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Monday · June 23 2003

Cecil Adams' column answers questions from people freaked out by urban legends and all across the board to indepth scientific explanations for the incessantly curious. In other words, Cecil tells me the things I need to know. Friday's article asked for the straight dope on the seemingly bloated, gloom and doom environmental statistics that you see on T-shirts or public service announcements:

Today we added 265,000 babies, lost 7,500 acres of rain forest, added 46,000 acres of desert, lost 71 million tons of topsoil, added 15 million tons of carbon dioxide to the air, lost about 70 species--and we get to do it again tomorrow.
His explanations of the numbers are out of context (215 million tons of topsoil sounds like alot, but I have nothing to compare it to. And how much of that is due to civilization's invasiveness?), but he makes his point. The numbers aren't just as bad as we hear, they are most likely worse.

© 2003 Jason Keglovitz