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World Facing Unprecedented Food Crisis
By Andy Mannle | Wednesday, 16 April 2008

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“We are now looking at a food situation unlike any we’ve seen before,” Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute announced this morning at a press conference on the fallout from skyrocketing food prices around the world.

“We’re seeing spreading social unrest and instability in scores of countries around the world. The list of failing states is getting longer year by year, and is likely to increase dramatically as governments face potentially unmanageable shortages.”

In seven of the last eight years world grain consumption exceeded production, and carry-over stocks have dropped to a 55 day supply, the lowest ever.

With more people in the world today, and the world’s markets more closely integrated than ever, says Brown, “We are one poor harvest away from chaos.” 

Full Story...

Pharmaceutical Contamination Widespread in Drinking Water
By Alison Loomis and Andy Mannle | Monday, 24 March 2008

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A 5-month investigation by the Associated Press on pharmaceutical contamination in our drinking water supply "raises serious questions about the safety and security of America's water system." The eye-opening report indicates that trace quantities of pharmaceuticals are widespread in our drinking water, and public waterways, and even deep aquifers. And while no studies can predict the full effects of these complex cocktails of chemicals, several studies have shown damaging effects on human beings and wildlife.

Full Story...

Oceans in Jeopardy say Scientists
By Alison Loomis | Friday, 29 February 2008
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Scientists at this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Boston unveiled the first comprehensive global map of humanity's cumulative impact on the oceans.

According to the new study, which is the first to integrate multiple drivers of current human impact on oceans, the ocean is confronting a "multi-jeopardy" situation. “The water is becoming warmer, circulation patterns are changing in unpredictable ways, and oceans are becoming acidic,” says Gretchen Hofmann, a molecular physiologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The study concludes that there is no oceanic area unaffected by human influence. Combined factors including over-fishing, coastal development, shipping traffic, and pollution run-off, threaten the existence of marine organisms in many ways, and make our impact on the oceans very complex. Scientists, in recent months, have also reported the giant "dead zone" off the coast of Washington is expanding, not to mention the vast islands of plastic trash forming in the Pacific.

The complexity of the ocean environment also complicates the research being conducted by scientists to study and monitor marine species.

Full Story...

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