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Cramm for 12/15/21
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

A new study looks at the racial disparities in air pollution. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Air pollution is the dangerous presence of toxic chemicals or compounds in the air. Its effects include things like rising temps and worsened health problems. Think: preterm births, miscarriages, respiratory issues, dementia, and even coronavirus. New studies have shown that air pollution lowers life expectancy and worsens health outcomes even at relatively low levels. In the US alone, air pollution accounts for about 100,000 deaths each year. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Recently, it came out that people of color breathe more air pollutants. You read that right. No matter which pollutants you look at - from “nitrogen dioxide” to “highly mixed ozone pollution” - people of color are exposed to higher levels. 

 

THE DEETS. 

This research is very very big for a number of reasons. One: it shows that while gains have been made in improving air quality, racial disparities persist. Two: these racial disparities were generally larger for urban areas than for rural areas, with California and New York experiencing some of the biggest gaps. Three: it shows that race matters more than income in determining who lives with the most air pollution. And four: the study confirms what many communities of color, which often face more industrial smoke and freeway pollutants, have been saying for decades. 

 

THE TAKE.

The study is proof that we can’t just work to make the air cleaner - we need to do so while focusing on the racial disparities in air pollution. 


THE ACTION

CORONAVIRUS: Omicron is already spreading rapidly in the US. The variant now accounts for 3 percent of nationwide positive tests, up from 0.4 percent just a week ago. New York,  New Jersey, and Connecticut are facing the biggest surge in Omicron cases, with the variant being detected at four times the national rate. Cornell University in New York alone reported 903 coronavirus infections among students - and a “very high percentage” are Omicron cases in fully vaxxed people. The sports world is also beginning to experience an outbreak of Omicron. Meanwhile, police in the German state of Saxony just launched a series of raids against far-right anti-vax extremists. The why: they’re suspected of plotting violence against the state premier for backing coronavirus measures. Tension, high. 

 

WORLD: The death toll from the Haiti fuel tanker explosion is rising. 62 people have now been killed after the vehicle ignited, with many victims caught in the explosion while trying to gather leaking fuel. This comes amid a devastating gas shortage in Haiti. In other news, more than 100 people were trapped on the roof of Hong Kong’s World Trade Center after a fire broke out in the building. 8 people were injured and sent to the hospital. A total of 150 people have been evacuated so far, with rescue operations still underway. In other news, a human rights group says that North Korea has publicly executed 7 people in the past decade for watching or distributing K-pop from South Korea. Kim Jong Un reportedly calls it a “vicious cancer.” 

 

POLITICS: A lot is going on in Washington, DC. Here’s the rundown. Yesterday, Congress voted to increase the debt limit by $2.5 trillion (with a tr) and extend it into 2023. Big deal, since the US was set to hit the limit today, which could have led to a catastrophic default. But now, it looks like the crisis has been averted. In other news, the House just voted to recommend that the Justice Dept pursue criminal charges against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Hint: he ditched a deposition with the select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack. Stay tuned. And meanwhile, a federal judge just threw out Donald Trump’s lawsuit seeking to keep his tax returns from Congress. Trump says he plans to appeal. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Legacy Contacts:” a new iPhone feature that lets you pick someone to access your phone after you die. 


SAY WHAT?

“'Bored Ape' NFT worth $284,495 accidentally sells for just $2,844” - an actual headline. Ooh ooh uh oh. 




ICYMI, Cramm This Book is coming on February 15, 2022! Cramm This Book is a dive into the history that’s shaped the world as it is today, looking at the wars, the movements, the disasters, and more. Pre-order your copy today!
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The Cramm · The Cramm · Santa Barbara, CA 93101 · USA