What We’re Reading 9.30.19

Below are a few headlines from the last week that caught our attention. The articles below are not intended to be indicate our views on any certain topic, just an update on some of the latest news in the areas in which we work.

Here’s how we can use agriculture to fight climate change [World Economic Forum] 2019 will go down in history as the most difficult planting season for North American farmers, with over 10 million acres of crops going unplanted due to extreme weather conditions. At the same time, farmers in Punjab, in India, are experiencing rain showers almost every month and, for the first time in its history, more humid air is leading to greater pest infestations.

The effects of climate change can be felt daily, especially by farmers, but very few solutions have been discussed to address this catastrophic threat. However, there is one, widely unknown solution to reducing the amount of greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere: agriculture.

The World’s Oceans Are in Danger, Major Climate Change Report Warns [NYTimes] WASHINGTON — Climate change is heating the oceans and altering their chemistry so dramatically that it is threatening seafood supplies, fueling cyclones and floods and posing profound risks to the hundreds of millions of people living along the coasts, according to a sweeping United Nations report issued Wednesday.

The report concludes that the world’s oceans and ice sheets are under such severe stress that the fallout could prove difficult for humans to contain without steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Fish populations are already declining in many regions as warming waters throw marine ecosystems into disarray, according to the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders in policymaking.

Integrating Social Care Into the Delivery of Health Care [Jama Network] It has long been known that social factors influence health. However, a recent upsurge of interest in addressing social needs within the context of health care delivery has emerged,13driven in part by a recognition that achieving high-quality, high-value health care may require attention to nonmedical factors such as housing, food, and transportation. Addressing social determinants of health may be important for any person during periods of increased need (eg, after discharge from the hospital) and particularly important for addressing health disparities in communities with greater social need.

There’s a reason we don’t know much about AI [Politico] Last year, when the Food and Drug Administration approved an Apple Watch feature that notified users if they had an irregular heart rhythm, the information tech industry hailed it as a watershed moment in consumer-focused health care. Cardiologists, on the other hand, warned that the app could lead to privacy violations, unwarranted worrying and wasteful or even dangerous medical care.

It might have been good to have an authoritative assessment of the new technology’s pros and cons. But in the United States, at least, that no longer happens.

Which Denver schools have the most experienced teachers? A new report slices the data [Chalkbeat] Compared to teachers in district-run schools, those in Denver charter schools are more likely to be white and have less than five years of experience. Meanwhile, their students are more likely to be students of color.

That’s according to a new report called “Denver’s Next Journey: Investing in Teachers,” from the education advocacy organization A Plus Colorado. The report details efforts by Denver Public Schools over the past decade to recruit, support, and pay its teachers differently.