The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “health

Think You Know Your World? A Quiz.

Posted on April 12, 2018

Hans Rosling revolutionized my perspective of the world back in 2006, with his thoughts on world health and development.  Though he passed away last year of liver failure, his TED talks remain some of the most popular.  He remained a good friend and advisor to Bill and Melinda Gates prior to this death. His final book, Factfulness, reminds us how little we truly know of the world and humanity’s great potential and maintains that things are really better than we believe.  It’s a debatable point, but in his field of global health few could match his scope nor the innovative methods he utilized in promoting his ideas. Just how necessary minds like his are is apparent in the earliest portions of Factfulness, when he…

The Growing Darkness

Posted on March 11, 2018

It’s a life of episodes — perhaps a fitting way of describing life with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s one thing to lose your health, your job or a loved one, but what happens when you lose yourself? Is there an individual or family tragedy any greater? And yet it’s lived out every day by thousands of Londoners and most of us will never know about it until signs emerge somewhere within our intimate circle. In London some 9,000 families wear themselves out in silence at an agony that can rip one’s insides out. Across Canada, almost half a million citizens suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s. Within 15 years that number will reach one million. Globally, 100 million struggle with the disease — a number that will reach 300…

Hope In An Age of Shadows

Posted on June 1, 2017

So often it feels as though we are losing the battle to better humanity across most fronts. The unpredictable nature of modern life has meant that we far more quickly hear negative stories of our future than positive ones. At times we don’t hear of any hopeful news on the global scale for weeks at a time. A number of months ago we talked about how significant strides have been made globally to assist those in the direst of poverty. Now from the World Health Organization (WHO) we learn of some significant advances being made in the realm of health. In its annual World Health Statistics report (available here) we learn the following: The global under-5 mortality rate declined by 44% since 2000. Since…

Identity – If You Eat, You’re In

Posted on February 11, 2013

Common vernacular says we are “what” we eat. There’s truth in that, but it’s actually how we organize ourselves in the pursuit of food, which all of us require, that can surely set us apart as a community with a unique identity. This isn’t about supporting your local food bank. Instead, it’s about how we’ve permitted our collective identity to be decided for us by a modern food system that is inefficient, dangerous to our health, expensive, and ultimately alienating. How we change that paradigm as a community will largely determine who we are as a people. For if we are citizens blithely transporting ourselves to food stores on the periphery of our city, buying the same products, looking at the endless array of…

Yes He Can; No We Won’t

Posted on April 6, 2010

Unlike Canada, our counterparts in the United States have known of the liabilities of their health system for years.  Like Social Security, the “third rail” of American politics, healthcare stymied everyone and anyone who dared touch it to bring about reform.  Political careers were lost over attempts to expand public healthcare at the state and federal levels. Until Obama came along. His was a transformational presidency, at least in intent.  Following a difficult first year, he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi conspired to break out of the democratic malaise and go for the gold ring.  Their success, though mixed, is a clear sign that our neighbour is going through a revolution some have likened to the civil rights legislative triumphs of the 1960s. Canadians…

  

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