Scholars have long speculated the function of religion as a psychological coping mechanism to mitigate life's unpredictable tragedies and adversities. This paper uses earthquakes, one manifestation of unpredictable tragedy, as a determinant in models explaining variations of individual religiosity. It finds that people all over the world become more religious when struck by earthquakes.
I am featured in this article on hurricane risk perceptions published on Medium today.
When many people thought 2018 would be a relatively quiet hurricane season, monstrous Hurricane Florence is barreling towards the east coast. More than one millions coastal residents are facing mandatory evacuation order. It is now classified as Category 4 hurricane. The Saffir-Simpson scale only considers wind speed. In addition to destructive wind, hurricanes bring heavy rainfall as we witnessed during Hurricane Harvey last year and dangerous storm surge. There will be imminent flooding risks.
A year after Hurricane Harvey, the decisions to rebuild can affect the future. I just published an analysis article on the Conversation. Here is the last paragraph:
"My recent research shows that even with their flaws, FEMA flood maps influence decisions to purchase flood insurance and overall support for flood mitigation. Policy makers need to seriously consider how to accurately communicate increasing flood risks to the public. Reverting to old flood maps and granting variances to promote development is a recipe for more disasters down the road."
Hat tip to Emily Powell at the National Wildlife Federation, who brought this situation to my attention.
Climate change in everything: extreme temperature reduces daily oversight of police officers and food safety inspectors
A new paper published on the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences find evidence to suggest that environmental stressors such as hot temperature can negatively affect the psychological and physiological well-being of police officers and food safety inspectors and reduce their daily oversight activities.
Decades of research has been dedicated to finding the solution to Common-pool resource (CPR) dilemmas or the tragedy of the commons. Successful CPR management requires community members to put their "skin in the game," to use Nassim Taleb's words. Specifically, members of a community need to share the same set of social norms, within which the sense of right and wrong can guide members' behaviors. Resources need to be allocated fairly deemed by members. A recent study published on Nature Human Behavior find some evidence that children by the age of six can develop skills to solve CPR dilemmas as adults do.
The New York Time magazine just published a 30000-word long report on the history of climate politics. However, many scientists and historians of science do not think this report accurately portrays the history.
A new study published on Nature Climate Change used comprehensive data from multiple decades and social media data to test whether temperature increase would deteriorate mental well-being and further lead to rising suicide rates. They found evidence in both the U.S. and Mexico.
A new paper published on Economics Letters claims that low rainfall can predict assassinations of Roman Emperors from 27 BC to 476 AD. The logic line is: low rainfall -> low food supplies -> more troop mutinies -> assassination of Roman Emperors. Being creative enough, one can find no shortage of interesting topics to study.
A new NBER working paper shows aggregate-level evidence that indicates cumulative exposure to heat can have detrimental impacts on learning. The authors suggest school air conditioning can help mitigate the adverse effects. Evidently, more studies need to be conducted in developing countries where air conditioning is not universally available.