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.
Posts from the ‘Sustainable Transport’ Category
The Canberra Times, 12 February 2018
The Age, 20 November 2017
Revenge, it is said, is a dish best served cold. When Mohammed bin Salman rounded up more than a hundred of Saudi Arabia’s richest businessmen, investors and members of the royal family and imprisoned them in the comparative luxury of Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton, cheering the crown prince on from the sidelines was one Donald Trump. “Some of those they are harshly treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years!”, he tweeted. Despite the present glut in supply, the oil price has again been creeping up. Long in abeyance, we are seeing the re-emergence of a geopolitical risk premium. Generally, this is taken for granted in the oil price, but in recent years it all but disappeared, apparently made redundant by the advent of US shale. Now it is coming back. Like a siren going off, traders are suddenly waking up to an old bogey – the possibility that rising tensions could close the Strait of Hormuz, through which approximately a fifth of world oil supplies pass.
The Guardian, 31 May 2017
Imagine designing one of our great cities from scratch. You would quickly discover that there is enough physical space for magnificent parks, playing fields, public swimming pools, urban nature reserves and allotments sufficient to meet the needs of everyone. Alternatively, you could designate the same space to a small proportion of its people – the richest citizens – who can afford large gardens, perhaps with their own swimming pools. The only way of securing space for both is to allow the suburbs to sprawl until the city becomes dysfunctional: impossible to supply with efficient services, lacking a sense of civic cohesion, and permanently snarled in traffic: Los Angeles for all.
Salon, 15 May 2017
Tesla Motors has an army of loyalists who either swear by the company’s sleek and stealthy high-end luxury electric cars or dream of getting their hands on one. They share company co-founder Elon Musk’s vision of ending the 130-year reign of the internal combustion engine by steering drivers away from gasoline and toward electricity. But hold on to your smugness, Tesla owners. Not all electric cars are the same, and until the U.S. more fully embraces renewable energy sources, buying an electric car isn’t necessarily the greenest option out there.
Australian Financial Review, 1 March 2017
On the footpath outside one of Shanghai’s most popular shopping malls, China’s latest asset bubble is on display. Fighting for the attention of consumers are five different brands of shared bikes, each with their own brightly coloured frame and modern design. For as little as 4¢ an hour one of these can be rented, as cash-rich start-ups fight to secure market share and seek to emerge as the dominant player in this industry which barely existed 12 months ago.
ThinkProgress, 21 February 2017
The global electric vehicle (EV) revolution reached another milestone last month as EVs made up 37 percent share of Norway’s car market. Norway understands the future of ground transport is electric and has been pushing EVs harder than almost any other country in the world with incentives such as an exemption from the 25 percent VAT tax for new cars.
CNBC, 1 February 2017
A drop in the cost of solar and electric vehicle technology could see demand for coal and oil peaking by 2020, according to a new report from the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative. The analysis cautions that large energy companies adopting a “business as usual” attitude are underestimating the advances of low carbon technologies.
REnew Economy, 30 January 2017
When Bloomberg published a story under a version of the above headline at around this time last year, it was based on data predicting that by 2040, 35 per cent of new cars worldwide “would have a plug.” Last week, a new graph based on new data by Bloomberg New Energy Finance has updated the details on how such a global shift electric vehilces might play out for the oil sector.
ABC Money, 29 December 2016
What is the sharing economy and is it as good as it sounds? The Money investigates the changing nature of collaborative consumption and why some cities are now banning Uber and Airbnb.
Wall St Journal, 27 November 2016
This month, European oil company MOL Group delivered a stark message to investors: Demand for fuel in its key markets is bound to fall. So-called peak oil demand is a mind-bending scenario that global producers such as Royal Dutch Shell PLC and state-owned Saudi Aramco are beginning to quietly anticipate. But MOL has a transformation plan that is among the most explicit responses to the trend, indicating how the landscape may change for big energy providers over the next decade.