Canberra sees the light on energy-saving bulbs: Australia will become the first country in the world to phase out conventional light bulbs within three years and replace them with energy-saving globes that use only 20 per cent of the electricity to produce the same amount of light. The Age

The problems in modelling nature, with its unruly natural tendencies: When coastal engineers decide whether to dredge sand and pump it onto an eroded beach, they use mathematical models to predict how much sand they will need, when and where they must apply it, the rate it will move and how long the project will survive in the face of coastal storms and erosion. New York Times

Giant offshore windfarm gets the green light: The first British offshore wind farm to be built outside UK territorial waters was given the green light yesterday. Airtricity, the Irish wind developer aiming to make Europe self-sufficient in energy, was awarded the 500-megawatt project, which will be built 16 miles off the Suffolk coast. Eddie O’Connor, Airtricity’s chief executive, said it would take two years to build the 150 sq km windfarm and he expects work to commence in 2009.  The Independent

Is US near a tipping point on global warming?: U.S. policy on global warming seems headed for a tipping point, with politicians, business leaders and economists joining environmentalists to call for new laws to limit greenhouse gases that spur climate change. So far, the Bush administration has rejected these calls, but has been at pains to stress its commitment to dealing with global warming. AlertNet

It may be too late to save the ice: A critical meltdown of ice sheets and severe sea level rise could be inevitable because of global warming, the world’s scientists are preparing to warn their governments. New studies of Greenland and Antarctica have forced a United Nations expert panel to conclude there is a 50% chance that widespread ice sheet loss “may no longer be avoided” because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Such melting would raise sea levels by four to six meters (12 to 18 feet), the scientists say. African News Dimension

Peter Fray

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