South Sudanese who fled the recent ethnic violence carry food aid from a World Food Programme (WFP) distribution centre in Pibor, Jonglei State, January 12, 2012. REUTERS/Hereward Holland
This story is part of AlertNet’s special report Solutions for a hungry world
Alertnet - by Alex Whiting - May 2, 2012
LONDON (AlertNet) – Hear the word “famine” and many people imagine convoys of trucks piled high with sacks of grain arriving in a region devoid of food.
But in the 21st-century fight against hunger, aid agencies are increasingly deploying cash via food vouchers, text messages or smart cards with electronic chips. If they distribute food, it’s often food bought locally.
Changes to the international food aid system – including early warning systems, greater professionalisation of the aid system, as well as new ways of delivering aid – have reduced the number of famines and made aid more effective. But the system is still overly reliant on food imports from donor countries, experts say.
People try to get food at a food distribution center in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, January 17, 2010. REUTERS/Kena Betancur
This story is part of AlertNet's special report Solutions for a hungry world
Alertnet - by Laurie Goering - May 2, 2012
LONDON (AlertNet) - In 2008, as world food prices soared as a result of drought-hit harvests, growing grain demand and high oil prices, South Korea had an uncomfortable glimpse of the future.
The country, which imports 70 percent of the grain it needs, suddenly found major wheat and maize producers such as Russia and Argentina imposing export bans, aimed at keeping enough food at home to satisfy demand.
Suddenly aware that markets might not always provide, South Korea launched a campaign to secure its own food security.
Living Labs Global co-founder Sascha Haselmayer addresses the crowd in Rio de Janeiro
submitted by Albert Gomez
good.is - by Zak Stone - May 4, 2012
In a megapolis like Mexico City, any planning initiative that moves citizens from cars to busses will pay off in reductions to traffic and air pollution. A major deterrent to using public transportation in the city? Comfort, according to Dr. Julio Mendoza, director of Mexico City's Institute of Science and Technology. Many would rather drive than experience that particular breed of public transportation-pegged anxiety: waiting helplessly on the street corner for a bus that feels like it won't ever arrive.
After participating in the Living Labs Global Award program, a competition designed to help cities solve planning challenges, the Mexican capital may have found a fix. In February, Mexico City and 20 other LLGA participants around the world put out an open call to companies to pitch solutions to important but fixable problems.
submitted by Samuel Bendett
United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management - April 24, 2012
A working group was established to assess the future trends in geospatial information management at the 1st meeting of the UN Committee on GGIM in Seoul, Korea. Chaired by Dr. Vanessa Lawrence, Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, the working group has received written inputs from 29 persons or institutions. A summary of the future trends shall be presented during this forum in Amsterdam, followed by discussion among all the participants. Meanwhile, the process of soliciting views on future trends continue and the working group welcomes any additional inputs. A consolidated paper on the future trends shall be discussed in the 2nd Session of the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management.
Just when it looked as if Iran's oil shock was starting to be absorbed by the market, a problem in Europe is keeping alight the fire under crude prices.
On March 25, a gas leak forced Total SA, the French oil company, to halt production of 60,000 barrels of oil per day at the Elgin field, about 200 kilometers from the coast of Scotland. The high-profile incident has led to soul-searching that could rein in output in the Continent's largest oil patch.
This is an undated handout photo issued by Total E&P UK Ltd of Total's Elgin PUQ (Process/Utilities/Quarters) platform. (AP/TOTAL E&P UK Ltd.)
Associated Press - foxnews.com - March 29, 2012
EDINBURGH, Scotland – Environmental groups warned Thursday they fear an oil spill could be triggered at a North Sea offshore platform that has been leaking highly pressurized gas since the weekend.
A flame is still burning in the stack above the Elgin platform, which stands about 150 miles off the coast of Aberdeen, eastern Scotland, after a leak of flammable gas Sunday-- prompting all 238 staff to be evacuated on Monday.
Platform operator Total S.A. insists there is no threat of any explosion under current weather conditions, but said that surveillance flights have detected a sheen around the platform estimated to extend over 1.85 square miles.
Drill pipe ready for use on a rig at Exxon's Johnson Ranch site outside Fort Worth
by Brian O'Keefe - CNN - April 16, 2012
America's most profitable company now produces about as much natural gas as it does oil. CEO Rex Tillerson thinks the fracking party has just begun.
FORTUNE -- For Rex Tillerson fracking is more than a revolutionary approach to drilling oil and gas -- it's part of his personal history. Simply mention the word to the CEO of Exxon Mobil (XOM) and he starts reminiscing about his days as a young engineer.
Damon Winter/The New York Times
submitted by Tim Siftar
The New York Times - by Tina Rosenberg - April 7, 2012
A new partnership between two organizations that battle cholera will make it possible to get supplies and knowledge to cholera-stricken areas much faster. Early next month, AmeriCares, a United States-based aid group that specializes in airlifting medical supplies into disaster zones, will finish assembling a group of pallets containing everything necessary to treat 15,000 cases of cholera.
Chart Sources: Meadows, D.H., Meadows, D.L., Randers, J. and Behrens III, W.W. (1972) / Linda Eckstein
by Mark Strauss - Smithsonian Magazine - April 2012
Recent research supports the conclusions of a controversial environmental study released 40 years ago: The world is on track for disaster. So says Australian physicist Graham Turner, who revisited perhaps the most groundbreaking academic work of the 1970s,The Limits to Growth.
Written by MIT researchers for an international think tank, the Club of Rome, the study used computers to model several possible future scenarios. The business-as-usual scenario estimated that if human beings continued to consume more than nature was capable of providing, global economic collapse and precipitous population decline could occur by 2030.
A study of bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, showed that many of the marine mammals were suffering from lung and liver disease. Photograph: Alamy
by Peter Beaumont - guardian.co.uk - March 31, 2012
New studies show impact of BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster on dolphins and other marine wildlife may be far worse than feared.
A new study of dolphins living close to the site of North America's worst ever oil spill – the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe two years ago – has established serious health problems afflicting the marine mammals.
The report, commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], found that many of the 32 dolphins studied were underweight, anaemic and suffering from lung and liver disease, while nearly half had low levels of a hormone that helps the mammals deal with stress as well as regulating their metabolism and immune systems.