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Can Hunt slip his Coalition chains?

Climate Spectator, 25 September 2013

Moving over to the government benches can change the way a politician looks at things. Suddenly it’s not so much about beating the other party to get into government so much as beating off your colleagues to get the things done that are important to you, leaving a legacy and gaining a favourable public profile that will further your career. The other thing is that suddenly you’re expected to have answers – it’s not enough to highlight problems. That’s what confronts both Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.

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Ԑeak Oil DemandԠ= Peak Oil

Resilience, 19 September 2013

A new phrase has entered our energy lexicon—peak oil demand. The essential idea: prophets of doom who warned about a looming global petroleum shortfall (“peak oil”) were wrong; instead of a downturn in supply, we’re instead seeing the shrinkage of demand for oil. A non-problem just solved itself! Nothing to see, folks; move along.

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ғcientists confessҿ The attack on the IPCC that went terribly wrong

The Conversation, 22 September 2013

When an error was found in the IPCC Assessment Report Number 4 – that mountain glaciers were likely to melt by 2035 – climate change deniers obsessed about this for several years, endlessly returning to it as proof that the IPCC was thoroughly flawed in its findings and the science could not be trusted.

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The true raw material footprint of nations

UNSW, 3 September 2013

The amount of raw materials needed to sustain the economies of developed countries is significantly greater than present indicators suggest, a new Australian study has revealed. Using a new modelling tool and more comprehensive indicators, researchers were able to map the flow of raw materials across the world economy with unprecedented accuracy to determine the true “material footprint” of 186 countries over a two-decade period (from 1990 to 2008).

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Sparks fly in a smooth Chevy encounter

Business Spectator, 20 September 2013

Can an electric vehicle be powerful, cheap, and fun to drive? The answer to all three questions is yes in the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV. I took a test drive of Chevy’s all-electric mini car after my tour of the newly expanded General Motors Global Battery Systems Laboratory, and let me say one thing – I was surprised by this EV.

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Is global warming in a hiatus?

The Conversation, 19 September 2013

On September 27 2013 the 5th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be released. One part of this report will address the so-called “warming hiatus”. This is the argument that warming has stopped, with the further assertion in some quarters that we therefore have nothing to worry about in the future. It is a fact, based on observations of air temperature, that the rate of global warming measured as surface air temperature has slowed over the past 15 years. The last decade is still the warmest in the past 150 years.

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Is it faster to cycle or take public transport in London?

The Guardian, 19 September 2013

Ever been jealous of that cyclist steaming past your bus? UK housing website Find Properly has used TFL's journey planner and average cycling times to see whether it's quicker to take public transport or cycle to anywhere you want to go in the capital. Click on the part of the map where you want to travel to or from and the area in green will show where a cycling journey would be the quickest option.

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Are cost estimates for transport projects reliable?

Crikey, 17 September 2013

Oxford’s Bent Flyvbjerg reckons underestimating the costs of transport infrastructure and overestimating demand is so chronic we need to consider sueing forcasters and maybe having some serve time.

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566. Hon SALLY TALBOT to the Minister for Disability Services: I refer to the minister’s promise last November that she would investigate complaints that new public transport buses are not completely accessible for people in wheelchairs because the ramps cannot be lowered far enough.

(1) Is the claim true?

(2) If so, what is the Barnett government doing to ensure that people in wheelchairs can access public transport without assistance?

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547. Hon KEN TRAVERS to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Transport:

I refer to the additional expenditure of $67 million for local government road projects that was reported in the 2012– 13

Government Mid-year Financial Projections Statement.

(1) Which local road projects are included in this expenditure?

(2) How much money is allocated to each road project in each year of the forward estimates?

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