RSSDispatches

The Arab uprising

| June 26, 2011 | 0 Comments
The Arab uprising

Events across the Middle East and North Africa appear remarkably similar in causation to what occurred in the 1970s in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, and, after 1989, across Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Many outsiders misread the Arab mind and heart as anti-Western, and consequently came to depend on outdated […]

Continue Reading

The Dirty Dozen Worst Dictators

| June 26, 2011 | 0 Comments
The Dirty Dozen Worst Dictators

In the minds of millions, the Arab Spring began on Dec. 17, 2010, with a solitary act of desperate defiance when Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi torched himself to protest the humiliating harassment he had just experienced at the hands of corrupt government officials. By the time Mr. Bouazizi died of third-degree burns, 18 days […]

Continue Reading

Transparency International’s global report on corruption

| December 1, 2010 | 0 Comments
Transparency International’s global report on corruption

Transparency International, based in Berlin, publishes a global index each year that measures government corruption. Here, along with its 2010 index, the organization warns that the economic crises of the moment have put even wealthy governments in danger of increased corruption. With governments committing huge sums to tackle the world’s most pressing problems, fromv the […]

Continue Reading

Things are looking up – a bit

| December 1, 2010 | 0 Comments
Things are looking up – a bit

The UN General Assembly has designated 2011 as International Year of Forests. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), based in Rome, has conducted an assessment of the world’s forest resources every five years since 1946. Its most recent assessment, published in October, covers forests — or lack of forests — in 233 countries. Here, […]

Continue Reading

The oil sands: ‘The risks will endure’

| December 1, 2010 | 0 Comments
The oil sands: ‘The risks will endure’

For more than 40 years, the Alberta oil sands mining industry has produced bitumen — a mixture of heavy hydrocarbons that can be upgraded and refined into petroleum products. With each barrel of product, the industry also produces more than 1.5 barrels of a persistent waste with the consistency of yogurt. Mature Fine Tailings (MFT), […]

Continue Reading

The all-important boreal forest

| December 1, 2010 | 0 Comments
The all-important boreal forest

The number of birds breeding in North America’s boreal forest region is estimated at between 1.65 and 3 billion. Of these, landbirds are by far the most numerous, making up 97 percent of all birds breading there. The importance of the boreal forest region as a breeding ground for many bird groups is staggering. Estimates […]

Continue Reading

Danger in the Nursery

| December 1, 2010 | 0 Comments
Danger in the Nursery

The Canadian boreal forest is one of the world’s most important breeding areas for migratory birds, with 1 billion to 3 billion individual birds from at least 300 species known to regularly breed there. Approximately 30 percent of all shorebirds (7 million) and 30 percent of all landbirds (1 billion to 3 billion) that breed […]

Continue Reading

Lost legacy

| December 1, 2010 | 0 Comments
Lost legacy

Ontario’s official watcher of the woods says we need to plant billions of trees in southern Ontario alone. Why? Beginning in the 1990s, the province presided over a calamitous decline in the number of trees it plants every year. By Donna Jacobs When their sheer beauty is not enough, trees more than earn their right […]

Continue Reading

Enigma in Zimbabwe – a descent of man

| September 2, 2010 | 0 Comments
Enigma in Zimbabwe –  a descent of man

Zimbabwe (in its earlier life, Rhodesia) has been so many things for different people: delight and despair, opportunity and persecution. For me, half a century ago, it was an escape from my London birthplace and a fusty England clinging to Empire; a land of glorious weather and broadest horizons; a romantic place where I met […]

Continue Reading

Arctic action

| September 2, 2010 | 0 Comments
Arctic action

There’s a kind of scorecard for where Canada stands in Arctic development compared to its Arctic neighbours, particularly Norway. In 2006, Norway published a detailed, 92-page outline of what it intended in its Arctic territory, and updated it three years later. Canada got around to the same kind of outline in 2009, and it had […]

Continue Reading