Global warming is a human rights issue. It sounds like a sick joke about global warming, with a series of horrible punch lines: How hot is it? So hot that Inuit people around the Arctic Circle are using air conditioners for the first time. And running out of the hard-packed snow they need to build igloos. And falling through melting ice when they hunt. These circumstances are the current results of global climate change, according to Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier, an Inuit born inside the Canadian Arctic, who maintains this constitutes a violation of human rights for indigenous people in low-lying areas throughout the world. AlertNet

Permanent solutions needed for water crisis. The current drought is having a significant impact on the region and climate change is predicted to make rain even more infrequent and unpredictable. However, our existing restriction and pricing regime assumes water shortages are the exception rather than the rule. Canberra Times

Climate change will hit coastlines soon. Coastlines across the Gulf region will suffer due to climate change in the next 50 to 100 years if countries do not make the most of the incentives on offer to oil-producing countries by the United Nations to bring down their carbon emissions. Man-made islands here and abroad will disappear with Bahrain potentially losing up to 15 kilometres of coastline if sea levels rise as has been predicted by scientists. Gulf News

Real Aussie garden pulls green fingers. Botanic gardens in Australia are often lush, green spaces that showcase exotic trees and plants from around the world. But it seems a garden in Victoria that celebrates Australia’s own, often harsh landscape, is proving just as popular. The Australian Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne has been named the top new tourist development in Australia in the 2006 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

Hungary perilous on climate. Due to its location Hungary is likely to be hit particularly hard by climate change, it was revealed during a climate conference at the Central European University last Wednesday. If the average global surface temperature rises by one degree, Hungary’s average temperature will increase by 1.4 degrees, according to a United Nations report at the conference. That would expose Hungary to drier summers and a greater risk of floods. The Budapest Times

The big green fuel lie: The ethanol boom is coming. The twin threats of climate change and energy security are creating an unprecedented thirst for alternative energy with ethanol leading the way. That process is set to reach a landmark on Thursday when the US President, George Bush, arrives in Brazil to kick-start the creation of an international market for ethanol that could one day rival oil as a global commodity. The expected creation of an “Opec for ethanol” replicating the cartel of major oil producers has spurred frenzied investment in biofuels across the Americas. Independent

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey