Sunday, 22 October 2017

Environmental Protection Should Be Everyone’s Priority

The planet is home to a diverse group of plants and animals that live on land, in the water, and up in the air yet we all manage to live harmoniously most of the time. Unfortunately, the beauty of nature is slowly fading as human activities continue to wreak havoc on the environment. Pollution is at an all-time high and numerous species already went extinct because of irresponsible hunting and poaching. You can’t even recognize the world we live in now from the world where our forefathers lived in. Forests are receding as cities keep on expanding. If we don’t stop now, the future generations may miss out on many of the things we take for granted now.

Over the years, environmental conservation efforts have doubled because activists see the extent of the damage to our planet. And you don’t need to be reminded of it every day in the news because you can see and experience it for yourself. Weather systems and phenomena have changed and countless lives and properties suffer from the wrath of Mother Nature each year. Reducing your carbon footprint is one of the ways we can contribute to protecting the environment even in your own little ways.

Additional environmental projects being run by the mine include conservation farming as local farmers are learning the benefit of farming methods which preserve the soil’s fertility and improve crop production.
“Conservation farming is one of the livelihoods that we are encouraging people in Kalumbila to adopt and practise for obvious reasons. We want to protect our environment,” Trident Foundation agriculture field supervisor, Christopher Chenga said.
Out of the different methods of agriculture, they believe conservation farming takes care of the environment as once a field is opened up, a farmer continues using that piece of land throughout their lifetime and for generations after.
He said by staying in one place, a farmer avoids cutting more trees and opening up more fields.


Certain industries like lead mining have a profound effect on the environment. It’s what happened to this Zambian town, which was dubbed as the world’s most toxic town in terms of pollution just this previous month. Mine waste disposal is one of the major concerns for obvious reasons aside from that of water and air pollution. We all know how big of a threat global warming and climate change is and you are not safe wherever you are in the world. However, things are starting to change for the better for them and it’s all because they decided to do what’s right after all.

The Government has taken a slew of measures to deal with climate change and curb environmental pollution. In line with the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, India too set its sustainability goals and solemnly pledged for a safer environment. However, action at the grassroots level has been slow with delays in implementation and economic prosperity taking precedence.

In light of the absolute urgency to preserve the deteriorating environment and resources, what should India do?

While the government has established concerted measures to conserve both water and energy, little action has been taken so far, even as India continues to witness recurring droughts, extreme temperatures and rising pollution.

At present, India is sustaining an estimated number of 63.4 million people living without access to clean drinking water. One of the primary reasons for this paucity is uncontrolled abstraction of water for industrial and agricultural use. It is therefore imperative to focus on promoting recycling and reuse of water and waste water treatment as part of the national agenda to create value.


Many nations all over the world are experiencing rapid urbanization. Technology is a big part of our lives, which is not always environment-friendly. It’s the main reason why climate change has arrived quite early than expected because the planet is changing at a rate never seen before in the past. The population has also exploded exponentially. Several billions of people compete for the world’s natural resources that are sadly finite. The time will come that we’ll run out of non-renewable energy sources and live in an inhospitable planet that makes daily living doubly more challenging.

Most progressive countries use fossil fuel because they are convenient to use but there are other renewable sources we can also tap that won’t harm the environment. Not only are they safe to use, they are sustainable too. The environment should not always suffer for the sake of economic prosperity but one sector can’t do it alone. Environmental protection requires the collaborative effort of both the public and private sector as the damage is already extensive and we need all the help we can get to turn things around for the better.

Environmental Protection Should Be Everyone’s Priority was originally published to


Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Future Of The US National Climate Policy

The climate is a hot topic these days as global warming and climate change continues to have a major impact on everyone’s lives. From intensifying weather phenomena and drastic changes to the natural environment, the world that we know of is changing and we have no one else blame for it but ourselves. The US is a big and powerful nation. Whatever policy it adopts, especially one on a global scale, affects the whole world at large. And an environmental policy is something that is everyone’s business right now, what with global warming a reality that we now face and no longer just the threat that it used to be.

President Trump signed the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement along with Syria and Nicaragua because he personally thinks that climate change is merely a hoax and also because he believes the said agreement hurts many big US manufacturers. It’s a trying time, indeed, for everyone and we can expect to see major changes all over the country. Yet despite the president’s withdrawal on the said deal, many concerned US citizens rally together to protect the environment all by themselves.

With the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accords, national policy on climate change will emerge from U.S. cities working to reduce emissions and become more resilient to rising sea levels, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at the annual U.S. Conferences of Mayors meeting in Miami Beach.

The conference supported the Paris agreement, and according to preliminary results released Saturday morning from an ongoing nationwide survey, the vast majority of U.S. mayors want to work together and with the private sector to respond to climate change.

“There’s near unanimity in this conference that climate change is real and that humans contribute to it. There may be a little bit of a disagreement about how actually to deal with it,” said Landrieu, who will replace Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett as conference president this weekend.

“If the federal government refuses to act or is just paralyzed, the cities themselves, through their mayors, are going to create a new national policy by the accumulation of our individual efforts,” he said.


US mayors convened in a recent conference and came to an agreement to work alongside the private sector in addressing crucial climate change issues that are being neglected by the federal government. Almost everyone in that conference agreed that climate change is a real threat and that we are all partly to blame for its very existence. It is everyone’s goal to work hard in creating a new environmental policy through the collective efforts of the various cities in the country to minimize the damage caused by major industries that President Trump oh so protect.

The project – aimed at keeping the island city dry amid rising seas – has received national attention, but Levine noted that not all communities can afford to fight climate change without state or federal funding.

“But if we don’t do it, who’s going to do it, right?” de Blasio said. “Cities and states around the country are now doing the kinds of things the national government should do. It’s just that we can’t depend on our national government anymore.”

A May survey of local sustainability efforts, conducted by the conference and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, initially only included 80 mayors who hold leadership positions within the conference. After Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Paris agreement, the survey was extended to all conference members and the mayors of about 1,400 cities with populations of 30,000 or more.


It’s not an easy task especially without the support of the national government but with everyone’s help, we can gradually make the necessary changes that the planet desperately needs. It includes a long list of changes such as energy efficiency programs, the use of renewable energy, and alternative transportation that uses less carbon. More and more cities tap renewable electricity and improve their existing energy policies in support of this cause because they are against the president’s decision to neglect the environment just like that.

The following article The Future Of The US National Climate Policy was originally published to Naked Conversations


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Flunking School Because Of Lost Sleep

Sleep, or the lack of it, can make or break your day. Sleep affects your mood and energy, thereby affecting your performance. Whether your are still a student or already a member of the working class, you can’t afford to always pull all-nighters if you want to put your best shoes forward all the time. We already know it but it’s even more depressing to confirm what we knew all along. Experts reiterate that your grade may suffer if you constantly suffer from sleep deprivation. So students, beware.

Even if you aren’t running for honors, you can afford to always lose sleep regardless of the reason you stay up late at night. However, getting that minimum eight hours of sleep nightly isn’t that easy to pull off with the numerous distractions in your immediate surroundings. From smartphones, the Internet, school, social life, family and relationship issues, etc., you may end up tossing and turning until the early morning hours, so you look like a giant panda sporting dark undereye circles the following day. And worse, your school grades suffer too because your mind isn’t just up to doing any logical thinking and reasoning to help boost your scores.

College students who go to sleep and wake up at different times during the week may be harming their academic performance, according to a U.S. study.

Consistency - going to bed and waking up at about the same time every day, weekends included - was linked with a better grade point average (GPA) among the college students in the study, the researchers found.

“College students who sleep starved themselves during the week and then binge slept on weekends had poorer grades than those whose schedules were more consistent,” senior author Dr. Charles Czeisler, director of the Sleep Health Institute at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told Reuters Health by email.

Importantly, it didn’t matter how much sleep the students got overall. Sleep timing on its own could predict worse academic performance, even if students made up for lost night-time sleep with naps during the day, according to the results published in Scientific Reports.


Truly, getting a good night’s sleep can pave the way to your success in the academe and outside the four corners of the classroom later in life. Sleep restores the body to its peak shape. Many restorative processes take place once we close our eyes for the night that you don’t get even if you try to catch some sleep later in the day. Blame it on your circadian rhythm but that’s how nature designed your body to function.

To achieve success, sleep is vital. And if you’re a student, staying up late to cram for a test is not going to help you get that A. Instead, get in the habit of having a regular sleep schedule.

A recent study by the Sleep Health Institute at Brigham and Women’s Hospital published in Scientific Reports found that students who went to bed and woke up at consistent times every day performed better academically than students who had irregular sleep schedules. By studying 61 full-time students at Harvard University who kept sleep diaries for 30 days, researchers uncovered the relationships between sleep duration, distribution of sleep throughout the day and academic performance during one semester.


The release of melatonin largely has to do with the many health benefits you get from sleep that also helps regulate your normal body clock. Sleep deprivation delays its release, which consequently pushes back your body clock a little later. Students who lack sleep feel groggy and unable to focus most of the day. That’s why they perform poorly in class and get poor grades as a result.

Aside from tech distractions that leave students wide awake each night, sleep disorders may also be a cause for many of these sleepless nights. Many younger patients find it challenging to comply with a conventional treatment like CPAP but the use of anti-snoring mouthpieces may be a good option to help patients sleep better and not constantly catch their breath in their sleep. Students no longer have to suffer more from sleep disorders like sleep apnea and can sleep soundly at night, so they get the grades they deserve all along.

The following blog article Flunking School Because Of Lost Sleep was originally published to


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Experience The High Life In New York

“All work and no play make a man dull.” How true indeed. While it is important to work hard for a living, it is also vital to take some leisurely time off work during your rest day to help you stay sane and happy in life. The daily grind can stress you out and eventually burn you out. It’s why you should never hesitate to chill and relax during the weekend, perhaps, or whenever you have some free time to give more meaning and excitement to your life.

One of the best places to go to is the city that never sleeps – New York. New York has transformed the East Coast into a top travel and shopping destination. But if you are a local, you can easily feel tired from the endless demands of work and the big crowds you meet. To keep yourself grounded, indulge in some me-time or hang out with friends in the newest and largest rooftop bar in the city. It’s not necessarily quiet time, I suppose, but it can give you a fresh perspective on having fun in the city and a great way to wine and dine. Just brace for it, though, because you have to wait a few more months before you can set foot in this cool hotspot.

When the Moxy Times Square opens in September 2017, it will boast the largest all-season rooftop bar in New York City, becoming the crown jewel in a city known for its sky-high watering holes with stunning views.

The as-yet-unnamed 10,000-square-foot rooftop bar and lounge will be open every night and will start taking reservations later this summer. Guests of the hotel will get priority access.

A spokesperson for the Moxy said that the bar and lounge will have an “urban amusement park” concept, a DJ, and epic views of the Empire State Building.

The rooftop will have carousel seating, an oversized topiary garden, and a miniature putt-putt golf course. The lounge will have multiple bar and seating areas and a light food menu that will include sausage and peppers, Maine lobster roll, duck carnitas tacos, and hamburgers.


Talking about socializing in one of the most famous cities in America and even in the whole world, you should not miss out on this latest New York attraction because it got everything covered. Just a stone throw away from Times Square, Moxy offers you a place to dine and wine that features a garden, mini golf course, bingo, artists and DJ appearances, yoga, and guest rooms among others. The only thing that is lacking is conventional cable or satellite TV because that’s so in the past now and online streaming is what’s in these days.

A Manhattan rooftop bar is offering guests the chance to drink outdoors in the middle of New York City winter—no heavy overcoats necessary.

Visitors to 230 Fifth can already start experiencing the 360° views of New York City’s skyline from the comfort of their very own igloo.

The pop-up structures host up to 11 people at a time, according to Time Out New York, and it’s not possible to make reservations. “People generally share them and chat with strangers,” a spokesperson for 230-Fifth told Travel + Leisure.


It's such a liberating feeling being at the top of these cool places in New York where you get to admire the bustling city life at an angle you have never seen before without missing out on all the fun.

There’s something about being far above the hubbub of the Big Apple’s streets, especially in the summertime, when humidity levels soar and the concrete feels like it’s emanating heat waves.

“Being on a New York City rooftop gives you this special pleasure of feeling part of the city, inside it, but at a distance,” says Ray Chung, director of design at The Johnson Studio, the firm behind the rooftop lounge at The Wit Hotel in Chicago, among other projects.

“Walking down the streets is one thing, but being able to let your guard down and see the city reduced in size — all the while still breathing the same air and still hearing the buzz of the city — it can be intoxicating,” says Chung.

Drinks just taste better 10 stories up, especially when a cool night breeze is blowing.


Many people have New York on their travel bucket list for a lot of reasons. What it lacks in space (aside from that of Central Park), it makes up in vertical attractions like penthouse bars and hangouts. Rooftop bars are all the rage in the Big Apple. The view in many of these rooftop bars are to-die-for and really make for a picturesque setting for Instagrammable photos.

You can head to these popular spots by yourself to meet new friends or go out with existing ones to experience what it is like living the high life (literally many stories high) in the Big Apple. If you are a tourist who wants to immerse in the big city life, the best thing to do is to go up in these nice hangouts or simply chill out if you are a true blue New Yorker yourself.

Experience The High Life In New York is courtesy of Naked Conversations


Sunday, 8 October 2017

The Need For More Female Computer Programmers

We are living in a highly digital world where computers run almost every system. Whatever your industry is, you can’t avoid using a computer yourself because that’s how most businesses and organizations work these days. You can’t definitely go wrong if you go after a computer-related career because the demand for it will always be high. In the past, it was actually women who pioneered computer programming because men likened coding to clerical tasks. Coding was generally thought of as a job for women while the men busied themselves in creating the hardware itself. However, men eventually took over and pursued careers in computer perhaps because of their natural preoccupation with gadgets and anything that is digital but mainly because the pay significantly increased. The demand for coders grew and it captured the men’s interest who eventually took the job away from women.

Fast-forward to today, women are increasingly gaining interest as computers become cooler and fun to use. They are no longer the boring boxes that nerdy guys were all over with back in the days. Today, cool people use computers heavily in their lives. And even if just for leisure, just the sheer thought of social media can excite anyone. Computing technology is no longer limited to just computers since there is also smart technology that is just as exciting.

Close your eyes and picture a computer science college student. In all likelihood, you imagined a male. Sadly, statistics about who decides to major in computer science in college back you up. In 2015, women earned only 18% of all computer science degrees in the nation; that percentage dips even lower for women of color, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

And while identifying the root cause for this gap is difficult, researchers are finding that what happens in a CS college classroom can greatly influence women’s decision to enter or stay out of the programming field. While there is increased interest in addressing gender disparity in Silicon Valley as well as a push to expose young girls to coding, more research is needed to understand the role that colleges can play in the diversity process.


The public assumes that most women are inherently not interested in computers given the statistics. Even today where female professional coders are widely accepted globally, not that many women still take up computer courses in college. Computer professionals need to have the knowledge and skills about computing that you can mostly learn during college. If women lack those two, they’ll have a hard time landing any computer-related job after graduating.

Even at home, parents are likewise more inclined to purchase computers or video games for their son and not their daughter. In the process, women lose exposure to tech devices where they can decide for themselves whether they like using it or not.

A new course at town public high schools would look to attract women into computer science, a male-dominated field whose broader make-up is often reflected in high school classrooms.

The class, Computer Science Principles (CSP), is based on a new Advanced Placement course and requires only Algebra 1, a course typically taken in eighth or ninth grade, as its precursor. It was presented to the Board of Education last week and would launch its first class at Fairfield Warde High School this fall, pending board approval.

As the district has grown its computer science and programming offerings in recent years, CSP would aim to be a more accessible course that would help bring diversity to a field with few women and minorities.

“I really hope that it draws students into the computer sciences,” said Margaret Boice, Director of Secondary Education.


Men are more adept at handling computers in the same way that they are better with numbers whereas women mostly excel in language. Having these computer and coding courses during high school gives female students a chance to really choose the career path they want to take in college, whether it is computer-related or not, and be exposed to what computing is all about. Making it big as a female coder is not an easy task in an industry dominated by men, so it helps if the female population also get to enjoy the same computing perks that men enjoy at a young age. Maybe it will increase the chances of young girls pursuing computer-related courses on their own and establish careers alongside geeky males who excel in the field.

The Need For More Female Computer Programmers is republished from


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Rescuing The EPA

Many changes are happening to the planet and it is not always for our best interests. For starters, the world is heating up way faster because more heat is trapped within the atmosphere because of global warming. Sea level is rising and becoming more acidic. Natural catastrophes are worsening each year and the worst is yet to come. Despite all these changes, the US government is turning a blind eye to the importance of environmental protection in the face of climate change threats. The US Environmental Protection Agency may even cease to exist as the federal government continues to reduce its funding to almost nonexistent.

And just like with President Trump’s decision to sign out of the Paris Climate Agreement where local government units and even the private sector joined hand in hand in making positive changes for the betterment of the planet at a municipal level, environment groups are also making more noise than ever in an attempt to protect the US EPA from the budget cuts as proposed by the new administration. The activists point out how helpful the EPA is in not only preserving the environment but in protecting the health and well-being of the millions of Americans through the various environment-friendly programs they implement.

 “The EPA is the only reason we’re not still drinking cancer water today,” said Michele Baker, a mother from Hoosick Falls. “President Trump and the people he has running the EPA should be looking for ways to strengthen our laws, to keep what happened here from happening anywhere else. It is beyond immoral that they’re pushing cuts instead. If Congress does not stop the President, people will get sick and die.”

Representatives from environmental advocacy groups Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY), Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch and Citizens Campaign for the Environment spoke of the importance of funding the endangered EPA programs at a press conference at the Legislative Offices Building in Albany on Wednesday, June 28.

Under Trump’s proposed budget, Energy Star and WaterSense programs, which help consumers purchase energy- and water-efficient appliances, would be eliminated, as well as the Office of Environmental Justice, which protects lower-income communities disproportionately affected by pollution. It would also remove funding for: Great Lakes and Lake Champlain clean-up programs; lead remediation support; marine, beach and fish safety programs; climate change research; and research into the dangers of pesticides. In addition, the budget would cut diesel emissions reduction grant programs by 80 percent, air and energy research by more than 60 percent and reduce funding for the already-underfunded Superfund program.


These activists highlight the importance of the EPA and how much we will suffer if they can no longer do their job because of insufficient federal funding. If the government fails to realize how vital the EPA is to our lives, they will make it their responsibility to educate the people of its importance before it is too late. They are especially pressuring New York Republican congressmen from passing this 31% EPA budget cut, all the time stressing out how much the EPA protects every family in America by slowing down climate change.

Faso said he opposes the proposed EPA budget cuts. "While there is certainly room for improvement at the EPA, I understand the importance of the agency's role in protecting our environment and ensuring that we all have access to clean air and water," said Faso.

Cooke said the fate of the cuts rests with GOP lawmakers, adding, "They need to protect us, not industry."

The effort sounds similar to the town hall events on health care held in Congressional districts earlier this year, where lawmakers supporting Trump's proposals to weaken Obamacare were met by crowds of angry constituents.


These EPA budget cuts are a direct threat to American communities that are already struggling with the many changes brought about by climate change. Without enough funds, the EPA will lose several long-term programs that the US desperately needs in order to reduce its carbon footprint and encourage the use of renewable sources of energy.

Green activists already stopped the government from doing so just recently but they have to do everything all over again for the new 2018 budget. The changes would even be more severe as the cuts are bigger than previously. If these budget cuts push through, the federal government can increase the budget for defense while virtually crippling other government agencies like the EPA. But the problem is, is that really what the rest of America needs? What will be left worth defending if the nation is no longer a great place to live in?

Rescuing The EPA is republished from