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[.....]
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[.....]
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 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[.....]
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.
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,[.....]
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[.....]
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[.....]
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[.....]
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.
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[.....]
A new report from the Climate Council of Australia revealed that last year’s global average temperature was the highest since global records began in 1880, with 2015 experiencing its hottest year on record – again – besting the 2014 stats by a jaw-dropping 0.16°C. To paraphrase Paris Hilton, that’s hot.
Soup for Syria is a beautiful new cookbook of delicious and easy-to-make recipes guaranteed to fill your belly and feed your mind with heightened humanitarian awareness. But at its heart it is a cookbook, a perfect primer for any cook seeking healthy and flavorful food made with no-fuss ingredients (mostly vegetarian) found in supermarkets everywhere.
Does nature have a marketing problem? Headlines about climate change, extreme weather, and their catastrophic impacts to the built environment are overwhelming. It’s easy to feel helpless and at a loss for meaningful action. So the folks at a Colorado-based grassroots environmental group decided to do a bit of alchemy, mixing beautiful images of the natural[.....]
The Paris Conference of Parties has officially ended with 195 nations signing up to a partially legally binding program of measures for curbing climate change. Green Prophet’s read the 31-page agreement and we urge you to do the same. Find the full report here, saving you an unnecessary online search (which Google estimates as producing 0.02 grams of[.....]
As the world awaits the release of the final draft agreement emerging from the COP21 climate talks – expected this morning – longtime expert in water policy, Dr. Sundeep Waslekar explores one specific aspect of climate change in the following article, providing clear insight into the future of water, not only as a critical resource for all[.....]
Global climate talks expected to close today in Paris have extended into Saturday, according French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Appearing last night on French BFMTV he said that he would present a new compromise text for a deal to combat global warming on Saturday morning. The extra day of negotiations aims to reach accord between the[.....]
While UN climate-conference delegates seek ways to cut world reliance on high-carbon fuels like oil, OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) confirmed that it would keep producing oil at current levels, estimated in excess of 31 million barrels a day, despite prices that continue to plummet. Arab activists are on the case. Earlier[.....]
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) must keep pace with the rest of the world and push for a future fully powered by renewable energy, says IndyACT, the leading Arab non-governmental organization working on climate change policy.
Croatian architect Nicola Bašić added a sensual dimension to a waterfront promenade in Zadar, Croatia by using wave energy to create sound. His concrete “sea organ” harnesses kinetic energy from the Adriatic sea to create random – but soothing – harmonized notes. It’s a bit of a riff off Nero fiddling while Rome burns; as the “music” increases[.....]
American media giant 20th Century Fox has teamed up with United Arab Emirates Al Ahli Holding Group to build a theme park in Dubai, set to open in 2018, that will feature attractions based on blockbuster movies such as “Aliens,” “Titanic,” “Ice Age” and “Planet of the Apes.” So the UAE builds another resource-guzzling folly for audiences[.....]
It’s raining cats and dogs in Amman, Jordan now, closing roads (flooded underpasses), some schools, and many offices. It’s the usual drill for a city ill-equipped for atypical weather. Now online transportation giant Uber is helping to “rain down more dogs” for a limited time today in what could be the world’s most adorable fundraiser.
Following Israel’s smart solar trees, the Dubai Municipality is rolling out a series of “community tech hubs” based on 3D printed palm trees that collect solar power. The stations are also where users can recharge their phones, tablets and laptops, enjoy free WiFi, and check in on local weather and news. The Smart Palm initiative aligns with[.....]
The European Charter against food waste was just presented at Milan Expo 2015, two weeks before the end of the six-month-long world’s fair which was focused on feeding the world. Drafted by over 40 schools across seven European countries, and with advice from 50 municipal governments, it outlines concrete actions for cutting food waste from homes, supermarkets[.....]
Dutch Design Week 2015 is a misnomer, the event actually runs over nine days across 100 locations displaying the experiments and ideas of 2400 designers, including works by students from the Design Academy Eindhoven. Participating designers often focus on environmental problems, but this year many tackled humanitarian problems such as the flow of refugees from the Middle[.....]
Critically acclaimed Scottish photographer Dougie Wallace has stepped on some well-heeled toes with his latest documentary project where he turns his lens to the rising economic power of the “one per cent”. His current exhibition, entitled Harrodsburg, captures the ultra-affluent visitors that inhabit – albeit only seasonally – the super-rich residential and retail district of[.....]
Jordan’s plastic bags enjoy more freedom than most of its people. Bags fly free. They don’t need visas to cross borders, and they sidestep beach fees to get into the sea. Shops here hand out an endless stream of non-biodegradable sacks and there’s no penalty for dropping used ones, anywhere. Until the government steps up[.....]
In the early 1970s, architect Frank Gehry earned his first design awards for clever furniture made from corrugated cardboard, triggering an explosion of creative experimentation with this then-century-old material that had been mostly used for protective packaging. Now a five-person design team has created a full-size and fully functional car from recyclable cardboard. It’s electric[.....]
Why blow your wedding bucks on one extravaganza when you can hold two for the same price? Jordanian newlyweds Mutaz Mango and Basma Omar opted to split their celebration, hosting a private party for family and friends and a second for Iraqi and Syrian refugee children living in the old Hashemi al Shemali neighborhood of[.....]
A special Kickstarter campaign invites you to aid the ballooning Middle Eastern refugee crisis, with all proceeds going directly to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The one-week fundraiser was launched on Tuesday in response to a question posed by President Barack Obama: could crowdfunding incite Americans to get more involved in refugee relief? White House[.....]
Wearable tech is hot, with new gizmos unveiled at every design expo and technology fair. Runway models are accessorized with functional fashion, even Victoria’s Secret has developed digital duds with their athletic bra that monitors heartbeat. Now London designer Benjamin Hubert and his studio Layer Design have teamed up with British environmental consultancy Carbon Trust to[.....]
A start-up business focused on finding new ways of using insect protein in food products is a finalist in this year’s MassChallenge, the Boston-based start-up competition and world’s largest accelerator program. Get over your squeamishness, because bug-based foods will soon infest our markets. The “elevator pitch” for Israel-based The Flying Spark states their intent to manufacture[.....]
EverBlock is a modular system of full-scale plastic blocks that, like Lego, interconnect without fasteners or special tools. But these playful widgets aren’t toys. They are a functional, full-scale building system that can be used to create furniture, walls and entire rooms. Green Prophet caught up with company founder and president Arnon Rosan to find[.....]
The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) this week announced expansion of its “tidy-roofs” campaign, which kicked off last June to tackle residential buildings deemed unsightly by city officials. Back then, Raed Haddadin, director of GAM’s building control department, told the Jordan Times that the goal was to make the buildings “look more beautiful than before”. Good news for people[.....]
Celebrity chef and foraging superstar René Redzepi told the New York Times on Monday that he is closing his Copenhagen restaurant Noma at the end of 2016 and resurrecting it in 2017 with a new menu and a new site in an urban farm setting. This man on a radical new mission had led a popular restaurant[.....]
Marie Antoinette has nothing on the wealthy Arab clients who commissioned a cake commemorating their daughter’s combo birthday and engagement party. The confection whipped up by a British dress designer cost a whopping $74 million USD. That’s a lot of bread for a cake.
This story is not about the Middle East, although the images are a surreal reminder of what is happening on our Mediterranean shores – albeit with a different species. A world apart, both events are variations on an alarming theme that undermines our effectiveness in protecting this planet. Humans are losing connection with the natural[.....]
Are you a green entrepreneur? Need to grow a business model that creates environmental and social value? Want to launch your new green service or product but don’t know where to begin? A new entrepreneurship program is seeking participants from Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan for their November training event. It’s free – but you need[.....]
Much of the Levant is under siege from a large dust storm right now covering Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel with parts of Cyprus and Turkey also affected. Meteorologists pin the poor weather on a low-pressure system that’s blanketing the region, and sands blown in from the east. The storm has prompted public health warnings,[.....]
Last March, Amazon’s futuristic delivery plan seemed ready to fly when the US awarded a patent to its drone technology. Now an industrial design student has conceived a new fleet of robotic drones that stay firmly planted on the ground. Kobi Shikar’s “transwheel” proves that unmanned delivery drones don’t all need to fly.
Someone’s been thinking. About a big problem affecting a lot of us. That turns out to have a brilliantly simple solution. Meet the woman who came up with clothing that can’t be worn wrong. It’s universal design for fashion, and it makes you wonder why it hasn’t been done before. Lauren Thierry is truly a mother-of-invention.[.....]
Qatar – the tiny desert nation known for sinking millions into futuristic follies like artificial clouds and underwater TV studios – has come down to earth with a plan to grow up to 70 percent of its own vegetables by 2023. Currently under 16 percent of their veggies are locally grown. “Cutting edge technology” will[.....]
Colorado-raised eco-activist and rapper Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a powerful voice in the youth-led climate movement. He’s got a 2014 Ted Talk under his belt, and he received the 2013 United States Community Service Award from President Obama. He performs at international music festivals, organizes demonstrations, and has spoken at over 100 rallies and conferences around the world.[.....]