Questions tagged [environment]

Referring to the surrounding ecosystem of the planet Earth, its natural mechanisms and balances, and study of the effects of human interaction with it.

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7
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1answer
499 views

Do banana peels take 2 years to decompose?

A Google search for "banana peel decompose time" gives the result: 2 years. This claim is repeated in several reputable sources, such as: Popular Mechanics, The Guardian, and BBC. However, ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Do windmills in freezing climates require power so they don't seize up?

This graphic shared on Facebook, says windmills require active heating in freezing climates when not producing electricity. Its exact text reads, Germany's millions of solar panels are blanketed in ...
4
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2answers
443 views

Feasibility of electric car production given current production levels of various elements and compounds

This infographic (source) shows the elements required for production of 20 million Tesla cars per year, and compares that with current production rates of those elements. Looks like this was in ...
8
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1answer
726 views

Publication Bias in Climate Sensitivity Estimates

It is claimed by Rickova and Irsova, in a paper titled "Publication Bias in Measuring Climate Sensitivity" [A], that: We present a meta-regression analysis of the relation between the ...
3
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1answer
512 views

Are there currently more large fires in Africa and South America than the rest of the world?

This has been doing the rounds on Twitter: NASA fire map shows the absolute failure of mainstream media for not expressing how devasting fires in southern Africa and South America are. Certainly to ...
3
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1answer
497 views

Does 1 acre of hemp produce more oxygen than an equivalent amount (let alone 25x) of forestland? [closed]

I have a friend who likes to promote hemp on Facebook, and one of the posts had this "factoid": Looks highly doubtful to me but I can't find any real supporting/disputing info. Is there ...
20
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1answer
4k views

Does rolled sod produce 40x as much oxygen as a pine forest?

From an advertisement for turf / rolled sod by a German company: 250 m² Rollrasen produzieren etwa so viel Sauerstoff wie 10.000 m² Kiefernwald oder etwa so viel, wie eine vierköpfige Familie zum ...
7
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1answer
305 views

Did British homes increase greenhouse gas emissions by 4% in 2018?

According to this report from The Times, Greenhouse gas emissions fell in every sector — including transport, industry and energy — in 2018, but emissions from homes went up 4 per cent, government ...
7
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0answers
547 views

Do “big-battery” electric vehicles release more CO2 than diesel equivalents over their lifetime?

Autocar report that Mazda have made a surprising claim about electric vehicles with larger batteries (i.e. 95kWh): Mazda says it will never build a ‘big-battery’ electric car, because it believes ...
13
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1answer
783 views

Have 500 million mammals, birds and reptiles died in the 2019 Australian bushfires?

Several news sites have reported that almost 500 million animals* have died in the 2019 Australian bushfires. Example: article in news.com.au (Jan 1st 2020) Ecologists from the University of Sydney ...
102
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4answers
24k views

Does the production of a Tesla battery produce as much CO2 as driving 200,000 km?

Recently I read on Greenpeace's website, that the production of a 100 kWh battery, as in the Tesla Model S, produces as much CO2 as driving a regular car for 200,000 km. Source: Tesla car ...
3
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5answers
890 views

Did the 2018 drought in Europe result in 2019 worldwide grain crop not meeting demand?

An essay on T-Online.de makes the following claim: Schon ein einziger Dürresommer in Europa 2018 führte dazu, dass die Getreideernte in diesem Jahr weltweit den Bedarf nicht mehr deckt (noch gibt ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Do termites produce 10 times more CO2 than humans?

On October 21 2019 Australian Federal MP Malcolm Roberts posted an image to his Facebook feed claiming termites produce 10 times more CO2 than humans in a year. Is there a factual basis to this? ...
3
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1answer
558 views

Is the water used in coal burning power plants “never returned to the environment”?

According to a Duke University press release titled Replacing Coal with Gas or Renewables Saves Billions of Gallons of Water: Water consumption – the amount of water used by a power plant and ...
11
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1answer
601 views

Are a third of the proteins we consume dependent on synthetic fertilizer?

In July 1997, Vaclav Smil wrote an article in Scientific American on humankind's use of the Nitrogen Cycle (emphasis added): Synthetic fertilizers provide about 40 percent of all the nitrogen taken ...
5
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0answers
824 views

Did Finding Nemo encourage people to flush pet fish down the toilet?

A Smithsonian article about goldfish starts out with (emphasis added): The 2003 Pixar film Finding Nemo popularized the misconception that all drains lead to the ocean, encouraging young fans to ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Does having one fewer child reduce my carbon footprint as much as 71+ people going vegan?

In July 2017, ScienceMag reported on a study: Eating no meat cuts an individual’s carbon footprint by 820 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year [...] by choosing to have one fewer child in ...
14
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5answers
2k views

Is food becoming less nutritious because of depletion of soil minerals and nutrients?

Over and over, I have heard and read claims that the soil growing much of the planet's crops is "depleted" and thus our foods do not have sufficient minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. Five ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Is there more forest in the Northern Hemisphere now than 100 years ago?

In April 19, 2019, there was a public debating event called "Happiness: Capitalism vs. Marxism" featuring Canadian psychologist Jordan B. Peterson and psychoanalytical philosopher Slavoj Žižek as the ...
6
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1answer
476 views

Has ExxonMobil sequestered over 40 percent of all captured CO2?

From ExxonMobil's website on carbon capture and storage (CCS): With a working interest in approximately one-fifth of the world’s total carbon capture capacity, ExxonMobil is a leader in one of the ...
27
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0answers
6k views

Is pollution the main cause of Notre Dame Cathedral's deterioration?

A 2017 Time article discussing the crumbling, wearing out, and water damage of France's Notre Dame Cathedral prior to the 2019 fire writes (emphasis added): Notre Dame, which looms over the capital ...
50
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1answer
13k views

Does Germany produce more waste than the US?

According to the German Environment Agency, Germany produced 411 million tons of waste in 2016. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US produced about 260 million US tons (236 ...
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0answers
194 views

Claim that CO2 is less relevant because it is logarithmic [duplicate]

This video presents and claims that doubling the CO2 levels would only increase the global warming by 1%, whatever that means. Now it seems like the graph contains real data, so what is up with the ...
10
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1answer
823 views

Is Bhutan the only carbon neutral/negative country?

Twitter moments recently had a moment about Bhutan being the only carbon neutral country in the world: Why Bhutan Is All Alone in the Carbon-Neutral Nation Club and one tweet in the Twitter moments ...
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0answers
103 views

Does crop burning in Cambodia contribute to particulate levels in Bangkok?

Bangkok is currently coping with unhealthy levels of PM2.5 particulates. On the 26th of January, the Bangkok Post wrote an article with the following passage on a link with Cambodian crop burning: ...
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2answers
2k views

Does the Earth only have 60 years of harvests before the top soil is lost?

According to this 2014 Scientific American article by Chris Arsenault Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top ...
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1answer
270 views

Does carbon dioxide pollute the atmosphere? [closed]

Following the explosive growth in the use of coal for industrial processes, in which the UK from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s was memorably darkened with soot, the public became aware of "pollution"...
52
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3answers
11k views

Is only 4% of original forest left in the US?

The 2009 video The Story of Stuff makes several rather incredible claims. For example: Where I live, in the United States, we have less than 4% of our original forests left. My gut feeling tells ...
4
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0answers
281 views

Do vegan diets have lower environmental impact? [duplicate]

The Guardian has a 2018 article, Avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on earth, which is commonly brought up by my vegan friends: Avoiding meat and dairy products ...
18
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2answers
1k views

Do “smart meters” bring about any significant savings?

UK television stations are showing multiple commercials such as this one which make claims about making significant savings if you get a smart meter (the linked ad claims fitting a smart meter would ...
59
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4answers
14k views

Have we wiped out 60% of vertebrate populations since 1970?

According to The Guardian (reporting an analysis by WWF) humanity stands on the verge of an ecological catastrophe as: Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, ...
5
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1answer
369 views

Is the Taylor oil spill on the scale of Deepwater Horizon?

According to CNN, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill leaked 176.4 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. By comparison, and also according to CNN, they say According to the [the Department ...
3
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1answer
368 views

Has regulated hunting never led to threatened or endangered wildlife populations?

Hunting advocates and various fish and game bureaus argue that hunting is an effective and needed means to control various species and manage wildlife. One such claim says that "hunting benefits all ...
1
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1answer
424 views

Is Plant-e an actual company stating a serious premise? [closed]

This is what I read beforehand and then I reached the company page. They state that plants produce energy. This happens when releasing stuff from the photosynthesis process, which is consumed by ...
113
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3answers
26k views

Do 10 Asian and African rivers generate 90% of plastic trash in the ocean?

I found this image shared on Facebook [Warning: image contains a bleeding turtle.] with the following text: Your Straws Did NOT Do This [image of turtle with foreign body in nostril] Americans are ...
7
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1answer
502 views

How long do disposable plastic shopping bags take to break down [closed]

Recently in Australia some major supermarkets have begun phasing out disposable shopping bags. A lot of people are saying things like that the new reusable bags are worse than the disposable bags. ...
43
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1answer
8k views

Is “Earth Overshoot Day” a useful or reliable metric of humanity's effect on the world?

Apparently, we are rapidly approaching Earth overshoot day and that day gets earlier every year. The Guardian explains: Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive ...
23
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2answers
2k views

Are drinking straws a minor source of ocean plastic pollution?

An opinion piece in Bloomberg: Plastic Straws Aren’t the Problem claims that drinking straws are a minor source of plastic pollution in oceans: Yet even if all those straws were suddenly washed ...
11
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0answers
1k views

Do Starbucks' new lids use more plastic than the previous lids plus straws?

Have recently seen this claim circulating Facebook: The image goes to a post by a group called UnbiasedAmerica... but it looks like the original source article is the story Starbucks Bans Plastic ...
89
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2answers
37k views

Are cars in Arizona melting in the 2018 summer heat?

Facebook just posted to my timeline this picture claiming that cars in Arizona are melting in the heat. Is it true?
15
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1answer
2k views

Did the fallout from American nuclear tests kill hundreds of thousands of American civilians?

A recent paper has been making the social media rounds, that estimates the number of American deaths due to radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing to be between 340,000 and 690,000 between ...
4
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2answers
893 views

Do colder temperatures increase our hunger?

I've heard this multiple times as an explanation to eating more in relation to being exposed to colder temperatures (restaurants that are colder, during the winter, etc.) but I have yet to be able to ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Does the US Federal Government want to cut down and burn trees on a property to protect an extinct frog?

Edward Poitevent made a claim on the Tucker Carlson show that the government wants to take his land in Louisiana without paying, cut down all trees and burn it in the name of protecting an extinct ...
4
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1answer
350 views

Is air pollution reaching a crisis point?

A recent report by the Lancet Commision on Pollution and Health led to some scary headlines in the news: Pollution linked to one in six deaths Global pollution kills 9m a year and threatens 'survival ...
3
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1answer
735 views

Do electric cars emit half the CO2 as diesel from a life-cycle perspective?

From The Guardian: "On average, electric vehicles will emit half the CO2 emissions of a diesel car by 2030, including the manufacturing emissions,” said Yoann Le Petit, a spokesman for the T&E ...
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0answers
137 views

Does a personal choice to eat less meat help the environment? [duplicate]

An oft-quoted way to reduce one's Carbon footprint is to eat less meat. I believe there is even a day of meatless meals that is planned, presumably as an awareness campaign, every year. However, I ...
11
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2answers
2k views

In Miami, can you see fish from the ocean swim on the streets because of the sea level rise?

I was reading this article at theBlaze.com that talks about an interview Al Gore had with Chris Wallace (shown on Fox News on Sunday Jun 4, 2017). The article focuses on claims that Al Gore had made ...
141
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2answers
29k views

Do solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than nuclear-power plants?

From Slashdot: A new study by Environmental Progress warns that toxic waste from used solar panels now poses a global environmental threat. The Berkeley-based group found that solar panels create ...
5
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1answer
546 views

Are Maryland's vehicle emissions tests a net benefit for the environment?

I am skeptical that vehicle emissions programs like Maryland's VEIP are a net win overall. You generate emissions by driving there in the first place, and idling while you wait your turn. Almost all ...
5
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3answers
717 views

Is drinking collected rain water proven to be beneficial for your health?

Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated—that is, become heavy enough to fall under gravity. After reading the article ...