Commentary

(Photo Bo Eide/CSIRO, Author provided)

460,000 miles of fishing line and 14 billion hooks: how much fishing gear is lost at sea each year

BY: , , and - October 20, 2022

Two percent of all fishing gear used worldwide ends up polluting the oceans, our new research finds. To put that into perspective, the amount of longline fishing gear littering the ocean each year can circle the Earth more than 18 times. We interviewed 450 fishers from seven of the world’s biggest fishing countries including Peru, […]

Good faith and the honor of partisan election officials no longer enough to ensure trust in results

BY: - October 18, 2022

As the U.S. moves closer to the 2022 midterm elections, a sizable number of Americans express a lack of confidence in the accuracy of the vote count. That distrust is built largely on the widespread – and false – assertion that Donald Trump was re-elected in the 2020 presidential election, and that Joe Biden’s win […]

A man purchases groceries. Social Security benefits have lost their purchasing power as inflation has soared in 2022. (U.S. Department of Agriculture photo)

Soaring inflation prompts biggest Social Security cost-of-living boost since 1981

BY: - October 14, 2022

Social Security is set to boost the benefits it provides retirees by 8.7%, the biggest cost-of-living adjustment since 1981. It comes as sky-high inflation continues to eat into incomes and savings. The changes are set to take effect in January 2023 and were announced following the release of the September 2022 consumer price index report, […]

A plane sprays pesticide on corn in California. (Photo by Andy Sacks/Getty Images)

Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ at 60: 4 essential reads

BY: - October 13, 2022

In 1962 environmental scientist Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring,” a bestselling book that asserted that overuse of pesticides was harming the environment and threatening human health. Carson did not call for banning DDT, the most widely used pesticide at that time, but she argued for using it and similar products much more selectively and paying […]

Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are displayed before a press conference regarding a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, Sept. 23, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rainbow fentanyl – the newest Halloween scare

BY: - October 12, 2022

Every year around the middle of October, reporters start contacting me wanting to talk about rumors of contaminated Halloween treats. That’s because I track media coverage of reported incidents of trick-or-treaters receiving razor blades in apples or pins and poison in candy bars. My data goes back to 1958, and my principal finding is simple: […]

(Native Land Digital image, CC BY-SA)

Land acknowledgments meant to honor Indigenous people too often do the opposite

BY: , and - October 11, 2022

Many events these days begin with land acknowledgments: earnest statements acknowledging that activities are taking place, or institutions, businesses and even homes are built, on land previously owned by Indigenous peoples. And many organizations now call on employees to incorporate such statements not only at events but in email signatures, videos, syllabuses and so on. […]

The wreckage of a car teeters on a buckled roadway in the wake of Hurricane Ian on Sept. 30, 2022, in Matlacha, Florida. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

New satellite mapping with AI can quickly pinpoint hurricane damage across an entire state

BY: and - October 10, 2022

Hurricane Ian left an extraordinarily broad path of destruction across much of South Florida. That was evident in reports from the ground, but it also shows up in satellite data. Using a new method, our team of spatial and environmental analysts was able to quickly provide a rare big picture view of damage across the […]

Myaamia Heritage Program students get a lesson from Daryl Baldwin, executive director of the Myaamia Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Scott Kissell, Miami University, CC BY-ND

Effort to recover Indigenous language also revitalizes culture, history and identity

BY: - October 7, 2022

When the federal government set up boarding schools in the 19th century to assimilate Native American children into American culture, one of the objectives was to get them to turn away from the use of their native languages. In recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the U.S., The Conversation turned to Daryl Baldwin, a citizen […]

A mother polar bear with two cubs rests on the snowy shore of Kaktovik Lagoon on the North Slope on Sept. 23, 2018. The lagoon is connected to the Beaufort Sea and is part of the Arctic marine ecosystem that is the subject of a NOAA Fisheries climate research plan being developed to guide work through 2024. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

How Russian isolation due to its Ukraine invasion has halted Arctic co-operation

BY: and - October 6, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought about significant geopolitical shifts. Lines have been drawn and alliances solidified, leaving little space for ambiguity, especially among western states. The Arctic region was affected by these changes as western states imposed sanctions on Russia for its blatant violations of international law. The activities of the Arctic Council, […]

African psychologist hold hands of girl patient, close up. Teenage overcome break up, unrequited love. Abortion decision. Psychological therapy, survive personal crisis, individual counselling concept (Photo by Fizkes/Getty Images)

Increasing sexual assault response resources must be a priority in Alaska

BY: - October 5, 2022

Alaska has the highest rape rate in the entire United States. In 2020, Alaska reported 154.8 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants. The national average was 38.4.  While working as a scribe in the Providence emergency department and as a crisis line responder for Standing Together Against Rape Alaska (STAR), I discovered there are many barriers to […]

Hurricane Ian’s water vapor on Sept. 28, 2022, meant heavy rainfall for large parts of Florida. (NOAA image)

Here’s what’s known about how climate change fuels tropical cyclones

BY: and - October 3, 2022

When Hurricane Ian hit Florida, it was one of the United States’ most powerful hurricanes on record, and it followed a two-week string of massive, devastating storms around the world. A few days earlier in the Philippines, Typhoon Noru gave new meaning to rapid intensification when it blew up from a tropical storm with 50 […]

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 13: Baby formula is offered for sale at a big box store on January 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Baby formula has been is short supply in many stores around the country for several months. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Butter, garage doors and SUVs: Why shortages remain common 2½ years into the pandemic

BY: - September 30, 2022

Shortages of basic goods still plague the U.S. economy – 2½ years after the pandemic’s onset turned global supply chains upside down. Want a new car? You may have to wait as long as six months, depending on the model you order. Looking for a spicy condiment? Supplies of Sriracha hot sauce have been running […]