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12/02/2009 07:00 PM
South American drought trims world soybean, corn production
Agriculture Online: It's been awfully dry in South American soybean and corn country. USDA on Tuesday confirmed the drought down south has taken a toll on the region's crops and, in turn, soybean and corn supplies in the world market. Will this translate to a shift in acres in the U.S. this spring? The soybean crop took the biggest hit in Argentina, where overall production is pegged at 43.8 million tons. That's down 5.7 million tons from a month ago "as drought conditions and heat in the central growing ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
The solar revolution starts in Amareleja
France 24: The Alentejo region enjoys more sunlight each year than any other place in Europe. So it's here, in south-east Portugal, that an immense solar power station has been set up, producing more energy than any other in the world. This plant alone meets the needs of 30,000 Portuguese homes. Traditionally a farming area, now ravaged by desertification, the area round Moura aspires to be Europe's test site for economic development via the renewable energies sector. When the company Acciona ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
US energy chief floats idea of a carbon tax: NYT
Agence France-Presse: US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has floated the idea of a carbon emissions tax to fight global warming, in an interview with The New York Times Thursday. During the US presidential campaign, the notion was kept largely on the back burner as candidates were reluctant to promote the idea of costlier energy at a time when gasoline prices were soaring. But since President Barack Obama's administration took office in January, Congress has been working on setting up a system for ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
CO2 hits new peaks, no sign global crisis causing dip
Reuters: Atmospheric levels of the main greenhouse gas are hitting new highs, with no sign yet that the world economic downturn is curbing industrial emissions, a leading scientist said on Thursday. "The rise is in line with the long-term trend," Kim Holmen, research director at the Norwegian Polar Institute, said of the measurements taken by a Stockholm University project on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard off north Norway. Levels of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from ... read more

09/02/2009 07:00 PM
Scientists say Antarctic climate evidence too strong to ignore
Physorg: More than 50 top international polar scientists will meet at Victoria University of Wellington this week to discuss their cutting-edge climate change research. The focus will be establishing models that explain how Antarctica's ice sheets have behaved in Earth's recent past and explore how they may change in the future. For several years, scientists from Italy, Germany, New Zealand and the United States have been studying a 1300 metre-long rock core recovered by the ... read more

10/02/2009 07:00 PM
Study: Birds shifting north; global warming cited
Associated Press: When it comes to global warming, the canary in the coal mine isn't a canary at all. It's a purple finch. As the temperature across the U.S. has gotten warmer, the purple finch has been spending its winters more than 400 miles farther north than it used to. And it's not alone. An Audubon Society study to be released Tuesday found that more than half of 305 birds species in North America, a hodgepodge that includes robins, gulls, chickadees and owls, are spending the winter about ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
Birds are shifting north; global warming cited
Associated Press: When it comes to global warming, the canary in the coal mine isn't a canary at all. It's a purple finch. As the temperature across the continent has become warmer, the purple finch has been spending its winters more than 640 kilometres farther north than it used to. And it's not alone. An Audubon Society study to be released Tuesday found that more than half of 305 birds species in North America, a hodgepodge that includes robins, gulls, chickadees and owls, are spending the ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
Global warming through a mom's eyes
Christian Science Monitor: Hard times can reveal our hidden talents Lincoln at 200: still a light for democracy's moral purpose Letters to the Editor Obama buys time for zombie banks More » San Francisco -- I was driving home with my sons one day when we began talking about what place on earth each of us most wanted to visit. "The top of the world!" said my nearly always exuberant 4-year-old. Was he thinking of the Himalayas, I wondered, or the Arctic? "The Arctic!" he said. He wanted to go ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
EU cities in joint green pledge
BBC: More than 350 cities across Europe - including 15 in the UK - have signed a "covenant" committing them to cuts of more than 20% in CO2 emissions by 2020. The "covenant of mayors" was signed at the European Parliament in Brussels. The EU as a whole aims to achieve a cut of 20% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will play a key role in that. But the EU's emissions allowances have hit a record low of 9.5 euros (£8; $12) a tonne, ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
Corn Falls as World Use Falling Faster Than Weather Cuts Crops
Bloomberg: Corn fell for the first time in four sessions on speculation that global demand is declining faster than drought is damaging crops in South America. Worldwide corn reserves will total 136.7 million metric tons at the end of September, up 7 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. Global output will be 786.5 million tons, down 0.6 percent from a January forecast, the agency said, citing smaller South American crops. Demand will reach 777.5 million ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
Payments for eco services could save the Amazon
Mongabay: Paying for the ecological services provided by the Amazon rainforest could be the key to saving it, reports a new analysis from WWF. The study, Keeping the Amazon forests standing: a matter of values, tallied the economic value of various ecosystem services afforded by Earth's largest rainforest. It found that standing forest is worth, at minimum, $426 per hectare per year for production of non-timber forest products (honey, fiber, mushrooms, medicinal plants, etc), erosion ... read more

28/01/2009 07:00 PM
More power needed behind renewable energy push
WWF: WWF has told an audience of energy experts and senior government officials from more than 20 countries that the world's leading governments and businesses must lead the planet towards the benefits of renewable energy and a sustainable future. At the second World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi last week delegates were told that if everybody in the world consumed resources like the average person in a G8 country then another three planet Earths would be needed to sustain ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
Slippery slope ahead for ski resorts in Central and Eastern Europe
WWF: New research suggests that ambitious plans for dozens of new ski resorts in Central and Eastern Europe could be constructed on slippery financial slopes. The potential financial uncertainty on the future viability of the resorts is also adding to concerns that some of Europe's last wilderness areas will be damaged to little purpose. Up to two-thirds of Alpine ski areascould go out of business due to a lack of snow on current climate change projections, which see temperature ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
Europe's big lenders still backing green power
Reuters: The credit crunch is starting to make an impact on smaller European green energy projects, but cash-rich utilities and the bigger lending institutions will continue to get deals done, green power experts say. "The main problem for the smaller developers is the short-term freeze on lending," said Christian Kjaer of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), adding that the credit crunch could lead to consolidation in the sector. "We may see some of the smaller projects which ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
Miliband announces green makeover for every home in Britain by 2030
Guardian: All UK households will have a green makeover by 2030 under government plans to reduce carbon emissions and cut energy bills. Cavity wall and loft insulation will be available for all suitable homes, with plans to retrofit 400,000 homes a year by 2015. Financial incentives for householders will also be available for low-carbon technologies such as solar panels, biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps, paid for by a levy on utility companies. The government wants a quarter ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
'Quit Coal' Greenpeace tells Indonesia's Energy Minister
Greenpeace: Early this morning, 40 Greenpeace activists and local community representatives, wearing white face masks carrying the message 'Coal Kills' to symbolise the health damage to local communities, chained themselves to the gates of the Cilacap coal plant to block the transport of coal on Central Java's south coast. Denouncing the Indonesian Minister of Energy's decision to build 35 coal plants in the next 2 years, Greenpeace is calling upon Indonesia to choose clean renewable energy instead of ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
Australia fires spark calls for climate action
Reuters: Firefighters called on the Australian government on Thursday to take a tougher stance against climate change in an effort to avoid more deadly bushfires like those that killed 181 people this week. "Without a massive turnaround in policies, aside from the tragic loss of life and property, we will be asking firefighters to put themselves at an unacceptable risk," United Firefighters Union of Australia said in an open letter. "We understand that our job is dangerous by its very ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
Aviation industry calls for inclusion in Copenhagen deal
Business Green: Four of the world's leading airlines have today called for CO2 emissions from international aviation to be included in any new global climate change deal agreed at the UN's Copenhagen Summit in December. Air France/KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic and airport operator BAA said emissions from international aviation, which currently contribute an estimated two per cent of global CO2 emissions, should be included in any replacement deal for the Kyoto ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
Obama administration delays offshore drilling plan
Business Green: The Obama administration's attempts to roll back environmentally harmful regulations passed in the last days of the Bush White House continued yesterday after US interior secretary Ken Salazar postponed plans for a five year offshore drilling programme and ordered a fresh assessment of US offshore oil and gas resources. Salazar delayed the five year programme, which was granted approval in the last few days of the Bush administration, branding the move "headlong rush of the worst ... read more

12/02/2009 07:00 PM
After the fires: Australia counts the cost
Guardian read more

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