Stories written by Matthew O. Berger
Matthew O. Berger has covered global issues, with a focus on environment and climate, from the IPS Washington, D.C. bureau.

Haitians wash in a public fountain after a powerful earthquake left their city, Port-au-Prince, devastated and with few water resources. Credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

U.S.: Obama Urged to Grant Haitians “Protected Status”

As U.S. and international relief efforts chugged toward Haiti Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama announced an immediate investment of 100 million dollars in the relief efforts underway following Tuesday's devastating earthquake.

ENVIRONMENT: Seeking a Consumer Culture Revolution

The last 50 years have seen an unprecedented and unsustainable spike in consumption, driven by a culture of consumerism that has emerged over that period, says a report released Tuesday by the Worldwatch Institute.

SUDAN: U.S. Voices Growing Concern over North-South Accord

U.S. and other Western officials expressed growing concern Friday over the fate of the peace accord signed five years ago this week by Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM).

Invasive Asian silver carp caught by a wildlife officer during a roundup. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

BIODIVERSITY: Invasive Species Multiply in U.S. Waterways

As 2010, the U.N.'s International Year of Biodiversity, gets underway, a fight against some of the most damaging invasive species in U.S. waterways is heating up.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Carbon Prices Reflect an Uncertain Year

As what was supposed to be a breakthrough year for action on climate change comes to a close, one indicator of the disappointment surrounding an anti-climactic outcome in Copenhagen and stalled U.S. Senate legislation can be seen on the European Climate Exchange.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Copenhagen Fizzled, California Forges Ahead

As countries failed to reach a substantive climate change pact at Copenhagen last week, action at the subnational level has emerged as one of the likeliest paths toward significant climate action.

US: Reconsidering War on Drugs

As the war on drugs moves closer to home and a new administration presents new ideas, policymakers in Washington are taking notice of 30 years' worth of ineffectual drug policy and beginning to think about different ways of addressing the northward flow of narcotics.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Greenhouse Gases Endanger Public Health – EPA

Twelve years after the climate change meetings in Kyoto, a much changed U.S. will show up at the Copenhagen conference this week, and, following recent developments in Washington, their ability to offer and agree to international climate actions has likely never been higher.

SUDAN: U.S. Envoy Faces Intense Scrutiny over Darfur Policy

As U.S. special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration defended the Barack Obama administration's new policy toward the war-torn country on Capitol Hill Thursday, NGOs and a U.N. official reacted with disappointment and impatience.

CLIMATE CHANGE-US: Citizens Back Action, Despite Lobbying Surge

As both Washington and the international community come gradually closer to taking substantive action on climate change at a high-level conference in Copenhagen, a side effect of this progress has been a parallel increase in the intensity of campaigns opposing such action – which may be a factor in the slight dip in the U.S. public's concern about climate change.

HONDURAS: U.S. Criticised for Recognising Post-Coup Poll

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in Washington, DC's Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, about 50 protestors lined up outside a polling station where voting was taking place to help select the next leader of a country almost 3,000 kilometres away.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Obama to Visit Copenhagen with U.S. Targets

After weeks of speculation, the White House announced Wednesday that President Barack Obama will stop by the climate talks to be held in Copenhagen next month en route to Oslo, where he will receive his Nobel Peace Prize Dec. 10.

CLIMATE CHANGE: “No Politics in the Melting of the Ice Sheet”

As climate scientists defend their work from sceptics in the aftermath of researchers' emails being stolen over the weekend, a new report hopes to provide an update on science's latest climate-related findings.

DEVELOPMENT: “Water Gap” to Widen Dramatically by 2030

A balanced approach of demand- and supply-side measures are needed to meet a growing "water gap" in which global water demand will be 40 percent more than supply by 2030, says a new report from the 2030 Water Resources Group.

U.S.: Supreme Court Punts on “Redskins” Case

The ongoing drive to purge derogatory American Indian nicknames and mascots from U.S. sports and schools took a minor hit Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined, without comment, to hear an appeal challenging the trademark protecting the name of the National Football League's Washington Redskins.

DEVELOPMENT: Looking to the Past to Feed the Future

As wheat rust threatened crops in the 1950s, a global effort to breed resistant wheat varieties led to 117 million hectares of cropland being protected from the deadly fungi and ensured the food security of 60 to 120 million rural households.

CLIMATE CHANGE-US: Too Little, Too Late for Copenhagen?

The momentum that U.S. climate change legislation has picked up in recent weeks will not be enough to get it through prior to the Copenhagen climate talks that kick off Dec. 7. It has also come at a steep price for those most committed to seeing such legislation pass.

LATIN AMERICA: Former Leaders Hope to Shape Regional Agenda

After two years of work, 20 former presidents of Latin American countries have issued policy recommendations that they hope "will greatly improve the lives and social mobility of Latin America's poor, will produce a new dynamic for economic growth, and will strengthen Latin America's still-fragile democratic institutions".

US-EUROPE: An Ocean Apart in More Ways Than One

As a delegation of European Union leaders descends on Washington Tuesday, a new report argues that "European governments prefer to fetishise transatlantic relations, valuing closeness and harmony as ends in themselves, and seeking influence with Washington through various strategies of seduction or ingratiation".

POLITICS: Obama Scores Regional Points with Zelaya’s Return

Following months of dithering on the part of the U.S., a delegation from the U.S. State Department brokered a deal Thursday between the ousted and interim governments of Honduras.

HEALTH: U.S. Urged to Double Aid to Global Projects

As the effort to achieve universal health coverage within the U.S. crawls forward in Washington, a new report by a coalition of global health organisations details how the U.S. can "help lead the world to universal access to comprehensive health care in developing countries".

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