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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17
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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 ...
31
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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
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0answers
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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
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0answers
758 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
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9answers
8k 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
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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
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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
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0answers
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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 ...
14
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0answers
383 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 ...
177
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4answers
27k 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 ...
21
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3answers
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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
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1answer
937 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 ...
52
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3answers
19k 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
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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 ...
23
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1answer
2k 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
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1answer
637 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
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1answer
428 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
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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
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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
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2answers
1k 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
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2answers
500 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
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2answers
702 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 ...
34
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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4answers
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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
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2answers
7k 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 ...
18
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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 ...
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1answer
677 views

How much daylight does daylight-saving save? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the scientifically established effects of Daylight Saving Time? If we did not have daylight-saving, then would the days still be longer in the summer? If not, then ...
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3answers
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Why do we not have vehicles that meet or exceed the MPG ratings of vehicles that were available in the 1990s

I'm seeing some conspiracy theories making the rounds which claim that car-manufacturers are intentionally making cars that aren't as fuel efficient as they used to be. They often point to the Geo ...
34
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7answers
4k views

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 ...
106
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3answers
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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 ...
19
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2answers
2k views

Insects as food: Is it feasible for humans to replace traditional "livestock" meat with insects?

I have heard of some benefits of insects as food, but are there any drawbacks? I've never heard of a human culture whose primary protein intake came exclusively from insects. Would someone ...
35
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4answers
7k views

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? ...
90
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3answers
9k views

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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