The gluten intolerance and celiac disease epidemic that’s spreading worldwide is related to herbicide residues on foods we eat, according to a study published published in the Interdisciplinary Toxicology journal in 2013. The researchers are Anthony Samsel,an independent scientist who has worked as a consultant to the EPA on arsenic pollution and to the U.S. […]
Energy from food scraps and other biomass? A lot has been written about converting biomass into fuel, including using poultry poop as an energy source. The idea of using food scraps as a biofuel for cars has even been touted as a futuristic idea in such Hollywood movies as Back to the Future, when Marty McFly’s professor […]
Do those look like condoms? But they are. Gazan protesters are pumping helium requisitioned from hospitals to send condom-balloons as far as possible into Israeli areas. The condom-balloons have explosives attached to their tails. Some can be ignited by remote control. Helium condoms have made their way to Israeli homes. On Sunday, a family in […]
Molotov cocktails and chemical bombs tied to kites and helium-filled balloons have been launched from inside Gaza for the past 78 days. The fire bombs ignite when they land on the Israeli side of the border. Low-tech tactics, but they work. As of this writing, 412 fires have blazed in Israeli farm fields and conservation […]
The delicate, elegant ladybug makes an innocent playmate for a child – as long as it consents to wander around a little open palm. Too soon, it will open its spotted wings and take off again. It has places to go and aphids to eat. For while the ladybug looks so charming, it actually has […]
What will future archaeologists discover about how you lived when they go through your garbage? Studying societies by investigating what people threw out was established as an academic discipline back in 1973, at the University of Arizona. They named it Garbology. So what will your garbage say about you, in a generation or two? Hopefully, […]
In September of 2017, Orb Media, a non-profit digital newsroom based in Washington, released the results of the first scientific study on the presence of microplastics in tap water. The study tested water flowing from taps in 14 countries around the world. From New York to Uganda, microplastics were present in 83% of the samples. […]
Israel’s winter pools are nature reserves that only last for a season. Almost all are located on the edges of cities. They’re large, appearing like ponds or even small lakes. You’d never imagine that come summer, they won’t be there anymore. (Read this to discover eco-beaches that don’t go away in Israel.) Over 1500 such […]
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in 1970 to protect human health and the environment through creation and enforcement of regulations, each backed by federal laws such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he threatened to abolish the agency, which he painted as an obstacle […]
British economist Milton Friedman once warned that if you put the government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years you’d have a shortage of sand. Whether governments or free markets are to blame, it is possible to deplete abundant resources such as Irish rain. Now thanks to global obsessions with concrete icons, fracking […]
Don’t have a garden? You can still own a fruiting olive tree, grown in a container. A sunny balcony and the right climate are the essential things; that, and time. Italians have grown fruit trees in containers for centuries, keeping them protected in special sheds during the winter. Come spring, the trees are wheeled out […]
The Middle East, in spite of unusual indoor places like Ski Dubai is not exactly on the main track of international ski sites and resorts like Cortina in Italy or Aspen. But the Middle East has some stunning and relatively unknown locations worth hitting. Ever think about skiing Iran? Or sliding down slopes in Lebanon?
Looking for some good reads about the environment and the Middle East? Then click yourself into the University of California Press (UCP) e-books collection (link here) offering free access to hundreds of books published by UCP and other academic presses.
When authorities discovered a lab full of marijuana plants in a bomb shelter beneath an all girls Orthodox Jewish school south of Tel Aviv, they proposed that outsiders must be responsible – because Haredim girls would never smoke pot, right?
A Few Brave People by Turkish director Rüya Arzu Köksal won the Golden Deer Award for Best Feature Film at the inaugural Abu Dhabi International Environmental Film Festival (ADIEFF) last Thursday night. Recognized alongside five other nature-themed films at the closing green carpet ceremony, the documentary highlights the challenges faced by people living in Çağlayan, İkizdere and Senoz in the Black […]
A couple of years ago in Dubai we interviewed the Green Sheikh – a beloved figure in the United Arab Emirates who is a devoted father and husband, hyper productive activist, and a faith leader. Plus he is smart- PhD smart. Referencing the many expatriates living (and generating wealth) in the country, he said something […]
All you can drink coffee for $50 a month at CupsTelAviv.
On a man-made Abu Dhabi island, fake wind towers heat homes instead of cooling them. I recently photographed a new housing development on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. You can see it on Google Earth. The wind tower design originates from Persia. The earliest examples of wind towers, used for cooling houses, in the United Arab Emirates can […]
We are accustomed to writing about art and architecture that addresses environmental and social problems in the Middle East, but nothing as interesting as Larissa Sansour’s Nation Estate has crossed our desk before. Conceived in 2011 when Palestinian authorities appealed to the United Nations for nationhood status, the sci-fi short film and photographic series takes […]
Israel has set up a special task force to prepare for the possibility that a locust swarm may migrate from Egypt and destroy precious crops. Already some sources are saying that a small swarm of locusts has been spotted in the southern Gaza strip after millions of locusts descended upon various Cairo neighborhoods over the […]
According to experts, climate change and rising food insecurity are major contributors to the recent destabilization of Mali and southern Algeria Over the last couple of years, there has been a growing link between climate change and political issues in the Middle East. During the Arab Spring there was a real recognition that rising food […]
What a great way to start 2013: the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (CHES) and the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) accredited Qatar University’s BSc and MSc Environmental Sciences programs. This is not only a first for the Arab world, but it is also the first time these leading institutions have accredited any such program […]
It’s nearly 2013 and I am grateful. After three years of traveling with a backpack through 14 countries in Africa and the Middle East, I am finally back home with my family in the United States. The time I spent abroad stretched my mind and broadened my heart, transformed long held stereotypes into a long […]
Egypt’s youth are an inspiring bunch. They have taken down a dictator, and withstood the subsequent uncertainty, but their hardest battle may come in convincing the country that the natural surroundings are worth saving. But they are not being deterred. A few dedicated environmentalists in the country gathered this month to continue to build the […]
There are still a few Iranian Asiatic cheetahs in the wild, but they too are on the brink of disappearing. Global cheetah populations have plummeted over the past century, from an estimated 100,000 cheetahs in 1900 to fewer than 10,000 today. And once upon a time, cheetahs roamed the deserts of Iran. But international scientific surveys recently […]