Want to see stronger climate change policies? Elect more women as lawmakers
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Despite the denial of the misinformed and delayed actions of politicians, climate change is the story of our time. Every reputable scientific organization on the planet agrees. Every signatory to the historic Paris Accord, which is basically every single one of the world's countries, agrees. Even the U.S. government agrees, with official government climate change reports totally contradicting what the president says and tweets. If we fail to address the very real threats climate change poses to life on our planet, it will be to our peril.

So what do we do about the fact that he leaders of the world are failing to address climate change in a meaningful and effective manner? According to a study out of Australia's Curtin University, there is one promising solution—elect more women into office.


RELATED: Look at the photos and videos of thousands of youth demanding climate change action NOW.

The study, which examined the legislatures of 91 countries, found that the more women a country has in lawmaking positions, the more stringent the country's climate change policies are. Conducted by economics professors Astghik Mavisakalyan and Yashar Tarverdi, the study included many different factors, including GDP per capita, education statistics, and the political orientation of each country. According to the study authors, none of these factors could explain the link between greater female leadership and stronger climate policies.

In fact, their findings indicate that "this relationship is likely to be causal." In other words, it appears that placing women in positions of power may lead directly to stricter climate change legislation. And that relationship has real world impact as well. The study shows that "through its effect on the stringency of climate change policies, the representation of females in parliament results in lower carbon dioxide emissions."

We've seen how women of all ages are leading the charge when it comes to climate change. From the mighty teen Greta Thunberg to the mighty elder Jane Fonda, the health and future of our planet is in strong female hands. But to make a difference in the halls of government, where earth-saving regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuels takes place, we need more women in positions of direct lawmaking influence. It's not enough to have women raising their voices—we also need them taking seats in legislative bodies.

RELATED: Think women don't win elections? They do. And more of them should run.

Considering the fact that women are more directly impacted by the effects of climate change, perhaps the findings of this study are not surprising. Add in the fact that women statistically make better leaders than men, and it makes sense that female lawmakers would be more likely to lead the way on the world's most pressing challenge.

Naturally, battling climate change is not as simple as electing more women, and there is certainly debate to be had on how best to mitigate the climate crisis. But it's not debatable that immediate action is vital for the well-being of our planet and every living thing on it. It's now clear that women take fiercer action on climate change when they are elected, and it's been proven that women win elections when they run. So this seems like a no brainer.

Let's get more women on the ballot and elect more of them to office. The future of our planet might literally depend on it.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

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Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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