Josh Sevin

Josh Sevin is a graduate student in MIT's planning program. Previously, he was an editor at Greenwire environmental news service and a researcher for U.S. News.

Can't See the Forest

20 percent of Earth’s original forests remain undisturbed 13 percent of original forests in the Pacific Northwest remain undisturbed 1 to 2 percent of original forests in the U.S. remain undisturbed 2.47 acres of rainforest are destroyed each second, an area approximately the size of two U.S. football fields 214,000 acres of rainforest are destroyed each day, an area larger than New York City 78 million acres of rainforest are destroyed each year, an area larger than Poland 5 to 10 percent of closed tropical forest species will go extinct per decade at current rates of tropical forest loss and …

A Disappearing Act

  137 species are estimated to go extinct each day 50,000 species are estimated to go extinct each year 78 species were on the original U.S. endangered species list 1,201 species were on the U.S. endangered species list as of October 1999 43 percent of endangered and threatened animals in the U.S. depend on wetlands 40 percent of all modern medicines are either modeled on or synthesized from natural compounds derived from various species 95 percent of known plant species have yet to be screened for their medicinal values 30 million species of plants and animals — more than half …

More Than Meats the Eye

8 pounds of grain are needed to produce one pound of beef 2,464 gallons of water are needed to produce one pound of beef 40 percent of grain is fed to livestock, poultry, or fish China’s grain consumption increased by 40 million tons between 1990 and 1995 — and 33 million of those tons were fed to livestock meat consumption has increased 400 percent in developing nations since 1965 220 million acres of U.S. land have been cleared for livestock production Sources: 1-5 — National Wildlife Federation 6 — 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth

Paper Chase

a 50 percent increase in worldwide paper consumption is expected by 2010 115 billion sheets of paper are used annually for personal computers 700 pounds of paper are consumed by the average American each year 10,000 trees are cut down annually in China to make holiday cards 3 cubic yards of landfill space can be saved by one ton of recycled paper 77 percent of paper is recycled in the Netherlands 67 percent of paper is recycled in Germany 52 percent of paper is recycled in Japan 45 percent of paper is recycled in the U.S. Sources: 1 — World …

A Kick in the Grass

20 million acres of U.S. land are covered by lawn 1 hour spent mowing a lawn with a gas-powered mower produces as many emissions as 50 hours spent driving an average car 5 percent of U.S. air pollution in summer months is emitted by gas-powered lawn equipment 27,000 gallons of water are needed each week to maintain an acre of lawn 35 percent of all household water is used to tend yards 32 million pounds of pesticides were used on U.S. lawns in 1994 Sources: 1 — 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth2 — Earth Communications …

Car Talk

70 million motor vehicles were on the world’s roads in 1950 630 million motor vehicles were on the world’s roads in 1994 1 billion motor vehicles are expected to be on the world’s roads by 2025, if the current growth rate continues 12,000 pounds of carbon dioxide are emitted by the average car each year 5 percent of a car’s fuel can be wasted by underinflated tires 2 billion gallons of gasoline could be saved annually if 65 million car owners kept their tires properly inflated 85 percent of auto fuel is consumed just to overcome inertia and start the …

Forty

• percentage by which energy consumption in developing nations is expected to grow by 2010 • percentage of written prescriptions that are either based on or synthesized from natural compounds found in plants and animals • percentage of total paper used in Germany that goes toward packaging • percentage by which one can reduce pollution from an older car by keeping it well-tuned • dollars saved by replacing an incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent • percentage by which fish species in Canadian lakes have declined due to acid rain • percentage by which CFC consumption rose in the …

Three

• factor by which an average resident of an industrialized nation consumes more fresh water than an average resident of a developing nation • factor by which sulfur dioxide emissions are expected to increase in Asia by 2010 • number of hours a television can be powered with the energy saved from a recycled aluminum can • number of plant species that provide one-half of the world’s food supply (namely, rice, corn, and wheat) • cubic yards of landfill space saved by one ton of recycled paper • number of months worth of thrown-away aluminum that could be recycled to …

Hogwatch

10 million hogs live in North Carolina’s coastal region 8 million humans live in North Carolina 92 percent of North Carolina’s hogs are raised on factory farms with at least 2,000 hogs 1 hog generates as much waste as 3 people 2.5 tons of hog feces and urine are produced in North Carolina per citizen each year 52,000 tons of waste are generated by North Carolina’s hogs daily 640,000 pounds of nitrogen are generated by North Carolina’s hogs daily 213,000 pounds of phosphorus are generated by North Carolina’s hogs daily 22 million gallons of hog waste were dumped into North …