Air pollution is much worse than we thought–VOX, August 12, 2020
The pandemic has reignited public interest in this issue: Not only does air pollution kill many people around the world, but it also exposes them to a greater risk of catching COVID-19 and dying from it. New research reveals that the effects of air pollution are roughly twice as bad as previously estimated. “It would, therefore, be worth freeing ourselves from fossil fuels even if global warming didn’t exist.” Ditching fossil fuels would pay for itself through clean air alone. Could it be that the air pollution research breaks the climate policy logjam because the air quality benefits for human health filter through much faster than the climate benefits? A must-read.
Why every brand now needs to behave like a health and wellness brand–Fast Company, August 11, 2020
This article argues that companies that want to succeed in a post-COVID-19 economy need to think and act like a wellness brand—and all brands, not just the Pelotons or Fitbits. Explains how brands that reinvent themselves around health/wellness (explaining what that means) will see the most powerful growth when the economy comes back.
Why work from home when you can work from Barbados, Bermuda or … Estonia?–New York Times, August 19, 2020
Several tourism-dependent countries have started to offer visas that allow foreign nationals to live and work for a period of at least six months. Explores how digital nomads will surge in the coming years, with freelancers gaining a lot of international leverage. Travel industry: take note.
Here are 5 skills researchers say employers are looking for right now–World Economic Forum, August 13, 2020
The equivalent of 305 million full-time jobs have been lost globally since COVID-19 hit, but there are signs recruitment is increasing in some markets. “Soft skills” head up the list. The five most in-demand skills are (1) communication, (2) problem-solving, (3) analytical skills, (4) customer service, and (5) leadership.
Jared Diamond, Why nations fail or succeed when facing a crisis–Noéma, July 28, 2020
The polymath Jared Diamond discusses his latest book, Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis. Some of the key filters he suggests to assess how nations manage crises and successfully negotiate turning points: (1) realistic self-appraisal; (2) selective adoption of best practices from elsewhere; (3) a capacity to learn from others while still preserving core values; and (4) flexibility that allows for social and political compromise. Interesting throughout with a lot of tangible insights.
A Striking Stat: Our Quiet, COVID-19 Planet
The global lockdown has represented the longest period of planetary quiet in recorded history, revealing how much noise humans contribute to the environment.
Source: 76 academic researchers who studied seismic monitoring stations around the world from March through May.