Climate change is reshaping global politics: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote an opinion column titled “A Climate Culprit in Darfur” in the June 16 issue of the Washington Post. In that article he linked the Darfur issue in Africa with climate change and called for more attention to be paid to environmental issues in that part of the world, saying they had spurred the bloody conflicts in the Darfur region. In the past 20 years, Ban wrote, western Sudan and neighbouring countries have been suffering from decreasing rainfall and spreading desertification, which have brought water and food scarcity to the fore. China Daily

‘Green’ vouchers for schools: Schools will be eligible for “green” vouchers to improve energy and water efficiency in a new program announced by Prime Minister John Howard this morning. Mr Howard said the schools program would cost $336 million. “Today I am announcing a further $627 million in practical new measures to tackle global warming, bringing total spending on climate change initiative since 1996 to about $3.4 billion,” he said in a statement. SMH

Glaciers in retreat: This is how a glacier retreats. At nearly 13,000 feet above sea level, in the shadow of a sharp Himalayan peak, a wall of black ice oozes in the sunshine. A tumbling stone breaks the silence of the mountains, or water gurgles under the ground, a sign that the glacier is melting from inside. Where it empties out — scientists call it the snout — a noisy, frothy stream rushes down to meet the river Ganges. DP Dobhal, a glaciologist who has spent the last three years climbing and poking the Chorabari glacier, stands at the edge of the snout and points ahead. Three years ago, the snout was roughly 90 feet farther away. On a map drawn in 1962, it was plotted 860 feet from here. New York Times

‘Extinct’ egg-laying mammal rediscovered in jungles of New Guinea: An egg-laying mammal thought extinct for nearly 50 years has been rediscovered in the Indonesian province of Papua on the island of New Guinea, reports BBC News. The creature, called Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi) after TV personality Sir David Attenborough, was only known to biologists through a specimen dating from 1961. The burrowing marsupial was rediscovered by a team of scientists on a month-long expedition in Cyclops Mountains Reserve organised by the Zoological Society of London. Monga Bay

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