Indonesia’s Mount Merapi: A Volcano’s Lasting Legacy

Mount Merapi continued to take its toll today, as the bodies of four rescue team members were recovered from the slopes of the volcano. In the past two weeks of eruptions taking place in west Java, over 140 have died, and civilians have been forbidden from entering a 20-kilometer zone around the volcano.

The archipelago of Indonesia,

Oil Spill Report Hits White House. Is it Fair?

Sometimes a President can’t catch a break—a lesson the current, beleaguered resident of the Oval Office keeps learning. The latest bit of bad news came from a commission the President himself appointed back in the spring to study the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama announced the creation of the study group on May …

Can the World Meet its Promise to Halve Hunger by 2015?

A new report released by Oxfam this week has some good news and some bad news for the state of world hunger. The good news: last year, the FAO recorded the first significant dent in world hunger in 15 years, with a decrease from a record 1.02 billion people going hungry in 2009 after the global food crisis down to 925 million this …

The San Francisco Explosion: Another Strike Against An Industry Under Scrutiny?

Unruly winds were still spreading the fires late into the night on Thursday in San Bruno, California, after an explosion in the San Francisco satellite community set more than 50 homes on fire. People in the area thought they had witnessed a plane crash, hearing a loud rumbling and watching a fireball lift up into the afternoon sky. …

Climate Change: Does Warming Help Cause Civil Wars?

Say this about Marshall Burke and Halvard Buhaug—they know how to title their papers. Late last year Burke, an economist at the University of California-Berkeley, co-authored a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) titled “Warming increases the risk of civil war in Africa,” which sums up the argument …

Oil Sludge Blights Beaches of Party Mecca Goa

Black tar balls and oil sludge have surfaced this week on the famed beaches of Goa, the small Indian state so beloved by the day-glowed ravers of yesteryear. According to the AP, pudding-like oil deposits some six inches deep have soiled popular beaches like Colva, Candolim and Calangute, the likes of which draw millions of tourists …

Niger Delta Oil Spills in Spotlight

With the world’s gaze focused on the dangers of oil spills, attention turned this week to a relatively overlooked environmental calamity: oil spills in Ogoniland, a part of Nigeria’s Niger Delta. If the BP rig disaster was a geyser, the spills in Ogoniland have been a slow bleed

After the Floods, What Will Happen to Pakistan’s Farmers?

Monsoon season isn’t over yet in Pakistan — after three weeks of heavy rains and disastrous floods, the flood warnings are still coming in, threatening further chaos in a nation that is already in way over its head. To date, over 82,000 miles have been affected, killing at least 1600 people, destroying an estimated 723,000 homes and …

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