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Last year was challenging to say the least, but as we begin 2021, we can look back on 2020 and see that in the midst of all the darkness and despair, there were largely unnoticed good news stories that give us reason to believe that better times are ahead. While many are ruing failed U.S. leadership and the pandemic, history may reveal that these dual hardships have contributed to the creation of a once in a lifetime opportunity for pervasive change. This hopeful narrative may seem anachronistic but when we peel back the dower headlines, we see that our prospects are nowhere near as gloomy as they may seem. As explained by Ola Rosling in his book "Factfulness", the substantial improvements we have seen in poverty alleviation and health care suggest that these are far from the worst of times. While Rosling concedes that there are many problems in the world today,...

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Since its inception in 2008, The Green Market Oracle has published 7,731 articles which have been viewed on this site a total of 4,012,438 times.  As this year ends I want to take a moment to thank our readers and let you know that the new year will bring some exciting changes and additions. On January 1, 2021 an upgraded, remodeled version of this site will be launched on a new platform. We will continue to deliver fact-first journalism as well as some added features including a regular podcast.  So thanks again for being with us over the past years and stay tuned for the new additions in what promises to be an eventful year to come.  Here are the top 100 posts from 2020.They are ranked according to popularity as determined by viewership. The topics of these articles range from the climate related impacts of Covid-19 to fossil fuels...

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This year's Atlantic hurricane season was the worst on record and it marks the fifth straight year with above-average storm activity. Each year there are an average of around 12 storms in the Atlantic, in 2020 there was a record breaking 31. This includes 13 hurricanes (twice the normal number) with six of them rated as Category 3 or higher (also twice the normal average). There is little doubt among climate scientists that warmer ocean temperatures are at least partly responsible for the growing number of intense storms. The storm season is starting earlier and generating more rapidly intensifying hurricanes. Attribution science is making it increasingly possible to directly link storms and hurricanes to climate change."We are seeing more rain, and more precipitation in general," Richard B. Rood, a professor of meteorology at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering, told Inside Climate News. "The other thing we have been seeing...

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The intense wildfires that raged across the Western U.S., South America, and Australia in 2020 are being attributed to climate change. What makes these fires unprecedented is their size and duration.  There is growing evidence that these increasingly intense fires could eradicate some species of floral and fauna.  Across the American west, fire seasons are now 78 days longer than they were in the 1970s. According to the National Interagency Fire Center as of the beginning of December, there have been 52,934 wildfires in the U.S. that have burned 14,905 square miles this year making 2020 the second-largest area burned in the past decade. The 2020 fire season in California was one of the most destructive in recorded history. Five of the six largest wildfires in the state's history happened in 2020. Overall, 9,639 wildfires consumed more than 6,527 square miles this year in the state. The fires killed 33 people...

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A growing body of research overwhelmingly supports the view that nature can improve our physical and mental health.  From heart disease to a general sense of well-being, a number of studies confirm that nature offers multiple benefits.  One study found that something as simple as viewing natural scenes lowers heart rates. Exposure to nature has even been shown to decrease mortality  Reductions in cortisol levels may be a salient pathway contributing to improved physical wellbeing. As documented in a Japanese study, exposure to nature reduced cortisol levels and contributed to overall physical health. High levels of cortisol are linked to a wide range of ailments (fatigue, irritability, headaches, intestinal problems, anxiety, depression, weight gain, increased blood pressure, low libido, erectile dysfunction, problems with ovulation or menstrual periods, difficulty recovering from exercise and poor sleep).  Numerous studies indicate that simply spending time in nature can help humans psychologically. One study found that nature can...

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