The evolution of the species: a story of thriving mammals and dying dinosaurs: They are the only warm-blooded, furry creatures that can feed their young on milk and now it seems the dominance of mammals has more to do with flower power than dinosaur disaster. A comprehensive family tree of the 4,500 mammalian species alive today has punctured the enduring tale that links the sudden death of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago with the rise of mammals. Independent
Howard’s stern line on climate: Prime Minister John Howard has clashed with Sir Nicholas Stern over climate change, saying the former World Bank chief economist’s views should not be treated as “holy writ” and could do great damage to the Australian economy. Sir Nicholas has called on Australia to be an international leader in the fight against climate change by slashing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 60% by 2050, ratifying the Kyoto Protocol and being at the forefront of new technologies, such as clean coal. The Age
Feds manipulate release of climate change research: A new watchdog group report claims the Bush administration has been muzzling government scientists who research climate change, raising eyebrows among a small group of politicians assembled for a hearing. The 131-page document by a whistleblower organization called the Government Accountability Project documents a number of instances since 2001 in which scientists at government agencies have encountered obstacles to communicating their publicly funded research to major media outlets. CNET
Largest-producing solar power plant inaugurated: The world’s largest-producing solar power plant was inaugurated yesterday in Portugal. The 11-megawatt 61m-euro ($78.5m) plant, a joint project of US energy companies GE Energy Financial Services, PowerLight Corporation, and Portuguese renewable energy company Catavento, spreads across a 60-hectare hillside in Serpa, 200 km southeast of Lisbon. Southern Portugal, one of the sunniest places in Europe, has as much as 3,300 hours of sunlight a year. Kuwait Times
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