Global meltdown: scientists isolate areas most at risk of climate change: Scientists have long agreed that climate change could have a profound impact on the planet; from melting ice sheets and withering rainforests, to flash floods and droughts. Now a team of climate experts has ranked the most fragile and vulnerable regions on the planet, and warned they are in danger of sudden and catastrophic collapse before the end of the century. In a comprehensive study published today, the scientists identify the nine areas that are in gravest danger of passing critical thresholds or “tipping points”, beyond which they will not recover. Although the scientists cannot be sure precisely when each region will reach the point of no return, their assessment warns it may already be too late to save Arctic sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet, which they regard as the most immediately in peril. By some estimates, there will not be any sea ice in the summer months within 25 years. Guardian

World eyes grand plan of payoffs to preserve trees, protect climate: For decades, a flood of aid and an army of conservationists couldn’t save Indonesia’s rain forests from illegal loggers, land-hungry peasants and the spread of giant plantations. Now the world is looking at a simpler approach: up-front cash. Whether it was arming forest police or backing schemes to certify legal logs, no tactic could silence the chain saws or douse the intentional fires that each day destroy 52 square kilometers more of Indonesia’s rain forests and an estimated 285 square kilometers elsewhere in the world’s tropics. The problem was pure economics. Neither local authorities nor the rural poor, in Indonesia and elsewhere, have a material incentive to keep their forests intact. Canadian Press

Carbon disclosure project asks 3000 companies for eco-info: For 2008, The Carbon Disclosure Project has issued a request to over 3000 of the world’s largest corporations to measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and report their strategy for dealing with climate change. Corporations have been asked to respond within four months, and the information will be launched in September on the CDP website. For the first time ever, CDP will write to China’s 100 largest companies this year and will also launch new operations in Korea, Latin America, Spain and the Netherlands. Seventy new investors joined the CDP this year, and the collective assets under management held by CDP signatories have increased from $41 trillion to $57 trillion. Environmental Leader

The dangers of short-termism: If confirmation was ever needed, the recent federal election campaign has demonstrated just how dangerous our craven idolatry of ‘here-and-now’ short-termism has become. After months with reality suspended, the new government now has to face the stark fact that we are in the midst of nothing less than a global emergency, brought about by the rapid escalation of human-induced climate change and the imminent peaking of global oil supply. The news is universally bad.  ScienceAlert

Peter Fray

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