Utility Chiefs Wary of Emission Limits: Top executives of some of the United States’ largest electric utilities gave guarded support on Tuesday – or at least said they were not opposed – to mandatory carbon emission limits to deal with global warming. Still, the executives expressed concern over the potential for huge electricity cost increases, depending on how such emission limits are imposed. Guardian

Spread of desert “may cause mediterranean exodus”: Parched land could trigger a mass exodus north from the Mediterranean if the long-term effects of climate change, construction and farming are not checked, a Greek environmental official warned on Tuesday. Swathes of Greece are also in immediate danger of becoming permanent desert, said Professor Costas Kosmas, head of a government committee set up to battle desertification. Reuters

Biologists produce global map of plant biodiversity: Biologists at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Bonn in Germany have produced a global map of estimated plant species richness. Covering several hundred thousand species, the scientists say their global map is the most extensive map of the distribution of biodiversity on Earth to date. It also provides much needed assistance in gauging the likely impact of climate change on the services plants provide to humans. Science Daily

Giving focus to a tide of change: To date, energy research has made a number of notable achievements specifically in the areas of photovoltaic, wind and clean-coal energy programmes. However, the scope of these achievements, and of research in general, has not been comprehensive enough to address the larger problems; a sustainable European-energy future and the twin issues of climate change and energy supply security. Europa

Genetic discovery may eradicate malaria: The costly effort to eradicate one of the world’s deadliest diseases has received a controversial boost — genetically modified mosquitoes that cannot pass on malaria. Scientific trials have revealed that the GM mosquitoes could quickly establish themselves in the wild and drive out natural malaria-carrying insects — and break the route through which humans are infected. The Age

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey