Category: Environment

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The Earth’s Carrying Capacity for Human Life Is Not Fixed

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…
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Big Tech Should Take the Lead on Climate Change—Here’s Why

Big Tech Should Take the Lead on Climate Change—Here’s Why At Collision, which calls itself “North America’s fastest-growing tech conference,” former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres threw down a challenge to tech titans: move the world from incremental to exponential action on climate change. The digital tech sector is the wild card in fossil-fuel…
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What Makes People Distrust Science? Surprisingly, Not Politics

What Makes People Distrust Science? Surprisingly, Not Politics Today, there is a crisis of trust in science. Many people—including politicians and, yes, even presidents—publicly express doubts about the validity of scientific findings. Meanwhile, scientific institutions and journals express their concerns about the public’s increasing distrust in science. How is it possible that science, the products…
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Pulling Water, Fuel, and Power From Thin Air Is Getting Practical

Pulling Water, Fuel, and Power From Thin Air Is Getting Practical Pulling things from thin air is generally considered a magic trick. But several recent research papers suggest we could soon be extracting valuable resources like water, fuel, and power from the atmosphere. Startup Carbon Engineering published a new technique for turning atmospheric CO2 into…
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Can Hawaii Go Carbon Neutral by 2045?

Can Hawaii Go Carbon Neutral by 2045? If you’ve done any research into climate change, you’re almost certainly familiar with the Keeling Curve. This sawtoothed upward curve tracks the inexorable increase in carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, and the rate of increase is proportional to the amount of fossil fuels burned that year (around half…
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How Cyanobacteria Could Help Save the Planet

How Cyanobacteria Could Help Save the Planet It’s very easy to forget that complex life on Earth almost missed the boat entirely. As the Sun’s luminosity gradually increases, the oceans will boil away, and the planet will no longer be in the habitable zone for life as we know it. Okay, we likely have a…
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The Epic Project to Record the DNA of All Life on Earth

The Epic Project to Record the DNA of All Life on Earth Advances in biotechnology over the past decade have brought rapid progress in the fields of medicine, food, ecology, and neuroscience, among others. With this progress comes ambition for even more progress—realizing we’re capable of, say, engineering crops to yield more means we may be…
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5 Organizations Using Cool Tech Solutions and Research to Clean Up the Oceans

5 Organizations Using Cool Tech Solutions and Research to Clean Up the Oceans The Earth is an ocean world. From space, this fact is obvious, whether the planet appears as a bluish dust mote at the edge of the solar system, a bright sapphire star from our planetary neighbors, or the blue marble we see…
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From Drone Swarms to Tree Batteries, New Tech Is Revolutionizing Ecology and Conservation

From Drone Swarms to Tree Batteries, New Tech Is Revolutionizing Ecology and Conservation Understanding Earth’s species and ecosystems is a monumentally challenging scientific pursuit. But with the planet in the grip of its sixth mass extinction event, it has never been a more pressing priority. To unlock nature’s secrets, ecologists turn to a variety of…
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China Plans to Bring Artificial Rain to Area Three Times the Size of Spain

China Plans to Bring Artificial Rain to Area Three Times the Size of Spain Artificial rain is set to fall on mountainous plains three times the size of Spain. At least, that’s the plan for China’s latest weather manipulation project. As reported by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the system includes solid fuel burners,…
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