700 meters below Iceland, a company may have found a solution to the world's climate woes.

Back in May, Swiss start-up Climeworks unveiled a massive machine that sucks carbon dioxide out of the sky.

Photo by Julia Dunlop/Climeworks.

The idea? To not just slow climate change, but reverse it.


The devise traps carbon dioxide, CO2, on a plastic sheet covered with amines — chemicals that absorb the gas.

Once stripped from the atmosphere, however, the lassoed carbon doesn't just go away. The company was faced with a challenge: where to store the planet-warming emissions so they don't escape and continue to slowly cook us all.

Months later, thousands of miles away, in a town in the southwestern corner of Iceland, Climeworks may have found its solution — one nearly as old as the Earth itself.

Bingo. Photo by Sandra O. Snaebjornsdottir.

Rocks.

Climeworks has begun burying the carbon it traps 700 meters underground, where it naturally combines with the island nation's indigenous volcanic rock.

"Our plan is to offer carbon removal to individuals, corporates and organizations as a means to reverse their non-avoidable carbon emissions," Christoph Gebald, founder and CEO of Climeworks, said in a news release.

The carbon-burying, rock-injecting technology was developed by CarbFix, a research project led by Reykjavik Energy to develop novel, sustainable storage methods for the gas.

The project is backed by the EU and is currently in testing to evaluate how weather impacts the process.

Photo by Climeworks.

The module is attached to a local geothermal power plant to capture ambient CO2 produced by the energy generating facility.

The United States of America, meanwhile, is kicking a somewhat ... different plan into gear.

The plan involves yanking as many rocks as possible out of the ground to put their carbon back into the sky.

On Oct. 9, EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced the Trump administration's decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which requires energy generating plants to cut emissions back to 2005 levels in the next 13 years. A recent Energy Department proposal aims to subsidize coal-fired plants at the expense of cleaner alternatives.

It remains to be seen whether Climeworks' technology can be scaled up to a difference-making degree.

Sucking carbon dioxide out of the sky turns out to be pretty expensive. The initial pilot program sold its trapped carbon to a local greenhouse, a model which may or may not be reproducible globally.

But trying to find a solution is better than trying to create more problems.

Photo by Climeworks/Zev Starr-Tambor.

The next step, according to Gebald, is to bring the technology to "numerous other regions which have similar rock formations."

Perhaps these 21st century carbon bounty hunters may be interested in checking out some of our sweet basalt action?

Asking for a friend.

Heroes

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture