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Earth Talk
EarthTalk
Written by From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine   
Monday, 15 June 2009 10:07

Dear EarthTalk: Has the recent violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo threatened the populations of lowland gorillas? How many are left?  -- Glenn Hammond, San Francisco, CA

The short answer is yes, dramatically. Not to be confused with Western Lowland Gorillas, which are thriving in significant numbers in neighboring Congo (a recent census counted 125,000), today fewer than 5,000 Eastern Lowland Gorillas are estimated to remain in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly known as Zaire. Some 17,000 inhabited the region as recently as 1994, but today habitat loss, hunting, and war and violence are combining to push them over the edge.

 
For the week of 3/16/09
Written by From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine   
Wednesday, 18 March 2009 08:35

EarthTalkTM
From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Some say that polar bears are going to disappear in 50 years, but Alaskan officials insist their populations are recovering. What’s the real story?  -- Harper Howe, San Francisco, CA

There is no doubt that polar bears are in serious trouble. Already on the ropes due to other human threats, their numbers are falling faster than ever as a result of retreating ice due to global warming.   The nonprofit International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which added the polar bear to its “Red List” of the world’s most imperiled wildlife back in 2006, predicts a 30 percent decline in population for the great white rulers of the Arctic within three generations (about 45 years).

 
for the week of 3/9/09
Written by Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine   
Wednesday, 18 March 2009 08:07

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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