The United Nations Millennium Project says half the world appears vulnerable to social instability and violence, according to the Environmental News Network. A new report -- “2009 State of the Future” -- cited the global recession and longer-term issues, including water, food and energy supplies and the effects of climate change.
A disastrous energy crunch lies ahead because most of the world’s major oil fields have passed their production peak, Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, told The Independent.
Some of the top global shoe brands have demanded a moratorium on destruction of the Amazon rain forest from their leather suppliers in Brazil, The Guardian reported. Some suppliers reportedly had obtained cattle from farms involved in illegal deforestation.
Exposure to lead-based paint remains a serious global health threat, according to US researchers, who found that countries on three continents still allow manufacturers to sell paints containing high levels of the heavy metal, the Environmental News Network said.
India will make energy-efficiency ratings mandatory for electric appliances from January, Reuters
Some fisheries in the United States, Iceland and Australia are beginning to recover from overfishing, according to The Guardian. In Ireland and in the North Sea, however, depleted stocks are not improving.
Bolivia has become the world’s first nation to prohibit the use of all animals in circuses, the Associated Press reported.
The World Bank will loan Bangladesh US$130 million to install solar-energy panels to power 300,000 households, Reuters said.
Carbon-dioxide emissions from deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon are increasing as loggers and land developers move deeper into dense forest areas, Nature News reported, citing a new study.
Water ministers from Nile basin countries allocated six more months in which to iron out a water-sharing pact rejected by Egypt and Sudan, according to Agence France-Presse.
India has approved a US$19-billion plan to make the country a global leader in solar energy over the next three decades, according to Nature News.
The American state of Hawaii is imposing big fines and turning to the courts for compensation for damage to its pristine coral reefs, the Associated Press said.
Fear of the distant horrors of climate change isn't enough to drive anything more than just political talk and hand-wringing