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World Earth Day

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What is Earth Day and Why Do We Celebrate It?

Did you know that Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, is the largest secular observance in the world? What began as a day of environment preservation in the U.S. is now a large-scale push for clean habitat around the world! Earth Day is proof that one person can make a global impact in a positive way

Origins of Earth Day

The history of Earth Day begins during a time when the U.S. was experiencing both political and economic ups and downs. During the 1970s the country was divided over the participation of the U.S. in the Vietnam War. The economy was on the move, but it was costing the environment in a big way. Americans were driving large cars that ran on leaded gasoline. Factories, chemical plants, oil industries were booming but so was the production of air pollution and environmental waste. Unlike today, the health of the planet was not a high priority for most people primarily because they were unaware of the dangerous side effects of common everyday practices.

Small groups of individuals were, however, aware of the deterioration of the world around them and began to take steps to inform the public. In 1962 author Rachel Carson published her book ‘Silent Spring,’ which painted the picture for the environmental decline and raised awareness about preserving the planet. The devastating oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969 was the final push Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson needed to launch his campaign for safer industrial practices.

The First Earth Day

Senator Gaylord introduced his idea for a ‘national teach-in on the environment’ in 1970. He chose Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey to serve as his co-chair and Denis Hayes of Harvard University to serve as national coordinator. The team recruited 85 individuals to promote the Earth Day concept across the country.

On April 22, 1970, the United States celebrated the first Earth Day. More than 20 million people around the U.S. gathered together holding rallies, demonstrations and participating in activities to promote a clean and safe living environment. Children, adults, students young and old marched on government institutions pushing for new legislation to protect the Earth on local, state and national levels.

Earth Day 1970 saw unprecedented unity among Republicans, Democrats, and individuals of all social and economic backgrounds. Thanks to the efforts of the first Earth Day the United States Environmental Protection Agency was founded. Besides, the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act were all introduced and passed. It was the beginning of radical changes to better the environment.

Earth Day Why Celebrate Earth Day?

ince its inception in 1970, Earth Day continues to grow as a worldwide phenomenon focused on promoting clean living and a healthy, sustainable habitat for people and wildlife alike. Celebrating Earth Day serves as a conscious reminder of how fragile our planet is and how important it is to protect it. If it weren’t for Senator Nelson taking a stand in the 1970s, we may be still producing lead guzzling automobiles and expanding industrial production via smog, smoke, and waste. We celebrate Earth Day to continue promoting environmental awareness and to remind us that we can protect the earth in our everyday lives as well.

Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Home

Earth Day is something the entire family can celebrate together in a variety of ways at home and in the community.

  • Plant a tree: This is a great way to teach your children about the importance of trees. For example, trees produce oxygen and that’s something both humans and wildlife need to survive. However, hundreds of thousands of trees are cut down yearly in order to make room for new homes, shopping centers and other building projects. Planting a tree together can help restore the balance of the ecosystem and create a lasting memory for you and your family.
  • Pick up trash: Take a trip to your local park and teach your children how to pick up trash. Keeping the park clean is great for the environment and it makes the park more enjoyable for kids to play in.
  • Recycle: Earth Day is also a time to teach your children about recycling. This is an easy task that can be done at home by simply demonstrating how objects like paper, plastic, and aluminum can be recycled instead of thrown away. Involve your children by giving them a pile of trash to sort into the appropriate recycling bin. Recycling is another small way to make a big impact on the environment

There are various ways to celebrate Earth Day not only on April 22 but every day of the year. Keeping the environment clean, safe and enjoyable for all of its inhabitants is a full-time job that anyone can participate in. What ways will you be celebrating Earth Day this year? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Why The Humanity Post?

The World Health Organisation has named depression as the greatest cause of suffering worldwide. In the U.S., 1 out of 5 deals with depression or anxiety. For youth, that number increases to 1 in 3.

The good news is that 40% of our happiness can be influenced by intentional thoughts and actions, leading to life changing habits. It’s this 40% that The Humanity Post  help to impact.

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Environment

How does the energy industry impact the environment?

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How the energy industry impacts the environment
How does the energy industry impact the environment?

In Texas, the energy industry plays an important role, particularly when it comes to green energy. Because of the prominence coal, oil, and renewable energy play in the Lone Star State, concerns over CO2 emission levels are equally important.

Burning fossil fuels and producing cement account for about two-thirds of all carbon dioxide (CO2) and industrial methane released into the atmosphere since 1854. Although the U.S. has cut more CO2 emissions than any other nation and is on pace to meet a 2009 pledge to reduce CO2 emissions by 17% (from 2005 levels) this year, global carbon dioxide emissions have still reached the highest point in human history.

The Trump administration dismantled Obama-era regulations that would have required power producers to slash CO2 emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. China is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases (by a large margin). The United States comes in second.

The U.S. produces the second-largest amount of global emissions.
How does the energy industry impact the environment?

[Union of Concerned Scientists]

Coronavirus pandemic affects CO2 emissions

The impact on energy use and CO2 emissions due to the coronavirus pandemic has had major implications on global economies. In the first quarter of 2020, while many countries remained in full or partial lock down, energy demand declined by 3.8 percent.

The hardest hit industries include:

  • Coal. Global demand for coal fell by almost eight percent, compared to the same time in 2019. Low-priced gas and the continued growth in renewables globally, as well as mild weather across the U.S., capped coal use.
  • Oil. Demand for oil was down almost five percent in the first quarter of 2020. This was mainly due to shelter-in-place orders and reduced air travel due to COVID-19. Since air travel accounts for nearly 60 percent of oil demand globally, the impact on the demand for oil was significant.
  • Gas. Although not impacted to the same degree as coal or oil, gas still saw a two percent reduction in demand in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Electricity. Experts estimate the demand for electricity since the COVID-19 lockdown has decreased by about 20 percent. However, residential demand for electricity actually saw an increase and far outweighed the reduction in commercial and industrial operations as businesses remained closed.
  • Renewables.  This is the only energy source that saw an uptick in demand.

Energy companies step up to address climate change

Every year the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) addresses how the industry impacts changing weather patterns and greenhouse gas emissions. An increase in droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes, climbing temperatures, and rising sea levels have energy companies scrambling to address the consequences of climate change on weather patterns and the environment.

However, in the past six months, climate change has taken a backseat to COVID-19-related conversation. Even so, according to the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, nearly a dozen energy companies world-wide have agreed to cut the output of emissions by 36 million to 52 million tonnes (a metric unit of mass equal to 1,000 kilograms) per year by 2025.

Energy-related CO2 Emissions from Industry, 2019

This shows energy-related emissions from the energy industry.
[The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions]

How are CO2 emissions produced?

Industries produce products and raw materials for use every day. The greenhouse gas emissions that industries emit are split into two categories, direct emissions and indirect emissions. The emissions come from the use of machines, computers, processing raw materials, heating and cooling buildings, use of petroleum in production, chemical reactions, and more.

  • Direct emissions are produced on-site at the facility
  • Indirect emissions are produced off-site and result from a facility using energy.

It’s difficult to weigh the cost to reduce greenhouse gasses to companies over time. Obviously, the long-term gains to the environment will far outweigh short-term expenses. There is no economy-wide tax on carbon. Instead, greenhouse gas mitigation policies provide subsidies aimed at certain technologies, like solar and wind generation and biofuels.

The role of renewable energy

Although all sources of energy have an impact on the environment, renewable energy – solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass – have substantially less. However, that’s not to say that renewable energy has no environmental impact.

Wind.  Wind power produces no global warming emissions or toxic pollutants. However, wind power can impact wildlife, birds, and natural habitats.  Land use and copper consumption can also cause issues for the environment.

Solar. Solar power produces electricity from the sun, which is cost-effective and leaves little impact on the environment. However, it can have an impact on greenhouse emissions with the use of hazardous materials during manufacture.

Geothermal. Geothermal plants use technology to convert resources from deep within the earth’s crust to electricity. Depending on the technology used, it can affect emission levels in the air.

Biomass. Both biomass power plants and fossil fuel power plants use combustion of a feedstock, like agricultural waste, forest products, and manure to generate electricity. How the biomass is generated and harvested can affect land use and add to global warming.

What can you do?

While you may not be able to influence large companies to change manufacturing processes, there are a few things you can do to stamp out even a small portion of greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions.

  1. Use your own reusable bottle or cup for water or coffee.
  2. Replace efficient bulbs in your home.
  3. Keep your thermostat a few degrees warmer or cooler.
  4. Recycle.
  5. Turn off lights when you leave the room.
  6. Walk or bike to work.
  7. Don’t select one-day shipping unless necessary.
  8. Get outdoors, but pick up your litter.
  9. Use the SaveOnEnergy marketplace to find and compare renewable energy plans and rates available in your area.

Kathryn Pomroy is a freelance journalist from Minnesota who has written for dozens of major publications, magazines, and many well-known person finance companies. She is also knowledgeable in energy-related topics like renewable energy, climate change and greenhouse emissions. Kathryn holds a BA in Journalism.

Source : SaveonEnergy

Energy industry impacts on the environment

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Science

Chinese Rocket Segment Plunges Back To Earth, Crashes Near Maldives

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Beijing:

A large segment of a Chinese rocket re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated over the Indian Ocean on Sunday, the Chinese space agency said, following fevered speculation over where the 18-tonne object would come down.

Officials in Beijing had said there was little risk from the free falling segment of the Long March-5B rocket, which had launched the first module of China’s new space station into Earth orbit on April 29.

But the US space agency NASA and some experts said China had behaved irresponsibly, as an uncontrolled re-entry of such a large object risked damage and casualties.

“After monitoring and analysis, at 10:24 (0224 GMT) on May 9, 2021, the last-stage wreckage of the Long March 5B Yao-2 launch vehicle has re-entered the atmosphere,” the China Manned Space Engineering Office said in a statement, providing coordinates for a point in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives.

It added that most of the segment disintegrated and was destroyed during descent.

The US military’s Space Command said the rocket “re-entered over the Arabian Peninsula at approximately 10:15 pm EDT on May 8 (0215 GMT Sunday)”.

“It is unknown if the debris impacted land or water.”

Monitoring service Space-Track, which uses US military data, said that the location in Saudi Arabia was where American systems last recorded it.

“Operators confirm that the rocket actually went into the Indian Ocean north of the Maldives,” it tweeted.

The segment’s descent matched expert predictions that any debris would have splashed down into the ocean, given that 70 percent of the planet is covered by water.

Because it was an uncontrolled descent, there was widespread public interest and speculation about where the debris would land.

American and European space authorities were among those tracking the rocket and trying to predict its re-entry.

Accusations of negligence

Objects generate immense amounts of heat and friction when they enter the atmosphere, which can cause them to burn up and disintegrate. But larger ones such as the Long March-5B may not be destroyed entirely.

Their wreckage can land on the surface of the planet and may cause damage and casualties, though that risk is low.

Last year, debris from another Chinese Long March rocket fell on villages in the Ivory Coast, causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths.

That, and the one that came down Sunday, are tied for the fourth-biggest objects in history to undergo an uncontrolled re-entry, according to data from Harvard-based astronomer Jonathan McDowell.

The uncertainty and risks of such a re-entry sparked accusations that Beijing had behaved irresponsibly.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin suggested last week that China had been negligent, and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson echoed that after the re-entry on Sunday.

“Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations,” Nelson said in a statement.

“It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.”

China’s space ambitions

To avoid such scenarios, some experts have recommended a redesign of the Long March-5B rocket — which is not equipped for a controlled descent.

“An ocean reentry was always statistically the most likely,” McDowell tweeted.

“It appears China won its gamble (unless we get news of debris in the Maldives). But it was still reckless.”

Chinese authorities had downplayed the risk, however.

“The probability of causing harm to aviation activities or (on people and activities) on the ground is extremely low,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday.

Beijing has poured billions of dollars into space exploration to boost its global stature and technological might.

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EU Plans to Raise €20bn a Year to Protect Biodiversity

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New procedure to ensure nature incorporates extensive living space assurances, and limitations on pesticide use – however campaigners caution requirement is critical

Credit:GettyImages

The European Commission has focused on securing 30% of the EU’s property and seas by 2030 as a feature of the European Green Deal, in an arrangement probably invited by environment groups who cautioned sweeping aspirations must not just exist “on paper”.

The EU believes that recovery from COVID-19 with biodiversity in mind will be key to restoring the health of both the environment and the economy.

The proposed methodology focuses around setting up restricting focuses to re-establish harmed environments and waterways and bringing back pollinators to agraricultural land, while diminishing contamination, greening its urban communities, improving natural and biodiverse cultivating.

In its push to improve forests wellbeing, some portion of the arrangement is to actualize stricter assurances and rebuilding projectss for the staying essential and old development backwoods of Europe as ahead of schedule as one year from now.

This is especially important when researchers suggest that 60% of species assessed on the continent are in decline.

For The Future

Biodiversity will receive another head start as the EU proposes changes to the agricultural landscape of Europe in a way that supports wildlife and pollinators. Such changes would include creating “high-diversity landscapes” in 10% of Europe’s farming acreage by hosting features like ponds, hedgerows, buffer strips between fields, and fallow land.

Some experts are skeptical, but hopeful, the changes are implemented.

“It’s a big if, but then you are starting to look at healthy agriculture that can provide habitats for farmland birds and butterflies but also agriculture that can actually provide food at the end of the century,” Ariel Brunner, senior head of policy at Brussel’s BirdLife International said to the Guardian.

Wildlife in France, by Martina Misar-Tummeltshammer

The 2030 strategy would reinforce Europe’s natural plasticity by dealing with agriculture and fisheries using the Farm to Fork strategy.

“The strategy sets concrete targets to transform the EUs food system, including a reduction by 50% of the use and risk of pesticides, a reduction by at least 20% of the use of fertilizers, a reduction by 50% in sales of antimicrobials used for farmed animals and aquaculture, and reaching 25% of agricultural land under organic farming,” reads the report.

The European Commission, which has position to authorize European law, closes wraps up by approaching the European Parliament and Council to embrace the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity gauges by 2021.

Credits:TheGuardian

Why The Humanity Post?

The World Health Organisation has named depression as the greatest cause of suffering worldwide. In the U.S., 1 out of 5 deals with depression or anxiety. For youth, that number increases to 1 in 3.

The good news is that 40% of our happiness can be influenced by intentional thoughts and actions, leading to life changing habits. It’s this 40% that The Humanity Post  help to impact.

Continue Reading

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