Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Survivors Tell of Bangladesh Cyclone

Azahar Ali huddled with his family, reading from the Quran, as the cyclone roared in. First the power went out, then screaming winds blew out the windows and ripped off the roof. The sea rushed in, washing him and his family away.

The 80-year-old awoke in a rice paddy to find his son, daughter-in- law, three grandchildren and three other relatives dead, among the more than 3,100 people killed by Cyclone Sidr.

Bizarro Earth

Worst Forest Disaster in U.S. History

Hurricane Katrina Destroyed Millions of Trees, Increasing Climate Change

When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast two years ago, the storm devastated 320 million trees.

Now the United States is suffering the worst forest catastrophe in its history, according to a new analysis by the journal Science.

Better Earth

World's Hottest Chili to Repel Elephants

Wildlife experts in northeastern India are experimenting with a new weapon to prevent marauding elephants from destroying homes and crops and trampling people in villages close to their habitat - super-hot chilies.

Conservationists working on the experimental project in Assam state said they have put up jute fences smeared with automobile grease and bhut jolokia - also known as the ghost chili and certified as the world's hottest chili by the Guinness Book of World Records. They also were using smoke bombs made from the chili to keep elephants out.


Bangladesh storm toll could exceed 10,000 - Red Crescent

Super cyclone Sidr could have claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in Bangladesh, or several times more than official statistics, the country's Red Crescent Society said on Monday.

The category four cyclone, the most powerful in the South Asian country in the past decade, hit the coast of Bangladesh late on Thursday, with winds reaching 240 km (150 miles) per hour, ripping up trees and leveling houses, as well as causing damage to crops, transport routes, communication and power supply lines. Many coastal districts were flooded.

Bizarro Earth

Israel: The big earthquake is due

Most Israelis can remember a day when their furniture started to shake, and can also take credit for surviving that day with little difficulty. But very few people are in a position to know firsthand the effects of a truly disastrous earthquake, on a magnitude of seven or higher on the Richter scale, as the last recorded such earthquake in Israel occurred in 1033.

And that's the problem: Geology experts agree that Israel is long overdue for the next "Big One," and it can happen at any time. This poses a significant threat to population centers in the country, since many buildings in Israel were erected prior to the formulation of earthquake-resistant construction codes. There is also substantial doubt that the codes are being strictly enforced. With the barrage of immediate threats competing for Israelis' attention - whether terrorism, car accidents, global warming or secondhand smoke - a major earthquake may seem like an improbable, even paranoid fear.


Canada: Fierce storm prompts early Whistler season

A storm that dumped nearly 80 centimetres of snow on parts of British Columbia has prompted officials to open Whistler for skiing earlier than expected this season.

"We have a great leg up on the season," Doug MacFarlane, Whistler Blackcomb Mountain manager, said in a statement ahead of Saturday's official opening. "Natural snowfall and our snowmaking efforts have allowed for the early opening on Whistler Mountain that skiers and riders have been hoping for."

Cloud Lightning

Australia: Hail storms hit parts of NSW

Severe rain and hail storms were battering parts of southern NSW on Sunday afternoon. Hail fell at Marulan, in the state's southern tablelands, a caller to Macquarie Radio said.


Climate change: Political outlook murky despite the science

Science is making headway in predicting how the planet's climate will evolve, but it's anyone's guess what actions policymakers meeting in Bali will take -- or not -- to slow global warming.

With just over two weeks left before the crucial 11-day forum in Indonesia, decision-makers are under intensifying pressure to do something about greenhouse gases -- and do it quickly.

The starkest warning of all came on Saturday from UN's top scientists, gathered under the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


Feeding the global warming craze: Conference releases summary for action on climate change

Valencia, Spain: Delegates from more than 140 countries agreed Friday on an environmental "instant guide" for policy makers, stating more forcefully than ever that climate change had begun and that it threatened to alter the planet irreversibly.

Comment: While there is no question that there is global warming in the last few decades, there is much debate in the scientific community about the extent of a human factor. There are plenty of evidences indicating that this is part of a natural cycle that has many causes from geological to cosmic ones. The human factor has been blown up far out of proportion by the governments and media. One has to wonder why it should be that way.

Cloud Lightning

Cyclone Guba: Papua New Guinea flood toll reaches 71

Heavy flooding caused by Cyclone Guba has reportedly killed more than 70 people in Papua New Guinea.

More than 70 people are reported to have been killed in Papua New Guinea because of heavy flooding caused by Cyclone Guba.

Seven consecutive days of heavy rain left a trail of destruction in Oro Province, north of Port Moresby.

Seven consecutive days of heavy rain left a trail of destruction in Oro Province.