Rebuild or retreat: US debates evacuation of Gulf coastline: The United States is working on a multi-billion-dollar plan to depopulate vast swaths of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico in a move which it is hoped would help re-establish a natural barrier against the catastrophic flooding caused by the likes of Hurricane Katrina. In the first sign that the federal government is favouring a retreat from the coast rather than rebuilding, the Army Corps of Engineers is to present to Congress a radical plan which includes rebuilding the wetlands that have been disappearing at an ever-accelerating rate in recent years. Guardian
Our drinkable water supply is vanishing: Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the Hungarian biochemist and Nobel Prize winner for medicine once said, “Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.” We depend on water for survival. It circulates through our bodies and the land, replenishing nutrients and carrying away waste. It is passed down like stories over generations — from ice-capped mountains to rivers to oceans. Historically water has been a facet of ritual, a place of gathering and the backbone of community. But times have changed. AlterNet
Price to pay as Bondi doomed to drown by 2100: The disappearance of Bondi Beach due to global warming would rob NSW of up to $500 million directly and could have flow on costs to the national economy of billions more. Alarming figures obtained from Tourism NSW, Tourism Australia and the State Treasury reveal the devastating effect of climate change on that one beach alone. Tourism NSW has estimated Bondi Beach alone to be worth between $400-$500 million in money spent by overseas visitors. A government source said the flow on to other parts of the economy could mean the total impact of losing the beach is triple that. News.com.au
Environment protection key to Balkan EU path: Balkan countries must pay as much attention to environmental protection as they do on economic development if they want to join the European Union, a United Nations report said on Wednesday. Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania spent the 1990s in war or economic turmoil, and are rushing to catch up with ex-communist neighbours that are now EU members. More concerned with privatisations and restructuring big communist-era companies, they now risk coming up short of EU standards on environmental protection. Reuters
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Misplaced trust: Governments world-wide are mishandling climate-change issues. Policies to curb “greenhouse gas” emissions too often take the form of costly specific regulations rather than a general price-based incentive such as a carbon tax. More fundamentally, there is good reason to question the advice on which governments are basing their policies. This advice is brought together through an elaborate process which governments themselves created. The process is managed by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established in 1988 and made up of government officials, not all of whom are scientists. WSJ