What I'm Reading (Nov. 16)

By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA — Nov 16, 2023
Can being one with nature harm nature? For Climate Change - Having your meat and eating it too. “VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Advice from a bad mother
Image by Alexa from Pixabay

One of the better moments in the pandemic was when the public health advice suggested we get outside into the greater outdoors. During that period, visits to “wilderness” areas in 2022 jumped by 10 million visits compared to 3 years previously, a 14% increase. And then, of course, there is this:

“As far as human activities go, outdoor recreation has seemed relatively benign in its impacts compared with building a subdivision, oil-and-gas field, or shopping center.”

Not so fast, argues an article in The Atlantic, Hiking Needs New Rules. This contrarian piece suggests, among other things, that recreational hunters may have a better approach than your less thoughtful day hiker.


Can we move to reduce climate change and still have a burger and shake? Or, as the authors put it,

“Is there any path to global decarbonization that can accommodate bacon cheeseburgers and milkshakes, or is it tofu all the way down?”

I am going with yes, with some caveats. From the Anthropocene, Can we have a low-carbon food system and a burger and shake too?


“VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

The VUCA framework is a reminder to consider how to lead and adapt to the challenges of living in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.”

VUCA in a picture, from Sketchplanations, VUCA

As a believer in the hygiene hypothesis that getting dirty as a young one fortifies your immune system, I also believe, based on growing up in the 50s and 60s, that letting kids play, even unsupervised and unorganized, has some significant advantages. And then there is this.

“The effects of giving our children independence were transformative, not just on them, but on us. They needed small challenges in order to develop self-confidence. We needed exposure to treat our anxiety. Each time we were exposed to one of our children doing something competently and safely without adult supervision, our anxieties decreased.”

Via After Babel by John Haidt, an article by “America’s Worse Mom.” Good News For Anxious Kids (And Parents)

Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA

Director of Medicine

Dr. Charles Dinerstein, M.D., MBA, FACS is Director of Medicine at the American Council on Science and Health. He has over 25 years of experience as a vascular surgeon.

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