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Climate change could make us dumber… literally – BGR

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Some might argue that mankind’s gradual destruction of planet Earth is proof that we’re not the smartest species around. I mean, how smart can we really be if we, as a species, refuse to correct our wrongs in the most dramatic way possible? Yeah, we’re not terribly smart.

Now, new research shows that as the human-caused climate crisis worsens, one of the symptoms of our increasingly sick planet may be dumber and dumber humans. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, this probably isn’t going to end well.

The new research paper, written by a team of scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder, the Colorado School of Public Health, and the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that the gradual rise of CO2 levels in Earth’s atmosphere could cause cognitive decline in humans as a whole.

CO2 is a byproduct of many different types of human activity and, as we continue to destroy forests and foliage that help scrub the air and provide humans and other animals with breathable air, the amount of CO2 in our air gradually climbs. Studies have shown that too much CO2 in the air can trigger cognitive issues, decreasing the ability of a person to focus and hinder learning.

Getting a few breaths of oxygen-rich “fresh” air tends to clear that up, but in a future where fresh air becomes harder and harder to come by, it could lead to an overall “dumbening” of the human race. For the study, researchers simulated two different future scenarios. In both, students would perform various tasks in rooms where the air has different concentrations of CO2. Based on established data regarding how CO2 impacts cognition, the researchers crunched the numbers and came up with some pretty scary results.

The researchers report that in the first scenario, students were still exposed to so much CO2 that their cognitive abilities were decreased by 25 percent by 2100. In the second, which was the business-as-usual scenario, the students were exposed to so much CO2 when the windows were opened that they experienced a 50 percent reduction in cognitive ability.

It’s just a theoretical experiment, but the scenario the researchers used assumes that humans are unable to curb their CO2 emissions by the year 2100. We’d hope that wouldn’t be the case, but things were to play out in this way, the amount of CO2 in the air would lead to a 50% reduction in cognitive ability.

A future where the human race is even dumber? Sounds about right.

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Jordan to vaccinate children aged 12 years and older against COVID-19 – Egypt Independent

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BEIRUT, July 24 (Reuters) – Jordan will start vaccinating children aged 12 years and older against COVID-19 from Sunday, the state news agency said on Saturday.

Children can be given the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine with the approval of a guardian with no prior appointment necessary, the agency quoted the health ministry as saying.

The decision comes as Jordan lifted most restrictions at the start of July, reopening gyms, pools and night clubs at hotels after cases dropped from a peak in March when several thousands of new cases were recorded daily.

Total active cases reached 7,489 on Friday with 331 new cases and four deaths.

Since the start of the pandemic, Jordan has recorded a total of 763,437 cases and 9,933 deaths.

Several other countries in the region are vaccinating children, including Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Reporting By Maha El Dahan Editing by Clelia Oziel

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After a Hillsong Church member who derided the vaccine online died of COVID-19, its founder called the shot a 'personal decision' – Yahoo Movies Canada

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  • A Hillsong Church member in his 30s died of COVID-19 this week after declining to get vaccinated.

  • The man, who lived in California, had derided the vaccine online and joked about the coronavirus.

  • Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston told CNN the vaccine was a “personal decision.”

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After a congregant of the Hillsong Church in California refused to get vaccinated and died from COVID-19 complications, its founder is not encouraging the shot.

Brian Houston, founder and global senior pastor at Hillsong, told CNN vaccines are a “personal decision for each individual to make with the counsel of medical professionals.”

Stephen Harmon, who was in his early 30s, was part of a Hillsong Church in California and a graduate of Hillsong College in Mesa, Arizona. Houston said on Instagram Thursday Harmon had died from COVID-19.

Read more: Don’t punish the vaccinated – make it harder to choose to be unvaccinated

“He was one of the most generous people I know and he had so much in front of him,” Houston wrote.

Hillsong Church, based in Australia, is a popular megachurch with celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Vanessa Hudgens. Recently, the church has been accused of racist and anti-LGBTQ behavior.

Prior to his death, Harmon had makes jokes online about the coronavirus and said he was not vaccinated, Insider’s Ashley Collman reported.

In a June 3 tweet, he referenced Jay-Z’s song “99 Problems” and wrote: “If you’re having email problems, I feel bad for you, son. I got 99 problems but a vax ain’t one!”

On July 8, he again posted an anti-vaccine joke even after he was sick with COVID-19 and in an isolation ward, writing: “And no, i will not be getting vaccinated once i am discharged and released.”

In his post about Harmon, Houston wrote, “Stephen’s thoughts on vaccines were his own.”

“They do not represent the views and thoughts of Hillsong Church. Many of our pastors, staff, and congregation are fully vaccinated and more will be when vaccines become available to them in their countries,” he added.

Insider has reached out to Hillsong Church for comment.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Region of Waterloo reports first daily single-digit COVID-19 case increase since October – CTV Toronto

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KITCHENER —
Health officials are reporting nine new cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region, the first time the daily increase has been in single digits since October.

Public Health last reported nine new cases on Oct. 27, before the second and third waves.

The Sunday afternoon dashboard update also shows 20 more cases now considered resolved, while the active case count has dropped by 10.

For the second straight day, no cases have been identified as variants of concern.

The number of related deaths, hospitalizations, and those being treated in the ICU have all remained unchanged.

An outbreak at an unnamed trades and services facility has been declared over, bringing the number of active outbreaks in the area down by one as well.

This brings the Waterloo Region COVID-19 totals to 18,280 confirmed cases, 17,865 resolved, 282 deaths, 124 active cases, 13 hospitalized, 13 in the ICU, eight outbreaks, 4,579 variants of concern, 3,122 Alpha variants, 21 Betas, 96 Gammas, and 1,083 Deltas.

On the vaccination front, 5,111 doses were administered in Waterloo Region and Saturday, bringing that total to 736,952.

The per cent of the eligible population (12 years old and older) that have received one dose now stands at 81.36 per cent, while per cent who are fully vaccinated stands at 64.63 per cent.

In Ontario, health officials are reporting 172 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday with two additional deaths. The province’s virus-related death toll stands at 9,313.

Another 144 people recovered from the disease yesterday, resulting in 1,450 active cases across the province.

The province said it administered 103,812 doses of COVID-19 vaccines Saturday, with over 18.9 million needles having gone into arms in the past seven months now.

As of Sunday, 8,569,752 people have received both doses and are considered to be fully vaccinated.

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