.100)

or it chooses what he says is an “open anthropocentrism” where non-human life forms are, which are valued because of the benefit they bring to humans, albeit including their ability to broaden our sense of humanity.

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