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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Charlton Crown

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Flooding experts say Britain will have to adapt to climate change - and fast - 1 views

    "You are looking at retreat," says Prof Colin Thorne, a flooding expert at the University of Nottingham. "It is the only sensible policy - it makes no sense to defend the indefensible." This assessment of how the UK will have to adapt to its increasing flood risk is stark, but is shared by virtually all those who work on the issue.Centuries of draining wetlands, reclaiming salt marshes and walling in rivers is being put into reverse by climate change, which is bringing fiercer storms, more intense downpours and is pushing up sea levels. Sea walls are now being deliberately allowed to be breached, with new defences built further back, and fields turned into lakes to slow the rush of the water, as flood management turns back towards natural methods.Thorne says the strategy of once more "making space for water" has been around for a decade, but the urgency of implementing it has increased sharply. "We thought then we were talking about the 2030s, but it is all happening a heck of a lot quicker."

    Large parts of southern England had their wettest January ever recorded, the Met Office announced on Thursday, and the Somerset Levels, much of which is below sea level, have been inundated for weeks. "I have enormous sympathy for these people," says Thorne. But he thinks the 1,000-year history of keeping the sea out of the area is coming to the end. "Can the Somerset Levels be defended between now and the end of the century? No," he says.

    Hannah Cloke, a flooding expert at the University of Reading, agrees: "We could make the choice to protect the Levels forever, but that is going to take a lot of resources. My gut feeling is that you are going to have to let that be a marshland in the end. But people live there and have their livelihoods there, so it is very tricky." Cloke says greatest priority across the country is giving people the help they need to adjust to more frequent floods, from warnings and emergency planning down to home-level prote
Charlton Crown

Australian Pm Insists No Argument with Indonesia - 1 views

crown capital management diplomacy australian pm insists no argument with indonesia
started by Charlton Crown on 20 Sep 13 no follow-up yet
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    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday said he was confident his government could work with Indonesia despite a senior Jakarta official calling his controversial asylum-seeker policy "offensive".

    Indonesian MP Tantowi Yahya, a member of the parliamentary foreign affairs commission, said there were "major concerns" that the policy would interfere with his country's sovereignty.

    His comments echoed sentiments expressed recently by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, who said Jakarta would rebuff Abbott's plans to tow back boats in a military response titled Operation Sovereign Borders.

    Under the scheme, Abbott also plans to embed Australian police in Indonesian villages, buy up fishing boats to keep them from people-smugglers and pay locals for intelligence.

    "I think the policy will be very offensive and we in the parliament fully support what was said by our foreign minister -- that we will fully reject the policy," Yahya told ABC television late Wednesday.

    The divisive issue of halting asylum-seeker boats that typically originate in Indonesia loomed large in Australia's recent election race and Abbott's pledge to "Stop the Boats" was a central plank of his campaign.

    Yahya said towing boats back was "illegal" and implementing the policy as it stands would strain ties.

    "It will obviously damage our relationship," he said, adding Jakarta only learned details of the plan "from the newspapers".

    "We have to work together. The platform is cooperation," he said, adding that one country should not become "the police".

    Abbott, who was sworn in as Australia's new prime minister on Wednesday, said he would not "conduct discussions with Indonesia through the media".

    "Too much damage has been done in the past through megaphone diplomacy and it is never going to happen under this government."

    But the conservative added: "I have no argument with anyone in the Indonesian establishment.

    "Indonesia is a robust democracy, as Australia is. There are many voices in Indonesia but I am very confident that this government will be able to work effectively with the Indonesia government as former coalition governments have done."

    On Monday, new Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she would talk with Natalegawa about the issue at a UN meeting in New York this weekend, insisting the policy would not breach Indonesia's sovereignty.

    "We're not asking for Indonesia's permission, we're asking for their understanding," she said.

    Abbott is expected to visit Jakarta in the coming fortnight.

    Australia has struggled to manage the stream of asylum-seekers arriving on rickety, overloaded fishing boats with hundreds dying on the risky journey in recent years.

    As well as Abbott's Operation Sovereign Borders policy, the new government has said it plans to stand by the former Labor administration's policy of sending any boatpeople arrivals to Papua New Guinea and Nauru for processing and resettlement.

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Crown Capital Eco Management - ELECTRICITY: Natural gas, renewable energy will power t... - 2 views

    The path to low-carbon electricity generation in Texas will likely require the co-development and integration of both natural gas and renewable energy resources like wind and solar power, a new research report commissioned by the Texas Clean Energy Coalition has found.

    The white paper, prepared by the Brattle Group for the Austin-based nonprofit, states that despite perceived competition between natural gas and renewable energy resources in Texas, the reality is the two sectors can aid each other's growth and can eventually help Texas meet rising energy demand in an era of tighter environmental controls.
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