Author: John Branch

Tobacco and the Environment in China

Fifty years ago, the United States Surgeon General, Luther Terry, linked tobacco use to adverse health effects for the first time. To commemorate the anniversary, researchers at Yale published a study in January arguing that subsequent anti-smoking regulations and campaigns have saved eight million lives in the United States alone. Indeed, tobacco use is still… Read more »

The Violence of Climate Change

In the popular imagination, global climate change is often portrayed as a force that brings with it chaotic, violent human responses. Societies are thrown into disarray. Countries go to war over water or food shortages. To many people, the prospect of global warming is apocalyptic. But what will actually happen? The scientific debate over the… Read more »

The Efficacy of Cash Transfers

This summer, This American Life compared GiveDirectly, a young organization that provides unconditional cash transfers to villagers in Kenya through mobile phones, to Heifer International, a more traditional charity that provides similar villages with farm animals and training. Paul Niehaus, one of GiveDirectly’s founders, made an interesting proposal: We would like to see organizations make… Read more »