At the present time many issues that are of interest to the general public have an environmental dimension. This ranges from natural and human-caused disasters to concerns about climate change and energy needs. The discussion of environmental topics was probably not very prominent in the formal education of most citizens so other modes of communication and participation have developed over recent years. This includes the work of various advocacy groups as well as museums, zoos and other informal education venues. The EoE aims to provide accurate environmental information to assist readers at all levels in making personal choices that relate to our world.
Libya is a nation of six-and-three-quarters million people in North Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt to the east and Tunisia and Algeria to the...
Ancient history of HanukkahLast Updated on 2013-12-06 09:44:53The ancient history of Hanukkah is set in the period of Greek domination over the Holy Land. Following severe oppression by the Greek ruler Antiochus, the Jewish people rose up and restored the Temple to its previous glory. Hanukkah, however, is not simply a celebration of this restoration of the self determination of the Jewish people, but really celebrates the accompanying miracle of the ceremonial olive oil flame that outlasted any expectation of extinction. Furthermore, Hanukkah, alternatively Chanukkah, is the Jewish holiday carried forward by oral history, not within the Torah, and thus is the Jewish holiday most uniquely of the Jewish people, as opposed to other Jewish holidays documented in the Torah and nurtured by the rabbinical culture.
Alexander the Great (356 – 323 BCE) conquered extensive lands in the Middle East including the historic homeland of the Jews,... More »
Vertical farmingLast Updated on 2013-10-24 00:26:41
The advent of agriculture ushered in an unprecedented increase in the human population and their domesticated animals. Farming catalyzed the transformation of hunter-gatherers into urban dwellers. Today, over 800 million hectares is committed to agriculture, or about 38% of the total landmass of the Earth. Farming has re-arranged the landscape in favor of cultivated fields and herds of cattle, and has occurred at the expense of natural ecozones, reducing most of them to fragmented, semi-functional units, while completely eliminating others. Undeniably, a reliable food supply has allowed for a healthier life style for most of the civilized world, while the very act of farming has created new health hazards.
For example, the transmission of numerous infectious disease agents - avian influenza, rabies, yellow fever, dengue fever, malaria, trypanosomiasis, hookworm,... More »
Ecological footprintLast Updated on 2013-10-22 19:06:50
Ecological Footprint is defined as a resource accounting framework for measuring human demand on the biosphere.
The human economy is embedded in the biosphere and is entirely dependent on its ecological services. In consuming nature’s products and services, people have an impact on the Earth. But since nature has the ability to renew, it can cope with human demand as long as this demand stays within the regenerative capacity of the biosphere.
Ecological Footprint accounting documents the extent to which human economies stay within the regenerative capacity of the planet, and who uses which portion of this capacity. They answer the research question of how much of the regenerative capacity of the biosphere is occupied by a given human activity.
Such biophysical resource accounting is possible because resources and waste flows can be tracked, and most of these flows can be... More »
Indicators of sustainable developmentLast Updated on 2013-10-22 00:10:20
Indicators attempt to convey a broader image than the underlying statistics would suggest. For instance, the average life expectancy of an infant is usually taken to indicate the public health of a population. The purpose of selecting one or more indicators for describing a broader subject is to reduce information overload for data users. The strength and weakness of indicators lie in their selection, which facilitates decision-making but also opens the door to data manipulation.
The alternative is aggregation of statistics and indicators into compound indices. Aggregation methods include the calculation of weighted or unweighted averages, summation in accounts and balances and mathematical reduction of correlated indicators by factor analysis.
Indicator lists of varying length seek to capture the different – economic, environmental, social and institutional –... More »
Freeway proximity and autism?Last Updated on 2013-09-14 23:34:22This study examined the association between autism and proximity of residence to freeways and major roadways during pregnancy and near the time of delivery, as a surrogate for air pollution exposure.
This research article, written by Heather E. Volk, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Lora Delwiche, Fred Lurmann, and Rob McConnell* appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth.
Residential Proximity to Freeways and
Autism in the CHARGE Study
Background: Little is known about environmental causes and contributing factors for autism. Basic science and... More »
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