The Daily Dose: Your Guide to the World Today – 14 August 09

The huge Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica is melting four times faster than it was 10 years ago, with the surface of the ice dropping up to 16 metres per year. At the present rate the glacier could disappear within 100 years, adding 3cm to global sea levels – and if the ice trapped behind it then melts as well, that could add a 20-30cm rise to the oceans.

UN climate talks update: China has accused rich nations of increasing pressure on the poor to do more to combat global warming while shirking their own responsibility to lead. Meanwhile India says it is committed to fighting climate change but called developed nations' failure to implement the Kyoto Protocol the "single biggest issue" facing multilateral talks.

At least 45% of Indian land is environmentally degraded, air pollution is rising and flora and fauna is diminishing, the first Indian State of Environment Report to be published for eight years says. The first such report to use satellite imagery to support its findings, it paints a dire picture of the state of land and water resources in the world’s second most-populous country.

Nearly 5 million of the United States’ most polluting vehicles were quietly excluded from the popular "cash for clunkers" program after lobbyists for antique auto parts suppliers and car collectors persuaded the government to shut out cars built before 1984.

Greenpeace is warning of an imminent "global emergency" as climate change fuels forest fires that have already destroyed tens of thousands of hectares in southern Europe this year, as well as in semi-arid regions such as California and Australia. The agency says the world is becoming “more flammable” and will soon be locked in a “vicious circle” of fires promoting global warming promoting more fires.

Like we need the infighting: Two groups, each backed by major environmental organisations, are battling over the right to take control of the new “.eco” suffix for internet domains – and it's starting to get dirty.

And some good news: Norway's $380 billion Government Pension Fund, built on revenue from oil and gas, aims to mould a blueprint for “green activism” by institutional investors. The world’s second largest sovereign wealth fund held some 1.3 percent of all listed European stocks at the end of 2008 so, as it intends, it has the clout to chivvy companies to be more environmentally focused.

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  • Posted on Aug. 14, 2009. Listed in:

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