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Posts from the ‘climate’ Category

Expect more ‘complete surprises’ from climate change: NASA’s Schmidt

The Canberra Times, 12 February 2018
The eruption of pine bark beetles that has devastated millions of hectares of forests in North America is an example of the surprises yet to come as the planet warms, says Gavin Schmidt, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The tiny beetles, which have infested forests from Colorado to Alaska, develop a type of anti-freeze as winter arrives. With fewer cold snaps before the insects are “cold hardened”, more of them are making it through to spring.
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Ireland votes in favour of law to become world’s first country to fully divest from fossil fuels

The Independent, 27 January 2018
Ireland has voted to be the world’s first country to fully divest public money from fossil fuels. The Irish Parliament passed the historic legislation in a 90 to 53 vote in favour of dropping coal, oil and gas investments from the €8bn (£6.8bn) Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, part of the Republic’s National Treasury Management Agency.
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Qantas uses mustard seeds in first ever biofuel flight between Australia and US

The Guardian, 30 January 2018
A Qantas plane powered partly by mustard seeds has become the world’s first biofuel flight between Australia and the United States, after landing in Melbourne on Tuesday. The 15-hour flight used a blended fuel that was 10% derived from the brassica carinata, an industrial type of mustard seed that functions as a fallow crop – meaning it can be grown by farmers in between regular crop cycles.

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Even top oil producers see the wisdom of going solar

eSolar Energy News, 14 February 2017
The nation most identified with its massive oil reserves is turning to wind and solar to generate power at home and help extend the life of its crucial crude franchise.
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Australia debates value of electric vehicles while China pushes ahead

Sydney Morning Herald, 27 January 2018
When Hong Dan, 26, bought her first car six months ago, the choice to go electric was simple. First, in pollution-conscious Beijing, getting a licence plate for an electric car is easier than a petrol car.
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Qantas ‘worst major airline’ for fuel efficiency on trans-Pacific flights, study suggests

ABC News, 17 January 2018
Qantas has been ranked in a new study as the worst major airline for fuel efficiency and carbon emissions when flying across the Pacific. The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has analysed the fuel emissions of 20 major airlines conducting trans-Pacific flights. It ranked Qantas the worst in 2016, finding it burned on average 64 per cent more fuel per passenger-kilometre than the top ranked airlines, China-based Hainan and Japan’s ANA. A “passenger-kilometre” is defined as how many people you can fly 1 kilometre on 1 litre of fuel.
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Belize votes to indefinitely end all oil exploration in its waters

Inhabitat, 9 January 2018
The small Central American nation of Belize has decided to indefinitely end all new oil exploration in its waters. Belize only produces 3,000 barrels of oil a day, in contrast to the 1.5 million barrels that the United States produces each day in the Gulf of Mexico. However, this small but significant action sends a message to other developing countries trying to balance economic development with conservation.
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Charge: India in ambitious drive for all cars to be electric by 2030

The Times, 8 January 2017
Facing a lobby group of Indian carmakers last autumn, Nitin Gadkari did not mince his words. “We should move towards alternative fuel,” the transport minister told his audience. “I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. And I am not going to ask you. I will bulldoze it.” It turns out he is driving a bulldozer with a turbo-charged electric engine. The government has declared that India, set to be the world’s third largest car market within five years, will sell only electric vehicles by 2030.
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‘They are sending a signal’: China halts production of 500 car models

WA Today, 3 January 2018
China is suspending the production of more than 500 car models that do not meet its fuel economy standards, several automakers confirmed Tuesday, the latest move by Beijing to reduce emissions in the world’s largest auto market and take the lead in battling climate change.
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Audit office slams Australia’s dud investments in “clean coal”

REnew economy, 15 December 2017
Clean coal may be a marketing term that you can still read in the Murdoch press and hear on the ABC, but the technology remains nothing more than a fantasy – and a point of distraction and a lacquered prop for the fossil fuel industry and its proponents. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has published a damning assessment of Australia’s carbon capture and storage program, noting that more than $450 million has been invested by the government over the past decade, and nothing achieved. Not a single tonne of CO2 has been saved, no technology is ready for deployment, and the ANAO report slams the government for having no strategic direction, no oversight over the projects, and little accounting for the spending.

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