Scientists Predicted A Decade Ago Arctic Ice Loss Would Worsen Western Droughts. Is That Happening Already? - by Joe Romm - June 30, 2013


Scientists predicted a decade ago that Arctic ice loss would bring on worse western droughts. Arctic ice loss has been much faster than the researchers — and indeed all climate modelers — expected (see “CryoSat-2 Confirms Sea Ice Volume Has Collapsed“).

It just so happens that the western U.S. is in the grip of a brutal, record-breaking drought. Is this just an amazing coincidence — or were the scientists right and what would that mean for the future? I ask the authors.


Floods Highlight Need to Make Europe’s Cities More Resilient

A view of Dresden on the morning of 5 June, before the Elbe had crested. Flickr/tigion - by Marion Davis - June 7, 2013

The floods now devastating Central Europe, and severe floods in Norway last month, are part of a pattern of increasingly frequent disasters that require new approaches to risk management. 

As of June 6, the floods in Austria, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic had killed at least 16 people, and damages were so severe that some said they could exceed the more than €21.1 billion cost of the historic 2002 floods in the region.


Egypt in Turmoil as Defiant Morsi Stands Firm Over Coup Threat

Scenes of jubilation in Cairo's Tahrir Square after Egypt's army issues an ultimatum to President Mohamed Morsi to resolve the country's political crisis. The announcement is made on state television by the head of Egypt's armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Helicopters fly over the square with huge Egyptian flags hanging below them. Pro-Morsi supporters hold a counter-demonstration at Cairo's university

President retains US backing and refuses to bow down to two-day ultimatum from the head of the nation's armed forces - by Patrick Kingsley - July 1, 2013

Egypt was thrown into fresh turmoil on Monday when President Mohamed Morsi's aides indicated he would not give in to the threat of a military coup just hours after the army gave him two days to placate the millions who have taken to the streets calling for his departure.

Are Latest Protests and Ultimatum a Game-Changer for Egypt's Political System?

Egypt Military Intervention: General Says Army Will Intervene If Crisis Not Resolved In 48 Hours


SEPTEMBER 25: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting on September 25, 2012 in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images) - By HAMZA HENDAWI, SARAH EL DEEB and MAGGIE MICHAEL - July 1, 2013

CAIRO — Egypt's military issued a "last-chance" ultimatum Monday to President Mohammed Morsi, giving him 48 hours to meet the demands of millions of protesters in the streets seeking the ouster of the Islamist leader or the generals will intervene and impose their own plan for the country.

The military's statement, read on state TV, put enormous pressure on Morsi to step down and sent giant crowds opposing the president in Cairo and other cities into delirious celebrations of singing, dancing and fireworks. But the ultimatum raised worries on both sides the military could outright take over, as it did after the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak.


A Sustainable Energy Future is Within Our Grasp - June 25, 2013
by Susanne Wong and Peter Bosshard

Renewables 2013 - Global Status Report
(178 page .PDF report)

The staggering growth in renewable energy has the potential to fundamentally change the way we generate and use power. Previously dismissed as marginal technologies, renewables have become “increasingly mainstream and competitive with conventional energy sources.” This is the conclusion of a new report on the global status of renewable energies by the REN21 Network.



Video - Egypt: Protesters Gather Nationwide To Demand Morsi's Ouster

Egypt: Protesters Gather Nationwide To Demand Morsi's Ouster - By MAGGIE MICHAEL, SARAH EL DEEB and HAMZA HENDAWI - June 30, 2013

CAIRO — Hundreds of thousands of opponents of Egypt's Islamist president poured onto the streets in Cairo and across much of the nation Sunday, launching an all-out push to force Mohammed Morsi from office on the one-year anniversary of his inauguration. Fears of violence were high, with Morsi's Islamist supporters vowing to defend him.

Nationwide, the rallies were among the most gigantic Egypt has seen in nearly 2 1/2 years of continuous upheaval, including during the square-packing, 18-day uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.


Egyptian Troops Deployed to Keep Order After Brotherhood Offices Attacked - by Reza Sayah and Greg Botelho - June 28, 2013

(CNN) -- Egyptian troops canvassed streets Friday after a fresh spate of violence in the volatile North African nation, hoping to prevent a repeat of the bloody, chaotic revolution of two years ago, a military spokesman said.

Google Launches Internet-Beaming Balloons - by Cecilia Kang - June 14, 2013

Google has a truly sky-high idea for connecting billions of people to the Internet — 12 miles in the air to be exact — through giant helium balloons circling the globe that are equipped to beam WiFi signals below.

GMO Lunch? Uganda Considers Disease-Resistant Cassava


A woman sells cassava at a roadside market north of Uganda's capital, Kampala. Also known as manioc of yuca, cassave withstands heat, drought and flooding. Ugandans tend to grow it in small plots for family consumption during lean times. (Photo: Jon Miller/Homelands Productions)

submitted by Albert Gomez - by Jon Miller - June 13, 2013

Cassava is a vital staple in Africa and one of the most climate-resilient crops anywhere. It’s also highly susceptible to viral diseases. In Uganda, scientists are testing a virus-resistant transgenic variety, which they hope to introduce for free. But it’s run into a buzzsaw of hostility to genetically modified foods. Can this—or any—GMO succeed in the face of such determined opposition? Should it?


Open Data by Default – The New Mantra of G8 Leaders

G8 David Cameron thanked NGOs and other organisations for their lobbying on transparency

submitted by Albert Gomez - June 20, 2013

G8 leaders have committed to implementing transparent strategies to report pollution levels and energy consumption through the Open Data Charter, signed by all G8 countries this week.

Environmental protection is one of the key targets cited in the charter that can be achieved through the use of open data. This is arguably the most important climate change-related commitment, as under the environmental umbrella comes natural resource use, extractive industries and conflict minerals, positive governance and budget allocation.


Could Climate Bonds Become a Major Force in Green Finance?

submitted by Albert Gomez - June 3, 2013

So-called “green” or “climate” bonds, being issued by a number of financial institutions and state governments as a means of generating funding for sustainable development and clean energy technology, are becoming increasingly popular and could become a major new force in the green investment world, according to the Globe-Net.

The World Bank developed the Green Bond concept in 2007/2008 and simplicity is key to its popularity, according to Globe-Net blog post. The World Bank’s green bonds are triple-A rated and can be traded as easily as other “vanilla” investments, offering investors a high rate of liquidity.


Chapter 5. Eroding Soils Darkening Our Future - Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

Chapter 5. Eroding Soils Darkening Our Future

by Lester R. Brown

In 1938 Walter Lowdermilk, a senior official in the Soil Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, traveled abroad to look at lands that had been cultivated for thousands of years, seeking to learn how these older civilizations had coped with soil erosion. He found that some had managed their land well, maintaining its fertility over long stretches of history, and were thriving. Others had failed to do so and left only remnants of their illustrious pasts.

Chapter 5. Eroding Soils Darkening Our Future



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