Today’s Climate: June 22, 2009

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Australian Senate Appears Poised to Defeat Carbon Laws (Reuters)

The Australian parliament’s upper-house Senate began debating plans for the government’s carbon trading scheme today with little sign the package will pass.

Greenpeace Protesters Climb Aboard Ship Bound for Coal Plant (Guardian)

Six people were arrested today after climate change campaigners pulled up beside a coal freighter and climbed aboard in the UK in an attempt to stop it unloading its cargo at a power station. Four protesters were still on board as of this morning.

Cattle Companies Sued over Amazon Deforestation (Guardian)

Brazilian authorities investigating illegal deforestation have accused the suppliers of several UK supermarkets of selling meat linked to massive destruction of the Amazon rainforest. The arrests follow a three-year Greenpeace investigation.

A Weed Could Lighten Jet Fuel’s Carbon Footprint 80% (Science Daily)

The seeds of a lowly weed that grows in the northern Plains could cut jet fuel’s cradle-to-grave carbon emissions by 84 percent.

Transportation Bill Would Link GHG Cuts to Planning (Green Car Congress)

The new U.S. highway and transportation funding reauthorization bill includes a plan to require states and metro areas to develop greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and incorporate strategies to meet these targets into their transportation plans.

Japan Turns to Nuclear to Meet Emissions Targets (Business Green)

The Japanese government said it will need to generate about 40 percent of its electricity from nuclear power by 2020 if it is to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Militaries Stir In Warming Arctic (Reuters)

Arctic nations are promising to avoid new "Cold War" scrambles linked to climate change, but military activity is stirring in a polar region where a thaw may allow oil and gas exploration or new shipping routes.

Carbon Prices Slip 8% in RGGI Auction (Reuters)

Prices for carbon allowances in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative states tumbled 8 percent in the latest auction due to the recession and mild weather, cheaper clean natural gas supplies and the potential risks from a new energy bill.

Plea To Obama: End Mountaintop Coal Mining (Yale Environment 360)

Tighter restrictions on mountaintop mining are not enough. Instead, the Obama administration must prohibit this destructive practice, which is devastating vast stretches of Appalachia, James Hansen argues.

Uganda Could be a Desert in 40 years (Daily Monitor)

Uganda lost 30 percent of its forest cover between 1990 and 2005, a new government report reveals. The report also warns that if no immediate action is taken, Uganda could lose all its forest cover over the next 41 years.

California Drops Climate Case Against Carmakers (San Francisco Chronicle)

California’s attorney general agreed to drop a global warming lawsuit that accused the six largest automakers of damaging California’s resources by selling vehicles that emit large amounts of heat-trapping gases.

Denmark to Test Wind Powered Cars in Grid Experiment (SmartMeters)

In a new vehicle-to-grid (V2G) experiment, Denmark will use batteries contained within electric cars to store excess wind power that will be fed back into the power grid when the wind isn’t blowing.

Desert Icon Joshua Trees Vanishing (Press Enterprise)

Joshua trees are the victim of global warming and its symptoms plus pollution and the proliferation of non-native plants. Experts says they could vanish from southern California within a century.