IT is a few years hence. Tensions in the South China Sea have boiled over. As the international community desperately tries to negotiate an end to hostilities, disaster strikes in nearby Singapore: someone – and no one is claiming responsibility – launches a rocket attack on the country’s Jurong Island oil refining hub. As geysers of fire and oily smoke pour into the sky, Australia watches aghast.
New global solar photovoltaic demand added during the first quarter of 2014 exceeded 9 GW, which was 35 per cent more than the previous first-quarter record, set last year. In fact, every quarter in 2014 is forecast to reach new highs, with trailing 12-month demand at the end of the first quarter next year forecast to exceed 50 GW for the first time, according to findings in the latest NPD Solarbuzz Quarterlyreport.
Sydney Airport has again achieved the lowest ranking of the country's four-biggest airports with passengers concerned about kerbside congestion at both its international and domestic terminals. In its annual report on the state of the airports, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission warned that the country's four largest airports – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – will have to invest more if they are to resolve congestion, accommodate future passenger growth and improve service levels.
GOVERNMENTS federal, state and local can make it harder and more costly for Australia to deal with the consequences of global warming. As the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns, Australia – especially our mining, energy, tourism, water supply, and farming sectors – is particularly exposed to more intense and more frequent extreme weather events.