Category Archives: Environment

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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The Earth’s carrying capacity for human life is not fixed

In a recent Nature Sustainability paper, a team of scientists concluded that the Earth can sustain, at most, only 7 billion people at subsistence levels of consumption (and this June saw us at 7.6 billion). Achieving ‘high life satisfaction’ for everyone, however, would transgress the Earth’s biophysical boundaries, leading to ecological collapse.

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Reducing the environmental impact of an office building

The damaging decline of our environment is undoubtedly a pressing concern. The rise in pollution, excess use of energy and our reliance on non-recyclable materials are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Whilst positive changes are being made, including supermarkets cutting down the use of plastic bags and the EU’s ban on non-biodegradable products, one area that’s often overlooked is the impact office buildings have on the environment.

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World’s Water Inequality Crisis

Despite today people are living longer, healthier, and happier lives than ever before, there are still many problems that humanity should address. One of the most important of them is the water inequality. While people in First World countries can very easily take fresh, clean water for granted, more than 800 million others in impoverished areas have no access to any clean water source. It is a common occurrence in some regions for people to defecate openly, walk more than 30 minutes to access clean water and share toilets with other humans. In 2018, is this really something that we should just accept as an inevitable way of the world?

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Global Sea Level Rise Accelerating, New Study Finds

As a result of the global warming, the seas warm and ice melts. Naturally, Earth’s oceans have risen steadily – or at least, it was thought so. According to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data, rather than increasing steadily, global sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades. If this trend continues, by the year 2100, sea level rise will be around 65 cm (25.6 in), twice as big as previously thought. This is more than enough to cause significant problems for coastal cities.

Satellite altimetry Notes 1 has shown that since 1993, global mean sea level has been rising at a rate of ∼3 ± 0.4 millimeters per year. Researchers show that this rate is accelerating at 0.084 ± 0.025 mm/y2, which agrees well with climate model projections. This acceleration is driven mainly by increased melting in Greenland and Antarctica because of global warming. If sea level continues to change at this rate and acceleration, sea-level rise by 2100 (∼65 cm ± 12 cm, compared with 2005) will be more than double the amount if the rate was constant at 3 mm/y, researchers conclude.

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We emit so much CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere that only planting trees is not enough

Our civilization emits so much CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere, that only planting trees is not enough, according to a new study.

Limiting global warming to below 2°C above compared to preindustrial times requires not only massive near-term greenhouse gas emissions reductions but also the application of “negative emission” techniques that extract already emitted carbon dioxide from the atmosphere called tCDR (terrestrial carbon dioxide removal). One method to remove already emitted carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere is the establishment of extensive plantations of fast-growing tree and grass species (biomass plantations).

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The World entered a new geological era called “Anthropocene”, scientists say

According to a study titled “The Anthropocene is functionally and stratigraphically distinct from the Holocene” and published on Science Magazine, we, humans,changed the world so much that now we can say the world entered a completely a new geological era, “Anthropocene”.

The term is not new. As early as 1960s, Soviet scientists used the term to refer to the Quaternary, the current and most recent of the three periods of the Cenozoic Era in the geologic time scale of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). The Quaternary follows the Neogene Period and spans from 2.588 ± 0.005 million years ago to the present. The Quaternary Period is divided into two epochs: the Pleistocene (2.588 million years ago to 11.7 thousand years ago, the world’s recent period of repeated glaciations) and the Holocene (11.7 thousand years ago to today, began after the last major ice age).

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