Top 10 Hottest Stories of 2006

Selected as one of IPS News Hot Stories of 2006:

From Mosques to Mollusks, No Haven From Rising CO2

By Stephen Leahy
Three hundred and eighty parts per million.

That’s the current concentration of carbon dioxide going into your lungs with each breath. Our parents or grandparents’ first breaths at birth contained about 290 parts per million (ppm), as it was for everyone born before them.

What does it really mean when in the not so distant future our children or grandchildren will inhale 450, perhaps 500 ppm or more of carbon dioxide?

Evidently, breathing in a bit more carbon dioxide (CO2) isn’t bad for human health — oxygen at sea level is 200,000 ppm, after all — but the changing atmosphere is having profound impacts on the climate of the planet.

The changing climate has many consequences, among them the potential loss of ancient ruins in Thailand, coral reefs in Belize, 13th century mosques in the Sahara, the Cape Floral Kingdom in South Africa and other irreplaceable natural and historic sites around the world, experts reported this week.

— More at Mosques to Mollusks story published Nov 10 2006.

— See also IPS News Top Stories of 2006

Questions, story ideas, potential assignments, speaking engagements contact: writersteve AT gmail . com (no spaces)

GM Crops Creating Pest Problems Around World

GE Crops Slow to Gain Global Acceptance

By Stephen Leahy

BROOKLIN, Canada, Jan 9 (IPS) – Widespread use of genetically engineered (GE) crops remains limited worldwide, even as growing weed and pest issues are forcing farmers to use ever greater amounts of pesticides.

More than 70 percent of large-scale GE planting is still limited to the U.S. and Argentina, according to a new report released Tuesday by Friends of the Earth International (FOEI).

“No GM (GE) crop on the market today offers benefits to the consumer in terms of quality or price, and to date these crops have done nothing to alleviate hunger or poverty in Africa or elsewhere,” said Nnimmo Bassey of Friends of the Earth Africa in Nigeria.

“The great majority of GM (GE) crops cultivated today are used as high-priced animal feed to supply rich nations with meat,” Bassey said in a statement.

— See full story on how GM/GMO Crops are causing weed and insect problems.

Questions, story ideas, potential assignments, speaking engagements contact: writersteve AT gmail . com (no spaces)