Australia scores badly on emissions: Australia is the ninth biggest contributor to increased global carbon emissions, a new World Bank report has found. The bank report shows that between 1994 and 2004, Australia’s annual emissions of carbon dioxide (the world’s main greenhouse gas) increased by 107 million tonnes, or 38 per cent. Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared yesterday that Australia was “leading the world on climate change”. Australia’s emissions grew by more than the combined increase in emissions by Britain, France and Germany, which have 10 times our population. The Age

The road well travelled:  few weeks ago I read what I believe is the most important environmental book ever written. It is not Silent Spring, Small is Beautiful or even Walden. It contains no graphs, no tables, no facts, figures, warnings, predictions or even arguments. Nor does it carry a single dreary sentence, which, sadly, distinguishes it from most environmental literature. It is a novel, first published a year ago, and it will change the way you see the world.

Amphibian extinction may be worse than thought: Amphibian extinction rates may be higher than previously thought, according to new DNA analysis that found more than 60 unrecognized specie in the Guiana Shield of South America. Writing in PLoS ONE, a team of scientists warned that the number of amphibian species have been greatly underestimated. They estimate that there may be 170 to 460 unrecognized frog taxa in Amazonia-Guianas region alone and up to a total of 4400 species in South America. The researchers say their work shows the urgent need to catalog biodiversity before it disappears. Monga Bay

Parrotfish on menu puts coral at risk: The delicate balance of the Caribbean’s coral reefs is in jeopardy as more parrotfish end up on dinner plates, international scientists said on Wednesday. The colorful grazing fish, named for their parrot-like beaks which are used to scrape up algae, play a vital role in stopping seaweed from smothering coral. But their numbers are now being threatened by over-fishing. New research based on computer modeling shows parrotfish are a key defense in preventing the vulnerable Caribbean reefs from becoming a very different ecosystem — one dominated not by living coral but by blooms of algae or seaweed. Reuters

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey