Poaching and illegal trafficking in exotic animals is a world-wide problem that most of us are aware of. What most of us are less aware of is that the most trafficked mammal in the world is the pangolin, which you may well have never even heard of.
When looking at the best ways to meet humanity’s energy needs, there is little doubt that the sun is the ultimate answer. In one hour, the Earth receives enough energy from the sun to meet all of our needs for a year. Despite this fact, the world currently only gets about 1% of its energy directly from the sun.
One week from today many of us will head to the polls to make critical decisions about who will represent us in the White House, in Congress, and in state and local offices. And in several states, people will also vote on the humane treatment of animals.
Halloween is traditionally a day when we choose to ignore the inconvenient truths about candy. Many of us overindulge on sweet treats and give little thought to what’s inside… particularly with respect to nutrition.
Ocean energy is still one of the biggest untapped clean energy sources on the planet. There are many studies that have shown that it could provide power for millions of homes in the U.S. alone. But despite this, the technology is still in its infancy and it is unclear when and if it can become a major contributor to our energy needs.
It’s no secret that pollinators around the world are under threat. According to a U.N. sponsored report released earlier this year, 40% of invertebrate pollinator species, such as bees and butterflies, are facing extinction. And since approximately 75% of the world’s food crops depend on pollination, the decline of these pollinators poses a major threat to food worldwide.
Trees are the number one way in which carbon can be removed from the atmosphere and stored in vegetation over the long term. A single tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 48 pounds per year. Because of this, the carbon footprints of 18 average Americans can be neutralized by one acre of hardwood trees. And it has been found that managed forests accumulate more carbon per acre than unmanaged forests.
The top of the world is turning from white to blue in the summer. The ice that has long covered the north polar seas is melting away.
Back in June, we talked about The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch foundation founded in 2013 by an 18-year-old named Boyan Slat, which is developing technologies to rid the oceans of the vast collections of plastic that have been accumulating over the past 50 years.
Pretty much every discussion of electric cars, plug-in hybrids and ordinary hybrids starts and ends up with the question of whether they are worth the money. If the reason for buying such a vehicle is strictly economic, then this is the right question to ask. But the naysayers who say such a purchase is foolish may be barking up the wrong tree.
Scientists estimate that there is more than 165 million tons of plastic swirling about in our oceans today. And another 8.8 million tons of plastic ends up in oceans every year. According to a recent report from the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there could be more plastic by weight than fish by 2050 if current trends continue.
In late September, the world’s largest solar power plant went online in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a 648 MW array of solar panels that is spread across 2,500 acres in the town of Kamuthi and will supply enough energy to power 300,000 homes.
The Cuomo Administration recently released the New York State Offshore Wind Blueprint, a plan to advance the development of offshore wind along New York’s coastline.
Very few people are against the use of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power in principle. It is hard to argue against generating power from resources that are free and plentiful. The main knock against renewable power sources has been that they cost too much compared with conventional, fossil-fuel technologies.
Forests are a vital part of biodiversity and are one of the planet’s most important natural repositories for carbon dioxide. They are also continually under attack by multiple forces: more mouths to feed, more wood needed to burn and build with, more paper to manufacture, and more land needed to graze cattle.
The use of plastics has increased 20-fold in the past 50 years, and production of plastics is expected to double again in the next 20 years. According to Eco Watch, the average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic every year. And nearly one-third of all discarded plastic is not properly disposed of or recycled.
By some estimates, America’s oceans could provide enough electric power to meet a quarter of the country’s energy needs. Despite this, until recently the contribution to the U.S. electric grid from marine energy has been exactly zero.
Industries around the world are working to reduce their carbon emissions. One very carbon-intensive industry is the airline industry and it is struggling to find ways to reduce its emissions even while air travel continues to be on the rise worldwide.
Wilderness areas are strongholds for biodiversity. They buffer and regulate local climates, and they support many of the world’s most politically and economically marginalized communities. While there is a great deal of attention being paid to the loss of species around the world, there is relatively little focus on the loss of entire ecosystems. Simply put, wilderness is on the decline, and it has been ever since human civilization began its inexorable expansion.