Here are my favorite environment, health, climate change, international development or country specific blog posts (and articles) for the past week in no particular order.
- How Tuaregs, Hausas are avoiding another Darfur from Christian Science Monitor
On the southern fringe of the Sahara Desert herders and farmers with a bitter history of fighting over dwindling resources are now working together to stop a common enemy: the desert’s increasingly rapid advance.
- BP: Going Back to Its Petroleum Roots from Earth2Tech
BPâ€™s new chief executive, Tony Hayward, announced a major business restructuring this week that could result in the companyâ€™s clean energy initiatives getting pushed to the back burner. Calling it â€œa fundamental shiftâ€ in the way the oil giant does business, Hayward said BPâ€™s gas power & renewables division would be folded into its two existing exploration and refining segments.
See also: Link of the Day: BP – False Advertising? [Pic]
- A Look at the Group Sharing the Peace Prize from NPR
Al Gore may be the big name getting the Noble Peace Prize, but half of the award is going to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change â€” or IPCC. The once obscure body is having its moment in the spotlight. Its thousands of scientists from around the globe can now say they got a piece of a Nobel Prize.
- Indonesia Hopeful for Tree Planting Record from Green Options
According to Greenpeace, Indonesia had the fastest pace of deforestation in the world between 2000 and 2005, with an area of forest equivalent to 300 soccer pitches disappearing each hour.
But theyâ€™re looking to turn things around and, in all reality, on their heads!
Ahead of the U.N. climate change summit being held in their native Bali this December, the Indonesian people â€“ from the lowest to the highest in status, including the President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono â€“ will be planting a total of 79 million trees in one day!
Scheduled for November 28th, the tree planting will be part of a global initiative launched at U.N. climate change talks in Nairobi last year. The Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign has so far planted 346,469,727 trees, with a total pledge of 1,130,983,692 trees. 79 million is definitely going to help matters!
See also: Cuba Does Its Part in Billion Tree Campaign from Treehugger
- How global warming will save us from peak oil from How the World Works
The best reason yet not to be worried about global warming: A more pleasant climate in the Arctic will make it easier for oil and gas companies to extract resources in the formerly harsh north.
That is the most delightful nugget to be mined from a front-page article in Tuesday’s New York Times by Jad Mouawad, “A Quest for Energy in the Globe’s Remote Places.” Here is a reporter for whom the glass is always half full, of fossil fuel.
- African conflict costs $300 billion from FP Passport
It’s hardly news that war has hampered Africa’s development, but a new study by Oxfam is the first to quantify just how much the continent has lost through armed conflict. Since 1990, war has cost Africa almost $300 billion, according to the report. This is an average of $18 billion per year or 15 percent of GDP. It’s also equal to the total amount given in aid to Africa by major international donors over the same period. As the report explains, while the destruction of lives, property, infrastructure in war is expensive, the real damage is in opportunity costs:
- Brad Pitt to Make It Right with 150 Affordable, Sustainable Homes from Jetson Green
Hot on the heels of Pitt’s latest work in New Orleans comes this new announcement that he and Steve Bing are planning a new 150-home community in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. He wants to Make It Right, in a place that gets less and less attention.
- Between A Ship And A Hard Place: Hazardous Shipbreaking In Alang, India from Treehugger
Alang, India, is the place where for the past year environmentalists have been protesting for the health of shipbreakers there, with the breaking of the 46,000 ton, 16-storey tall Norwegian cruise liner Blue Lady. Greenpeace states that the shipyard does not have the technology to safely dismantle the ship, which they estimated could contain 900 tons of toxic waste like asbestos.
- The End of An African Nightmare from Nicholas Kristof’s Blog at NYTimes
I am witnessing a truly remarkable turnaround. Iâ€™m in Monrovia, Liberia, in the midst of what until recently was a horrible war zone, but is now a place of hope. Led by the indomitable President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman elected head of state in Africa, Liberia is beginning to rebound from its devastating civil war and the monstrous incompetence of Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor that nearly destroyed the country. Liberia is at peace, the economy is growing, democracy is taking root, kids are going back to school and families are being united.
- The ‘Exxon of corn’ licks its chops from Gristmill
Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) Chief Financial Officer Doug Schmalz said Tuesday the corn and soy bean processing giant would consider buying ethanol plants now that lower prices for the fuel have been pressuring production margins. “In general, we’ll look at all opportunities including acquisitions,” Schmalz said at the Citi Biofuels Conference. “We have to have properties that will fit within our network. Some plants just wouldn’t fit; others might. We’ll analyze that as they become available.”