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The Year Climate Change Closed Everest

The Atlantic, 28 April 2014

The deadly avalanche on Everest earlier this month wasn't technically an avalanche. It was an "ice release"—a collapse of a glacial mass known as a serac. Rather than getting swept up by a rush of powdery snow across a slope, the victims fell under the blunt force of house-sized ice blocks tumbling through the Khumbu Icefall, an unavoidable obstacle on the most popular route up Everest. The worst accident in the mountain's history has effectively ended the 2014 climbing season. And some see global warming as the key culprit.

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You Get What You Pay For Rant: Why Economy Class Is What It Is

Airline Reporter, 25 April 2014

When I was studying in Australia on the minutiae of airline management, it was drilled into me that airlines had three levers they could adjust to control their relative profitability: price, product, and capacity. It makes sense. Do not get me wrong, this is true – but even then I knew it was a gross over-complication. It only really made sense in the premium cabin, where passengers made their airline selection on a factor other than pricing. Airlines don’t actually deal in seats; a seat is kind of a nebulous thing that cannot be quantified easily. Airlines deal in unit cost and unit revenue.

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Airbus quietly shows off big ambitions for carbon free jets

Crikey, 26 April 2014

Imagine an all electric 90 seat regional airliner able to fly at turbo-prop speeds for up to three hours operating Canberra-Sydney/Melbourne or major rural routes like those from Wagga Wagga, Coffs Harbour or Dubbo. An airliner with zero fossil carbon emissions, if the batteries were charged from solar power ‘fuel’ farms, mostly near or on airports. Flights that would be quieter than a breeze on approach or departure over suburbs near airports.

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Emissions Reduction Fund- White paper
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҃ensoredҠIPCC summary reveals jockeying for key UN climate talks

The Conversation, 24 April 2014

In the wake of this month’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on ways to cut global greenhouse gas emissions, accusations began to fly in the media that the report had been censored by governments. Are these accusations true? Well no, not exactly. Parts were edited out of the summary, although all of the details survive elsewhere in the report.

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Five pathways to post-capitalist ‘renaissance’ by a former oil man

The Guardian, 9 April 2014

In The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance, Dr Jeremy Leggett – a former oil geologist and government adviser on renewable energy – warns of the risk of an imminent global oil crash as early as next year, and no later than 2020.

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Ex govt adviser: “global market shock” from “oil crash” could hit in 2015

The Guardian, 29 March 2014

In a new book, former oil geologist and government adviser on renewable energy, Dr. Jeremy Leggett, identifies five "global systemic risks directly connected to energy" which, he says, together "threaten capital markets and hence the global economy" in a way that could trigger a global crash sometime between 2015 and 2020.

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The IPCC’s terrible three

Business Spectator, 22 April 2014

The overall message of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s newest report is simple: a rapid shift to renewable energy is needed to avert catastrophic global warming. The science behind that message, however, is less simple. In an attempt to make the message more clear, the IPCC’s report – produced by 1250 international experts and approved by every major government in the world – uses a number of charts to get its point across.

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Everyone’s getting excited about US oil independence. Not so fast.

Vox, 9 April 2014

American presidents have been dreaming about "oil independence" since Jimmy Carter in the 1970s. This is the aim of having the United States fulfill all of its oil needs from domestic sources — and not be reliant on Saudi Arabia or Venezuela or anyone else. And it always seemed like an unattainable goal. Lately, however, energy analysts are taking that dream more seriously. On April 7, for the first time ever, the US Energy Information Administration said in its annual outlook that it was at least possible that net US oil imports could fall to zero by 2037.

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With a bullet: Chinaӳ high-speed rail dream begins to take flight

The Conversation, 22 April 2014

As a young university student, I first visited Guangzhou during the mid-1990s and found it a gloomy and unsettling place. The third world, undoubtedly. When I went back again in 2010, it was transformed. The city now had a gleaming new metro system, masses of new buildings had sprung up, and the “old city”, while still full of character, had been substantially tidied up. Here was living proof of the media mantra that “China is changing”.

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