china-cloud-seeding.jpg

Jordan Asks Thailand to be a Rainmaker

Cloud seeding in Beijing, where silver iodide is fired with canons into the clouds to induce rain. (Photo from Howstuffworks.com) As the fourth driest country in the world, Jordan is desperate for a water solution. This week, the Jordan Times anounced that Amman asked Thailand for help in cloud seeding to open the skies. It’s […]

copenhagen.jpg

The Middle Eastern View of Copenhagen

Today opens the two-week round of climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark. From this corner of the world the conference is a meeting of giants – literally, the giant polluters like the U.S. and China, which make it seem like there is little the small countries of the Middle East can do to stop global […]

philippe-skaff.jpg

A Green Party Grows in Lebanon

The newly formed Green Party of Lebanon (GPL) is planning its debut with the May 2010 municipal elections. The Daily Star reports that the GPL is a secular, environmental, human-rights oriented party bent on slashing corruption and recovering burnt forests. GPL President Philippe Skaff (left) told the Star that focusing only on the immediate political crises […]

exercise-UAE.jpg

Expats claim UAE is diet-proof

Exercise in the United Arab Emirates: If more people did it, maybe the UAE wouldn’t be the 18th fattest country in the world. Photo by The National. With the United Arab Emirates boasting one of the world’s highest obesity rates, expatriates working there complain that their adopted country is packing on their pounds. Abu Dhabi-based […]

sheep-1024x683.jpg

Eid Al-Adha: Getting close to your meat

Green Prophet’s Daniella witnesses the Muslim holiday ritual slaughtering of a sheep, in Jaffa. Last Friday I was determined to find a sheep slaughter. It was Eid Al-Adha, the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice. The story goes that Ibrahim was about to slaughter his son Ismail, when an angel came and redirected him to a […]

food-for-thought-conference-israel.jpg

"Food for Thought" Conference in Tel Aviv

Advertising itself as Israel’s first food-focused conference, “Mazon Le-Machshava” or food for thought, opens in the Tel Aviv port next Thursday, November 19. In addition to a Top Chef-style cookdown to produce the tastiest meal with the lowest carbon footprint, the conference also promises conversations about farming, energy and water. It taps into a growing trend […]

gilad-erdan.jpg

Are Israeli Emission Controls Hopeless?

Without any change in policy, Israel may be heading to double its current emissions by 2030. According to the Jerusalem Post, a study commissioned by Israel’s Minister of the Environment Gilad Erdan (left) and executed by the McKinsey consulting firm found that Israel’s problem is high population growth coupled with rising standards of living. The […]

hazon-compost.jpg

Hazon Hosts Jewish Food Conference in California

If you are in the California area this winter and you care about food issues, consider heading to Hazon‘s annual food conference, from December 24-27. This is the same group running the sustainable food tour coming up in Israel. This Jewish food seminar looks at the ethics of animal slaughter, sustainable Israeli and Palestinian farming […]

solar-panels.jpg

Tel Aviv Pushes Green Metric

Future investors in Israeli businesses may be able to judge a company by its green record. According to the Jerusalem Post, last week the Environmental Protection Ministry, financial groups, the European Commission green and the green umbrella organization Life and the Environment,  got together to hash over a green metric system. Opinion writer Asher Meir noted […]

pomegranates-turkey.jpg

Turkey Rivals Iran as Pomegranate Powerhouse

Although Iran holds the world title for pomegranates, runner-up Turkey is expecting a bumper crop this year that could propel it into the top spot. The Hurriyet Daily News reports that as world demand for pomegranates rises, Turkey has converted field after field of relatively unprofitable cotton over to the crowned red fruit that features […]

norman-borlaug.jpg

Father of "Green Revolution" Leaves Behind Big Questions

Plant pathologist Norman Borlaug, 95, died this Saturday, raising questions about the legacy of industrial food in the Third World. In 1970, Borlaug received a Nobel Peace Prize for averting famine through bringing fertilizers, pesticides and new plant strains to countries like India, Mexico and Pakistan. But environmentalists argue that his plant engineering only delayed […]

amman-transportation.jpg

A Miserable Walk Through Amman

According to the blog 360East, Amman is about to adopt a Bus Rapit Transit system and make plans for installing light rail, two important steps to break Amman’s 30-year love affair with the private car. Having lived in Amman in summer 2006, I can attest that buses are a mess. They are very cheap but […]

turkey-iraq-syria-water.jpg

Iraq Begs Dry Neighbors For Water

With the regional drought carrying on for its third year, Iraq is in a water bind as its rivers dry up. Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reports that Baghdad has urged Istanbul and Damascus to release water so that residents of southern Iraq don’t flee of thirst. The problem is that they are suffering from water […]

Bill McKibben Talking in Beer Sheva

Legendary American environmentalist Bill McKibben is paying the region a visit in early September. On Monday, September 7th McKibben will speak at 9.30 AM in Beer Sheva, in Israel’s Negev. Exact location TBA. Born in 1960, McKibben founded the 350.org campaign to address the climate crisis. He published his first book as a serial in […]

shachar-udi-3.jpg

Beer Sheva's Old City Battles Shopping Malls

One of the most pressing needs in countries with little open space is to make urban life desirable enough that city folk won’t want to flee to the suburbs. But in Beer Sheva, a strange phenomenon is underfoot – suburbanization inside the city that drags commerce away from the historic district. A story I wrote […]

bosphorus-istanbul.jpg

Istanbul Considers 3rd Bridge Over Bosphorus

With one half in Asia and the other in Europe, the cultural hub of Turkey has long depended on two bridges to link the city over the Bosphorus Straits (above).  But a proposed third one has raised the ire of environmentalists who say it will damage the city’s forests and water resources, reports the English-language […]

lebanon-farmers-market1.jpg

Lebanese Farmers Market Makes Food Not War

Although Lebanon’s Christian and Muslim communities live in an uneasy balance, a trendy farmers market has helped bring the nation’s diverse groups together to sell traditional food. According to Agence France-Presse, 47 families sell fruit, vegetables, preserves and bread in Beirut’s Souq El Tayeb, the first farmers market in the country. Chef and TV personality […]

minaret-mosque-jaffa-israel-islam-photo1.jpg

Chicago Muslims Launch Green Ramadan

Suburban mosques in Illinois are preaching carpools, recycling and reduced meat consumption this month as part of a Green Ramadan campaign launched by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. According to the Daily Herald, the Council includes 50 mosques with 40,000 members. Five mosques have officially signed on, including the first solar mosque […]

jordan-market1.jpg

Jordan Bankrolls Cheap Vegetables for Ramadan

Jordan  opened 15 lower-cost vegetable markets Saturday in several cities in honor of Ramadan, the month-long Muslim fasting holiday that began Friday. According to the Jordan Times, the government began the market program last Ramadan. In exchange for a free stall, water and electricity, farmers agree to mark their produce down 30 percent. The program […]

ariel-atias.jpg

Israel Ditches Historic Land Administration

Homeowners in Israel can take title to the land under their houses and apartments after the Knesset voted in early August to privatize the Israel Land Administration. The reform passed 61 to 45, above the protest of environmentalists, Jewish nationalists and Arab parties. The law will transform the ILA, which historically controlled 93 percent of […]