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Clean energy, overpopulation, black carbon, rising sea level, and other environmental news

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Let's take a quick look at a few of the environmental issues making news today, which include whether old coral formations in Mexico show a "catastrophic" rise in sea levels 12,000 years ago, and if so, what it might mean today. And more:

Is consumption in industrialized nations more harmful to the environment than overpopulation in the developing world? 

Writing at Yale Environment 360, British author Fred Pearce argues that it is. For instance, he says: "Stephen Pacala, director of the Princeton Environment Institute, calculates that the world’s richest half-billion people — that’s about 7 percent of the global population — are responsible for 50 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile the poorest 50 percent are responsible for just 7 percent of emissions."

This is an opinion piece destined to raise strong feelings for and against. (And as a personal aside that has nothing to do with his article, if you haven't read Mr. Pearce's latest book, "Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff," I recommend it.)

But what about black carbon?

A Page 1 story (for those who still read print editions) in today's New York Times, "Soot From Third-World Stroves Is New Target in Climate Fight," has a slightly different take:

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