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Change in commute mode and body-mass index: prospective, longitudinal evidence from UK Biobank

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 13: 129
The parallel issues of weight gain and a decline in active travel in many countries initiated this study which examined the effects of commuting to work type (active or passive) on body mass index (BMI) over a four year period. Physical activity plays an important role in the prevention of weight gain therefore active commuting to work can achieve health, as well as environmental, benefits to society. The study, published in the prestigious Lancet journal, also examined whether socioeconomic and demographic characteristics predicted switching to or from active commuting and whether switching independently predicts change in BMI and the effects of socioeconomic, demographic, or behavioural factors on any evident changes.
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Could tiny houses help solve Australia’s affordable housing crisis?

The Guardian, 30 March 2017
It’s the long weekend. You get a few friends together, crack open some beers, watch a YouTube video. And build a house. Yup. That’s all it takes to make one of the world’s first DIY flat-packed homes, according to Sydney-based architect Alexander Symes. “First day, you assemble panels. Second day, install them. Third day, plug and play all the appliances,” says the Big World Homes founder. “You don’t need experts but you do need enthusiasm – if you’re someone who likes putting together Ikea, then that’s perfect.”
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The real reason our power companies block battery systems

Brisbane Times, 29 March 2017
If you’re wondering why battery storage is still on the fringe of the energy debate in Australia, and why power prices are high, just ask Dr Tony Marxsen, the head of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). He made it plain earlier this week the big power companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars on quick start power stations, so-called “gas peakers” and they aren’t going to be giving up their sway over the market any time soon: they want to make sure they get a return on their money.
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Track-free electric trams proposed for Parramatta Road

Sydney Morning Herald, 28 March 2017
Cleaner than a bus and cheaper than light rail, track-free trams could be shuttling passengers along Parramatta Road within the next five years. Track-free trams? Yes, that’s what they’re calling them. And the Inner West Council is pushing the idea as a solution to the transport woes of the Parramatta Road.
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Uber suspends self-driving car program after Arizona crash

ABC News, 27 March 2017
Uber has suspended its pilot program for driverless cars after a vehicle equipped with the self-drive technology crashed on an Arizona roadway. The accident, the latest involving a self-driving vehicle operated by one of several companies experimenting with autonomous vehicles, caused no serious injuries, Uber said.
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Minimum overtaking distance of cyclists rejected by Victorian Government

ABC News, 23 March 2017
The Victorian Government has rejected a recommendation to introduce a minimum passing distance for motorists overtaking cyclists, saying it will try a public education safety campaign first.
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How electric cars can help save the grid

The Conversation, 22 March 2017
A key question amid the consternation over the current state of Australia’s east coast energy market has been how much renewable energy capacity to build, and how fast. But help could be at hand from a surprising source: electric vehicles. By electrifying our motoring, we would boost demand for renewable energy from the grid, while smoothing out some of the destabilising effects that the recent boom in household solar has had on our energy networks.
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How a 94-Year-Old Genius May Save the Planet

Alternet, 11 March 2017
A man old enough to be Mark Zuckerberg’s great-grandfather just unveiled energy storage technology that might save the planet. John Goodenough is 94, and his current work could be the key to Tesla’s future—much as, decades ago, his efforts were an important part of Sony’s era of dominance in portable gadgets. Over the years, Goodenough has scuffled with Warren Buffett, wound up screwed by global patent wars, never got rich off a headline-grabbing initial public offering and defied the American tech industry’s prejudice that says old people can’t innovate.
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Peak oil? Sooner than you think

REnew economy, 20 March 2017
For some time, there has been speculation about when global oil demand may peak – not because we will run out of oil or prices will spike making oil unaffordable, notions that are now considered passé – but because we won’t be needing as much of the stuff as we thought we would. And once the peak is finally reached – whenever that is – demand will begin to drop thereafter, perhaps precipitously. What is radically different about the new thinking about oil demand is that price, while still an important factor, no longer seems as important as it used to be. As further described alternatives to oil are or will soon be cheaper making the price of oil far less significant.
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Emissions standards on cars will save Australians billions of dollars, and help meet our climate targets

The Conversation, 16 March 2017
The cheapest way for Australia to cut greenhouse gas emissions is to put a cap on car emissions. It would be so cheap, in fact, that it will save drivers money. According to analysis from ClimateWorks, the toughest proposed standard would help Australia achieve about 6% of its 2030 emission reduction target, and save drivers up to A$500 each year on fuel.
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