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Top 75 Health and Environmental Issues You Must Be Aware Of

Health Issues

Environmental Issues

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    18 of the 19 warmest years all have occurred since 2001, with the exception of 1998.

    The (piping hot) numbers are in: 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record, according to two independent reports released today (Feb. 6) by NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
    Last year was so hot that global land- and ocean-surface temperatures were 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit (0.79 degrees Celsius) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported. Since 1880, when record-keeping began, only three years — 2016 (the highest, in part because of El Niño), 2015 and 2017 — were hotter.
    "The key message is that the planet is warming," Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, told reporters at a news conference. "And our understanding of why those trends are occurring is also very robust. It's because of the greenhouse gases that we['ve] put into the atmosphere over the last 100 years." [6 Unexpected Effects of Climate Change]
    The trend isn't a new one. Nine of the 10 warmest winters have happened since 2005, and five of the warmest years on record happened within the last five years, or from 2014 to 2018.

    Link to Article

    Source livescience.com

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    UN Report: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’

    Most comprehensive assessment of its kind;
    1,000,000 species threatened with extinction
    Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely, warns a landmark new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), “

    Link to Article

    Source United Nations Report

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    Ocean acidity has increased by 30% since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. This increase is 100 times faster than any change in acidity experienced by marine organisms for at least the last 20 million years. Ocean acidification may threaten plankton, which forms the base of the marine food chain; it is key to the survival of larger fish.

    Link to Article

    Source unesco.org

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    Global Fish Stocks Depleted to 'Alarming' Levels


    If we keep pulling fish out of our waterways at this rate, we're going to run out of fish. The Guardian has revealed that due to vast overfishing, nearly 90 percent of global fish stocks are either fully fished or overfished, based on a new analysis from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

    Link to Article

    Source Ecowatch

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    Soil that is able to generate viable crops is rapidly on the decline, according to senior UN official Helena Semedo. Half of the topsoil on the planet has been lost in the last 150 years, and it can take decades, if not centuries, to regenerate. Numbers suggest only 60 years of viable topsoil left at the current rate of degradation and increased usage.

    Link to Article

    Source planetexperts.com

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    Many of the water systems that keep ecosystems thriving and feed a growing human population have become stressed. Rivers, lakes and aquifers are drying up or becoming too polluted to use. More than half the world’s wetlands have disappeared. Agriculture consumes more water than any other source and wastes much of that through inefficiencies. Climate change is altering patterns of weather and water around the world, causing shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others.

    At the current consumption rate, this situation will only get worse. By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages. And ecosystems around the world will suffer even more.


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    Source rainforest-alliance.org

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    The World Wildlife Fund’s 2018 Living Planet report demonstrates a global wildlife population loss of 60 percent between 1970 and 2014. The report, which tracks over 4,000 species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, is published every two years. “Earth is losing biodiversity at a rate seen only during mass extinctions,” the report says.

     

    Link to Article

    Source wildlife.org

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    Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilization.

    Link to Article

    Source The Guardian

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    Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature

    The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.
    More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found.

    Link to Article

    Source The Guardian

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    If climate change is left unchecked, rising temperatures, extreme weather and land degradation could trigger a global food crisis, according to a report released by a United Nations panel.

    Link to Article

    Source NBC News

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    More than 90 percent of crop varieties have disappeared from farmers’ fields; half of the breeds of many domestic animals have been lost. In fisheries, all the world’s 17 main fishing grounds are now being fished at or above their sustainable limits, with many fish populations effectively becoming extinct. Loss of forest cover, coastal wetlands, other ‘wild’ uncultivated areas, and the destruction of the aquatic environment exacerbate the genetic erosion of agrobiodiversity.

    Link to Article

    Source fao.org

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    Livestock causes far more climate damage than first thought, says report

    Climate change emissions from meat production are far higher than currently estimated, according to a controversial new study that will fuel the debate on whether people should eat fewer animal products to help the environment.

    In a paper published by a respected US thinktank, the Worldwatch Institute, two World Bank environmental advisers claim that instead of 18 per cent of global emissions being caused by meat, the true figure is 51 per cent.

    Link to Article

    Source independent.co.

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    The first global assessment of pollinators ever has found that extinction pressures on species that facilitate crop production are threatening the world’s food supply, with hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of food and agricultural production annually at stake.

    Link to Article

    Source sciencealert.com

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    Tropical coral reef coverage around the world has declined by 30 to 50 percent since the 1980s. Nearly 75 percent of the world’s reefs face threats from pollution, habitat destruction, overfishing and, increasingly, a changing climate that increases temperatures, sea level, and acidity in the oceans.

    Link to Article

    Source pbs.org

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    Forests around the world are under threat. The threats manifest themselves in the form of deforestation and forest degradation. The main cause of deforestation is agriculture (poorly planned infrastructure is emerging as a big threat too) and the main cause of forest degradation is illegal logging. We’re losing 18.7 million acres of forests annually, equivalent to 27 soccer fields every minute.

    Link to Article

    Source worldwildlife.org

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    As global temperatures rise and the human population expands, more of the planet is vulnerable to desertification, the permanent degradation of land that was once arable.

    While land degradation has occurred throughout history, the pace has accelerated, reaching 30 to 35 times the historical rate, according to the United Nations.

    More than 75 percent of Earth's land area is already degraded, according to the European Commission's World Atlas of Desertification, and more than 90 percent could become degraded by 2050.

    Link to Article

    Source worldwildlife.org

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    Factory farms pollute the environment and our drinking water, ravage rural communities, and harm the welfare of animals—while increasing corporate control over our food.

    Link to Article

    Source Food and Water Watch

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    WILD ANIMALS ARE being poached on a massive scale, with millions of individual animals of thousands of species worldwide killed or captured from their native habitats. Poaching poses a growing threat to elephants, rhinos, and other charismatic animals, as well as to smaller and more obscure creatures, like certain lizards and monkeys.

    Link to Article

    Source National Geographic

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    When sea levels rise as rapidly as they have been, even a small increase can have devastating effects on coastal habitats farther inland, it can cause destructive erosion, wetland flooding, aquifer and agricultural soil contamination with salt, and lost habitat for fish, birds, and plants.

    Link to Article

    Source National Geographic

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    There are half as many African lions than there were 25 years ago.
    The iconic species has disappeared from 94 percent of its historic range

    Link to Article

    Source National Geographic

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    Scientists have published more than 230 peer-reviewed studies looking at weather events around the world, from Hurricane Katrina to Russia’s 2010 heatwave. The result is mounting evidence that human activity is raising the risk of some types of extreme weather, especially those linked to heat.

    Carbon Brief’s analysis suggests 68% of all extreme weather events studied to date were made more likely or more severe by human-caused climate change.

    Link to Article

    Source www.carbonbrief.org

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    Largest-Ever Gulf Dead Zone Reveals Stark Impacts of Industrial Agriculture
    A new survey of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico sounds alarm and points to extreme overuse of toxic chemicals from farms and CAFOs.

    Link to Article

    Source civileats.com

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    key facts about farmed fish.

    1 - The nutritional benefits of fish are greatly decreased when it’s farmed.
    2 - Tuna and salmon, for example, need to eat up to five pounds of fish for each pound of body weight. The result is that prey (fish like anchovies and herring) are being fished to the brink of extinction to feed the world’s fish farms. “We have caught all the big fish and now we are going after their food,” says the non-profit Oceana, which blames aquaculture’s voracious hunger for declines of whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, tuna, bass, salmon, albatross, penguins, and other species.
    3 - Farmed fish are loaded with disease, and this spreads to wild fish populations.
    4 - Farmed fish are packed as tightly as coins in a purse, with twenty-seven adult trout, for example, typically scrunched into a bathtub-sized space. These unnatural conditions give rise to diseases and parasites, which often migrate off the farm and infect wild fish populations.
    5. Fish farms are rife with toxins, which also damage local ecosystems.
    6. Farmed fish are living in their own feces.
    7. Farmed fish are always trying to escape their unpleasant conditions, and who can blame them?
    8. As aquaculture makes fish production increasingly efficient, and fish become more widely available and less expensive, demand increases across the board.
    9. When the heavy environmental damage they cause is taken into account, fish farming operations often are found to generate more costs than revenues.

    Link to Article

    Source wellnessmama.com

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    Risks and Concerns of Fracking

    Contamination of groundwater
    Methane pollution and its impact on climate change
    Air pollution impacts
    Exposure to toxic chemicals
    Blowouts due to gas explosion
    Waste disposal
    Large volume water use in water-deficient regions
    Fracking-induced earthquakes
    Workplace safety
    Infrastructure degradation
    Source of Fracking Contamination

    Link to Article

    Source serc.carleton.edu

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    75 percent of the world’s agricultural land goes into meat production

    Taking into account the amount of cropland devoted to feedstock, an estimated 75 percent of the world’s agricultural land goes into meat production. Meat production is also extremely water-intensive; producing one pound of meat requires between 5,000 and 20,000 liters of water, while producing one pound of wheat requires much less—between 500 and 4,000 liters.

    Link to Article

    Source Population Connection

  • 32 – Bauer

    Meat production requires a much higher amount of water than vegetables. IME state that to produce 1kg of meat requires between 5,000 and 20,000 litres of water whereas to produce 1kg of wheat requires between 500 and 4,000 litres of water.

    Link to Article

    Source The Guardian

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    While independent media outlets still exist (and there are a lot of them), the major outlets are almost all owned by just six conglomerates.

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    Source Webfx

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    Science and Money: Problems and Solutions

    Three systematic reviews of over 40 publications examining the relationship between sources of funding and research outcomes found that studies with industry funding were more likely to report results that favored the company’s products than studies with independent sources of funding.

    Link to Article

    Source US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

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    a monoculture is a single crop repeatedly grown on the same land.

    So why are these food sources at risk in addition to the harm being done to the environment? Well, to start, when one crop is planted repeatedly on the same land, certain nutrients become depleted from the soil due to the crop’s specific nutrient demand.

    In fact, the Earth’s soil is depleting at more than 13 percent the rate at which it can be replaced. which is scary because approximately 75 percent of the world’s crop varieties have been lost over the last 100 years as the result. This time frame corresponds roughly to the beginning of monoculture farming, which is dated back to 1901.

    Link to Article

    Source One Green Planet

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    Mountaintop removal coal mining, often described as "strip mining on steroids," is an extremely destructive form of mining
    An area the size of Delaware has been flattened. Local coal field communities routinely face devastating floods and adverse health effects. Natural habitats in some our country's oldest forests are laid to waste.

    Link to Article

    Source Earthjustice

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    Nuclear power comes with plenty of other risks that aren't so obvious: the hazards of uranium mining, the fouled water, and the radioactive waste.

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    Source grist.org

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    How strong is the association between campaign spending and political success? For House seats, more than 90 percent of candidates who spend the most win. From 2000 through 2016, there was only one election cycle where that wasn't true: 2010. “In that election, 86 percent of the top spenders won,”

    Link to Article

    Source fivethirtyeight.com

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