The Daily Dose: Your Guide to the World Today – 12 May 09

Economist Jeremy Rifkin has proposed a pan-European strategy of small-scale energy generation and smart energy grids that would see every citizen a partner in power generation - and create millions of jobs and foster investment. Rifkin's plan, backed by a 100-member roundtable of industry leaders including big names like IBM and BASF, was announced at the Research Connections conference in Prague.

Vauban, a suburb of 5500 people on the outskirts of Freiburg, Germany, is a town without cars. Except for a few service streets and the tramline down the main street, cyclists and pedestrians rule the roads - and 70 percent of residents do not own a vehicle.

Trading in carbon emission credits is a booming business, with the world's largest bourse, the European Climate Exchange, predicting trades will double in 2009 to over 6 million metric tons equivalent.  

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in trouble (again) with environmentalists and scientists for appointing two self-acknowledged climate sceptics to the boards of important federal bodies overseeing funding for climate change and large-scale research. This commentary explains the problem. 

Australia's latest budget contains a $15 billion package to tackle climate change, including $1.5b for four large solar stations and $2b for new "cleaner" coal-fired stations using carbon capture and storage technology. But some smaller projects - such as dealing with methane emissions from mines - have dropped off the radar.

Islands are being overlooked in current conservation models and many rare species are under threat as a result, a new German/US study says. Islands are well-known for their endemic biodiversity but the relatively low number of species compared with mainland regions means they are off-focus for most researchers.

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  • Posted on May 12, 2009. Listed in:

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