Dire new warning on climate: Recent work by scientists suggests climate change is advancing more rapidly and more dangerously than previously thought, according to Canberra’s top adviser on the issue. In a dire warning to the Rudd Government, Ross Garnaut has declared that existing targets for cuts in greenhouse emissions may be too modest and too late to halt environmentally damaging rises in temperature. On the eve of the release today of his interim report on climate change, Professor Garnaut told a conference in Adelaide yesterday that without intervention before 2020, it would be impossible to avoid a high risk of dangerous climate change. The Age

China: going green, going it alone: Clean-tech investors, like those that swarmed the U.N. headquarters last week, have been drooling over investment prospects in suddenly-green China. Maybe it’s time to curb the enthusiasm. China expects local capital to fund 90 percent of the infrastructure and other investment needed to meet its goal to get 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020,” a top Chinese environmental official told Reuters at a climate-change shindig in Monaco (following Bali and Honolulu, yet another hardship destination for climate negotiators.) WSJ

Bill orders firm steps to make state ‘greener’: After last-minute, closed-door deal-making that included arm-twisting by Gov. Chris Gregoire, the state House took a step Tuesday toward ushering in what some are calling the “sustainable revolution.” Brushing up against a deadline for bill passage, lawmakers approved legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions and provide more “green economy” jobs. It would prepare the state for a regional climate initiative in which pollution rights potentially worth billions of dollars could be traded. The legislation would provide a framework and goals, including one to cut the number of miles driven by state residents. Details would be worked out later. Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Scientists capture giant Antarctic sea creatures: Scientists studying Antarctic waters have filmed and captured giant sea creatures, like sea spiders the size of dinner plates and jelly fish with six metre (18 feet) tentacles. A fleet of three Antarctic marine research ships returned to Australia this week ending a summer expedition to the Southern Ocean where they carried out a census of life in the icy ocean and on its floor, more than 1,000 metres (yards) below the surface. Reuters

Watching over the offsetters: To date, the carbon offset industry has been on easy street, a wild west of an industry that has largely been making up its own rules as it has been going along. First, there is the fact that there is little or no standardisation for calculating carbon footprints. This means anyone wishing to offset, say, a flight from Europe to Australia, can simply cherry pick the lowest footprint they can find being quoted by the various offsetting companies in order to suit their conscience or budget. Why would you choose a company telling you that this flight will emit five tonnes of carbon dioxide and cost £50 to offset, when another company says the flight will emit just two tonnes and cost £20 to offset? Guardian

Peter Fray

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