Stories written by Julio Godoy
Julio Godoy, born in Guatemala and based in Berlin, covers European affairs, especially those related to corruption, environmental and scientific issues. Julio has more than 30 years of experience, and has won international recognition for his work, including the Hellman-Hammett human rights award, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting Online by the U.S. Society of Professional Journalists, and the Online Journalism Award for Enterprise Journalism by the Online News Association and the U.S.C. Annenberg School for Communication, as co-author of the investigative reports “Making a Killing: The Business of War” and “The Water Barons: The Privatisation of Water Services”.

The flight of migrating cranes used to mark the changing of the seasons in Europe.  Credit: Courtesy of NABU/Herrmann

EUROPE: Cranes Overstay Their Welcome as Weather Grows Warmer

Migrating flocks of cranes flying overhead are normally a harbinger of spring and autumn in Europe. But due to rising temperatures, the birds are sticking around increasingly longer in the fall before heading south.

The flight of migrating cranes used to mark the changing of the seasons in Europe. - Courtesy of NABU/Herrmann

Cranes Overstaying Their Welcome as Weather Grows Warmer

As a result of warmer autumn temperatures, cranes are remaining in Germany longer than usual, causing damage to crops and sparking conflicts between farmers and environmentalists.

Climate change conference meeting in Kyoto, Japan, Dec. 1997 Credit:  Frank Leather/UN Photo

CLIMATE CHANGE: Following the Carbon Footprint to the ‘Emissions Reduction’ Fallacy

According to official figures, the European Union member countries have successfully reduced their emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), especially of carbon dioxide (CO2), by more than 15 percent since 1990, thus more than fulfilling their commitments under the Kyoto protocol.

Listening to ‘Appalled Economists’

A paper written by a handful of French economists criticising the economic policies applied in the European Union to deal with the sovereign debt crisis that followed government bailouts of banks and other financial institutions in 2007 has become a manifesto supported by many worldwide.

South Outdoing North in Fight against Global Warming

The claims of some industrialised nations, which accuse the developing countries of not doing their share to curb emissions that contribute to climate change, are proven false in studies conducted by respected academic institutions.

EUROPE: Crisis Brings New Governments, Not New Politics

The change of government in five countries in Europe, brought about this year by the dramatic sovereign debt crisis that broke out in 2007 has so far failed to remove the original causes of the crisis.

African Sun Prepares to Power Europe

Solar thermal power plants are indispensable to meet Europe’s energy demands and to reduce greenhouse gases emissions substantially, according to a new study by a European scientific commission.

Arctic sea ice.  Credit: Christof Luepkes, courtesy of the Alfred Wegener Institute

Arctic Melt Stirs Economic Ambitions

The possibility of exploiting the hitherto inaccessible natural resources of the Arctic Ocean is becoming increasingly tangible with the thawing of the North Pole, much to the alarm of European scientists.

MIDEAST: Europe Divided Over Palestinian State

Divisions that have surfaced within the European Union over recognition of the Palestinian Authority as an independent and sovereign state are unlikely to be resolved ahead of a crucial vote in the United Nations next week.

LIBYA: Jihadists Take Over, As Warned

The official euphoria with which the U.S. and European governments celebrated the fall of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya has given way to growing concern that many among the new Libyan leadership are radical Muslims with links to al-Qaeda. Revelations are surfacing also of a close collaboration of Western governments with the deposed dictator.

Figure of Ah Puch, the god of death, mother-of-pearl mosaic with jade and pyrite incrustations, A.D. 500-800, found in Topoxté, Petén.  Credit: Julio Godoy/IPS

Q&A: Mighty Maya Cities Succumbed to Environmental Crisis

The latest archeological findings in the Mirador Basin of Guatemala lend further credence to the theory that the Maya civilisation that once flourished there was brought down by environmental causes such as deforestation.

Figure of Ah Puch, the god of death, mother-of-pearl mosaic with jade and pyrite incrustations, A.D. 500-800, found in Topoxté, Petén. - Julio Godoy/IPS

Mighty Maya Cities in Petén Succumbed to Environmental Crisis

The example of the Mayas in Petén, who destroyed the soil and forests through intensive agriculture and a love of opulence, should lead us to reflect on the consequences of excessive consumption, says archeologist Richard Hansen in this interview.

EUROPE: Some Rich Want to Get a Little Less Rich

In the face of the severe sovereign debt crisis in most industrialised countries, some extremely rich people are urging governments to increase taxes on wealth.

Global Warming Behind Somali Drought

The severe drought in the Horn of Africa, which has caused the death of at least 30,000 children and is affecting some 12 million people, especially in Somalia, is a direct consequence of weather phenomena associated with climate change and global warming, environmental scientists say.

EUROPE: ‘Rethink Rhetoric Against Islam’

Conservative governments and centre-right parties in Europe were attacking multiculturalism and denigrating Muslim immigrants long before Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik used similar arguments to justify mass killings in Oslo and Utoya Island.

North Atlantic Alliance of Neo-Fascists

The Norwegian right wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed at least 76 people in two terrorist attacks Jul. 22 Oslo and Utoya, is a member of a network of more than 10,000 neo-fascist groups spread across North America and Western and Northern Europe.

Germany Arms Saudis Against Iran

Germany’s delivery of armoured tanks to Saudi Arabia is not aimed at repressing local or regional popular uprisings, but to improve Saudi military capabilities in a likely war against Iran, diplomatic and military experts say.

Tomatoes and lettuce growing in the Rostlaube "container farm".  Credit: Courtesy of Malzfabrik

Urban Farming Takes Root in Europe

Since the end of World War II, and especially since the 1960s, the Kreuzberg district in Berlin has been a melting pot of cultures, with residents hailing from the Balkans, Central Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

MIDEAST: Germany to Deliver Weapons to Saudi Arabia

The decision by the German government to deliver 200 state-of-the-art armoured tanks to Saudi Arabia, despite the Wahhabi monarchy’s human rights record and its recent violent intervention in Bahrain to repress the popular rebellion against the local ruling family there, illustrates the rhetorical nature of Western support to the so called Arab democratic spring.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Dream of a Camel, Get a Goat, and Be Happy With It

Sometimes you have to dream of a camel to get only a goat, South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said last weekend to delegates from 35 countries gathered in Berlin to discuss ways to avoid the collapse of international climate change negotiations.

Jan Rielaender: High fuel and mineral commodity prices have strongly influenced economic growth in many of the fastest growing African economies.  Credit: OECD

AFRICA: Poor Excluded From Benefits of High Economic Growth

The high economic growth enjoyed by many African states during the 2000s have not led to poverty elimination. This is because the growth did not happen in the sectors where poor people work, as in agriculture, or in the rural areas where poor people live, or simply did not involve labour provided by poor people.

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