Greens Senator Scott Ludlam’s inaugural speech. I think it’s time we admitted that far from being an economic and social disaster, greening our communities is going to transform our society for the better. Instead of condemning families on low incomes to badly designed, mass produced, car-dependent housing in bleak fringe areas, Australian cities can become places of artful beauty again with a diverse mix of private and affordable community housing more appropriate to an ageing population and changing demographics and lifestyles. The Greens [via the Greens WA blog]

Scientists plan to use satellite photos to count Giant Kangaroo Rats. In the first-ever monitoring of an endangered species from outer space, scientists will examine images taken from the same satellite used by Israeli defense forces to find the circular patches of earth denuded by the rats as they gather food around their burrows. From that they plan to get the first-ever accurate population count of the rodents, a bellwether for the health of a parched plains environment. — MSNBC

Hundreds of new species found on Australia reefs. Scientists have discovered hundreds of new coral and marine species on the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef which they say will improve monitoring reef biodiversity and the impact of climate change. Three expeditions to the reefs over four years to collect the first inventory of soft corals found 300, of which 130 were new species. — Environmental News Network

UK tries to lower UE carbon goals, leaked papers show. Great Britain is seeking to weaken a European global-warming goal by allowing more offsets instead of carbon reductions at home, leaked documents show. The EU has proposed cutting carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020, with no more than one-quarter of the reductions coming through credits for clean projects in the developing world. A UK discussion paper, dated Aug. 8 and reported by the Guardian, advocates doubling the credit cap, so that up to 50 percent of ostensible carbon cuts could derive from offsets. — Yale Environment 360

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