Humans are dangerously pushing the limits of our planet in ways other than climate change

Our planet is relatively massive, but it is a world of finite resources and we are quickly approaching our limits. The planetary boundaries framework establishes how safely humanity can operate within Earth’s biological and physical limitations before undermining our own ability to survive. This is why when burning fossil fuels causes global heating, scientists warn about the safe upper limits of climate change....

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We have no idea if pesticide protections for bees actually work — a serious issue for conservation

Pesticides are slowly wiping bees off the face of the Earth, yet scientists are still unable to come up with evidence-based ways to protect them. That isn’t for a lack of trying — many different tactics are being trialed, but widespread success remains elusive. And this problem is severe, given that many of our agricultural food products — from x to y to z — rely on pollinators like bees....

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Should we pay people to take care of nature? A possible solution to the mass extinction crisis

Approximately one million species currently face extinction because of human activity. Even for humans who do not value nature for its own sake, the impending wave of extinctions is a serious crisis. One out of five people rely on wild species for their jobs or for food, and billions more use wood for cooking and other day-to-day activities....

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“Secrets of the Elephants” reveals their uncanny ability to grieve and empathize

Tolstoy used to be a formidable elephant: Massive in size, revered by the young bulls, and with tusks so long they touched the ground. When he was alive, Tolstoy had been more than just some random animal. He was a beloved member of a close-knit community filled with colorful personalities.

That is why when he died – the victim of a spear wound inflicted while he had been innocently searching for food — other elephants visited his body to pay their respects. ...

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Your water may be full of “forever chemicals” — and the EPA isn’t even testing for many of them

The term “forever chemical” might sound ominous, but there is a good reason for that. Formally known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), so-called forever chemicals are used in hundreds of common products for water-proofing and stain-resistance. They’re also linked to a tremendous number of health problems, including liver and fertility issues....

Originally posted on salon.com