Research: Temps Rise, Minimum Wage Studies, Farm Bankruptcies Rise, & Pot Reduces Migraines
UN Report on Climate Change: The United Nations issued a stark warning on climate change last week and called for deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, especially by the top global emitters like the United States and China. They warned that if emissions aren't substantially reduced soon, the world will face a global temperature increase of about 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, "bringing wide-ranging and destructive climate impacts."
The 10th Emissions Gap Report by the United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP] noted that greenhouse gases are continuing to increase and that few nations are taking adequate steps to address the issue domestically. The UN report came a day after the World Meteorological Organization announced that there are now record-high concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
UNEP congratulated the nations that had announced net zero emissions targets at the recent Climate Action Summit, but noted that few of those countries have submitted detailed plans of how they plan to achieve their goals.
Without renewed leadership by the United States [which is unlikely under Donald Trump], there is very little reason to expect that the international community will act to blunt the most damaging effects of climate change in the 21st century.
Impact of Minimum Wage Increases: Conservatives have long opposed minimum wage increases, arguing that they reduce overall employment. However, as we have noted before, there is a growing body of evidence that such increases are an effective way to boost worker salaries without negatively impacting jobs. And a recent report prepared for the British government by Professor Arindrajit Dube, a professor of economics at UMass Amherst, came to the same conclusion.
Gov.UK: "The report finds that, overall, the most up to date body of research from US, UK and other developed countries points to a very muted effect of minimum wages on employment, while significantly increasing the earnings of low paid workers. Importantly, this was found to be the case even for the most recent ambitious policies [large minimum wage increases]."
Pot and Migraines: Cannabis has been used for headache pain for thousands of years, but because of restrictions on its use, there hasn't been much research on its effectiveness. A new study conducted at Washington State University and published this week in the Journal of Pain, found that inhaled cannabis reduced the severity of migraines by almost half. Their research noted, however, that "its effectiveness appears to diminish across time", suggesting that in the long-term patients might need to increase their dosage to get the same results.
Trump Tariffs and Farm Bankruptcies: Donald Trump's trade war with China is taking a toll on America's farmers. Last year, after the President imposed taxes on Chinese goods imported into the United States, China retaliated by introducing steep tariffs on US agricultural products. As a result, farmers exported much less of their harvest to China and market prices have declined. The overall impact has been devastating according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Business Insider: "Farmers filed 580 Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings between January and September, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the largest farm advocacy group in the country. That was a 24% increase from the previous year and the highest level since 2011, when there were 676 filings.
By Don Lam & Curated Content