Dams tame wild rivers, they prevent floods, irrigates crops and generate billions of watts of renewable hydroelectric power. But some 25 miles from Raqaa, Syria the Daesh (aka ISIS) don’t see the Tabqa dam as a source of green energy. They see it as a military base, a prison and weapon of war.
Used for perfumes, rose water; and for flavoring sweets like Turkish Delight, Syria’s famed Damask Rose, once championed by romanticists like William Shakespeare, is experiencing hard times due to the ongoing war in its native land. Although also grown in Turkey, Iran and other countries, the 30-petaled Damask rose, which achieved its most fame in areas of Syria near[.....]
Controversial weedkillers sold by Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow face an uncertain future after a European Union (EU) committee failed to reach consensus on new licensing for glyphosate, the primary ingredient across all brands. It is the second time the European Commission stalled on re-approval, and may result in a recall of the products from all[.....]
Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael or in English, Jewish National Fund (KKL- JNF), is the Israel-based non-profit founded on principals of land reclamation and afforestation. This group has announced a new undertaking that will serve dual ambitions of stewardship over the environment, and its most vulnerable people. At a press event in Brussels recently, KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny[.....]
In 2014, Israel was ranked first in the world in the field of innovation related to clean technology according to the “Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2014.” With a strong entrepreneurial culture, a high-level education system and facing significant geographical and natural constraints, Israel meets the specific conditions for the emergence of innovative start-ups in the[.....]
Gaza’s ever-increasing population growth, combined with severe fresh water shortages is resulting in constant challenges to provide enough food for the enclave’s 1.8 million inhabitants. Due to lack of available agricultural space, various methods used to produce food supplies have included planting roof top gardens of herbs and vegetables and small aquacultural projects to grow their own fish.[.....]
Over here in the Middle East we look to the “enlightened West” to show us the ropes –- to set the standards for studying and enforcing climate change goals. What kind of signal does this send to the world when Australia basically lays off 275 climate change researchers, one of whom was John Church, considered[.....]
I don’t care about spots on my apples, leave me the birds and the bees… this was the Joni Mitchell song in the 70s when DDT was a common pesticide. It may be banned in America but its effects linger on. Then there are entire classes of pesticides that are believed to be killing us in[.....]
The earth warming is not a recent invention. Scientists were already alarmed 20 years ago and more as they saw ozone layers ripping apart and the world getting warming. Back then I was charged to lead a forestry project –– finding if and how poplar trees could grow beside roads and highways to suck up[.....]
As an innovator of solar energy, Israel has been involved in a number of pilot projects in its Negev desert regions; in particular, one with Arava Power which resulted in a solar energy plant being put in place in the Arava region near Kibbutz Ketura. Areas in the West Bank under control of the Palestinian Authority[.....]
Controlled environment agriculture is rapidly becoming an important part of the global food system. For example, there has been much interest in the potential of large-scale, indoor agricultural production – often referred to as vertical farming – as a means to produce high quantities of produce. These “plant factories” are expensive to operate, however, in[.....]
Dubai is synonymous with man-made folly. Their Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, stands over half a mile high. They have manufactured islands in the shape of palm trees and continents. You can play tennis atop a skyscraper or ski in a mall. Now they’ve extended their fantastical designs to everyday functionality, with new garbage[.....]
Israel is smoking hot when it comes to tech start-ups, fashion, and vegetarian cuisine, but yesterday it showed signs of getting too hot for its own good. Air temperatures topped 46 degrees Celsius (nearly 115 degrees Fahrenheit) in Eilat, a record high for the Red Sea resort town according to the Israel Meteorological Service. The[.....]
Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) is hosting a yearlong exhibition on Israeli innovation that underscores the country’s reputation as the world’s “Start-up Nation”. Travelers through Israel’s main gateway are treated to an overview of 60 scientific and technological inventions and discoveries, several hailing from the labs of Ben Gurion University, with emphasis on Israel’s[.....]
When a phone dies, or even when it doesn’t, as an environmentally conscious person you’ll want to address the situation appropriately. How do you get rid of electronic devices safely? This is how you can recycle or upcycle your old phone so that you’ll stay in touch with others and still be doing your bit[.....]
For five years a set of unfinished twin towers have stood watch over Amman, Jordan, construction halted – allegedly crippled by lawsuits. The filthy glass facades soar above a street-level footprint ringed by old hoarding, abandoned building material and trash. The empty skyscrapers stand in silent testimony to both the 2008 world financial crisis and[.....]
Alberta Canada’s massive wildfire, which has now consumed an area larger than Hong Kong and threatens to reach the border with neighboring Saskatchewan, is another startling example that may be attributed to the ravages of global warming. While most of the Middle East does not have large tracts of forest land, areas where forests and grasslands are[.....]
It doesn’t really matter what kind of business you are in. Most businesses in the world still rely on paper. You or people you love are working with paper –– even if they use that paperless declaration in the email signature. Managing a lot of paper is not only bad news for the environment, it’s[.....]
A recent study released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) concludes that the current drought that began in 1998 in the eastern Mediterranean Levant – which includes Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey – is the region’s worst dry spell since 1100 C.E.
We love to report on eco-jewelry, from charms made from beach sand or breast milk to necklaces made from recycled teeth and bones. Now a Canadian jeweler is creating miniature landscapes made from wood, jewelry resin, and beeswax – forming frozen vignettes of natural settings that you can wear on your fingers.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) upped the wackiness factor of its portfolio of national mega-projects, announcing plans to build an artificial alp so the country can control its weather. Scientists will investigate if a man-made mountain will increase precipitation in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi in this nation where rain falls just five days[.....]
A new breed of companies are showing how innovation can be scaled for both business opportunities and global good. Led by resolute and independent thinkers, these companies are making dents in conventional ways of thinking to defy and fight for global change. The Katerva Award identifies 10 of these companies as finalists annually in its[.....]
The conflict in Syria happening now was predicted six years ago by water and climate scientists. New research from Germany says climate refugees from the Middle East will be fleeing for cover in the near future. The number of climate refugees will likely increase dramatically in future. Researchers of The Cyprus Institute and the Max[.....]
A global consortium of engineering and renewables industry giants kicked off a project to build a suite of solar power generating plants in Egypt to produce 2 gigawatts (GW) of electricity and valued at USD $3.5 billion. Terra Solar announced their plan on Friday, adding that they will also build a 200 MW PV module and inverter manufacturing[.....]
Reclaimed or grey water is touted as a great means to save and reuse water where water resources are thin. A new study from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem makes us want to think twice about saving precious water: researchers studied the vegetables grown in reclaimed water and found traces of human pharmaceuticals used for treating[.....]
An octopus at New Zealand’s National Aquarium decided he’s had enough of life in captivity and deftly devised his own escape to the sea. His amazing getaway won Inky the octopus instant fame, and raises new questions about cephalopod intelligence.
Human-caused damage to the earth’s natural environment has resulted in a number of serious ecological problems, including global warming and rising sea levels. Human encroachment on natural habitats have been a serious factor in world habitat destruction, especially in the Middle East. Africa’s natural habitats, particularly wildlife habitats, have been decimated in recent years by human encroachment,[.....]
This past March Abu Dhabi city has witnessed its most intense rain storm in recent memory. Storms usually do not make it to Arabian cities on the Gulf; they jump on summer monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean only to break on unfortunate shores of Oman. I happened to spend my teens in Abu Dhabi, and the[.....]
The World Bank, the biggest provider of public finance to developing countries, has earmarked 28% of its 2016 budget for projects that mitigate climate change, according to a statement released on Thursday. All of its future spending will take global warming into account, and all projects considered for WBG funding, including health and education, will now[.....]
‘Everything in moderation’ is good advice, especially when it comes to sunshine. Humans know this, especially in the Middle East, mastering all means of shading devices, and protective clothing. But what if you are an organism without access to sunscreen? Two scientists at Israel’s oldest university have discovered how bacteria protect themselves from overexposure.
The weeks that girdled Christmas and New Year’s had me living like a fois gras goose, endlessly stuffed with food and drink as my family raced from Jordan to England to the US for clan-centric rituals ranging from a funeral to a birthday, with the usual winter holidays in between. I recently scanned the snapshots,[.....]
Zaha Hadid, the first female architect (and first Muslim) to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize, died yesterday in a Miami hospital after suffering a heart attack while being treated for bronchitis. The Iraqi-born mathematician and architect whose designs were both celebrated and divisive, was 65 years old.
United Nations-sponsored World Water Day was celebrated this week in a series of events around the world ranging from races to speeches to demonstrations of how individuals could conserve consumption of this most-critical of natural resources. To mark the occasion, two experts in international water policy have co-authored an Op-Ed exploring the future of water,[.....]
Leigh Ofer and her company Seed Street in Harlem gives new meaning to the term circular economy: We meet over the Internet and find a mutual passion for urban farming in New York City –– we’re kindred souls who see cities as our future food production engines. I am interested in technology for improving urban food and social[.....]
Despite the forecast of dire effects of global warming in the Middle East, oil producing countries like Saudi Arabia have continued to keep oil production at high levels. Located in one of hottest regions on earth, the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia has also expressed high interest in building nuclear power plants, despite being a country rich in solar energy potential.[.....]
Earth Hour is upon us. It comes every year on Saturday 19 March, as the clock strikes 8:30 PM around the globe. It’s a worldwide movement that aims to unite the global community on a broad range of environmental issues, working on a grassroots level to enact mass behavioral change. Join the fun by turning off[.....]
The world’s increasingly polluted seas and oceans, as well as rising sea levels, are now becoming a sad reality as Mankind’s contribution is becoming increasingly evident. Whether this causes massive fish die-offs, or other ecological catastrophes like toxic coast pollution, more and more of the world’s environmental problems are being linked to human caused abuse of natural resources. Israel’s long[.....]
Some 795 million people worldwide are food insecure: they do not have enough food to lead a healthy life, and with the earth’s population increasing these numbers are about to rise even higher. By 2050, the world needs to produce at least 50% more food in order to feed its growing population. What can we do[.....]
Silicon Valley’s has its hoodie-wearing tech entrepreneurs as the poster kids of innovation. You can find a similar story over in Silicon Alley New York (like at AlleyNYC), or in Tel Aviv, Israel. Disruption is the name of the game. But according to a new study by Thomson Reuters the real source of innovation starts at government.[.....]
Just in time for St. Paddy’s Day, scientists from Dublin and Belfast have evidence that stone age Irish settlers had genetic origins in the Middle East. Thank the Vikings for the DNA that gave rise to red hair and freckles, introduced when they invaded the island nation at the end of the eighth century. But[.....]
We’ve travelled to Casablanca to see where Bogart gave his favorite lines, to learn the movie wasn’t really filmed there. Many of the movies you see are like this: filmed in studios or in locations only resembling the assumed backdrop. In reality, some of the world’s famous hotels were already famous before the film’s success, while[.....]
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced yesterday the formation of a new, nation-less team of athletes cleared to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer. According to a statement released on the IOC website, the all-refugee team will be treated the same as the other teams representing the 206 National[.....]
When former US Vice President Al Gore warned about the consequences of global warming and climate change and was both applauded and condemned for his efforts, there were still more deniers than believers that our modern civilization was causing this two sided phenomenon. Since 2007, When Albert Arnold Gore Jr. was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace[.....]
Instagram photographer “m1rasoulifard” has been creating a visual catalog of Iranian architecture, shooting the interiors of mosques, such as Hazrat-Masoumeh in Qom (above), and cultural centers, like the Chaharbagh School in Isfahan. His images capture intricately detailed interiors rich in texture and kaleidoscopic colors. Tuck into this visual feast of Iran’s splendiferous ceilings; scenes lost to[.....]
So, you care about the environment and ensuring that you play your part in preserving the beauty of nature but how do you go about imparting these lessons to your children? It can be challenging for parents to impart these important lessons to their little ones. As the saying goes, “charity begins at home… ”[.....]
Morocco has activated the Noor I concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, the first part of a three-phase development in the Sahara Desert intended to supply more than a million homes with electricity by 2018. The 500,000 crescent-shaped solar mirrors of Noor I, which sits on thousands of acres of desert terrain near Ouarzazate, will generate up to 160[.....]
Sit four people around the dinner table, and at see that least three are tethered to their smartphones (well, someone’s got to cook and serve). What’s a conversation-starved hostess to do? Head to IKEA Taiwan where designers have cooked up a table that encourages real-time relationships, eye contact and chat. You remember those once-essential ingredients to a[.....]
Interior Design & Textiles students from London’s Royal College of Art (RCA) have designed a piece of clothing with three distinct uses: it is a weather-proof coat, a sleeping bag, and a tent. Their prototype aims to meet the immediate needs of migrating people, with pockets specially designed to store passports, personal documents, and phones.
Things have gone terribly wrong in an Egyptian zoo where a group of baboons turned on one of their cage-mates, tearing at its legs and biting off its feet, according to eye-witness reports. Images of the African baboon, whose feet were cannibalized by his cage mates, have gone viral on Egyptian social media. “Due to extreme hunger,[.....]
A Dubai-based abaya fashion designer has come up with a way to take the traditional black cloak into the future by integrating nanotechnology into its sleeves, giving the garment the capability to charge a smartphone or tablet. Manaal Al Hammadi showcased her solar-powered abaya at the last month’s World Energy Summit 2016 at the Abu Dhabi[.....]
China’s state-owned ChemChina tendered a $43 billion bid for Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta today as part of a strategy to improve domestic food production. Remember the classic board game Monopoly? It’s being played by multi-national agri-businesses in attempt to control the world food supply chain. China is the largest agricultural market on the planet. Syngenta’s[.....]
Google did a doodle marking the 151st birthday of the pharmacist who helped us navigate the chili peppers, the tiny veggie with the power to drop diners to their knees. Wilbur Scoville was the first person to measure the heat of peppers. His heat scale is still in use today, scoring the piquancy of peppers. (What[.....]