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ENERGY & GHG |

GHGs: long-term change in three charts

A long-term perspective (back to 1000 CE) on global greenhouse gas emissions in three charts taken from State of the Climate 2014, published last week by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology

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ENERGY & GHG |

Getting warmer: the State of the Climate in five charts

Five charts from State of the Climate 2014 published this week by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, the third report in a biannual series monitoring long term trends in Australia’s climate

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ENERGY & GHG |

Is public transport as green as you think?

It’s true emissions from public transport aren’t as low relative to cars as is popularly imagined, but the savings are still significant. And there are other good reasons to invest in worthwhile transit services.

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ENERGY & GHG |

Are homes with swimming pools energy guzzlers?

In the US, homes with a swimming pool use a whopping 49% more electricity and 19% more gas than homes without one. Yet it’s not the pool itself that’s the main problem. Energy efficiency company, Opower, examined the energy consumption over four seasons of 2 million homes located in a region with a moderate climate. [...]

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ENERGY & GHG |

Is peak oil a non-event?

Ken Parish at Club Troppo draws attention to a new report that confounds the conventional wisdom on peak oil and, if correct, has important implications for cities. It’s published by Harvard University’s Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs. It concludes that oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level, it might [...]

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ENERGY & GHG |

Should the six star rating be dumped?

The Fairfax press reported yesterday the Victorian Government is considering a proposal to abolish the mandatory 6 star energy rating for new houses and renovations, and replace it with a voluntary industry code. This morning however, The Age reports the Premier, Ted Baillieu, has done an about-face and ruled out any change. If the Government really [...]

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ENERGY & GHG |

Are we really living sustainably?

If we could significantly increase population densities and get many more people out of their cars and into public transport, we’d go a long way toward making our cities sustainable. We’d almost be there if we could generate most electricity from renewable resources. Or so you might think. Yet the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) disagrees. [...]

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ENERGY & GHG |

Are inner city residents bad for the environment?

I’ve written before (e.g. here and here) about understanding the importance of selection bias before attributing significant behavioural influences to the physical environment. More often than not, it’s the characteristics of the people that explain more about their behaviour than the type of neighbourhood or housing they live in. The Australian Conservation Foundation’s (ACF) well [...]

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ENERGY & GHG |

Are wind turbines bad for the countryside?

Earlier this week I watched the Four Corners story, Against the Wind, on the alleged health impacts of wind turbines and came away wondering just what the point of the program was. Based on what I saw, my clear impression is there’s no issue here – there’s simply no hard evidence of the supposed health [...]

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ENERGY & GHG |

Is exempting petrol from the carbon tax such a big problem?

Given Australia already has a large excise tax on petrol, exempting automotive fuel bought by “families, tradies and small businesses” from the Gillard Government’s carbon tax is not the disaster some would have us believe. Australia has a minority government so compromise was inevitable – two of the independents, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, wouldn’t [...]

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