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News and Opinion

Coverage of environmental disasters since April 18, 2023.

Oil spill, fertilizer leak from sinking of cargo ship highlight risks to Red Sea from Houthi attacks

"...MIAMI (AP) A vibrant fishing industry, some of the worlds largest coral reefs, desalination plants supplying millions with drinking water. They're all at risk from large amounts of fertilizer and oil spilled into the Red Sea by the sinking of a cargo ship attacked by Yemens Houthi rebels..."


Oil slick in the Red Sea from a British-owned ship attack by Yemens Houthis, US military says

"...The Houthis continue to demonstrate disregard for the regional impact of their indiscriminate attacks, threatening the fishing industry, coastal communities, and imports of food supplies, it said..."


Turkey detains company director as part of inquiry into gold mine landslide that left 9 missing

"...Experts warned the landslide could be an environmental hazard as the soil was laced with dangerous substances, including cyanide, used in gold extraction. They said it may affect the nearby Euphrates River which stretches across Turkey, Syria and Iraq. The ministry had closed down a stream leading to the river to prevent water pollution..."


A landslide of contaminated soil threatens environmental disaster in Denmark. Who pays to stop it?

"...The landslide started Dec. 10. Nine days later, Nordic Waste gave up on getting it under control, leaving the task up to the Randers Municipality, which has been rerouting the stream by laying pipes allowing it to pass the site safely..."


High-stakes UN operation underway in Yemen to avert catastrophic oil spill

"...The supertanker, the FSO Safer, became a symbol - thanks largely to UN efforts - of the need for urgent action to avoid massive damage to the marine ecosystem in an area that is home to key global shipping lanes. The stranded rusting vessel holds four times the amount of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez enough to make it the fifth largest oil spill from a tanker in history..."


Climate Catastrophes Strike Around the Globe

"...On Friday, more than 4,000 homes in South Korea lost power due to torrential rain, causing landslides that damaged residential areas, flooded parking lots, destroyed key infrastructure, and felled trees. More than 130 flights were canceled, and at least 136 people were forced to evacuate. Government officials issued a high-alert warning for more flooding to come this weekend as the Korean Peninsula battles the height of its monsoon season..."


Climate Change Is Influencing How Young People Invest Their Money

"...The climate crisis and its effects are front of mind for many Canadians. A recent Ipsos study found that 73 per cent of Canadians believe the world is headed towards environmental disaster, unless theres an effective transition away from fossil fuels and a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Young Canadians in particular are worried about how global warming will impact the future: A 2023 study from Lakehead University found that eight in 10 respondents aged 16 to 25 say their mental health is negatively affected by fears and anxiety related to climate change..."


Canadas billions in fossil fuel subsidies under mounting scrutiny

"...Collins' letter comes on the heels of a report analyzing public support for fossil fuels tabled Tuesday to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, chaired by Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia. It includes recommendations along with dissenting opinions and separate recommendations from the Conservative Party of Canada, NDP and Bloc Quebecois. Scarpaleggia recommended the federal government “ensure that public funds cannot be invested in any energy infrastructure that is at risk of becoming a ‘stranded asset’ during the energy transition..."


LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put a stop to fracking to protect province from climate disaster

"...In conclusion, fracking is an environmental disaster with a range of negative impacts on the environment and public health. From groundwater contamination to air pollution, habitat loss to climate change, the risks associated with fracking far outweigh any potential benefits. It is important that we take action to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and transition to cleaner, more sustainable sources of energy to protect our environment..."


#EnvHist Worth Reading: April 2023

"...In this LAist piece, Erin Stone looks back at late 1861/early 1862, when a long drought in southern California was broken by twenty-eight days of rain. Historian, Will Cowan, comments that this winter, which came to be known as “The Big Winter,” is one of the wettest and coldest winters in recorded Western US history. Flooding of the region's rivers was severe, causing human and animal deaths and devastating the region's economy..."


'Paper can't be a solution to plastic waste': Canadian environmentalists warn about the rise in single-use paper

"..."We absolutely need to shift away from using plastics as much as we do, but trading in plastic pollution for deforestation and forest degradation is not the answer," Canopy founder and executive director Nicole Rycroft told CTV News. "We really need to make sure we do not create another environmental disaster. "..."


Recommended Reading

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Recent episodes that mention environmental disasters.

The Outrageous Waste of Food: Deborah Manning, Kiwi Harvest

Duration: 38:36

"...Every year New Zealand food industry sends 103,000 tonnes of food waste to landfill..."


HS2: Low-carbon travel or environmental disaster?

Duration: 39:10

"...Why are environmental groups up in arms about a project that was planned to help reduce Britain's carbon emissions?..."


Informative Video

Discussions, Documentaries, and Investigative Reports about environmental disasters.

Ticking time bombs - What risk do abandoned oil and gas wells pose? | DW Documentary

"...Leaks at disused drilling sites can trigger an environmental disaster at any time..."


Why the Kakhovka Dam is a Turning Point for Ukraines Wilderness

"...Floodwaters, oil leaks, and desalination are taking their toll on areas below the dam, including the UNESCO-protected Nizhnyodniprovskyi National Nature Park..."


How Stalin Tried to Transform Russia's Nature (and failed miserably)

"...Now, the exposed lakebed causes devastating effects across Central Asia, from dust storms to melting glaciers..."


Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about environmental disasters relevant to the latest news.

Odor-aided analysis for landfill site selection: study of DOKAP Region, Turkey

"...In our world, with the increase of factors such as the rapid and irresponsible consumption of natural resources, man-made environmental disasters, global warming, and pollution of water resources in our world, the need for more efficient storage and disposal of solid waste has arisen..."


The Changing Climate and Pregnancy Health

"..., wildfire, extreme heat, hurricane, flood, and drought), and indirectly through changes in the natural and social environment..."


Environmental efficiency and the role of energy innovation in emissions reduction

"...Environmental problems, including extreme weather phenomena, unprecedented global warming, and environmental disasters caused by increasing levels of CO2 and other toxic emissions, along with rapidly increasing economic development and energy consumption, require global development and policies to meet sustainable development goals..."


Drought-Induced Human Mobility in Purulia District of West Bengal

"...Significant attention has focused on the possibility that climate change will displace large populations worldwide, but only a few multivariate studies analyzed drought-induced migration..."


Retrospecting on resource abundance in leading oil-producing African countries: how valid is the environmental Kuznets curve (E

"...Based on the empirical results from the study, three main factors significantly increase environmental pollution through CO2 emissions among the countries, namely: fossil energy consumption, income levels, and the shares of the manufacturing sector in the total gross domestic product (GDP)..."


Pollution and potential risk assessment of flood sediments in the urban area of the mining Copiapó basin (Atacama Desert)

"...A large volume of detrital sediments was transported downstream, provoking an economic and environmental disaster in the Copiap Valley, a region dominated by mining activity..."


Traditional knowledge of Fishers versus an environmental disaster from mining waste in Central Brazil

"...According to the interviewees (n=119), the entire coastal ecosystem in northern ES was affected by 1) fisheries suspension, 2) catch contamination and decrease, and 3) Doce River basin degradation..."


Fabrication of polypropylene/lignin blend sponges via thermally induced phase separation for the removal of oil from contaminat

"...However, polypropylene is not renewable and biodegradable, which is unacceptable to introduce new pollutants while solving environmental disasters..."


Aral Sea: an environmental disaster in twentieth century in Central Asia

"...The Aral Sea catastrophe profoundly worsened the socio-economic, environmental and health conditions of the local communities in Central Asia..."