It may well be safer to cover your desk with African Violets and go outside to work.

African violet plant. Image — Wikimedia Commons.

Indoor air pollution or indoor air quality is an often over looked yet important factor in our health and well-being. The buildup of carbon dioxide from breathing and other chemicals released from cleaning agents and modern textiles can reach unhealthy levels. Importantly indoor air pollution also applies to the interior of your car and truck. The most effective factor here is adequate ventilation, even with the loss of cool or heated air.

Indoor air pollution in low- and middle-income countries results from the burning of wood, charcoal and kerosene on indoor open cooking fires or poorly vented stoves leads to…

Promoted by West African governments and environment and development NGOs for arable land restoration and reforestation.

Woman farmer with machete making holes to plant seeds. Image — Pxfuel Creative Commons.

Declining agricultural productivity, land clearance and climate change are features of the marginal rural lands of dryland West Africa and have made the population vulnerable to food shortages. One land rehabilitation method that has come from the farmers themselves, is Farmer Managed Natural Restoration FMNR. The aim of FMNR is to provide sustained food production, through reforestation, conservation of soils and protection of biological diversity, and together increase productivity (Cunningham & Abasse, 2005).

FMNR, promoted by West African governments and environment and development non-government organizations, is a form of agroforestry using natural regeneration of woody plants in mixed farming. Rather…

We’ve controlled pollutants before, we should be able to fix carbon dioxide as well.

London smog 1952. Public bus with Police motorcycle escort. Image — Flickr Creative Commons.

We have controlled and reduced major environmental pollutants before. Supplying clean water and sanitation, smog, acid rain, the hole in the ozone layer, have resulted in environmental control success, even if not completely fixed. Below are outlines of controlling 3 pollutants, I hope this will encourage our current efforts to control carbon dioxide levels.

The common theme through these and other environmental examples is the slowness to take corrective action, by the polluting industries and of the legislative pollution control by governments. Climate change mitigation and adaptation has been facing a similar slow progress, we only have to look to…

Is inflation needed to pay off State debt?

Economist model. Image — Creative Commons.

Most world economies are based on growth, more people, more production and consumption, and more use of natural resources. A country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, is a measure of its economy and it is seen as desirable for the GDP to increase. Increasing GDP often comes with increasing inflation, which reduces the dollar value of State debt which in turn makes it easier to pay off past debt.

Economics is a social science dealing with production and consumption of goods and services. Major economic systems are either controlled by governments, or are controlled by markets, that is supply and demand…

Do we know?

Human population decreasing, mitigating climate problems and also allowing other species to survive. Image by author.

The world human population was estimated to be 7,713,468,000 in 2019, with Africa having 1.3Billion, Asia 4.6B, Europe 747Million, Latin America and the Caribbean 648M, Northern America 366M and Oceania 42M (United Nations, 2021). Some estimates put the world population expected increase to be 2.5billion people by 2050. Is there a limit to human population growth and the associated economic growth and use of resources on our planet? This has long been a debate.

There are different views, for example:

  • The population is too high and we have already exceeded some of our planetary boundaries by degrading earth’s life support…

The potential of whales to capture carbon is truly startling.

Ban Whaling, people sign Japanese flag to stop whaling, Melbourne, 2007. Image — John Englart, Flickr, Creative Commons.

One whale is worth thousands of trees, begins a December 2019 journal article by Chami and others, titled ‘Nature’s Solution to Climate Change’. The article proposes the strategy of fixing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by increasing the whale population, particularly the great whales, the baleen and sperm whales.

Each great whale can fix on average 30 tons of carbon, taking carbon out of the atmosphere and at the end of its 60-year life that carbon sinks to the bottom of the ocean, where it supports deep sea ecosystems and is incorporated into the ocean sediment.

Present whale populations…

No, it is odorless, colorless and tasteless but poisonous.

Whaling in the Southern Ocean. Image — Wikimedia Commons.

It contains lead and mercury.

Burning coal. Image — Wikimedia Commons.

Air pollution results from burning coal, releasing lead and mercury particulate matter into the atmosphere, and other metals, arsenic, chromium, cobalt, cadmium and selenium. Arsenic, chromium and selenium are needed by our bodies in trace amounts only, but cadmium, lead and mercury are toxic at any amount (Imin, et al., 2020; Dunnivant, 2017).

Also released are uranium and thorium creating a major source of radioactivity. These pollutants are largely trapped and sequestered in western powerplants, although the problem of polluted fly ash remains, but are not always captured in India (Agarwalla et al., 2021), and are reducing in China after…

We all live downstream, potentially from someone’s waste.

Desert stream, Sabino Canyon Arizona. Image — Robert Nunnally, Flickr, Creative Commons.

One of the most important factors to address in a changing climate is protecting the world’s fresh water supply. Many areas of the world have experienced reduced precipitation from 1951 to 2010, as reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Our essential and reducing water supply needs protection from pollution by human sewerage, industrial waste and agricultural run-off throughout the world.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, SDG 6, is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Peter Miles

Peter Miles B.Env.Sc. 45 years in Environmental Science, specializing in Wildlife and Conservation Biology. Writes about Animals, Revegetation & Climate Change.

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