NASA Watches Underground Fresh Water Sea Vanish from the Middle East (VIDEO)

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Sound the alarms? Where has Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq’s underground freshwater sea gone? NASA’s imaging technology recently brought some bad news about Mideast air pollution. Now NASA brings more bad news about the Mideast water supply. We already knew that the Dead Sea is shrinking. Some people are even trying to do something about […]

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Istanbul’s Natural Oases: The Atatürk Arboretum and Belgrade Forest

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A natural retreat from the traffic and crowds of Istanbul, the 296-hectare Atatürk Arboretum, above, receives few visitors. But it contains more than 2,000 foreign and native plant species, including some species that can’t be found anywhere else in Turkey. Situated within the city’s Belgrade Forest, the arboretum is a research site for Turkish and foreign scientists, […]

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Floods, Climate Change and the Garden of Eden?

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Are Jordan’s snow and Israel’s floods signs of climate change or are they simply flukes of weather?  People might argue this for decades there is strong evidence that Mideastern climate has changed dramatically over thousands of years and there is evidence that humans can negatively impact their environment over a much shorter time period. The […]

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Turkey Wins “Fossil of the Day” Award At Doha Climate Change Negotiations

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With the world’s fourth largest number of planned coal-fired power plants, Turkey is flouting international concern about climate change. As the United Nation’s climate change talks in Doha enter their second day, Turkey has been called out on its irresponsible climate policies with the “Fossil of the Day” award. Although Turkey has kept a low […]

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Iraqi Stuffed Grape Leaves RECIPE

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In the Middle East, recipes for stuffed vegetables and leaves evolved from a simple, thrifty way with meat to a culinary passion. Careful housewives have long known that a little ground meat goes a long way when artfully seasoned and combined with rice. But it took imagination and care to develop the recipes of stuffed […]

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Hydroelectric Dam Threatens “Ecological Massacre” in Turkey

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The Aras River basin is home to more than half of Turkey’s bird species, but a planned hydroelectric dam would alter the river’s marshy ecosystem, driving away the birds. That’s the fear of Çağan Şekercioğlu, president and founder of Turkey’s KuzeyDoğa wildlife preservation NGO. Green Prophet has written about Şekercioğlu’s groundbreaking research, teaching, and conservation work before. Now, […]

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

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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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Green Abu Dhabi Film Festival Raises Ecological Awareness

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Movie stars shone on Abu Dhabi red carpets, where the curtain rose on a pair of green films connected to the Middle East. This year’s Abu Dhabi film festival featured two green-themed films aimed at raising awareness of a decidedly un-Hollywood subject: global waste management. Both movies, Trashed and Polluting Paradise, were sponsored by sustainable […]

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Will Dark-sky Ecotourism Spread to the Mideast?

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Israel’s Negev Desert, Jordan’s Mount Nebo, Medaba and Wadi Rum are a few dark sky destinations for stargazing. Paris is known as the city of lights. So is Medina Saudi Arabia, Be’er Sheva Israel and Las Vegas, Nevada. We shouldn’t overlook Baltimore Maryland, Varanasi India, Quanzhou China and Milford Pennsylvania. Each of these cities is also […]

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Turkish Seed Developer Helps European Farmers Adjust To Warming Temperatures

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ProGen, a Turkish seed developer and supplier, has specialized in crop varieties that can withstand the hot Mediterranean climate. As climate conditions in European countries increasingly resemble those of their southern neighbors, European farmers are seeking new strains of staple crops that can adjust to the new climate. A pan-European research project, EASTBRED, brought European […]

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Noble Energy May be Pushing its Luck by Drilling for Deep Oil in the Med

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Satellite view of Deepwater Horizen oil spill slick, April 30, 2010: Photo by US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Noble Energy, the Houston based energy company, has been working with both Israel and Cyprus to find commercial quantities of natural gas under the eastern Mediterranean seabed . Noble Energy’s Mediterranean undersea energy exploration has […]

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Single White Light luminAID Seeks Middle East Partner

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Three years of sustainable lighting for fifteen bucks? United Nations Relief Agency, you hearing this? The LuminAID inflatable solar light was created by a pair of architecture students focused on disaster-relief solutions to the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Their light offers a safe, inexpensive and sustainable alternative to kerosene and oil lamps that’s ideally suited to […]

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Polluting Paradise Documentary Follows Turkish Village’s Battle Against Invading Garbage

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Polluting Paradise, the latest film by Turkish-German director Fatih Akin, documents the disgusting damage caused by a garbage dump near the Black Sea village of Çamburnu. Ten years ago, Turkish government authorities decided to transform an abandoned copper mine in northeastern Turkey into the biggest landfill in the eastern Black Sea region. Despite promises that the waste […]

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As He Battles Lawsuit, Grandfather Of Turkish Environmental Movement Receives Right Livelihood Award

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Hayrettin Karaca, 90, faces up to six years in prison for championing the environmental causes to which he has devoted his life. Turkey is not a country where environmental awareness is terribly high. But one man has done more to solve this problem, as well as the forces that threaten Turkey’s natural habitats, than almost […]

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