March 6, 2021

Water Supply And Reason Are Priorities in New U.S. – China Climate Agreement

NEW DELHI, India — There are nearly 1.3 billion people in this swarming democracy, where over 66 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the general election last May. A few of them took me aside this week to express surprise at the puzzle that is the American electorate and its national leadership. It’s easy to see why. On November 4, despite the most money ever spent in a national election ($US 3.7 billion), just …

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Earth Pushes Back – Hard

There’s nothing demur about Mother Earth these days. She’s fuming and pushing back hard. Very hard. The Ebola emergency that began in West Africa and has since spread to two more continents has produced 5,000 deaths and is accelerating. Deep droughts engulf Brazil’s largest city and America’s largest state. Hurricanes drowned two major American cities since 2005. The 2013 Philippines typhoon killed 6,250 people. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed 228,000 people. A tsunami in …

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World Water Week Beckons For Answers To Scarcity, Pollution, Security

STOCKHOLM — Of all the world’s developed nations, none faces a more urgent confrontation between rising energy demand and scarce water supplies than South Africa. Just as in other desert African nations, parched South Africa is desperate to generate more energy while somehow bypassing ecological limits on its water supply. One in every ten of South Africa’s 51 million residents do not have ready access to clean supplies of drinking water, according Christine Colvin, a …

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Circle of Blue Honored by Society of Environmental Journalists

Credit: Photo © Matt Black / Circle of Blue Kettleman City resident Maria Salcedo’s ten-month-old daughter, Ashley Alvarez, died from complications stemming from multiple birth defects during a rash of such occurrences between 2007 and 2008 in this small farmworker town in the Central Valley. Contaminated drinking water is viewed as one of the potential causes. Photo © Matt Black / Circle of Blue. Click image to enlarge.   Circle of Blue, where I’ve worked …

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Narendra Modi, India’s New Prime Minister, Can’t Overlook Faltering Energy Production

India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept into office in May on a message of aspiration, and a reputation for action. During the nearly 13 years that Modi served as chief minister of Gujarat, before arriving in New Delhi, his successes included drastically curtailing the number of hours that manufacturers in India’s premier industrial state went without electricity. The state’s transmission grid was strengthened and Modi promoted the development of 900 megawatts of solar generating …

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Growth in Lima, Peru’s Capital, Served Without Water

LIMA, Peru — Villa El Salvador is a section of this capital city of 9 million residents that lies between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal highlands. The community climbs up and rolls down steep slopes in a seemingly endless expanse of densely packed rooftops made of plastic, sheet metal, and wood. The unpaved streets, lined by the one-story walls of two-room homes, have no names. Still there is order and tidiness to Villa El …

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Shillong Times and its Courageous Editor, Patricia Mukhim, Gain National Hearing On Coal Mine Safety

Patricia Mukhim, editor of the Shillong Times. Photo/Dhruv Malhotra SHILLONG, India — To the best of anyone’s knowledge, and that includes a tribunal of senior jurists who heard testimony here on January 24, 15 men drowned in a coal mine in this state’s mineral-rich Garo Hills on July 6, 2012. The disaster occurred in one of the thousands of Meghalaya’s dangerous and unregulated coal mines. It wasn’t formally reported for more than a week. The …

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Abu Dhabi Slowly Pursues A Water-Conserving, Cleaner Energy Path

ABU DHABI — Just across an expanse of sand and highway, close to this capital city’s airport, lies a collection of modern buildings promoted here as the example incarnate of what’s possible when a nation fueled by oil decides that the supply of its primary natural and economic resource is finite. It’s a beginning. But just that. A beginning. Masdar City, as it’s called, is a state-sponsored planned development that isn’t yet close to being …

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TIM: This Is Mongolia

Devan Horn, an endurance equestrian from Houston, was the first rider to finish the Mongol Derby, the longest horse race in the world. But she didn’t win because of a time violation related to her hard-charging strategy. Photo/Keith Schneider The braided hard-packed dirt roads of Mongolia are a feature of the country’s high steppes, the result of rain and mud forcing drivers to find alternative routes up and down long ridge slopes. Photo/Keith Schneider ULAN …

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A Tank of Warm Water Brews A New Development Tea in Mongolia’s South Gobi Desert

Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia’s largest company, installed this tank to satisfy herder concerns. Herders say it’s a joke. Rio Tinto says it was a temporary means to an end – supplying water to livestock. Photo/Keith Schneider KHAN BOGH, Mongolia — “And this,” says Battsengel Lkhamdoorov, a South Gobi herder who once managed 600 animals, “is our new spring.” Laughing, he lifted the lid of a brown steel box, its hard lines unusual in a landscape of …

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