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Japan 2030: Tackling climate issues is key to the next decade Hail, floods and dust hit Australia amid raging wildfires

Asia Pacific Jan 20, 2020

Hail, floods and dust hit Australia amid raging wildfires

Dust storms, hail and flash floods have battered beleaguered Australian cities in recent days, extreme weather that has diminished the threat from scores of wildfires that continue to blaze across the country’s southeast.

A hail storm in the national capital Canberra on Monday damaged public …

Balance of power: Redefining Japan's energy needs

Environment | The Climate Crisis Jan 18, 2020

Balance of power: Redefining Japan’s energy needs

by Alex Martin

Sitting silently among the rolling pastures, rice paddies and lush forests of the idyllic village of Otama are rows upon rows of photovoltaic solar panels — vast swaths of dark gray injecting dissonance into the postcard-like landscape local residents pride themselves on.

These solar farms …

Thousands evacuated after Philippines' Taal  volcano sends up ash cloud

Asia Pacific Jan 12, 2020

Thousands evacuated after Philippines’ Taal volcano sends up ash cloud

A volcano near Manila spewed a massive cloud of ash into the sky on Sunday, forcing the precautionary evacuation of thousands of residents, authorities said.

Government seismologists recorded magma moving toward the crater of Taal, one of the country’s most active volcanoes located 65 kilometers …

Throwaway society: Rejecting a life consumed by plastic

Environment | The Climate Crisis Jan 11, 2020

Throwaway society: Rejecting a life consumed by plastic

by Andrew McKirdy

How much single-use plastic do you think you consume in an average week living in Japan?

What if you were to collect all the plastic bottles, shopping bags, food cartons, hand wipe wrappers, straws, cutlery, packaging, packaging-within-packaging and packaging-within-packaging-within-packaging that you accumulate in a week, …

Emergency on 'lucky island': Iki Island seeks to lead Japan's fight against the climate crisis

Environment | The Climate Crisis Jan 6, 2020

Emergency on ‘lucky island’: Iki Island seeks to lead Japan’s fight against the climate crisis

by Jesse Chase-Lubitz and Oscar Boyd

It’s golden hour on Iki, a pristine island in southwestern Japan. A gentle breeze cools the day to a perfect 24 degrees Celsius. The roads are clean, the trees are green, a playground sits atop a grassy hill. Locals call Iki a “lucky island” …

More than 1,000 traumatized Australian bush fire evacuees transfered to safety of Melbourne

Asia Pacific Jan 4, 2020

More than 1,000 traumatized Australian bush fire evacuees transfered to safety of Melbourne

Over 1,000 residents and vacationers who had been stranded on a beach by bushfires in southeastern Australia landed near Melbourne on Saturday after a 20-hour journey on two ships, relieved to escape terrifying smoke and fire.

Teenagers, couples, seniors and families, plus dozens of pets …

The fallen apples of Typhoon Hagibis

Environment | OLD NIC’S NOTEBOOK Dec 30, 2019

The fallen apples of Typhoon Hagibis

by C.W. Nicol

When the Typhoon Hagibis floods hit Nagano, it near-destroyed the apple farms for which the area is famous, with contaminants in the floodwaters making it impossible to salvage any of the surviving fruit.

World Dec 29, 2019

Bangladesh cold wave leaves at least 50 dead

At least 50 people have died in Bangladesh as cold weather continues to sweep across the country, officials said.

The country’s lowest temperature this year — 4.5 degrees Celsius (40.1° Fahrenheit) — was recorded early Sunday in Tetulia, a border town in the north of …

Australian firefighters burn grasslands to minimize looming wildfire risk

Asia Pacific Dec 9, 2019

Australian firefighters burn grasslands to minimize looming wildfire risk

Thousands of firefighters burned grassland in eastern Australia on Monday in a desperate bid to starve an anticipated new front of wildfires of fuel before forecast searing temperatures Tuesday.

More than 100 fires are ablaze in New South Wales and Victoria states, many of which …

Six dead as Cyclone Bulbul smashes into Indian, Bangladeshi coasts

World Nov 10, 2019

Six dead as Cyclone Bulbul smashes into Indian, Bangladeshi coasts

Six people died and more than 2 million others spent a night huddled in storm shelters as Cyclone Bulbul smashed into the coasts of India and Bangladesh with fierce gales and torrential rain, officials said Sunday.

The cyclone packed winds of up to 120 kph …

A fine tree that's worth getting to know

Environment | OLD NIC’S NOTEBOOK Sep 29, 2019

A fine tree that’s worth getting to know

by C.W. Nicol

In postwar Japan, the government’s Forestry Agency claimed that the Japanese beech was a useless tree. That’s utter nonsense — beech wood is great for interiors and the tree is not only important for wildlife water management, but it also produces edible leaves and …

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