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  1. A recently published study in the scientific journal Nature has found that the extremely warm temperatures that we have experienced across modern-day Europe and North America are unprecedented in the past 11,000 years. Yes, you read that right. In 11,000 years our little blue planet hasn't experienced a similar extreme rise in temperatures. And it's us humans that are causing it. That's all kinds of crazy when you actually think about it. ThinkProgress writes: This also means that we have ended the era of stable climate that enabled the development of our modern civilization. Without a relatively stable climate, our civilization probably wouldn't have advanced as far and as fast as it actually did - and without a stable climate we also probably wouldn't have been able to create a global agriculture system that is capable of sustaining billions of people. Thanks to a stable climate we were able to successfully settle along rivers and near seas - places that were most suited for living and farming - without having to worry about rising sea levels, extreme and frequent storms, tornadoes, and other catastrophic natural disasters. So just imagine for a second how bleak our future will look like without a stable climate. Luckily we still have time to stop the worst effects of climate change, but only if we act aggressively to change our unsustainable lifestyle and economic system - now.
  2. Let's talk about sperm, and more precisely Western male's sperm, because it seems male fertility is facing a sharp decline in Western nations - and environmental pollution could be responsible. According to a study published this past summer, there may be something weird going on with men's sperm. The study found a sharp decline in sperm count between 1973 to 2011 in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand where sperm counts seems to have dropped by more than 50 percent. The study cannot show why sperm counts are declining. But the author of the study believes that various environmental factors, such as harmful chemicals, could be responsible for the steep decline in sperm counts, and worse yet, the drop doesn't seem to show any signs of slowing down. Because data from non-Western nations are either missing, not reliable or inadequate, the study couldn't show an equivalent decline in sperm counts from males in South America, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. One could be tempted to think that this study shows how Western culture, lifestyle and industrialization exposes men to more harmful chemicals than typical lifestyles in the non-Western world, but again, this study is not capable of drawing such conclusions. What do you think is causing the steep decline in sperm counts? And is it just happening in the West or is it a global problem?
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