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Green vs. Greener in East Tyrol

Green vs. Greener in East Tyrol

Conservationist Wolfgang Retter walks on the shaded root-strewn path besides the upper Isel River. It’s a well-trodden route for the passionate Tyrolean ecologist. Not far from its glacial source, the river is shallow here. The water is milky with sediment, and it roars over the rocks that protrude from the gravel riverbed. But a metallic […]

Serbia to build world’s largest solar farm

The Serbian government and the Luxembourg-based Securum Equity Partners Europe signed an agreement on 8 May to create the world’s largest single solar farm. The €2 billion “One Giga” project will create a 3,000 hectare farm, roughly the size of 1,860 football pitches. The exact location has yet to be disclosed, but initial reports indicate […]

Fight for the Right… to Green

Fight for the Right… to Green

Many modern cities can seem like a mass of concrete buildings, neon signs, and pollution. In fortunate cities like Vienna, a combination of culture, tradition and attentive government has drawn a greener picture, with boulevards of shady trees and communal parks. Yet, in some less-fortunate cities, citizens have had to reclaim their “right to green” […]

Climate Failure

Continuing its dismal record as an environmental champion, Austria has failed once again to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. According to the Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environmental Agency), Austria’s 2012 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels will most likely not even be met by 2020. If current trends continue, 2020 emissions will […]

Channelling Frustration: Preserving Europe’s Amazon

On Sunday, 9 Oct., near the town of Osijek in Croatia, 40 protesters launched a regatta of small boats and canoes into the Danube in the stretch that separates Croatia from Serbia. The activists from four Danube nations wore thick jackets and woolly hats against the autumn cold. They were protesting the industrial regulation of […]

Austrian Efficiency? True! It’s a Miracle!

There is a word in Austrian German that seems to perfectly sum up the efficiency of your average bureaucrat: Amtsschimmel, a wondrous reference to the layer of mold-like dust collecting on government records. Or maybe, say others, the word derived from “simile” and the endless repetitive use of packaged phrases. Either way, the meaning is […]

Among the Mangroves

We were in a mangrove on the edge of the Andaman Sea in Thailand. The muddy channels were getting narrower. It was as if the forest was closing in around us, enveloping us in its aura of mystery. The boat chugged slowly forward through the dark, still water giving us a closer look of the […]

Summer of Extremes

This summer has been one of weather-related extremes in Russia, Pakistan, China, Europe, the Arctic – you name it. But does this have anything to do with global warming, and are human emissions to blame? While it cannot be scientifically proven (or disproven, for that matter) that global warming caused any particular extreme event, we […]

The Copenhagen Failure

Pretty speeches can take you only so far. A month after the Copenhagen climate conference, it is clear that the world’s leaders were unable to translate rhetoric about global warming into action. It was, of course, nice that world leaders could agree that it would be bad to risk the devastation that could be wrought […]

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