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Did you know:

  • If just 25% of U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we would save over 2.5 billion bags a year.
  • Every year we throw away 24 million tons of leaves and grass. Leaves alone account for 75% of our solid waste in the fall.
  • Over 100 pesticide ingredients are suspected to cause birth defects, cancer, and gene mutations.
  • Every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil.
  • About 1% of U.S. landfill space is full of disposable diapers, which take 500 years to decompose.
  • Glass produced from recycled glass instead of raw materials reduces related air pollution by 20%, and water pollution by 50%.
  • Homeowners use up to 10 times more toxic chemicals per acre than farmers.
  • By turning down your central heating thermostat one degree, fuel consumption is cut by as much as 10%.
  • One ton of carbon dioxide that is released in the air can be prevented by replacing every 75 watt light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs.
  • The uncontrolled fishing that is allowed has reduced the amount of commercial species. Some species, up to one-tenth of their original population.
  • Already over half of the world's tropical forests have been lost.
  • The garbage in a landfill stays for a for about 30 years.
  • Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees.
  • Earth is 2/3 water. but all the fresh water streams only represent one hundredth of one percent.
  • 84% of all household waste can be recycled.
  • Computers pose an environmental threat because much of the material that makes them up is hazardous. A typical monitor contains 4-5 pounds of lead.
  • One gallon of motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of water.
  • Agriculture absorbs 74% of all water taken by humans from rivers, lakes, aquifers and wetlands against 18% for industry and 8% for municipalities.

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Environment »

Global accord on nuclear safety needed urgently–World Energy Council
11 March 2012

A new international accord on the management and safety of nuclear power plants should be a priority for governments, an influential global energy organisation has said. A year after Japan's Fukushima reactor was shut down, the World Energy Council – whose members include many of the biggest energy companies from around the world –...
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Post-Fukushima world must embrace thorium, not ditch nuclear
11 March 2012

A year ago this Sunday, a dreadful and terrifying natural disaster was sweeping a trail of death and destruction along the north-eastern coast of Japan. The Tohoku earthquake and ensuing tsunami claimed an estimated 20,000 lives, washing away entire towns and wreaking havoc with the nation's infrastructure. An oil refinery was set ablaze...
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Solar power firms in Mojave desert feel glare of tribes
11 March 2012

Of the many projects commissioned by the Obama administration to showcase its commitment to renewable energy, few are as grandly futuristic as the multibillion-dollar solar power projects under construction across broad swaths of desert on the California-Arizona border. But at least two developments, including the $1bn, 250-megawatt...
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Exxon in spotlight after Papua New Guinea landslide
11 March 2012

A deadly landslide in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, near where Exxon Mobil is building a $15.7bn gas project, has raised new questions about the global energy industry's scramble for ever harder-to-reach resources. The landslide tore through a quarry used by Exxon in January, killing at least 25 people in the poor South Pacific...
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How Fukushima is leading towards a nuclear-free Japan
11 March 2012

The Fukushima accident will achieve in the next few months what has eluded campaigners for decades: the closure of every one of Japan's nuclear reactors. The closures, prompted by the meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant a year ago, have continued as more reactors are taken offline for inspections. All must pass recently...
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Cheetah struggling to reproduce due to climate change, scientists warn
11 March 2012

The world's fastest animal, the African cheetah, is losing its ability to reproduce because of climate change, according to Kenyan researchers. Scientists with the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and the Kenya Wildlife Service have discovered that the animal, Acinonyx jubatus, has developed abnormal coils in its sperm as a result of warmer...
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Bangladesh villagers still struggling after Cyclone Aila’s devastation
11 March 2012

Yusuf Dhali remembers vividly how he and his family survived when cyclone Aila destroyed his village as it struck Bangladesh's south-western coastal region three years ago. He was in the fields when the Kholpatua river surged over the 30ft-high earthen embankment, sending a wall of water across the fields. "I ran home when I saw the water...
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Arnold Schwarzenegger launches virtual ‘sustainable world’ project‎
11 March 2012

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Europe's climate chief, Connie Hedegaard, are spearheading a new push to help people envisage a sustainable future using low-carbon resources. The Sustainia initiative, launched on Wednesday with the support of the United Nations global compact, aims to take dozens of new and developing technologies from renewable...
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What is permafrost and how does it relate to climate change?
11 March 2012

Permafrost is soil that has remained below 0C (32F) for more than two years. It occurs in regions where the summer warmth fails to penetrate the ground sufficiently to thaw the soil. These conditions prevail in high-latitude or high-mountain areas that cover roughly a quarter of the Earth's land surface – including Alaska, Canada and...
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How do we know how warm or cold it was in the past?
11 March 2012

Scientists today measure the Earth's surface temperature using thermometers at weather stations and on ships and buoys all over the world. Such thermometer records cover a large fraction of the globe going back to the mid-19th century, allowing scientists to determine a global average temperature trend for the last 160 years. Before that...
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