AMERICAJR NETWORK :: COACH'S CORNER PRO SHOP :: SAND CREEK RECORDS :: LIFE MADE EASY

:: DETROIT, MICHIGAN USA << >> LIVE STOCK TICKER :: MESSAGE BOARDS ::
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

COPYRIGHT

© 2009 AmericaJR.com.
All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.
 

AMERICAJR EMAIL

Email Login
Password
New users
sign up!

Detroit's Only FREE E-mail Provider

 
Find a Job
Keywords:
Location:
Job category:
 

SPONSOR

Banner
 

SPONSOR

Get your NHL hockey tickets such as Detroit Red Wings Tickets, Detroit Pistons tickets if you like NBA, as well as Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Orange Bowl Tickets for exciting college football. 
 

SPONSOR

<< News >>

Environmental News

"EARTH TALK"

From the Editors of E / The Environmental Magazine

THIS WEEK'S COLUMN

Dear EarthTalk: I read that a single child born in the U.S. has a greater effect on the environment than a dozen children born in a developing country. Can you explain why?
—Josh C., via e-mail

With less than 5 percent of world population, the U.S. uses a third of the world’s paper, a quarter of the oil, coal and aluminum, and 19 percent of the copper. The U.S. ranks highest by a considerable margin in most consumer categories as well.

Photo © Comstock/Thinkstock

It is well known that Americans consume far more natural resources and live much less sustainably than people from any other large country of the world. “A child born in the United States will create thirteen times as much ecological damage over the course of his or her lifetime than a child born in Brazil,” reports the Sierra Club’s Dave Tilford, adding that the average American will drain as many resources as 35 natives of India and consume 53 times more goods and services than someone from China.

Tilford cites a litany of sobering statistics showing just how profligate Americans have been in using and abusing natural resources. For example, between 1900 and 1989 U.S. population tripled while its use of raw materials grew by a factor of 17. “With less than 5 percent of world population, the U.S. uses one-third of the world’s paper, a quarter of the world’s oil, 23 percent of the coal, 27 percent of the aluminum, and 19 percent of the copper,” he reports. “Our per capita use of energy, metals, minerals, forest products, fish, grains, meat, and even fresh water dwarfs that of people living in the developing world.”

He adds that the U.S. ranks highest in most consumer categories by a considerable margin, even among industrial nations. To wit, American fossil fuel consumption is double that of the average resident of Great Britain and two and a half times that of the average Japanese. Meanwhile, Americans account for only five percent of the world’s population but create half of the globe’s solid waste.

Americans’ love of the private automobile constitutes a large part of their poor ranking. The National Geographic Society’s annual Greendex analysis of global consumption habits finds that Americans are least likely of all people to use public transportation—only seven percent make use of transit options for daily commuting. Likewise, only one in three Americans walks or bikes to their destinations, as opposed to three-quarters of Chinese. While China is becoming the world’s leader in total consumption of some commodities (coal, copper, etc.), the U.S. remains the per capita consumption leader for most resources.

Overall, National Geographic’s Greendex found that American consumers rank last of 17 countries surveyed in regard to sustainable behavior. Furthermore, the study found that U.S. consumers are among the least likely to feel guilty about the impact they have on the environment, yet they are near to top of the list in believing that individual choices could make a difference.

Paradoxically, those with the lightest environmental footprint are also the most likely to feel both guilty and disempowered. “In what may be a major disconnect between perception and behavior, the study also shows that consumers who feel the guiltiest about their impact—those in China, India and Brazil—actually lead the pack in sustainable consumer choices,” says National Geographic’s Terry Garcia, who coordinates the annual Greendex study. “That’s despite Chinese and Indian consumers also being among the least confident that individual action can help the environment.”

Readers can discover how they stack up by taking a survey on National Geographic’s Greendex website. But brace yourself if you are a typical American: You might not like what you find out about yourself.

CONTACTS: Sierra Club’s “Sustainable Consumption”; National Geographic Society’s Greendex.

 
 

 

Dear EarthTalk: I heard of an effort to save what are being called “BioGems.” What are BioGems and what is being done about them?
—Larry Dibner, Tallahassee, FL

The Natural Resources Defense Council launched its BioGems Initiative in an effort to safeguard special places that face an imminent threat of destruction, from pristine coastlines to ancient forests to unspoiled habitats and the wildlife that thrive in them. Pictured: a Yellowstone Buffalo in winter.

Photo © Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock

“BioGems,” a term created by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), describe the most endangered natural treasures around the Americas. NRDC selects special places in our hemisphere that face an imminent threat of destruction, from pristine coastlines that could become industrial ports to ancient forests that could be stripped of trees to unspoiled wildlife habitats that could be sacrificed to oil and gas drilling. “Our imperiled BioGems are irreplaceable remnants of wilderness that curb global warming, preserve biodiversity and provide sanctuary for rare and extraordinary wildlife, from threatened polar bears to endangered gray whales,” reports NRDC.

NRDC launched its BioGems Initiative back in 2001 as a way to harness the power of online citizen activism to help save threatened lands. The group mobilizes its 1.3 million members and online activists “to bring overwhelming pressure to bear on governments and companies bent on industrializing the world’s last wild places.”

Never afraid of a little attention, NRDC has enlisted the help of several celebrity partners in championing the cause of saving the BioGems. Robert Redford is spearheading NRDC’s campaign to keep the Polar Bear Seas safe from oil drilling, while Pierce Brosnan is leading the charge to try to bring an end to the commercial slaughter of whales. The group has also brought the star power of Leonardo Di Caprio, Paul McCartney, Alec Baldwin, Seth Myers, Jason Mraz and others to bear for the sake of saving BioGems.

“Together, BioGems Defenders and our local partners on the ground have scored dozens of historic victories for the environment, proving that individuals can be a powerful force for conservation,” reports NRDC. Some of the campaign’s recent successes include: helping to persuade Iceland to call off its fin whale hunt for the second year in a row; protecting the last 340 beluga whales of Alaska’s Cook Inlet through filing a lawsuit; helping secure a breakthrough agreement for wild buffalo that allows them to roam outside Yellowstone National Park during the harsh winter months; and winning in court over trophy hunters keen on stripping the polar bear from its endangered status.

Currently NRDC is focusing on a half dozen primary BioGems campaigns: keeping Shell out of the American Arctic (unfortunately the company’s drills just went in); stopping Big Oil’s attack on whales in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and up and down the Atlantic seaboard; stopping the pipeline from Alberta’s tar sands to Texas refineries (Obama has kyboshed the pipeline for now); stopping the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska; and saving British Columbia’s Spirit Bear coast.

Individuals can get involved by customizing and sending pre-written e-mail messages to decision makers who are key to the particular locales in need of protection. NRDC will also gladly take donations of any size toward the BioGem campaign of the giver’s choosing. Of course, telling your friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members what you have learned about the potential despoliation of natural treasures, many in our own backyard, is also a big help.

CONTACT: www.savebiogems.org.

A SYNDICATED COLUMN ONLY ON AMERICAJR.COM

 

 

 

 

 

SEND IN YOUR QUESTIONS...

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php.

 

Find a Job
Keywords:
Location:
Job category:
 

>> Bookmark This Site Now! <<

doteasy.com - free web hosting. Free hosting with no banners.
 

Google
 
Web AmericaJR.com

 

BACK TO THE AMERICAJR ONLINE HOMEPAGE

Copyright © 2010 AmericaJR.com. All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.

AMERICAJR NETWORK :: COACH'S CORNER PRO SHOP :: SAND CREEK RECORDS :: LIFE MADE EASY