Ecology and Environment
A tsunami triggered by a 7.7 magnitude quake in Western Indonesia has killed 113 people while another 500 are missing, local authorities reports today.
The powerful jolt that struck the island of Sumatra yesterday just 20 kilometers (13 miles) beneath the ocean floor was followed by at least 14 aftershocks, the largest measuring 6.2, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
In the UK, Scientists call on the Prime Minister to save funding for scientific research for the benefit of humanity and axe funding for nuclear destruction. Highlighting the lack of financial transparency in military research spending in moments of savage cuts to public services, SGR Executive Director points out, “The Cold War is over.”
Competition is one of the foundation stones of Capitalism. Certainly competition has its place, but not where matters of universal importance are at stake; not when co-operation is required to ensure the future prosperity of humanity. Will the Mont Pelerin Society forum think outside the Capitalist box this time, or will it not?
The culture of minimising and hiding the true extent of nuclear danger raises its ugly head again. A fire at Aldermaston nuclear bomb making establishment on August 3rd was reported in the newspapers as a minor incident which, although neighbours were evacuated for some hours, did not really represent a nuclear risk. Well, not exactly…
Almost 25 years after Spielberg’s film *Back to the Future* predicted the use of rubbish as a fuel for cars several projects that transform household waste into fuel are on their way thanks to bacteria originally used for compost heaps, which have been now genetically engineered to produce Ethanol by braking down the cellulose in food and other organic substances.
Walking through many places in the world to call for people to plant trees, protect the environment and on the occasion of this interview, telling of his exploits in Vietnam, Yuji Miyata shares with Earthwalker Paul Coleman on a visit to Patagonia some anecdotes from his chosen path in life as Japan’s “Johnny Appleseed”.
“The present technological era has meant an impoverishment of the relationship of human beings with nature”. This is one of the conclusions of the report “Harmony with Nature” that United Nations General Secretary will present to the General Assembly as a Bolivian initiative, that counts with the sponsorship of other 61 countries.
In Pakistan, it has been a month since torrential monsoon rains triggered the country’s worst natural disaster on record. As many as 20 million people have been left homeless due to the massive flooding. UN officials say an estimated 72,000 children in flood-affected areas are at high risk of death because of severe malnutrition.
Last month experts published a series of studies indicating that, contrary to previous conclusions, the animal populations are decreasing in the exclusion zone which surrounds the site where the former Soviet nuclear plant functioned, and that the effects of the radioactive contamination following the explosion have been “overwhelming”.
The United Nations says the number of people suffering from the massive floods in Pakistan has now exceeded 13 million which is more than the combined total of people affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake combined, though the death toll in Pakistan is far lower.