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Easter Water and Water in Religion: Part 1

  Water has a central place in the practices and beliefs of many religions for two main reasons.  Firstly, water cleanses.  Water washes away impurities and pollutants, it can make an object look as good as new and wipe away any signs of previous defilement. Water not only purifies objects for ritual use, but can […]

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Biodiversity vital to streams as extinctions rise

As Earth enters a period of mass extinction, a study released on Wednesday offers a new reason to preserve biodiversity: it’s an effective, natural pollution scrubber in streams. Environmental activists have long warned that waning biodiversity means the loss of such ecological services as stream-cleaning, control of pests and diseases and increased productivity in fisheries. […]

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Japanese radiation found in Canadian water

Radioactive traces from the crippled Japanese nuclear plant in Fukushima have been found in water in the Canadian city of Vancouver. But the levels were extremely low, according to the Canadian Health Ministry and well-known experts in the Pacific province of British Colombia. “Levels of radioactive Iodine-131 rose seven days after the reactor accident in […]

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Medical and Military Leaders warn that Climate Change Threatens Global Security

Medical and military leaders have come together to warn that climate change not only spells a global health catastrophe, but also threatens global stability and security. “Climate change poses an immediate and grave threat, driving ill-health and increasing the risk of conflict, such that each feeds upon the other,” they write in an editorial published […]

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Call to ban shale gas exploration in the Karoo

Groups opposing shale gas mining bids by Shell and other explorers in the Karoo yesterday asked the government to immediately end these plans and ban any future exploration. As an alternative, the Karoo Action Group asked President Jacob Zuma to impose a moratorium, pending studies into water impacts, alternative land uses, and a decision on […]

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What is Sustainability?

The concept of sustainability has been sustaining the earth for as long as it’s been around – that’s why this planet is still here. Yet there seems to be some disagreement among twenty-first century humans about the meaning of sustainability. Some people claim that sustainability is a collection of costly boutique solutions only affordable to […]

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Do we have a right to clean, fresh water?

Dear EarthTalk: Recently the UN voted to declare access to safe and clean water a “human right.” Isn’t that a no-brainer? What are the ramifications of this declaration? – P. James, Boston, MA In July 2010 the United Nations (UN) agreed to a new resolution declaring the human right to “safe and clean drinking water […]

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Radioactive Water Leaks Into Sea From Crippled Nuclear Plant (Japan)

RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan — Highly radioactive water spilled into the ocean off a tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant Saturday, as Japan’s prime minister surveyed the damage in a town gutted by the wave. The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex has been spewing radioactivity since March 11, when a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing wave knocked out power, disabling cooling […]

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Exposure to Noise Pollution is Shortening Lives

Exposure to noise pollution is shortening lives and causing significant health problems in Western Europe, and is second only to air pollution as a cause of environmental health problems, according to the world’s first comprehensive report on the health effects of noise. An analysis of existing epidemiological studies found that at least 1 million healthy […]

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