Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Process magazine: June issue

Source: CSIRO
"The June 2009 issue of Process looks at a diverse range of projects that aim to improve the environmental, economic and social sustainability of Australia's minerals and coal industries."

Metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria for ethanol production

Source: Energy and Environmental Science, vol.2 (2009)
"Development of renewable energy is rapidly being embraced by our society and industry to achieve the nation's economic growth goals and to help address the world's energy and global warming crises. Currently most of the bioethanol production is from the fermentation of agricultural crops and residues. There is much debate concerning the cost effectiveness and energy efficiency of such biomass based ethanol production processes. Here, we report the creation of a Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 strain that can photoautotrophically convert CO2 to bioethanol.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Urban congestion: why "free" roads are costly

Source: Australian Treasury
"Many see traffic jams as a fact of city life, but its root cause is overuse of a common resource – the urban road network. Putting a price on access to roads at busy times could encourage individuals to change their travel plans, according to this report. Most roads are nominally ‘free’ to drive on, resulting in demand for many roads that exceeds capacity at relatively predictable times. This means that motorists do in fact pay – in wasted time – to drive on ‘free’ roads at peak periods, which disrupts the flow of people and goods in the economy, harming productivity and growth – as well as frustrating all road users."

Green building and development as a public good

Source: Canadian Policy Research Networks
"In Green Building and Development as a Public Good, Mike Buzzelli argues that green building and development faces a classic policy paradox: we collectively agree that improvements are needed in the built environment but we are caught in a whirlwind of information and debate about how to move forward. We are motivated to “be green” but challenged by implementation."

Moving cooler: an analysis of transportation strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (summary)

Source: Natural Resources Defense Organisation
"The first-ever comprehensive analysis of transportation efficiency and its relationship to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and consumer savings was released by a diverse group of stakeholders committed to addressing climate change. Sponsored by transportation experts, industry, environmental organizations, federal agencies, trade associations and leading foundations, the report provides an objective and scientific analysis of the effectiveness and cost of almost 50 scalable transportation strategies, both alone and combined, to reduce GHG emissions."

"True" conservation progress

source: Wentworth Group of Scientists
"Hugh Possingham’s latest paper, “True” Conservation Progress, appearing in Science (Vol 323, 2 January 2009), explains that success in conserving biodiversity is best evaluated with a metric based on the concept of a conservation balance sheet."

Climate change adaptation actions for local government

Source: Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation
"The report says many Australian sectors and systems are highly vulnerable to climate change, including the functions and responsibilities of local government. It says local government’s response to climate change requires a dual approach:
- management and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation); and
- making adjustments to existing activities and practices so the potential impacts of climate change can be reduced (adaptation).
The report says mitigation and adaptation measures should be considered simultaneously because they are complementary rather than exclusive. It looks at the potential impacts of climate change on a wide range of services that councils provide including infrastructure and property services; recreational facilities; health services; planning and development approvals; natural resource management and water and sewerage services."