Transparency also improves under the blockchain model, Chapron says. Many sustainably sourced goods come from small communities vulnerable to graft and exploitation by middlemen. Using something akin to Walmart’s food safety program, a blockchain could ensure that a grouper being tossed through Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market actually came from a sustainable fisherman in Indonesia.

The effects of rising oceans on coastal flooding may be even worse than we thought. Scientists have found that a mere 10 to 20 centimeters of sea-level rise — which is expected by 2050 — will more than double the frequency of serious flooding events in many parts of the globe... The southern portion of Southern California may experience the brunt of sea-level rise in the region...ncludes beaches from around Point Loma all the way up to Laguna Beach, including La Jolla, Del Mar and Oceanside.

In 2016, the corporate PACs associated with Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Amazon broke ranks with the traditional allegiance of the broad tech sector to the Democratic Party. All four donated more money to Republican Congressional candidates than they did to their Democratic opponents ... $2.1 million went to Republicans, and $1.5 million went to Democrats. These PACs did not contribute to presidential candidates.

Because of rising housing costs and stagnant wages, slightly more than half of all poor renting families in the country spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs, and at least one in four spends more than 70 percent. Yet America’s national housing policy gives affluent homeowners large benefits; middle-class homeowners, smaller benefits; and most renters, who are disproportionately poor, nothing.

American women are more than three times as likely as Canadian women to die in the maternal period...six times as likely to die as Scandinavians. In every other wealthy country, and many less affluent ones, maternal mortality rates have been falling... But in the U.S., maternal deaths increased from 2000 to 2014. In a recent analysis by the CDC Foundation, nearly 60 percent of such deaths were preventable.

Historically, there is usually an uptick in 1099 work during tough economic times, and then W-2s resurge as jobs are added in recovery. But W-2 jobs did not resurge as usual during our recovery from the last recession; instead, the growth has happened in the 1099 column. That shift raises problems because the United States’ benefits structure has traditionally been attached to the corporation rather than to the state: the expectation was that every employed person would have a W-2 job.

Climate change is melting permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands of years, and as the soils melt they are releasing ancient viruses and bacteria that, having lain dormant, are springing back to life ... The temperature in the Arctic Circle is rising quickly, about three times faster than in the rest of the world ... Frozen permafrost soil is the perfect place for bacteria to remain alive for very long periods of time, perhaps as long as a million years.

...gang members facing felony gun charges often had little problem coming up with the cash to get out of jail, while nonviolent thieves and others languished behind bars, unable to post much lower bonds. And prosecutors rarely ask where the money came from. By contrast, in major drug cases, they routinely request hearings to determine the source of bail money.

Americans aren’t just putting these drugs into their bodies; they’re also putting more drugs into the environment. A growing body of research suggests all types of drugs, from illegal drugs to antibiotics to hormones, enter the environment through sewage and cesspool systems across the country. And while pharmaceutical drugs—when used as prescribed—are capable of curing disease and alleviating symptoms in people, they can wreak havoc on nature.

America is getting richer every year. The American worker is not. Far from it: On average, workers born in 1942 earned as much or more over their careers than workers born in any year since, according to new research — and workers on the job today shouldn’t expect to catch up with their predecessors in their remaining years of employment.