The new toxic investment? Shell and BP have been warned by investors that their involvement in unconventional energy production such as Canada’s oil sands could turn out to be the industry’s equivalent of the sub-prime lending that poisoned the banking sector and triggered the current financial crisis. The criticism came as a report was released warning of the potential financial risks of tar sands, and members of the UK Social Investment Forum met in London to consider a Co-op Investments campaign on halting oil industry involvement in the carbon-intensive oil projects. — Environmental News Network

Indigenous groups criticise climate talks. As international climate negotiations move closer to including forests in the successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, indigenous and traditional peoples realize they have either a lot to gain or everything to lose. If industrialized countries are allowed to purchase the carbon rights of forests, groups from the Americas, Africa, and Asia fear their ancestral lands may be taken away. They worry that the benefactors of the carbon market will be governments or wealthy landholders, and not them. — World Watch Institute

100 new sharks and rays discovered in Australian waters. Scientists using DNA have catalogued and described 100 new species of sharks and rays in Australian waters, which they said would help conservation of the marine animals and aid in climate change monitoring. More than 90 of the newly named species were identified by scientists in a 1994 book “Sharks and Rays of Australia” but remained scientifically undescribed. One rare species of carpet shark catalogued was found in the belly of another shark. — Environmental News Network

Rubber duckies rescue glacier research. When a sophisticated science probe failed to return any data about whether pools of melted glacial ice were showing up in the ocean, a NASA researcher turned to a decidedly low-tech solution: a brigade of rubber ducks. — MSNBC

 

Peter Fray

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