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Alice Springs: Solar city at centre of a fossil fuel controversy

Renew Economy, 21 April 2016
In late January, in the middle of a heatwave, the lights went out in the city of Alice Springs, in the red centre of Australia. The blackout lasted up to 10 hours, and it made people angry. Like a shorter blackout in South Australia two months earlier, the loss of power was initially blamed on renewables. In South Australia, it was deemed by the anti-renewable lobby to be the fault of too much, or too little wind power.

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How I almost bought an EV, but bought an electric bike instead

Renew Economy, 28 April 2016
Today, the German government announced 1.2 billion euros in funding for electric vehicles, half of which will come from the federal government and the other half from the automotive sector itself. 300 million euros will be devoted to building charging stations; 100 million, to tax incentives. The rest is devoted to the rebate.

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Driverless cars could make Melbourne congestion worse

The Age, 11 March 2016
Driverless vehicles could cause extreme congestion on Melbourne’s roads, as empty cars shuttle back to their owner’s suburban homes after dropping them off at their destination. The Victorian government is concerned private car ownership will continue to dominate even with the advent of new car technology, according to a new report commission by Melbourne City Council.
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City v4.0, a new model of urban growth and governance for Australia

The Conversation, 19 April 2016
We live in a global age of cities. Australia’s major urban regions are expanding rapidly. Melbourne took in a further 91,600 residents in 2014-15, giving an annual growth rate of 2.1%. It’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the developed world. Australia’s other large cities also grew quickly in the past year – Sydney at 1.7% and Perth and Brisbane at 1.6%. Together the five largest cities added more than 250,000 residents in 2014-15. Projected over the next decade, that’s 2.5 million, the equivalent of adding an extra Brisbane.

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Trucks Are Getting More Dangerous And Drivers Are Falling Asleep At The Wheel. Thank Congress.

Huffington Post, 17 April 2016
The inside story of how the trucking industry and politicians have conspired to make our highways less safe.
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Iranian-Saudi deadlock causes OPEC oil talks breakdown

Australian Financial Review, 18 April 2016
Officials from 18 oil-producing nations failed on Sunday to reach a deal to freeze oil production at current levels. The officials, who represented most of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as Russia, seemed to head into the meeting full of confidence that a deal to stabilise the oil markets could be reached. Instead, the talks dragged into the evening before Qatar’s energy minister, Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada, told a news conference that the group had been unable to reach agreement.

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A New [planning] Map for America

New York Times, April 2016
THESE days, in the thick of the American presidential primaries, it’s easy to see how the 50 states continue to drive the political system. But increasingly, that’s all they drive — socially and economically, America is reorganizing itself around regional infrastructure lines and metropolitan clusters that ignore state and even national borders. The problem is, the political system hasn’t caught up.
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Calls for Shipping and Aviation to Do More to Cut Emissions

New York Times, 16 April 2016
Even though commercial aviation and ocean shipping are significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions, they were excluded from the Paris climate treaty, to be signed by more than 100 countries this week at the United Nations in New York. Now governments and advocacy groups are pressuring these industries to take stronger steps to curb pollution.
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College Student Is Removed From [US] Flight After Speaking Arabic on Plane

New York Times, 17 April 2016
A college student who came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight in California earlier this month after another passenger became alarmed when she heard him speaking Arabic.
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Does higher-density city development leave urban forests out on a limb?

The Conversation, 14 April 2016
Greater recognition of the benefits of urban forests is focusing efforts from all levels of government to defend and improve them. Perhaps the most iconic of these efforts is New York City’s Million Trees Program. Other initiatives of note include the City of Melbourne’s and the City of Sydney’s.

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