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Can the Clever Country build smart, green cities?

RE, 21 February 2012

For the past two decades, global efforts to address climate change have been centred around broad, economy-wide initiatives to reduce emissions, and somehow gain the unanimous support of all sovereign countries to join that effort. So far, it has come up well short of needs and expectations.

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The end of baseload? It may come sooner than you think

RE, 20 February 2012

One of the principal architects of Germany’s push into renewable energy technologies, Hans-Josef Fell, believes that the country could achieve 100 per cent renewables in its electricity sector by 2030 – and may do it quicker. The rest of the world could follow soon after.

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Building egos as well as homes

Sydney Morning Herald, 20 February 2012

I have a recurring dream in which the television program Grand Designs becomes mixed up with Midsomer Murders. A serial killer is taking out all those irritating couples in their North Face leisure wear, splattering viscera over the bare white interiors of their concrete brag boxes in the English countryside.

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‘Show Me the MoneyҠ֠The Cyclist, the Politician and the Tax Incentive

European Cyclists’s Federation, 7 February 2012

Should cyclists be remunerated? If so, how much cash should they receive? Fresh back from a visit to the Swedish Parliament, ECF Staff member Martti Tulenheimo reports on tax incentives, and how cycling has become increasingly popular in Swedish centre-right circles.

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When is a bicycle superhighway a superhighway?

European Cyclists’s Federation, 8 February 2012

New plans for a bicycle superhighway in Southern Sweden have been in headlines recently, Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city will be connected with the lively college town, Lund, 20km further north. As a former Malmö resident, I wondered what the fuss was all about, because really: there’s already fine infrastructure connecting the two cities. I’ve tried it myself and it worked irreproachably.

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Why do subways cost so much more to build here?

Crikey, 16 February 2012

There‘re few issues more likely to get the juices flowing than debates about the cost of transport projects. How is it, public transport advocates ask, subways can be built in Spain for $40 million per kilometre, but in Australia and the US its hundreds of millions of dollars?

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Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil [Paperback]

New book from Robert Rapier, a respected blogger on biofuels and long-time poster on the Oil Drum:

In Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil, energy expert
Robert Rapier helps readers sort through energy hype, doom and
gloom, and misinformation to understand what really matters in energy, and how
it impacts individuals, investors, businesspeople, and policy makers worldwide.
The book covers the overall global energy situation, the particular risks for
the U.S. with its present energy mix, the energy outlook for the developed world
and emerging economies like China and India, what peak oil really means, and the
present and likely future of natural gas, coal, oil, nuclear power, and
alternative energy sources.

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Three Major Journals Publish Articles On Limited World Oil Supply

CounterCurrents, 13 February 2012

In the past month, three major
peer-reviewed journals have published articles relating to limited world oil

1. In Science, Technology
is Turning U. S. Oil Around But Not the World’s
, by Richard A.

2. In Nature, Climate
Policy: Oil’s Tipping Point has Passed
, by James Murray and David
King; and

3. In Energy, Oil
Supply Limits and the Continuing Financial Crisis
, by Gail

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Is the law on helmets why bikeshare is failing in Australian cities?

Crikey, 12 February 2012

It’s not surprising Vancouver is dragging its feet on implementing the city’s promised bikeshare scheme – it’s one of the few major cities in the world with a law mandating the wearing of helmets by adults. There seems to be good reason for Vancouver to be nervous: the available evidence indicates bikeshare has failed in the only three cities its been tried in where helmets are compulsory i.e. Auckland, Brisbane and Melbourne.

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Priming Australiaӳ Ethanol Pump

The Global Mail, 13 February 2012

A monopoly, a subsidy and a mandate forcing consumers to buy your product; the Manildra business model is hard to beat.

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