Abrupt Environmental Change Sparks Violent Conflicts

Thirstier World Likely to See More Violence
By Stephen Leahy

Mar 16 (IPS) – A strong link between droughts and violent civil conflicts in the developing world bodes ill for an increasingly thirsty world, say scientists, who warn that drought-related conflicts are expected to multiply with advancing climate change.

“Severe, prolonged droughts are the strongest indicator of high-intensity conflicts,” said Marc Levy of the Centre for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University’s Earth Institute in New York.

Continue reading

Ecology Blog Carnival

My Peak Fish story is referenced on a relatively new ecology and science blog carnival called “Oekologie“.shodou-calligraphy.gif

What’ a Blog Carnival?

Here’s what I found out. People collect the best blog posts on a given topic, and then someone puts all those posts together in a blog post called a “carnival”. With “Oekologie” a different site hosts the once a month carnival.

It’s a very smart idea and makes for great reading. (And certainly not because my one of stories is posted)

Lesson in Democracy from Iraq

interconnections In the 12 years I have covered environmental issues for newspapers, news services and magazines I have rarely spoken to elected officials who head state, provincial or federal environment departments. Instead I leave a trail of unanswered messages or play phone tag with government PR folks who know little about their department or aren’t willing to comment.

That’s my North American experience 95 per cent of the time.

So today I phone Baghdad.

Continue reading

40 Million Tonnes of Electronic Waste Each Year

Copyright EMPA, Switzerland E-Waste Dumping Needs International Solution

By Stephen Leahy

Mar 9 (IPS) – A global public-private partnership was launched this week to reduce the toxic mountains of electronic waste and recycle increasingly valuable metals and components.

Much of the nearly 40 million tonnes of “e-waste” — discarded electronics and electrical appliances — produced globally each year ends up in China, India and other developing countries.
Continue reading

Environmental Changes Wiped Out 170 Amphibian Species Over Past 20 years

Frogs Fading Into Silence

By Stephen Leahy

The extinction of amphibians in Latin America has reached alarming proportions: 209 species in Colombia and 198 in Mexico alone are in danger of disappearing forever

Mar 5 (Tierramérica) РFrogs and other amphibians are rapidly becoming extinct around the world and in Latin American countries in particular. In the Caribbean as many as 80 percent of these species are endangered, while in Colombia there are 209 and in Mexico 198 amphibians may soon disappear.

Environmental degradation along with habitat loss, ultraviolet radiation, disease and climate change are all factors involved in these unprecedented losses.

Continue reading