Climate Change & Environment
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U.N. Climate Talks Plagued by Twin Fears

Negotiators from 195 nations tasked with crafting a universal climate pact are driven by twin fears tugging in opposite directions, which may result in a hollow deal, say analysts.

The all-too-real prospect of climate catastrophe on a horizon of decades, not centuries, coupled with a rising tide of expectations, would seem to be powerful incentives to forge an agreement that is truly up to the task.

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Tutu, Klein and Chomsky Call for Mass Climate Action ahead of Paris Conference

Desmond Tutu, Vivienne Westwood, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky are among a group of high-profile figures who will issue a mass call to action on Thursday ahead of the UN’s crunch climate change conference in Paris in December.

They call for mass mobilization on the scale of the slavery abolition and anti-apartheid movements to trigger “a great historical shift”.

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Zebra Mussels Found in Gunpowder, Middle Rivers

Possibly aided by June's record wet weather, invasive zebra mussels have found their way down the Chesapeake Bay as far as Middle River, not far from Baltimore.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that it had confirmed the presence along the bay's upper western shore of the little brown-striped shellfish that have clogged power plants and drinking water facilities in the Great Lakes region.

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Middle East Faces Water Shortages for the Next 25 Years, Study Says

Water supplies across the Middle East will deteriorate over 25 years, threatening economic growth and national security and forcing more people to move to already overcrowded cities, a new analysis suggests.

As the region, which is home to over 350 million people, begins to recover from a series of deadly heatwaves which have seen temperatures rise to record levels for weeks at a time, the World Resources Institute (WRI) claims water shortages were a key factor in the 2011 Syria civil war.

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Gabon Protecting Vital Forests, and Communities

Anne-Marie Ndong Obiang has a machete attached to her belt, which she assures us is “for cutting off poachers’ fingers”. In her spotless forest-green camouflage uniform she does not appear to be joking. Working for Gabon’s National Parks Agency (ANPN) she has firsthand experience of the harsh conditions in the big reserves in the north of the country, some almost impenetrable. Gold prospectors, often from neighboring Cameroon, have been known to leave craters 40 metres deep in the middle of the woods.

Obiang is head of the Raponda Walker Arboretum close to the capital Libreville, which is on the Atlantic coast. Her priority here is to combat uncontrolled urban sprawl. “My fellow eco-wardens and myself can’t look the other way for a moment without someone starting to build beside the track,” she says. True enough quite substantial houses are springing up, with no planning permission, jeopardizing the exceptional forest ecosystem that is bordered by a few sandy creeks – miraculously spared so far. To the south, the city is spreading unchecked. “We have about 40 endemic plant species here and we’re still identifying new ones, despite the airport being only 15 minutes away,” she says. Her favorite natural landmark is an Aleppo pine, 57 meters tall, which she likes showing to visiting schoolchildren.

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Islamic Leaders Issue Bold Call for Rapid Phase out of Fossil Fuels

Islamic leaders have issued a clarion call to 1.6bn Muslims around the world to work towards phasing out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a 100% renewable energy strategy.

The grand mufti’s of Lebanon and Uganda endorsed the Islamic declaration on climate change, along with prominent Islamic scholars and teachers from 20 countries, at a symposium in Istanbul.

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How Will Climate Change Affect your Livelihood

As the reality of global warming starts to hit home, people may ask: “How will it affect my livelihood?”

Well, that depends — on your profession, your age, and exactly where you live, among other things.

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Ocean Warming and Acidification Needs more Attention, Argues U.S.

The U.S. government has urged the international community to focus more on the impact of climate change on the oceans, amid growing concern over changes affecting corals, shellfish and other marine life.

The U.S. will raise the issue at United Nations climate talks in Paris later this year. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be asked to devote more research to the issue.

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Dutch Govt. to Appeal Court Ruling on Greenhouse Gases

The Dutch government said Tuesday it would appeal a landmark court ruling ordering it to slash greenhouse gases across the country by 25 percent by 2020.

The June judgment had been hailed as a "milestone" by climate experts after 900 Dutch citizens went to court in a bid to force a national reduction of emissions blamed for global warming.

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Obama Says World Must Speed Climate Change Fight

U.S. President Barack Obama warned Monday that climate change is no longer a problem of the future, but rather a challenge for now and one that will define the next century.

Describing the "urgent and growing" threat that was not being addressed quick enough, Obama sketched the problems already facing people living in one of America's last wilderness frontiers.

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