Between pollution, extreme weather, and other natural events, the climate we live in can affect us greatly. This means it is also rather easy for those who wish to play on our primal fears, or foster misunderstanding, to spread untruths. All of the clickbait put forward by the news media, or by conspiracy theorists may be entertaining on a perverse level, but that doesn’t make it true.
10. There Was Never A Serious Honey Bee Shortage
A number of years ago a hysteria started up in the news and social media that claimed the bees were disappearing. According to the breathless coverage, if something wasn’t done soon, the crops would all die — dooming us to a horrible death of mass starvation. Environmental groups used it to fundraise, and many people who were enthusiastic and owned land decided to start up beekeeping as a hobby in order to help save the world.
While many of these people and agencies are well intentioned, the problem is that the whole thing is bunk. There have been scientific papers and concerns about pesticides since the ’90s, but the predicted damage simply has not occurred. Now, it is true that the bee industry faces some challenges, such as diseases that regularly affect bees. However, there are more bees than ever and the population is stable. The fact is that bees are not as wild as some people think nor are they even native to North America. They were brought here from Europe to help make honey and pollinate crops, but they are an artificially managed species and they are very well managed. While all agricultural industries have their challenges, there is no reason to think the current challenges facing the bee industry are something they cannot handle.
9. The Bermuda Triangle Does Not Cause An Excessive Amount Of Accidents
The Bermuda Triangle has become so entrenched in the popular imagination as a place of mystery and danger that most people argue about what causes the dangers in the Bermuda Triangle, and not whether they exist or not. However, the less interesting reality is that there is nothing special at all going on with the area known as the Bermuda Triangle. First, it is important to understand that officially the place is not even recognized or seen as important enough to note in any way, beyond answering the rumors. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does not even map it officially.
Now, conspiracy theorists may see this as nothing more than evidence of a coverup, there is no evidence that more accidents occur in that part of the ocean than any other heavily trafficked region. The truth is that the whole thing was made up back in the 1970s and the original publication about it was riddled with errors. Among other things it cited incidents that happened in other parts of the ocean, incidents that never occurred at all, and incidents that had happened in severe storms that the publication mysteriously failed to mention. Don’t get us wrong, the ocean itself can be a dangerous place and so can the Bermuda Triangle — it just isn’t anything special in that respect.
8. Many People Think We Need Trees To Get More Oxygen, But It Is Far More Complicated
When the Brazilian Rainforest caught fire many celebrities around the world made social media posts and even a fair number of global politicians weighed in as well. Everyone was worried because the Amazon Rainforest is the Earth’s lungs and supplies 20% of the world’s oxygen. This claim was passed around breathlessly by many well known media outlets, and it has been accepted as fact. However, the claim is simply not true.
Now, it is true that the Amazon Rainforest does produce a lot of oxygen, but it also uses up almost as much to sustain itself. The majority of the earth’s oxygen actually comes from the oceans, roughly 50% of it. However, the interesting thing is that much of this oxygen is also used by its own ecosystem. The truth is much of the oxygen we breathe has accumulated in the atmosphere for hundreds of millions of years from nearly all plants, not just trees. The fact that most of the things that produce oxygen also consume almost as much of it makes sense when you stop to think about it. We actually breathe a very complex mix of gasses, not just pure oxygen. If life produced too much oxygen without using it up, we fould quickly be in just as much danger as not having enough.
7. The Congressman Who Allegedly Called Wind A Finite Resource Was Misquoted
Back in the early 2010s, Congressman Joe Barton found himself the subject of memes making fun of him. The memes claimed that he was nothing more than a big, dumb shill for the fossil fuel giants, and knew nothing about science. He was mocked for allegedly saying that wind power would slow the wind down, and heat up the Earth — he was also accused of saying that wind was a finite resource. Many people called him anti-science, and questioned how such a man should find himself with power over decisions involving a country’s energy supply.
The thing is, he actually stated that wind energy — not the wind itself — was a finite resource. More importantly, he was directly quoting a paper which was concerned about the potential effects of mass amounts of wind power. The paper had posited that if the earth had as much as 10% or more of its energy from the wind alone, the huge scale could potentially cause a very small change in the earth’s temperature. Congressman Barton actually did not even state whether he thought such a thing would happen, but was suggesting it as a possibility. As for the veracity of the paper, ther have been mixed studies on it since — but researchers seem to agree that mass wind power would have some negative effects, they would just be less harmful than fossil fuels.
6. People Tend to Misunderstand That Overpopulation Doesn’t Just Mean Density of People
Overpopulation is a very controversial topic among most people, and tends to bring up very strong opinions. Unfortunately, some of the people who have strong opinions about it misunderstand what it really means. Many people think that overpopulation is about having too dense an amount of people in an area, snarling up traffic, and crowding the sidewalks. While an area like this could be overpopulated, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is at all. The reason is because overpopulation is not about the density of people per square footage, but about whether the area all those people live in has the resources to support them.
This is because overpopulation is actually tied to carrying capacity, which is how many people the earth, or an area of the earth, can sustain at any given time. Now, this may sound relatively simple to calculate, but it can actually get quite complex. Humans don’t always behave predictably, which makes modeling hard, and many times when people have predicted mass food shortages, human beings simply found ways to make more food to keep up with the increasing population. This makes the whole concept very controversial even among experts, as there are wildly varying opinions on how the problem should be solved — with the range running from limiting population growth artificially, to technology that simply makes more food.
5. Cow Farts Are Not Hurting The Environment, But Unfortunately Their Belches Are
If a vegan is trying to convince you to stop eating beef and you won’t listen to arguments about ethics, they will point out that even if you don’t care about the factory farming aspects, you should care about the fact that cow farming is having an incredibly negative impact on the environment. They will tell you about how cow farts are creating 40% of methane emissions which are obviously really bad for the environment. The claim about cow farts has become the stuff of legend, and some people have even suggested putting filters on their butts, but the problem actually comes from their burps.
These methane burps come as part of the cows natural digestive process, which happens in its first stomach called the ruminant. Now, while the vegans do have a point, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t keep our cows, whether it is for milk or beef. Scientists have been working for years on a way to greatly decrease methane production from cows, and while past methods weren’t successful, there are multiple promising methods being tested today that could solve the problem once and for all.
4. The Yellowstone Caldera Is Actually Extremely Unlikely To Erupt Anytime Soon
A favorite among those who think the world is doomed and love to shout about it is to claim that the Yellowstone Caldera is long overdue for an eruption. The claim is that when it does erupt, it will be so catastrophic that it will essentially end the United States of America. Some people even go so far as to claim that it will be such a tremendously powerful super volcano that it will wipe out all of humanity.
The thing is, while it may not be nearly as exciting, there really isn’t any danger of the Yellowstone Caldera dooming all of us anytime soon. The United States is not in any danger, and the world certainly isn’t. The fact is the dangers have been overblown and there is no evidence that it is overdue for an eruption. If it did erupt, more than likely it would be a smaller magma flow, as there is only 15% liquid left out of the magma remaining in the Caldera. As for whether it could erupt extremely far in the future and cause a super volcano event, that is possible, but it would not doom humanity. Supervolcano events have occurred at least twice before while humans were on the planet, and we are still here.
3. There Is No Reason To Believe We Are In Danger Of An Asteroid Impact
In recent years the news has become increasingly strident about the dangers of an asteroid impact on the earth. Perhaps playing off our fears of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs millions of years ago, as well as all the movies that have primed us to worry about such a disaster, it has become a common way to get cheap clicks.
However, while it all sounds incredibly terrifying, there really isn’t any truth in it. While there was an asteroid impact that destroyed the dinosaurs millions of years ago, and there could be another major asteroid impact one day, there is no reason to expect one anytime soon. The next one that may even come close is not predicted until at least 2185, and the chance of that one hitting us is about 0.2%. As for what would happen if we live that long and one gets close — you really don’t need to worry about that either. NASA and other world governments space programs are tracking asteroids that get near earth, and are already developing strategies that could be tested in an emergency, to knock them off course before they could ever strike earth.
2. A Pole Shift Could Be Coming, But It Would Not Be World Ending
In recent years the fears of a pole shift destroying humanity have become greater and greater. The news, along with alternative science sites have picked it up in order to get clicks, and the movie 2012 while talking about Mayan predictions, was basically an attempt at showing what would happen if a pole shift happened in the span of about 24 hours. Many people have been understandably scared by the hype, and are worried that one day soon, life as we know it could come to an end.
Thankfully for those of us who don’t wish to die a horrible death, there isn’t any truth to the rumors. A geomagnetic reversal has happened before and will happen again, but it is hard to predict when exactly. What we do know is that when it does happen, it is unlikely to cause us any serious harm; as they have never caused mass extinction events before. As for what effects it could have, they would likely be slow, over time effects. Animals who rely on magnetic fields might struggle for a bit, and we could have increased radiation to worry about, but nothing catastrophic. As for the kind of effects we saw in 2012, it is utterly unrealistic, as a pole shift simply would not affect the climate that way.
1. Bit Mining May Be Trendy, But It Is Causing Serious Environmental Harm
Many people think of bit mining as the way of the future, and tend to think that it simply will always be there. However, China has already banned all cryptocurrencies entirely, and it is possible the rest of the world will follow suit — and not for the reason many would expect. The fact is that while governments are concerned about it being hard to trace, even more concerning is the environmental impact of mining crypto currencies.
The problem is that in order to get new bitcoins, you have to mine them by running your computer to solve a sort of puzzle to verify the proof of the bitcoin you are “mining”. This takes up an incredible amount of electricity, so much so that it is becoming globally noticeable. A single bitcoin transaction uses up about as much energy as most American homes use in a month, and power plants are starting to be bought up by private investors just to mine bitcoin. And to put the whole thing in perspective, the amount of energy being used around the world for bit mining is about 132 terawatts, which is similar to the yearly energy output of the country of Norway. While crypto companies are trying to find a way to clean up their act, they had better do it fast, before they get the ground cut out from underneath them as already happened in China.