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Solar water heaters to help improve healthcare in rural South Africa

The Qunu clinic in the Eastern Cape has been supplied with two solar water heating (SWH) systems, through the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa’s (Sessa’s) Sunwater for Life initiative. The installation at the Qunu clinic was funded by Absa Insurance Company, and allows the clinic to better serve the almost 1 000 people who […]

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How Will Cities Supply Enough Water in the Future?

It’s official: For the first time in human history, more people are living in cities than rural areas — a trend that’s certain to accelerate. But with most freshwater systems already stressed, how will the world’s cities be able to supply water — and water that’s clean — to a projected 1.5 billion new residents […]

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Ranchers using Agent Orange to deforest the Amazon

180 hectares (450 acres) of rainforest in the Brazilian Amazon were defoliated using a potent mix of herbicides dropped by airplane, reports IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental law enforcement agency. The affected area, which is south of the city of Canutama and near the Mapinguari Jacareúba / Katawixi indigenous reservation in Rondônia, was first detected by Brazil’s […]

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Fracking: A Clear and Present Danger

I don’t like to exaggerate the impacts of the many environmental issues we face. But  it’s impossible to overstate how dangerous fracking is. Fracking stands for “hydraulic fracturing,” a highly polluting process for tapping underground pools of natural gas. It involves drilling a hole a mile deep, thousands of feet long, then pumping down millions […]

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Global Food Security Threatened By Rising Temperatures

Heat waves clearly can destroy crop harvests. The world saw high heat decimate Russian wheat in 2010. Crop ecologists have found that each 1-degree-Celsius rise in temperature above the optimum can reduce grain harvests by 10 percent. But the indirect effects of higher temperatures on our food supply are no less serious. Rising temperatures are […]

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France Becomes First Country To Ban Fracking

In a major setback for the oil and gas industry, the French Senate last week voted 176 to 151 to ban hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking), the controversial gas industry drilling method facing scrutiny the world over due to water contamination and other concerns. Once the legislation receives presidential approval, France will be the first country […]

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Global Water Scarcity: Threat or Opportunity for Aquaculture?

The shortage of suitable freshwater resources is fast becoming a global catastrophe. How do we know this? In the 20th century the global population tripled and currently 220 000 people are born daily. This population growth, along with industrialisation and urbanisation, has resulted in several countries facing serious water shortages. A direct result of this […]

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Nearly 200 Rhinos Killed in South Africa So Far This Year

2011 is shaping up to be one of the worst years on record for rhinos. Poachers in South Africa have already killed 193 of the animals in the first six months of this year alone — that’s according to conservation group WWF. This grim uptick in rhino killing puts 2011 on track to surmount last […]

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Pollution from China’s massive coal-burning linked to global cooling

WASHINGTON — Scientists have come up with a possible explanation for why the rise in Earth’s temperature paused for a bit during the 2000s, one of the hottest decades on record. The answer seems counterintuitive. It’s all that sulfur pollution in the air from China’s massive coal-burning, according to a new study. Sulfur particles in […]

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