Climate change ad battle heating up: Labor turned up the heat over federal government advertising as Prime Minister John Howard conceded a climate change campaign was on the way. After stonewalling opposition questions for days, Mr Howard said preparations for the campaign have been made but it had not been given a green light. The prime minister told parliament he did not know how much had been spent so far. The Age

Keep a watch on this space: Six months ago, it seemed quite possible that the government had neutered its leading environmental critics. Ambitious new targets on climate change, the proposed expansion of renewable energy, a promised new waste strategy, and protestations that sustainable development could be embraced with better planning all suggested that it was setting the green pace. Last week, years of ideas, debates, and lobbying were supposed to come together in three interconnected pieces of proposed legislation — planning, energy and waste. Guardian 

New limbless lizard species found: It may look like a snake and live like a snake. But a tiny reptile found recently in India is something else entirely, an Indian zoologist announced recently. The 7-inch (18-centimeter) creature is not a serpent at all, but actually a completely new species of limbless lizard, said Sushil Kumar Dutta of North Orissa University. National Geographic

Earth nears tipping point: Dangerous climate change has not yet arrived, but the tipping point may not be far off. And it may be reached with a smaller temperature rise than recent studies suggest. Those are among the conclusions from an international team of climate scientists in a study this month, which they say bolsters the case for an alternative strategy to combat climate change. The main idea: focus intensely on cutting greenhouse-gas emissions other than carbon dioxide in the short term, giving the world a little leeway in dealing with the trickier issue of CO2. Christian Science Monitor

How to save the world’s big cats: Big cats are some of Earth’s largest and most threatened predators. Long persecuted as perceived threats to livestock and humans, hunted for their skins and purported medicinal values, and losing critical habitat to deforestation and conversion for agriculture, big cat populations have dwindled around the world for the past century. Recent years have seen the extinction of two sub-species of Indonesian tiger, the Caspian Tiger from western Central Asia, a sub-species of clouded leopard from Taiwan, and the Barbary lion from the wild in North Africa. Monga Bay