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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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 ...
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Is paying your bill online more environmentally friendly than post?

My monthly Comcast statement says that I should go paperless and pay my bill online via "Ecobill, the environmentally friendly way to pay your bill each month". All jokes about Comcast aside, has ...
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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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Do candles create more carbon dioxide than light bulbs?

During the annual ritual of Earth Hour: ...around one billion people are expected to switch off their lights for one hour as a political statement against climate change and fossil fuels, and in ...
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Is it more environmentally friendly to stir hot drinks with pasta?

In the café where I work, somebody tried introducing pasta, spaghetti in particular, in place of purpose-made wooden sticks, for stirring hot drinks, as it was thought to be more "environmentally ...
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Are biofuels environmentally friendly?

Both the EU and the USA have programmes to encourage the use of biofuels in gasoline and diesel. This is supposed to help reduce oil imports and help the environment at the same time. But government ...
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Does one Volcanic eruption release more CFC's into the atmosphere than all man made CFC's combined since their invention?

There appears to be a large number of people who are under the impression that Volcanos release ozone-depleting CFC's into the atmosphere. What's more is that they believe a single eruption expels ...
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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 ...
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To what extent do needle trees contribute to fine dust pollution?

Today I ran into an article concerning cars and their effect on the existence of particulate matter. Especially the last paragraph caught my attention where it is claimed that coniferous also ...
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How long do disposable plastic shopping bags take to break down

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. ...
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860 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 ...
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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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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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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. ...
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Can boredom at workplace be attributed to poor working conditions?

In an article I read recently the author mentions a certain study. He claims that it showed that people are likely to judge a task "boring", when in truth it was not, but there were low-intensity ...
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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 ...
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Is the idea of solar roadways practical? [closed]

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways#home This indiegogo campaign suggests replacing roads and highways with solar panels that could produce power, while keeping themselves free of snow ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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Will elephant dung paper infused with flower seeds grow when planted?

According to this article there is a paper that has been infused with elephant dung and flower seeds that, if planted and watered properly, will actually grow. I guess it sounds plausible but I feel ...
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Did SF grocery bag ban cause at least an additional 5.4 deaths a year due to bacteria in reusable grocery bags?

The paper Grocery Bag Bans and Foodborne Illness (Klick & Wright, 2012) claims that Our results suggest that the San Francisco ban led to between 5.4 and 15.8 additional deaths. The logic ...
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Do forests increase atmosphere's oxygen?

I've read that forests are important because they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen to the atmoshpere 1. But other places say that this is false for a mature forest: "On average, then, this ...
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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 ...
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Has the Orca infant mortality rate been 100% since the Fukushima disaster?

This has been going around Facebook lately. All accounts seem to stem from this NaturalNews article. I don't tend to see them as a reliable source of information, but I also haven't found any proof ...
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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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Can Waterseer extract as much as 37 L per day from the air?

Treehugger.com article on Waterseer Wind-powered device can produce 11 gallons per day of clean drinking water from the air [...] The WaterSeer is relatively simple device, designed to be ...
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Does a full grown oak tree expel 7 tons of water from its leaves in a day?

There are a couple sites with this claim but I can't find any reliable sources... http://www.snapple.com/real-facts/cap-view/715 http://www.chacha.com/question/how-much-water-does-a-full-grown-oak-...
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Did Volkswagen, Chrysler and/or GM cut diesel tailpipe emissions by ~99% over a decade?

This article, dated Jan 5, 2014, makes a rather vague claim that Companies such as Volkswagen AG, Chrysler Group and General Motors have invested billions to make that happen, outfitting vehicles ...
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Must Japan's population pay for any accident caused by nuclear power plants sold abroad by Japanese companies?

This image is currently trending on social media: source The caption reads: 海外で日本の売った原発が事故を起こした場合、その費用はすべて日本国民の税金から支払う約束になっていりる If a nuclear power plant sold abroad by Japan causes an accident, ...
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Does physics give a climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide of about 3°C?

A letter to the editor of the Economist from Professor Anders Levermann of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research stated the following: The IPCC’s range on sensitivity is supported by, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Could a solar flare cause economic collapse? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Will the Sun's magnetic activity disrupt electronics on Earth? It seems that solar flares are one of the few things that have any factual weight among the possible causes ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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Did the Standing Rock protestors potentially damage the environment and the local watershed through their own human waste and garbage? [closed]

Reuters has this to say about the mess left behind at Standing Rock and the effort to clean it: Dump trucks and heavy machinery rolled into the protest camp near the site of the Dakota Access ...
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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 '...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Does the Kiri Tree reduce carbon dioxide emissions ten times more than the average tree?

The About section of the Kiri Tree website says: The tree is known to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions ten times more than the average tree and also in return produce ten times more oxygen ...
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Are we running out of drinking water so that we need to be frugal with it?

I’ve read in the news that a majority of earth’s population might run out of drinking water. As with many of these kind of predictions it’s difficult to judge the urgency and correctness of it ...
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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 ...
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What if everyone in a city flushed their toilets at once?

"The applied theory of price", by Donald N McCloskey claims: If all people flushed their toilets at once, the city water mains would burst. How much damage (if at all) will a drainage system in a ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Can current flooding in California end the years-long drought?

California has been stricken by severe drought for years now, to the point that the governor has been required to mandate water rationing. In an Accuweather piece about the storm currently ravaging ...
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Is animal agriculture the leading cause of species extinction?

The cause of species extinction interests me. Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a documentary that attacks the environmental damage caused by animal agriculture. Their facts page states (with ...