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Posts from the ‘climate’ Category

In a Global First, Shenzhen Steers Toward 100% Electric Bus Fleet

The City Fix, 4 December 2017
From a small collection of fishing villages 40 years ago to a metropolis on track for a global milestone, Shenzhen has come further, faster than most cities. Already home to the largest fleet of electric buses in the world – roughly 14,500 at the end of May – the city is expected to electrify 100% of its public transit bus fleet by the end of 2017. If successful, it will become the first in the world to do so.
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Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund proposes dropping oil and gas stocks

Financial Times, 16 November 2017
Norway’s trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund has proposed dropping its investments in oil and gas stocks, saying western Europe’s biggest energy producer already has enough exposure to petroleum. The Norwegian central bank, which runs the Oslo-based fund, said its view was that dumping investments – which includes companies like BP, Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil – would make the country’s wealth “less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil and gas prices”.

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Electric cars’ green image blackens beneath the bonnet

Financial Times, 8 November 2017
The humble Mitsubishi Mirage has none of the hallmarks of a futuristic, environmentally friendly car. It is fuelled by petrol, runs on an internal combustion engine and spews exhaust emissions through a tailpipe.But when the Mirage is assessed for carbon emissions throughout its entire lifecycle — from procuring the components and fuel, to recycling its parts — it can actually be a greener car than a model by Tesla, the US electric vehicle pioneer, in regions with particularly high carbon emissions from electricity.
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Negative charge: why is Australia so slow at adopting electric cars?

The Conversation, 9 November 2017
In the race to adopt electric vehicles, Australia is sputtering along in the slow lane. Rather than growing, Australian sales of electric cars are actually in decline. In 2016 they represented just 0.02% of new car sales – even lower than in 2013. Contrast that with Norway, the country with the highest levels of electric car adoption. Almost 30% of new cars sold there in 2016 were electric.
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Islands lost to the waves: how rising seas washed away part of Micronesia’s 19th-century history

The Conversation, 9 November 2017
At first glance it may not seem so, but the story of the now-vanished island of Nahlapenlohd, a couple of kilometres south of Pohnpei Island in Micronesia, holds some valuable lessons about recent climate change in the western Pacific. In 1850, Nahlapenlohd was so large that not only did it support a sizeable coconut forest, but it was able to accommodate a memorable battle between the rival kingdoms of Kitti and Madolenihmw. The skirmish was the first in Pohnpeian history to involve the European sailor-mercenaries known as beachcombers and to be fought with imported weapons like cannons and muskets. Today the island is no more. The oral histories tell that so much blood was spilled in this fierce battle that it stripped the island of all its vegetation, causing it to shrink and eventually disappear beneath the waves.
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Norway Considers A “Tesla Tax” On Some Electric Cars

Clean Technica, 14 October 2017
Norway charges a tax on new cars that can actually double the list price. Heavier, more powerful cars pay more. The tax on smaller, less powerful cars is more modest. Electric cars are exempt from the tax entirely, which is one of the primary reasons electric cars in Norway are so popular.

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Turbulence could be making a more serious comeback in air travel

Crikey, 10 October 2017
One of the worst things about flying before the jet age began on a large scale in the late ’50s was turbulence, and resulting air sickness. But there are warnings, as well as some statistical claims, that things are getting rougher than before, despite the apparent smoothness of jet travel that has long been taken for granted by generations of air travellers. This week’s “return to your seat and buckle up” contribution to the genre comes from America’s ABC. It is based on an article in Geophysical Research Letters journal, and as is often the case, the general news story has a high tease-to-factual-content ratio that makes it less than useful to those of us who want to know what it is really about and how it might affect them.
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In a Warming World, Keeping the Planes Running

New York Times, 30 September 2017
Airports are a major global business, part of an industry that by one estimate transports the equivalent of nearly half the world’s population in a single year. But the world’s airports were largely designed for an older era — a cooler one.
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Forget the Paris agreement. The real solution to climate change is in the U.S. tax code

Washington Post, 2 October 2017
When President Trump made a speech a few weeks ago to kick off his push for an overhaul of the tax code, he chose a telling backdrop: An oil refinery in North Dakota, a state that over the past decade exploded from backwater to boom town thanks to a massive spike in oil production.

“I want all of America to be inspired by what’s happened in North Dakota and the North Dakota example,” Trump said. Standing with him on the podium was Harold Hamm, the North Dakota oil billionaire who has helped shape Trump’s views on energy. So when Trump said he wanted to “restore America’s competitive edge by passing tax cuts,” he seemed to have at least one particular industry in mind: oil.
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EasyJet says it could be flying electric planes within a decade

The Guardian, 28 September 2017
EasyJet could be flying planes powered by batteries rather than petroleum to destinations including Paris and Amsterdam within a decade. The UK carrier has formed a partnership with US firm Wright Electric, which is developing a battery-propelled aircraft for flights under two hours.
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