Image: A child at a lead-contaminated site. Credit: Blacksmith Institute
ipsnews.net - May 9th, 2013 - Stephen Leahy
Toxic waste sites in 31 countries are damaging the brains of nearly 800,000 children and impairing the health of millions of people in the developing world, two new studies have found.
Toxins and pollutants in the environment are major sources of illness and reduced lifespans globally. The impacts on health in some countries are on par with malaria, said Kevin Chatham-Stephens, a pediatric environmental health fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
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A swarm of the Red Locusts passes through the Madagascar town of Sakaraha, on April 27, 2013 (AFP, Bilal Tarabey) Experts estimate there are currently 100 swarms across Madagascar, made up of about 500 billion ravenous locusts
submitted by Luis Kun
Agence-France Press (AFP) - by Gaelle Borgia - May 9, 2013
ANTANANARIVO — For three quarters of an hour a giant swarm of locusts streams across the sky above southwest Madagascar.
Along National Route Seven, normally an artery for tourists enjoying breathtaking views of the island's vast open spaces, a 15 kilometre long (nine mile) swarm clouds the sky.
Travellers today see little more than a natural disaster in progress -- a plague of locusts which has already destroyed half of the Indian Ocean island's crops.
tomdispatch.com - by Michael Klare - April 21, 2013
In his pathbreaking 2001 book Resource Wars, Michael Klare wrote: “Natural resources are the building blocks of civilization and an essential requirement of daily existence. The inhabitants of planet Earth have been blessed with a vast supply of most basic materials. But we are placing increased pressure on those supplies, and in some cases we face, in our lifetimes, or those of our children, the prospect of severe resource depletion.”
The map shows the prevalence of undernourishment in the total population as of 2010 - 2012. The indicator is an estimate of the percentage of the population having access to an amount of energy from food insufficient to maintain a healthy life.
This report reviews the interventions of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) that have strong implications for increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability to natural disasters, and it aims at improving the understanding of how Sida has worked with these issues so far and how the work can be further strengthened. The report combines findings from a mapping phase with more in-depth analysis of resilience initiatives related to climate change adaptation, agriculture and water hazards.
The purpose of the study presented in the report is to:
smh.com.au - The Sydney Morning Herald - February 15, 2013
More than 1000 people were injured when a meteorite shot across the sky and exploded over central Russia on Friday, sendingfireballs crashing to Earth, shattering windows and damaging buildings.
People heading to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave, according to a Reuters correspondent in the industrial city 1500 kilometres east of Moscow.
Photo published in Huffington - February 16, 2013
A circular hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake where a meteor reportedly struck the lake near Chelyabinsk, about 1500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Moscow, Russia, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.
earth-policy.org - January 30th, 2013 - J. Matthew Roney
The fish near the bottom of the aquatic food chain are often overlooked, but they are vital to healthy oceans and estuaries. Collectively known as forage fish, these species—including sardines, anchovies, herrings, and shrimp-like crustaceans called krill—feed on plankton and become food themselves for larger fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. Historically, people have eaten many of these fish, too, of course. But as demand for animal protein has soared over the last half-century, more and more forage fish have been caught to feed livestock and farmed fish instead of being eaten by people directly.
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This article by Ambassador Erthin Cousin, Jose Graziano da Silva and Kanayo F. Nwanze addresses six principles to protect the most vulnerable from hunger and malnutrition in a world of global changes that are rapidly increasing risks, often with no social safety net for 80% of the world's population.
PRINCIPLE 1: People, communities and governments must lead resilience-building for improved food security and nutrition
PRINCIPLE 2: Building resilience is beyond the capacity of any single institution
PRINCIPLE 3: Planning frameworks should combine immediate relief requirements with long-term development objectives
PRINCIPLE 4: Ensuring protection of the most vulnerable is crucial for sustaining development efforts
PRINCIPLE 5: Effective risk management requires integration of enhanced monitoring and analysis into decision-making
PRINCIPLE 6: Interventions must be evidence-based and focus on long-term results
Collapsed church building from 2009 earthquake in central Italy
voanews.com - October 22, 2012
An Italian court on Monday convicted seven scientists and experts of manslaughter for underestimating the risks of a killer earthquake and failing to adequately warn citizens before it struck the central Italian town of L'Aquila in 2009.
More than 300 people were killed, tens of thousands were left homeless, and the town's historic center and medieval churches were destroyed in the 6.3-magnitude quake.
Prosecutors argued that the defendants - members of a national panel that assesses major risks - offered "incomplete, imprecise and contradictory information" to residents.
submitted by Paul G.Kaplan
A drying corn field in southern Minnesota. Bad weather has resulted in a poor harvest this year. Photograph: David I. Gross/ Corbis
As the UN and Oxfam warn of the dangers ahead, expert analyst Lester Brown says time to solve the problem is running out
guardian.co.uk - by John Vidal - October 13, 2012
Brandon Hunnicutt has had a year to remember. The young Nebraskan from Hamilton County farms 2,600 acres of the High Plains with his father and brother. What looked certain in an almost perfect May to be a "phenomenal" harvest of maize and soy beans has turned into a near disaster.
Book - Full Planet, Empty Plates