Rural Australians to pay price for climate change: Drought-stricken rural communities are among those to bear the biggest brunt of an estimated annual $17 billion bill for climate change in Australia. A study of the costs of climate change has found rural communities will pay almost twice as much as city dwellers for the effects of environmental degradation. The average weekly cost to rural households will be $60, compared with $32 for city families, according to the study by consultants National Economics for the Australian Local Government Association. The Age

Polar bears and people: Imagine seeing as many images of hunters and fisherman drowning as we see of polar bears. Up North, way up in the Artic, the Inuit people suffer from today’s effects of global warming. Not only is their way of life being threatened but so are their lives. Ms. Shelia Watt-Cloutier, former chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize nominee grew up in the Artic. As a child she remembers the long winters, heavy snow and her dogsled team. Ice is life for her people. Ice provides platforms for hunting and fishing. It hardens to create roads so trucks can bring in critical supplies, and it houses the food and water needed to survive. Huffington Post

China’s great green leap forward?: To the rest of the world China looks like an environmental car crash, a superpower superpolluter that along with the USA has become the most obdurate barrier to action on climate change. Every self-respecting green knows that it is building a new coal-fired power station every day, has 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities and uses an extraordinary 40% of the world’s cement to pepper China’s landscape with crane-topped half-built skyscrapers. Many believe that China’s leaders have trapped themselves on a growth juggernaut, terrified of the unrest that would follow if the growth rate fell much below 9%. But what if this was soon to change? Times Online

Melting ice displaces walruses in the Russian Arctic: Some 40,000 walruses have appeared on the Russian Arctic coast, a phenomenon that scientists believe is a result of global warming melting Arctic sea ice. According to WWF, this is the largest walrus haul out — areas where walruses rest when they are out of the water — registered in the Russian Arctic. The area is currently being protected by the local community through the WWF-supported Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North. But more permanent protection, like a nature reserve, is needed to prevent walrus poaching and other threats to these large marine mammals. Science Daily

Guyana’s forests offered as huge carbon offset: Man-made climate change is a clear and present danger. Decision-makers from around the globe will converge on Bali in a fortnight in an attempt to do something about it. And the call has gone out for the world’s leaders to take bold action to avoid a catastrophe. Enter Guyana. The former British colony, sandwiched between Venezuela and Brazil, is home to fewer than a million people but it is also home to an intact rainforest larger than England. In a dramatic offer, the government of Guyana has said it is willing to place its entire standing forest under the control of a British-led, international body in return for a bilateral deal with the UK that would secure development aid and the technical assistance needed to make the change to a green economy. Independent