Bats dropping dead: Scorching heatwaves linked to climate change have caused thousands of Australian bats to drop dead after flapping their wings in a desperate bid to cool off, according to a study published on Wednesday. On one day alone in 2002, up to six percent of the flying foxes in nine colonies in New South Wales died when temperatures hit 42 degrees Celsius, according to the study. Most alarming, said the biologists, was the mortality rate among young bats, as high as 50%.  “The effects of temperature extremes on flying foxes highlight complex implications of climate change for behaviour, demography and species survival,” says the study, published by the Royal Society, Britain’s de-facto academy of sciences. News24.com

Report reveals poor green record of luxury firms: WWF today called on celebrities not to promote luxury brands following the launch of a new report which ranks the top 10 luxury brands by their environmental, social and governance records. The conservation group found leather goods manufacturer Tods, Italian jeweller Bulgari, Cartier owner Richemont, and PPR, which owns Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney among the worst performers. The report, Deep Luxury, ranked companies from A to F according to their own sustainability reporting, as well as the way they have been judged in the media and by non-governmental organisations. The best performers were L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company, Paris-based fashion house, Hermès, and LVMH, which owns more than 50 brands including Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Marc Jacobs. They each scored a C+. Guardian

Climate worse than we thought: Climate change is already more advanced than the world realises, and tackling it will present “diabolical” policy challenges, says the head of Labor’s climate change review, Professor Ross Garnaut. In his first speech since starting his policy review for state governments and Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd, Professor Garnaut indicated that he would recommend a stronger framework to secure rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions than that proposed by the Howard government. He implied that emissions trading could start as soon as 2010, suggested there was a strong case for high carbon prices from the outset to drive change, and opposed free permits to existing polluters, as the Howard government envisaged. The Age

Business call for climate change framework: International business leaders have called for a legally-binding framework to tackle climate change. In an unprecedented move 150 global companies have signed up to a communiqué issued on the eve of the Bali climate summit. Some of the world’s biggest brands including Coca-Cola, Shell, Dupont, Gap, GE, Johnson and Johnson, and Nike have put their names to the initiative as well as a number of Chinese companies including Shanghai Electric, Zhufeng Technology and Suntech. Telegraph

Asia cool on climate change fight: Climate change has become one of the hottest topics across the Asia-Pacific, but national and personal wealth remain the overwhelmingly dominant concerns, economists and environmentalists say. ”In Asia, people are becoming more aware about global warming, but economic development is still by far the top priority,” said Andy Xie, a Shanghai-based economist and former head of Morgan Stanley’s Asia-Pacific division. On a macro level, the roaring economies of the world’s two most populous nations, China and India, are using ever increasing amounts of coal and other fossil fuels that emit the greenhouse gases blamed for climate change. Bangkok Post

Peter Fray

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