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How AirServices Australia lost two Garuda A330s over WA

Crikey, 28 February 2014

When a national air safety investigator, like the ATSB, tells a national air navigation provider like AirServices Australia, that its staff are ignorant in respect of some of their obligations, and that it hasn’t adequately dealt with important safety issues, we have a problem that makes bad financials from Qantas and Virgin seem less urgent. This is what the ATSB, to use plain English, is telling AirServices today in relation to two Garuda A330s that flew through a large part of supposedly controlled Australian airspace over the Kimberley and adjacent areas in March 2012 without air traffic control knowing they were in Australian skies.

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Protected Intersection for cyclists web site

This site will develop into a clearinghouse for exploration, examples, images, references related to the Protected Intersection design concept. http://www.protectedintersection.com/
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US oil net imports in steady decline since 2011

T&L News, 27 February 2014

The drop in net imports of oil (crude and petroleum products combined) was the major contributor to the United States reaching its lowest net trade deficit in November 2013 since 2009, although the trade deficit increased in the final month of 2013. US oil trade, by far the dominant component of overall US energy trade, has seen major changes in recent years. In both absolute and percentage terms, US net import dependence measured volumetrically (in terms of barrels or barrels per day) has been declining since 2005.

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IEA: Grid can handle 45% solar + wind at minimal cost

Climate Spectator, 27 February 2014

The International Energy Agency has released a study today declaring that it’s possible for power systems to manage as much as 45 per cent of annual power from solar and wind, while maintaining power reliability at “little additional long term cost over a system with no variable renewables at all”.

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Gas shortage? Tapping the bubbling wells of spin and self-interest

Crikey, 26 February 2014

New South Wales is about to run out of gas, so says the scare
campaign. It's bully-boy tactics by Australia's powerful oil and gas industry,
designed to pressure the state government into quickly approving contentious
coal seam gas projects proposed by Santos at Narrabri and AGL at Gloucester. Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane is on board, warning
last year
NSW would "run short of gas by 2016" and moving to knock heads
together on the issue straight
after the election
. For months we have been hearing the same lines trotted
out: how NSW is "running
on empty
", suddenly needs "energy
security
", and how developing its own "indigenous" gas supplies will
ease prices
.

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Abbott gets pork on his fork

MacroBusiness, 10 February 2014

We know now what the Abbott Government does with “frank and fearless advice”: THE Abbott government has dumped its top infrastructure adviser in a brutal decision to clear the way for its new agenda on road and rail investment amid a political row over the scrutiny of billions of dollars in new spending.

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Cheaper second-generation biofuel for cars

Phys.org, 24 February 2014

Producing second-generation biofuel from dead plant tissue is environmetally friendly – but it is also expensive because the process as used today needs expensive enzymes, and large companies dominate this market. Now a Danish/Iraqi collaboration presents a new technique that avoids the expensive enzymes. The production of second generation biofuels thus becomes cheaper, probably attracting many more producers and competition, and this may finally bring the price down.

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Government urged to expedite compulsory high-tech braking system adoption

ABC News, 24 February 2014

Trucking industry leaders are calling for state and Federal Governments to expedite the compulsory adoption of a high-tech braking system that prevents heavy vehicle rollovers.

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Australiaӳ Liquid Fuel Security- A report for NRMA Motoring & Services

NRMA, 24 February 2014

This report is the second in a series commissioned by NRMA Motoring & Services and authored by John Blackburn AO. Both reports address Australia’s liquid fuel security and the growing risks in our fuel supply chain and suggest remedial action.

Australia’s combined dependency on crude and fuel imports for transport has grown from around 60% in 2000 to over 90% today. http://www.mynrma.com.au/images/About-PDF/Fuel-Security-Report-Pt2.pdf


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The Wind Turbine Has Been Reinvented And Is 600% More Efficient

The Engineer, 23 February 2014

We are going through an energy crisis and scientists are busy looking for renewable energy sources. However, even among those that we have already explored and used, there is a lot of room for improvement. For instance, look at the windmills which make use of wind energy to generate power. While they are a great invention when it comes to harnessing wind power, they pose quite a threat to the birds and aesthetically speaking, not so pleasing to see on the landscape. This is where the highlight of this post comes in. This new windmill comes from Sheerwind, a Minnesota based company, and it does not rely on blades to harness wind energy.

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