The Guardian on deforestation in Vietnam After taking a look at Vietnam's urban pollution yesterday, let's turn to its more rural areas -- mainly, its coasts, where arces of mangroves are being torn down to make way for development. Focusing on the town of Lang Co, where the trees stand in the way of a proposed golf course, The Guardian's Alisa Tang notes that what's happening in Vietnam is just part of wider trend. "Mangroves grow along the ocean coasts of 118 countries – with a quarter of the world's 40m hectares being in south-east Asia – but with widespread deforestation due to population pressure, expansion of shrimp farms and development, scientists fear mangroves may disappear altogether in as little as 100 years," she writes. "At their best, mangroves form a vast coastal barrier of trunks and roots against the sea, controlling erosion, protecting communities from storms, and providing an environment for greater fish diversity." Off the coast of Lang Co, villagers have noticed some fish species already gone missing.
Salon on Romney's solar flip-flop The presumptive GOP nominee has switched on almost every other conceivable position, so only a fool would be shocked to hear that the candidate once loved solar panels... before he hated them. Salon's Andrew Leonard puts Romney's position on solar power in 2007 ("cost is dropping and affordable solar energy could be available in the United States in six to eight years") against his position today ("Green technologies are typically far too expensive to compete in the marketplace"). It's a discouraging, but typically rightward evolution for Romney, who also flipped on supporting cap-and-trade and even believing in global warming. Which Romney is right? 2007's, for better or worse, is Leonard's conclusion. "The tragedy is that the countries that will benefit the most from the maturation of the market for solar power will be those — China, Germany — who poured the most resources — private and public — into the industry, and stayed steadfast, while those who abandoned the market after a few high-profile bankruptcies will be left on the sideline."