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What’s Faster, Nature or Machine?

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What's Faster, Nature or Machine?

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The Briefing

  • The race between animals and cars is surprisingly close
  • The peregrine falcon is the world’s fastest animal, capable of speeds beyond many modern sports cars

Comparing Top Speeds of Animals and Cars

Did you know that the world’s fastest animals can actually keep up with, or even beat most modern cars?

In this graphic, we’ve visualized the top speeds of several animals and cars to show you how close the race really is. The data we used is also listed below in tabular format.

NameTop Speed (mph) Top speed (km/h) 
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ (2019)304 mph489 km/h
Peregrine Falcon242 mph389 km/h
Porsche 911 Turbo S (2021) 205 mph330 km/h
Golden Eagle 200 mph322 km/h
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (2020) 194 mph312 km/h
Honda Civic (2021) 137 mph220 km/h
Toyota RAV4 (2021)120 mph193 km/h
Ford F-150 Raptor (2020) 107 mph172 km/h
Mexican free-tailed bat101 mph163 km/h
Cheetah 75 mph121 km/h
Sailfish68 mph109 km/h
Honda Ruckus (2020) 40 mph64 km/h

At the top of this list is the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+, the first production car to reach a top speed of over 300 mph (482 km/h). The Super Sport 300+ is a limited edition variant of the regular Chiron, and only 30 examples (with a price tag of $4 million) are being built for the entire world.

At 300 mph, the Chiron’s specially designed tires rotate up to 4,100 times per minute, and are subjected to a centrifugal force of over 5,000 G. Here’s another interesting fact: when the Chiron is driving at a constant top speed, its 22 gallon (100L) fuel tank will completely drain in less than 10 minutes.

What’s That in the Sky?

The peregrine falcon surpasses most sports cars by reaching a top speed of 242 mph (389 km/h) while diving. This feat was achieved in 2005 by a falcon named “Frightful”, and verified by Guinness World Records.

The peregrine falcon is found in nearly every corner of the world, and hunts other, medium-sized birds by dropping down on them from above.

Further down the list is the Mexican free-tailed bat, which only weighs between 11 to 12 grams. For context, a wooden pencil weighs about 7 grams. These bats are considered the world’s fastest mammals, and unlike the peregrine falcon, reach their top speed purely through wing power (without diving).

Where does this data come from?

Source: Britannica, Car and Driver, Guinness World Records, Honda

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Which Countries Believe WWIII is Coming?

In every single country surveyed, the majority of respondents believed a global conflict would break out between superpowers in coming years

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which countries believe WWIII is coming?

The Briefing

  • In every single country surveyed, the majority of respondents believed a world war would break out in coming years
  • Australia was the most pessimistic, and Japan was the most optimistic

Which Countries Believe WWIII is Coming?

After a pandemic, rampant inflation, a faltering global economy, and geopolitical flare-ups, it’s no surprise that people have a souring outlook on the future.

Even so, the results of this recent survey by Ipsos are eyebrow raising. In all 33 countries where polling took place, the majority of respondents said they believe a world war on the scale of WWI and WWII would break out between global superpowers in coming years.

Here’s a look at how various countries felt about the possibility of an impending global conflict:

Country% somewhat/strongly agreeChange from 2021 (p.p.)
🇦🇺 Australia81%+8
🇮🇪 Ireland80%n/a
🇲🇽 Mexico80%+8
🇵🇪 Peru80%+3
🇮🇳 India79%+3
🇨🇱 Chile78%+3
🇨🇴 Colombia78%+1
🇲🇾 Malaysia78%+4
🇹🇭 Thailand78%n/a
🇧🇪 Belgium77%+18
🇷🇴 Romania77%n/a
🇨🇦 Canada76%+13
🇺🇸 United States76%+6
🇫🇷 France75%+16
🇬🇧 Great Britain75%+19
🇳🇱 Netherlands75%+15
🇿🇦 South Africa75%+3
🇪🇸 Spain75%+5
🇦🇪 UAE75%n/a
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia74%+12
Global Country Average73%+10
🇧🇷 Brazil72%+10
🇦🇷 Argentina71%+5
🇹🇷 Turkey71%+8
🇵🇱 Poland70%+4
🇺🇦 Ukraine70%n/a
🇰🇷 South Korea69%+17
🇭🇺 Hungary67%+10
🇨🇳 China64%+6
🇮🇹 Italy64%+19
🇩🇪 Germany63%+17
🇮🇩 Indonesia63%n/a
🇸🇪 Sweden60%+11
🇯🇵 Japan51%+16

Japan was the least sure of an impending global conflict—an opinion that is almost certainly shaped by the country’s historical experience in WWII.

Australia was the most certain of an impending global conflict. The country has a unique relationship with Asian and Western countries, so geopolitical tensions between superpowers may resonate more in the Land Down Under.

The Power of Fear

Given the negative slant of stories covered by mass media and the types of stories that are most widely shared on social media platforms, it’s easy to understand how people have developed such a gloomy view of the future. But “bad vibes” aside, how could this perception translate into real world action?

For one, public opinion helps shape political priorities. A narrative of impending conflict could have an impact on geopolitical policy and relationships.

Another possibility is an increase in military spending across the board. 64% of people across 30 countries somewhat or strongly agree that their home government should beef up military spending “given the dangers in the world.” Aside from Ukraine, India (84%) and Poland (81%) ranked the highest in support of increasing military spending.

One other noteworthy finding is that 85% of people in the countries surveyed believe that the world needs new international agreements and institutions to deal with the challenges faced by the world today, and that world powers are unlikely to respect agreements made through international bodies. These findings are significant since war becomes more likely as cooperation between countries breaks down.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Ipsos, for Halifax International Security Forum

Data note: These are the results of a 33-market survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform. Ipsos interviewed a total of 32,507 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, 20-74 in Thailand, 21-74 in Indonesia, and 16-74 in the remaining markets between Friday, September 23 and Friday, October 7, 2022.

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What Does 30 Years of Global Deforestation Look Like?

Deforestation over the last 30 years has led to a 177.5 million hectare reduction in world’s forests. See why these trends need to reverse swiftly in order to effectively manage climate change. (Sponsored Content)

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The Briefing

  • 177.5 million hectares of land have been lost to deforestation since the 1990s
  • Deforestation accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions

30 Years of Deforestation

Estimates say deforestation practices need to be thwarted by 75% by 2030, in order to effectively manage rising global average temperatures. But when looking at deforestation data over the last 30 years, it’s clear we’ve gone in the opposite direction.

This sponsored graphic from The LEAF Coalition looks at the total land lost to deforestation since the 1990s and compares it to the total land in the U.S. as a point of reference.

The Rise and Fall of Forests

Approximately 4% of the world’s forests have been lost since the 1990s. This is equivalent to 177.5 million hectares or 685,000 square miles, and greater than the total land area of 179 countries in the world. In addition, this covers one-fifth of the land in America. Here’s how the average global annual net change in forest area looks on a decade-by-decade basis.

Period

Global Annual Forest Area Net Change (Hectares)

2010-2020

-4.7M ha

2000-2010

-5.2M ha

1990-2000

-7.8M ha

A silver lining here is that in the most recent decade that’s passed we’ve seen a reduction in the amount of deforestation. Compared to the late 1990s, the decade between 2010 and 2020 has seen yearly deforestation reduce by 3.1 million hectares from 7.8 million to 4.7 million.

However, there’s still plenty of work that needs to be done and the devastating impact deforestation has on the environment cannot be understated.

Not Out of the Woods Yet

By some estimates, 30% of the globe’s carbon emissions are absorbed by forests each year. In order to keep our global average temperatures at 1.5°C, action needs to ramp up to diminish deforestation. One solution is to open up funding and participation to the private sector and bridge their efforts with that of the public sector.

Swift action is required in order to slow deforestation and decelerate rising average temperatures. See how The LEAF Coalition, a public-private initiative is accelerating climate action by providing results-based finance to countries committed to protecting tropical forests.

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