As of March 2021, the minimum wage in the United States is $7.25. Such a low wage can barely provide someone with food, housing, and other necessities. Prices of necessities and other products have been rising consistently and the minimum wage hasn't been changed in more than 10 years. People have been struggling to keep housing, find better jobs, and feed themselves. Such low payments keep people poor, forcing them to stay in their social classes. Upwards mobility is near impossible. To help combat this, raising the federal minimum wage accordingly to adjust for the rising costs of living will help people become stable and lift people out of poverty.
Social stratification is incredibly prominent in the USA. Social stratification is multi-dimensional, however, for this argument, our main focus is wage and income. The upper 1% withholds most of the money and gets ridiculously high pay, while those seen in the working and underclass struggle to raise themselves out of their positions. The upper class, usually executives and large business owners, tend to pay their ordinary workers exactly or only slightly above the federal minimum wage, hoarding the majority of the income for themselves. Most of them do not think about the ethics of paying such low wages, focusing only on profit.
The minimum wage has dropped 38% since 1998. At the same time, costs for food, housing, education, and a mirage of other needs and wants have been rising. This is disproportional. As prices go up, wages should too, right? How can a person buy what they need when they're barely getting paid enough to do so?
Such low wages make social mobility almost impossible. Having to deal with paying for the necessities of life while also working the staggeringly low minimum wage puts you in stagnation. It is especially difficult for those born in poverty who have most likely have not had higher education. They would be stuck with the most labor-intensive, low-paying jobs. Even those with degrees and diplomas usually have to work minimum wage jobs and will struggle to find a higher paying job in the job market. Student debt chokes those people and sucks out what little money they do manage to earn.
The minimum wage is only one facet of the D20 of what factors keep people poor. Financial aid, discrimination, and lack of jobs play their parts as well. Raising the minimum wage will not fix everything, but it is a step forward in having a friendlier economy.
The climate is changing, and our societies are progressing. Our old ways of producing electricity reveal to be harmful and inefficient. Greenhouse gases pour into our atmosphere, heating the globe. Fracking and oil spills destroy ecosystems. We have been using fossil fuels as an energy source for so long, and the consequences are now piling up. It is a wise idea to slowly switch fossil fuels out for cleaner alternatives to lower the negative effects. Safer and more productive means of energy production do exist, and among many of these is nuclear energy. Although nuclear waste is hazardous if not stored properly, its benefits greatly outweigh its downsides. It releases no emissions, is extremely efficient, and is cheaper than fossil fuels.
One of the arguably most prominent benefits of nuclear energy is that they create no emissions whatsoever. Unlike nuclear energy, fossil fuels like coal and natural gas must be burnt. Burning these substances release massive amounts of greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane into the atmosphere. These substances collect in the atmosphere, trapping heat from the sun in a process aptly named the greenhouse effect. This alongside other factors is what causes our global temperatures to rise, which can cause a plethora of problems such as glacier melt, severe weather, and droughts among many others.
Nuclear power plants are clean energy. The method in which they generate electricity releases only steam, purely evaporated water, into the atmosphere. The energy of splitting atoms in half generates a lot of heat which boils water. The steam from the water is used to spin massive turbines, thus producing electricity. There are no traces of radiation or other pollution in this steam. This way of creating electricity releases no greenhouse gases into the atmosphere or other byproducts into the air.
Nuclear energy is also exceedingly efficient compared to fossil fuels. The Nuclear Energy Institute writes, “One uranium fuel pellet—about the size of a gummy bear—creates as much energy as one ton of coal, 149 gallons of oil or 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas” (“Nuclear Provides Carbon-Free Energy 24/7”, par. 4). Taking a uranium atom and then splitting it in half releases such an immense amount of energy compared to slowly burning coal, oil, or gas. A single power plant can power 60 million homes each year, compared to a coal plant's 400 to 900 homes powered per year. (Ervin, par. 18). This is a stunning difference. Each load of nuclear power plant fuel also lasts for a long time. A nuclear power plant only needs to be refueled every 18 to 24 months and can run nearly all the time, generating almost its full capacity of possible energy. Although not renewable, nuclear energy is one of the most beneficial and productive means of creating clean energy. Some even say that nuclear energy is the most reliable and efficient power source humanity has engineered so far.
In the long run, nuclear power plants are very cheap. The immediate process of building nuclear energy plants is more expensive than creating fossil fuel plants, however, due to the massive amounts of energy, the nuclear plants churn out they are extremely cost-efficient. They are very easy to maintain and if kept in shape can last decades. It is extremely rare for nuclear power plants to have meltdowns, which are highly dangerous and extremely expensive to clean up. There is no need to regularly clean up polluted areas due to the no emissions created by the plants. Fossil fuel plants on the other hand constantly release pollution into the atmosphere, into bodies of water, and the ground. The damage that this creates costs billions of dollars, and costs many lives. Americans spend about a trillion dollars on fossil fuels each year! Due to how efficient nuclear energy is, the cost of consuming and creating this type of power would be much lower.
Nuclear power plants will also create new jobs. Scientists and engineers will be working on developing even better plants. At all times, workers must maintain the power plants, making sure that they are stable, clean, and running the best they can. Building the plants will also create new jobs. Aside from work in the power plants themselves, people will work in mines to dig out uranium ore. To transport that ore, trucks, boats, and aircraft will take the materials to nuclear fuel fabrication facility to convert the ores into compact yet powerful pellets of fuel. Yet again, this fuel must be transported by land, sea, and air to power plants around the globe. Introducing power plants to communities will create a plethora of new jobs and careers, whether its labor, maintenance, transport, or engineering.
Of course, nothing in this universe is perfect. There are some drawbacks to nuclear energy that make many people reluctant to institute it. It is not a renewable resource like solar or wind, and habitats will be hurt as people go drilling and mining for suitable uranium. However, it will be minuscule compared to fracking and coal mining. Coal has to be dug out of the earth constantly, along with oil and natural gas. Due to how much power a small amount of nuclear fuel can produce, humanity won’t have to dig out massive amounts that would sustain for a relatively short amount of time.
Another risk that may make people cautious about nuclear power plants is the fact that occasionally they have reactor meltdowns. We have learned from the massive destruction caused by meltdowns like in Fukushima, Japan, and Chernobyl, Russia. A disaster like that would release a huge amount of radiation into the surrounding area, making it unlivable. Mass evacuations would have to be put into place quickly. The surrounding wildlife can become ill with radiation and give birth to young with horrible deformities. However, meltdowns like these are extremely rare. Scientists and workers at power plants recognize these dangers and have put into place heavy security measures. The plants are always monitored and maintained. Another drawback is nuclear waste, the leftover, unusable fuel that is still radioactive. This poses a threat to humans and wildlife alike. Large amounts of this waste would have to be stored away and hidden, secured well enough to prevent any spills and leaks. This will be a challenge for humanity as we embrace nuclear power more and more. However, we already have measures to store nuclear waste deep into the earth, and scientists are engineering new methods as well. It’s a great inconvenience and risk we will have to take, although the benefits of nuclear power outweigh the dangers
Nuclear energy is a power source that would benefit humanity more than fossil fuels. Despite the dangers of meltdowns and the struggle with nuclear waste, this clean energy source’s benefits greatly outweigh its harm. It releases no emissions whatsoever into the atmosphere, combating pollution, and climate change. Fewer habitats would be destroyed as we wouldn’t have to mine out great masses of it constantly, due to how efficiently it produces energy. The power plants are long-living and easy to maintain and are overall very cheap. Many new jobs will be created maintaining, building, and gathering and processing fuel for the plants. Fossil fuels have been shown to be outdated and harmful. We should embrace nuclear power and progress with it
Our world is full of greedy people who get all that they're able
even if it will leave some with nothing and it makes our world unstable
And we try to fight them, make new laws, do all that we can
we keep on getting trampled by the big fat money man.
Destruction, calamity, famine, war,
the carcass is dominated by the biggest dinosaur.
But even if the lion's share goes to the corrupt,
and if all of our fighting wouldn't make change so abrupt,
They're burning down the amazon, starting wars in distant land,
they don't care about any blood spilling on hot desert sand.
We could let the cat eat the fish from the bowl,
and bury ourselves in a deep sad hole,
or we could fight! Bring the light! Abolish our plight.
Or we could sit back and let time scroll.
Everyone knows that cigarettes and other tobacco products are carcinogenic and addictive. Smokers have a higher risk of respiratory diseases, seizures, headaches, etc. We know smoking kills, so why in the world is it still legal?
Of course, I bet we can guess the reason why. Money! The tobacco companies want to keep the cash rolling in, so they keep pumping out those addictive products. They know it hurts people, they know it ends lives, but they don't care.
Ever since we've discovered smoking's harmful side effects, we've people have been trying to stop tobacco companies. Even until now, tobacco products are still legally being made and consumed. I think there are two reasons for that. The minor reason is that smokers still want to keep smoking, and the major reason is that tobacco companies are lobbying.
I'm only 13. I don't understand all the sides of the story and each factor in play. This is just what I know now. I can't wait to be able to vote! Even though I can't vote now, I'm going to make an impact anyways.
The Black Lives Matter movement is extremely important! However, there is also the All Lives Matter movement. The ALM movement is nice, and yes, all lives do matter, but it's imperative that we focus on black lives currently. They're suffering the most! They've been oppressed and hurt all throughout history and they still are. It's like there are many trees in a forest during a hurricane. Some trees are sturdy, others are swaying in the wind precariously, but one is about to collapse! Should we spread out and secure all the trees, or focus on the collapsing one first?
[Iris here. This is an immediate vent I created after watching Extinction: The Facts, a breathtaking documentary presented by David Attenborough.]
We are having a biotic crisis. Major mass extinction is crushing us nearly as hard as the O-S mass extinction. Around 60% of our earthly wildlife populations have succumbed to humanity's consistent greed for control over the earth.
We aren't worried about animals because they are 'cute' and 'beautiful.' Yes, they are, but we care about them more because they are living creatures just like us, and without these other living creatures breaking down dead matter, producing oxygen, and feeding us, we're all doomed.
I feel like we are not doing enough. We're discoing at our funeral. Do you know all that money that was used to repair Notre Dame: a pretty building? All those funds would suffice to clean up the great garbage patch in the middle of the Caribbean. It's a giant ugly deathtrap vibing in the middle of the sea. I like to think of the earth like a house sometimes, and the other animals our roommates. How would you feel if you were lazing about in your room throwing your garbage around the house and your roommates were chomping down on those, getting intestinal blockages and choking on your blasted soda bottles and 6-pack rings? Their rooms are barely habitable, mostly because we, humanity, keep barging in without knocking and taking their food and furniture. Pretty much more than half of the earth-house has been wrecked or claimed by us. Oh, did I forget to mention we're murdering our roommates as well? This isn't a pick at non-vegans, I'm not vegan myself, but I'm talking about unnecessary killings, like the poaching of pangolins, tigers, rhinoceros, and whatnot.
Anyways, I've finished watching the phenomenal documentary "Extinction: The Facts" presented by Sir David Attenborough only minutes before writing this vent. The accuracy hit me in the gut like a blade-covered frying pan. 60% of the wildlife population- including plants and marine animals, have died.
Now, what can we do to solve this? First of all, we have to do something. I don't wanna keep loafing around complaining mildly to my circle of regular friends and family, I wanna spread it out and plant some trees and donate to charities. I'm tired of ONLY having fun with my free time. I mean, that type of fun is great too, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with it and I love it a lot, but I just want to do something to help save our planet.
Thank you for listening to my vent. I'll edit it soon and polish it, but I just wanna get this out right away. <3
Everyone is different. We may be similar, but we are not identical. Everyone has traits that make us different from each other. We should cherish each other for our uniqueness! You can't be mean to someone just because someone doesn't think the same as you or looks different from what you conceive as the norm. (Unless their ideas in life are twisted, cruel, and harmful ). If we are all the same, then the world would be boring! Let's embrace everyone's differences. We are all one family; the human family.
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.
Day in and day out, a scientist toiled at a desk filled with curious instruments. Here, she will be discovering a new element. This scientist was Marie Curie, one of the most famous and beloved female scientists. She was a distinguished pioneer in the study of radioactivity. From becoming a professor to discovering Polonium and Radium, the world we live in wouldn’t be as progressive as it is today if not for Marie Curie.
Marie Curie's life was never easy. Born as Maria Sklodowska in Warsaw, Poland, on November 7, 1867, her mother and sister died when Maria was very little. Her parents were both teachers, and they encouraged her to learn as much as she could. This was hard, though, with the Soviet Regime looming over the schools.
Maria was very intelligent, and she took the role of a governess when she was 17, teaching in children's homes. However, she wanted to go for higher goals and applied to study at the Sorbonne university in 1891. She was accepted! There, she studied physics and chemistry. Many men doubted her abilities since she was a woman, but she carried on. One man deeply admired her skill and wit. His name was Pierre Curie, and he and Marie fell in love and were married on July 26, 1895.
Marie Curie had many outstanding discoveries. Along with Pierre, Marie discovered a new, radioactive element derived from uranium. She called it Radium. Later, she would discover another, Polonium. She was a great pioneer in the study of radioactivity and won two Nobel prizes for her contributions to science along with Pierre. However, working with radioactive elements have side effects. Marie died of radiation-related sickness in 1934, 28 years after Pierre curie's death. Pierre got hit by a carriage wheel in 1906, passing away immediately. At the times of their deaths, Marie was 66 and Pierre was 46. The pair made great contributions and advanced humanity with their research.
If not for Marie Curie, we wouldn’t have many devices that we have today. She was an amazing scientist and truly pushed the world forward.
Despite a hard childhood, Marie was able to get a solid education despite prejudice and political hardships and was able to make great progressions for humanity. Science wouldn’t be the same without her.
Pesticides and herbicides are a keystone of the modern farming industry. Over one billion pounds of pesticide get used in America alone each year and is considered a necessity to assure that food is safe and uncontaminated. But do we need to use them? Are they doing more harm than good?
For the most part, no. In most circumstances, we do not need to pollute our food with chemicals that are dangerous to the environment. The basic idea of pesticides is 'insects and animals, in general, are harmful to our crops.' Pesticides have detrimental effects on the environment and may harm all animals, beneficial, neutral, or harmful.
We all know that bees get harmed by pesticides although they are necessary for crop growth. However, other animals get harmed as well. Other pollinators including wasps, beetles, and even birds and bats will consume the nectar of the pesticide sprayed plants and fall ill and even die. Without these essential creatures, the crops in farms and the wild will not be pollinated, and thus unable to produce fruit and seeds.
Rain will also fall upon the crops, rinsing pesticides into the earth. Underground creatures will be sickened as well, and the contaminated water will make its way into lakes, rivers, and ponds. Fish and other water-dwelling creatures will be living the contaminated water the whole time and will be harmed very much.
There are many other natural ways to combat pestiferous creatures. You can do it biologically by using insects that consume other insects, like ladybugs or dragonflies, or using birds and frogs to do the same thing. Many farms have tried such techniques and succeeded greatly!
In conclusion, pesticides are not necessary to keep crops safe. It takes a significant toll on the health of the environment, and there are many safer alternatives
It’s quarantine now, with COVID-19 raging rampant all over the world. During these trying times, many of us are compelled to stay inside and hide at home. However, staying inside for such a long duration can get tiring. We miss going on walks and hanging out at the park and meeting up with friends, but I still think that that everyone should stay inside unless it’s necessary to go out!
We may miss doing fun things out of our homes, but for the sake of our health and our loved ones it is a dire requirement to stay inside as much as we can. Sick people may unknowingly go outside and breathing, talking, and coughing and sneezing will transmit the virus to other people. Those people go home and transmit the virus to their friends and family as well. If you go outside even if you’re healthy, you can catch it too! You might not care if you get the virus, but if you catch it other people around you surely will too. If not for yourself, please do it for others as well.
Of course, most of us can’t spend the entirety of quarantine inside without going to get food or running other errands, but there is a way to stay safer whilst going outside. Wearing a mask lowers the risk of the COVID-19 virus entering your respiratory system. If all goes well, it would bonk against the outside of the mask without seeping through. However, this is not a 100% guarantee. If you are sick, wearing a mask will protect other people as well. A great fraction of the infected breath will just chill inside the mask and hopefully not make its way out to other people’s lungs.
If you don’t want to purchase masks, you can make your own! They probably won’t be as effective as the manufactured ones, depending on what materials you use, but they’re better than nothing. They are cheap and easy to create, and quite fun to make as well.
That’s my article! I hope all of you are safe and healthy. Please remember to drink lots of water and eat tons of healthy food and to sneeze and cough on your elbows. Bye! :3
Guys! I just found out something so cool! An engineer invented a type of billboard that uses resin filled with minerals to convert common pollutants into oxygen! His name is Daan Roosegaarde, and he partnered with Monterey University to set up all those billboards around their area.
It uses a type of resin with minerals that collect air pollution and convert it into oxygen. According to his study, in a day it can transform smog as much as 120 trees would in the same amount of time!
The technology has even been used in curtains and buildings. One of the towers can produce 30,000 meters of filtered air in just one hour! I'm really looking forward to what we can do to create a cleaner planet. Just combine new innovations like this with growing more plants and reducing our carbon footprint all over the planet, and we might just be able to save the earth.
Zoinks, imagine if all the countries directed their funds away from artilleries and focused more on things to help humanity and the world we live in. We'd be able to make so much progress!
There's something that I've noticed in my twelve years of life. There's a reoccurring pattern that I've found sprouting up whenever there is an issue to be fixed. It's like an innate habit that humans have. I've done it too, and many other people I know have done it as well.
The issue starts when we see a problem. Of course, many people will step in and support, but there tends to be more that would not. The majority might think the rest of the people will do it, and there will be enough supporters to help solve the problem.
Too many people turn a blind eye on the pending topics that need attention. Some wish to spend the rest of their days having fun, with the mentality of "Another person will settle the problems of the world."
This mindset makes sense in the short term until you realize that that is not how the world works. To solve a problem, many people need to step in and help. A single man can't stop a house from burning alone, with all the other people saying to each other, "It'll be fine. Of course, another person will step in and fix it!" and walking past.
We desperately need to change this. With all these horrible, rampant problems, we need to take a stand and help in any way we can.
We should stop and realize that a single stone can't stop a rushing river. As many rocks as possible must stand together, each holding each other up to stop the flood.
Let's all start here, everyone. All of us should try and help if we can. The smallest speck of silt in a beach is still something! Nobody can start an entire foundation in a day. Nobody can re-forest a whole country in a week. We start small and go up from there. So, let's join up with those who are already working for the good of planet earth and its inhabitants. Let's support them in any way we can, and fix these problems!
In the far, far, future, our children's children's children (or many generations after that) might be living in a sad wasteland where trees and most animals are practically neat memories.
Okay, it will take a long, long time and most of us reading this will probably be dead by then, but I'm fearful for the future.
We can prevent it, or at least prolong our exuberant time with trees and other animals.
WE GOTTA PLANT MORE STUFF! Okay, okay. Maybe planting just a little oak tree sapling in your front yard won't do much by itself, but with lots of buddies, they can do a lot!
Besides! A heck-ton of lil' mini oak trees might turn all together into big brave oak trees that make more oxygen and acorns that turn into little oak trees! Everything just gets even better.
Repeat and make different biodiverse ecosystems where they used to be before they got destroyed.
If everyone makes a group effort to restore all our forests, then good stuff happens. Y'know, like more rain, less sunburning heat, fresher air, but I don't know, maybe we can do without oxygen. Humans can TOTALLY do without breathing. It's not like practically every organism on earth relies on oxygen and has specialized organs to absorb it to live.
But it isn't like that.
So... Let's do something.
What do many humans hate a lot? Weeds in their gardens and lawns! They would spray weed killers all over unwanted plants popping up. If they kill little weeds, maybe they could hurt other living things too with glyphosate and a whole team of other chemicals.
Woah now, even the IARC says that nasty pesticide component might be a carcinogen. Jeepers! If you spray that yuck on your lawn regularly, that’s a… a lot of gross carcinogens in you. Yikes, that’s pretty nasty. Hey, you could even be consuming it!
Eugh! If you have a garden off to the side and eat what's from that garden, weed killer could be seeping on and into your food. Personally, I think that that would taste awful, feel awful in your tum-tum, and probably make you have extremely unpleasant bowel movements.
If you have an animal, they could be at risk too. They could breathe the fumes which might irritate their respiratory system. They might even roll in it and then lick their fur, or eat the sprayed plants. They could get sick, too!
Why take that risk when you could hand-weed the gardens and lawns and sidewalks and... Well, pretty much everything. It's a lot of work, but it has more benefits than weed killers. Do weed killers help boost your immune system? Chilling out in the dirt exposes yourself gently to moderate amounts of bacteria, which train your immune system on how to fight them. Do weed killers give you exercise? Walking around spraying weeds doesn't give you as much of a workout as squatting, yanking dandelions out of the earth.
Personally, I think that weed-killers may be more harmful than beneficial. Maybe it's better to do it the hard, old fashioned way than risking encountering unfriendly substances.
I'm Iris, a kid who has lots of reflections and views on life as I experience it. I love to read topics about the world around us, other people's ideas and opinions, and just about anything that I'm curious about and interested in.