Fisking some Green stats

A new column in the Dom Post is how to greenify your life. The column cites some stats to motivate you. Now I think it is very laudable to encourage recycling, use solar power etc etc but I also think one has to take care with some of the stats.

According to National Geographic, each year we’re losing 46,923 square kilometres of forest due to human activities. That’s an area the size of Panama. 

Firstly Panama is 75,517 square kms, not 46,923.  Also worth noting that the rate of deforestation is declining. I agree the rate is too high, and ideally any trees cut down should be replaced by new trees.

More than 50 percent of all living creatures on the earth reside in tropical rainforests, and they’re disappearing at a rate of 100 species per day. 

The 50% figure is fairly well established. The rate of disappearance is less so, as it is an estimate based on forests lost and average density of species. WWF say the rate of loss may be somewhere between 200 a year and 100,000 which is a daily rate of 0.5 to 274.

Average temperatures will increase by 2 – 6 degrees celcius by the end of the 21st century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current pace. 

Actually the IPCC range is from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees.

So all important issues, but be careful of getting the facts right.

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