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Get on your bike and have say

Community News, 21 July 2015

A THREE-week public consultation period on the City of Wanneroo’s draft cycle plan will start on Monday. The City has invited community feedback on the plan before staff present it to the council later this year. Mayor Tracey Roberts said the plan aimed to improve cycling in its boundaries.

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FedEx, United bet it’s (finally) time for jet biofuels to take off

GreenBiz, 21 July 2015

In the last five years or so, an entire genre of writing about the aviation industry has developed around the potential of using greener fuels to help curb plane pollution. From algae-based concoctions to blends with used cooking oil or the residue left over from forest fires, excitement about piloting widely varied biofuel feedstocks — or raw materials that can be converted into fuel, lowering carbon emissions by varying degrees — have prompted plenty of premature warnings to the aviation industry's incumbent petroleum fuel suppliers. What's kept the aspirations of biofuel providers and airlines looking to cut emissions on the ground, however, is nagging uncertainty about the scalability of biofuel supply chains, regional variation in available feedstocks and (of course) cost concerns.

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Security experts hack into moving Jeep and seize control of car

The Age, 22 July 2015

Hackers have managed to take control of a car and crash it into a ditch while sitting on their sofa several kilometres away. In the first such breach of its kind security experts caused the engine to cut out and applied the brakes on a Jeep Cherokee, sending it into a spin.

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Plastic roads may put asphalt to shame

Engaget, 19 July 2015

The days of putting up with crumbling asphalt streets might just come to an end. Construction company VolkerWessels has revealed plans for recycled plastic roads that are both more sustainable and more practical than old-fashioned blacktop. Besides reusing material, they'd last about three times longer and survive greater temperature ranges (between -40F and 176F) — despite their fragile look, they're less likely to crack under the strain of vehicles or the weather. You can pre-assemble them to lay them down faster, too, and their hollow structure is handy for cabling and pipes.

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Flat batteries on ‘Boris bus’ add fuel to criticism of London mayor

The Guardian, 20 July 2015

Boris Johnson is facing criticism over another of his pet projects after batteries in dozens of the London mayor’s new Routemaster-style hybrid buses malfunctioned. Many of the “Boris buses”, which cost £350,000 each and were intended to halve CO2 emissions, are running almost entirely on diesel, drivers have complained. The engines were supposed to only run when they needed to charge the battery.

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Peter Newman’s analysis of the Perth Freight Link

Prof Peter Newman's
presentation (Tuesday 14th July) of his analysis of the Perth Freight Link is
on YouTube at – approx
45 minutes long. The report on which this is based is downlaadable at

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Iran nuclear deal: This is what it means for oil

CNBC, 14 July 2015

Oil prices reversed themselves and moved higher despite a historic nuclear deal that traders feared could flood the market with Iranian crude. Under the landmark agreement, economic sanctions on Iran would be lifted in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program. As a result, Iran will now be able to rejoin the world economic stage and export its goods – including oil.

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Australia can be a global solar and wind superpower, and the CEFC is the key

The Age, 13 July 2015

Australia is perfectly placed to become the next global superpower of renewable energy, the "Saudi Arabia of solar" for the coming century. While Saudi Arabia has barrels of oil, we have an abundance of sunlight to fuel solar power and wind to power turbines, plus enough geographical space, modern infrastructure and a stable political system to house such an industry on a massive scale.

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[UK] Government makes үutrageousҠU-turn over fracking in precious wildlife sites

The Guardian, 17 July 2015

The government has made a U-turn on its promise to exclude fracking from Britain’s most important nature sites, arguing that the shale gas industry would be held back if it was excluded from them. Campaigners accused ministers of putting wildlife at risk and reneging on their pledge earlier this year to ban fracking in sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs), which cover about 8% of England and similar proportions of Wales and Scotland.

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Virgin Australia gets wake up call over botched Melbourne 777 approach

Crikey, 16 July 2015

Less than a week after the ATSB pinged Qantas for a seriously too low A330 approach to Melbourne Airport it has called out Virgin Australia for flying much too low to the same airport in a Boeing 777. The Virgin Australia serious incident occurred on 15 August 2013 at the end of a non-stop flight from Los Angeles and put the big twin engined Boeing 500 feet above the ground well below the correct height for that approach, which was continued when the error was noted but in level flight until it was safe to resume the descent and complete the landing.

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