Global environmental challenges
In the small central Gaza town of Deir el Belah, one family has made a cottage industry out of green innovation.
“There was a period in Gaza when there was no gas or you had to wait for hours in line to get gas. So we made the oven according to our needs,” said Maher Youssef Abou Tawahina, who, along with his father, runs a hardware shop in town.
Abou Tawahina is referring to a solar-powered oven that he and his family invented two years ago. The oven, which sits in the family’s backyard, takes five minutes to heat up using electricity. Then, its glass ceiling uses the sun to continue the heating process. The oven is not quite hot enough for baking bread, he said, but it’s perfect for roasting chicken.
The idea of the solar-powered oven was so well received around Deir El Belah that orders poured in from around the neighborhood. Abou Tawahina said that he and his father built over 30 of them until the insulating glass became unavailable on the market.
from Photographers Blog:
I joined a Greenpeace tour flying over Sumatra Island to take pictures of their protest over forest destruction.
Five photographers and a TV cameraman set off early in the morning, while it was still dark, in a new, single-propeller aircraft. No one told me it would be nearly three hours to get to Jambi on a small plane with no toilet. Luckily for me I had an empty bottle as an emergency measure.
From time to time we are reminded there is a floating pool of plastic bottles, caps, and broken down debris roughly the size of Texas swirling in the Pacific Ocean.
There’s a collective disgust when it bobs back into view, like it did this week after the Guardian profiled a group of Dutch eco-architects and their ambitious design of a so-called Recycled Island made entirely of the trash now floating in the North Pacific, between Hawaii and San Francisco.
The oil is no longer gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the broken BP well, and a final “bottom kill” is in prospect — though delayed by an iffy weather forecast. That means the environment’s on the mend along the Gulf Coast, right?
Not really. There’s the little problem of subsidence to deal with.
Because the Mississippi River has been channeled to control flooding, coastal wetlands have been starved of sediment. Without fresh sediment coming down the river, wetlands can’t keep up with erosion and protective marshes can turn into open water. Subsidence is what this phenomenon is called.
– Valerie Volcovici is a Washington, DC-based journalist for Point Carbon, a Thomson Reuters company that provides news and intelligence on environmental and energy markets. Any views expressed here are her own. —
Enbridge’s stain on the Kalamazoo River in central Michigan pushed this Calgary-based energy delivery company to the headlines as details emerged about 840,000 gallons of crude that spilled from one of their pipelines into a creek on July 26.
Enbridge leads this installment of The Green Gauge, a breakdown of companies that made headlines July 18 to August 9 for winning or losing credibility based on environment-related activity.
A view of a traditional gold mine, near the eastern Congolese town of Kamituga, a mining town.
The following is a guest host by Dunstan Allison Hope, managing director of BSR’s Information, Communications, and Technology Practice. He is also co-author of “Big Business, Big Responsibilities.” The opinions expressed are his own.
from Tales from the Trail:
Oil caused the mess in the Gulf of Mexico. Should U.S. oil royalties pay for scientists to study what happened, and what's still happening, to this complex environment?
At least one scientist thinks so. Ed Overton of Louisiana State University figures the billions of dollars collected in royalties by the now-defunct and much-reviled Minerals Management Service -- re-named and re-organized as the Bureau of Ocean Energy -- must have enough money to pay for research into the environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill.
from Global Investing:
An Australian local government superannuation fund has become the latest state-owned fund to invest in environmental funds.
Local Government Super (LGS), which manages around A$6 billion in assets for 100,000 local government employees in New South Wales, has invested A$50 million ($45.96 million) into a portfolio which invests in small cap environmental technology stocks, run by London-based Impax Asset Management.
– Dr. Bruce Stein is associate director for wildlife conservation and global warming at the National Wildlife Federation. Any views expressed here are his own. —
Here at the National Wildlife Federation, we’re encouraged by reports of progress in permanently sealing the Gulf oil gusher and at removing oil from the Gulf’s surface. But we’re concerned that both BP and our federal government seem eager to declare the crisis over even as oil continues sullying the habitats on which the Gulf’s wildlife and seafood industry depend.