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John Vidal

For John Vidal's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Melting Arctic ice brings hope to Russian city

Feb 2, 2014

Melting Arctic ice brings hope to Russian city

The city of Nadym, in the extreme north of Siberia, is one of the Earth’s least hospitable places, shrouded in darkness for half of the year, with temperatures plunging below minus 30 Celsius and the nearby Kara Sea semipermanently frozen. But things are looking ...

Wolf numbers surge across Europe

Jan 5, 2014

Wolf numbers surge across Europe

A twig snaps, a crow calls, but nothing moves in the dense pine forests of Spain’s Guadarrama mountains. Vultures and eagles soar over the snowcapped peaks and wild boars roam the valleys below, as they have for centuries. But for the farmers who work ...

Illegal taps on oil pipeline wreaking havoc on Nigeria

Oct 11, 2013

Illegal taps on oil pipeline wreaking havoc on Nigeria

The flames roared 20 meters above the Niger delta swamp for 48 hours; 6,000 barrels of crude oil spilled into the creeks and waterways around the village of Bodo and several people died. But although the Nigerian Army and Navy were stationed just 100 ...

Pacific islands fighting for survival as sea levels rise

Sep 6, 2013

Pacific islands fighting for survival as sea levels rise

Pacific islanders challenged world leaders this week to act on climate change, warning that their low-lying atolls are close to becoming uninhabitable because of rising seas and increasingly severe floods, droughts and storm surges. “The Pacific is fighting for its survival. Climate change has ...

Race to build water-grab dams endangers Himalayas

Aug 16, 2013

Race to build water-grab dams endangers Himalayas

The future of the world’s most famous mountain-range could be endangered by a vast dam-building project, as a risky regional race for water resources takes place in Asia. New academic research shows that India, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan are engaged in a huge “water ...

Global threat to food supply as water wells dry up

Jul 12, 2013

Global threat to food supply as water wells dry up

Wells are drying up and underwater tables falling so fast in the Middle East and parts of India, China and the United States that food supplies are seriously threatened, one of the world’s leading resource analysts warned on July 7. In a major new ...

Ecological disaster looms for rain forests of Sumatra

Jun 1, 2013

Ecological disaster looms for rain forests of Sumatra

Our small plane had been flying low over Sumatra for three hours but all we had seen was an industrial landscape of palm and acacia trees stretching 50 km in every direction. A haze of blue smoke from newly cleared land drifted eastward over ...

Indonesia seeing a new corporate colonialism

Jun 1, 2013

Indonesia seeing a new corporate colonialism

Land conflicts between farmers and plantation owners, mining companies and developers have raged across Indonesia as local and multinational firms have been encouraged to seize and then deforest customary land — land owned by indigenous people and administered in accordance with their customs. More ...

Can the discovery of oil save Ecuador's rainforest?

Jan 25, 2013

Can the discovery of oil save Ecuador's rainforest?

American biologist Kelly Swing thwacks a bush with his butterfly net and a dozen or so bugs and insects drop in. One is a harvester, or daddy-long-legs, another a jumping spider that leaps onto a leaf where two beetles are mating. This is the ...