Populations of 20 common US birds declining: The populations of 20 common American birds , from the fence-sitting meadowlark to the whippoorwill with its haunting call , are half what they were 40 years ago, according to an analysis released Thursday. Suburban sprawl, climate change and other invasive species are largely to blame, said the study’s author Greg Butcher of the National Audubon Society. Philadelphia Daily News

Curbing travel to cut carbon ‘idiotic’ — Clark: Arguments against travelling overseas or buying foreign food because of the carbon footprint are “idiotic” and not the way to tackle climate change, Helen Clark has said. The Prime Minister, in Sydney on a week-long tour of Australia, said such arguments about the amount of carbon dioxide emitted through the use of fossil fuels were “false science”. New Zealand Herald

Exxon attacks Greenpeace but says it wants to save the planet: ExxonMobil criticised Greenpeace, the Kyoto Treaty and the European carbon-trading system yesterday but insisted it was not a “climate-change denier” and said it wanted to play a constructive role in countering global warming. The world’s biggest non-state-owned oil group said its position on global warming had been repeatedly misunderstood and it had come to accept there should be a US federal — and preferably global — carbon tax through a cap-and-trade system. Guardian

EasyJet says new design will slash CO2 emissions in half: Claims by easyJet that by 2015 it could be operating planes producing 50% fewer carbon dioxide emissions were met with scepticism by aviation experts and conservationists. Andy Harrison, the budget airline’s chief executive, yesterday unveiled the company’s vision of how the next-generation short-haul aircraft might look. Mr Harrison said he believed the “ecoJet” could be ready for operation by 2015, and would produce just half the carbon emissions of current planes. It would also be 25% quieter. Independent

Peter Fray

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