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Environmental Issues

The dark underbelly of sustainable development: Agenda 21


Sustainable development has been the catchphrase of the environmental movement for over 20 years and rarely are underlying motives questioned. After all, a majority of people want a healthy future, free of pollutants and global warming where the earth is protected for ourselves and subsequent generations. There is a catch, however. The underpinnings of sustainable development are rooted in Agenda 21, a body of regulations inspired by the United Nations (UN) "Earth Summit" conference in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. At first glance, the agenda looks beneficial and harmless -- except for the fact that it sets forth a policy which strips individuals of freedom and controls private land unconstitutionally.

Cities alter weather for thousands of miles downwind, study finds


'Waste heat' from big metropolitan areas changes atmospheric systems, altering weather patterns for regions thousands of miles away. The finding helps explain why some regions have seen more warming than computer models predict.

Factory animal farms produce meat through routine torture and environmental destruction


Public and environmental health is being severely threatened through the institution of animal factory farming, which pollutes our water, air, soil and even our bodies with harmful chemicals and pollutants. Corporations now have taken over the practice of family farming and have developed cost-saving mass-production strategies that are not only dangerous to public health, but are also cruel to the animals being processed.

Accelerated Warming Driving Arctic Into New Volatile State


Global warming is rapidly driving the Arctic into a volatile state characterized by massive reductions in sea ice and snow cover, more extensive melting of the Greenland ice sheet, and a host of biological changes, according to a comprehensive report published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Wednesday.

Gulf spill harmed small fish, studies indicate


Two years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon well blowout, laboratory studies are finally offering clues to the spilled oil’s impact on sea life. Brief, very low exposures to oil were capable of killing many fish embryos and hatchlings, new studies show. Those that survived often exhibited major deformities that would diminish an animal’s fitness.

Slowing cargo ships cuts pollution near ports by more than half, study finds.


Slowing cargo vessels near coastlines by 10 to 15 miles per hour could dramatically cut ships’ air pollution, according to a new study. But only a few U.S. ports have initiated such efforts. A speed limit of 14 mph, down from the current cruising speeds of 25 to 29 mph, would cut nitrogen oxides – a main ingredient of smog – by 55 percent and soot by almost 70 percent. It also would reduce carbon dioxide – a potent greenhouse gas and key contributor to climate change – by 60 percent. With 100,000 ships carrying 90 percent of the world’s cargo, air pollution is a heavy burden for people living near ports, so slowing ships could improve their health, researchers say.