News Above the Noise—Week of May 21, 2023
Editor's Note: Every week, The Sunday Paper's team of journalists sifts through the news to make sense of what's happening in the world and provide hope for your week to come. We find what Rises Above the Noise and do our best to highlight what we think matters. If you’d like to read more in-depth, please note that while we do our best to feature articles that are not behind a paywall, some of the news pieces we recommend require their own subscriptions beyond our control.
1. An Alarming New Report Puts Global Warming in Focus
Earlier this week, the World Meteorological Organization released a sobering report: The world is on track to breach a key climate threshold (warming over 1.5 degrees) for the first time within the next five years. Scientists have long warned that warming above this point could trigger major tipping points, including the death of coral reefs, the melting of polar ice sheets, and extreme weather events (think droughts, storms, wildfires, and heatwaves). For more on what this means for us, and what we can collectively do to act before it’s too late, click here.
2. 9 Tips to Help You Negotiate a Medical Bill
If you’ve ever felt shocked or blindsided by an unexpected and incredibly expensive medical bill, you’re not alone: Patient advocates and attorneys who specialize in medical debt says it happens all too often. However, there are things you can do, including understanding how medical codes work (it’s simpler than it sounds!) and protecting yourself from out-of-network costs. For a full list of the strategies that can help you save big, click here.
3. Top Questions About Sugar Substitutes—Answered
When the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a new report urging people to cut back (or ideally, eliminate) artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes from their diets, many of us were left with questions: What specific sweeteners does the WHO advise against—and are there some that are better than others? Are there long-term health risks that come with using artificial sweeteners? And is it better to use sugar instead? For answers to these questions and more, click here.
4. Drug Shortages Near an All-Time High
It’s a terrifying thought: You’ve been diagnosed with cancer or another life-threatening disease and you can’t get the treatment you need—not because it doesn’t exist, but because there’s a drug shortage. That’s exactly what’s happening right now, as hundreds of drugs are currently in short supply in the U.S. In fact, the situation is worrisome enough that it’s getting the attention of Congress and the White House, which are looking for the underlying cause and what can be done about it. For more on this developing story, click here.