Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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.

6
votes
0answers
482 views

Is 22-23 Celsius (72-73 degrees F) measurably the optimal temperature for office productivity

I must admit that I lost the original reference for the claim, but almost certain it was LifeHacker, so it is notable enough. The claim is that 72-73 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 22-23 Celsius) is ...
4
votes
3answers
624 views

How often are recyclable items recycled?

It seems a bit bold for one to think that everything that he or she throws in the recycling bin is recycled. I would like to know how often things that are thrown into the recycling bin (assuming ...
7
votes
1answer
849 views

Does recycling protect our resources?

In the essay Eight Great Myths of Recycling, Daniel K. Benjamin (formerly a Professor of Economics at Clemson University) lists a number of misunderstanding related to recycling, including ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
43
votes
1answer
11k views

Is the Amazon rain forest man-made?

An article in the Atlantic quotes several experts who claim that the Amazon rainforest is the remnants of planted and cultivated orchards and farms, and that the land is not naturally conducive to ...
10
votes
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Is wood smoke that bad?

Recently I've read that blog post by Sam Harris and I was quite shocked. I don't have a fireplace or any habit related to a systematic wood-burning. But is wood smoke really that bad as it is ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

Do Americans use three times as much toilet paper as Europeans?

This article "5 Seemingly Innocent Ways You've Screwed The World Today" on cracked.com contains the following claim: Delicate American bottoms prefer plush, bleached white, multi-ply paper with all ...
14
votes
0answers
1k views

Does sharing a shower use less water?

From what I found on the Internet, a brief shower is more water efficient than a bath. I was wondering if there is any research about water use with more than one person using a shower? My gut ...
7
votes
1answer
850 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, ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ... • ...
7
votes
0answers
223 views

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, ...
33
votes
2answers
3k views

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....
17
votes
3answers
9k views

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 ...
17
votes
2answers
33k views

Do electric heaters with open heating elements “dry the air” or “burn up oxygen”?

There is a popular belief in Russia that electric heaters with an open nichrome heating element (red hot) "burn up oxygen" and "dry the air", unlike oil-filled ones. Is it true that a Joule heater ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

Do black cars consume more fuel?

Some time in 2009, California passed new regulations, banning black cars (here's one source) on the grounds that black cars have higher emissions than other colors of cars. The theory is that black ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Kindle vs Books and ecofriendliness

I was in a conversation with a friend trying to convince her to switch to kindle, so she said that the cost and plastic material and eco footprint of kindle is higher then all the EBooks she could ...
12
votes
1answer
625 views

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-...
48
votes
3answers
4k views

Is cycling worse for the environment than driving to work if you need to take a shower?

I had an argument with a work colleague. He claims that me cycling to and from work is less environmentally friendly than driving because I will eat more as a result of expending more energy. I have ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

Which baby diaper is more Earth-friendly — cloth or disposable?

We have a lot of friends who use cloth diapers, and I've heard some say that cloth diapers are actually more un-ecologically friendly than disposable diapers. I have a hard time buying that. I can ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Can indoor plants recycle the air we breathe?

This question on the Gardening SO site suggests that plants can be used to clean the air within a home or office environment. I know of the research done by NASA on indoor plants which can clean/...
17
votes
1answer
4k views

Is indoor air pollution higher than outdoor air pollution?

I keep seeing these claims, for example The indoor air quality is worse than the outdoor air, even in the most industrialised cities. but I'd believe that air pollution levels are highly variable ...
30
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the production of a home PV solar panel provide a net benefit to the environment?

Considering everything that goes into producing a single PV solar panel; from obtaining the necessary materials, transportation etc. is there a net benefit to the environment over the lifetime of the ...
5
votes
0answers
238 views

Are storms getting more or less severe in the long term for Australia?

Over the past couple of years people have been claiming that storms are getting more severe in Australia. Some linking this to global warming. Specifically Professor Ross Garnaut in the opening ...
15
votes
0answers
741 views

Solar energy in place of conventional energy sources [closed]

The first time I came across these arguments against solar energy was in "Overload" by Arthur Hailey. Admittedly, this is fiction, but the arguments seems to have some merit. Using solar cells to ...
53
votes
9answers
7k views

Is public transport less fuel-efficient than cars?

Someone who is opposed towards energy saving and climate change (I did not realise they existed until I met him) has told me that public transport (buses, trains and so on) are less efficient than ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

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 — ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

Does the Karpen Pile work, producing continuous energy without refueling?

According to Wikipedia, the Karpen Pile is: claimed by some to be a battery that has provided continuous energy for over 60 years, making the Karpen Pile either a supremely effective method of ...
16
votes
0answers
1k views

Do people know when they're being looked at?

I've heard, and even once recall reading, that people have a sort of "6th sense" where they can tell if they're being looked at. From personal experience, there were many times where I felt I was ...
15
votes
0answers
374 views

Is there a huge gas bubble below the Gulf of Mexico floor ready to wreak havok?

I was sent the video HERE a bit back, which gave me pause. It was sent by a family member who at least grants plausibility to 9/11 conspiracies and some other, shall we say, "fringe" theories about ...
166
votes
4answers
24k views

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 ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Do active volcanoes emit more CO₂ than humans?

We all know that volcanoes emit a tremendous amount of CO₂ when they erupt. I've often heard people argue that the amount of CO₂ an erupting volcano emits dwarfs the amount of CO₂ that humans emit in ...
11
votes
1answer
842 views

Does using ethanol fuel save money, and is it better for the environment?

In the last couple of years, petrol companies have started offering petrol with 10% ethanol in them, presumably at a cheaper price than normal unleaded. However, I've noticed (although this is just ...
51
votes
3answers
18k views

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 ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Is replacing paper towels with electric hand dryer blowers beneficial to the environment?

I'm sure paper towels don't harm the forests, because they are made from reforestation crops. So using them only harm trees that were already destined to being cut. I found this article that tries ...
24
votes
1answer
1k views

Is banning plastic bags beneficial to the environment?

There's always this big talk about plastic bags, but how much can you compare banning them to other measures? Bottomline: Is it worth the whole media coverage about this issue, or is it just a ...
7
votes
1answer
453 views

Not recycling vs air travel - which is worse?

Sorry for a catchy title. I am basically interested in some way of comparing the (non-CO2) pollution from plastics and other toxic materials that are being thrown on a landfill to that of air travel. ...
13
votes
1answer
396 views

Is the Amazon being cleared at the rate of X football fields a minute?

I've heard it mentioned in the media in different forms, the Amazon is being cleared at a phenomenal rate. Is there any factual evidence to support this claim? Here is an article from Greenpeace's ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

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?
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Do trees shed their leaves in autumn?

Growing up, we were regularly taught in geography about the different seasons and how most trees would shed their leaves in autumn, while evergreen trees do not shed their leaves. However, I live in ...
19
votes
2answers
999 views

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 ...
14
votes
2answers
472 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
682 views

Does Ecological taxation work?

From Wikipedia: Ecotax (short for Ecological taxation) refers to taxes intended to promote ecologically sustainable activities via economic incentives. Such a policy can complement or avert ...
32
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
60
votes
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 ...
53
votes
2answers
6k views

Does recycling create more pollution than it prevents?

My city, like many, has a recycling program, which I believe is supposed to reduce pollution and create some positive economic activity. But I've heard many people argue that recycling programs are a ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the net output of CO₂ from Nuclear Energy lower than the net output of other energy sources?

While CO₂ is not produced directly when producing electricity from nuclear power, it is obvious that obtaining the radioactive material and preparing it for its use in a plant inevitably produces some ...