All posts by Our Planet

Why it’s only science that can answer all the big questions

Science has proved itself to be a reliable way to approach all kinds of questions about the physical world. As a scientist, I am led to wonder whether its ability to provide understanding is unlimited. Can it in fact answer all the great questions, the ‘big questions of being’, that occur to us?

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Vision Care for Children in the Developing World

One of the biggest global health crises we face today impacts more than a billion people. It’s not HIV or heart disease. Malaria or mental health. It’s vision impairment. More than 253 million people are visually impaired and there are 1.1 billion people with near-vision impairment according to a paper published by the Vision Loss Expert Group in the Lancet. But a simple pair of eyeglasses can change the lives of these people dramatically.

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We have an ethical obligation to relieve individual animal suffering

Last winter, unforgettable video footage online showed a starving polar bear, struggling in its Arctic hunting grounds. Because of global warming, the ice was thin and the food supply was scarce. The video generated a wellspring of sympathy for the plight of this poor creature, and invigorated calls for stronger efforts to combat climate change – and rightly so.

Such advocacy on behalf of wildlife usually focuses on species and the effects of human-caused climate change on their survival and wellbeing as the ecosystems on which they depend undergo drastic changes. Thus, we should act to save the polar bear – that is, the polar bear species – by doing what we can to preserve its natural ecosystem. I am fully behind this kind of advocacy. Anybody who cares about the future of our planet and its occupants should be.

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Why students should learn lessons in nurturing nature?

Education is something which everyone wants to obtain. Everyone needs a perfect and complete education. Children’s always like to spend their time outside instead of being in one room. When we place children outside they start to explore themselves and they love to be within nature. When they are in nature they will be able to nurture more and more and they will be able to develop their individual personality and lead to development. Research shows that the kids who spend time outside with nature will be more happy and energetic. In olden days we have seen in movies and in other sources teachers used to teach lessons outside the classroom. They always prefer a place which is under the tree. They know that the pure and fresh air brings positivity to children’s mind that will make them happy; it will help them to stay fresh in mind, and concentrate on lessons easily. Its main factor is to relieve stress. But as time goes we adopted the new method of teaching in the classroom. Students are seated in one room which is covered with walls. They don’t have another source of knowledge they have to be more materialistic. Education is not only about learning process it also includes adopting mental development and accepting a positive perspective towards life.

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4 tips for solar providers to sell more in less time

Solar power is growing by leaps and bounds. In the US, a new solar system is installed every four minutes. Moreover, the falling prices of installing a solar panel system are doing wonders in attracting customers. Between 2009-2013, the prices have dropped by 80%. Previously, a rooftop solar system was available for the price of a luxury car. However, these are now available at the cost of an economy car.

That’s good news for customers. What’s in it for solar providers though? Simply put, a fall in prices attracts customers. Plus, solar power cuts the carbon footprint with each installed kilowatt lowering an average house’s carbon dioxide emission by more than 3000 pounds annually.

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The marvel of LED lighting is now a global blight to health

Light pollution is often characterised as a soft issue in environmentalism. This perception needs to change. Light at night constitutes a massive assault on the ecology of the planet, including us. It also has indirect impacts because, while 20 per cent of electricity is used for lighting worldwide, at least 30 per cent of that light is wasted. Wasted light serves no purpose at all, and excessive lighting is too often used beyond what is needed for driving, or shopping, or Friday-night football.

The electric light bulb is touted as one of the most significant technological advancements of human beings. It ranks right up there with the wheel, control of fire, antibiotics and dynamite. But as with any new and spectacular technology, there are invariably unintended consequences. With electric light has come an obliteration of night in much of the modern world; both outside in the city, and indoors during what was once ‘night’ according to the natural position of the Sun.

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Artificial grass vs Natural grass: Which is greener?

The world’s leaders (the vast majority of them anyway) have finally come to terms with the dire implications of global warming on the Earth’s climate. With every passing day, the polar ice caps shrink in size, rising sea levels subsume another low-lying island, and the incidence of adverse weather conditions continues to swell. The Paris Agreement of two years ago is evidence of environmental concerns taking precedence on the international stage, but what can we do individually to slow global warming?

Ostensibly a signifier of environmentalism, a lush, natural lawn is, in reality, an energy-hungry indulgence. Many energy-conscious homeowners would actually be better off with an artificial lawn instead, owing to its economical consumption of both energy and water. In creating an artificial surface though, fossil fuels are used, creating carbon in the process. Concerning too is artificial grass’ longevity – it isn’t biodegradable so it can only add to landfill sites. In this post then, we have compared and contrasted natural and artificial grass, with hopes of declaring one environmentally superior. Everything from manufacture to installation to maintenance has been considered, so you can rest assured that our conclusion is a well-rounded and measured one.

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Extinction is forever: de-extinction can’t save what we had

When I hike up into the hills around Salt Lake City, above the Bonneville Shoreline Trail where the sagebrush gives way to the shade of the forest, mastodons are on my mind. Immense bones pulled from a sinkhole on the nearby Wasatch Plateau placed Mammut americanum in the area about 7,500 years ago – practically yesterday from the perspective of Deep Time. It might sound strange to say that I miss creatures I wasn’t around to see in the first place. But still, I mourn their loss as I plod through the woods, imagining their low rumbles and the splintering crashes as they browsed among the trees.

A small but growing number of scientists say that they could reverse that loss through de-extinction – genetic resuscitation in the style of the sci-fi yarn Jurassic Park. The idea is also now being marketed as conservation’s great hope to forestall the loss of biodiversity caused by humans. Biological Xeroxing was held up as one of the possibilities for species resuscitation at a National Geographic TEDx event on de-extinction in 2013. That same year, the discovery of a particularly juicy mammoth carcass, dripping with what appeared to be blood, sparked a flurry of reports assuring readers that the return of the mammoth is nigh. For if there’s blood, there’s DNA, and if there’s DNA, then we can have the Ice Age beast back, right?

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