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In Protests Against The Pope, Evidence Spain’s Youth Are Losing Faith And Patience

After the anti-Pope protests in Madrid, politicians and church officials alike have rushed to assure His Holiness that the demonstrators were little more than social parasites and vandals. That could prove a dangerous move, because the anger of Spain’s yo

In Protests Against The Pope, Evidence Spain’s Youth Are Losing Faith And Patience
Lena Jakat

In the run-up to the Pope's visit to Germany in September, young German Catholics queued up to go to confession, but on Madrid's streets right now young Spaniards are yelling words of protest. The world has turned upside down in Catholic Spain, or at least that's what it looks like at first glance.

There's more here than meets the eye. At first glance this week's protests are about World Youth Day, the Catholic Church's "pop" event. But they also shed light on a fundamental dissatisfaction and profound sense of doubt on the part of young Spaniards that runs far deeper than any specific problems they may have with this particular Church event.

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Ideas

Artificial Satellite Pollution, Perils For Biodiversity In Space And On Earth

Exploiting space resources and littering it with satellite and other anthropogenic objects is endangering the ecosystem of space, which also damages the earth and its creatures below.

Image of the small satellite NanoRacks-Remove Debris satellite deployed into space by the ISS

Thomas Lewton

Outer space isn’t what most people would think of as an ecosystem. Its barren and frigid void isn’t exactly akin to the verdant canopies of a rainforest or to the iridescent shoals that swim among coral cities. But if we are to become better stewards of the increasingly frenzied band of orbital space above our atmosphere, a shift to thinking of it as an ecosystem — as part of an interconnected system of living things interacting with their physical environment — may be just what we need.

Last month, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a collective of 11 astrophysicists and space scientists proposed we do just that, citing the proliferation of anthropogenic space objects. Thousands of satellites currently orbit the Earth, with commercial internet providers such as SpaceX’s Starlink launching new ones at a dizzying pace. Based on proposals for projects in the future, the authors note, the number could reach more than a hundred thousand within the decade. Artificial satellites, long a vital part of the space ecosystem, have arguably become an invasive species.

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