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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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18
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2answers
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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 ...
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994 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 ...
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Did the US ban the Volkswagen XL1 for being too fuel efficient?

There are dozens of articles similar to this one floating around claiming the new Volkswagen XL1, which can get 300+ MPG (0.78 L/100 km) in ideal driving conditions, has been banned in the USA because ...
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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/...
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1answer
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Is credit card use more environmentally friendly than cash?

A popular organic food store in Amsterdam has this sign posted near the entrance: Welcome! Marqt accepts all credit or debit cards, free of charge. Thank you for contributing to a safer and ...
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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 ...
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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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Can magnets be used to clean laundry?

According to the Magnetic Laundry site, magnets can be used instead of detergent to clean laundry! For a "scientific" explanation, their video states: These magnets work at an atomic level to ...
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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 ...
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Are towers being built in China that can turn smog into diamonds?

This article about a new project that builds towers that can turn smog into diamonds makes some pretty incredible claims. It claims that: Towers intended to turn carbon in the air into diamonds have ...
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1answer
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Is 90% of the large fish biomass gone, when compared to pre-industrial levels?

According to this video only 10% of the fish biomass that was in the ocean during the pre-industrial era is left, due to overfishing. This claim seems to be based on a study by Myers and Worm which ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Does 80-90% of the environmental and health damage a car causes come from manufacturing?

Claim from the video The First 3D-Printed Supercar: How we make them [cars] is much more important than how we fuel them and whether they have a tailpipe or not. 80 to 90 percent or more of the ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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861 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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5answers
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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 ...
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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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1answer
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Do Jet Skis produce in an hour equivalent pollution to 100,000km of a new/small car?

I recall this claim being published in a newspaper a while back but time has buried it in the Interwebs, though it does come up from time to time as e.g. Driving a jet ski for one hour will produce ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Is helium being “wasted” on party balloons?

From Tim O'Reilly: Good Q?, the kind politicians are loathe to answer RT @jamesoreilly: "Is it right to waste helium on party balloons?" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24903034 … and from ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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572 views

Does the meat industry cause 414 billion dollars in externalized costs?

About 34 minutes into the 2014 Documentary Cowspiracy, there is a statement by David Simon, the author of Meatonomics, about hidden costs of animal food production. I've added up the costs of ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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690 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 ...
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1answer
897 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 ...
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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 ...
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625 views

Does an e-bike produces only 1/10 carbon emissions for each mile of an conventional electric car?

According to Lin, Bo (Deputy General Director at Furi E-Bike1): he says the following in an interview in the program Horizons from WOBI: Bicycles to lead acid battery generates some pollution. The ...
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430 views

Do honeybees disrupt native pollinators in North America?

One of my colleagues at work is vegan, and I became curious about why vegans don't eat honey. After a search on the internet I found a website explaining why honey is not vegan. However what baffled ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Are fossil fuels making the world greener?

The popular understanding (at least among those who are not climate skeptics) of global warming is that it is likely to create environmental catastrophe for reasons such as spreading deserts and ...
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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 ...
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Would an EMP in the US Cause all of our active Nuclear Power Plants to melt down and explode?

In an article from the National Journal released and linked to from the Drudge Report today(28MAR2014), Peter Pry, "a former CIA officer and head of a congressional advisory board on national security"...
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816 views

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 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 ...