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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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Does a car with a hybrid engine and Lithium batteries pollute more than a car with conventional technology?

You hear a lot of claims that, once you include manufacturing and battery replacement, hybrids pollute more than an efficient, more conventional engine. Are there any end-to-end studies measuring any ...
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Is being a vegan more environmentally friendly than otherwise?

On their website, PETA claimed the following: A recent United Nations report concluded that a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. And the U....
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Can we grow enough crops to feed all people on Earth?

Vegetarianism is heavily promoted. But let's say all people on Earth stop eating animal products. Can we grow enough crops so all people on the Earth are provided with enough healthy, nutritious food? ...
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Organic food is worse for the environment because it requires more land than non-organic food

I've heard that organic crops and husbandry are worse for the environment than non-organic equivalents because in the absence of pesticides and fertilizers much more land is required for an organic ...
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Does a webpage with a black background save energy?

Blackle is a search engine that claims to save energy because it uses a black background. Is there any evidence to back up their claim that a website using a black background will save energy, and if ...
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Do coal plants release more radiation than nuclear power plants?

As a response to the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant I've heard the claim that fossil-fuel power plants using coal release more radiation than a nuclear power plant. I searched for some ...
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Does hydraulic fracking endanger the drinking water supply?

According to an industry website the process of Hydraulic Fracturing (or "fracking") is safe. According to an article in the Huffington Post the process is not safe. At least, there is evidence the ...
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4answers
4k views

Have several hundreds of thousands of people died because of the Chernobyl disaster?

The Wikipedia article on this is littered with [citation needed] and a commenter on hacker news linked to it while stating: Chernobyl cost several hundred thousand lives. Let's hope and pray ...
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Can people feel somebody is watching them?

I think most of us is familiar with this feeling. You can tell someone (who stands behind your back) is staring at you without any physical evidence. Is it possible or is it just a matter of ...
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Did we have a “global cooling” 40 years ago?

I was reading Superfreakanomics and the book argues that we had a global cooling period 40 years ago? Is that claim accurate?
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Could Global Warming be good for life?

A paper from Nature Geoscience (reported by the BBC here) claims that the carbon dioxide humanity has pumped into the atmosphere is holding off a new Ice Age. This has revived an old idea best ...
14
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2answers
839 views

Can a person lose weight by being cold?

I encountered a person not wearing a jacket in cold weather. He said he does this to lose weight. He explained his theory: By allowing his body to lose calories (heat energy) to the environment, his ...
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Does grass alone produce enough oxygen for life?

Over a work happy hour tonight, two employees were talking about their different lifestyles -- one likes riding four wheelers, which the other considers to be recreational pollution. Somehow the fact ...
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1answer
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Has a meat substitute from human feces been developed in Japan?

A video and some news are spreading like wildfire on the internet about some artificial meat made from human feces. The summary from slashdot, for example, says Hold on to your hamburgers — ...
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1answer
739 views

Is buying organic vs. conventional products better for the environment?

From http://www.goldengatexpress.org/2013/04/07/true-organic-food-benefits-environment-sustainability/: Another reason to choose organic products is that the environmental footprint attached to ...
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Is “peak wind” coming?

The concept of "peak oil" has been bandied about for some time (see this question: Is peak oil still set for 2013?) by people who believe the world hydrocarbon stocks will soon be so depleted that ...
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3answers
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Is global warming irreversible?

I have heard countless times the perils of global warming and how we should all do our fair share to save the Earth for future generations. Here is but one example from an NPR article: "Global ...
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3answers
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Will increased speed limits on motorways (or highways) cause significant harm?

The UK government has recently started a consultation on increasing the speed limits on motorways (roughly the equivalent of highways in the USA) in England. So it seems appropriate to pose the ...
10
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1answer
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Are pets as bad for environment as cars?

In this article referring to a book the authors claim: Taking the dog for a walk to the store would seem like a more environmentally-friendly option than piling into the SUV. Not so, say two ...
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Is there a worldwide helium shortage?

I've seen a number of news articles about scarcity of Helium lately, for example: At the moment, helium is cheap, primarily because the US government built up a large surplus supply, then decided ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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Does one acre of hemp yield as much paper as 4 acres of trees?

I saw the following photo on my Facebook news feed: I asked my friend who posted it for a source, and he gave me a link to a hemp manufacturer. I'm pretty sure it's not a reputable source. I'm ...
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Is cancer a man-made disease?

Not too long ago a story about a study examining mummies for the prevalence of cancer caused a flurry of articles in the media claiming that cancer is a man-made disease. The researchers claim that ...
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1answer
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Does unadjusted NASA climate data show no long-term global warming?

The Real Science blog by "Steven Goddard" claims that NASA have altered their data in the USA and other countries to show global warming. Right after the year 2000, NASA and NOAA dramatically ...
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4answers
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Are we in a low CO2 period, compared to the last 590 million years?

In 2012 Burt Rutan, the aircraft designer, posted these slides summarizing his take on global warming/climate change. Slide 14 is In the big picture we are now in a low CO2 period. The 20th ...
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Was the “hole in the ozone” caused by CFCs?

Burt Rutan (the aviator) has put out a critique of climate change: An Engineer's Critique of Global Warming "Science" On page 7, this caught my eye: Modern Human-Extinction Scares ... • ...
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Are there alternative methods of meat production (such as free-range meat) that are better for the environment than factory farmed meat? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Organic food is worse for the environment because it requires more land than non-organic food Most meat in developed nations is produced by Industrial agriculture methods, ...
7
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1answer
627 views

Is water vapor responsible for 95% of the greenhouse effect?

This question is not about man-made global warming, but about the total greenhouse effect. According to http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html , 95% of the greenhouse effect is due ...
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2answers
478 views

Are CFLs always more ecologic than incandescent light bulbs?

Incandescent light bulbs are now being phased out in many countries. In practice, the replacements are mostly compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). In many cases, the energy savings created by CFLs justify ...
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2answers
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Was Greenpeace ever sponsored by KGB?

I've heard the claim as urban legend many times. Allegedly in 1970s KGB has sponsored various Western "anti-war" movements, especially the ones that could hinder Western nuclear tests. Fact is ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Do candles emit ten times the carbon dioxide of an equivalent lightbulb?

In Wasteful Earth Hour?, it's claimed that candles emit roughly 10 times the carbon dioxide of light bulbs of the same brightness. While emissions will vary depending on the candle, the lightbulb and ...
18
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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 ...
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3answers
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Are electric cars beneficial to the environment compared to low consumption modern cars?

Imagine an electric car in a country where most energy come from coal (which i believe is the dirtiest). Add this to the pollution that disposing the batteries will create, or the carbon footprint ...
12
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1answer
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How much are United Airlines reducing their carbon emissions by giving pilots iPads?

Source article Here: Article Briefly: United Airlines are giving their 11,000 pilots iPads in an effort to increase efficiency, etc. They're making manuals and other documents electronic. As a side-...
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1answer
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Are 100 million sharks killed by humans per year?

I've read from several sources that humans kill 11,000 sharks per hour or 100 million per year, for example : The Humane Society of the United States, quoting Jean-Michel Cousteau Look at what is ...
7
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1answer
860 views

Does individual recycling have no observable global impact?

Maddox in his anti-SOPA statement makes following claim: [people think that...] Painstakingly recycling every single shred of garbage in your home makes a difference. It doesn't. Even if you, ...
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1answer
523 views

Does temperature drive CO₂?

The blog THE HOCKEY SCHTICK claims that "temperature drives CO2 levels, not man-made CO2". The paper "Atmospheric verification of anthropogenic CO2 emission trends" is cited as proof. The claim is ...
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2answers
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Does Carbon Dioxide mix well in the atmosphere?

At Skeptical Science, they explain: Mauna Loa is often used as an example of rising carbon dioxide levels because its the longest, continuous series of directly measured atmospheric CO₂. The reason ...
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0answers
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Is it actually beneficial to reduce water consumption? [closed]

Household appliances are getting more and more efficient at conserving water, and advertising claims that this helps conserve the environment. Some time ago, I've seen a documentary about a German ...