Industry, government must tackle balance between energy use, climate change: Global energy companies and governments must come together to help solve one of the biggest challenges facing the world today — keeping the planet fueled while not ruining the environment, two top oil executives said Tuesday. Despite rising international concerns over energy and climate, the world continually deals with these issues through “uncoordinated approaches,” James Mulva, chairman of oil giant ConocoPhillips, told a gathering of industry executives, academics and analysts Tuesday. Meanwhile, Mulva said, “the U.S. has missed opportunities to show leadership because it lacks a coherent approach to either problem.” International Herald Tribune

Climate change may kill thousands in UK by 2017: There is a 25 percent chance that a severe heat wave will strike England and kill more than 6,000 people before 2017 if no action is taken to deal with the health effects of climate change, a report said on Tuesday. The report for the Department of Health estimated more than 3,000 people could die in an intense summer hot spell in southeast England, with just as many more dying from heat-related deaths over the summer. Until 2012, when London stages the summer Olympic Games, the odds of thousands dying in summer heat each year will be 1 in 40, the report said, and thousands more could die each year as a result of other effects of global warming and air pollution. Reuters

Urban myth?: Across the fairways of the Cambridge golf club, the construction cranes in the distance offered just a clue that something of national significance is germinating here. The cranes were building a guided busway link from Huntingdon and St Ives to Cambridge, and preparing a public transport gateway to a town that does not yet exist – Northstowe, the prototype for Gordon Brown’s much-vaunted ecotowns. When completed, in about 2025, it will be the first 21st-century new town, providing 9,500 homes for 24,000 inhabitants, and business and industrial districts for thousands of jobs. The government hopes it will provide a blueprint for building homes, schools and public buildings in a way that is environmentally friendly and economically viable, and that it will galvanise the building of 3m homes across England by 2020. Guardian

How Woodlark Island’s plight went from local to global: In mid-January, Mongabay learned that the government of Papua New Guinea had changed its mind: it would no longer allow Vitroplant Ltd. to deforest 70% of Woodlark Island for palm oil plantations. This change came about after one hundred Woodlark Islanders (out of a population of 6,000) traveled to Alotau, the capital of Milne Bay Province, to deliver a protest letter to the local government; after several articles in Mongabay and Pacific Magazine highlighted the plight of the island; after Eco-Internet held a campaign in which approximately three thousand individuals worldwide sent nearly 50,000 letters to local officials; and after an article appeared in the London Telegraph stating that due to deforestation on New Britain Island and planned deforestation on Woodlark Island, Papua New Guinea had gone from being an eco-hero to an ‘eco-zero’. Monga Bay

Peter Fray

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