🌎 A Tale As Old As Lyme

Plus: an HIV vaccine, dairy PR, and wastewater recycling

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Welcome to the week.

A bit of a delay getting this out today, my apologies — it’s the May long weekend in Canada (Victoria Day) and I was offline the whole time (it was glorious).

Don’t miss our new podcast episode with MIT immunologist, Dr. Mikki Tal. She studies chronic diseases like Lyme disease (don’t forget to do your tick checks!), and it’s one of the best episodes we’ve done.

Ok, here we go.

This week:

  • 🌎️ An onslaught of climate policy

  • 🍄 Psychedelics for chronic pain

  • 🍫 Cocoa risks

  •  🤖 OpenAI safety concerns

  • And more

Have a great week,

— Willow

This is science for people who give a shit.

Every week, we help 33,000+ humans understand and unfuck the rapidly changing world around us. It feels great, and we’d love for you to join us.

🙋‍♀️ Vote!

Are you or a loved one affected by a chronic infectious disease, like long Covid or chronic Lyme?

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Last week, we asked: What is your view on the viability and effectiveness of voluntary and compliance carbon markets as tools to reduce emissions and combat climate change?

You said:

🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨⬜️ Voluntary carbon markets alone are not sufficient - (27%)

“Voluntary compliance will not be enough. More is needed by manufacturing and local governments.”

🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ Compliance carbon markets regulated by governments are a viable approach that provide crucial financial incentives (9%)

🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ Voluntary carbon markets driven by companies/individuals are more effective than regulatory compliance markets (8%)

“History has shown over and over that when left to the market the programs and tools developed are several heads above most government-regulated programs.”

🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️ Neither voluntary nor compliance carbon markets are effective solutions - direct regulations are needed instead (18%)

“We don’t have enough time to play around with those other options. We need strong regulatory action in order to hasten change.”

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 I don't know enough about the different types of carbon markets to have an opinion (29%)

🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ Something else (write in!) (10%)

“I believe it begins with our selves: How much willing are we to change our lifestyle and our means of daily living so that life other than human are value- not equally but at least with sufficiency so their lives are not taken in waste: It is - and it won't be - easy: But then it never has been easy for humanity to change - especially when faced with the choices of maybe not "growing" like parents and ancestors, but which may be necessary in order for all of us - and our descendants - to continue living in good measure upon this planet - with all other life: not taking or hoarding but giving and receiving! ”

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From My Notebook header

⚡️ Climate change:

🦠 Health & Bio:

💦 Food & Water:

👩‍💻 Beep Boop:

🌎️ = Global news

I guess bias in the medical system in the theme this week. Read for a better understanding on why leading with curiosity > dismissiveness 👇️ 

New Shit Giver Cheryl wants to help solve “climate/environment. My sister died of breast cancer, so cancer of all kinds. We waste tons of food when others are starving, so wasted food and also GMO food products, which I disagree with. We cannot live without clean water, so add water to my list. AI is of interest to me. Most technologies can be used for good or bad, but how to ensure only good applications is an interesting issue. Prejudice. Women's Right to Choose for her own body. Child and animal abuse... ahhh so many things I wish I could help solve. “

Welcome, Cheryl! I hear you, it is a lot, but you’re in the right place.

How To Give A Shit logo v3

Last week’s most popular Action Step was finding a toilet paper brand that contributes the least to deforestation using the NRDC’s Issue With Tissue scorecard.

🌎️ = Global Action Step

How do we take a huge chronic disease burden like Lyme disease or long COVID or even long flu and make it so personal that we simply can't ignore it anymore?

That's today's big question and my guest is Dr. Mikki Tal, an immunoengineer and a principal scientist at MIT.

Dr. Tal leads the Tal Research Group within the Department of Biological Engineering, and also serves as the Associate Scientific Director of the Center for Gynepathology Research. Mikki is working to identify the connections between infections and chronic diseases.

I've written a bit recently about the lessons we finally need to learn about post viral and bacterial health issues, the societal and medicinal and health and economic issues and improving our baseline of wellness and community health, so that we don't suffer from those quite as much.

These things are very real, we've known about them for a very long time and the compounding effects of chronic diseases are just going to continue add up the longer we ignore them, and we gaslight people.

There has never really been a better time for Mikki's work, or for this wonderfully inspiring and personal conversation.

📖 Prefer to read? Get the transcript here.

▶️ Or watch the full episode on YouTube.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
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