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Local, self-sufficient, optimistic: are Transition Towns the way forward?

The Guardian, 15 June 2013

Late last year, Rob Hopkins went to a conference. Most of the delegates were chief executive officers at local authorities, but it was not a public event. Speaking in confidence, three-quarters of these officials admitted that – despite what they say publicly – they could not foresee a return to growth in the near future.

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Never the rail deal

Sydney Morning Herald, 18 June 2013

Sydney's monorail, which runs in a 3.6-kilometre loop around the fringe of the city and through Darling Harbour, which has carriages that might have travelled to the moon and back five times, which has inspired mockery and derision from adults and thrills from children and which has left tourists befuddled as to the point of it all, will ride for the last time on Sunday, June 30. It will be 25 years old.

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Velo-city Global 2014- May 2014

Velo-city is the world’s premier international cycling planning conference. The four day event offers delegates from around the world a chance to share best practices for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities, where bicycles are valued as part of daily transport and recreation. Early notice. 2730 May 2014

Location: Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, South Australia
Earlybird exhibition deadline: 27 January 2014 http://www.velo-city2014.com/

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Leave coal in ground, scientists urge government

WA Today, 17 June 2013

Most of Australia's coal reserves will have to be left unburned if the world is to avoid catastrophic global warming, according to a major new report from the federal government's Climate Commission. The report puts the key science advisory body on a collision course with some of the nation's biggest export industries, and marks the first time a government agency has endorsed calls for fossil fuel industries to be phased out because of their contribution to climate change.

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Nuclear Plants, Old and Uncompetitive, Are Closing Earlier Than Expected

New York Times, 14 June 2013

When does a nuclear plant become too old? The nuclear industry is wrestling with that question as it tries to determine whether problems at reactors, all designed in the 1960s and 1970s, are middle-aged aches and pains or end-of-life crises.

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What It’s Like to Join Portland’s ‘World Naked Bike Ride’

The Atlantic, 13 June 2013

My friend Xochil was shocked to see me when we met up at the Portland Art Museum last Saturday night, mostly because I was wearing underwear, cowboy boots, and nothing else. Then again, she was barely clothed herself. After years of giving in to excuses like "It's raining," "I'm too tired," or "I don't want my bare breasts roving the city streets," I decided this year to squelch my inhibitions, take off my top and participate in the city's 10th-annual World Naked Bike Ride.

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Top Abbott business adviser wants renewables target scrapped

The Guardian, 13 June 2013

The chairman of Tony Abbott’s proposed business advisory council, Maurice Newman, has called for the renewable energy target (RET) to be scrapped because he believes the scientific evidence for global warming and the economic case for renewable energy no longer stack up.

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Report questions economic benefit of shale gas extraction

The Conversation, 5 June 2013

Australia may have over 1000 trillion cubic feet in undiscovered shale gas resource but the enormous cost of infrastructure needed to extract it may outweigh its economic benefit unless shale gas prices rise, a new report has found.

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Securing Australiaӳ Future ֠Engineering energy: unconventional gas production

Australian Council of Learned Academies, May 2013

Energy needs will require us to keep turning to opportunities for alternative sources such as shale oil gas and coal seam gas. As technology and geological knowledge continue to advance, and the consequent economics of extracting unconventional natural gas become more feasible, Australia could be in a position to produce unconventional gas. This demands a comprehensive look at the scientific, social, cultural, technological, environmental and economic issues surrounding the reality of alternative energy sources such as unconventional gas. http://www.acolasecretariat.org.au/ACOLA/PDF/SAF06FINAL/Final%20Report%20Engineering%20Energy%20June%202013.pdf

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High-vis gear would not reduce cycle deaths – expert

NZ Herald, 11 June 2013

Mandatory wearing of high-visibility clothing for cyclists would not reduce the death toll, an expert told a coroner today. A special joint inquest into four South Island cyclist deaths has been heard before Coroner Christopher Devonport.

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