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Ethical Oil, Gas and Mining? EITI is the LEED of Fossil Fuels

Roughly half of the world’s population lives in resource-rich countries, and yet the same number survives on less than $2.50 per day. How can this be? Partly, the answer lies with irresponsible resource extraction. Giant corporations move in to communities, suck up their oil, gas, or minerals, make shifty deals with corrupt governments, and leave […]

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Practical Herbs by Henriette Kress: BOOK REVIEW

If you’re interested in healing with herbs, this is the book to start from. Henriette Kress is a well-known Finnish herbalist who maintains Henriette’s Herbal Homepage, the Internet’s largest, and oldest, herbal website. She has published three  books on herbology in Finnish; Practical Herbs is her first in English. It packs an impressive amount of […]

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Mediterranean’s Worst Eco-Debtor Not in the Middle East (Yet)

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says that the Mediterranean’s biggest eco-debtor is Italy, meaning that nation uses more resources than it generates.  Does that mean Middle Eastern nations bordering the sea are environmentally savvy consumers? Mama Mia, no! The medium is the message, said Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan. And the message is skewed by the words. […]

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Kurdish Self-Rule Spreading in War-Torn Syria

Could a united Kurdistan mean a victory for the peoples’ natural resources: energy, and mighty rivers? Against the backdrop of the civil war raging in Syria, Syrian Kurds are moving towards self-rule. The Syrian government has relinquished many Kurdish communities to local control. Kurdish flags fly over former government buildings in northeastern Syria. Many new […]

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Nobel Winner Orhan Pamuk Devotes a Museum to Ordinary Things

Paying homage to a slower time, Turkey’s first nobel prize winning author Orhan Pamuk has immortalized the importance of everyday objects in The Museum of Innocence. Among the world’s most unique collections, the museum that opened last month in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district contains 83 cabinets full of bits and pieces collected in flea markets and antique […]

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Israel’s Petroleum Council Adds Environment Reps

Meged oil field, in Israel. Last week two environmental representatives were added to Israel’s Petroleum Council, according to the Jerusalem Post. The council has been restructured to include a total of 13 members, including seven members of the public. As Israel’s ongoing court dispute between government officials and national gas distributors proves, the industry has […]

Morocco: Arab World Star Has A Dark Side

The Arab World’s superstar, Morocco’s longstanding exploitation of natural resources in the Western Sahara casts a dark shadow on the country’s reputation. Following unprecendented support (nearly 99%) for a draft constitution initiated by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, the country is being hailed as a model for the rest of the Arab world. And so it […]

Dimona Silica To Ship The Negev Desert To China

Within the next four months, Dimona Silica plans to build a factory in Nahal Zin Wadi in order to supply China with high-quality asphalt. Since its inception, Dimona Silica Industries Ltd. has been plagued with a dodgy reputation. After its involvement with the 2004 Investment Promotions Center scandal, where it was found that then Minister […]

Jordan’s Tribes Criticize Enviro Queen Rania

Queen Rania is the latest Middle Eastern elite to receive criticism from dissenting citizens. Like their Yemeni compatriots currently marching towards the presidential palace in Samaa, taking their cue and courage from jubilant Egyptians, thirty-six tribal leaders submitted a collective criticism of Jordan’s Queen Rania, according to an AFP report. Of Palestinian origin and born […]

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VIDEO: The American University of Beirut In Lebanon Fights For Sustainable Research Through ISBAR

This documentary film describes the activities of IBSAR, an interfaculty center at the American University of Beirut dedicated to nature conservation and sustainable research. According to IBSAR members, “Nature is a special trust to be enjoyed and conserved for future generations. Conserving the biodiversity of nature in the Middle East is the foundation on which […]