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Science and Environment

Rena Fulgencio, editor

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Senior NOAA climatologist warns of change

“It was the best of times…” and it could easily become the worst of times, unless we act in response to the global warming of our planet. That’s the basic message of one of the world’s leading climate change scientist, Dr. Susan Solomon, who spoke March 2, 2009 at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa about “A Tale of Environmental Change: Something for Everyone about Climate Change and Climate Gridlock.”
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Are plug-in hybrids better for people and the environment?.

Dear EarthTalk: If you have an electric or plug-in hybrid car, you’re paying for electricity rather than gasoline all or most of the time. How does that cost compare to a gas-powered car’s cost-per-mile? And since the electricity may be generated from some other polluting source, does it really work out to be better for the environment?
—Kevin DeMarco, Milford, Connecticut

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Nation’s driving continually decreasing

As land and water become scarce, competition for these vital resources intensifies particularly between the wealthy and those who are poor and dispossessed. With population growth comes a shrinking of life-supporting resources. This shrinkage threatens the living standards of millions of people. Decreasing access to water, like shrinking access to land, discussed in the March 3 issue, is a prime source of social tension, especially in areas such as India and the Near East.
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Nation’s driving continually decreasing

Fewer and fewer miles are being traveled every year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. From Dec. 2007 to Dec. 2008, 3.7 billion fewer vehicle-miles were traveled, a 1.6 percent decrease. This is the second consecutive year the nation’s driving has continued to fall.
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Kailua’s beach eroding at an accelerating rate

In the last two to three years, Hawai‘i’s popular white-sand Kailua Beach has been dramatically affected by shoreline erosion and beach loss. Though Kailua Beach usually loses its shoreline at about a rate of one to three feet every year, in these past couple of years, Kailua Beach erosion rates have been as high as eight feet per year, which experts believe to be one of the highest rates in the state.
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Kailua beach

Web photo

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