CAPS Blog - Leon Kolankiewicz

Awful Air Pollution

It Costs Billions of Dollars and Millions of Lives Annually A 2015 study in the scientific journal Nature found that outdoor air pollution causes 3.3 million premature deaths every year. More than two-thirds of these premature deaths occur in overpopulated, rapidly developing China (1.4 billion residents) and India (1.3 billion residents), amounting to an unplanned, unwanted, cruel form of...

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World’s Wilderness Disappearing

Another Dispatch from a Vanishing Realm “In Canada and Alaska there are still large expanses of virgin country, where nameless men by nameless rivers wander, and in strange valleys die strange deaths alone.”            - Aldo Leopold, “Wilderness,” from A Sand County Almanac, 1949 (Oxford University Press) Some years ago...

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Most Urgent Threats to Life on Earth Today

Global Warming Not Even in Top Five Nowadays, to hear some lightweight, so-called environmentalists yammer and yack, the one and only environmental cause is their holy war against global warming, a.k.a. climate change. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard activists and the media treat climate interchangeably with environment, as if the natural environment consists of nothing...

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Global Freak-Out on Inevitable Population Aging

Heads exploded around the world recently. What caused this sudden spate of multiple mass splatter incidents? Could it have been that President Obama suddenly had a change of heart and announced that henceforth “undocumented migrants” are to be called illegal aliens (what they actually are) and deported forthwith? That leading Republicans suddenly had a change of heart and announced...

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World Population Growth Is Speeding Up, Not Slowing Down; No Peak in Sight and Consequences Will Be Catastrophic

The world’s population grew by 89 million in 2015, according to the demographers at the respected Population Reference Bureau (PRB) in Washington, D.C., who have been compiling and analyzing demographic data since 1929. In mid-2016, we stand at approximately 7.4 billion people, and counting. Counting very rapidly, in fact. In 2015, there were 57 million deaths worldwide, far surpassed by a...

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National Park Service Celebrates First Century

Today Marks the NPS Centennial, 1916 to 2016 For the many lovers of America’s national parks, 2016 is a milestone. The agency entrusted with both preserving and promoting those parks – the “crown jewels” of the most extraordinary landscapes and historic sites in America – celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. That agency, the National Park Service (NPS), was...

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Our Home in the Heavens

Every August, in its annual journey around the Sun, our Earth passes through a stream of debris known as the Perseid cloud, stretching along the orbit of the Comet Swift-Tuttle. This comet, first discovered in 1862 by American astronomers Lewis Swift and Horace Parnell Tuttle, orbits the sun once every 133 years. The Perseid cloud is made up of small particles expelled by the comet; the particles...

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August 8 is Earth Overshoot Day

Today, Monday, August 8, is Earth Overshoot Day. This is the estimated date – as determined annually by the Global Footprint Network (GFN) – when humankind’s aggregate demand for natural resources and ecological services in the current year exceeds what Earth is able to regenerate in one year. GFN states that humanity is only able to run this deficit year after year by “...

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California’s Amazing Trees

When it comes to trees, California is a land of superlatives. It has always struck me as incredible that this one state can boast that it has the world’s tallest tree, the world’s largest tree and the world’s oldest tree. When it comes to diverse natural endowments, California is truly the Golden State. Botanist Steve Sillett measuring Hyperion in...

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My Tough Take on Immigration Has Been Tough on my Love Life

A Different Kind of Immigration Sob Story My immigrant Latina wife and I had been married for just two years when we had our first big fight. It was about immigration. But it was not some theoretical debate. It was personal and painful, cutting close to the bone. I had met this enchanting young Honduran beauty while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in her country, bewitched at first glance by...

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