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Civilizations, Ancient and Present, Depend on Water

From leaps in the bronze age to massive droughts that wiped out cities, civilizations we learn from history, depend on water. We need to protect our life sustaining resources now. An Akkad sculpture from Iraq. Over the course of history, numerous civilizations have peaked and then gradually fettered out or even disappeared abruptly. In many […]

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Tareq Emtairah's Practical Eco-House in Aqaba, Jordan

Tareq Emtairah built this eco-house to prove that energy efficient buildings aren’t always prohibitively expensive. Jordan’s Prince Hassan does not shoulder his environmental concerns alone, nor is the Red-Dead canal project the singular answer to Jordan’s worries.  In 2005, Tareq Emtairah, a consultant with the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University in […]

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Re-Assessing Masdar City

Is Masdar City a beacon for Middle Eastern development? It may take another 10 years to find out. We have been skeptical of Masdar City and Foster+Partners, the architects responsible for the emergent eco-city’s design, but BBC reporter Tom Reap’s recent article paints a compelling portrait of this dubious venture.  Although projected building costs are […]