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Ideas to researchers

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Eco-friendly ideas for researchers

Although environmentalism appeared only in the modern times, humankind changed the environment even in the ancient times, for example, many kinds of animals and plants disappeared then. A professional historian, for example, who can read many original ancient texts, could write a book about the history of the degradation of the environment, with regard to the ancient ages. If he/she uses many citations and proofs for his/her statements, the book will be better. Another historian could write another book about the history of the degradation of the environment from the industrial revolution until today (optionally, mentioning some of the efforts taken against the problems).

Keeping the pilot flame on might be necessary for convenience's sake or to prevent an explosion due to a broken boiler. However, pilot flames consume very much gas, so it would probably be good to solve the question of security and of convenience in other ways. This is a noble task for inventors. Also, there is the question what happens if the gas runs out, the flame dies, and the gas comes back afterwards? This could happen, for example, in the times of energy crisis, or if the authorities let the gas to be used only in the nights. Making an environmentally friendly invention as secure as the pilot flame is the real challenge, as each part of an advanced technology can go wrong. If it doesn't work in any other way, convenience can be sacrifized for economy and environmentalism (e.g. by having to turn an extra switch while using the gas).

We can find much data about the extent of environmental problems. We know little, however, about the human resources available for solving these problems. The plan which aims to save civilization should consider what part of the population consists of people harmful to the environment, and passive people who live in an environmentally friendly way, and active people who even spend time on environmentalism. This research could be done, for example, by a questionnaire, where the categorization into the formerly mentioned obscure groups could be done from answers to factual questions. Apart from that, the inclination of people towards environmentalism is worth studying by scientific methods, too, as well as their inclination towards the goal of limiting overpopulation. The aim of these studies is, of course, to make more and more people environmentally friendly and environmentalist, but if it does not succeed, the environmental movement should still work. We can also improve the environmentalist activity of humankind by improving the efficiency of the good deeds of passive environmentally friendly and active environmentalist people.

There are many freely accessible environmentalist books, and there are many public domain books, too, that are on a topic somewhat related to the environment, for example, on economy. An activist could read some important books among these, the essence of which he/she could write on one page, to which he/she could add short commentaries. This writing could be like the works that contain the shortened versions of compulsory readings at school. This way some time may be spared for some environmentalists, and in addition, it could help them decide which book to read. Writing a book about the essence of other books may need more time than writing something else, but it can be done by any intellectual, with little sacrifice from a person who likes to read these books anyway, and the product would probably be interesting, given that the books in it were famous books already.

As David Hilbert's speech about a list of mathematical problems shaped mathematics for a century, a professional collection of environmentally friendly research tasks could shape environmentalism for a century, too.

Further readings

(these were not necessarily read by the author):

United Nations - Millenium Development Goals Report (annual publication, 2005-2015)

Edmund Burke - The Environment and World History (University of California Press, 2009)

Eco-friendly innovation (chapter left out)

In a world where the good learners were richer, the free version of this book could have more chapters by this, too.